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Basic D&D Redux

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Anonymous
August 21, 2005 9:37:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I'm getting to the point that I feel D&D has gone the wrong way from
it's roots. It's become so full of options and various stats for this
that and everything else, that it's becoming more like a job of
accounting than a game. The other issue with it having so many options
it's easily exploitable, much like champions and gurps. Less options,
less exploits.

So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system and
simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it down.
What I'm thinking is rolling the ability scores, classes, feats, and
skills into races, similar to blue book D&D, but even a little further.
So I'm thinking to Start you have the races Human, Elf, Dwarf, and
Halfling available. Might need 2 more for something else to play if
you've got a larger group, or could just have multiples of those.
Human becomes your typical Fighter type, Elf is Wizard type, Dwarf
Cleric type, and Halfling the Rogue type.

This might be useful for an introduction to D&D as well, if you really
love all the freeking options. Like most of my projects, I'll probably
fizzle out before I get very far, but I'm on the warpath at the moment.
So I'll start on it see how far I get and post what I have, or put it
up on my website and link to it before I need any encouragement. Would
anyone be interested in seeing something like this?

- Justisaur

* That's KISS as in Keep It Simple Stupid as opposed to the band.

More about : basic redux

Anonymous
August 21, 2005 2:24:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Kevin Venzke wrote:
> "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1124627843.531101.89340@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system and
> > simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it down.
> > What I'm thinking is rolling the ability scores, classes, feats, and
> > skills into races, similar to blue book D&D, but even a little further.
> > So I'm thinking to Start you have the races Human, Elf, Dwarf, and
> > Halfling available. Might need 2 more for something else to play if
> > you've got a larger group, or could just have multiples of those.
> > Human becomes your typical Fighter type, Elf is Wizard type, Dwarf
> > Cleric type, and Halfling the Rogue type.
>
> I think the Dwarf should be the Fighter and the Human should be
> the Cleric.
>

I had thought about that, but Humans being Clerics only just didn't
seem to fit.

Perhaps it might be better to keep race & class seperate after all,
that way they can easily be added to monsters, which is one of the
attractions of 3.x (easily is relative here, since you couldn't do it
at all in previous versions)

> I think an interesting question is what classes are inappropriate for
> a system trying to KISS. I suppose Monks, Bards, and Barbarians
> are out. Maybe Ranger and Druid could be merged.
>

That's pretty much what I was thinking, more on the Ranger side though.
And Paladin. That way you have a couple of hybrids you can add in
easily for parties larger than 4.

> What's a KISS approach to magic?
>

Well I rather like the basics of the current system actually, but make
all casters "spontaenous" and pare down spells to a more limited, less
abusable set like say a sorcerer's list. Eliminating alignment will
take care of a good deal of the spells as well.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 4:27:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1124627843.531101.89340@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> I'm getting to the point that I feel D&D has gone the wrong way from
> it's roots. It's become so full of options and various stats for this
> that and everything else, that it's becoming more like a job of
> accounting than a game. The other issue with it having so many options
> it's easily exploitable, much like champions and gurps. Less options,
> less exploits.
>
> So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system and
> simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it down.

You really should check out Keith's system, on his web page:

http://www.kjdavies.org/rpg/

I think it fits the bill.

--
^v^v^Malachias Invictus^v^v^

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the Master of my fate:
I am the Captain of my soul.

from _Invictus_, by William Ernest Henley
Related resources
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 6:14:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1124627843.531101.89340@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system and
> simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it down.
> What I'm thinking is rolling the ability scores, classes, feats, and
> skills into races, similar to blue book D&D, but even a little further.
> So I'm thinking to Start you have the races Human, Elf, Dwarf, and
> Halfling available. Might need 2 more for something else to play if
> you've got a larger group, or could just have multiples of those.
> Human becomes your typical Fighter type, Elf is Wizard type, Dwarf
> Cleric type, and Halfling the Rogue type.

I think the Dwarf should be the Fighter and the Human should be
the Cleric.

I think an interesting question is what classes are inappropriate for
a system trying to KISS. I suppose Monks, Bards, and Barbarians
are out. Maybe Ranger and Druid could be merged.

What's a KISS approach to magic?

Kevin
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 11:13:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1124627843.531101.89340@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system and
> simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it down.
> What I'm thinking is rolling the ability scores, classes, feats, and
> skills into races, similar to blue book D&D, but even a little further.

This is stupidly simple, limiting, and completely boring.
News flash: there is variety in d&d because variety is DESIRED.
If you don't like accounting, attack the problem of mechanics that
require it - not by eliminating choice.

-Michael
Anonymous
August 21, 2005 11:26:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system
> and simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it
> down. What I'm thinking is rolling the ability scores, classes,
> feats, and skills into races, similar to blue book D&D, but even a
> little further. So I'm thinking to Start you have the races Human,
> Elf, Dwarf, and Halfling available. Might need 2 more for something
> else to play if you've got a larger group, or could just have
> multiples of those. Human becomes your typical Fighter type, Elf is
> Wizard type, Dwarf Cleric type, and Halfling the Rogue type.

You might look at "OGL Fantasy Lite" from Spencer Cooley. You can
probably find it on RPGNow. He doesn't reduce it quite as much as you
plan to (there's room for further reduction -- he still has races and
classes separate, for example) but he does make a start on it.

FWIW, though, if you want to implement 'Basic D&D d20', I'd suggest:

Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard
Dwarf (Clr/Ftr), Elf (Ftr/Wiz), Halfling (Ftr/Rog)

rather than having just the races. Or did you mean 'the races have
natural tendancies toward the classes indicated'?


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 12:06:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Michael Scott Brown wrote:

> This is stupidly simple, limiting, and completely boring.

Only if you want all differences between characters to be represented
mechanically. I remember playing a Fighter/Mage in highschool AD&D2e,
who was probably mechanically identical to every other Fighter/Mage, but
I didn't mind.

> News flash: there is variety in d&d because variety is DESIRED.

There's variety in D&D because the designers believe variety is desired.
This is true, but need not be taken to its logical extreme (GURPS).
Rules-light or rules-moderate systems can support enough variety to make
for interesting choices during play without producing so much variety
that there are twenty-eight hardcover books filled with prestige classes.

(Furthermore, a lot of variety in D&D is false. There are some
suboptimal feats that nobody takes.)

> If you don't like accounting, attack the problem of mechanics that
> require it - not by eliminating choice.

Eh.

....

Hmm.

Objective: A fun, rules-light-to-moderate game system that looks like
something what could have evolved out of BD&D, centered around playing
interesting characters with varied abilities and exploring fantasy
worlds with them, but built on modern gameplay assumptions, like "TPKs
are bad," "Gygaxesque Bastard DMing is bad," and "It's okay for
characters to be cool."

Suspicion: Choice paralysis occurs when players wish to make characters
who are both effective and varied in their abilities. D&D3e encourages
hyperspecialization, which is bad. By toning down the "difficulty level"
and instituting rules against too much specialization, players will feel
less hesitant to play characters with varied and interesting abilities.

Say four classes:

1) Fighter: This is the dude what is good at fighting.
2) Mage: This is the dude what casts magic. I'd actually merge wizard
and cleric together here -- religion becomes a matter of RP, as does
where magic powers come from.
3) Scholar: This is the dude what gets plenty o' skill points.
4) Rogue: This is the dude what gets plenty o' Tricks, miscellaneous
abilities that are mechanically static (in other words, feats).

There is no BAB. How often you hit things is solely a matter for your
Ability scores. Likewise with how hard you are to hit. Armor reduces
damage. Fighter levels increase damage (this represents being better at
hitting things). There are Tricks to slightly increase how accurately
you hit or how hard you are to hit, but not to increase the damage you
inflict or decrease the damage you take.

Every character gets 10 hit points, 5 skill points, a Trick, and +1 to
an ability score every level. However, you may not add +1 to the same
ability score twice in a row.

Every Fighter level grants +2 to damage with every weapon strike you make.
Every Mage level grants you a new spell you can cast. The potency of
your spells, and the number of spells you can cast per day, is based
/entirely/ on your character level. Optimally, every spell should be
equally scaleable.
Every Scholar level grants 5 more skill points.
Every Rogue level grants an additional Trick.

You may multiclass freely. In fact, you may not take three levels of the
same class in a row.

Races grant ancilliary benefits of some kind.

Going up in levels requires linear rather than exponential XP gain --
probably one level every thousand XP.

Needs further thought. The goal is a complete ruleset that can be
explained over the course of about 28 pages, maybe.
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 1:58:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Malachias Invictus <capt_malachias@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> "Justisaur" <justisaur@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1124627843.531101.89340@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
>> I'm getting to the point that I feel D&D has gone the wrong way from
>> it's roots. It's become so full of options and various stats for this
>> that and everything else, that it's becoming more like a job of
>> accounting than a game. The other issue with it having so many options
>> it's easily exploitable, much like champions and gurps. Less options,
>> less exploits.
>>
>> So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system and
>> simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it down.
>
> You really should check out Keith's system, on his web page:
>
> http://www.kjdavies.org/rpg/
>
> I think it fits the bill.

Heh, thanks.

I don't know that it's simple the way Justisaur's looking for. I think
it's *logical*, which can make it easy for (some) people to grok -- it
seems you found it so -- but for someone just coming in there's a fair
amount of work to using it.

While I'm planning to use it more or less as written (after being
updated and including the rest of the stuff I've been working on) I
think for the general case it might work better as a class construction
toolkit.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 5:03:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

One of the voices in my head - or was it Justisaur? - just said...
> So I'm thinking to Start you have the races Human, Elf, Dwarf, and
> Halfling available. Might need 2 more for something else to play if
> you've got a larger group, or could just have multiples of those.
> Human becomes your typical Fighter type, Elf is Wizard type, Dwarf
> Cleric type, and Halfling the Rogue type.

If you really want to simplify it, D&D works fine with only humans.

If you do that, you might want to introduce something like D20 Modern
occupations of Iron Lore traits. But then again, given your stated
goals, maybe not. Certainly you wouldn't want as many of them floating
around as those games have, maybe three or four really broad categories.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 9:36:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:

> There's variety in D&D because the designers believe variety is desired.
> This is true, but need not be taken to its logical extreme (GURPS).

Quit bashing GURPS. GURPS was designed to make it easy for GM's to
create and mix campaign settings. That keeps the game fresh.

> Rules-light or rules-moderate systems can support enough variety to make
> for interesting choices during play without producing so much variety
> that there are twenty-eight hardcover books filled with prestige classes.

Agreed here... Maybe a prestige class generator is in order.

> (Furthermore, a lot of variety in D&D is false. There are some
> suboptimal feats that nobody takes.)

As long is there are feats, there will be suboptimal feats.

> Objective: A fun, rules-light-to-moderate game system that looks like
> something what could have evolved out of BD&D, centered around playing
> interesting characters with varied abilities and exploring fantasy
> worlds with them, but built on modern gameplay assumptions, like "TPKs
> are bad," "Gygaxesque Bastard DMing is bad," and "It's okay for
> characters to be cool."

Castles & Crusades?

> Suspicion: Choice paralysis occurs when players wish to make characters
> who are both effective and varied in their abilities. D&D3e encourages
> hyperspecialization, which is bad. By toning down the "difficulty level"
> and instituting rules against too much specialization, players will feel
> less hesitant to play characters with varied and interesting abilities.

Another words, fewer choices are better when it comes to character
creation, and more emphasis should be placed on character
development and evolution during play. With an added emphasis on
smaller character advancement trees, and fewer obstacles to add
unique features, skills, and feats for a chcaracter.

> Say four classes:
>
> 1) Fighter: This is the dude what is good at fighting.
> 2) Mage: This is the dude what casts magic. I'd actually merge wizard
> and cleric together here -- religion becomes a matter of RP, as does
> where magic powers come from.
> 3) Scholar: This is the dude what gets plenty o' skill points.
> 4) Rogue: This is the dude what gets plenty o' Tricks, miscellaneous
> abilities that are mechanically static (in other words, feats).

Say no classes. Professions instead, with more going into feats,
skills, and special abilities.


>
> There is no BAB. How often you hit things is solely a matter for your
> Ability scores. Likewise with how hard you are to hit. Armor reduces
> damage. Fighter levels increase damage (this represents being better at
> hitting things). There are Tricks to slightly increase how accurately
> you hit or how hard you are to hit, but not to increase the damage you
> inflict or decrease the damage you take.

Castles & Crusades again?

>
> Every character gets 10 hit points, 5 skill points, a Trick, and +1 to
> an ability score every level. However, you may not add +1 to the same
> ability score twice in a row.

Ahh. A computer game advancement system.

> You may multiclass freely. In fact, you may not take three levels of the
> same class in a row.
>
> Races grant ancilliary benefits of some kind.
>
> Going up in levels requires linear rather than exponential XP gain --
> probably one level every thousand XP.

Linear works only in low power campaigns.

> Needs further thought. The goal is a complete ruleset that can be
> explained over the course of about 28 pages, maybe.

Castles & Crusades, or OGL Ancients?

Re,
Dirk
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 11:33:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Dirk Collins wrote:

> Quit bashing GURPS. GURPS was designed to make it easy for GM's to
> create and mix campaign settings. That keeps the game fresh.

Hey, that wasn't me bashing GURPS. I like GURPS. Well, in theory. I
haven't used it for its intended purpose, so I don't know how well I'd
like it in practice.

> Castles & Crusades?

I haven't read C&C, but I get the impression, from what I've read about
it, that it in some ways intentionally emulates the clunkiness of
AD&D1e. Not in many ways, but in enough ways to tickle the nostalgia
centers of fans' brains.

That I would not do.

> Another words, fewer choices are better when it comes to character
> creation, and more emphasis should be placed on character development
> and evolution during play. With an added emphasis on smaller character
> advancement trees, and fewer obstacles to add unique features, skills,
> and feats for a chcaracter.

Yeah, basically.

> Say no classes. Professions instead, with more going into feats, skills,
> and special abilities.

I kinda like classes. Calling them "professions" suggests there's a
connection between the mechanics and the in-game reality, which I don't
much like.

> Castles & Crusades again?

C&C may not have BAB, but it has level-based attack bonus.

> Ahh. A computer game advancement system.

Close to, yeah. Not so complex mathematically as a computer game
advancement system -- no traits that go up to 255, f'rex -- but the same
sort of "lots of levels and many small bonuses that add up.

> Linear works only in low power campaigns.

I'm not convinced this is the case.

> Castles & Crusades, or OGL Ancients?

Haven't read either.
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 12:29:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Personally I like the idea of a much simplified system, harkening back
to the old days. My kids are getting ready to get into DnD now but the
rules are so freaking involved there is a very steep learning curve to
get over. A *very* simplified system with no Attacks of Opportunity or
grappling rules (for examples) would be very much easier to comprehend
than the current massively detailed rules that they have now. Limiting
classes and races to only a few would also be nice. This would just be
a teaser DnD to get their role-playing legs going then after a couple
of years they could decide to move into "Advanced" DnD, ie, standard
DnD. I'd be willing to help develop this as much as possible. Email me
at jreyst at yahoo dot com if you want any help of any kind.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 3:25:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed wrote:
> Personally I like the idea of a much simplified system, harkening back
> to the old days. My kids are getting ready to get into DnD now but the
> rules are so freaking involved there is a very steep learning curve to
> get over. A *very* simplified system with no Attacks of Opportunity or
> grappling rules (for examples) would be very much easier to comprehend
> than the current massively detailed rules that they have now. Limiting
> classes and races to only a few would also be nice. This would just be
> a teaser DnD to get their role-playing legs going then after a couple
> of years they could decide to move into "Advanced" DnD, ie, standard
> DnD. I'd be willing to help develop this as much as possible. Email me
> at jreyst at yahoo dot com if you want any help of any kind.

I've looked at C&C now, it looks like it would fit the bill of a
simplified system for you. I've yet to get a look at OGL Fantasy Lite,
but it might be closer to the way I was looking to go. I don't really
want to go all the way back to original (i.e. Basic D&D) I'd like to
incorporate all the goodness that was brought by 3.5 and remove the
unneeded complexity. I do like AoOs, they do add some complexity to
the tactical combat, which took me awhile to grok (and am still
discovering new facets to it). I can see they would be difficult for a
first time player as well...

I've decided to reexamine my premise based on some of the comments here
and what I've seen in C&C. I don't really like C&C...

I don't really want a simplified system. I want a streamlined system.
Something that's easy to prepare and quicker to run. There's a big
difference between those two ideas. As such I've started working on
that idea. I'll post here shortly on it.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 3:32:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Dirk Collins wrote:
>
> > Quit bashing GURPS. GURPS was designed to make it easy for GM's to
> > create and mix campaign settings. That keeps the game fresh.
>
> Hey, that wasn't me bashing GURPS. I like GURPS. Well, in theory. I
> haven't used it for its intended purpose, so I don't know how well I'd
> like it in practice.
>

Hmm. Well I've never played Gurps either, but it's similar to hero
system from what I hear, and I don't like hero because of the ghastly
prep time, and agonizing over every little point.

> > Castles & Crusades?
>
> I haven't read C&C, but I get the impression, from what I've read about
> it, that it in some ways intentionally emulates the clunkiness of
> AD&D1e. Not in many ways, but in enough ways to tickle the nostalgia
> centers of fans' brains.
>
> That I would not do.
>

Yes, I've taken a look at it now, and I don't like it for just that
reason. It's also considerably lower power than standard D&D. I like
fantasy in my fantasy.

> > Another words, fewer choices are better when it comes to character
> > creation, and more emphasis should be placed on character development
> > and evolution during play. With an added emphasis on smaller character
> > advancement trees, and fewer obstacles to add unique features, skills,
> > and feats for a chcaracter.
>
> Yeah, basically.
>

Sort of. I'd disagree with adding more feats, skills etc. They need
be reined in.

> > Linear works only in low power campaigns.
>
> I'm not convinced this is the case.
>

Hmm. Linear advancement. I can see where that would be a big
advantage. It should be relatively easy to fix xp rewards to do that,
the problem comes up when you try to fix xp expendetures to create
magic items or for the xp cost spells. Of course you could just
convert those to gp costs.

- Justisaur.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 4:04:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ahh well thats somewhat disappointing. I was thinking the goal of this
was maybe to create a version that expunges much of the complexities so
that kids could get into it and then move into full fledged DnD. I see
now that you are just looking for a DnD-lite that would still require a
good grasp of complex subjects. I was hoping to develop a *much* more
simplified approach, ala 3 classes, 3 races, very basic combat rules,
very basic spells rules, etc. Something so that kids could jump right
in without having to explain to them about AoO's and Grappling and XP
costs for making magic items etc. Thats way more involved than I was
thinking. Oh well maybe its a project I'll work on on my own :( 
August 22, 2005 5:44:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I believe you can run a "DnD lite" campaign.

My sugestion would be to begin play with 3 classes: fighter, rogue &
cleric. The "arcane" classes require too much of the game. The cleric
really is there for the 'cures'. I would also suggest that all the
characters should be pre-generated, either from a website or as part of
a module. This way you limit the choices but also focus the learning
within pre-defined limits. Otherwise you will probably have to devote
an entire evening/play session to developing characters. I would also
suggest that each player should be responsible for looking up
information on thier PC (e.g. the rogue needs to let you know what his
'tumble' does or the fighter explains 'cleave'). If the players focus
on learning their rules the DM can focus on running the module and
knowing those rules. Also, they should all be 1st level (less to know,
easier to begin).

As for modules I would suggest trying to get the original 3e modules
from WotC. They are helpful because they were designed to teach people
3e. Having said that I would suggest that the DM should put together a
couple of 'travelling' encounters. These would be the PC's travelling
from somewhere (e.g. their home village) to somewhere else (the nearest
town) as they search for adventure. Have them encounter 1 goblin/kobold
for each 2 PC's and run this a a primer for combat. You could have
them encounter injured captives who need healing or a stolen locked
trapped strongbox for the rogue (have the trap do something harmless but
memorable, e.g. have the rogue's hair turn to feathers for a day, not
quite the rules but a fun learning event). Use these 'travelling'
events to help you, as well as the players, to become familiar with the
system.

As for the system, essentially its a d20 roll where one can add
appropriate modifiers (e.g. Str/BAB for combat, dex/ranks for skills,
etc.) that needs to meet or exceed a number that represents the
difficulty of a given situation. Know what the highest rank of your
PC's is (again a good reason for pre-gens is the DM can have a copy).

And finally, let them know that for this "campaign" you will be for
learning and that as everyone becomes more comfortable with the rules
more of the rules will be introduced. Again use 'travelling' encounters
to test out new rules, you can also 're-run' other ones but change what
the NPC's do. For example, you want to add "attack of opportunity";
have another 'goblin' encounter except this time have two of them run by
the fighter, for whatever reason. The fighter will only get his 1 AoO
but not a second.

Hope this helps. It's a great system once you become comfortable with it.



webhed wrote:
> Ahh well thats somewhat disappointing. I was thinking the goal of this
> was maybe to create a version that expunges much of the complexities so
> that kids could get into it and then move into full fledged DnD. I see
> now that you are just looking for a DnD-lite that would still require a
> good grasp of complex subjects. I was hoping to develop a *much* more
> simplified approach, ala 3 classes, 3 races, very basic combat rules,
> very basic spells rules, etc. Something so that kids could jump right
> in without having to explain to them about AoO's and Grappling and XP
> costs for making magic items etc. Thats way more involved than I was
> thinking. Oh well maybe its a project I'll work on on my own :( 
>
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 11:04:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I would go so far as even to call them Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue, so
as to have more flavor and appeal to younger players. I think the words
"Fighter" and "Mage" do not carry as much fantasy weight as Warrior and
Wizard. Also, yes, Human, Elf, and Dwarf, would be the only race
options. They cover the three archetypes well.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 11:11:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed wrote:

> Ahh well thats somewhat disappointing. I was thinking the goal of this
> was maybe to create a version that expunges much of the complexities so
> that kids could get into it and then move into full fledged DnD. I see
> now that you are just looking for a DnD-lite that would still require a
> good grasp of complex subjects. I was hoping to develop a *much* more
> simplified approach, ala 3 classes, 3 races, very basic combat rules,
> very basic spells rules, etc. Something so that kids could jump right
> in without having to explain to them about AoO's and Grappling and XP
> costs for making magic items etc. Thats way more involved than I was
> thinking. Oh well maybe its a project I'll work on on my own :( 

3 classes?

Hmm.

If the three classes are Fighter, Mage, and Rogue, but one Trick you can
take again and again gives you 5 skill points, that allows for the
elimination of the scholar class.

"Human, elf, dwarf" makes for a good race combo. Dwarves are stalwart
fighters, humans are learned and/or tricky, and elves are good at magic...

Could work.
--
Stephenls
Geek
"You do your arguments no favor by insulting those you ought persuade."
-Greg Stolze, Rites of the Dragon
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 11:16:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I think that you can not have DnD-anything without an arcane
spellcaster. Its one of the core ideas. Without that players will be
left less than satisfied. I would replace the cleric with simple magic
healing potions. The Wizard could make them and hence no more need of
clerics.

I agree that there should be a good pile of pre-generated characters
for players to pick up and run with, but they should also be allowed to
make a character once they have figured out the basic concepts.

As for modules I disagree with attempting to run/convert anything that
already exists. There would be way too much work for younger players to
even begin. I'd suggest including 3-5 pre-written modules that can be
played in a night or two, that walk the players through learning about
their abilities, but in an adventure format.

As for 'travelling' or random encounters, there could be a deck of
cards with all of the pertinent combat information for each encounter
on each card. The DM draws a card if the players wander around too
long. Some of the cards might be blank, saying simply that "the wind
blows cold and eerie sounds emanate from the distance" or something.

Regarding your final paragraph, about progressively introducing more
rules, perhaps each adventure in the included series could introduce
one or two additional concepts that test the players grasp of them in
order to succeed in the quest.

In general I really think this could be developed into a nice primer
type rules set either for younger players or for those who just want to
pick up and go. The idea would simply be that DnD-Jr. might focus much
more on story and much less on rules. Eventually the players of DnD-Jr.
will want to learn the "real" game that their dads and dads friends are
playing and want to move onto the big time. Until then they don't have
to hurt their heads worrying about how many attacks you get with two
weapons when one of them is a double weapon or how to calculate how far
you jump or etc etc etc.
Anonymous
August 22, 2005 11:47:13 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed wrote:
> Ahh well thats somewhat disappointing. I was thinking the goal of this
> was maybe to create a version that expunges much of the complexities so
> that kids could get into it and then move into full fledged DnD.

Well that can certainly be a an effect of streamlining.

> I see
> now that you are just looking for a DnD-lite that would still require a
> good grasp of complex subjects. I was hoping to develop a *much* more
> simplified approach, ala 3 classes, 3 races, very basic combat rules,
> very basic spells rules, etc. Something so that kids could jump right
> in without having to explain to them about AoO's and Grappling and XP
> costs for making magic items etc. Thats way more involved than I was
> thinking. Oh well maybe its a project I'll work on on my own :( 

I had a chance to look at OGL Fantasy Light finally. It seems to fit
the bill quite well for introing people to 3.x. I'm quite impressed
with it. It actually incorporates a couple of the ideas I was thinking
of - especially in the quick play section. It's very well organized,
much better than the PHB. It's only got 4 classes and 4 races. It only
goes up to 4th lv, which should be a good introduction. It might still
be a bit much for a newbie at 68 pages, but it's considerably less than
the PHB :) . It's only $5.?? at RPG Now for the PDF, so it's not a big
expendeture, and looks to be well worth it.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 1:07:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I'll probably check it out then, but would you think it remotely
approachable by 8-10 year olds? My 12 year old can probably get 90% of
standard 3.5 at this point but her younger sister (8) would be
completely lost.
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 11:37:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

tussock wrote:
> webhed wrote:
>
> It's customary to quote some of what you reply to so the
> conversation can be followed without referring to a previous post; you
> do this on groups.google by using [show options -> reply].

Sorry. I normally do. I'll be sure to do so in the future.

> <Re: only 3 races/classes>
> > I would go so far as even to call them Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue, so
> > as to have more flavor and appeal to younger players. I think the words
> > "Fighter" and "Mage" do not carry as much fantasy weight as Warrior and
> > Wizard. Also, yes, Human, Elf, and Dwarf, would be the only race
> > options. They cover the three archetypes well.
>
> Warrior, Adept, Expert. Upgrade them all to proper classes, or just
> play them as is strait out of the DMG, they're fairly well balanced with
> each other.

I think most youngsters would look at the word Adept and say "What? No
Wizard?" What gives?

> For three races I'd tend to pick Half-orc, Human, and Half-elf.

You *have* to have Dwarf and Elf as options. Those are the classic
archetypes. Half-Orcs and Half-Elves may be cool, but they aren't what
people would be expecting. You go into DnD expecting Dwarves and Elves,
not Half-Orcs. More experienced people may prefer Half-Orcs or
Half-Elves but for beginners you have to have Dwarves and Elves.

John
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 11:40:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> You can simply divide all XP costs by character level, or for
> spells perhaps divide by the level they're typically used at. That
> brings calculators into magic item creation, but they're there anyway, IME.
>
> --
> tussock

I would go even further in eliminating experience points altogether and
simply say that characters gain a level at the end of every session,
regardless of what happens during that session. Obviously this wouldn't
work in "real" DnD, but this is just a primer to get kids used to the
ideas and advancement is one of the core ideas. This would really get
them pumped up for the next session and see character improvement more
quickly than normal.
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 1:40:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed wrote:
> I'll probably check it out then, but would you think it remotely
> approachable by 8-10 year olds? My 12 year old can probably get 90% of
> standard 3.5 at this point but her younger sister (8) would be
> completely lost.

Well, I started at about 8 years old, but I had OD&D - The blue book.
OGL Fantasy lite a bit much for an 8 year old still. It really have
much DMG (does have an experience table), and no MM stuff in it, so
you'd still need someone experienced to run it, and the other core D&D
books or SRD. On the other hand it truely is a lite version of 3.x and
would be easy to convert up to 3.x when they are ready for it. A lot
of the stuff in it talks about how it was converted down which might
confuse a new player. It would be a great starting place if you want
to simplify further though.

Of course you could always go use the old D&D blue book if you can get
ahold of it. IIRC as old school as it was, it didn't have a lot of
contradictory screwy rules like AD&D and was pretty easy to get into.
I think it's available on PDF somewhere fairly cheap as well.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 1:48:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur wrote:
> Well, I started at about 8 years old, but I had OD&D - The blue book.
> OGL Fantasy lite a bit much for an 8 year old still. It really have
> much DMG (does have an experience table), and no MM stuff in it, so
> you'd still need someone experienced to run it, and the other core D&D
> books or SRD. On the other hand it truely is a lite version of 3.x and
> would be easy to convert up to 3.x when they are ready for it. A lot
> of the stuff in it talks about how it was converted down which might
> confuse a new player. It would be a great starting place if you want
> to simplify further though.

Maybe I'll pick it up and see if its a worthwhile starting point. I
really don't want any information that young beginning players don't
need.

> Of course you could always go use the old D&D blue book if you can get
> ahold of it. IIRC as old school as it was, it didn't have a lot of
> contradictory screwy rules like AD&D and was pretty easy to get into.
> I think it's available on PDF somewhere fairly cheap as well.

I might actually have the books up in my attic, but I think I'd rather
start fresh. I think the core d20 mechanics are much nicer than thac0,
armor class, and hit point mechanics etc from OD&D so I'd rather start
from what we have now and strip out of it rather than start at OD&D and
add to it/fix it.
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 3:23:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Stephenls wrote:
> > Suspicion: Choice paralysis occurs when players wish to make characters
> > who are both effective and varied in their abilities. D&D3e encourages
> > hyperspecialization, which is bad. By toning down the "difficulty level"
> > and instituting rules against too much specialization, players will feel
> > less hesitant to play characters with varied and interesting abilities.
>
> I strongly agree, and furthermore I firmly believe that many DMs crank
> up the difficulty level of their games relative to the core-rules
> standards, exacerbating the problems. Simply following the DMG's
> encounter difficulty guidelines goes a long way to eliminating common
> problems with hyper-specialization. See my other article (in Justisaur's
> "Intro" thread) for more details.

I follow the encounter difficulty guidelines religiously. Yet the
current campaign I'm running I've had 8 deaths over 7 levels... so far.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 9:25:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed wrote:

It's customary to quote some of what you reply to so the
conversation can be followed without referring to a previous post; you
do this on groups.google by using [show options -> reply].

<Re: only 3 races/classes>
> I would go so far as even to call them Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue, so
> as to have more flavor and appeal to younger players. I think the words
> "Fighter" and "Mage" do not carry as much fantasy weight as Warrior and
> Wizard. Also, yes, Human, Elf, and Dwarf, would be the only race
> options. They cover the three archetypes well.

Warrior, Adept, Expert. Upgrade them all to proper classes, or just
play them as is strait out of the DMG, they're fairly well balanced with
each other.
For three races I'd tend to pick Half-orc, Human, and Half-elf.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 9:49:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur wrote:
> Stephenls wrote:
>>Dirk Collins wrote:
>>
>>>Linear works only in low power campaigns.
>>
>>I'm not convinced this is the case.
>
> Hmm. Linear advancement. I can see where that would be a big
> advantage. It should be relatively easy to fix xp rewards to do that,
> the problem comes up when you try to fix xp expendetures to create
> magic items or for the xp cost spells. Of course you could just
> convert those to gp costs.

You can simply divide all XP costs by character level, or for
spells perhaps divide by the level they're typically used at. That
brings calculators into magic item creation, but they're there anyway, IME.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 9:53:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Stephenls wrote:
> Suspicion: Choice paralysis occurs when players wish to make characters
> who are both effective and varied in their abilities. D&D3e encourages
> hyperspecialization, which is bad. By toning down the "difficulty level"
> and instituting rules against too much specialization, players will feel
> less hesitant to play characters with varied and interesting abilities.

I strongly agree, and furthermore I firmly believe that many DMs crank
up the difficulty level of their games relative to the core-rules
standards, exacerbating the problems. Simply following the DMG's
encounter difficulty guidelines goes a long way to eliminating common
problems with hyper-specialization. See my other article (in Justisaur's
"Intro" thread) for more details.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 23, 2005 10:29:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd wrote:
>> I strongly agree, and furthermore I firmly believe that many DMs crank
>> up the difficulty level of their games relative to the core-rules
>> standards, exacerbating the problems. Simply following the DMG's
>> encounter difficulty guidelines goes a long way to eliminating common
>> problems with hyper-specialization. See my other article (in Justisaur's
>> "Intro" thread) for more details.

Justisaur wrote:
> I follow the encounter difficulty guidelines religiously. Yet the
> current campaign I'm running I've had 8 deaths over 7 levels... so far.

Wow, I'm surprised. Most players in my experience and my reading think
that standard-difficulty games are very easy (which is probably why so
many DMs crank up the difficulty level in the first place). We've only
seen one PC death between 4th level and 7th, and that was a fluke
(unexpected coup).
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 1:31:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Bradd wrote:
> >> I strongly agree, and furthermore I firmly believe that many DMs crank
> >> up the difficulty level of their games relative to the core-rules
> >> standards, exacerbating the problems. Simply following the DMG's
> >> encounter difficulty guidelines goes a long way to eliminating common
> >> problems with hyper-specialization. See my other article (in Justisaur's
> >> "Intro" thread) for more details.
>
> Justisaur wrote:
> > I follow the encounter difficulty guidelines religiously. Yet the
> > current campaign I'm running I've had 8 deaths over 7 levels... so far.
>
> Wow, I'm surprised. Most players in my experience and my reading think
> that standard-difficulty games are very easy (which is probably why so
> many DMs crank up the difficulty level in the first place). We've only
> seen one PC death between 4th level and 7th, and that was a fluke
> (unexpected coup).

Could just be a spat of really really bad luck too.

The last death was just a good hit on the sorcerer after the baddies
got by the fighters.

2nd death ago wraiths suprised the party, went for the cleric, got init
on next round and con drained him to 0, after the party got to thier
initiative the wraiths were a pushover.

Third death ago was a crit by a barbarian/ogre on the 2nd round on the
fighter. If it hadn't been a crit there wouldn't have been a death, as
the party took it out 3rd round.

Lets see what else, oh yah, fighter failed something like 3 fort saves
rolling 1 for 2 of those against, I think it was, y'thraks.

Psiblade got feared inside an smoke cloud (no visibility) and instisted
that she might run the wrong way (even though I said she didn't have
to, but I o.k.ed it.), so failed a listen check, rolled a random
direction and ran toward the bad guys, while everyone else had already
got the hell outa dodge, party tried to go back and rescue her, managed
to actually take out the bad guys, but it was too late by then.

Rogue got stunned and lifted off into the air by something flying (been
awhile, don't remember what exactly) and dropped around 100' when the
pcs shot it down.

Cleric died at begining of campain I think lv 2, during some tests to
see if they were worthy to be the chosen ones (should have taken the
hint and brought in a new character, but I just had him reincarnated)
The high level now (N)PC cleric cast some low level summons to test
them out, but something got the better of the cleric. Think it was a
bear, got lucky and did the full attack routine & rake.

And the last one doesn't really count, the sorcerer got infected with
something, think it was lycanthropy, and it was easier to just commit
suicide and get reincarnated than the actual cure. (There was a (N)PC
of Pheonix who had reincarnate on the domain list, and just *LOVED*
using it at any opportunity).

The NPC paladin is the only original character that has never died.
The other PC paladin retired that character (that never died) and
brought in a psi-warrior who hasn't yet died either.

One of the things that irks me is I even have expanded disabled and
dying ranges. Disabled is con bonus + lv into negatives, and dying is
that doubled +10. Only 2 of those deaths could be entirely attributed
to HP though.
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 10:07:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd wrote:
>> Wow, I'm surprised. Most players in my experience and my reading
>> think that standard-difficulty games are very easy (which is probably
>> why so many DMs crank up the difficulty level in the first place)
>> ....

Justisaur wrote:
> Could just be a spat of really really bad luck too.
>
> The last death was just a good hit on the sorcerer after the baddies
> got by the fighters.

Yeah, that happens, although it must've been a really good hit to take
out a mid-level character, even a sorcerer, unless he had lousy Con.

> 2nd death ago wraiths suprised the party, went for the cleric, got
> init on next round and con drained him to 0, after the party got to
> thier initiative the wraiths were a pushover.

Multiple wraiths? That's at least EL 7, and a tough EL 7 at that. Unless
the PCs were already 7th level by then, it's not too surprising.

> Third death ago was a crit by a barbarian/ogre on the 2nd round on the
> fighter. If it hadn't been a crit there wouldn't have been a death,
> as the party took it out 3rd round.

Ogre barbarian is a nasty combination; what was its overall level and
CR, and what was the fighter at the time? Ogres, like trolls, can easily
take out a foe beyond what its CR would indicate, especially with extra
attacks and Strength from barbarian levels.

> Lets see what else, oh yah, fighter failed something like 3 fort saves
> rolling 1 for 2 of those against, I think it was, y'thraks.

Are you sure it was yrthaks? I don't see anything in the write-up that
would force a Fort save, and multiple yrthaks (CR 9 each) sounds out of
range for your party.

> Psiblade got feared inside an smoke cloud (no visibility) and
> instisted that she might run the wrong way (even though I said she
> didn't have to, but I o.k.ed it.), so failed a listen check ....

Heh, player suicide. Nice.

> Rogue got stunned and lifted off into the air by something flying
> (been awhile, don't remember what exactly) and dropped around 100'
> when the pcs shot it down.

Heh, player homicide. Also nice.

> Cleric died at begining of campain I think lv 2, during some tests to
> see if they were worthy to be the chosen ones ....

Not clear on this one; was it just unlucky, or was it player suicide?

> And the last one doesn't really count, the sorcerer got infected with
> something, think it was lycanthropy, and it was easier to just commit
> suicide and get reincarnated than the actual cure. (There was a (N)PC
> of Pheonix who had reincarnate on the domain list, and just *LOVED*
> using it at any opportunity).

More player suicide!

OK, seriously, I don't think D&D's encounter guidelines are at fault
here. About half of the casualties were caused by player mistakes or
worse. Of the other half, it sounds like at least a couple were caused
by difficult or overwhelming challenges, perhaps also with an element of
player idiocy (depending on how and why they got into those fights).
There's not much you can do to the /game/ to fix that.

Also, if you're concerned about prep time, I'd recommend avoiding stuff
like the ogre barbarian (unless it's a major foe and therefore worthy of
a little extra work, or it was pre-published and therefore not much
extra work at all).

> One of the things that irks me is I even have expanded disabled and
> dying ranges. Disabled is con bonus + lv into negatives, and dying is
> that doubled +10. Only 2 of those deaths could be entirely attributed
> to HP though.

Depending on how the players use the extra hp, that can cause more
trouble for them than it saves. If they use it to retreat, heal, buff,
etc., no big deal, but if they're using it in never-surrender mode,
it'll just make true death more likely.

Also, in my experience, expanding the disabled & dying range causes a
bit of confusion when it comes up, since somebody always forgets about
the rule, resulting in a flurry of reminders and re-planning. (In our
game, that somebody was usually me. I don't always cope well with house
rules. Speaking of which, house rules are another source of potential
slowdowns, especially for old DMs used to running by-the-book.)
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 1:20:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Erol K. Bayburt wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 23:21:47 +1200, Rupert Boleyn
> <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
>
> >On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 00:52:20 -0500, Erol K. Bayburt
> ><ErolB1@comcast.net> carved upon a tablet of ether:
> >
> >> >Too high and
> >> >hyper-specialisation has a low opportunity cost and pays out very good
> >> >returns.
> >>
> >> I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Explain please?
> >
> >High stats actually tends to mean 'lots of high stats', because most
> >reasonable chargen methods give you decent primary stats, and the hard
> >cap of 18+racial mods means that past a certain point 'high stats' is
> >talking about 'breadth' rather than 'height'. Thus it costs nothing to
> >massively specialise your build - your high-all-over stats cover your
> >supposedly 'weak' spots. While hyper-specialisation still hurts in
> >therms of class abilities, feats, and so on, it's much less painful
> >for a character with something like 18,16,16,14,14,12 than one with
> >18,14,12,12,10,8 (for example), let alone one built on the 'elite
> >array' (15,14,13,12,10,8).
>
> OK, I think I get what you mean now.
>
> I tend to measure "degree of specialization" as the difference between
> ones specialized abilities and ones non-specialized abilities. So by
> my way of thinking high stats tend to reduce specialization. High
> stats (with an 18+race mod cap) = more powerful but less specialized
> characters.
>

If you are using point buy high stats mean more specialized, as you are
sacrificing the other stats to get those high stats.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 1:26:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed <jreyst@gmail.com> wrote:
> tussock wrote:
>> webhed wrote:
>>
>> <Re: only 3 races/classes>
>> > I would go so far as even to call them Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue, so
>> > as to have more flavor and appeal to younger players. I think the words
>> > "Fighter" and "Mage" do not carry as much fantasy weight as Warrior and
>> > Wizard. Also, yes, Human, Elf, and Dwarf, would be the only race
>> > options. They cover the three archetypes well.
>>
>> Warrior, Adept, Expert. Upgrade them all to proper classes, or just
>> play them as is strait out of the DMG, they're fairly well balanced with
>> each other.
>
> I think most youngsters would look at the word Adept and say "What? No
> Wizard?" What gives?

Use adept-type class, *call* it wizard. Problem solved.

>> For three races I'd tend to pick Half-orc, Human, and Half-elf.
>
> You *have* to have Dwarf and Elf as options. Those are the classic
> archetypes. Half-Orcs and Half-Elves may be cool, but they aren't what
> people would be expecting. You go into DnD expecting Dwarves and Elves,
> not Half-Orcs. More experienced people may prefer Half-Orcs or
> Half-Elves but for beginners you have to have Dwarves and Elves.

For that matter: "Half-elf? I wanna play a full elf!"

*If* you're going to have different races, dwarf and elf are probably
the prime choices.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 1:41:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
> Bradd wrote:
> >> Wow, I'm surprised. Most players in my experience and my reading
> >> think that standard-difficulty games are very easy (which is probably
> >> why so many DMs crank up the difficulty level in the first place)
> >> ....
>
> Justisaur wrote:
> > Could just be a spat of really really bad luck too.
> >
> > The last death was just a good hit on the sorcerer after the baddies
> > got by the fighters.
>
> Yeah, that happens, although it must've been a really good hit to take
> out a mid-level character, even a sorcerer, unless he had lousy Con.
>

I think he put his medium stat in str. His first time playing 3.x, he
was warned against it, but did it anyway. He also insisted on rolling
his HP and did rather poorly IIRC, even though I let everyone round up
on taking average to encourage using average.

> > 2nd death ago wraiths suprised the party, went for the cleric, got
> > init on next round and con drained him to 0, after the party got to
> > thier initiative the wraiths were a pushover.
>
> Multiple wraiths? That's at least EL 7, and a tough EL 7 at that. Unless
> the PCs were already 7th level by then, it's not too surprising.
>

6th lv. was well within encounter guidelines, the party also had 7
characters in it at the time (if you count the NPC paladin)

> > Third death ago was a crit by a barbarian/ogre on the 2nd round on the
> > fighter. If it hadn't been a crit there wouldn't have been a death,
> > as the party took it out 3rd round.
>
> Ogre barbarian is a nasty combination; what was its overall level and
> CR, and what was the fighter at the time? Ogres, like trolls, can easily
> take out a foe beyond what its CR would indicate, especially with extra
> attacks and Strength from barbarian levels.
>

It's the one out of the MM.

> > Lets see what else, oh yah, fighter failed something like 3 fort saves
> > rolling 1 for 2 of those against, I think it was, y'thraks.
>
> Are you sure it was yrthaks? I don't see anything in the write-up that
> would force a Fort save, and multiple yrthaks (CR 9 each) sounds out of
> range for your party.
>

No, it was something flying, might have been something out of MMIII or
something, don't remember for sure, it was awhile ago.

> > Rogue got stunned and lifted off into the air by something flying
> > (been awhile, don't remember what exactly) and dropped around 100'
> > when the pcs shot it down.
>
> Heh, player homicide. Also nice.

Hehe, well they didn't have much choise, it was either that or let the
thing get away with him, no way to track it, and probably eventually
eat him. Makes it much harder to raise someone if you don't have the
body.

> > Cleric died at begining of campain I think lv 2, during some tests to
> > see if they were worthy to be the chosen ones ....
>
> Not clear on this one; was it just unlucky, or was it player suicide?

IIRC a little bit of both. I think the Cleric was out of spells and
went into melee range.

> > And the last one doesn't really count, the sorcerer got infected with
> > something, think it was lycanthropy, and it was easier to just commit
> > suicide and get reincarnated than the actual cure. (There was a (N)PC
> > of Pheonix who had reincarnate on the domain list, and just *LOVED*
> > using it at any opportunity).
>
> More player suicide!
>
> OK, seriously, I don't think D&D's encounter guidelines are at fault
> here. About half of the casualties were caused by player mistakes or
> worse. Of the other half, it sounds like at least a couple were caused
> by difficult or overwhelming challenges, perhaps also with an element of
> player idiocy (depending on how and why they got into those fights).
> There's not much you can do to the /game/ to fix that.

Yeah. I think part of the problem is the large party size, the
guidelines don't work very well for that. I had been throwing
encounters 1 EL higher than the party average level, and it didn't
really seem to matter if there were extra monsters, or single higher
level monsters. Actually it seemed worse with multiple monsters, the
only death to a single monster was the ogre/barbarian.

> Also, if you're concerned about prep time, I'd recommend avoiding stuff
> like the ogre barbarian (unless it's a major foe and therefore worthy of
> a little extra work, or it was pre-published and therefore not much
> extra work at all).

Yep, in the MM. I like using NPCs though more than basic monsters,
that's part of what makes it so difficult.

>
> > One of the things that irks me is I even have expanded disabled and
> > dying ranges. Disabled is con bonus + lv into negatives, and dying is
> > that doubled +10. Only 2 of those deaths could be entirely attributed
> > to HP though.
>
> Depending on how the players use the extra hp, that can cause more
> trouble for them than it saves. If they use it to retreat, heal, buff,
> etc., no big deal, but if they're using it in never-surrender mode,
> it'll just make true death more likely.
>

They don't really seem to pay attention to it, but it has saved party
members more than once. I actually reduced the disabled range from the
last campain because they were using the disabled range in a
never-surrender mode. They do run away on occasion, but like the
instance with the character running the wrong way things often go wrong
trying to escape.

> Also, in my experience, expanding the disabled & dying range causes a
> bit of confusion when it comes up, since somebody always forgets about
> the rule, resulting in a flurry of reminders and re-planning. (In our
> game, that somebody was usually me. I don't always cope well with house
> rules. Speaking of which, house rules are another source of potential
> slowdowns, especially for old DMs used to running by-the-book.)

Yeah, no one ever remembers that rule besides me, and I have to remind
them. I like the rule, and it has kept characters alive that would
have normally been dead, but it is a little extra work, for me as well,
and they just don't seem to appreciate it, so I'll probably drop it in
my next campain.

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:02:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 17:53:32 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
<bradd+news@szonye.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> I strongly agree, and furthermore I firmly believe that many DMs crank
> up the difficulty level of their games relative to the core-rules
> standards, exacerbating the problems. Simply following the DMG's
> encounter difficulty guidelines goes a long way to eliminating common
> problems with hyper-specialization. See my other article (in Justisaur's
> "Intro" thread) for more details.

I suspect this is a self-reinforcing cycle. The players make
over-specialised (and thus over-powerful) characters, so the GM makes
tougher encounters to compensate. The player then hyper-specialise to
compensate... Obviously it can start with the GM, not the players,
too.

Also, much of the problem is probably perception - the GM and the
players can have very different feelings about how close a fight was,
with the players feeling they had to really work while the GM thinks
they waltzed right over the monsters. If that happens the players will
take steps, as will the GM, and away the sorry cycle goes.

Another driver is the PCs having stats that are too low OR too high.
Too low, and you can't afford to not specialise. Too high and
hyper-specialisation has a low opportunity cost and pays out very good
returns.

--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:02:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 10:02:03 +1200, Rupert Boleyn
<rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:

[snip]
AOL on the part I snipped.

>Another driver is the PCs having stats that are too low OR too high.
>Too low, and you can't afford to not specialise.

Right, and IME GMs sometimes foolishly try to limit stats as a method
of "controlling" specialization. This tends to backfire...

>Too high and
>hyper-specialisation has a low opportunity cost and pays out very good
>returns.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Explain please?



--
Erol K. Bayburt
ErolB1@aol.com
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:02:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Erol K Bayburt <ErolB1@comcast.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 10:02:03 +1200, Rupert Boleyn
><rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
>
> [snip]
> AOL on the part I snipped.
>
>>Another driver is the PCs having stats that are too low OR too high.
>>Too low, and you can't afford to not specialise.
>
> Right, and IME GMs sometimes foolishly try to limit stats as a method
> of "controlling" specialization. This tends to backfire...
>
>>Too high and
>>hyper-specialisation has a low opportunity cost and pays out very good
>>returns.
>
> I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Explain please?

I'm not sure about the low opportunity cost, but you can get much better
results with certain stats. Consider Power Attack -- with Str 13 it's a
useful ability, but you're probably not going to focus *too* much on it.
With Str 18, you'll take it as a matter of course and goose it as much
as you can. At fourth level, you can reduce your attack bonus by 4 and
*still* have at least +4 to hit (and probably +6 or +7, assuming you
took Weapon Focus and have a MW or +1 or +2 magic weapon).

Even assuming the Str 18 guy spends *only* the one feat, he can max his
PA and have +4 attack bonus (from Strength) and +14 damage (4*1.5 for
two-handed weapon, 4*2 for PA with a two-handed weapon).

How can a Str 13 Ftr4 character get this? Weapon Focus, Weapon
Specialization, and a +2 weapon gets him close:

.. +1 Str, +1 WF, +2 magic gets him +4 attack
.. +1 * 1.5 (Str) + 4*2 (PA) + 2 (WS) + 2 (magic) gets him +13 damage

If you let him spend the 4th-level stat bump on Str, he gets a total of
+5 attack and +15 damage.

So, he spends two feats and buys an expensive (at that point) magic
weapon to get the benefit the Str 18 guy gets for *one* feat. He's also
tied to the Fighter class for four levels to get Weapon Specialization;
the stronger guy can do it with a Barbarian, Paladin, or Ranger, rather
than just fighter. Reduced opportunity cost.


If the stronger guy takes the same feats and buys the same weapon, he
gets +7 to hit and +18 to damage (4 * 1.5 + 4 * 8 + 2 + 2). The
'easiest' way for the Str 13 Ftr4 to get the same results is to acquire
a +5 weapon (+1 Str, +1 WF, +5 magic == +7 attack; 1*1.5 + 4*2 + 2 + 5
== +16 damage... still short). Or shell out for a +6 Str item (which
makes him Str 19, which makes him the same as the first guy, at a cost
of 36k gold -- though if you let him spend the stat bump on Str, he need
spend only 16k gold for a +4 Str item.

Again, that ties up a big whack of gold the other guy doesn't have to
spend on this -- he can spend it elsewhere. Much lower opportunity
cost. And if he chooses to spend it in the same way -- a +5 sword for
50k, or a +6 Strength buffer for 36k -- he blows the weaker guy away
*again*.


IOW, the stronger guy will always be ahead of the weaker guy given the
same expenses. This has the effect that the stronger guy can either
beat the other guy soundly in this way, or can spend only a *tiny* bit
compared to the weaker guy and still match or beat him... and spend the
rest elsewhere, to gain significant effect in the other area. His great
strength, which looks like it makes the PA route a natural for him, can
instead open up other significant avenues for him because he doesn't
need to spend to get the same effect others have to shell out for.


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:04:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 18:29:08 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
<bradd+news@szonye.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> Bradd wrote:
> >> I strongly agree, and furthermore I firmly believe that many DMs crank
> >> up the difficulty level of their games relative to the core-rules
> >> standards, exacerbating the problems. Simply following the DMG's
> >> encounter difficulty guidelines goes a long way to eliminating common
> >> problems with hyper-specialization. See my other article (in Justisaur's
> >> "Intro" thread) for more details.
>
> Justisaur wrote:
> > I follow the encounter difficulty guidelines religiously. Yet the
> > current campaign I'm running I've had 8 deaths over 7 levels... so far.
>
> Wow, I'm surprised. Most players in my experience and my reading think
> that standard-difficulty games are very easy (which is probably why so
> many DMs crank up the difficulty level in the first place). We've only
> seen one PC death between 4th level and 7th, and that was a fluke
> (unexpected coup).

When I was using them as written I saw plenty of deaths, though most
were in the 1st-3rd range. Above that they tended to occur because of
poor tactics and piss-poor PC co-ordination.

--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:04:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd wrote:
>> Wow, I'm surprised. Most players in my experience and my reading think
>> that standard-difficulty games are very easy (which is probably why so
>> many DMs crank up the difficulty level in the first place). We've only
>> seen one PC death between 4th level and 7th, and that was a fluke
>> (unexpected coup).

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> When I was using them as written I saw plenty of deaths, though most
> were in the 1st-3rd range.

PC casualties are a bit higher at the low end (and the high end), in my
experience. Once you can handle a troll, it doesn't get bad again until
you start hitting death spells, and even then it's mostly the cohorts
who fall in my games.

> Above that they tended to occur because of poor tactics and piss-poor
> PC co-ordination.

Heh, there is that. Also, the standard distribution recommends about one
"overwhelming" (EL > APL+4) encounter per level, which can mess you up
if you have the common sort of players who refuse to retreat.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 2:48:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I like the idea of eliminating classes, and switching to generalized
professions. Don't peg players into stereotypical roles; let them
distinguish their characters by roleplaying and selecting the feats and
skills that they want to take.

With classes gone, your hit die isn't fixed on your profession. You
could have everyone use a base die (d4), and add a racial bonus to hit
points (Humans +6, Elves +4, Dwarves +8, Halflings +2, or something
similar). Add your Con bonus (if you keep the ability scores as they
are).

Allow folks to multiclass all they want. Don't impose a penalty for it.
A player should be able to create a jack-of-all-trades (master-of-none)
if he wants to.

Eliminate class/non-class/exclusive skills. Anyone can take anything.

Eliminate class-specific feats. Anyone can take anything.

Let races grants specific benefits as they do now.

Change AC to a percentage. Thus, if an enemy has an armor class of 25,
you've got a 75% chance of hitting him. This also allows for far more
armor options (since you're not trying to squeeze so many different
armor types into a 20-number range). You might even be able to do
piecemeal armor rules (as long as it's simple).

Change weapons so that they provide a d% bonus to attack.

Change attacks to a d% roll. Your "base attack bonus" is ZERO. You can
increase it by increasing your relevant ability and/or taking feats. No
matter what you take, though, cap the player's roll at 99%. (Come on,
there's ALWAYS a remote chance that you could miss.)

Change saves and skill checks to d% rolls as well. Just for
consistency.

A caster can know as many spells as he wants. He can cast a fixed
number per day, based on his level and any feats he may have taken to
increase that number. He can choose the spell to cast when he goes to
cast it. (Memorization is not required.)

Get rid of limits on how many magic items you can wear. If a goober
wants to be the gaudiest ringbearing rogue in town, let him.

Do away with alignment. Get rid of all the spells and magic items that
depend on it.

And so on.

Course, now it doesn't look much like D&D. *shrug*
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 4:18:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 23:15:40 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
<bradd+news@szonye.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> PC casualties are a bit higher at the low end (and the high end), in my
> experience. Once you can handle a troll, it doesn't get bad again until
> you start hitting death spells, and even then it's mostly the cohorts
> who fall in my games.

I had trolls 'handle' seventh level PCs, so that's not necessarily a
good measuring stick, IME.

> Heh, there is that. Also, the standard distribution recommends about one
> "overwhelming" (EL > APL+4) encounter per level, which can mess you up
> if you have the common sort of players who refuse to retreat.

I'm not averse to TPKs in the event of 'no surrender' policies by
players, and I've said so (and demonstated this from time to time). I
think they've worked that one out. :) 

--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 10:12:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In article <1124905691.805534.88250@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
<michael.hofer@civigenics.com> wrote:
>Change AC to a percentage. Thus, if an enemy has an armor class of 25,
>you've got a 75% chance of hitting him. This also allows for far more
>armor options (since you're not trying to squeeze so many different
>armor types into a 20-number range). You might even be able to do
>piecemeal armor rules (as long as it's simple).
>
>Change weapons so that they provide a d% bonus to attack.
>
>Change attacks to a d% roll. Your "base attack bonus" is ZERO. You can
>increase it by increasing your relevant ability and/or taking feats. No
>matter what you take, though, cap the player's roll at 99%. (Come on,
>there's ALWAYS a remote chance that you could miss.)
>
>Change saves and skill checks to d% rolls as well. Just for
>consistency.

Going from D20 to D% makes things harder, not easier, for a lot of people.
--
"Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)
Anonymous
August 24, 2005 10:29:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

michael.hofer@civigenics.com <michael.hofer@civigenics.com> wrote:
> I like the idea of eliminating classes, and switching to generalized
> professions. Don't peg players into stereotypical roles; let them
> distinguish their characters by roleplaying and selecting the feats and
> skills that they want to take.
>
> With classes gone, your hit die isn't fixed on your profession. You
> could have everyone use a base die (d4), and add a racial bonus to hit
> points (Humans +6, Elves +4, Dwarves +8, Halflings +2, or something
> similar). Add your Con bonus (if you keep the ability scores as they
> are).
>
> Allow folks to multiclass all they want. Don't impose a penalty for it.
> A player should be able to create a jack-of-all-trades (master-of-none)
> if he wants to.
>
> Eliminate class/non-class/exclusive skills. Anyone can take anything.

Done that, mostly. All skills start as crossclass (limiting the number
of ranks, but still costing a single point per rank), Training feats can
make about four 'class skills' which just increases the max rank.

'Spell Knowledge' pseudoskills are slightly different, but most people
don't need to care.

> Eliminate class-specific feats. Anyone can take anything.

IMC, anyone *can* take any feat with their general slots. Class slots
(everyone gets one for each even level) are constrained based on the
class configuration.

> Let races grants specific benefits as they do now.
>
> Change AC to a percentage. Thus, if an enemy has an armor class of 25,
> you've got a 75% chance of hitting him. This also allows for far more
> armor options (since you're not trying to squeeze so many different
> armor types into a 20-number range). You might even be able to do
> piecemeal armor rules (as long as it's simple).
>
> Change weapons so that they provide a d% bonus to attack.
>
> Change attacks to a d% roll. Your "base attack bonus" is ZERO. You can
> increase it by increasing your relevant ability and/or taking feats. No
> matter what you take, though, cap the player's roll at 99%. (Come on,
> there's ALWAYS a remote chance that you could miss.)
>
> Change saves and skill checks to d% rolls as well. Just for
> consistency.

Rolemaster is over there --->

> A caster can know as many spells as he wants. He can cast a fixed
> number per day, based on his level and any feats he may have taken to
> increase that number. He can choose the spell to cast when he goes to
> cast it. (Memorization is not required.)

My magic system works almost like this. You pay skill points to learn
spells, use magic points to fuel them, all casting is spontaneous.
'Simplest' mode of casting is to max your spells; a fullcaster will have
about 4 per day, plus any further gained from Wisdom and feats. If he
wants to undercast spells, he can get many more.

> Get rid of limits on how many magic items you can wear. If a goober
> wants to be the gaudiest ringbearing rogue in town, let him.

Mmm... it still makes sense to limit some things. Rings and amulets I
can see wearing more than (2 or 1), but helmets? Suits of armor?
Gloves? You're constrained by simple physics there.

> Do away with alignment. Get rid of all the spells and magic items that
> depend on it.
>
> And so on.
>
> Course, now it doesn't look much like D&D. *shrug*

Indeed. As I said, Rolemaster is over there --->


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 2:10:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Rupert Boleyn wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Aug 2005 00:06:06 GMT, "Bradd W. Szonye"
> <bradd+news@szonye.com> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>
> > Ah! I keep forgetting that the MM has lots of leveled monsters in it
> > now. It'd be a great time-saver if only I remembered to use it!
>
> I tend to look at the levelled examples, mutter to myself "I could do
> better than that", and then neither do better nor use them.
>

The ogre definately had "I could do better" written all over it. Still
took out one of the party...

- Justisaur
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 3:21:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 00:52:20 -0500, Erol K. Bayburt
<ErolB1@comcast.net> carved upon a tablet of ether:

> >Too high and
> >hyper-specialisation has a low opportunity cost and pays out very good
> >returns.
>
> I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Explain please?

High stats actually tends to mean 'lots of high stats', because most
reasonable chargen methods give you decent primary stats, and the hard
cap of 18+racial mods means that past a certain point 'high stats' is
talking about 'breadth' rather than 'height'. Thus it costs nothing to
massively specialise your build - your high-all-over stats cover your
supposedly 'weak' spots. While hyper-specialisation still hurts in
therms of class abilities, feats, and so on, it's much less painful
for a character with something like 18,16,16,14,14,12 than one with
18,14,12,12,10,8 (for example), let alone one built on the 'elite
array' (15,14,13,12,10,8).

--
Rupert Boleyn <rboleyn@paradise.net.nz>
"Just because the truth will set you free doesn't mean the truth itself
should be free."
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 3:21:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 23:21:47 +1200, Rupert Boleyn
<rboleyn@paradise.net.nz> wrote:

>On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 00:52:20 -0500, Erol K. Bayburt
><ErolB1@comcast.net> carved upon a tablet of ether:
>
>> >Too high and
>> >hyper-specialisation has a low opportunity cost and pays out very good
>> >returns.
>>
>> I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this. Explain please?
>
>High stats actually tends to mean 'lots of high stats', because most
>reasonable chargen methods give you decent primary stats, and the hard
>cap of 18+racial mods means that past a certain point 'high stats' is
>talking about 'breadth' rather than 'height'. Thus it costs nothing to
>massively specialise your build - your high-all-over stats cover your
>supposedly 'weak' spots. While hyper-specialisation still hurts in
>therms of class abilities, feats, and so on, it's much less painful
>for a character with something like 18,16,16,14,14,12 than one with
>18,14,12,12,10,8 (for example), let alone one built on the 'elite
>array' (15,14,13,12,10,8).

OK, I think I get what you mean now.

I tend to measure "degree of specialization" as the difference between
ones specialized abilities and ones non-specialized abilities. So by
my way of thinking high stats tend to reduce specialization. High
stats (with an 18+race mod cap) = more powerful but less specialized
characters.



--
Erol K. Bayburt
ErolB1@aol.com
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 4:06:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur wrote:
>>> The last death was just a good hit on the sorcerer after the baddies
>>> got by the fighters.

Bradd wrote:
>> Yeah, that happens, although it must've been a really good hit to take
>> out a mid-level character, even a sorcerer, unless he had lousy Con.

> I think he put his medium stat in str. His first time playing 3.x, he
> was warned against it, but did it anyway.

That's unwise but not unthinkable. I wouldn't recommend it for a new
player, but whatever.

> He also insisted on rolling his HP and did rather poorly IIRC, even
> though I let everyone round up on taking average to encourage using
> average.

This, however, is just another case of player suicide. I understand the
attraction of gambling on random rolls instead of taking the average,
but betting that you'll roll better than 3 per d4 is just dumb.

>> Multiple wraiths? That's at least EL 7, and a tough EL 7 at that. Unless
>> the PCs were already 7th level by then, it's not too surprising.

> 6th lv. was well within encounter guidelines, the party also had 7
> characters in it at the time (if you count the NPC paladin)

Ah, that's a different story. When playing a double-sized party, it's
entirely appropriate to use "double encounters": Set up an encounter for
a standard party of four, then double the number of foes and double the
loot. (When figuring loot, it's important to double the amount instead
of adding +2 EL; because of quirks in the wealth system, the latter
method will result in poor PCs.)

Getting surprised by wraiths is nasty -- it happened to my PCs last
weekend -- but it shouldn't be deadly unless there are lots of them, and
they gang up.

>> Ogre barbarian is a nasty combination; what was its overall level & CR ...?

> It's the one out of the MM.

Ah! I keep forgetting that the MM has lots of leveled monsters in it
now. It'd be a great time-saver if only I remembered to use it!

>> OK, seriously, I don't think D&D's encounter guidelines are at fault
>> here. About half of the casualties were caused by player mistakes or
>> worse. Of the other half, it sounds like at least a couple were
>> caused by difficult or overwhelming challenges, perhaps also with an
>> element of player idiocy (depending on how and why they got into
>> those fights). There's not much you can do to the /game/ to fix that.

> Yeah. I think part of the problem is the large party size, the
> guidelines don't work very well for that. I had been throwing
> encounters 1 EL higher than the party average level, and it didn't
> really seem to matter if there were extra monsters, or single higher
> level monsters.

With a party of seven, the safest way to handle encounters is to add
50-100% more monsters and 50-100% more loot. That's roughly equivalent
to +1 or +2 EL, except that the individual CRs don't go as high, and the
PCs get more treasure (which is good). Using higher-CR foes now and then
is OK, but too much of that will make the PCs dead, poor, or both.

> Actually it seemed worse with multiple monsters, the only death to a
> single monster was the ogre/barbarian.

Huh. More combatants does lead to more chaos, and you can run into
problems if the bad guys concentrate fire on one PC, but overall that
should be more survivable than raising the CRs. No offense, but based on
your comments so far it sounds like you have an unusual number of self-
destructive players. I've had to deal with the type before, but usually
only one per group. It sounds like you have several.

>> Also, in my experience, expanding the disabled & dying range causes a
>> bit of confusion when it comes up, since somebody always forgets about
>> the rule, resulting in a flurry of reminders and re-planning. (In our
>> game, that somebody was usually me. I don't always cope well with house
>> rules. Speaking of which, house rules are another source of potential
>> slowdowns, especially for old DMs used to running by-the-book.)

> Yeah, no one ever remembers that rule besides me, and I have to remind
> them. I like the rule, and it has kept characters alive that would
> have normally been dead, but it is a little extra work, for me as well,
> and they just don't seem to appreciate it, so I'll probably drop it in
> my next campain.

Our other DM used it, and he always had to remind me when my PC was
disabled instead of dying (which, uh, happened way too often, mostly to
my PCs -- I've got a bit of the self-destructive streak myself). I don't
use it in my own game.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 6:08:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Justisaur wrote:
> I'm getting to the point that I feel D&D has gone the wrong way from
> it's roots. It's become so full of options and various stats for this
> that and everything else, that it's becoming more like a job of
> accounting than a game. The other issue with it having so many options
> it's easily exploitable, much like champions and gurps. Less options,
> less exploits.
>
> So in the spirit of KISS* I'm thinking of taking the current system and
> simplifying it as much as possible. I mean REALLY stripping it down.

While this is certainly doable, I think it's kind of a wasted effort.
There are some excellent game systems that are both simple and elegant.
I suggest you take a look at Exalted, from White Wolf, for example. I
think it's a brilliant game, and involves significantly less
bookkeeping.

Laszlo
Anonymous
August 25, 2005 7:34:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed wrote:
> tussock wrote:
>>webhed wrote:
>>
>><Re: only 3 races/classes>
>>
>>>I would go so far as even to call them Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue, so
>>>as to have more flavor and appeal to younger players. I think the words
>>>"Fighter" and "Mage" do not carry as much fantasy weight as Warrior and
>>>Wizard. Also, yes, Human, Elf, and Dwarf, would be the only race
>>>options. They cover the three archetypes well.
>>
>> Warrior, Adept, Expert. Upgrade them all to proper classes, or just
>>play them as is strait out of the DMG, they're fairly well balanced with
>>each other.
>
> I think most youngsters would look at the word Adept and say "What? No
> Wizard?" What gives?

Depends on their background. I guess with this whole thing about
Hairy Pottums or whatever his name is being so infamous they'd want
Wizards; but they might also want spell failure, flying broomsticks, and
wonder what the hell the Warrior and Expert are doing in a fantasy game.
Really, DnD's always been it's own special mix, so DnD lite can use
whatever terms it wants (as long as they're not too counter-intuative).

Besides, if the potential player isn't willing to read the first
paragraph under the class name, they're not really a potential player.

>> For three races I'd tend to pick Half-orc, Human, and Half-elf.
>
> You *have* to have Dwarf and Elf as options.

Pfft.

> Those are the classic archetypes. Half-Orcs and Half-Elves may be cool,
> but they aren't what people would be expecting. You go into DnD
> expecting Dwarves and Elves, not Half-Orcs. More experienced people may
> prefer Half-Orcs or Half-Elves but for beginners you have to have
> Dwarves and Elves.

I'd sooner see dumb Ogre brutes and sneaky Goblin techs than either
of them. *My* take on Dwarves and Elves has become different enough that
many wouldn't recognise them without the nametags, the standard DnD ones
are just so much humans in disguise by comparison.
Newbies may aswell play at things that *are* half human, so that
all the basically human behaiviours make some sense; Half-Orcs cover
gruff, stalwart, and obsessive, while Half-Elves cover likeable,
long-lived, and free-spirited.

At least DnD's finally replaced it's Hobbits with Kender.

--
tussock

Aspie at work, sorry in advance.
!