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Metantoine
Big Beautiful Frenchman

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: In the Rectory
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 2:00 am 
 

I was invited to play in the 5e campaign of one of my fellow players after tonight's game and yeah, why the fuck not!? I'm making a human tempest cleric of Zeus who's like a Greek womanizer. I took the human variant option and the observant feat to have 17 of wisdom! I asked the DM if I could make his background a mix of soldier and noble since he comes from a noble family deeply rooted in militarism, I'm pretty sure he'll agree.
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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:46 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:

Resident_Hazard wrote:
You don't have to be a designer, and indeed, sometimes someone unfamiliar with game design aspects will ask better questions. When I tested games at Activision, they had a wide range of people there, because everyone sees things a little differently and those of us going to school to be designers/developers were in the minority. So, I wouldn't dismiss your feedback. When showing these games to people, you need to cast a wide net, so your input, while less of it, is probably just as valuable.


I appreciate the support, but it isn't even as complicated as thinking I don't have value. I just don't have much to say. I keep my feedback short and specific. Otherwise I basically stay out of it because I learn more that way, kind of how I am around here, actually. I might chime in when one of the other guys points out something that I noticed and didn't make a point out of, but that's it. I agree that casting a wide net is important, but a novice needs to avoid muddying the water. I make it my business to focus only on the basics: are the rules explained clearly, are the components usable, is it engaging, is it a fun game or just a cool idea. "I don't know what I'm talking about, but I like everything so it's a great game" is literally the most useless thing I could say. I always qualify a positive or a negative note with examples that are hopefully easy for him to remember.


Gotcha. Waiting until we have something of merit to say instead of thrusting out banter for the sake of it is a skill too few people seem to have. Especially at my work, where our boss really wants us to "get involved" in either extra projects or to speak up in meetings. The former has led to the invention of busy-work to look impressive to the boss and the latter meant that meetings always lasted 3 times longer than they needed because everyone was trying to make sure they looked like they were contributing, despite constantly going in circles. Which is what always happened.

That noted, even if you don't always have much to say, that doesn't diminish that when you do speak up, it still likely has merit. Even bad ideas, questions, or suggestions seem to aid in game development, because they can help shore up or set rules, or iron them out. We've had bad suggestions in the past for either board or video games I've worked on, and it helps us further understand why the game needs to operate in a certain way.
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MrMcThrasher II
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:01 pm
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:44 pm 
 

Anybody been paying attention to the latest 40k news?

Can't wait for the new addition. The preview of the Chaos Leviathan Dread has me giddy with excitement.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 6:54 am 
 

More epic shit at today's session:

So, we're all standing in this courtyard in this dwarven city in a vast underground cave, and atop a huge pyramid across a bridge spanning a moat around the base of the structure is a huge wyvern with a mounted rider that has just looked our way after I tossed a cultist screaming into a chasm.

My plan was to have everyone retreat into the guardhouse behind us and force it to try to come through the door so that we could get it into melee range, get behind cover, etc. Of course, the DM being really strict on out of character tactics discussions/metagaming, I don't have any in-game opportunity to convince my teammates to do this so it all goes to chaos. The halfling fighter wanders off "to watch our backs," I fling some javelins at the rider and make for the guardhouse while screaming "GET INDOORS!", and the warlock just stands there. The ranger does some good damage to the rider as well and actually kills her, but the wyvern comes screeching down at the warlock and fucks him up bad. He then uses his Misty Step reaction to teleport - NOT to the doorway, of course, but into the fucking saddle of this wyvern to start Vampiric Touching it, haha. Well needless to say it did not take kindly to that, and flies over to scrape him off against the side of the pyramid. Seconds later the wyvern master walks around the corner of the pyramid and orders it back to its perch, and I toss the warlock his tooth that got knocked out when his face was smashed against the stones of the pyramid wall.

And that was just our first encounter. Shit got even weirder after that.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 7:46 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Of course, the DM being really strict on out of character tactics discussions/metagaming

:scratch:
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2017 11:29 pm 
 

He doesn't want the players to talk about how to do combat stuff out-of-character, especially if the characters themselves wouldn't have had any opportunity to discuss it. So there's a guy on a wyvern end of last session, and to open this one it flies right at us and attacks, so the session opened with rolling initiative, and since our characters can only talk during our combat turns there's literally no way to discuss tactics at all in that situation. He encourages us to develop our tactics with in-character conversations during uneventful travel or rests or whatever, and of course we can make plans if we set up an ambush or are observing enemies without being seen or whatever, but once fighting starts he wants us to do everything very RAW.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:32 am 
 

No thank you.
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 3:12 am 
 

That sounds pretty nice actually, I've been in way too many situations where people are having in-depth discussions about battle tactics while they're fighting for their lives, and I just really couldn't suspend my disbelief. It's just completely absurd for me to imagine people soberly compare the merits of one strategy to another while there's so much noise and everyone's at that level of physical exertion. Obviously you could yell something out and get some rudimentary back and forth over the period of a couple rounds, but no one could plausibly hold an actual conversation in that situation. I think the tabletop community could use more of that kind of realistically limiting DM style. Making characters do mundane things like eating or shitting or whatever obviously isn't conducive to fun gameplay, but I think preventing them from doing things they couldn't really do totally is. Makes players get more creative.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 3:15 am 
 

There's a middle ground between long discussions and no discussions at all.
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 3:20 am 
 

Well he said they can discuss before combat and on their turns, what more do you really need?
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 5:25 am 
 

Yeah, discussions are fine, but only when it's realistic. Like if we're standing there and the bigass wyvern swoops down and attacks, how would it be possible to have any sort of discussion? At that point everyone would just react. Yeah, taking turns and rolling initiative is pretty limiting, and I think it is kind of silly how the combat leader who would shout orders can wind up being near the end of the initiative order and therefore have a bunch of shit go down before he's even able to shout anything.

Though I'm also somewhat irritated that on my turn I had my character shout "GET INDOORS!" and two people completely ignored that and just did their own thing, then when one guy's doing so nearly got him killed the ranger went back out there to help him. I RP'd out some stuff later where I told that warlock to tell me if he had some sort of deathwish because if so I'd kill him right there to prevent anymore party splitting.
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Metantoine
Big Beautiful Frenchman

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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 11:13 am 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Yeah, discussions are fine, but only when it's realistic. Like if we're standing there and the bigass wyvern swoops down and attacks, how would it be possible to have any sort of discussion? At that point everyone would just react. Yeah, taking turns and rolling initiative is pretty limiting, and I think it is kind of silly how the combat leader who would shout orders can wind up being near the end of the initiative order and therefore have a bunch of shit go down before he's even able to shout anything.

Though I'm also somewhat irritated that on my turn I had my character shout "GET INDOORS!" and two people completely ignored that and just did their own thing, then when one guy's doing so nearly got him killed the ranger went back out there to help him. I RP'd out some stuff later where I told that warlock to tell me if he had some sort of deathwish because if so I'd kill him right there to prevent anymore party splitting.

I think it's fine to limit discussions during the battles and if the "leader" of the party rolled a 4 for his initiative, well tough luck, it's part of the game and it shows how quickly or slowly he reacted to the situation. Sure, it can be tough to deal with but it adds something to the game.

As for the "GET TO THE CHOP... INDOORS" thing, you did the good thing by roleplaying the issue. Is the player a noob or did he simply brainfarted? Still, once again, this is the kind of stuff that's fun to play and it could happen in real situations. It can be fun to discuss that shit in the pub afterwards (in characters.) I did something with my wizard that the bard in the party really didn't like and we discussed it! I still stand by my decision haha.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 11:45 am 
 

Well there are five of us. The cleric, who is a pretty seasoned player, ran to the door. The ranger was only playing her third session, and was coming for the door until the warlock pulled his "teleport into the saddle" stunt, at which point she stayed out there to assist him by shooting at the wyvern he was trying to ride, then by trying to run over and heal him after he got knocked off. The halfling fighter who did nothing has been playing with them for about a year I guess and is the "munchkin" player the DM hates*. The warlock guy, who pulled that insane stunt, has been playing D&D forever and did it because a) it was awesome, b) it was nuts and his character is nuts, and c) he thought he could use some warlock shit on the wyvern while conveniently mounted on it to force it to the ground.

The warlock and I have been RP-ing out a good follow-up dialogue. I'll just paste it here (Fyrnask is my barbarian, Gorm is the warlock):

Spoiler: show
Fyrnask mutters, “I really hate that guy…[a crazy bard NPC]” and turns to Gorm, furious.

“You better tell me right here and now if you’ve got some sort of desire to die in this hole, because I sure as hell don’t and especially don’t plan on doin’ it on account of your insanity. So if death’s what you’re after, just say so, and I’ll make it quick. Never in all my life have I seen such madness.”

(He doesn’t wait for a response, and turns to the others).

“As for the rest of you…how the hell is it you’re all still alive? Some big nasty thing with wings catches you out in the open, you force it into a bottleneck. It can fly, we can’t. Prof [what Fyrnask calls the ranger] over there’s handy with a bow and Gorm can zap things good when he’s not busy trying to come up with Faerun’s most elaborate suicide plot, but the rest of us are all much better off when things aren’t sixty feet up raining death down on us. When I shout something like, ‘GET INDOORS!’ and half of us are doing things that are NOT getting indoors, that’s how we end up dead meat.

Big ugly critters like that, or a fight that looks nasty, make them come to us. Splittin’ up and scattering is how we get dead. Remember how easy pickin’s those gnolls was yesterday after they decided to run eight different ways? We don’t wanna be them gnolls. Find cover, make ’em come through a door one at a time."

(Later on in the ruin)
Gorm approaches Fyrnask cautiously.

“Fyrnask, I believe that I owe you an apology. Your plan was solid but we were all rowing in different directions. My plan was to buy you all time to escape into the guard house but Wraith [the halfling fighter] was still out and about and the Elf and her wolf weren’t yet inside. Only Gorbek [dwarf cleric] had the foresight to see what you were thinking.”

He reaches into his sack, rummaging for something.

“I thought that I would sacrifice a bit and then travel safely through the Fey Wilds to the guard house, but something happened. Something, unbelievable. Usually, when I traverse the forests of the Fey Realm, I am alone. But not this time. There was a presence there that I have not felt since I first learned how to escape into the mists. It was watching me and it was displeased. ‘Fear the Wyrm, Gormling?’ It spat. ‘You squander my gifts.’

Gorm pulls something out of his pack and offers it nervously to the barbarian.

“We could have killed that wyvern, Fyrnask. I could have tricked it to stay on the ground but you were all too far away to do any good. I could have melted its wings in its mind and then we could have destroyed it. But ‘could of’ is a mountain of gull shit next to ‘did’ For that, I am sorry.’

In his hand are three dice, with faces of stags, geese, and snakes instead of numbers.

“Now, I ain’t one for sorry’s and ’ain’t gonna happen agains’, new friend, because it will happen again. But I’m sorry that I didn’t trust your plan. Take these dice as a token of my friendship. They are one of my most precious possessions. I would kill the man that stole them from me. I offer them to you freely.”

Gorm puts down the dice at Fyrnask’s feet and walks off into the shadowy ruin.
Three Stags are face up.


The player actually does have these wooden dice described above and rolls them in-character whenever some important event happens, and divines some meaning out of the symbols shown that he doesn't often share with the party.

*Haha, the DM told me the other day that Wraith isn't a character, he's just a list of stats with a name and no backstory or personality. He really has it in for that guy, hah.
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HellBlazer
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:07 pm 
 

Is that your actual spur-of-the-moment dialogue? Because damn...

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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:14 pm 
 

Haha, yeah right, I wish. That's from our RP thread on our campaign forum. We have an ongoing RP thread to add in some in-character chatter during rests/uneventful travel just to have our characters shoot the shit, discuss plans/tactics, etc. Me and the warlock get pretty into it but no one else really contributes.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:32 pm 
 

I dunno man, that kind of strict playing just really sounds anti-fun to me, regardless of how "realistic" it might be. But if you and your group are enjoying yourselves, more power to you.
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Metantoine
Big Beautiful Frenchman

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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:08 pm 
 

Yeah, I personally prefer casual gaming, he seems like an unnecessary hardass. I mean, sure, metagaming kinda sucks but come on now. Also, the DM hating one of the characters/players truly sucks. He should make sure that everyone enjoys their time, he's building a story with the other players, it's a common effort.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 10:19 pm 
 

He doesn't hate him, he just thinks it's super lame that the guy is basically playing it like an MMO or something. I mean, I've never DM'd before, so I dunno the best way to go about encouraging people to RP more. Other people at the table seem more into that side of things, even if it can be hard to get people to use character voices or whatever during games (I know I'm shy about it) so it's a hard balance. Would that guy have more fun if he had more of a character story/personality and got into that side of things more? Maybe, but maybe that annoys him. It would definitely improve the game for me, though.
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Metantoine
Big Beautiful Frenchman

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 10:53 am 
 

Oh it's the player who sucks then! When I'll DM, I'll require a backstory for all the characters. If you can't write 200 words about your dude, maybe go play something else!
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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 1:09 pm 
 

Personally, the way I go around to encourage my players to RP more is to ask them to write about their character's family/friends/enemies/etc. Something kinda like this:

Spoiler: show
1) Player character: Darron "The Knife" Zalamor, a ruthless human mercenary devoted to Rakira, an obscure Goddess of Murder. His career was chosen as a more or less socially acceptable way to appease the demands of his divinity, with the money that comes from his jobs as a happy side-effect. He's a tall, gaunt man with dark and angular features, always dressed in simple black clothing, and with Rakira's constellation, The Dagger in the Sky, tattooed on the side of his permanently shaved head.

2) Family: Anqara Zalamor (mother) and Darria Zalamor (sister). A cleric of Rakira and a smuggler/pirate respectively, Darron's relationship with his family is at best distant and, at worst, murderously strained. Despite having been trained and conditioned by his mother to become a talented killer, he holds a grudge against her over her years of brutal training. At the same time, Darron sees his sister as a cheap thief with no sense of true purpose, and has crossed swords with her more than once.

3) Allies: Mohrdru of the Blighted Hand, a "reformed" dwarven necromancer. Having been hired many times by Mohrdru to "gather materials" for his personal morgue, the mercenary and the necromancer have formed over time a strange professional friendship of sorts. Both of them work with death, and even though they devote themselves to it in different ways, it has led them to share a kind of mutual understanding that might come off as rather unnerving to outsiders.

4) Enemies: Captain Fyodorim of the Golden Guard, venerable dragonborn paladin of the city of Narahvat. Ever since Darron's successful assassination of one of Narahvat's future political leaders (who just so happened to be Fyodorim's son), he's been hunting high and low for the mercenary, unstoppable in his thirst for justice. Or is it vengeance by now?

Background comes to you on its own when you bother to involve more people in your character's life. And it took me, what, 20 minutes to come up with that? 25, tops.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2017 2:11 pm 
 

Well, I wasn't around when that guy originally made his character. When I made mine, the DM guy encouraged me to come up with stuff like that. Since then, he's also sent out sorta survey things to get more character info, but that guy didn't do it. I mean, you can't *force* someone to come up with stuff like that. Basically the only character trait I can even think of for that character is that he's interested in attaining glory in battle, which I'm pretty sure just comes from the PHB traits.
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acid_bukkake
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:48 pm 
 

My girlfriend bought me the Ghostbusters board game for my birthday. On quick inspection, it seems like it's a d20 system that just uses the Ghostbusters characters/mythos. To say I'm excited to play it is an understatement.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:13 am 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
I told that warlock to tell me if he had some sort of deathwish because if so I'd kill him right there to prevent anymore party splitting.

:lol:

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Metantoine
Big Beautiful Frenchman

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:30 am 
 

http://geekandsundry.com/betrayal-at-ba ... d-dragons/

Wizards of the Coast will release a Betrayal at House on the Hill-esque game but based on D&D! Could be quite cool.
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andersbang
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:32 am 
 

Got a lot of playing in lately, our Pandemic Legacy game is crazy fun, it's really cool how they keep intensifying so you can never relax or go back to a standard way of working each month. Some great surprises too that I won't spoil (we've finished the 4th month so far).

My warhammer group is up and running, playing laid back 8th edition rules, smallish games (1000-1200 points) only so far though, but my Warriors of Chaos trounced my buddy's Lizards yesterday. Need to get some more painting done though so we can get up to bigger battles.

And my warhammer buddies and I are gearing up for a Mordheim campaign, haven't played this awesome game in maybe 7-8 years, and it's shaping up to be really cool. Lots of customized warbands with conversions going on all over the place, a mix of great homemade and ready made terrains gonna add a lot in both game experience and overall look and atmosphere. Anybody knows this game? If you like miniatures but can't be arsed to paint 100 models (or haven't got the money), it's a cool narrative skirmish campaign game with warbands with 3-15 dudes on each side. All the rules are free online, lots of detail in the rule set, great back story and atmosphere. Highly recommended. Really looking forward to giving it a go again.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:13 pm 
 

Session recap! I know I'm basically using this thread as my D&D journal, but I have an in-character journal on our campaign website that I only update when my character would realistically have an opportunity to write in it, which at this rate has only been every couple of sessions.

So after that wyvern shit I wrote about earlier, we had met the prophet of the air cultists, killed some monsters lurking about her lair, then agreed to ignore her and head deeper into the ruined dwarven city, through the water cultist area to the earth cultist area to kill that prophet, the air prophet's sworn enemy. So today we had a super long drawn out combat to start where we kept getting led from room to room fighting different stuff that kept splitting off and running different ways. I felt like I really shined in that combat, because I was calling all the tactical shots that went really well, and the "munchkin" guy playing the fighter kept playing his character (who gets annoyed at people outshining him in combat and does stupid perilous shit to stroke his ego) kept running off to nowhere and not really contributing anything. Got some really giant nasty crits in, which feels really good with a big 1d12 greataxe and extra damage dice from half orc and such. Just utterly obliterating kind of tough enemies...fuck yeah. Anyway all that running around finally ended with this fight with a big aquatic troll at this bridge, which we did actually manage to kill fairly easily, but it kept regenerating and coming back to life over and over and no one in our group knew how to stop it so we kept just killing it and trying to smash it and chop it into pieces, and finally we set it on fire which did the trick. Later on we opened a door to see two more of them chilling in a corner gnawing on bones and just "NOPED" the fuck outta there, haha.

Then we talked to some totally insane lizardfolk who sent us to this woman who was the water prophet's right hand, and she turned out to be a hideous sea hag with two bigass ogre bodyguards. We played like bosses though and wrecked all of those motherfuckers easily. I was pretty annoyed though because I used my rage to just totally ignore the hag's fear effects and rush her and grapple the shit out of her and cover her with a blanket so the party members couldn't see her while I had her restrained, and the stupid dwarf cleric just walks up and brains her before we could question her. Oh well. Hopefully we can kill the water prophet guy as easily as her.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:16 am 
 

Double post, but it's been almost a month, so who cares!

I've been hardcore addicted to Critical Role lately, which for those who don't know is a Twitch show where a group of voice actors get together weekly to play D&D. I was kinda skeptical when I first heard about it but figured I'd give one episode a whirl, but man, it's amazing. The stream only started about two years after their campaign did, so the world, story, characters, everything were already well-established. It's unedited (as it streams live) so it very much feels like sitting in on D&D. The wonderful thing is, being voice actors, they all do a (mostly) fantastic job with the RP and are really invested in the game. It's got lots of humor but is really serious stuff. Matt Mercer, the DM, puts insane amounts of prep time into his entire homebrewed world, fleshing out every tiny detail, making tons of maps, etc. and does excellent voice work for all of the NPC's. It's really helped me not only to get a better handle on what's fun and what's not*, but also how a really good DM and creative players can work together to make something that's really engaging and which feels truly heroic.

*Spoilers for stuff that happened sort of tangential to the actual story through the first third:
Spoiler: show
Tiberius, the dragonborn sorcerer played by Orion, was a really fun character, but over time Orion as a player became harder and harder to watch as his powergaming just reached insane levels. He'd try to combine spell effects in super OP ways, constantly try to buy/craft stuff way beyond his scope and get mad when he couldn't get it done, monopolize tons of session time with giant lists of shit his character would do during downtimes, basically ignore whatever was happening whenever his character wasn't involved to plan more powergamey stuff, split off from the party and go do his own things whenever they weren't on a dungeon crawl in order to achieve his own goals, whatever the actual party was doing be damned, etc. Apparently the guy was fighting a lot of his own personal demons when he started going downhill, but after he parted ways with the show it was easy to see how playing a character like that really hampers everyone else's fun. A valuable lesson, for sure.


Anyway, I can't help but contrast how well the players work as a unit and how smooth their playing is integrated into the story by the DM, who uses the rules as a sort of realism-centering check on the zany shit the characters want to do, with how restrictive my own DM often is. It allows for tons of hilarious failures and epic hero moments, which is what I feel like an RPG like this should be all about. Just today, my DM introduced yet another brutally "realistic" house rule, each of which makes combat more and more punishing and just kind of...not worth doing at all, ever? But then he's so quick to make us roll initiative; basically any time any NPC is annoyed with us to any degree, boom, it's a fight, nothing can be done about it. Here's a (maybe complete?) list of our brutal house rules for 5E D&D:

1) Crit tables - Yeah, it's funny when a monster crit fumbles or awesome when a player gets some insane crit effect on a monster, but the opposite fuckin' sucks. It's lame how often players get taken out by hitting themselves with their own weapons, and it's lame when a regular ass bugbear one-shots the ranger's pet from full health to insta-gibbed because he gets extra full damage crit die from racial abilities AND a crit table. Now that hunter is basically 3rd rate for the rest of the dungeon crawl.
2) Every time we use hit die to recover health, we have to knock off one use of a healer's kit. If we run out of kits, we can't use hit die at all anymore.
3) Ranged attacks and ranged spell attacks against enemies engaged in melee combat with a friendly are rolled at disadvantage. If you miss, roll ANOTHER attack against your friendly's AC. Basically, any ranged attackers are completely fucked.
4) Dropping to 50% HP or below adds a level of exhaustion.
5) Dropping to 0 HP mean we gotta roll on a "lingering injuries" table. Even the "better" ones suck - fucked up leg injury? Move speed reduced by 50% and disadvantage on all dex and str saving throws for three days. The permanent ones are brutal as shit, like losing an arm, leg or eye. Permanently gimped character.
6) And the new one: he wants us to roll to recover HP on long rests. Roll your total hit die + Con mod to see how much HP you get back on long rests. Shit rolls on a low level character could mean getting back like 2 HP on a long rest. Wow, I'll be so excited to play the next session.
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CorpseFister
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:15 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:

6) And the new one: he wants us to roll to recover HP on long rests. Roll your total hit die + Con mod to see how much HP you get back on long rests. Shit rolls on a low level character could mean getting back like 2 HP on a long rest. Wow, I'll be so excited to play the next session.

Huh, that's how my DM has always done it and I think it's fine. You recover half your total hit die and roll as many as you want to recover HP. Same with #2, at least on a short rest that's how we play it. And while I think I'd be pretty choked to lose a leg on a character, I think I'd be okay with the added peril of rolling for injuries after dropping to 0 hp... I mean, you did almost die.

I guess it would really depend on how the table is stacked, and whether everyone actually wants to have that added difficulty. If no one in the group is feeling it... ehhhhh.

#3 is brutal though. Maybe if you were being grappled by an enemy I could see it, but otherwise that really screws with the balance of any ranged attack. And unless he makes you roll the "miss" attack at your friendly at disadvantage as well, you're more likely than not to cause friendly fire. I think I'd push back against that one.

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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:57 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
5) Dropping to 0 HP mean we gotta roll on a "lingering injuries" table. Even the "better" ones suck - fucked up leg injury? Move speed reduced by 50% and disadvantage on all dex and str saving throws for three days. The permanent ones are brutal as shit, like losing an arm, leg or eye. Permanently gimped character.

Man the thing is, this kind of thing COULD be really cool. How awesome would it be to have a fighter lose a whole fucking arm in battle, be unable to use a shield, but still wield a longsword and be a badass anyway? The only problem is, it seems like all the DM's house rules are to make things harder, rather than a balance. Imagine if he houseruled some positive stuff on the same level? Or was just more generous with magic weapons/XP? Like a level 15 fighter with a really good 1h is still fuckin strong, even without a shield or the ability to DW/2h.

It seems like he just wants to make combat dark/gritty/punishing all the time, which like you said, just makes players really combat-averse. Which would be fine, if 5e weren't heavily geared toward giving players awesome combat abilities and weapons.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:05 pm 
 

Yeah, it's really the combination of him just adding these layers of gritty realism to combat, plus often taking away abilities per RAW or not letting us use them as intended, PLUS making it seemingly impossible to avoid combat in the first place that adds up to not being (as) fun. Like some enemies, we do stuff like say persuasive, deceptive or intimidating stuff in-character, and he won't even let us roll for it, just like, "the boss guy gets angry at your foolishness. Roll initiative." Or, "I cast friends on him." "Ok, roll initiative." Like...the fuck?

The second thing also sucks...the rules specifically state you can take your bonus action any time during your turn, and that if you have extra attacks, you can break those up between multiple enemies and different stages of movement. So as a barbarian, I should be able to enter a rage (bonus action), kill a guy, move ten feet, hit another guy. But he never lets me do that - I gotta take all of my attacks at once against the same target and roll total damage before he'll tell me the result, and I always have to take my bonus action after my action so I never get any rage benefits until the second round of combat. Ugh!

Basically it just boils down to: I wish he just made encounters more difficult with tougher enemies and better encounter design rather than increasing difficulty through slapped-on "realism" house rules and constant nerfs to our abilities.
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:12 pm 
 

Okay yeah that sounds kinda like a shitty DM. I like restricting certain things in combat but if you're going to railroad the party into combat, 1. don't do that, that's dumb, and 2. don't make combat exceedingly difficult. Railroading parties into things in general is one of the worst things a DM can do. Making more devastating / brutal combat is something I like though, combat shouldn't be something you're doing all the time if that's how it is though. And yeah, 5e isn't the greatest format for low-combat campaigns, though not as bad as 4e (obviously).
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:36 am 
 

I actually like to make combat avoidable most of the time, so my players can have the option to either break some skulls or find a way around the encounter. When combat does happen though, I like it brutal, quick, and messy. Makes things more dynamic, I think.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:10 am 
 

Yeah, devastating/brutal combat can be awesome, but it shouldn't be devastating/brutal because you wake up from a long rest with 4 HP and have a tough time deciding whether or not to fight three goblins because they might leave you permanently crippled. Combat should be brutal because of tough enemies (either just inherently so, or well-played tactics wise) and, maybe just as importantly, good RP/storytelling during combat itself. If you're on your last legs after a big hit, I want vivid descriptions of just how fucked up my character is. I don't want "are you below 50% HP? Ok, be sure to tick off an exhaustion level. Oh that's three levels now? Ok so you have disadvantage on everything, and move at half speed." NEAT. Nah, I want to hear, "taking the rusty mace in the left side of your ribcage, you feel the air burst out of your lungs and hear the sickening crack of bones breaking. The familiar taste of blood wells up at the back of your throat. You're still standing and can still fight, but you know that one more blow like that will likely take you out of the action." To me, in these kinds of games, immersion like that is a million times more important for making fights seem challenging than mechanical shit, which very often just feels annoying/tedious when it comes from things like the house rules I described.

When it comes from actual enemy abilities, though? Man, that's intense.
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Luvers666
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:36 am 
 

I have loved playing Chess for more than two decades now

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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:01 am 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
The second thing also sucks...the rules specifically state you can take your bonus action any time during your turn, and that if you have extra attacks, you can break those up between multiple enemies and different stages of movement. So as a barbarian, I should be able to enter a rage (bonus action), kill a guy, move ten feet, hit another guy. But he never lets me do that - I gotta take all of my attacks at once against the same target and roll total damage before he'll tell me the result, and I always have to take my bonus action after my action so I never get any rage benefits until the second round of combat. Ugh!

Dude what the fuck? That's fucking lame, you're absolutely right that 5e specifically states you can break your movement up, break up your multiple attacks, use your bonus action whenever, etc. It's a big part of the system that, during your turn, you can basically do whatever you want whenever you want. Why the fuck is it more "realistic" that you can't do that? It's just him nerfing for the sake of nerfing. Honestly I would try to have a talk with the DM about this. It sounds like he's killing the fun for no good reason. I don't know how much fun you're having, but I would be seriously considering quitting if he didn't have VERY good reasons for all of his dumb changes.
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:01 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Well justified complaints.

Yeah, that's just fucking dumb and a big fun killer the way your GM is going about things. As FSM said, you should probably talk to him about that. I hope he's not one of those "GM vs Players" kinda guy :puke:

On the topic of brutal combat, the way I go about it with my friends is that almost anything has a chance to be disabled or even killed in a single hit. Of course, this chance decreases the tougher an enemy is; some random starved bandit is an almost guaranteed OHK, while an ancient elemental beast is gonna require a lot of tactics and preparation time if you wanna take it down quickly. This goes equally for the players too, so it's not like they have some kind of plot armor or something. Of course I try not to have them killed during their first fight ever, but stupid mistakes and overconfidence do tend to lead towards the way of lost limbs or destroyed equipment :-P
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:09 pm 
 

I really don't think he's a "GM vs. Players" kind of guy at all - I literally just think he's not the best at customizing encounters, scaling CR, or whatever it takes, to make things hard for us, so instead he just slaps on these rules that he keeps adding to on the fly as needed. It's just a matter of random happenstance fucking with encounter design and not making certain things tough enough in a way that fits our party.

For example, the last encounter that our main campaign party had was a sea hag and two ogre bodyguards. We sort of lucked out because we all made the saving throw vs. the hag's fear effect, but not to toot my own horn or anything, but barbarians can rage right out of fear. I would've killed her in one round no matter what, basically. The ogres seemed scary before combat started but were total pushovers. It was literally one combat round before that whole thing was two dead ogres and a hag who got critted by the warlock and, per the crit table, was feared and running away from him. Basically just a combination of poor preparation/planning for the party, unlucky rolls, and the homebrew crit table biting him in the ass to totally trivialize what was supposed to be a tough boss encounter (leaving aside the fact that we tried really hard to talk this hag down and basically it was turned into a "combat or bust" encounter).

So yeah I dunno, give those ogres more AC/HP, give the hag a higher spell DC, make that encounter actually hard, instead of watching us faceroll it and then later adding on more brutal rules about how much your character sucks in combat.

But yeah, failsafeman, the way he described it is all of this shit is happening so fast and simultaneously that you wouldn't have time to react to an enemy dying to then use your second attack against a different foe. You still *can* do that, but you have to call it beforehand: oh, this enemy looks fucked, I'll only hit him once then hit someone else. Basically you just can't wait to see if your hit connects or the effects of it before choosing to direct subsequent attacks against other foes.

Honestly I'm gonna push really hard to change this as it's a giant detriment to martial classes.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:39 pm 
 

Pretty sure combat rounds aren't meant to be THAT fast. After all, a spellcaster has time to cast some sort of complex incantation, other classes can issue commands, conceal themselves and then leap out of the shadows, etc.

I mean, just going off of the whole bonus action nonsense, I'm playing a battlemaster fighter in my campaign, and one of my combat maneuvers is clearly built to be used right before an attack - Feinting Attack. Basically you feint for your bonus action, then because you've put your enemy off guard, your next attack is at advantage, and if it connects, you add your superiority die (at my level, a d8) to the damage roll. It would make no fucking sense either in game terms or real life terms to do a feinting attack at the end of a turn, and then have the effect happen the next round.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:21 pm 
 

If anyone has six or eight people sitting around not knowing what to do with their evening, I recommend having a drone send you Captain Sonar. I had a great time with that game. High interactivity, basically well balanced, deep enough to get confused playing a real-time mode, and high replay value. Everything Battleship wanted to be. My friend was a little disgruntled because the most cost-heavy part of the game turned out to be the table divider shield. Too bad. Periscope down, going silent; they're right on top of us.

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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:59 pm 
 

That sounds fun!
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