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Author Topic: Dungeons & Dragons  (Read 4689 times)

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Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #60: February 12, 2018, 01:09:25 PM »
But so much of any game is down to the DM/GM - giving out XP, Inspiration, or other rewards for creative/non-combat solutions, for example. How does one mechanically incentivise roleplay, something that it's pretty much entirely non-mechanical? If you want your players to have free reign in their RP approach, isn't it better to not restrict via rules how RP operates or is moderated, and instead let the players/DM decide what rules (if any) apply?

Well that's an argument which has been raging for many years and it is one of the biggest divisions between Story games and traditional games.

There is no one right answer you have to find a balance which works for you, but there are games out there which mechanise this stuff. Burning Wheel has the Duel Of Wits which is like combat but for resolving arguments in a public forum. Fate conflicts can cover anything from fisticuffs to political campaigns to domestics in the B&Q wallpaper isle.

Other games will provide rewards for achieving certain RP goals which is a sort of light-touch. Other games blur the lines by varying weather it's the GM or the player who gets to narrate the specifics of a situation.

If the mechanics are there to cover it, it doesn't have to be all down to GM fiat.

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #61: February 12, 2018, 01:41:30 PM »
I guess I just don't see how (for example) multiple-round "body of evidence" dice-roll arguments are any better or more interesting than one player trying to appeal to another, or an NPC, based on what they know of that character, and maybe rolling Persuasion? Certainly I, as DM, would adjust any relevant DC behind the scenes to account for an argument a player made, but that's my "the DM makes the game" position again.

Caveat: I'm not overly familiar with many systems, so my brief skim of Fate and the Duel of Wits stuff might be missing something.

Offline Luscan

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #62: February 12, 2018, 01:50:21 PM »
Edit: Fixed many typos now that I'm not sitting in A&E.

Not to break up the flow, but why were you in an A&E? Everything alright?

Offline Luscan

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #63: February 12, 2018, 02:23:14 PM »
But so much of any game is down to the DM/GM - giving out XP, Inspiration, or other rewards for creative/non-combat solutions, for example. How does one mechanically incentivise roleplay, something that it's pretty much entirely non-mechanical? If you want your players to have free reign in their RP approach, isn't it better to not restrict via rules how RP operates or is moderated, and instead let the players/DM decide what rules (if any) apply?

PBtA answered these questions in a way that's far better I could/have the desire to.

Read Monsterhearts. It's a game where the whole thing is a conversation. It's about Teenaged Monsters and their dirty, messy, complicated lives. It's a game about sexuality in the most tumultuous period of someones life. It's a game about paranormal adventures where you're not sure if your absent parents, yourself or the psychopath living down at the lakehouse is the real asshole here. It's a game where the conversation is the real driving force behind everything.

Yes, you can have a fight between a frankenstein and a werewolf, and when you do it's driven by a strong narrative, with players trading resources over each other. It's tenser, and more character powered than 'well, he made the will save, so he's taking half damage, I guess.'

If the dirty, messy, complicated lives of queer monsters doesn't sound like your bag, have a look at Apocalypse World. Same system, easier to break into, a few hacked changes here and there. Still great, more popular, incredible storytelling chops.

All that and the rule book is a fucking pamphlet.

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #64: February 12, 2018, 02:56:22 PM »
Just tried to read Apocalypse World. Gave up when one of the class special abilities started with, "when you and another player have sex...". Bye! I was already on the edge because of the way it's written; I get that you came up with a cool world, guys, but your dedication to the fiction just means a ton of jargon that I have to guess from context. Nah.

Maybe D&D is just so popular because the books are written in plain fucking English.

Offline Luscan

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #65: February 12, 2018, 03:30:36 PM »
Just tried to read Apocalypse World. Gave up when one of the class special abilities started with, "when you and another player have sex...". Bye! I was already on the edge because of the way it's written; I get that you came up with a cool world, guys, but your dedication to the fiction just means a ton of jargon that I have to guess from context. Nah.

Maybe D&D is just so popular because the books are written in plain fucking English.

Sorry that the tone of a book threw you for a curve! In defence of AW, it's a game where the driving force is interpersonal relationships between characters and, well, sex might happen for someone, someday. Honestly, I was pointing at AW as like a really good example of a system where roleplaying is encouraged and even incentivised to the point where it becomes the driving force for the entire game, rather than dice rolls. The exact same system operates with different content in Spirit of 77, Monster of the Week or Runners in the Shadows (pbta shadowrun does shadowrun anarchy better than shadowrun anarchy does shadowrun anarchy) if you're still feelin' curious.

As for clarity of writing, yeah, AW leans on it pretty hard. It presents stuff in-theme and that theme can get a bit much at times. But, like- c'mon, buddy. Don't hold up DnD as being artfully written. Bonus Action is neither a bonus, nor is it an action. Also, I'm a level 4 wizard which means I can cast level 4 spells. Except I can't cast level 4 spells? But I can cast them at level 2? But I'm level 4, though? If DnD is written so wonderfully and clearly, why does there need to be eighteen pages of Errata, updated on a regular basis whenever a new book comes out? Why did the grappling rules need to have their errata errata'd? It's well presented, sure, but when you can point Hasbro resources at something, you'd kind of hope it would be?

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #66: February 12, 2018, 03:37:00 PM »
I'm not staying it's artful, I'm saying I understand it the first time I read it.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #67: February 12, 2018, 03:38:16 PM »
Edit: Fixed many typos now that I'm not sitting in A&E.

Not to break up the flow, but why were you in an A&E? Everything alright?

I'm fine, my son however has broken d4-1 toes.

He'll be fine too though.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #68: February 12, 2018, 06:53:37 PM »
I've read Apocalypse World, and Dungeon World and Uncharted Worlds. I liked what I read but not enough to actually try running them instead of all the other games there are out there to play.

I like the system used in FFG's Star Wars games and their new Genesys game. It uses funky dice which can be applied to any situation in all sorts of different ways and they provide all sorts of interesting unexpected results. It does require a bit of interpretation from the GM and players but there is plenty of guidance in the rules and I find it very natural and dynamic in play. I mention it here because you can go through a few sessions without a combat or a chase or a stealth check but you are still rolling dice just the same for following clues or convincing someone to help or trade or languages or whatever, and all of those rolls push the game forward in interesting and unexpected directions. Ways that it wouldn't have gone off I was just making GM calls and rolling on random encounter tables.

There's certainly a place for all the games which only provide you with a combat system and skill tests, but I like more support than that for some campaigns.

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #69: February 19, 2018, 05:37:36 AM »
From this, I've started looking into the Star Wars RPG; I'd played a one-shot a while back, but because it was a one-shot, nobody took it too seriously, so I never really got my teeth into it. I've... located the rulebooks (they go for £50-80 on Amazon!) to have a look at and I'm already writing the start of an Age of Rebellion campaign, despite not having any players. I do know a few people who are pretty into Star Wars, though, so maybe they could be convinced..?

Offline aniki

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #70: February 19, 2018, 05:49:53 AM »
I own more RPG rulebooks than I've read, and I've read more than I've played, but the one thing that strikes me about both flavours of D&D that I've had experience with (4e and 5e) is how hand-holdy they are for the DM.

Like, every single creature has a stat block and rules, and there are books and books of pre-gen stuff to run. Compared to the "do what you want ¯\_(?)_/¯" skeletons provided by Fate or Monster of the Week, D&D is practically scripted from start to finish, and I wonder if that adherence to rules and official lore and the 'right' way to play is part of the reason it can be so difficult to get into actual role-playing. There's not much there on coping with player's own ideas, to the point of almost encouraging railroading.

The only pregen stuff I've run recently was a one-shot from the new Paranoia edition, Kickstarted a couple years ago, and even that was really loosely-defined beyond mission briefing and a handful of characters the players could run into (but don't have to).

Star Trek Adventures ... was atrociously badly written; rules are poorly explained, terminology is inconsistent, and I seem to have to keep flipping back and forth constantly to work out what the hell it's on about.

A friend of mine wrote some stuff for that book. I'll, uh, not pass on your review.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #71: February 19, 2018, 05:56:59 AM »
From this, I've started looking into the Star Wars RPG; I'd played a one-shot a while back, but because it was a one-shot, nobody took it too seriously, so I never really got my teeth into it. I've... located the rulebooks (they go for £50-80 on Amazon!) to have a look at and I'm already writing the start of an Age of Rebellion campaign, despite not having any players. I do know a few people who are pretty into Star Wars, though, so maybe they could be convinced..?

Go for it! It is a great game although it does take a little bit longer than most games to get it flowing right at the table. Two pieces of advice I always give for running these games:

1 - Don't call for rolls as often, even little checks can spin off into complications and new problems to solve so only roll for the things that matter.
2 - Discuss briefly what Advantages and Threats might look like for each roll before the dice hit the table. For whatever reason everyone seems to find it easier to think of think random stuff which might happen before the dice are rolled.

Each roll is a bit more work than you are used to but it's more than worth it as each roll brings so much more to the game. Also your players are supposed to be helping interpret the dice so it's not all down to the GM.

From a buying stuff point of view the books are expensive but they are huge and you could easily run a couple of campaigns just from any one of them. You don't need any of the supplements but they all offer new vehicles, aliens, character options and new optional rules for specific situations, so they are worth buying but they aren't required. The two adventures for Age of Rebellion are supposed to be pretty good, they looked pretty tightly structured though so I havn't bought them. The source book Strongholds of Resistance is really good, lots of floor plans for Rebel bases details on how they work and what you'll find there and advice on focusing a campaign on one home base that your PCs get to build up.

You'll also need dice. There are a few apps that'll do it, some free or the official paid app, they are fine. If you want actual dice and your players are happy to share, two sets will be enough. Buy a third later on as your PCs level up.

Offline Brian Bloodaxe

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #72: February 19, 2018, 08:32:14 AM »
From this, I've started looking into the Star Wars RPG; I'd played a one-shot a while back, but because it was a one-shot, nobody took it too seriously, so I never really got my teeth into it. I've... located the rulebooks (they go for £50-80 on Amazon!) to have a look at and I'm already writing the start of an Age of Rebellion campaign, despite not having any players. I do know a few people who are pretty into Star Wars, though, so maybe they could be convinced..?

It's Edge of the Empire rather than Age of Rebellion but if this is still available it's a great deal: https://plus.google.com/u/0/107730897868918905283/posts/d51oTcAvazT

Offline Ninchilla

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #73: February 19, 2018, 10:57:16 AM »
That's okay, I know where I can get the PDFs for an even bigger bargain. And I'm still getting to grips with the thing, I think supplements are a ways off yet!



You'll also need dice. There are a few apps that'll do it, some free or the official paid app, they are fine. If you want actual dice and your players are happy to share, two sets will be enough. Buy a third later on as your PCs level up.

I ordered a couple of sets of dice from Amazon (US; even with postage, they were nearly half the price), which should arrive soon...ish.

Now all I need is players.

Offline Hapimeses

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons
« Reply #74: February 19, 2018, 02:43:51 PM »
I've almost played the Star Wars RPG more than once -- own it, and the dice, and a few bits and bobs -- largely because it's based on WFRP3's system, but without most of the faff. Just never quite had the time or inclination.