Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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azcromntic
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Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by azcromntic »

So I recently ran my first C & C game with A0 Rising Knight. There was some disappointing behavior from one player at the end and a conversation after that led to their apology, the player dropping out of the new group and some critiques of the game and my CK style. This particular player claimed to have 25 years experience "DM'ing" which I noticed they are well versed in games and gaming but in my opinion CK style is "a matter of opinion" and their experience "DM'ing" might have skewed their play as a player since they did not play for 25 years; only DM'd. The player mentioned several things during the game also. 1. Initiative after creatures are stunned with sound burst, 2. The term gygaxian style, 3. recruiting monsters to be "torch bearers", 4. bribing monsters to give away the plot so to speak.

One issue in the last encounter in Rising Knight with Gritznak was that the player had cast sound burst and stunned the goblins. After the Goblins were not stunned I called for an initiative roll because in my opinion if you are stunned you don't just "jump back into swinging". Thoughts on rolling initiative after stun or some type of "delay" for player or monster?

The player dropped out saying that my CK style was to Gygaxian where monsters always fight to the death, do not strike deals with player characters, can't be recruited or swayed, never run, etcetera. Has anyone heard of that term? Is this true of RPG today; no gygaxian approach? Help me understand.

Although I had the monsters run in multiple encounters (apparently the player conveniently blocked those out of memory) most of them I had fight to the death because each time the player would throw on subdual damage and then once they awoke the player would interrogate the monsters to try and pry information out of them. There's nothing inherently wrong with that except they questions were like "Where is Gritznak...if I give you x number of g.p. will you lead me to him?" I guess in my mind that is like turning to the end of the book after reading the first chapter to find out what happens.

I'm not opposed to letting them find out the end before reading the whole story however it is kind of mind boggling because we are playing the module for the adventure...???
I'm inclined, for the future, to allow them to bribe the monster into being a torch bearer (kind of PC of the PC) or bribe them of information and simply mislead them into some kind of doom as a consequence for "skipping to the end": Doing that is frowned on?

Also, it seemed as though the Player seemed to have in their mind that if their half-orc with 19 strength said "you better run goblins" that somehow meant they were obligated to be in fear JUST because of the half-orc's presence or something...kind of narcissistic in my mind but brings up a good point: In AD&D there was a section on "morale" and could be determined with a 12 sided dice. If my creative juices aren't flowing then it'd be nice to be able to roll a morale check of sorts: Is there a spot discussing morale in the PHB or CK Guide?

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Buttmonkey »

A number of thoughts spring to mind.

1. The term "Gygaxian" does exist, although your problem player was misusing the term idiotically. Gygax didn't have every monster fight to the death and refuse to be negotiated with or bribed. Gygax had morale rules! Your player is laying a problem at Gygax's feet that doesn't belong there.

2. I expect better after 25 years of DMing. A good DM turned player should have more respect for a fellow DM. I seriously doubt he would have appreciated a player behaving like he did. And, as a DM, he should know better.

3. I don't recall whether the CKG has morale rules, but the core books do not. It's up to CK fiat. When in doubt, you can always make a SIEGE check, particularly in the bribery scenario. Have the PC make a charisma check to see if the monster takes the bribe. Set the challenge level based on the bleakness of the monster's chances if combat ensues, the amount offered, and the risk of retribution to the monster if it sells out the BBEG.

4. I don't see anything wrong with a bribed/coerced monster giving information on the location of the BBEG at the beginning of the dungeon. So what? Your skipping to the end of the book analogy confuses me. The party still has to get through the dungeon to get to the BBEG even when the party knows the anticipated final encounter location. Plus, as you noted, there is always the possibility that the monster will lie. I'd expect that to be the most common situation. The monsters are evil. Of course, they're going to lie! (They'll also tell the truth sometimes, too. That's why the gods invented the augury spell.) In any event, players who manage to successfully bribe monsters into leading them to the BBEG, thereby avoiding traps and unnecessary hardships, should be rewarded for their skilled play. Just throw the occasional complication into the mix (e.g., monster leads party to trap, monster leads party to really nasty fight instead so monster can escape, etc.) to keep the game honest. But don't nerf the players' efforts at skilled and creative problem-solving by finding a way to make it not work every time. "Skipping to the end" is a successful adventure from the players' perspective. In the worst case scenario, you can still beef up the "final" encounter on the fly to compensate for some of the material that is skipped over by the party's efforts at streamlining things. Some people view this as the worst sort of fudging and railroading, but as someone who frequently improvises most of his encounter details, it's all part of the game for me. So long as the players have a feeling of independent agency, what goes on behind the screen is irrelevant.

5. I doubt many monsters would be recruitable as torch bearers, but doing it every once in a while would probably be fun. I'd expect them to ditch the party at the first sign of things going badly. Evil monsters aren't exactly loyal.

6. I'm confused by your description of what happened with the sound burst spell. Here's how I run it: If the monster is stunned, it is for a number of rounds as specified by the spell. You don't need to roll the monster's initiative for the rounds while it is stunned since it is stunned and therefore can't act (SEE CAVEAT BELOW RE ERRATA). If the monster is not stunned, it is not stunned and is therefore unaffected and play continues as if the sound burst spell had not been cast (other than dealing damage). The same applies for PCs who are stunned by sound burst. If you are stunned, you don't act for the duration of the stunning effect. HOWEVER, the Trolls recently pointed out that their intent was not what I have set forth. The intent of the RAW was that creatures and PCs stunned by a sound burst spell would still be able to act normally, but their AC would be at -2 for the duration of the stun effect. I believe the Trolls interpret the monk's stun ability the way I described, but sound burst only causes a dip in AC for the duration of the effect. If you want to go the official route, then initiative would not be affected in any way by sound burst. You just impose the -2 to AC penalty for the duration of the effect. If you want to impose an initiative penalty for being stunned by sound burst, that would make sense, although that isn't RAW. A -2 to initiative seems reasonable for the duration.
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Aramis
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Aramis »

First, good for you taking their criticism so well and asking for opinions here. Very professional approach on your part

2nd- morale is a bit tricky in these types of games. Realistically, most battles should end with the losing side breaking and running off before annihilation, but that makes the game kind of boring as a) either the players have to then hunt down the remains of every encounter or b) most encounters have an unfinished quality, especially if those runners had some choice treasure ;). That's why we don't game in the "real" world, but rather, our imaginations where the action is more cinematic and the resolutions more final

As for monster interrogations and monster torch bearers, the key word is monster. They aren't like normal people and cannot be entirely trusted in either their information or willingness to be torch bearers. You might think it a good idea, as you hunt lions in Africa, to employ a captured lion as a pack mule as you continue through the African savanna, but that lion chafes at the pack, and when he looks at you his eyes see only sirloin steak :lol:

However, if the player's are smart enough to come up with something that short circuits part of the difficulties of the module, you should allow it. That is part of good play on their part. If they can avoid danger and still achieve their goals, that is what they should be doing. However, there is nothing saying that using the crude map to the secret entrance hastily drawn by a captured ogre won't have its own surprise in store for the players.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Treebore »

"Stunned" in general C&C only means you have a +2 to hit those stunned opponents. The only time it means anything more is described for those situations. Namely for Power Word Stun and the Monks Stunning ability. This was only clarified within the last few weeks by Steve and Mac Golden.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Treebore »

As has already been pointed out, to be "Gygaxian" you would use Morale style rules to actually have monsters surrender, break and run, etc... So your GM with 25+ years experience obviously needs to reread some rule books...
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by mmbutter »

I don't understand the initiative thing. According to the PHB:

"Every creature or character participating in the combat round rolls a d10 to determine their initiative each round. Those with the highest roll take their action first, and the actions of others descend from there. In the case of a tie, the one with the highest dexterity goes first. In the case of equal dexterity, a simultaneous action occurs."

So, everyone that is capable of fighting should be rolling initiative every round.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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One thing I'd add, for your monster easily giving away information, is remember the monsters - goblins orcs and the like - is they aren't smart ... A good example from the Monday night game I'm in from the first adventure in the campaign is we captured a couple of orcs at the ground level of the temple we were clearing. We 'asked' them about the rest of the orcs in the complex. The answers were far from helpful .... how many orcs are in your tribe? ... 1, 2 lots ... where is you leader? ... Where he wants to be ? etc etc etc. The orc was answering as best as he could and trying to save his flea bitten skin, but he just wasn't bright enough to actually be helpful.

As for recruiting one of them to be a 'torch barer' .... Not a good idea. I'm a 'good guy' but if you killed my friends, captured me, then expected me to be helpful and carry a torch or something while they hunted more of my friends ... I would kill you at the first best opportunity or I'd sneak off when I could. On top of that, those monsters are evil. If a player wanted to do that, let them, heck encourage them to do it. Then, have the orc stick the torch in their face, stab the MU in the back when he starts to cast a spell, or have him lead them on a wild goose chase and then slink off after they are nice and lost.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by alcyone »

azcromntic wrote: most of them I had fight to the death because each time the player would throw on subdual damage and then once they awoke the player would interrogate the monsters to try and pry information out of them.
Careful with changing your game to thwart a certain playstyle. While I think a lot of AD&D spells and rules came out of just such situations, it's easy to get this wrong and instead end up with an arms race.

Make your monsters negotiate or not as you prefer or as you deem to fit their motivations and the scenario, but be careful of appearing unfair by changing something directly in response to the players annoying actions. As the players seek out greater challenges they'll find foes that are onto their tricks in any case.

Interrogating monsters is what PCs do. As was mentioned in this thread, they can lie, they can be motivated by things other than money, they can simply not speak Common, they can have animosity toward certain races that only the best charisma checks will overcome, and sometimes, they will save their own sorry hide and do what is asked of them. But when they do, consider how much trust their masters put in them in the first place; they don't necessarily know every plan, every secret door, they might not even be worthy of addressing the big bad evil guy.

Don't be afraid to throw your players a bone once in a while. There will be more adventures to challenge them. It's ok to let their plans work out, especially if they are clever. That's not to say you should let them push you around and tell you what the outcome of their actions should be, but if it makes sense, let the dice decide, and if it doesn't, be firm but polite and say, no way that'll work. Accept a little pushback but if it doesn't convince you, move on.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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Lurker wrote:. Then, have the orc stick the torch in their face, stab the MU in the back when he starts to cast a spell
Woah. Woah. Steady on, there. I think you mean stab the swashbuckler in the back...when he swashes his buckle.

;)

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by AndyMac »

A couple of things on the morale/running away and capturing/interrogating issue. In terms of your criticizer, it seems he is saying that these things were handled by you in a way that he found unbelievable or unrealistic (yes, I hate using those words in a description of a fantasy RPG). So, how to improve?

For interrogation: monsters don't always have all of the information, there might be a language gap, there might be deception. As someone stated before, use a charisma check to see if good information was successfully obtained.

For morale, decide early on if the monsters are a weakly joined group or a strong group. As rules of thumb, you might decide that a leader with a high charisma or many lieutenants can keep order. Also, lawfully aligned creatures are more likely to stick together than chaotic. Then think of a condition that causes morale to break (monsters lose half their numbers, leader falls, etc.). When that condition arises, they run for it.

Now, when monsters run, they regroup with their allies and maybe discuss tactics and capabilities of the invaders. If realistic, have the monsters make preparations for some things the party did to the guys who ran away. Believe me, they'll be calling for the "good old days" when monster's did not run away, but instead, fought to the death every time.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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Cranky Pants players ( or DMs) will be just that. Its hard not to take so much on the nose in confrontations like that. But not all DMs are the same or play the same. It clearly was NOT a good fit. As groups change an evolve that stuff happens. In the future suggest a splitting of play, spheres of influence or worlds, but take turns DMing.. suggest he DM the next few games with different PCs - totally spate - watch how he does it, play by his rules then work together to agree to methods and rules.. IF and this is a big IF you want to try to salvage it. If not, gone and done, grow from it, you'll get good advice here.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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Aramis wrote:
Lurker wrote:. Then, have the orc stick the torch in their face, stab the MU in the back when he starts to cast a spell
Woah. Woah. Steady on, there. I think you mean stab the swashbuckler in the back...when he swashes his buckle.

;)

:shock: Stab the swashbuckler in the back, sacrilege I say! :lol:

Captain_K wrote:
..., but take turns DMing.. suggest he DM the next few games with different PCs - totally spate - watch how he does it, play by his rules ... IF and this is a big IF you want to try to salvage it. If not, gone and done, grow from it, you'll get good advice here.
Rgr that, the Monday night game I'm in does that, ever week the DM switches between Tree & Rigon, each of them have their own house rules, are running a different setting, and have different style of DMing and playing (well only slightly different style).

Before I started playing in their games, I thought that switching ever week would drive me crazy. However the opisate is true. It actually works very well. Plus, it gives each of them extra time to prep for their game while allowing everyone (including the DMs who play in the other's game) max time to game.

Also, rgr on the good advice here. Some of us may be old smelly and cranky at times, but good advice flows around here a lot!
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azcromntic
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by azcromntic »

Thanks for all the replies, experience and ideas!! After pondering the whole game I do recognize that a 25 year DM might prepare for a game more than an off-and-on since I was 12 but getting back into it after a 15 year stint on the "life" boat DM (me). I can see how I might have better prepared for just such situations like maybe a short adventure to a local Kobold stronghold which might include an anomalous 8 HD Kobold chief (read that scenario somewhere...).

Anyway, the point is, preparation and experience with situations of DM'ing would help.

Yes, the rules do say that initiative is supposed to be rolled every round. However, I had mod'd that to be "roll it once and then go back ad forth". Good to know though that coming out of a stun they just resume their place in initiative order.

The guy seemed like a good guy; I actually liked him. But, he gets to make decisions just like the rest of us and he has chosen to leave the group.

It seemed odd to me that Gygax, "the father" of RPGs (in my opinion), would become a derogatory cliche'. Well, my little 6 year old kobold is "still hungry". Maybe I'll write more later. Thanks again.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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negotiate with the monsters. Sure. No problem. Evil being somewhat self serving, nothing preventing the monsters taking advantage of a parlay and offer of a bit of coin from 'stupid' adventurers. Nothing says the information they give the party will be true or not purposefully lead them into an even more lethal ambush later. How honest the monster is will likely be denoted by two things. 1) how scared of their boss(es) they are vs the party. 2) Do they think they can get away with it without having their boss(es) come after them later. The option of if their life is at stake is sort of moot, as they either die from the party or their boss when their betrayal comes to light. They loose either way so there really isn't much motivating them to give correct information if smart enough to lie convincingly.

Only thing I could add that hasn't been said already. I have been DMing for 38 years and as a player never acted so boorishly. Even when I wrote the adventure for the person that was DMing and knew what was going to happen already. (My mercenary fighter was a hoot. His tag line every time anyone in the party asked a question, rhetorical or otherwise; "I could tell you. But it will cost you." and leer.

Anyway. Don't let one sour apple upset your cart. Party on mate!
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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Go0gleplex wrote:negotiate with the monsters. Sure. No problem. Evil being somewhat self serving, nothing preventing the monsters taking advantage of a parlay and offer of a bit of coin from 'stupid' adventurers. Nothing says the information they give the party will be true or not purposefully lead them into an even more lethal ambush later. How honest the monster is will likely be denoted by two things. 1) how scared of their boss(es) they are vs the party. 2) Do they think they can get away with it without having their boss(es) come after them later. The option of if their life is at stake is sort of moot, as they either die from the party or their boss when their betrayal comes to light. They loose either way so there really isn't much motivating them to give correct information if smart enough to lie convincingly.

Only thing I could add that hasn't been said already. I have been DMing for 38 years and as a player never acted so boorishly. Even when I wrote the adventure for the person that was DMing and knew what was going to happen already. (My mercenary fighter was a hoot. His tag line every time anyone in the party asked a question, rhetorical or otherwise; "I could tell you. But it will cost you." and leer.

Anyway. Don't let one sour apple upset your cart. Party on mate!
+1

The first rule for any DM/CK playing in someone else's game is that you must accept that the new CK will do things differently from you. Its their game, you play in it by their rules; including rules, house rules, and DM fiat.

For ex: I play in a 2E AD&D game run by a friend of mine. I'm not a huge fan of 2E, but that's the game we are playing so I don't argue rules. Ok.... I grouse about proficiencies but if I didn't my DM would wonder what was wrong with me. ;)

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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DMMike wrote: I play in a 2E AD&D game run by a friend of mine. I'm not a huge fan of 2E, but that's the game we are playing so I don't argue rules. Ok.... I grouse about proficiencies but if I didn't my DM would wonder what was wrong with me. ;)

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by azcromntic »

5 deck sailing ship...obviously an inside joke or I'm just too lame to get it. Are they often also referred to as sunken treasure?

I did a little search on the term gygaxian. After reading it I feel that maybe, just maybe, the player was actually trying to say that I'm NOT gygaxian. I did try to stick by the module and apply rules e.g. the morale rules I mentioned earlier. I definitely was not as prepared with npc histories and "filling things out". If that is what the player was trying to say, and with respect to the definition of gygaxian I read, I'd have to say I'm guilty of NOT being gygaxian.

So I think I just need to come up with a couple soft and hard micro adventures when players want to trust the evil creatures and have those ready. Plus do a bit more prep before I play. There some other changes I'll make with regard to character generation (not allow roll 4 keep highest 3; that caused issues). Then give it a shot.

Right now we are reforming the group and are going to play a D & D 5th adventure. I'm excited to see how different D & D 5th might actually be. So far, even for character generation, it is fairly complex compared to C & C. So far I prefer the latter.

One question/poll I'd like to query about: Why is it that a natural 20, in most games, results in double damage but a natural 1 just mean 'ahhhh, you missed'? I'm thinking a natural 1 should mean something like you missed so bad that you lose control of your weapon and it sticks into the character next to you...or something of that nature. To harsh?

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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azcromntic wrote:5 deck sailing ship...obviously an inside joke or I'm just too lame to get it. Are they often also referred to as sunken treasure?
DM Glenn aka Smokestack was making an inside joke referencing the Save or Die podcast. DM Mike has been a host of the podcast from the beginning and DM Glen has been one of the hosts for quite a while now. In an early episode of SoD, DM Mike complained about playing in a game run by another DM that involved a multi-level ship. DM Mike is an historian and this particular anachronism drove him nuts.
azcromntic wrote:I did a little search on the term gygaxian. After reading it I feel that maybe, just maybe, the player was actually trying to say that I'm NOT gygaxian. I did try to stick by the module and apply rules e.g. the morale rules I mentioned earlier. I definitely was not as prepared with npc histories and "filling things out". If that is what the player was trying to say, and with respect to the definition of gygaxian I read, I'd have to say I'm guilty of NOT being gygaxian.

So I think I just need to come up with a couple soft and hard micro adventures when players want to trust the evil creatures and have those ready. Plus do a bit more prep before I play. There some other changes I'll make with regard to character generation (not allow roll 4 keep highest 3; that caused issues). Then give it a shot.
I think you're overthinking it a bit. If a PC tries to interrogate a monster, you don't need to have elaborate preparation to get you through the moment. Flip a coin to decide if the monster is going to be helpful or screw the party and then improvise from there. A helpful monster will be helpful. For a "screw you" monster, take a look at your map and pick out the nastiest fight on it, then have the monster give directions to get the players there.

As for PC generation, I'm curious what problems you had with rolling 4d6 and dropping the lowest die. That's by far the most popular PC generation method in D&D and C&C. How did it cause problems for you?
azcromntic wrote:One question/poll I'd like to query about: Why is it that a natural 20, in most games, results in double damage but a natural 1 just mean 'ahhhh, you missed'? I'm thinking a natural 1 should mean something like you missed so bad that you lose control of your weapon and it sticks into the character next to you...or something of that nature. To harsh?
There are no critical hit rules in C&C BTB. A 1 is always a miss and a natural 20 isn't necessarily a hit. Many people house rule that a natural 20 results in double damage, but that isn't inherent to C&C. Many groups that use a critical hit system also use a critical fumble system on a natural 1. I don't think most games would give a critical hit on a natural 20, but treat a natural 1 as an ordinary miss across the board.

I think having a natural 1 always result in hitting a fellow party member is definitely too harsh. You're going to get a natural 1 5% of the time. That represents auto-hitting a fellow party member once every 3.3333 minutes of combat on average, regardless of PC level. There is no way a 20th level fighter is going to accidentally whack the party member standing next to him once every 20 rounds. If you want to be a killer CK, you could require the PC to make a dex check on a natural 1 to avoid some sort of critical fumble. If the PC fails the check, then roll on a chart of nasty outcomes to see what happens. A dex check would restore some sanity and acknowledge that high level PCs are much less likely to poke their friends by mistake. Instead of adding level to the dex check, maybe have the PC add its base attack bonus. Setting the challenge level would be a little tricky. Maybe set the challenge level at 1 and only add 1/2 BAB. I'm sure you can come up with something reasonable with some tinkering. As for fumble results, maybe roll 1d100:

01-20. Drop weapon
21-40. Weapon flies out of PC's hands and lands 10 feet away
41-50. PC accidentally hits random party member standing within 10 feet of the PC. If no other PCs are standing within 10 feet, the PC hits itself.
51-60. PC accidentally strikes itself with the attack
61-80. PC slips and falls. It will take one round to stand up.
81-85. PC stunned by its own ineptitude and must make a charisma check (CL equal to BAB) before PC is able to attack again.
86-93. The gods are disgusted with the PC's failure. PC suffers a -1 penalty to all attack rolls and SIEGE checks for the next 1d3 days.
94-96. Weapon shatters (if it is non-magical; it's just a regular miss if weapon is magical)
97-99. PC loses 100 XP
00. PC permanently loses 1 point of charisma. Others can smell the PC's shame coming as the PC walks down the street.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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azcromntic wrote:
So I think I just need to come up with a couple soft and hard micro adventures when players want to trust the evil creatures and have those ready. Plus do a bit more prep before I play. There some other changes I'll make with regard to character generation (not allow roll 4 keep highest 3; that caused issues). Then give it a shot.
I wouldn't over prepare for the players' actions. One of the key attributes of a good DM is just reacting off the cuff to whatever crazy nonsense the players come up with.

Think of the module as a group of set pieces that, if things work perfectly, the PCs will get to in order. (Note: this almost never happens). E.g. maybe the players decide to not even go into the village where the old crone is who will give them the location of the hidden cave. What to do? Well, instead the PCs have a random encounter and fight some goblins on the road and decide to capture one. Hmm, you think to yourself, maybe this goblin, for a suitable reward, gives them the clue to the location of the hidden cave instead. Etc.

Your defence against player's circumventing things in the module is to just re insert that set piece (freely adapted by you) at an appropriate time, later in the module. As you adapt the module to the player's actions in this way, the module will come alive a bit for you as well. You will find yourself wondering "Gee, I wonder what the heck is going to happen next"

As an aside, we recently had a long campaign where our party was located in a small keep that we had recovered in a land surrounded by humanoids. How could we keep our hide out and still be able to return to the dungeon regularly? We recruited a local group of not very bright goblins to keep the home fires burning while we worked feverishly to destroy the plans of the evil ones. In this case, the DM played these particular goblins more like mischievous misfits than evil monsters and many amusing things occured in our interactions with them
azcromntic wrote:One question/poll I'd like to query about: Why is it that a natural 20, in most games, results in double damage but a natural 1 just mean 'ahhhh, you missed'? I'm thinking a natural 1 should mean something like you missed so bad that you lose control of your weapon and it sticks into the character next to you...or something of that nature. To harsh?
We generally use a nat 20= double damage or free attack and nat 1=roll dex save or lose next turn/drop weapon system. But we have played with no benefit/detriment as well.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by serleran »

For now, I shall respond only to this:

If a player called my game "Gygaxian" and then wanted out, I would be glad to first thank them and then enjoy the resounding thud as whatever heavy portal pushed them from my presence, thusly and perforce. Afterward, the remaining group would experience at least some reward... maybe imbibe tasty beverages or perhaps a mundane "level up." After all, it's the right thing to do.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Lurker »

Buttmonkey wrote:

..

00. PC permanently loses 1 point of charisma. Others can smell the PC's shame coming as the PC walks down the street.

:shock: :shock: :lol:
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Go0gleplex
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Go0gleplex »

Well, I do not use the d20 for double damage rule myself. I give a damage bonus of 2x the PC's level. For natural 1's, they roll a d4 and lose their weapon on a 1, possibly hit a friendly on a 4. No matter what, they automatically go last on initiative the following round. Used to have elaborate crit and fumble tables for 2e but dealing with 3e sort of killed that idea off.
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Jyrdan Fairblade
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Jyrdan Fairblade »

I don’t have much further to add, but I’m sorry to hear you lost a player out of this. But it’s probably for the best. Any time someone starts off with “I’ve got X number of years of DMing experience, so my opinion is more valid than yours,” you can probably ignore the rest of it.

Playing in someone else’s game is an opportunity to learn, not to critique.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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Jyrdan Fairblade wrote:I don’t have much further to add, but I’m sorry to hear you lost a player out of this. But it’s probably for the best. Any time someone starts off with “I’ve got X number of years of DMing experience, so my opinion is more valid than yours,” you can probably ignore the rest of it.

Playing in someone else’s game is an opportunity to learn, not to critique.
Absolutely. This is a case of addition by subtraction.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by azcromntic »

Buttmonkey wrote: As for PC generation, I'm curious what problems you had with rolling 4d6 and dropping the lowest die. That's by far the most popular PC generation method in D&D and C&C. How did it cause problems for you?
Well lets see. I allowed the player to do that and they ended up getting an 18 and a 17 with other scores in the +1 mod range. Not too big of a deal except that they chose to be a Half_Orc fighter which gave them +1 to strength, now a 19, and 17 on Dexterity I think it was which ultimately gave them a 19 AC. For a 1 HD monster that AC requires at least an 18 on the die to hit. To top it off the player did the weapon specialization and chose a Gutentag as the weapon. Doing so meant that at a minimum damage the fighter would do 1 + 3 + 3 = 7 points of damage AT A MINIMUM. It also gave the fighter 3 + 1 + 1 = +5 to hit.

Most monsters in the A0 Module were 1 HD monsters with AC of 12 or 15 and hit points listed in the range of 2, 3 or 4 which means the fighter only needed a 7 to a 10 on the die roll to hit and the minimum damage from the fighter was 2 to 4 times the amount needed to kill the monster; not factoring in a nat 20 double damage. When I attempted to adjust the monsters AC or hit points to make it a little more challenging for the fighter then either one or more of the other characters were going to 0 hit points almost every encounter or the player (the one with 25 years experience) would make sure to call out how the monsters were no longer 1 HD goblins or kobolds or that their AC was abnormally high. The player did not scream foul, just kind of laid on the passive aggressive guilt trip.

There's nothing wrong with what the player rolled and chose for the character and in fact they were great rolls and wise choices. The problem comes in where the Half-Orc, at first level, just blazes through all the monsters (thus boring them with the "I hit...it's dead" syndrome) and the other characters are bored because there's nothing left to fight. Factor in the ability of a Cleric to cast sound burst (which by the way takes out more goblins and kobolds than the fighter ever could) and you have a REALLY boring game. "There's four goblins in the room....I cast sound burst...goblins are dead". Blah!

For most encounters in A0 Rising Knight the cleric and the fighter could have taken the whole adventure with narry a scratch.

Only one time in the whole module, and I made them trudge around in the woods quite a bit looking for certain things, did the fighter ever come close to dying. That particular encounter was a mountain lion and it took out their thief, cleric went to -1 HP and the fighter went down to 3 HP left. The fighter was not rolling good in that encounter; missed all except one hit which took out the mountain lion, in one hit.

The ultimate choice was: Do I raise the HP of the monsters to make it harder for the fighter and thus basically killing off the rest of the party or do I leave it alone to make it ... correct ... for lack of a better word ... for the rest of the party but boring for everyone.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by mmbutter »

First, the most powerful of the opponents will probably go after the half-orc seeing him as the biggest threat (and you can always add a leader and a lieutenant or two to any encounter to go against him specifically). This is especially true after a few adventures - the enemy has heard about the party, and adjusted their tactics accordingly; just because they're goblins and orcs doesn't mean you have to play them as if they were autonomous idiots. And nothing is stopping you from using those same advantages the half-orc has (dex bonus to AC, weapon specialization, heck, throw in some magic items given to them by their leaders...) against them. Also, don't group your enemies too close together, the Sound Burst only has a diameter of 20ft. When my players use this spell, they rarely take out more than 2 or 3 opponents.

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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

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azcromntic wrote: Well lets see. I allowed the player to do that and they ended up getting an 18 and a 17 with other scores in the +1 mod range. Not too big of a deal except that they chose to be a Half_Orc fighter which gave them +1 to strength, now a 19, and 17 on Dexterity I think it was which ultimately gave them a 19 AC. For a 1 HD monster that AC requires at least an 18 on the die to hit. To top it off the player did the weapon specialization and chose a Gutentag as the weapon. Doing so meant that at a minimum damage the fighter would do 1 + 3 + 3 = 7 points of damage AT A MINIMUM. It also gave the fighter 3 + 1 + 1 = +5 to hit.

...

The ultimate choice was: Do I raise the HP of the monsters to make it harder for the fighter and thus basically killing off the rest of the party or do I leave it alone to make it ... correct ... for lack of a better word ... for the rest of the party but boring for everyone.
I'd let it be easy until it's not. Sure, they'll rip through A0. But the strength bonus is a flat bonus and won't scale with the character. That +15% to hit and +3 damage will always be nice, granted, but in a couple of levels you are out of oneshotville and are wading through spells to even get into melee with something.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Buttmonkey »

I think your solution is not to change the way the players are rolling stats or bumping up monster HP and AC artificially (I can see the obnoxious player's point on that one). Instead, bump up the number of opponents. Create a second wave of monsters, particularly after a sound burst. That loud boom is going to announce the PC's presence to everything in the dungeon. Some of them are going to come running. With weapons. And have them come from multiple directions so the half-orc fighter can't bottleneck everything. Stick 2 or 3 humanoids on the fighter while the rest of the party deals with the remainder. If you want to have a beefed up goblin, make sure you describe it to the players as beefed up when they first see the thing. Point out how it is larger than the others, wearing better armor, etc. Then they won't feel screwed when the AC turns out to be higher and it has more hit points.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Buttmonkey »

Another tweak might be to limit weapon selection. Who says there are any gutentags for sale? I'm pretty sure that thing is quite large and requires two hands. I don't let my PCs use 2-handed weapons if a party member is standing next to them. They need space to operate. That limits their use somewhat in a dungeon environment. Assuming you are using a battle mat with 5 foot squares and 10 foot wide corridors, that means PCs can't stand in adjacent squares while wielding 2-handed weapons. Time to break out the long swords or use your bastard sword one-handed.
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Re: Some thoughts on CK critique I received

Post by Lurker »

Aergraith wrote:

I'd let it be easy until it's not. Sure, they'll rip through A0. But the strength bonus is a flat bonus and won't scale with the character. That +15% to hit and +3 damage will always be nice, granted, but in a couple of levels you are out of oneshotville and are wading through spells to even get into melee with something.
True. But also, have the monsters use some good tactics. I kind of remember a barbarian that would wade through some monsters (when he wasn't rolling multiple ones) just to get surrounded and his high strength would get would get overwhelmed by multiple attacks.
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