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Author Topic: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!  (Read 7508 times)

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Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2012, 12:57:41 PM »
That is the complaint I kept hearing here. A LOT of folks recall the amount of feedback the felt their input on the Pathfinder beta was given. That feedback isn't there in DnDNext. Not saying that there isn't, just that it wasn't SEEN.

We must be talking to very different groups of people - what I'd heard was that the PF designers were very hostile towards feedback of anything besides 'this is great', to the point where permanent forum bans were issued to anyone who claimed something was over/underpowered.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2012, 01:04:23 PM »
That seems excessive.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2012, 01:14:04 PM »
I'm not guaranteeing what I've heard is 100% accurate, but I have been told that the PF beta-test was very hostile towards people who were actively looking for problems, loopholes, and broken combos that needed to be fixed, rather than perpetuating positive feedback loops.

(With awareness that said people would have a vested interest in painting themselves in a better light, hence why I'm phrasing everything in a secondhand fashion.)

Offline Slywyn

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2012, 01:24:17 PM »
Still, I'd rather fix a game than have a broken game that people say is good.

Offline tsc

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #54 on: December 02, 2012, 02:29:50 PM »
Actually tis not that baseless. Look at the way they addressed the classes. blaster, tank, crowd control and so on. It WAS built to be based off a MMO.

I picked up the books.. looked them thru and between they initial way they did multiclassing, the 'enchanting rules' which smacked a LOT of what I was grinding thru in wow at the time (magic powers you get from 'disenchanting' magic items?)

It should be noted, though, that tank/damage dealer/healer/controller existed in D&D long before there even were such things as MMOs.  Groups that were heavily into the combat aspects of D&D have been dividing up responsibilities like that since the '70s.  The only thing 4e did there that previous editions didn't was to actually label the classes as to which roles they were meant to fill, and add the concept of tanks "marking" foes.

MMOs got the idea from D&D - the only thing D&D got about it from MMOs was the idea of actually letting new players know how the classes were meant to act in group combat.

Offline tsc

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #55 on: December 02, 2012, 05:58:25 PM »
I've been playing D&D a long, long time now.  I first got it for Christmas back in 1980 - I was already a fan of fantasy and SF, and when I saw the ads for it in Boys' Life and various comics, I wanted to get whatever this game was that let you play out fantasy stories.

Over the years, I've played every edition of AD&D, and a lot of other RPGs besides.  4e is my favorite so far, for reasons that I've already explained over in another thread here on Elliquiy.  If I had to take a second choice, though, Pathfinder would be it right now.  I can't say that I like what I've seen of Next so far - it seems like an attempt to regress back to 2e, with a few things brought in from 3 and 4e.

As far as worlds go, I started off using Greyhawk, then migrated to my own fantasy world of Tathir, which I developed when 2e came out.  I made a lot of conscious changes from the "typical" D&D worlds in it - for example, the main halfling nation is based off of late Imperial Rome mixed with Renaissance Venice, for halflings who love their creature comforts... and their orgies and slaves.

Similarly, having seen far too many worlds where there was 'the' elven nation, 'the' dwarven nation, etc., I had multiple ones of each, with past histories of wars and struggles between them.  Thus, the oldest elven nation was ruled by high and grey elves, with wood and wild elves being a peasant underclass, while another elven nation had been founded by wood and wild elves who had fled from there, and did not get along at all with the other.  I also strongly dislike the idea of 'evil races', so negotiation and accepting surrenders was often a fruitful tactic - and still is, in the games I run.

After running games in Tathir for around seven years, I got tired of it.  Around that time I was growing tired of AD&D as well (this was in 2e days), and for the next several years, I didn't run D&D at all.  A player from my Tathir campaign who had moved away started his own D&D campaign up, and I mailed off all my Tathir notes, maps, etc. to him.  He's still running his campaigns in it today.

As far as characters go... I have a special fondness for my first character, Victor Ironwolf (and yes, 'Ironwolf' was a steal from Morgan Ironwolf, the example of character creation in 'pink box' Basic D&D.  I was 10).  He was a ranger, but back then, I hadn't read any Tolkein yet, so I didn't really know what a ranger was supposed to be, and the campaign he was in was very much a Monty Haul game, so he wound up with plate armor, a sword based on Blackrazor from White Plume Mountain, and a pegasus for a mount.  In 4e, I finally recreated him - but this time as a warlord, since I really love the concept of that class.

Another favorite of mine is Efindel, a grey elven mage from second edition, who I ran in a high-level campaign, carrying him from 5th level up to 16th.  He became an NPC fixture in Tathir as the royal mage of the main elven kingdom, and a guardian of the Gate that was there.

I returned to D&D with 3rd edition, but while I liked most of the concepts behind it, I found the implementation to be lacking, and never developed any characters that really stuck with me.  In 4e, favorites of mine have been Victor Ironwolf 2.0, a female paladin multiclassed into warlord named Thornele, and a female mage named Maribelle, who was designed to test how much utility could be gotten out of a mage who specialized in spells that moved enemies around and inflicted conditions on them while doing minimal damage.

Since I've spent most of my time as a GM, though, most of my best stories are about other people's characters and about adventures.  Sparran, human paladin of the Protector, and Baal, dwarven priest of the god of Vengeance, who several times nearly came to blows over how to treat defeated foes - even though they were both Lawful Good.  The time I told everyone to get out the characters they had that had gotten too high level and which no one would let them play any more (within reason - no characters from people's munchkin days), and ran a campaign that had them roving the D&D multiverse while searching for parts of a gem that was the soul of a primordial god. 

Another time, around Christmas one year, when pretty much everyone who had ever been a member of my first gaming group showed up in town, and my friend Craig and I decided to co-GM a party vs. party dungeon.  The time when someone in the party made the mistake of saying "Demogorgon", and the GM rolled the appearance chance... and he actually appeared.  To a group of seventh-level characters.  Efindel only survived that one because I'd been lucky enough to get psionics, and he was able to Dimension Door out of there while the big D slaughtered the rest of the party.  And then, of course, Efindel wound up having to go back once he judged it safe, gather up the pieces of their bodies he could find, and go try to find some way to get them resurrected.

I could probably literally go on for hours, and some of my stories would be from this last year - there were some great moments with Victor 2.0 and his cohort, and the players in my current online 4e game have done some very unexpected things, like choosing to kill an Earl's son they got into a bar fight with... but that's really the fun of D&D, and of all RPGs - the unexpected moments, that make you bust out laughing, go "WTF?", or want to pound your head against the table because of how the players are either missing what should be obvious... or have just smashed what you spent hours planning in two minutes with a strategy you never could have imagined.

And at the heart of it, that's why I still play, 22 years later.  Because the system or the edition matters a hell of a lot less than the imagination - both your own, and that of the people you play with.

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2012, 06:15:13 PM »
Thank you so much for sharing your story, tsc! :D It sounds like you've had a wild and wonderful ride! ;D I love hearing about how each person has experienced D&D in a different way. That's what is so amazing about this game; the only limit is your own imagination. :D

Offline Skynet

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2012, 08:25:19 PM »
I first got into Dungeons & Dragons by finding the 3rd Edition Core Books in Borders.  I absolutely loved them, and knew that I needed to play this game.  I didn't get an actually group until 2 years later, and I eagerly played almost every week for years on end.

In recent years I've been pursuing other kinds of Table-Top games, but I keep heading back to D&D.  I've also bought a few retroclones, most notably Hackmaster Basic.  I still love 3rd Editon and Pathfinder, but I was thinking of branching out to other Editions sometime.

I don't really have a favorite setting, but I really enjoy Eberron and Forgotten Realms.  Eberron is an interesting take on a pseudo-industrial society with advanced magic and pulp-themed adventures, while Forgotten Realms is a flavorful mix of all sorts of fantasy tropes.  I really like the frontier setting of the North in Faerun as well.

I pretty much discarded the new FR books for this along with a myriad other reasons. What they did to the Realms was.. hideous.

You should check out Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms.  It's a new book comprised of Greenwood's personal notes about the society and culture of the Realms.  It doesn't contain Edition-specific material or hard game mechanics, but it's a great read for adding variety and flavor to your FR games to make it feel like a vibrant, living world.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 08:28:23 PM by Skynet »

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2012, 12:22:02 AM »
I first got into Dungeons & Dragons by finding the 3rd Edition Core Books in Borders.  I absolutely loved them, and knew that I needed to play this game.  I didn't get an actually group until 2 years later, and I eagerly played almost every week for years on end.

In recent years I've been pursuing other kinds of Table-Top games, but I keep heading back to D&D.  I've also bought a few retroclones, most notably Hackmaster Basic.  I still love 3rd Editon and Pathfinder, but I was thinking of branching out to other Editions sometime.

I don't really have a favorite setting, but I really enjoy Eberron and Forgotten Realms.  Eberron is an interesting take on a pseudo-industrial society with advanced magic and pulp-themed adventures, while Forgotten Realms is a flavorful mix of all sorts of fantasy tropes.  I really like the frontier setting of the North in Faerun as well.

You should check out Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms.  It's a new book comprised of Greenwood's personal notes about the society and culture of the Realms.  It doesn't contain Edition-specific material or hard game mechanics, but it's a great read for adding variety and flavor to your FR games to make it feel like a vibrant, living world.

Thank you for sharing, Skynet! :D

Ah, Borders... How I loved to check out the roleplaying section, hoping to find a D&D book I didn't have. I've felt like kicking myself for not getting some of them when I had the chance! ::)

I liked Eberron for its more industrial, almost steam-punkish flavor, as well as for doing away with Lolth (she scares me), but a few hang-ups kept me from wholly embracing it. I didn't like the idea of my character being sent to a dull, gloomy place for all eternity if she died. I like Greyhawk's system of characters being sent to the plane which best matches their alignment (CE goes to Abyss, LG goes to Celestia, etc.), and Forgotten Realms' system of them being sent to their chosen deity's realms. It just seems more satisfying and rewarding to me. :-) Also, I wasn't sure what to think about the Warforged. On one hand, the idea is really, really cool! :D A sentient construct race! What took them so long? On the other hand, I wondered if having a player race which was much less "mortal" was quite fair to the other players. Elves have long lives, but even they die eventually. Providing a Warforged keeps itself in good repair, it could potentially live forever. That being said, the thought of a Warforged ascending to become a deity is really cool! ;D

I haven't read Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms yet, but it sounds like a good resource! :-) Thank you for the recommendation! :D

Offline Slywyn

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2012, 12:31:35 AM »
Eberron reminds me a lot of the Beyond the Blue Moon setting, with Hawke and Fisher and all that.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #60 on: December 05, 2012, 12:35:14 AM »
Eberron reminds me a lot of the Beyond the Blue Moon setting, with Hawke and Fisher and all that.


I didn't see it at first..though I can see bits of it. That is definite fodder for thought.

Offline Slywyn

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #61 on: December 05, 2012, 12:37:12 AM »
Just seems similar to me, is all.

Offline WindVoyager

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #62 on: December 05, 2012, 02:04:48 PM »
Ever made an NPC you and the players just love to hate?

I had one named Osborn Applebottom and was the bane of my PCs. He was a halfing that ran a lot of small petty scams in his younger years and traveled around with a small band of merchants until they arrived in a small town in a swampy area called Oakvale. He meet a half orc there that I can' remember the name of at the moment and they went into business together. They bought out most the land around Oakvale and built a saw mill and pulping plant and started to clear cut entire sections of the forest. Needless to say this made the resident druid, Driddle, very unhappy.

Driddle demeaned the clear cutting stop, Osborn of course refused since it was generating considerable amount of money and the towns folk didn't want to stop either because the timber gave them a much needed economic boost and supplied desperately needed jobs

In retaliation, Driddle has his animal companion, a half fen dragon, half Deinosuchus, simply known as Swamp Phantom, kill any one who ventured too far into the swamps. The attacks started to get more and more brazen and a little girl who was an orphan at the Delfont Orphanage was eaten when she got too close to the water.

The towns folk lured the beast into a trap and killed it and latter killed the druid and things went on as usual. Until they started to notice an alarming amount of dead fish and small animals that started to show up near the pulping plant. Animals and people both started to get sick. Turned out that Osborn had taken countless short cuts to save money and was dumping toxic chemicals into the water killing the wild life and making the water undrinkable. Not he never bothered to properly maintain any of the equipment so workers were stating to be routinely injured or killed by malfunctioning equipment.

By this time Osborn has taken all the profits and skipped town.

(When the adventure took place it was several years latter and Oakvale is pretty much abandoned, the mill rotting away and the Swamp Phantom has returned from the dead and some of the townsfolk had turned cannibal. )

Osborn had taken up residence in another small town called Bear Den Hollows, taken it over and was slowly draining the swamps and selling the highly futile land to farmers and selling off land to cranberry frames as well. Needless to say the resident lizardfolk clan didn't take too kindly to having some one drain their swamp and cause water levels to fall through out the swamp.

So he hires a band of mercenaries and a pair of rouge lizardfolks to take care of the little problem and has the leaders daughter kidnapped knowing they won't make any move on him while he has her and let his mercenaries do what ever they wanted to her which got hinted at to the group when the adventures ventured out of the swamps once they found out what was really happening and confronted Osbone and rescue her. They are all adults and all their quicks and triggers where made clear well before hand

The PCs chased him all over the damn mansion and Osborn nearly gets away but a joint effort from the were griffen PC and the lizard fold druid NPC makes sure he doenst get far

And that's just the stuff that I can remember at the moment

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #63 on: December 07, 2012, 01:03:42 AM »
Wow! :o That's amazing work, WindVoyager! :D An awesome plot, and a very original villain! Keep up the good work! ;D

Offline WindVoyager

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #64 on: December 07, 2012, 01:19:03 AM »
And that is only what I can remember him doing

I'd have to find my DM notes to find the rest of the things Osborn did. I recall him hiring the Dugan brothers, three halfing mercenaries, two rouges and one ranger, and had them do things like steal an inn keepers pet dire boar, stick leather barding on it that had spikes and stuff on it and used Tiby to terrorized the local community. The PC followed the Dugan brothers back to their lair, only to watch them escape and face down a very angry Tiby.

Turns out the Tiby is a very dead piggy. Has been for a very long time.

For you see dear ol Barcus the inn keeper is not quite right in the head. Never has been since he contracted  very nasty case of Swamp Fever. His pet dire boar was accidentally killed by a hunter who thought it was a wild one. Distraught, Bracus buried his beloved pet behind the inn. Whether it was his prays being answered or some darker force, Tiby came back. Bracus of course doesn't mind that Tiby is among the undead. He's just happy to have her back.

They latter learned it was Osborn who had hired the Dugan brothers which lead them to the swamps in pursuit of the brothers only to find they were one step ahead of them and went after Osborn instead.


Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2012, 11:02:40 PM »
Ooo! I just thought of a neat idea for a new monster! :D

It would be a fey, an offshoot of the nymph or dryad, but which inhabits cultivated grain fields. It would appear to be a human or elf maiden with golden hair, sun-kissed skin, and freckles, who is often seen wandering through fields of grain. I think I'll call her a "Grain Maiden." Unlike most fey, who tend to be reclusive and dislike man's tampering with nature, a Grain Maiden protects the fields and teaches farmers how to live in harmony with nature, and how to work the land without exhausting it. Communities often honor Grain Maidens by leaving a small portion of each field unharvested. Grain Maidens are non-violent by nature, but will fight if the crop or farmers are threatened. They are especially protective of children, and it is said that Grain Maidens often take mortal lovers and produce half-fey offspring, perhaps even other Grain Maidens. A field in which a Grain Maiden has been slain becomes barren and worthless within hours.

That's all I've come up with so far. What do you guys think? :D

Offline Falstaff

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2012, 05:02:47 PM »
Birdy...couldn't that also be a druid or ranger maiden?  Maybe your fey person is exactly that.  An offspring of or an actual druid or ranger person living in the fields.  Not that I want to dampen your creation, just seems to me that the same could be done with either of those character classes.

Or maybe she is the avatar or a worshipper of the older Goddess Chauntea...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chauntea

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #67 on: December 29, 2012, 05:46:04 PM »
Birdy...couldn't that also be a druid or ranger maiden?  Maybe your fey person is exactly that.  An offspring of or an actual druid or ranger person living in the fields.  Not that I want to dampen your creation, just seems to me that the same could be done with either of those character classes.

Or maybe she is the avatar or a worshipper of the older Goddess Chauntea...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chauntea

Hmmm... possibly! :-) I like the idea of there being a more mortal-friendly nymph of grain fields though. Making her a mortal takes away some of her mystique. I definitely imagine Grain Maidens revering the more mortal-friendly nature deities, so Chauntea or Pelor would be perfect! :D

Offline Koyume

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2012, 05:55:03 PM »
Just out of curiosity, anyone ever used the Swiftblade 3.5 prestige class on the Wizards site? I always thought it looked really cool, but haven't had the chance to play one.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2012, 07:14:49 PM »
Swiftblades are good gish classes, and vicious as the passive half of a gestalt build. Losing 4 caster levels is incredibly harsh, though, so dedicated full spellcasters won't touch it, and the need to take 5+ levels of a casting class means most warrior-types won't want to invest in it either. Like most gishes, it's most practical in higher-level games.

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2012, 07:32:38 PM »
Swiftblades are good gish classes, and vicious as the passive half of a gestalt build. Losing 4 caster levels is incredibly harsh, though, so dedicated full spellcasters won't touch it, and the need to take 5+ levels of a casting class means most warrior-types won't want to invest in it either. Like most gishes, it's most practical in higher-level games.

I hope this isn't a stupid question, but what does "gish" mean? ??? You've gotten me curious! :-)

Offline Dhi

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2012, 07:58:28 PM »
Ooo! I just thought of a neat idea for a new monster! :D

It would be a fey, an offshoot of the nymph or dryad, but which inhabits cultivated grain fields. It would appear to be a human or elf maiden with golden hair, sun-kissed skin, and freckles, who is often seen wandering through fields of grain. I think I'll call her a "Grain Maiden." Unlike most fey, who tend to be reclusive and dislike man's tampering with nature, a Grain Maiden protects the fields and teaches farmers how to live in harmony with nature, and how to work the land without exhausting it. Communities often honor Grain Maidens by leaving a small portion of each field unharvested. Grain Maidens are non-violent by nature, but will fight if the crop or farmers are threatened. They are especially protective of children, and it is said that Grain Maidens often take mortal lovers and produce half-fey offspring, perhaps even other Grain Maidens. A field in which a Grain Maiden has been slain becomes barren and worthless within hours.

That's all I've come up with so far. What do you guys think? :D
I think that's a better monster idea than most of what I've seen under WotC's run. Something that fuels encounter ideas that aren't just tactical situations. This is what excites me about monster books, and what's inspired my incurable love of monsters.

I hope this isn't a stupid question, but what does "gish" mean? ??? You've gotten me curious! :-)
Gish is a warrior/mage. It comes from the name for githyanki warrior/mages way back in 1E.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2012, 08:17:50 PM »
Yeah, 'Gish' is player-slang for a character who can cast spells and fight in melee with near-equal proficiency.

Offline SongbirdTopic starter

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2012, 08:22:02 PM »
I think that's a better monster idea than most of what I've seen under WotC's run. Something that fuels encounter ideas that aren't just tactical situations. This is what excites me about monster books, and what's inspired my incurable love of monsters.
Gish is a warrior/mage. It comes from the name for githyanki warrior/mages way back in 1E.

Thank you, Dhi! :D Both for liking my idea and explaining what a gish was. ;D Yes, I like creating monsters that encourage interaction over just killing and looting it. Only a really evil character or NPC would want to kill a Grain Maiden. Or perhaps a druid who is against farming? Lots of ideas for Grain Maiden encounters! :D

Yeah, 'Gish' is player-slang for a character who can cast spells and fight in melee with near-equal proficiency.

Ohhh, okay! :-) I dunno... Part of me thinks that would be really cool, but the DM in me wonders whether or not such a character would be fair for the other players. :-\ I think I'd like to stay safe and focus on either melee or magic. Being proficient with both seems almost too good to be true! ::)

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Dungeons & Dragons... Discuss!
« Reply #74 on: December 29, 2012, 08:53:43 PM »
It's more fair than you think, because 'equally proficient' doesn't mean 'full power' except for very specific builds. Because warrior-class levels don't add to your spellcasting, and spellcaster levels don't add to your melee ability (to any significant level), most gishes end up at around 50-75% effectiveness in either field compared to a dedicated character of that level. Particularly for Spellcasters, because of Linear Warriors Quadratic Wizards - every level they aren't spending getting better in spellcasting means less power gained, and gives them a bit of flexibility.