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Dave L

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  • I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but this is what I've come up with over time. There is no initiative. Everyone acts at the same time. Rolls determine if your character's action (not intent) is successful or not. I apply modifiers to…
  • Reward system: "Every monster has its own XP value, specified with the rest of its statistics." There is also a blurb about gaining XP for non combat encounters, but emphasizes there MUST be a chance of failure for it to be worth XP. So the drivin…
  • My impressions are negative. I don't see a reward system there. I think the reward for playing D&D is to explore deeper into the world. The dungeon - full of mysterious, dangerous, and exciting possibilities lies before you. You play (smart/…
  • D&D 4E runs slowly because there are so many choices for each player to make, and the conditions under which you make those choices change so often. You can't pre-plan your turn because your plan can easily be invalidated by the last actor in t…
  • I made a couple rituals like this in 4E. Here's the one that summons demons: The Binding Call You call a creature to this world from another plane. Level: Varies Component Cost: Varies Category: Binding Market Price: Varies Time: 1 hour pe…
  • When I first started playing RPGs with Moldvay Basic, the turn structure really helped us understand how to play the game. (We ranged in age from 8-11.) We played it like a boardgame with the board to be discovered.
    in Turns Comment by Dave L April 2012
  • * How many of you still play games in this style today? I am these days. It started with the release of 4e; I got excited in D&D again. (My experiences with 3e were not that good.) Playing 4e wasn't delivering what I wanted so I hacked it …
  • Last game of my 4E hack. In order to get XP, the PCs have captured the leader of a local settlement. The PC cleric of the "Elder Elemental Eye" (not really) wants to sacrifice her for more XP, as well as the half-orc death mage they promised her…
  • Vornheim could work for some NPCs. Cleopatra of Nexis: Has precognitive dreams. She saved the city during the Battle of Ten Thousand Nights. She is fat, generous, bold, charismatic. She is the daughter of... Vollrath The Ogler, who is possess…
  • If I was going to DM 3E again, here are the few things I'd do: * For casters, have all damage taken since the caster's last turn force a Concentration check. * Forget about the monster building guidelines; just come up with some cool abilities a…
    in Pathfinder! Comment by Dave L June 2011
  • I set out to hack 4E to make running an old-school sandbox with a heavy taste of "frontier expansion" possible. My techniques are pretty simple: * Draw a hex map * Populate the hex map with interesting areas, the difficulty of which is not re…
  • Vornheim: The Complete City Kit. It's a supplement for D&D, not a game on its own, but I could see using it for most fantasy/swords & sorcery games that take place in a sprawling city.
  • I had an idea for a game back in the late 90's. I'd create a bunch of NPCs with relationships to each other and to the PC. The PC would be able to manipulate the relationships - NPC-PC and NPC-NPC - through his actions, both directly ("INTIMIDATE"…
  • [self-promotion]Last night I ran a 4E dungeoncrawl. Prep consisted of printing out some random geomorphs. Random tables are awesome.[/self-promotion]
  • [3 D&D sucks] I don't buy the idea that AD&D didn't have robust design. All those rules seem to point to something specific - tightly focused play. I'm not so sure that 3E has the same focus! It seems like more of a toolkit than a game.
  • I think there are two separate concepts. What is role-playing? and What is this game? They bleed into each other. What the game is about determines how you play the role and how you play the role determines what the game is about.
  • If the players are facing adversity and they have resources they can use, they will try to use them. You need someone at the table whose responsibility it is to maintain the consistency of the fiction and the authority to shoot down things that don…
  • I think one reason the "Caller" role was there to help get rid of people backtracking on their actions. The DM would describe the scene, sit back, then wait for the Caller's official presentation of what the PCs were doing.
  • In D&D (for example), saying "I try to disarm him" is a big choice. So is "I move behind the orc and backstab him" or "I cast Obscuring Mist". It's possible that the players are happy with that level of choice and they don't really care exactl…
  • I wrote a section for my 4E hack called "DM's Guide". These are the headings: * (provide) MEANINGFUL CHOICES * PROVIDE CHALLENGE * LET THE PLAYERS LEAD * GIVE THE PLAYERS THE INFORMATION THEY NEED * MAINTAIN THE CONSISTENCY OF THE GAME WORLD…
  • I think I would - it would mean I'd have to be a lot more proactive in the game as a player. It would be very challenging, to see if I really believed what I said I believed in. In a way I felt like I've done that in a game I played a year and a…
  • I like 4E but I wasn't too happy with how it deals with the fiction. So I wrote my own hack. I've been playing it for a few months now (since 11 June this year) and it's been a lot of fun. You can find some AP on it here: http://www.enworld.org…
  • I imagine you could use the AB for other games - as long as those other games are about the same thing as BW.
  • In my 4E hack - sandbox western - there have been a lot of PC deaths*. A lot. One big aspect of the game is overcoming the challenge posed by the environment (pre-cooked setting). Any information gained is a big benefit. That's why I decided t…
  • Palladium Fantasy. There's a ton of conflict in the setting. Use it.
  • What I mean is that you'll want to pixelbitch - spending real time to avoid danger - if you're in over your head. If you're not in over your head, then you can bash down the door and feel secure that you can take it. Since you'll have a general id…
  • The way I am handling the "player chooses risk" is to give them an idea of the level of the danger - within a range - and a whole lot of options of varying levels. I have a "player's map" and I write down the names of the geographic areas - "Gard…
  • I didn't enjoy the first episode, but I figure that's because they didn't actually play any D&D in it. They were just introducing the players. I think that it will be interesting once they start playing the game. The hints at what had happe…
  • I don't really see how page 42 of the DMG promotes narration. It's basically a bunch of crunch for a gm "just in case" a player is creative. In a game of D&D I was running, the wizard used his mage hand to grab a bedsheet, set it on fire …
  • I've only played 3:16 once (at a con), but I was left with the impression that the fictional details don't have any impact on the choices you have to make. It doesn't matter if you take cover behind a rock when shooting at bugs, the mechanics play …
  • Pay higher prices for the same crap! That'll show the Hand.
  • In 4E, you could write up "powers" for monsters like Bum Leg: Gorrus has a bad leg; if he's hit there, he's slowed (or immobilized if already slowed). Soft Underbelly: Attacks against the bulette's soft underbelly gain a +2 bonus and deal an e…
  • I think I would do two things: In combat, I'd write up a Hazard or Trap that targetted Will. Forcing movement to make a basic melee attack, lowering defenses for a bonus to attacks, maybe access to some kind of crazy encounter power, those sorts…
  • Star Wars Saga - If I were to play SW again, I'd either use the Solar System or the old d6 version. D&D 3E. No interest. Palladium Fantasy - I'd like to play again but I doubt I'll have the time (too many other games) or the interest (in …
  • The shaving article was good. I look forward to articles about jeans and shoes.
  • But women should try to look as youthful as possible for their grizzled, leather-skinned mates, right? No.
  • Men shouldn't be worried about wrinkles.
  • You could use treasure as a motivation for adventure. DM: So what do you guys want to do now? PC: I want to track down the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd. DM: Uh... okay. How are you going to do that? PC: Is there a sage in town? Maybe he has som…
  • If DUNE was transcript of a PTA game, Baron Harkonnen would have been be a PC.
  • My advice is to write up a basic idea of the encounter area: "Scurvs are hiding in the undergrowth, with a pair of hot roaches. There's a winding path up to the temple, and off to the sides of it we have difficult terrain." Then draw out the enc…
  • What sorts of things are you prepping, Ryan?
  • I agree, it's not the best module. I had fun DMing it, but I made two minor changes that had some big impacts. 1. I put a secret door in the prison leading down into the middle of the hobgoblin barracks. (The corridor, not the actual rooms.) T…
  • "That sounds good. Of course, the boat is probably a trap, and when she gets on board she gets ambushed in the engine room by Kate. 'So good to see you again, sister,' heh heh heh." "Yeah it's a trap, but Kate isn't there; instead Kate makes a phon…
  • I don't know, Tim - when someone pulls a gun on you and you know, mechanically, that you'll be sucking down some d10 fallout, that seems like mechanical tension. Without that, the gun doesn't have as much fictional tension. If that makes sense.
  • What I do in my game when I roll up a wandering monster: I consider the terrain and sighting distance. I consider what the monster is doing; flying, stalking, just wandering about, lurking in ambush, etc. That defines what kind of check (if any…
  • Cool, thanks for the info.
  • I don't have DDI but... I hope they don't create a "only Theives can move silently" problem. The way I see it now, I have enough tools as a DM to adjudicate a "diplomatic" action during combat. I don't want my players thinking, "I can only do…
  • I was playing Houses of the Blooded and during the Seasons I had my only village burned down by this asshole Count. We are all invited to his wife's puzzle palace for a big party in winter. I set up this crazy plan to make it look like the Cou…
  • I rarely run skill challenges because I think the mechanic is only for certain situations. You need to have some kind of opposition that's active and can push against the PCs for some time before it is defeated. I have an AP-ish thread about my …
  • Burning Wheel: After incapacitating the leader of the orcish horde, the elf-witch's son who burned down my home, I was captured. The elf-witch arrived and I fought her, but lost. She carried the broken bodies of her son and myself back to her t…