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Christopher

OpenLgends RPG - and what we can learn from it for Hero

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3 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Scott two of my Boss battles off the top of my head were for Fantasy/Heroic level. Now the group all have Speed 3-GM fiat. The Bosses were Speed 4. The Bosses were a Hobgoblin, as in a greater Goblin and a Were Rat.

 

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Bosses are for video games and organized crime gangs, not TTRPGs!

 

Okay, time for me to rage-quit this thread. 🤬

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I dunno, I feel as though boss battles have been around at least as long as TTRPGs.  Many of the early D&D modules I remember tended to end in a fight with the head bad guy at the bottom of the dungeon, which makes sense to the extent that any good adventure needs to come to a climax, and there are not that many ways for a dungeon crawl to come to a climax.

 

RPG mechanics that give boss monsters special abilities just because it says "BOSS" on his nametag, though, I would have more of a problem with. 

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16 hours ago, zslane said:

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh! Bosses are for video games and organized crime gangs, not TTRPGs!

 

19 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Scott two of my Boss battles off the top of my head were for Fantasy/Heroic level. Now the group all have Speed 3-GM fiat. The Bosses were Speed 4. The Bosses were a Hobgoblin, as in a greater Goblin and a Were Rat. 

  

Side note the Rat attack was to frame the Dwarves as they were getting friendly with the local Noble. 

 

1 hour ago, Old Man said:

I dunno, I feel as though boss battles have been around at least as long as TTRPGs.  Many of the early D&D modules I remember tended to end in a fight with the head bad guy at the bottom of the dungeon, which makes sense to the extent that any good adventure needs to come to a climax, and there are not that many ways for a dungeon crawl to come to a climax.

We might not have called them that, but they were most definitely there. I can pick up just about any adventure of D&D and find the boss battle quite easily.

 

1 hour ago, Old Man said:

RPG mechanics that give boss monsters special abilities just because it says "BOSS" on his nametag, though, I would have more of a problem with.  

That part of Open Legends was for building a boss. As in, from the Ground up.

So the choice that this should be a boss is made before you even write up the stats.

 

In D&D you would pick a creature with a higher challenge rating instead. Helping with defining Challenge/Loot is literally what CR is there for. And if the lair/boss actions in D&D do not increase the CR, that is just stupid design.

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I am not sure why computer games get so maligned for "Boss Fights", the comics did it first. I usually hated them for many of the same reasons. Basically feeling the author was cheating to allow the battle to take place. 

 

The mention of City of Heroes (*sigh*) reminds me of their attempts. Apologies for the digression ;) Their original Archvillain battles were so boring, tons of players wailing away against a big bag of hit points :( Very dull. 

They got more interesting when they scaled them back and made them more player-like. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Old Man said:

Many of the early D&D modules I remember tended to end in a fight with the head bad guy at the bottom of the dungeon, which makes sense to the extent that any good adventure needs to come to a climax, and there are not that many ways for a dungeon crawl to come to a climax.

 

Oh, there's no doubt that boss fights in video games are inspired by this classic TTRPG campaign design tradition. However, what happens is that they get upped in frequency in video games, especially MMORPGs. Instead of a big fight against the main villain happening at the end of a long campaign, you get a boss fight at the end of every quest chain. That form of adventure design has infected TTRPGs wherein a boss fight is programmed in, as it were, as the climax of every "chapter" of a campaign. The plot of the campaign is contrived to make sure these boss encounters occur with regularity, and that artifice is painfully obvious, at least to me. Moreover, it creates a structural sameness that makes one feel like one is playing a video game, and not a traditional TTRPG.

 

This is a problem for the fantasy genre, but not so much for superheroes. But I still think big fights against a mega-villain (the kind that can take on an entire team solo) should be reserved for the end of a campaign, not the end of each session/mission.

 

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1 hour ago, zslane said:

 

Oh, there's no doubt that boss fights in video games are inspired by this classic TTRPG campaign design tradition. However, what happens is that they get upped in frequency in video games, especially MMORPGs. Instead of a big fight against the main villain happening at the end of a long campaign, you get a boss fight at the end of every quest chain. That form of adventure design has infected TTRPGs wherein a boss fight is programmed in, as it were, as the climax of every "chapter" of a campaign. The plot of the campaign is contrived to make sure these boss encounters occur with regularity, and that artifice is painfully obvious, at least to me. Moreover, it creates a structural sameness that makes one feel like one is playing a video game, and not a traditional TTRPG.

 

This is a problem for the fantasy genre, but not so much for superheroes. But I still think big fights against a mega-villain (the kind that can take on an entire team solo) should be reserved for the end of a campaign, not the end of each session/mission. 

 

So your issue is not with the Term but the perceived Abundance of it?

 

We can make them abundant with or without dedicated rules. It is just a lot easier to run and balance them with dedicated rules.

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The problem with boss fights as I see them is that they are examples of lazy writing, serving as a replacement for tension increase and plot climax. 

 

Admittedly, plot is even more optional in video games than in RPGs or film.  Still, it's odd to me that there would be an actual RPG mechanic that only "bosses" get.

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27 minutes ago, Old Man said:

The problem with boss fights as I see them is that they are examples of lazy writing, serving as a replacement for tension increase and plot climax.  

Again, then your issue is not with bossfights but a perceived abundance of bossfights. Everything can be over- and missused.

 

35 minutes ago, Old Man said:

Still, it's odd to me that there would be an actual RPG mechanic that only "bosses" get.

I find it unsurprising.

While De Jure Player Characters and average Villains can get powers like Damage Reduction or "Takes no STUN", De Facto they are often limited to specific NPC's.

 

The OpenLegends maker simply adressed the core of the problem with bosses - that in a TTRPG the Action Economy get's in the way of a Epic fight.

Looking at the D&D Dragons, I quickly noticed that they have a ton of abilities. Including a full set of magic. But from a pure DPS standpoint, using his full attack is usually the best option. If they had a few extra half phases instead of that humongous full phase action, I could actually get to use those abilities interestingly.

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22 hours ago, Christopher said:

So your issue is not with the Term but the perceived Abundance of it?

 

My issue is with both, I guess.

 

My objection to the term is with what it implies: it indicates what I feel is misguided thinking applied to adventure (or game) design for TTRPGs. My objection to abundance/frequency--and worse, predictable regularity--comes down to the negative impact it has on adventure and campaign design, particularly for the fantasy genre.

 

Video games are burdened with tremendous limitations, many of which force designers into creative corners that make the video game experience a pale shadow of the TTRPG experience. In my view, dragging the TTRPG experience down by using the same creative shackles that constrain video games falls into the category of Very Bad Ideas.

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4 minutes ago, zslane said:

 

My issue is with both, I guess.

 

My objection to the term is with what it implies: it indicates what I feel is misguided thinking applied to adventure (or game) design for TTRPGs. My objection to abundance/frequency--and worse, predictable regularity--comes down to the negative impact it has on adventure and campaign design, particularly for the fantasy genre.

 

Video games are burdened with tremendous limitations, many of which force designers into creative corners that make the video game experience a pale shadow of the TTRPG experience. In my view, dragging the TTRPG experience down by using the same creative shackles that constrain video games falls into the category of Very Bad Ideas.

 

Agreed.

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17 hours ago, zslane said:

My objection to the term is with what it implies: it indicates what I feel is misguided thinking applied to adventure (or game) design for TTRPGs. My objection to abundance/frequency--and worse, predictable regularity--comes down to the negative impact it has on adventure and campaign design, particularly for the fantasy genre.

 

Video games are burdened with tremendous limitations, many of which force designers into creative corners that make the video game experience a pale shadow of the TTRPG experience. In my view, dragging the TTRPG experience down by using the same creative shackles that constrain video games falls into the category of Very Bad Ideas. 

Bossfights are a tool, nothing more nothing less.

There are no bad tools in the toolkit. Only missapplication of the tools we have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGXIR2dlktc

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Fair enough. Framed that way, I would characterize "boss fights" as a misapplication of the tools when the result is a TTRPG campaign that is structured like a video game. And to my mind, the mere use of that term telegraphs the fact that the video game structure/paradigm is being used.

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5 hours ago, zslane said:

Fair enough. Framed that way, I would characterize "boss fights" as a misapplication of the tools when the result is a TTRPG campaign that is structured like a video game. And to my mind, the mere use of that term telegraphs the fact that the video game structure/paradigm is being used.

Nope just because YOU don’t care for them doesn’t mean that they don’t belong in a table top game. 

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I don't like them either. They are a tool, and i have used them on a couple of occasions, but in general They don't offer a lot of tactical finesse and problem solving. (which is what i game for as a player and as a GM. It ain't the story, bro.)

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As I've said before (but hey, why should I expect anyone to actually read what I write?), I believe big climactic battles against powerful solo villains have their place, and when used judiciously (and by implication, infrequently) I have absolutely no objection to them and find them quite exciting and satisfying. That sort of thing definitely belongs in a TTRPG, as it is unarguably an iconic part of the hobby.

 

What doesn't belong in a TTRPG is the "boss fight", a medium-risk/high-reward combat that punctuates every chapter of an adventure just to feed the necessary XP to the PCs to make them level-sufficient for the following chapter. This is a game design strategy that comes from MMORPGs, which need to keep players hooked on steady and predictable stream of XP and level advances in an effort to maintain player interest and, consequently, the all-important subscriber revenue.

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45 minutes ago, Old Man said:

You mean I'm not supposed to charge the other players at my TTRPG sessions?

 

Probably bad form.

 

Though for my Brunswick game, I drive 98 miles one-way (it ain't bad when I take the bike).  I tend to leverage that (I'm the GM, so it's more fun when I show up, apparently ;)) to get out of chipping in for snacks. :lol:

 

I mean, c'mon!  The Leviathan gets something like eleven mpg; thirteen on a long highway haul. I paid a-plenty to be here for you folks!   :rofl:

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

I mean, c'mon!  The Leviathan gets something like eleven mpg; thirteen on a long highway haul. I paid a-plenty to be here for you folks!   :rofl:

 

 

You had one of those, too? Mine was a 1969 Olds 98 two door, my aunt gave me. The other was “The Rolling Living Room”. 

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Still have it, actually. 

 

It's my truck: 02 Chevy one ton SRW, crew cab with a long box.  I bought at a point in my life where I needed a larger work truck (worked out of an Isuzu Pup shortbox for years) and a car for family outings, but I couldn't afford both.  Thus, the Leviathan.  From the winch to the trailer ball, it's 21 feet of wallet-cleansing appetite. :lol:

 

Kind of sad for a guy with six bikes.  But the kids are at that age where if I go, they _both_ want to go, so I don't get to ride much more than to work and back these days. :(. 

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On 1/25/2019 at 12:26 PM, Duke Bushido said:

Still have it, actually. 

 

It's my truck: 02 Chevy one ton SRW, crew cab with a long box.  I bought at a point in my life where I needed a larger work truck (worked out of an Isuzu Pup shortbox for years) and a car for family outings, but I couldn't afford both.  Thus, the Leviathan.  From the winch to the trailer ball, it's 21 feet of wallet-cleansing appetite. :lol:

 

Kind of sad for a guy with six bikes.  But the kids are at that age where if I go, they _both_ want to go, so I don't get to ride much more than to work and back these days. :(. 

I mpressed. My brother, with three kids bought a Biggs’s crew canvas well, for towing s camping trailer. ( his kids love camping). My mom drives around a 2005 Ford Explorer, which I love. She swore off small cars after her 1972 Porsche 914 was trashed in an accident. 

 

 

Oops, so we wandered way off topic. 

 

 

Sooo how is this game system?  

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