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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Da Boss wrote:Aye, I saw that, was that the one with the stack of bonuses if they attacked first?
I think the 5e designers overall did a great job, and stuff like Bard, Rogue and Paladin are in their best ever version in any Dungeons and Dragons game, as well as stuff like Fighter. That they did this while keeping the game mechanically simple and accessible is a great achievement. At the same time they got a reasonable balance between casters and non casters. That one of the classes is a bit lacklustre is not a big issue to me - in 3e, Bard and Rogue and Ranger were all three pretty cruddy, and Fighter and Paladin pretty quickly fell behind the full caster classes (Cleric or Druidzilla was a common complaint!).

Good point on the inherent comedy in Wild Mage. It is a shame they did not give a third archetype for Sorc in the PHB. You can be a dragon or a weirdo, that is all it seems.

3e class balance was complete dog crap, and that extended into its child editions, imo. Part of why I'm such a 4e stan is that the balance for that edition actually made a sword fighter viable beyond 3rd level. 5e has kept non-caster classes at least fun, if not balanced against their full caster counterparts. My only real issue with 5e is how little choice there is in character advancement past archetype selection. Make a first level character, a third level character and a tenth level character. There is way more choices between first and third than there are between third and tenth, despite the latter covering a larger level band. 5e is still a great edition, don't get me wrong, and I'm cooking up a Ravnica campaign to run for some friends. I just miss non-casters actually getting the same sort of fun advancement choices than a caster does. LFQW is and has always been a dumb design space.



Paradigm wrote:Sorcerers really do benefit from Xanathar's, more than most other classes. Divine Soul, Storm Sorcery and Shadow Magic are really flavourful, interesting subclasses. I'm playing a Divine Soul Sorcerer at the minute, and it's really rather neat to have access to a whole bunch of Cleric spells and be a really rather decent healer in a pinch (especially in a party lacking a Cleric and getting most of their healing from a Druid when I'm not there).

Sorcerers in general I find so much more fun in game than Wizards, even though conceptually Wizards are much more my cup of tea. I find the Wizard subclasses really lacklustre for the most part, they're fine power-wise but they're just not that interesting beyond making you better at a specific kind of magic.

LordofHats wrote:I've played Druid, Warlock, and Sorcerer and I have to say Sorcerer is truly so much freaking fun.

Divine Soul seems more than a little overpowered to me mechanically. I mean, let's take the Sorcerer, who is foremost balanced by a limited spell list, and give them Cleric spells... Well at least it's fething fun! My favorite character right now is an insane Tiefling who thinks everyone else is a figment of her imagination and all she does and buff and debuff her "meat shields" while laughing manically and coming up with ways to try and abuse the persuasion mechanic.

Balance I suppose is kind of secondary to fun factor for me here, and sorcerer just has so much flavor. I think its my favorite class and I haven't even played most of the classes yet. It's just too attractive to me, it's hard to think about breaking out and trying the others.

Of all the caster classes, Sorcerer is my favorite. I was running a dragonborn divine soul sorcerer in an Adventurer's League before it fell apart, and I had an absolute blast running the character. I don't think Divine Soul is much more powerful than the other Sorcerer archetypes though. Sure, you can select from a wider range of spells, but you're still really limited by spells known. You get the free spell known, which is nice don't get me wrong, but that's really about it. Spending precious sorcery points to reroll healing dice is situational, wings are neat but fly is available, etc. Divine Soul isn't bad, I loved it, but I don't think it really moves into OP.



Re: balance: I agree fun > balance. I just find that without balance, there often isn't fun. More than one player in various 3e games decided to remake their characters after a few levels because they just weren't having fun. Largely, they simply couldn't keep up with their non caster counterparts. (We did have a fighter who stuck with his character simply because he didn't care, but he's the sort of player whose an exception to every rule.) Other times it was because some players hyper-optimized while others just wanted to play something cool. So even when a rule set is horrifically balanced, you can still have a balanced party if people are willing to hamstring themselves (or just reign it in). But I feel like players shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing. Shooting yourself in the foot during character creation by wanting to play something non-optimized shouldn't be a thing.
   
Made in gb
[MOD]
Et In Arcadia Ego





Canterbury


I mean, imagine trying to play something like Waterdeep: Dragon Heist as a ranger. The whole thing takes place in an urban environment, where favored terrain will NEVER apply. (Dungeon of the Mad Mage at least would have Underdark apply, but it perfectly highlights the "all-or-none" issue of the class feature.)



is urban not an option favoured wise in 5th edition ?

The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.
The truth is plants are actually farming us by feeding us oxygen daily until we decompose and can be consumed..
 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Not without house rules. I'd have no hesitation allowing it if someone wanted it, but letter of the rules it's not an option.

"Choose one type of favored terrain: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, swamp, or the Underdark."

   
Made in gb
[MOD]
Et In Arcadia Ego





Canterbury

huh, that does seem a curious omission.


... not quite sure that "coast" is worthy of being it's own category but YMMV.

The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.
The truth is plants are actually farming us by feeding us oxygen daily until we decompose and can be consumed..
 
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I threw out those categories and used the same ones that are on my hex map, so it is always pretty unambiguous where the ranger is at a given time.

   
Made in gb
[MOD]
Et In Arcadia Ego





Canterbury

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-07-08/how-to-be-a-professional-dungeons-dragons-master-hosting-games?fbclid=IwAR36XZBLYeQryQtSNhgf8ayOofAeQBs1bGeDEEd6PAqv4J600s_rEJgFvUE

the rise of the professional DM.


... .. teenage me would never believe this.

The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.
The truth is plants are actually farming us by feeding us oxygen daily until we decompose and can be consumed..
 
   
Made in us
Dominating Dominatrix






Interesting...


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.

 JohnHwangDD wrote:

The Nazis were right. It's better to be a Nazi than a fan.

Thank you for getting me on the side of Milo and the Nazis.

 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Here's a question for y'all: what's the furthest you've deviated from classic, Western High Fantasy in your D&D games?

I've been thinking a lot about the literary/pop culture inspirations behind my games recently. I'm planning a mini-campaign at the minute that's more Neil Gaiman/Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko than Tolkien in terms of its content and tone, very cosmic and very meta, and it got me thinking about what other authors/artists/media in general could serve as a the touchstone for a more unusual game that goes beyond the more traditional concepts.

Obviously, in a lot of cases there are other systems that might better cater to these ideas, but sticking with D&D itself, anyone got any experience of pushing the game into new genres/areas or having campaigns with more unusual influences? Let's hear some stories!

   
Made in us
Dominating Dominatrix






The farthest ive gone is ebberon doing an alt history all warforged game. There was a new story for why the wf existed and the current state of several disparate factions of wf trying to find their place in the world.

Ebberon is magic steam punk and the lost nature of the race fed into that punk setting and storytelling. People sinking in a world full of what should be wonders but are instead oppressive.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.

 JohnHwangDD wrote:

The Nazis were right. It's better to be a Nazi than a fan.

Thank you for getting me on the side of Milo and the Nazis.

 
   
Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council




USA

I suppose one of the nice things about DnD is that even though it assumes a certain Tolkien-like setting, there's nothing that really stops it from being reimagined for other fantasy settings. Actually, I've always found Monks to be confusing/out of place thematically with most of DnD because they're very martial artsy/eastern in style, while all the other classes are very western European.

A Samurai themed DnD campaign/setting could be a lot of fun. I've been looking and loving the lore of Legend of the Five Rings. I've seen a few gothic horror/age of exploration conversions and ideas that looked really cool too.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

LordofHats wrote:I suppose one of the nice things about DnD is that even though it assumes a certain Tolkien-like setting, there's nothing that really stops it from being reimagined for other fantasy settings. Actually, I've always found Monks to be confusing/out of place thematically with most of DnD because they're very martial artsy/eastern in style, while all the other classes are very western European.

A Samurai themed DnD campaign/setting could be a lot of fun. I've been looking and loving the lore of Legend of the Five Rings. I've seen a few gothic horror/age of exploration conversions and ideas that looked really cool too.


I've toyed with the idea of a game in that vein, perhaps leaning towards Chinese aesthetics and tone with something analogous to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms as a starting point and bringing in a lot of Asian folklore in place of your typical orcs and zombies and vampires. I also love the idea of using dragons that are more Chinese than European in inspiration and aesthetic, I think that'd be a very fun idea to make what can be a somewhat overplayed creature very original again. Extend it to Dragonborn and you have some amazing visual inspiration for PCs and NPCs as well.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/12 20:32:33


   
Made in us
Mekboy Hammerin' Somethin'





USA

I haven't strayed at all yet with the games, but I have been writing a campaign that will. I'm exploring a more stone age inspiration where all humans are hunter-gatherer barbarian tribes. I'll be majorly cutting back the weapons and armor available, and creating a lot of weakened non-metal versions. Even though it's not at all scientific, probably lots of dinosaurs, rather than just in Chult.

   
Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council




USA

 Syro_ wrote:
I haven't strayed at all yet with the games, but I have been writing a campaign that will. I'm exploring a more stone age inspiration where all humans are hunter-gatherer barbarian tribes. I'll be majorly cutting back the weapons and armor available, and creating a lot of weakened non-metal versions. Even though it's not at all scientific, probably lots of dinosaurs, rather than just in Chult.


You could give it a pre-columbian twist and use totally metal weapons like the Macuahuitl. You know, for when a "big stick" just isn't murdery enough for our pre-metalworking civilizations

Though technically the Central American civilizations did have "metal working" knowledge," but they really weren't that into it for some reason. They only used it to make jewelry and art, and adopted the smelting and casting methods widely in use by Southern American civilizations very late in the game. It's actually really baffling from the Western-Eurasian perspective since most civilizations of Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East all readily adopted metal tools and weapons as soon as they became available. Central Mexico in particular, and the Aztecs, were extremely late, only adopting bronze working in the century preceding the arrival of the Spanish on their shores and they still didn't use it to make weapons or armor.

Actually now that my brain is on it, one of the things I really liked about Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers (a light novel/anime) was its mixing of western European and pre-columbian aesthetics. It actually looked really cool in the light novels, and while the Anime butchered it a bit it did remind me that pre-columbian aesthetics are heavily underused in modern fiction. It's one of the things that really made me like the Lizardmen in Fantasy, and you see bits of it in Lizardmen in other fantasy series' too. There's something I'd go for. Something with a pre-Columbian bent. Step pyramids. Obsidian weaponry. Colorful outfits

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

I have a continent with a heavy Mayan/Aztec theme built into my current campaign setting, though with its current trajectory and what amounts if an impending World War it's unlikely they'll ever get there, at least in this particular campaign.

Which to some extent I'm glad about, as I'm not sure quite what too do with it yet. Obviously the Yuan-ti are heavily inspied by those aesthetics, and from WHF you can bring in Lizardmen as well and have plenty of good references there (not to mention minis being available!), but I feel like I want to do something more with it. I saw someone one talk about Dragonborn themed around a Quetzalcoatal/Feathered Serpent aesthetic, which is awesome, but the DB in this setting have such a specific and detailed history to them that that'd be a hard one to pull off.

I guess just taking existing stuff and applying a Mesoamerican theme could have at least some good results, a fusion of your traditional Wood Elf aesthetics with more of a rainforest/jungle lean than the typical forest themes could be really cool...



The idea of a pre-metal game is an interesting one regardless. I imagine it'd be a lot of work to compensate for the fact that so many basic weapons and armour pieces can't be used, but definitely worthwhile if you can really evoke that kind of setting.

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I have done a Planescape game that was much more Interdimensional Reality Pirates than traditional high fantasy.

My first Ravenloft game was set in a victorian london analogue and was much more of a gothic horror story than a high fantasy game, there were no non humans in the entire city.

I ran an Eberron game where the theming was very 20s New York, aftermath of WW1 kinda stuff. Lots of inspiration from mafia movies and the roaring 20s. Generally increased the tech level and included pistols and so on.

Did a Darksun game as well which is pretty much a post apocalyptic game, but I think it is still pretty standard for all that.

I would say I have done more "not traditional western fantasy" than I have done the traditional stuff, but I really love traditional fantasy too.

My fantasy world has a Mayan-Aztec analogue too but it is not very developed at present. I want to do some work on it to make it as believable as the stuff I am more familiar with, but I am excited to run a game in that setting to give me a reason to develop it.

   
Made in us
Focused Fire Warrior




United States

The most "non-high fantasy" game I ever ran. Was a series of one-shots I called "the Oregon trail" where I would create a small town with various small quests, then the players would arrive, do whatever they wanted (one game completely ignored the quests and just RP'd their night in the tavern for a couple of hours), then they moved onto the next town. No one was a big powerful hero. they were all just dumb idiots at level 1 trying to move west.
   
Made in us
Mekboy Hammerin' Somethin'





USA

@LordofHats: Going for more of a pre-columbian twist would make a lot of sense in my world's case. Sense I'm going for a dawn of time feel, a race of sun worshiping lizardfolk are the dominant and most widespread race, with step-pyramid temples. It makes sense that the barbarian humans would be stealing technology and absorbing their culture. Thanks for the suggestion, I like the idea of having the humans most in contact with them having that aesthetic

@Paradigm: That continent sounds cool, and I totally understand wanting to make sure it's fully fleshed out. And yes, I expect balance to be pretty difficult, I'm planning on scaling back the magic system also, though I'm thinking a more heavy emphasis on on ranger, druid, and holy-magic users with the whole primeval early civilization feel. I'm also thinking a quest for the group could be brought about by a metallic meteor hitting and the nearby civilizations rushing to lay claim to it because of the almost magical properties of the weapons that can be crafted from it.

@Da Boss: Those different settings sound like a lot of fun, and I'm not surprised that you've tried a lot of cool and non-typical fantasy campaigns. Talking about Darksun, reminds me how it would be tempting to play Fallout in D&D (even though there's its own tabletop game). I've never gotten aorund to trying to work something out for it.

@balmong7: Oregon Trail sounds cool, I like how it has a very interesting balance of railroading (always moving west, never staying long in one place), and sandbox (do whatever you want during your time in this area).

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

Syro: My original gaming group were really into all the wacky second edition settings.

As to Fallout D&D, that was basically my inspiration. I was playing Fallout 3 and the 4th Edition Darksun books came out. I had played in a Darksun game before that, but with this one I really wanted to emphasise the post apocalyptic aspects to it.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

I definitely think a post-apoc angle works nicely, on account of the fact that so much of D&D assumes that every setting has had an apocalypse at some point... I mean, someone had to have built all those ancient temples and ruins and tombs and there's presumably a reason they're not around any more...

A campaign leaning even more into that definitely has a lot to work with. The one I'm about to run basically takes that to an extreme, the world it takes place in is one which was destroyed by an End Times sort of thing, a big 4-way war between Fey, Undead, Gods and Devils that all but destroyed the world; the beings that survived it all realised that their 'victory' basically meant nothing without a world to rule, and, being god-level entities, universally agreed to restore it to what it was and not meddle with it again in case this happened a second time.

On the surface you have a fairly typical fantasy world, but under that there's all these scars of an extinction-via-deity... the final complication being that (unbeknown to the players) the PCs are all gods cast from the Heavens, and if they don't get off the material world fast they're going to trigger Apocalypse 2.0..

@Da Boss: Must admit, Ravenloft via Victorian London sounds amazing.

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

It was my first ever game as a DM and I think to be honest I have never topped it since!

Players were all watchmen (a bit Terry Pratchett inspired, Night Watch had just come out) and they were dealing with various supernatural crimes while trying not to let the populace know to keep them from panicking.

It is one of the "Islands of Dread" called Paridon, a sort of mish mash of London and Paris, but it was not extremely developed so I got to fill in a lot of the details myself.

   
Made in gb
[MOD]
Et In Arcadia Ego





Canterbury

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/jul/13/no-more-nerds-how-dungeons-dragons-became-cool-stranger-things-game-of-thrones?CMP=fb_gu&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR1_kK25zM3qfxl55DQm3TXuH9balqF7enMBu8Fm9kXMw0SDGt279AMR5-M#Echobox=1563023335



For the past few days the ancient walls of Northumberland’s Langley Castle have resounded to the clang of clashing broadswords and the battle cries of angry goblins.

A band of mercenaries emancipated a caravan of slaves, a princess captured a corrupt warlock, and then there was that unfortunate business with the insane dark elf sorcerer.

The entire castle was taken over by a party of 42 gamers – mostly American – who had each paid a king’s ransom of $4,000 (£3,200) to play Dungeons & Dragons for four days in a genuine medieval stronghold turned luxury hotel.



The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn't; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all
We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.
The truth is plants are actually farming us by feeding us oxygen daily until we decompose and can be consumed..
 
   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

That article was peak guardian for me. I hate all this patronizing "This lame thing, it is cool now!" gak.

Edit: and on price, Dungeons and Dragons can be played for free if you use a dice roller app on your phone or computer or just the cost of the dice these days. Despite that, I spend a lot on it. I generally feel the money spent is worth it, because it is my favourite pastime.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/07/14 14:30:40


   
Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council




USA

I have a dice rolling app, but it really just isn't the same.

There's something to be said for the thrill of throwing actual dice, like having an actual book, or an actual model in front of you.

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I edited the wrong post, I meant to put that in the beginning D&D thread. But yeah I agree. I hate screens at my table, I try to run without them as much as possible.

   
Made in us
Focused Fire Warrior




United States

 Da Boss wrote:
I edited the wrong post, I meant to put that in the beginning D&D thread. But yeah I agree. I hate screens at my table, I try to run without them as much as possible.


I'm a hypocrite. I hate when my players have screens. But I like to have mine. Of course as the DM I can't really just flip over to facebook like they can.
   
Made in gb
Ghost of Greed and Contempt






Engaged in Villainy

I'd struggle to limit screens at my table. My players (and I) all use DnD Beyond, so laptops, tablets and phones are pretty much required.

I personally also have my laptop open when I DM because it means I can have my notes without needing to print or write them out. (though I do use pen and paper for tracking initiative, monster HP, and so forth).

An advantage to us all using DnD Beyond is that I can get quick access to the Players character sheets, and also spell rules.
That's becoming very helpful now they're getting to higher levels, so I can quickly refer to spells and so on that they're trying to cast.
It's handy to be able to check, especially when their interpretation of those spell effects can be... Generous, shall we say?

"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

Yeah, it is just my preference. I spend too much time on screens, I like my D&D time to be screen free as much as possible. I used to play online and all the resources hyperlinked are super useful.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

I tend to have all screens at my games, the players all use DNDB and I keep all my prep in massive Onenote documents so I need my laptop there to actually run the game. I've honestly found it to be far more help than hindrance, my players don't tend to get distracted and the ease at which stuff can be looked up is a huge boon.

That said, in an online game of the Dragon Age RPG I ran, I had one player who would routinely play Dark Souls at the same time as the game... Which on one hand was annoying and more than a little impolite, but on the other... well, I can't even manage a boss in Dark Souls when it has my full attention, so I've got to give him a little credit for managing to multitask that well!

   
Made in de
Battlefield Tourist






Nuremberg

I would boot a player who played another game while we were playing Dungeons and Dragons. You wanna play Dark Souls, go do that. I have no patience for that kind of rudeness any more.

Good for you that you are tolerant enough to allow it though. I am a grumpy git

I find screens take people out of the experience too much, myself included. Too much time clicking around and waiting for things to load. It does mean I have to print stuff out beforehand which I guess is wasteful, but I prefer physical books and props to scrolling through stuff in any case.

   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

To be fair, at that point it was less tolerance and more just desperation to actually have a gaming group, I had to accept a couple of less-than-ideal players so that there was a game for myself and the couple that were genuinely into it. These days, I'm a lot more fortunate, luckily.

   
 
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