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A Thread For Random RPG Musings


tkdguy
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  • 4 weeks later...

Featuring a universally evil species/race does not make one genuinely prejudiced any more than featuring a benevolent kingdom indicates real-life support for monarchies or featuring a mausoleum dungeon highlights a deep-seated desire to advocate for grave robbing.

 

On the other hand, yes...reality could do with more elf maidens.

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Someone in the OD&D forums described the monster list as a "Gygaxian Smorgasbord." That also goes for PC races, especially in later editionsl. Pick and choose what fits your campaign is a good strategy. The kitchen sink approach just makes a big mess in the end.

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On 5/9/2021 at 9:35 PM, tkdguy said:

Remember: Just because you have all those monsters available in the book doesn't mean you have to use all of them. 

In your opinion, should there be an element of marketing - be it overt or subtle - woven into monster entries that encourages players to use them or should monster entries be entirely factual and nothing else?

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6 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

In your opinion, should there be an element of marketing - be it overt or subtle - woven into monster entries that encourages players to use them or should monster entries be entirely factual and nothing else?

 

Depends on the game world. Some creatures or races like Draconians and Kender belong in the Dragonlance setting, and they just seem out of place when they appear in Greyhawk or Faerun, IMO. So adding a sentence or phrase that mentions where they can be found would be appropriate. Orcs, on the other hand, have been ubiquitous since the dawn of tabletop rpgs, despite being drawn from Tolkien's works. In this case, that part is unnecessary. AD&D 2nd Edition had Monstrous Compendium add-ons did separate many of the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance creatures into their own products.

 

Individual Dungeon/Game Masters can do what they want, of course, but I personally try to avoid the kitchen sink approach. Cooking is a good analogy for my argument. A pinch of salt enhances a dish; too much ruins it. YMMV.

 

 

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On 5/14/2021 at 3:33 PM, tkdguy said:

 

Individual Dungeon/Game Masters can do what they want, of course, but I personally try to avoid the kitchen sink approach. Cooking is a good analogy for my argument. A pinch of salt enhances a dish; too much ruins it. YMMV.

 

 

I remember an opinion from somewhere that just because Pathfinder (and D&D, by extension) had rules for something (class, race, etc), the DM was not obligated to use them in a campaign. For example, in a low fantasy game, you might have witches and shaman, but not wizards or sorcerers.

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5 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

I remember an opinion from somewhere that just because Pathfinder (and D&D, by extension) had rules for something (class, race, etc), the DM was not obligated to use them in a campaign. For example, in a low fantasy game, you might have witches and shaman, but not wizards or sorcerers.

 

I absolutely agree with that statement. The DM has to decide what's appropriate in the setting.

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11 minutes ago, tkdguy said:

 

That would just be unmanageable.


      I once got annoyed at my Champs players getting too cocky about how powerful they were so I ran a “jailbreak”episode using all the villains in the Big Blue Book.     Fixed their little red wagon.  The next week there were a lot of General Custer comments. But no more cockiness.         Rule 1: NEVER ANNOY YOUR GM!   Rule 2:  WHEN YOUR GM HAS THAT EVIL SMILE BEFORE THE SESSION....PICK UP YOUR DICE AND GO HOME!

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53 minutes ago, tkdguy said:

 

I absolutely agree with that statement. The DM has to decide what's appropriate in the setting.

I think what happened was back in very beginning each monster had only one stat block. So if you wanted a more powerful foe you used a different monster. So it might look like kobold then orc then bugbear.

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My long-term gaming group has been playing online with discord video-calls. We used to play all kinds of genres and systems, including Hero, but for the past 18 months all they've wanted to play is varying iterations of D&D 5e. It has some interesting ideas, but I really don't like the way it plays. The more options the devs introduce the more restrictive and bland it feels. When the cool races and classes from individual editions and settings all get lumped into core they lose their distinctiveness and it just becomes nonsensical kitchen-sink fantasy. Loss of focus means loss of vision.

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9 minutes ago, Vondy said:

My long-term gaming group has been playing online with discord video-calls. We used to play all kinds of genres and systems, including Hero, but for the past 18 months all they've wanted to play is varying iterations of D&D 5e. It has some interesting ideas, but I really don't like the way it plays. The more options the devs introduce the more restrictive and bland it feels. When the cool races and classes from individual editions and settings all get lumped into core they lose their distinctiveness and it just becomes nonsensical kitchen-sink fantasy. Loss of focus means loss of vision.

 

Our D&D 5e campaign continued on Zoom when the pandemic started.  I prefer 5e to any other edition of that game, but that's damnation with faint praise.  It's a lot cleaner than previous versions, and I like advantage/disadvantage and the unified experience progression.  But it's already well down the path of Pathfinder: literally hundreds of subclasses, feats, and spells that cannot be balanced.  And it's still a class based system that can only handle one setting: D&D high fantasy.

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25 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

But as with monsters, are all those subclasses and feats and whoeswhatnots suppose to be just added in? Or are they options to pick and choose? (Which was my impression from what I read when 5e first started to be discussed.)

 

I think the Heroite bias is to assume everything you find in the books are options to pick and choose from when worldbuilding and genre-simulating.  That is not how the average D&D player, or even the Wizard's writing team, seems to relate to it, however. They seem to have taken the generally laudable notion of player agency straight past reasonable into its logical extreme. The general 5e D&D culture seems to maintain is that limiting  options to build a more coherent filled with more relatable stories and protagonists is "autocratic." That, and even with limited options, I still wouldn't like how it plays. Its not a bad game, per se, but I find the experience it provides decidedly unsatisfying. 

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On 5/10/2021 at 5:31 PM, Ninja-Bear said:

Yeah I view all those monsters as a smorgasbord. Pick and choose what you like. I’ve seen plenty of DM suggest the use of reskining of monsters too. 

Um, ack-tully...Bards like to call it the Waifu Cataloge...  😋

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On 5/22/2021 at 3:33 PM, Ninja-Bear said:

But as with monsters, are all those subclasses and feats and whoeswhatnots suppose to be just added in? Or are they options to pick and choose? (Which was my impression from what I read when 5e first started to be discussed.)

 

They are options to pick and choose, but the problems go deeper than that.  First, there's powercreep, so if you're playing a Fighter you're just going to be outclassed by the player with the Samurai at any level.  Second, the exponential growth of feats, spells, and subclasses guarantees loopholes and unintended rules consequences--as just one example, the Sleepless Warlock/Sorcerer has practically unlimited spell slots and is perfectly legal (until the GM kicks you out of the campaign). 

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5 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

They are options to pick and choose, but the problems go deeper than that.  First, there's powercreep, so if you're playing a Fighter you're just going to be outclassed by the player with the Samurai at any level.  Second, the exponential growth of feats, spells, and subclasses guarantees loopholes and unintended rules consequences--as just one example, the Sleepless Warlock/Sorcerer has practically unlimited spell slots and is perfectly legal (until the GM kicks you out of the campaign). 

True enough but really how different is that than Hero system build of perfectly legal but highly cheesy? Incidentally I was reading about Dump Stats and how some were created unintentionally. 

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3 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

True enough but really how different is that than Hero system build of perfectly legal but highly cheesy? Incidentally I was reading about Dump Stats and how some were created unintentionally. 


The Hero cheese space is finite, whereas every new D&D expansion will add new, stronger-smelling cheese. 

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