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Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

@Syro: It has been a good positive feedback loop chatting back and forth with you. And your crafting is inspirational to me!

It's cool that you have amassed a lot of books and so on - up til maybe 2011 I never really went in for pre-published stuff. I was a poor student and mostly did theatre of the mind and homebrew. But once you are working full time having something pre-prepared is so useful. I went on a big splurge for PDFs a few years ago when I was playing online, but it looks like you prefer physical books. I loved seeing the stuff you made for the Lost Mines of Phandelver, and that is one of the advantages of pre-writtens- you can easily share your experience with other GMs who have access to the same stuff. That was an aspect I never appreciated when I ran homebrew.
Cool to see you are also watching Matthew Colville, he is very much my favourite youtuber and his style and mine are pretty similar I think.
Thanks for being such a positive force in our little community!

Paradigm: Sounds like you are having a good time! I think groups splitting over differences is unavoidable, and better if it is done before everyone gets too invested. I think it is a great time to be into Dungeons and Dragons and it has been my favourite hobby since I got into it in first year of University. Given your painting skills, I would love to see what you would do if you started using minis, but I think starting out it can be better to go theatre of the mind if you have your eye on the budget, as otherwise you can end up limiting yourself to what you can prepare or afford. I can only run minis because I had several years of slowly collecting and painting stuff til I felt I had enough to move forward with.

@Dark Apostle 666: You gotta run your own game mate! it is the best help you can give your DM.

@Lance: What is the advantage of Unisystem over the modern versions of the game? Is it still class based. or more point based like GURPS?

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Syro_ wrote:
@Paradigm: Homebrewing without minis might mean what you've amassed is something in your bank account . That is really amazing how many games you are running and taking part in. it sounds like so much fun, I hope you are having a blast. I bet there are a lot of people who would trade there mini collections to get to game that much instead.


True enough, I do appreciate how lucky I am to have a group where there's always people up for a game and to have an extended group with multiple DMs all with quite different approaches, keeps things fresh and interesting to go from my own 'epic narrative' LotR-esque game to my brother's highly personal campaign to his friend's very political/intrigue-based game.


Da Boss wrote:

Paradigm: Sounds like you are having a good time! I think groups splitting over differences is unavoidable, and better if it is done before everyone gets too invested. I think it is a great time to be into Dungeons and Dragons and it has been my favourite hobby since I got into it in first year of University. Given your painting skills, I would love to see what you would do if you started using minis, but I think starting out it can be better to go theatre of the mind if you have your eye on the budget, as otherwise you can end up limiting yourself to what you can prepare or afford. I can only run minis because I had several years of slowly collecting and painting stuff til I felt I had enough to move forward with.


Yeah, I think the group split was ultimately a good thing; there were clearly tensions in the sessions leading up to it and those players weren't really contributing to the narrative or character growth at all; they wrecked face in combat because they knew how to make OP builds, but did little else and trying to get them to RP was like pulling teeth. The new players we brought in are much more on board with the type of game we're playing and the second campaign has been going great.

I do use grids for combat sometimes, but for the time being I just print 2d tokens for the characters and monsters. Not as flashy as minis, but easy to keep track of and I'm not restricted by a collection of minis, which given my campaigns are fairly globetrotting and sandboxy at times is probably a good thing as I can keep up variety as they move to different locales and regions . I'd love to have the time and budget to use minis consistently, but at the minute tokens are a far easier option, especially as we often play online with a top-down camera over the map, where tokens are far easier to make out than minis.

I agree that now seems to be a great time to get into the game. Things like DnDBeyond make those first steps into making a character far less intimidating than going blindly through the PHB and various supplements, there's so many resources out there for players and DMs and a lot of it's free via Youtube or DMsGuild ect, and the community at large seems to have become increasingly welcoming as more and more people join the hobby bringing all sorts of experiences with them.

Paradigm's New Blog- 05/01: The Fellowship Sets Forth

Available for Commission Work. Click the banner or PM me for details.
 
   
Made in be
Crazed Witch Elf





I have been playing a bunch.

We finally concluded a 3 year campaign that ran from lvl 1 to 15-ish with a lvl 19 finale.





 
   
Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant






@DaBoss

There are a lot of advantages in my opinion.

1) point buy. But unlike gurps the points are broken into types (attributes/skills/qualities/etc...). This cuts out a lot of the min max garbage of gurps especially because points are very tight in character creation.

2) super simple universal mechanics. Its incredibly easy to run and to play. Its very easy for new players to learn and very intuitive. Even if a rule doesnt exist its kind of built for the dm to wing things easily.

3) the unisystem has 2 rule sets kind of. They have the base line rule set which is very nuanced. Characters have endurance and loose it for all kinds of things including frenzied activity (combat) so the character will get tired and eventually maybe pass out. Skills are more exact. As an example each weapon type is its own skill (sword/axe/spear/etc...). The other is the cinematic rule set. Its more streamlined. No endurance. A single skill (medieval) covers basically all melee weapons. Its meant to emulate tv shows and movies and one of their cinematic games is Army of Darkness.

But, because the rules are so simple and universal to begin with you can just pick and choose the level of complexity you like and play. For example i dont like the micro managment of keeping track of endurance for combat. But i DO like players treking through a jungle getting worn down by the terrain they have to deal with. So i cut the players endurance totals in half and only have them lose it for those kinds of things so they have to thi k about when they need to make camp.

4) finally, and the part my group enjoys most, its reactive in thatyou get to choose how you are dealing with everything that is happening to you.

Example: i try to attack you! 1d10 + dex + sword. You have some choices. Most often dodging or parrying or blocking (if you have a shield). So you try to parry. D10 + dex + sword. The total makes a success level (conveniently located on every character sheet) 9-10 1 success. 11-12 2 successes. Etc etc..

Who ever has the highest success level wins. Ties go to the defender.

Are you sneaking up on somebody? Dex + stealth + d10 vs perception (attribute) + notice (skill).

Are you searching a room? Int + notice.

Are you taking your time to aim a shot with a bow? Perception + bow at the beginning of the round. You attack last in the turn. The success levels of the aim action are a bonus to the dex + bow when you do finally attack.


Basically you just pick the most appropriate attribute with the most appropriate skill for whatever you are doing and the dm applies penalties for dificulty of task. Any successes pass (but more successes could net you more things (degrees of success are a good thing)) and competing tasks work as above.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
My P&M Blog - Building My Nid Army - Kitbashes and Magnetization

 
   
Made in ca
Krazed Killa Kan




Monarchy of TBD

Huh. That sounds shockingly like the old Streetfighter STG, or any of the White Wolf World of Darkness games.

For my year in DnD, I appear to have started a fire at my middle school. Last year I began a club, and got 20 or so people involved, with 5 chomping at the bit converts.

This year I'm seeking another sponsor for next year, because I can only handle 28 of them for club, and we had nearly twice that number sign up. I've got a base of 8 that has started meeting outside of school and in the mornings.

They're moving through Curse of Strahd, while the club does one shots based around the troubles of a town once a month or so.

I can't wait until one of them gets the bug and decides to try DMing. I've got a lizardfolk paladin all ready to go. He thinks eating a dying paladin he found in the swamp infected him with some magical mad cow style disease, because the sun started talking to him. Now he's trying to do what the sun says, lest it bring drought upon the land, and avoiding his tribe so he doesn't infect them. I'll turn him into a wild magic sorceror once he hits 3, as he laments the disease getting worse. Lizardfolk are of course, too practical for suicide.

Klawz-Ramming is a subset of citrus fruit?
Gwar- "And everyone wants a bigger Spleen!"
Mercurial wrote:
I admire your aplomb and instate you as Baron of the Seas and Lord Marshall of Privateers.
Orkeosaurus wrote:Star Trek also said we'd have X-Wings by now. We all see how that prediction turned out.
Orkeosaurus, on homophobia, the nature of homosexuality, and the greatness of George Takei.
English doesn't borrow from other languages. It follows them down dark alleyways and mugs them for loose grammar.

 
   
Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant






Its got elements that are similar to white wolf, but nowhere near the complexity. White wolf can be down right draconian to fully understand and run.

This is always simple. Stat + skill + 1d10.

You dont have to take time building a dice pool and then splitting it and then counting successes and rerolling 10s and bla blah...

All that crap slows down the game. A single dice roll to resolve all actions keeps the game moving.

Those stat + skills are called tasks. The other roll is a test which is only attribute. Simple tests use the attribute doubled. Difficult use the attribute alone. So trying to lift a boulder. Simple strength test. Trying to lift a boulder off your own leg while pinned. Difficult strength test. Trying to lift it off your own leg with someone helping? One person is determined to be the primary person. Any successes are added to the other persons roll as a bonus. Chasing a person down an ally? Athletics and dex task or simple dex test. Whichever is better.

If you drop to 0 life you make a special survival test (con+will power).

In combat everyone gets 1 offensive action and 1 defensive action. If you want to do more actions in a round (or have to because your being attacked by multiple opponents) each additional action is a cumulative -2 to the task. So your fighting 3 goblins. Slash with your sword at one, parry a incoming attack. Dodge a second at -2. Try to parry the 3rd with -4.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.
My P&M Blog - Building My Nid Army - Kitbashes and Magnetization

 
   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

@Da Boss: Thanks Da Boss your blog and advice have been an inspiration to me too.

@Earth127: That's great that you have been getting to play a lot! And cool about completing a 3 year campaign, must have left the group with great feelings.

@Gitzbitah: That's so great that you've helped so many people enter the hobby,. and have made it so popular. I hope you find another sponsor. I'm having a similar experience, where my single after school group of 5 may be turning into 3-4 separate groups with how many people want join.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Turns out the dice gods are cruel masters... Not a day after writing about how well all my games were going, my PC gets killed in my first game of the year. Definitely a character who was okay with dying (Nature Domain Cleric, so very much about the cycle of life and death being a perfectly peaceful thing) and I feel she had a good influence on the party before it happened, but it was still quite emotional.

Still though, only one more week with that group before I head back to uni, so I'm going for a much lighter and sillier one-and-done character next time, whereas up to this point I was playing the most straight-laced and sensible one among them... From sombre, peaceful cleric to fighty, permanently-hammered Drunken Master Dwarf Monk should be quite an entertaining shift...

Paradigm's New Blog- 05/01: The Fellowship Sets Forth

Available for Commission Work. Click the banner or PM me for details.
 
   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

Loosing a character is always hard, but that does sounds like a fun shift

   
Made in gb
Ghost of Greed and Contempt






Engaged in Villainy

My PC died too - but in a way that I'm actually pretty happy with!
Our group was fleeing a citadel under attack by drow, and got into a fight versus some knights who were stopping us from getting on the boat with their noble masters.

Combat ensues, and with the knights doing poorly on their Dex saves vs "Grease", The dwarf fighter got onto the boat, followed by the human rogue (after he'd gone unconscious and been brought back by the bard,) and the Halfling Bard, while my Gnome Wizard "tanked" with mage armour and the shield spell. I went down, and used my "last words" to chuck my party a mysterious book, and tell them to take it to a particular church. (I'd had this planned for a while as a hook to bring in my next PC)

The party escaped (with about 15hp between the three of them), and that was the end of the session - it was pretty awesome! I think it helped that I'd given some thought to character mortality, and by my GM letting me have my dying moment be a bit more dramatic than "You're unconscious. Death save please."

After the session, the DM said that he was thinking that he'd like to try being a PC, I volunteered to take up the DM'ing job, and he'll now be playing as a wood elf paladin.
So, looks like I'm DMing next session!

"He was already dead when I killed him!"

Visit my Necromunda P&M blog, here: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/747076.page#9753656 
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Great stuff Dark Apostle, I am sure you will do a great job. Let us know how you get on!

My first PC in years was a Dwarf Cleric that I ran when one of my players took over. He got surrounded by 8 Bullywugs at level 1 and managed to stay in the fight for quite a while, but eventually went down, and then nobody healed him for the full 5 rounds of death saves. (in my game we roll death saves in secret so people don't ever know how close you are to death. It makes characters bleeding out much more exciting and prevents unrealistic "Oh I have another round to save them" kind of play). It was the first character death my newbie group has ever had, pretty amused it was me who copped it!

   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

Good luck with the DMing Dark Apostle 666, that was an epic death and good set up for your new character.

I've finally made and posted my retrospective on what I accomplished in the year 2018 hobby-wise, in my blog. I'll share just the D&D part here.

This is the terrain I've crated for entering the first goblin cave complex in "Lost Mines of Phandelver"


And here are all the minis I finsihed and mostly made, for D&D:


I probably shouldn't bother with all the minis I bought for converting to D&D, as I went hog-wild.

   
Made in ca
Krazed Killa Kan




Monarchy of TBD

Man Syro, that's glorious! I especially love the evil Gumby looking dude next to the scarecrow.

Klawz-Ramming is a subset of citrus fruit?
Gwar- "And everyone wants a bigger Spleen!"
Mercurial wrote:
I admire your aplomb and instate you as Baron of the Seas and Lord Marshall of Privateers.
Orkeosaurus wrote:Star Trek also said we'd have X-Wings by now. We all see how that prediction turned out.
Orkeosaurus, on homophobia, the nature of homosexuality, and the greatness of George Takei.
English doesn't borrow from other languages. It follows them down dark alleyways and mugs them for loose grammar.

 
   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

Heh heh, thanks Gitzbitah. That is a perfect description for him I had a little clay left over in a pottery class I took, and decided slap together a clay golem.

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






I finally got back into playing D&D after finding a D&D Adventurer's League group. It's not perfect, but it's better than playing online.

Unfortunately, my usual weekend group is torn about D&D. Most of us are bleh on 5e, but some want to go back to Old School type stuff for a try, others want to go back to 3.pf. I'm not really a fan of either of those options, being a 4e die hard. We're working through a Genesys game right now that I'm running set in the World of SMOG, so we have some time, but after watching quite a few D&D streams I'm missing a good solid fantasy RPG.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
[ ]






Svalarheima, MA

I've never met a 4th Edition diehard!

I didn't think there were many/many left.

What is it about 4th that you love so much?

Nil nos tremefacit.
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






 Alpharius wrote:
I've never met a 4th Edition diehard!

I didn't think there were many/many left.

What is it about 4th that you love so much?


Simplest answer is that I enjoy the balance of 4th edition. No more linear fighter, quadratic wizard. I enjoy the "big dude with a big sword" archetype in my fantasy, and that character wasn't really a solid option in 3.pf, where magic dominated everything and martial (by which I basically mean non-pure caster class) characters had no real options*. Feat support was a joke comparatively. There were no real class abilities that made a monster stick to you like the simple method of a mark in 4e.

(* Basically it was trip build or bust, and that only worked half the time and was boring 100% of the time)

Any remotely intelligent monster ignored or evaded the fighter, because if it didn't it would end up polymorphed into a fish, had its mind dominated into oblivion, or would simply be disintegrated. High level encounters became hilariously short and dangerous. "Did you win initiative? No? Welp, better hope you make your save or this is over." Magic was so powerful it ruined the game, to me. Then you get into Permanence or Contingency and it starts becoming a nightmare to DM.

4th edition also avoided the whole necessity of bringing a cleric. No one got stuck playing the walking band-aid. Channeling to Cure spells in 3.pf was a nice step to avoiding the 2e cleric spell listing. (i.e., Cure ____ Wounds x however many slots I have), but when 4th sort of spread around the healing through Second Wind and other abilities, it was wonderful. Mind you, I still ended up playing "the healer" quite a bit, but at least more often than not I got to take an actual turn instead of "I move to so and so and heal them/dispel the polymorph/collect their ashes for later burial.

4e did the best job of making player characters seem larger than life from start to finish. No more low level characters getting one shot by a random high damage roll. No more Wizards casting their one or two spells then sitting out the rest of the game until a long rest. (I may be bitter against wizards, but I still want their players to have fun). It was an edition that really made my character from start to finish feel like a hero in their world, in a way 3.pf lacked.

Did 4e have its issues? Of course it did. The rigidity of treasure was probably one of the biggest issues to me, since it made handing out off-the-cuff treasure "break the timeline" as it were. But even with its issues, it was to me a better and more even play experience than 3.pf, without the relative blandness of 5e, where most of your real decisions are made by level 3. (Again, unless you're a caster, then you at least get to select spells every single level.)
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I gave 4e a pretty thorough shake. I think it had a lot of good ideas and mostly put people off with the art direction and descriptions of things, but it was mechanically pretty solid for the first 10 levels or so. I found the combat broke down into a slog after level 12 or so, and apparently I was supposed to be filling my encounters with hazards and interactive traps and stuff to liven it up, but I felt that was just as much work as running high level 3.X combat.

Hitting high level in 5e now and finding myself stealing abilities from 4e to stick onto my monsters to make them more interesting and challenging to fight.

   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

Matt Colville is a big fan of 4E, isn't he? He could probably be called a die hard.

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






 Da Boss wrote:
I gave 4e a pretty thorough shake. I think it had a lot of good ideas and mostly put people off with the art direction and descriptions of things, but it was mechanically pretty solid for the first 10 levels or so. I found the combat broke down into a slog after level 12 or so, and apparently I was supposed to be filling my encounters with hazards and interactive traps and stuff to liven it up, but I felt that was just as much work as running high level 3.X combat.

Hitting high level in 5e now and finding myself stealing abilities from 4e to stick onto my monsters to make them more interesting and challenging to fight.


There are definitely places it fell flat, and combat encounters could definitely slog on if designed full of normal monsters. My thought is that Minions were supposed to be a more common thing. My go to explanation/reasoning is to think of the fight at the end of the first Lord of the Rings movie. Boromir vs the Uruk-hai. Despite being considered the biggest and baddest of the orcs, most of those dudes dropped in a single hit. Then you had Lurtz there as a regular enemy (or even an elite) to really be the threat. It gives your players a place to use their encounter and daily powers, while still having plenty of fodder for the At-Will powers. It also avoids burning all your Encounter powers on regular monsters and then spending 10 rounds using At-Will powers to slowly grind down a monster.

I really don't get the Art Direction complaints people had, especially when they then latched onto Pathfinder so hard. The 4e depictions of Dwarves, a race I'm somehow more bored of than Elves, remains among the best to me. I mean, I understand that all art is subjective, but the styles are so similar.
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I don't hate it myself but I would say the style is less "gritty" than pathfinder. Pathfinder is much more dungeon punk, and also much more cheesecakey. It is also more consistent because so much of it is done by one bloke.

I thought 4e had some pretty good art and some okay stuff, but the general look was more clean and cartoony than people were used to it and it caused a wee backlash.

My favourite 4e stuff is actually some of the setting stuff like the Underdark supplement and the Darksun setting book. Really cool stuff there.

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Philadelphia

I recently re-listened to System Mastery's 4e review, and they hit a lot of good points as to why 4e was a good system that you can pretty easily fix with a couple relatively simple patches. Everyone should have weapon expertise and implement expertise from the start, and they should use the updated Monster Manual 3 math that adjusts monster hitpoints and damage (or, to make it easier, monsters should have 50% less health and do 60% more damage).

It made me want to pick up a giftbox core set off of ebay just to have in my collection.

   
Made in us
Combat Jumping Ragik






Beyond the Beltway

D&D was never designed for high level play, anything above 10th-11th level. This is the impression I had.

4e had some interesting things, but it was more skirmish game with rpg elements.

My group is finding that 5e combats at 9th level are "grindy" because of a poorly developed movement, withdrawal, retreat and pursuit mechanic.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
@Syrto, nice work on the terrain for Phandelver.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/14 17:10:31


 
   
Made in us
Mutilatin' Mad Dok





USA

Thanks Red Harvest

   
Made in be
Crazed Witch Elf





I found you can soften combat grindiness by creating good dungeons and interesting situations as a DM. Don't play on planet bowling ball for pure kills. Never let your players go ham on a boss.

Unlike the lower levels your players should be able to handle serious amounts of bs so therefore apply generously if fairly.(Tomb of horrors is an example of how not to do this btw)

2 main disadvantages:

This increases the amount of work it takes for a DM.
Combat takes longer, a lot longer.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/01/15 13:53:53





 
   
 
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