Back in the early days a PC of mine drew from the deck and got "Defeat the next monster that you meet solo to gain a level." I was 5th or 6th I think, and the next monster was an ogre, so that was an easy level.
Nowadays whether or not I'd draw depends on the personality/alignment/knowledge/goals of the PC that I'm playing at the time.
As a DM I've placed them several times. Currently, a group of characters is seeking for one of their number who drew the Donjon card. Yes, I had to create an adventure for this, but I like creating adventures. It doesn't derail anything because my game isn't on rails.
Yes, I've walked out in mid-combat, but not for the sort of situation described in the OP. I walked out because I had to leave to keep an appointment (which the DM knew about ahead of time).
Sadly, I found out the next day that the result was a TPK. That was the end of that campaign.
First, congrats on becoming a DM. It can really be a ton of fun.
Female GMs are fine. I've had a few over the years, and the females didn't seem to be qualitatively different than the males.
Why do you think there are so few?
The hobby is male-dominated one. In part there are fewer female GMs because there are fewer female players.
Yeah, I mean... why would OotS ever have a DDoS?
I can only speculate. While some hackers attack sites because they disagree with the politics/actions/beliefs/whatever of associated entities, some seem to attack sites just for the thrill that they feel in causing harm.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
In a low magic game (i.e. few spell casters, almost no magic items) couldn't a large number of orcs with missiles be a credible threat to a fairly high level fighter (e.g. 10th). Without magic is such a character likely to have the armor class that common orcs need a "20" to hit him?
Orfamay Quest wrote:
and that Gandalf casts a total of perhaps four spells over the course of the entire LotR trilogy.
When I read the books a 2nd time, I noticed a few more instances of spell casting, but I agree with your basic point; Gandalf casts far fewer and far less potent spells than a high level D&D/Pathfinder magic user.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Well, I'm guessing that Khostral Khel (the demon in an iron golem's body from "The Devil in Iron") had quite a bit of DR. Conan could not even harm him when he had no magic weapon, but when Conan gets a magic sword later in the story he defeats Khostral Khel easily. If we assume that Khostral Khel's combat statistics were those of an iron golem with high INT and no breath weapon, could a 10th level barbarian with a magic sword defeat such a being easily?
I guess my point is that low magic settings are not necessarily low level settings. Its just that higher level characters are a lot less powerful if they're not dripping in magic.
Hogwash. If you follow the rules then your players shouldn't have a problem. I require my players to follow the rules so I hold myself no less accountable.
I don't think that the quotation in the OP is saying what you seem to think it is. IMO, the point is not "DM, ignore the rules when it suits you" but "Don't let rules lawyers run roughshod over you." Which is good advice.
Do I fudge a roll, sometimes. But if you are making a bunch of BS houserules, I wouldn't want to play with you either. Where the rules are vague, we can come to a mutual consensus as it crops up. AD&D had a lot more vague areas than 3.5 which is why I prefer 3.5 to AD&D.
And I prefer simple rules and a DM's judgement to complex rules strictly interpreted. De gustibus...
Jerald Schrimsher wrote:
Champions/Hero allowed you to really design a character to fit a theme, rather than a set of number, but then when the numbers began it really would have helped to have a PhD in Mathematics instead of Sociology.
There is a character creation program available that handles the arithmetic of powers, advantages, and limitations for you. The in-game arithmetic is pretty straightforward
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
By no means was Paris a mook. The mooks in the Iliad don't even have names.
And I agree about Achilles and Hector.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Evil Lincoln nailed it.
Generally, IMC, the monsters run when the morale rules say that they do. That means that sometimes run when they (logically) should've fought and fight when they (rationally) should've run. It also means that the boring tag-end of fights where the winner is already obvious seldom have to be played out.
I have no idea what the official answer is, but by the definition of "infinite" there must be at least one direction in which one could travel without limit.
The people who designed the Planes in 2E and 3E didn't really seem to have a conception of what "infinite" actually means, though. If a demon lord - let's say Demorgorgon - really rules an infinite Plane, then either he has an infinite number of vassals/servants/followers, or most of the Plane has no being even pretending to be loyal to Demogorgon within a ten trillion light years (or any arbitrarily large distance one wants to pick). Either way, that seems pretty silly IMO.
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Where are you getting the distinction between Norse and Vikings? My understanding is that going "viking" was a Norse way of saying "going on an expedition or raiding mission". A man might thus be a "viking" for only a part of his life. Not really 2 cultures.
In an old ADnD game there were free wizards (illegal) and school wizards or whatever and I witnessed a free wizard being dragged away screaming something to the effect of "Free wizards forever!". What did I do? I just stood there inconspicuously and watched him get dragged off. The DM expected me to go save him and I'm like...uhh why? Why would I help some random guy I don't even know and attack the authorities and paint myself a target? It would be the equivalent of the police dragging off some pothead and I'm like Wait! I smoke pot! And attack them to defend him. Doesn't make sense. Either way, to not mess up the game we went back after him.
In this case, your DM was expecting you to act like a hero. Not every PC thinks like that, though.
WFRP: we're traveling down a river and get waived down and go to a town that gives us free drinks..which are poisoned, but the towns people say they're desperate because there's a witch so once we kill her they'll give us the antidote. I'm a troll slayer ready to start killing people but I oblige for the time being and we kill the witch and her people. We go back to town and they say we didn't get all of them so we have to go back. Uhhhh no. I threaten them. They don't budge. I grab the towns leader's husband and I cut off some fingers for the antidote. They're more compliant now. After that I'm like lets get out of here and the town leader tells me we're sentencing them to death if we don't help them....shoulda thought of that before poisoning us. PEACE! lol the GM had more planned for us to do but we left so he had to improvise.
Barbra Hambly wrote a novel using this plot device (The Ladies of Mandrigyn). "Help us or we'll kill you" plot lines can work, but generally there needs to be some sympathetic characters among those that you are helping.
Or last game I did for WFRP there's a brawl in a bar between dockers and fisherman and I know one of the dockers. I ask, am I good friends with this guy and the DM says he's an acquaintance. I'm a rogue so I'm like lol ok and jump over the bar and sit and drink the...
Once again, characters' outlooks can vary a lot. The GM was assuming a mindset that your PC didn't have.
I don't think that works dynamically. A chunk of the asteroid that passed closer to the Earth than the main body would have an even higher velocity than the asteroid. The asteroid's velocity relative to the Earth was about 7.8 km/s I believe, which is about the velocity of something in low Earth orbit. I haven't done the math, but I suppose that a chunk that passed much closer to the Earth would have too much velocity to be tightly bent around the Earth.
IMC, eating sentient beings (whether humanoid or not) is a non-Good act (not necessarily Evil as the more savage tribes of lizardmen do it all the time, and they are Neutral). An exception is made in cases of desperation (e.g. starving, nothing else to eat except dead sentients). Such acts are also detested by almost all human/demi-human societies.
Should there be competent NPC leaders in politics, the military, etc? Yes, of course! But there also should be incompetent ones, human nature being what it is. And in a society in which Joe automatically becomes the Duke of Dunagon because his dad (the former Duke) has kicked the bucket, there's even more opportunities for incompetent leadership than in our own society.
Should there be high-level people besides the PCs? Again, yes. But while there should be NPCs that are more powerful than the PCs, even starting PCs should be better than the common run. The PCs are people with the potential to go far.
Should nations/organizations/leaders keep records so that they can learn from their experiences? Absolutely! But records can be lost or destroyed, many folks can't write, and the transmission of information from place to place is inefficient and chancy. A world without mass communication is very different from ours.
I'm all for giving verisimilitude to the game world. That includes the world not regularly being on the verge of blowing up unless the PCs save it, and someone else taking care of an adventure hook that PCs are in no hurry to bite on. But part of verisimilitude is that terrible things do happen. In games like D&D or Pathfinder, the PCs should get a chance to make a difference, one way or the other.
I'd never encourage PvP, but the rp and dice fall where they may.
This. Although I insist that in-game conflicts are not to spill into real life (or vice versa), if two characters are in conflict and the players are sufficiently mature I won't intervene.
The actions of the GM as described by Nepherti seem creepy. I have never played WoD and don't what the norm is for that system, but it would irritate me if this happened to a character of mine (absent something stronger than mere persuasion). Perhaps the GM in question is just a jerk, but maybe talking to him about this might resolve the problem. Communication is good.
I once had a player create an atheistic character IMC. He didn't deny that clerics could cast spells, just that there were actually gods granting them their powers. He believed that divine spell casters were just different kinds of wizards.
The NPC traveling with the party at the time decided that the atheist character was insane. :)
It didn't even occur to me to give him any benefit from his unbelief. Disbelieve medicine and it it's no less likely to cure you; disbelieve a bullet and it's no less likely to kill you. Magic in a fantasy world is simply real, and denying its existence won't help. In fact, it'll probably hurt.
The previous poster mentioned "Eric the Viking" - I'm reminded of the scene in that movie in which Atlantis is sinking and the Atlanteans say "This is NOT happening!"
I agree totally. That's why I don't follow Marvel or DC anymore.
Mark Hoover wrote:
I'm sorry, as Cora above pointed out, if I'm an exceptionally bad GM which is skewing my experiences and perceptions of older editions, but there you go.
If by "Cora" you mean me, I have to point out that I didn't accuse you of being a bad DM. Indeed, I didn't accuse you of anything. I simply wrote that I had never seen an AD&D game devolve into a fistfight, and that such an outcome is not a typical experience.
Alitan, I can't argue with preference, but IMO this has been done well many times.
H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos deals with extra-cosmic invaders from beyond space-time. Are they aliens (SF) or gods (fantasy)? Answer:"yes".
The Dying Earth stories mentioned above, which have technology and space travel, and magic and demons.
Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun" also set in a far future earth, has forgotten technological wonders (and terrors) everywhere - but also has a strong theological theme as well.
The Recluce books feature a struggle between black (lawful) and white (chaotic) magic - but the "angels" that founded the civilzation there seemed to be space travelers.
So, I guess that its a matter of individual taste, but many of my favorite works blend fantasy and science fiction.
I haven't the time to read the whole thread, but I agree with Ciretose that later editions of the game have made various adverse circumstances (such as death, level drain, being hit while casting a spell, or even being the target of a hold person spell) easier for the players. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of opinion, of course. IMO, the overcoming of adversity is a big thrill of the game, so I prefer the older ways.
In my experience in running an AD&D campaign for 30+ years I've never seen the problems that Mark Hoover reported (e.g. campaigns always ending by 4th level with fist fights among the players). I don't think that was a common result. ;)
Many cable channels are running away from their original premise. SciFi (now SyFy), MTV, Discovery, Cartoon Network, and, yes, the History channel. It's not solely conspiracy theory nonsense (they recently had a program called "Mankind" that aimed to give a sweeping overview of all of history) but there's quite a lot of crap and very little history. Sad.
I don't think so. "Palace of the Vampire Queen" was published in '76. "Temple of the Frog" was a part of the Blackmoor supplement published in '75.
I think that "Palace of the Vampire Queen" was the first product that contained only an adventure (the first "adventure module" to use the old TSR term).
I agree with you, TheLoneCleric. In the fiction that inspired D&D and its successors there is often an admixture of science fictional and fantasy elements, so why not in the game? The 1st published adventure for D&D (Temple of the Frog) had science fictional elements. My campaign certainly has some.
Of course, tastes differ. Some people don't like to mix the two, but some do, and there's nothing wrong in either approach.
Alright, let's look at it that way. In the Conan stories, or LotR nobody can fly - with or without magic (although in either one might ride a flying beast). So, if D&D/PF is supposed to emulate those sorts of stories, its doing a poor job - and would be doing a worse one if barbarians could fly because of their mighty muscles.
In fact, thinking of the "Appendix N" stuff that inspired the game, I can't offhand recall someone flying (other than on a winged mount). Maybe there are examples, but I can't think of any.
A fair point, but in the version of D&D that I play, that ability doesn't exist. And aren't "ki" or "psionics" or the like just alternate forms of magic? Granted, there are in-world differences, but they are still fig leaves to justify the impossible, allowing suspension of disbelief.
Wind Chime wrote:
Because to suspend disbelief in people that can fly, I need a reason. "Magic" is that reason. If, e.g., fighters can fly without any magic (like in certain martial arts movies) suspension of disbelief goes out the window, IMO.
For orc #12, bandit #19, or gnoll #37, I don't bother to track their HP below zero. If the PCs want to find one that they can revive and interrogate after the battle I'll use common sense and a die roll to determine if they succeed.
Important NPCs do get tracked.
Recently a player creating a new 1st level PC created a very interesting and involved backstory for his PC. I complimented the player on the backstory, but reminded him that 1st level PCs are fragile, and that his PC might easily die. In the first session, it almost happened! The PC was critted and reduced to -9 HP; fortunately the other PCs managed to save his life. I would've felt bad if the character had died like that - but it wouldn't cause me to change the outcome.
I would be peeved if (knowing how things stand going in) the PC tried to claim plot immunity on account of his backstory.
Agreed. In the evil games that I've run the player characters a) weren't enemies and b) needed each other to accomplish specific goals. This kept the group together.
I have seen the intraparty conflict amongst evils too, and its not pretty.
Another problem with evil games is the atrocity contest, in which the PCs participate in disgusting (and often foolish) acts of one-upmanship to show how EEEEVIL they are. Can be both repellent and tedious (and can lead to TPK if they are foolish enough).
I don't recall when Ollie killed an unarmed man in Arrow. When was this? I know he has taken out several that has shot at him. I am not saying it didn't happen, I just don't recall the episode or the scene, and did we see him killing the person?
At the end of the episode where Oliver Queen is arrested. Diggs stops an arms deal from going down by posing as Green Arrow, but the arms dealer escapes. At the end of the episode Queen goes after the arms dealer, deals with his thugs, disarms him, and then says "you have failed this city..." line. I don't think that we see the arrow hit, but we hear it.
Also, in the pilot Ollie kills one of his kidnapers after beating and disarming him to protect his secret.
Were the men that were killed bad ones? Sure. But killing them that way is still murder.