The Role-Playing Game Thread!

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Cousi
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Cousi » Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:19 pm

I love Burroughs. In my opinion Tarzan was his least interesting work, although that may be because the character was already a big part of the culture. I love the Barsoom novels. I actually liked the movie even though it wasn't terribly accurate to the books. The ex-wife and I saw it in the theater and as we were walking out people were complaining about it being a rip-off of Star Wars. I commented overly loud how interesting it is that people can watch a movie and think it's derivative of the material that it inspired. :roll: People are idiots.

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Herb Roflcopter
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Herb Roflcopter » Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:49 pm

Cousi wrote:
Fri Nov 02, 2018 3:19 pm
I love Burroughs. In my opinion Tarzan was his least interesting work, although that may be because the character was already a big part of the culture. I love the Barsoom novels. I actually liked the movie even though it wasn't terribly accurate to the books. The ex-wife and I saw it in the theater and as we were walking out people were complaining about it being a rip-off of Star Wars. I commented overly loud how interesting it is that people can watch a movie and think it's derivative of the material that it inspired. :roll: People are idiots.
Actually, I had a similar experience when I went to see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon- a trio of moronic teenagers stumbled into the theater nearly an hour into the movie (seriously, who the fuck does that?) and complained throughout the film( "Yeah, right." "Not possible, dude!") and when the credits rolled, they made the big announcement that the movie "totally ripped off The Matrix." (shakes head)

I understand why the studio made certain changes to the film John Carter, and I don't wholly agree with all of them, I do wish it had done better- I was looking forward to seeing the other books translated into movies. Llana of Gathol is a favorite of mine, and it would have been a riot to see on the big screen!

Back to D&D, I eliminated resurrection & raise dead spells from my campaign, instead opting to use other methods to bring back deceased PCs back to life- but I'm blending two different sci-fi elements: Ras Thavas from Burrough's Mastermind of Mars as the head honcho who does the work, and Frank Herbert's Dune novels where they use an "axolotl tank" to grow a new body (called a "ghola" in the books)

To date, only one PC needed to come back to life, and two other important NPCs. Generally, if someone goes down in combat and their hit point total doesn't go below -10, they''re bleeding to death and can be quickly restored to an even zero provided someone can reach them to bandage their wounds.

Of course, a handy cleric could use a cure wounds spell, but one wasn't always available. For one long-running campaign, the guy playing the cleric didn't always show up, so the party adventured without him. This became an incredible inconvenience when the party had to hide in storage closets for let their injuries heal for weeks at a time. (Yes, that resulted in a lot of hilarity.)

Also, here's some more D&D humor:
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Cousi
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Cousi » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:57 pm

In my Geis setting there is no coming back from the dead. (Cue David Patrick Kelly in the Crow: "there ain't no coming back from the other side. This is the really real world.") If the character dies, they're dead and a new one has to be created. GURPS rules are different with D&D in that without a class system, there is no 'leveling up' so the stats and hit points remain the same. Basically everyone has a HT of 10 (unless they spent points to raise it) which means they have 10 HP. Geis is a high powered setting and it's really easy to kill characters in GURPS so I handle it this way; if they take 10 damage, they start making HT rolls to stay conscious. If they take 10 more damage (placing them at -10 HT) then they start making survival roles three failures in a row means death at this point. If they take 10 more damage (placing them at -20 HT) then they're dead, no rolls required unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Question: fudging rolls is a time-honored GM tradition. Most GMs I know fudge rolls for different reasons. I mostly fudge rolls for dramatic reasons, which means I don't have to do it often. Do you fudge your rolls? If so, what is the most common reason? Do the players know?

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Herb Roflcopter
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Herb Roflcopter » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:14 am

Cousi wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:57 pm
Question: fudging rolls is a time-honored GM tradition. Most GMs I know fudge rolls for different reasons. I mostly fudge rolls for dramatic reasons, which means I don't have to do it often. Do you fudge your rolls? If so, what is the most common reason? Do the players know?
Like you, I fudge rolls for dramatic purposes- there was one battle where it was the climactic fight, and the wizard wanted to disintegrate the head boss, leaving only the lower-level flunkies to chew through. I wasn't going to allow that! That would have been a serious anti-climax! So, the lead villain pretty much made his magic resistance work for him.

If the battle was going against the players, I would have let it work- especially if the fight was more than half over. But I can't make it too easy for them! I also fudge rolls if they're striving hard to make a plan work- I don't want to punish cleverness.

Also, I have a set of fairly lousy dice, and I use these for combat. My villains are awful shots, and overly confident in their swordsmanship, and my die rolls reflect that. If I do roll an occasional "20"*, I lift my Dungeon Master screen to let them see, but it doesn't happen too often.

I suppose anyone who's also a DM/GM knows other DMs will fudge rolls, but I haven't had anyone complain. In fact, I think only one of my regular players knows I do it occasionally, but he DMs too, so no secrets are spilled. :)

* - (In my campaign, a "20" indicated double damage from a single strike. I dislike using a critical hit table, because then it could also work against the players.)

Oh, and I found a useful link:
https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php ... 12_40013_0

They sell lots of folding scenery, and also walls that you can print out (assuming you have a 3D printer)

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Cousi
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Cousi » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:16 pm

Bookmarked the link. Thank you!

Yeah, I try to reward certain styles of play. Cleverness, advance planning, good role-playing, etc are all things that I reward. It just makes the game even more fun.

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Herb Roflcopter
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Herb Roflcopter » Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:23 am

Cousi wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:16 pm
Yeah, I try to reward certain styles of play. Cleverness, advance planning, good role-playing, etc are all things that I reward. It just makes the game even more fun.
I did away with experience points years ago, because trying to calculate enough points per adventure for the players to advance was getting to be annoying, so my rule is: if you survived the adventure, you go up a level.

But before that happened, I used to give XP bonuses for good role-playing and cleverness. Nowadays it's more subtle; if a cleric is not only aiding his fellows but also preaching the word of his goddess and advancing the cause of his religion, he may find the goddess is looking out for him (enemies may miss their attacks against him more frequently.)

Also, I thought this was hilarious:
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Cousi
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Cousi » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:15 am

I love that cartoon! The only politics in gaming are the politics I create. I've only had a player try to introduce modern politics once and I shut that shit down right fucking quick. I have no tolerance for it.

My nephew runs a game every so often and while he does calculate the XP, he will add nice touches like you mention. He loves 3.5 so that's what we play. For example, I played a Monk who worshiped Ehlonna goddess of the forests. Every time I saw a shrine, I'd donate in addition to the 10% of all money I made. As we leveled up this turned into quite a bit of money. After bringing in companions to get healed and saving a shrine from an attack, I was given a wooden talisman that provided some protection. I never proselytized because I was a monk, not a cleric but I always upheld the teachings. After we created a stronghold, I set up a chapel of sorts (Ehlonna doesn't really do chapels) that turned into a small forest in an otherwise barren area (we actually took a quest to get a seed to create the forest and a spring to create the necessary water). I was given the ability to 'tree port': I could walk into a tree and come out another tree. Basically a special case of dimension door. It was a cool way to reward the character.

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Herb Roflcopter
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Herb Roflcopter » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:34 am

Cousi wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:15 am
I love that cartoon! The only politics in gaming are the politics I create. I've only had a player try to introduce modern politics once and I shut that shit down right fucking quick. I have no tolerance for it.

My nephew runs a game every so often and while he does calculate the XP, he will add nice touches like you mention. He loves 3.5 so that's what we play. For example, I played a Monk who worshiped Ehlonna goddess of the forests. Every time I saw a shrine, I'd donate in addition to the 10% of all money I made. As we leveled up this turned into quite a bit of money. After bringing in companions to get healed and saving a shrine from an attack, I was given a wooden talisman that provided some protection. I never proselytized because I was a monk, not a cleric but I always upheld the teachings. After we created a stronghold, I set up a chapel of sorts (Ehlonna doesn't really do chapels) that turned into a small forest in an otherwise barren area (we actually took a quest to get a seed to create the forest and a spring to create the necessary water). I was given the ability to 'tree port': I could walk into a tree and come out another tree. Basically a special case of dimension door. It was a cool way to reward the character.
I had two thoughts on that- in one campaign I had a wizard who worshiped Ki, a Babylonian goddess of nature. He acted like a cleric, always preaching the word and making sure nature was left unharmed. In contrast, we had the cleric in the group who never did any of that. I never heard of the god he worshiped, and it was only after he hit 12th level he decided to build a grand temple to honor his god.

Hilariously, the wizard and another fighter in the group singlehandedly destroyed the temple and sank it into the ground- they didn't care for his attitude and had the power to show him what they felt.

In that same campaign, the group had a deep discussion about morality (they wanted it, I didn't care on way or another) because the wizard fireballed a roomful of troglodyte children. The wizard suddenly regretted his decision, although the group claimed that troglodytes are evil anyway. In real life, the guy playing the wizard has always had a soft spot for kids, so I knew he was genuinely remorseful. To be honest, the circumstances in which he blew up the room were humorous; this wasn't some "hey, I'll kill them for XP" strategy.

In fact, I'm short on time, but tomorrow I'll explain why it was so funny. Gotta turn it now, my alarm is set for 3:45 am!!!

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Herb Roflcopter
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Herb Roflcopter » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:59 am

(My story behind the charred trog kids)

In a previous campaign I created a clan of warriors armed with tridents and martial arts, and they were always a bitch to deal with. There were never any spellcasters among the bunch, but they always had a slew of special maneuvers to throw the PCs off balance. One tactic was the leg-sweep, which would throw a PC to the ground for d6 damage and then lose a round getting back up to their feet.

Some of the PCs also knew martial arts, and could do the same trick back to the baddies... except that the villains also possessed a maneuver called Instant Stand (this can be found in the 1st edition book Oriental Adventures) that would allow them to regain their feet with a nimble roll, costing them only a single attack and not the whole round.

None of the PCs knew a martial style that taught that counter-move, so they got increasingly pissed as they adventured through the campaign encountering these warriors.

At one point they decided to automatically kill anyone who knew Instant Stand. Total overreaction, I know, but we're talking 16-17 year olds here. They finally encountered the cave of troglodyte children and as a joke, one of them asked the kids if any of them knew how to perform an Instant Stand.

Of course, I gave it a small chance of happening and the dice made it a reality. One of the little ones lay on the ground and jumped to his little feet quickly, at which point the wizard lost his cool and detonated the room with a fireball spell!

It was hilarious. :)

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Cousi
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Re: The Role-Playing Game Thread!

Post by Cousi » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:20 pm

That is awesome. I love little details that become a long-running thing in a campaign or setting.

As a side note, that was something about a class-based system that frustrated me. The fact that only certain characters could do certain things. As I recall, the rules in second edition were more forgiving in that fighters could choose a style but as written only monks could do lethal damage bare-handed. It was one of the things that drove me away from playing D&D and eventually to GURPS (with stops at Shadowrun, Star Trek (FASA), Top Secret and Star Frontiers thrown in).

Sounds like you either found a rule I didn't or just house-ruled your way around it though.

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