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Several people up-thread have mentioned variations on "How do they know you're really a Paladin?". Probably because the real Paladins are going to cut you into little pieces if you're not... I doubt fake Paladins are going to get off easy. So, for awhile you fake it, word gets around and your head leaves your shoulders. And the next would be fake "paladin" considers a new scam.
I think what DigitalElf is saying is that in the old days you explored the setting, discovered the fantastical. Your character was relatively mundane, the anchor, your point of view and the really cool stuff was what you found / discovered. Now people want to *be* the cool / strange stuff (stranger than a wizard?) rather than finding it. It's like the game has moved from exploring the world to exploring your character. I still prefer exploring the world myself.
This threads back? Third time I believe. Well, time to contribute... not so much obscure as just fun and fondly remembered. Besides my D&D fixation.
Empire of the Petal Throne. And later games set in Tekumel right up to the new game, Bethorm. Incredible setting. I miss Professor Barker. If you liked Jeff Dee's art, Bethorm is his game btw...
Elric / Stormbringer. Moorcock. Angst. Philosophy. The Lords of Chaos. And I love the armor as damage reduction rule using a dice by armor type rather than hit location.
Mekton Zeta. I used it to run a Star Wars campaign. Used the vehicle construction rules to build everything from TIE Fighters to the Death Star. Star Wars fits anime themes very well.
Bushido. Feudal Japan. Great stuff. And ninja. I tinkered with a Tekumel / game using Bushido rules / ideas. Never got to run it. *sigh*
Space Opera. An rpg that came out of a set of miniature rules (rather like D&D did), Space Marine. The game was a bit of a mess, but it had a campy sci-fi flavor. A nice break from the "realistic" feel of my favorite sci-fi rpg, Traveller. I still love Traveller, and I swear I will finish reading T5 some day. And speaking of Traveller feel...
Stars Without Number. Sandbox sci-fi retro rpg goodness. Like Original D&D and Traveller had a child together...
Severe nostalgia attack oncoming. I feel the need to unpack some boxes... the wife will kill me, but the urge is strong :)
He was born on Earth. He invented warp drive. On Earth. He moved off Earth. He lived on Alpha Centauri later in his life. Probably after a life time exploring and travelling. Disappeared from Alpha Centauri to be found by Kirk and company later... makes sense to me...
Homebrew forum. No setting mentioned. Discussing generic Paladin Code, honor and poison. It's already been mentioned upthread that a different code might change the use of poison... and various other Paladin Codes have been mentioned. If the code in question didn't have a poison prohibition we wouldn't be having this discussion. Well, not this specific one anyway. At times people in this thread has seemed to want a distinction between lethal and non lethal poisons for the generic code. And of course the "use poison or watch children be murdered" bit has been trotted out to attack the generic poison prohibition... pretty much your standard paladin alignment / code thread :)
Given a world with absolutes of alignment, why would anyone have a problem with codes involving absolutes of behavior? Absolute prohibitions in this case. The people who do probably have problems with the alignment system too. But as Makeitstop points out this prohibition has to do with honor. For me, the no poison rule is about honor. It's not supposed to be easy. Being a Paladin. You're supposed to give, and receive, hard blows. Hard to do when the opponent is paralyzed or asleep. What have you risked then? What have you sacrificed? It's a kind of medieval mind set, but hey, my game has a strong dose of that in it.
Further I would argue that lawful good is built around codes of behavior. Hence the lawful. The Paladin's code is just pickier and more exacting than most. I would expect chaotic good characters to decide behavior on the fly, situationally btw.
All imo, of course and, as always, ymmv.
Now, could you construct a different code for a different take on Paladins? I suppose so, but then there's no need to ask questions about poison use then.
I've used both PC and NPC classes in that role in 3.x. My players have adventured with NPC friends and had henchmen and hirelings of various classes, PC and NPC. A simplified NPC type class is less of a burden to run (for DM or PC) than a PC class I'd agree. I imagine I'll continue to use both depending on the NPCs role and origin. For me the NPC classes are very useful in populating the world, but that population includes the people the PCs move through and around...
I moved into D&D from miniature wargaming (Chainmail). For us, there was always a degree of "simulation" in the game world. NPC classes (and PC classes for that matter) were a convenient way to organize and rationalize this world.
In short you're custom building your NPCs. That's fine in an AP. I run a sandbox and I sometimes need to produce NPCs on the fly in fairly large numbers or pre prepare a batch of NPCs to fit a role and use them as needed. An NPC class serves that goal by giving you a framework. It works for me, but ymmv. Obviously :)
I used the idea of a d8 per level for all classes btw.
Yes, it does, to answer the original question. Keep it simple. Limit them to a 10 level class on the theory that anybody higher level than that should be a PC class. They're useful for world building / populating places. Simpler than PC classes, but more flexible than the NPC types from the MM. Rough out a chart for what level different NPCs should be (plus or minus a bit). For example what level should a master smith be? What level should a typical city watchman be? One of the best features from a DMs point of view, and imho, was the NPC classes. The virtue of the cookie cutter MM NPCs is simplicity, but they have the same issue 0 level NPCs had pre 3.x. You end up using PC classes when you want something that isn't a pushover or a clone. And if you keep building tougher cookie cutter NPCs you might as well have the NPC classes in place. All in my opinion of course. Ymmv.
*edit* And yes, I'm working on my own versions based on what I used in 3.x. I started messing with them when I went to convert my own setting to 5E...
Death House. An introductory adventure for Curse of Strahd. PDF link from WotC:
Downloaded it; haven't looked it over yet. It's 12 pages.
edit: Sigh, my linking skill has failed me. Just paste it into your address bar and go... and it's put a space into of "Introductory" (r y)at the end and won't let me edit it out... paste it, fix that and go.
Oh, I agree, it can be done but I find it easier to set the hook in a developed character. It also allows the players more choice in the direction their characters are going to go. My PCs have walked away from epic plots. And wandered straight into others. Or just poked around and hung out with friends. A lot of players like choice in their character creation and advancement options, but don't worry too much about choices in what they do in the world (at least once the campaign starts). I've always found that odd. The most reliable way to draw players into an adventure is through their long term contacts within the setting. Players will "help a friend" or defend a place they like more readily than dive into an adventure without reason. They will dig into the mysteries of a place they are familiar with more readily than someplace they don't know. The more setting knowledge and context they have (the more buy in as it were) the better the adventure. I've run the same setting for over 40 years and it has worked for me with multiple generations of players.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Pretty much :)
Complexity and danger build as the character became more complex and more powerful. Gritty day to day survival stories can happen in a dungeon or city for low level PCs. It builds character. And a lot of the stuff that happens to low level PCs can be funny. If occasionally fatal. More complex character driven stories take time to develop and epic stories do as well. Many APs try to do this (level 1-15+), but the epic intent is there from the start and I don't really see low level PCs as being epic material. They need to level up a bit and find their feet before they're eligible for the big time or could survive being involved with it. I see PCs percolating around the sandbox through the first 3-5 levels before they get into important stuff. Then it becomes reasonable for others (friends or enemies) to involve them. In the old days "modules" were rated by level (1-4, 5-8, 9-12 etc.) and there may, or may not, have been any connections between them (although some are famous for having that). The modules could be plugged into existing games, and many of my friends did this. I'm a bit weird -- I always did my own stuff. I always found it "fit" the setting better and often the amount of time necessary to adopt an adventure wasn't much less than doing your own.
As for content I think comedy, drama, romance and horror are all necessary for good character development :D
I started in wargames (miniatures and board) and picked up playing D&D in 1974. I've said this before, as have others here, we didn't have backstories. The characters story was written in game. Partly it was a lack of information about the character. You had a vague idea about your fighter, he was a knight or a barbarian or a Viking or a hardened mercenary. You filled in the blanks while playing. Role playing came with knowledge of your character and his fellow adventurers. That took survival. Low level characters often had little detail to them. The character who made it to 4th or 6th level (or higher) became more "real". You had deeper story driven games with those higher level characters. My game, then and now, has a sandbox adventure area (dungeon, caverns, dark forest, etc.) where characters gain their first few levels. Players develop their characters ... character (as it were) on adventures and in town between them. As they go up in level (and have spent more time in the setting) they get more involved with the local NPCs, make friends and enemies, and do things beyond simple adventures. They wind up hip deep in a story driven game at that point. That's always worked for me (and my players).
This has always seemed fairly reasonable to me. I developed background generation systems DMing to give players a bit more information about their characters. They didn't do it, so I made up tables based on class and race. I still use them (players are free to roll or choose, always were. Nationality was also a table (or choose your own). You rolled characteristics, chose race, chose class, rolled / picked nationality and social background (tables based on class). I had to push this onto players who wouldn't have worried about how they fit into the setting. Not exactly a problem anymore :)
Personally I don't think it needs to get deeper than that for a new PC (although players are free to develop more). Fresh off the farm / manor house / squalid shanty / magical collegium characters probably don't have huge complex stories attached to them. Mostly anyway. They're beginners. Competent (hopefully), promising (maybe), inexperienced (definitely). They build that big story in game.
To me, that's old school. Ymmv, and I suspect does for pretty much everybody.
As I recall, Fox does not have a "news division" anymore. Fox News is part of the Entertainment Division. Which might explain their version of the news...
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
There's not that much 5E material yet. The two basic books and the Unearthed Arcana free articles are a good start though. There have been a half dozen (? 7 now) or so UA articles.
WotC hasn't finalized a license for 5E, so no equivalent to the PFSRD or SRD yet. And you won't get that until (and if) they settle licensing issues and determine what (if anything) is "open content". A lot of the current 3PP material is produced using the existing OGL. Except the WotC hardbacks produced by partners...
Personally I'm fine with the lack of material. It's not difficult to create / adapt things for 5E and I enjoy doing it myself.
A lot said about "old school" that I remember, some, not so much. Games differed. A couple of things I recall though and haven't seen too much on in this thread...
It wasn't about the PCs progression, it was about exploring a world. It could be a dungeon / nearby village or a massive city and huge setting but what was around the bend was important and unknown. And exciting. Exploration. And mapping it yourself :)
And character "story / backstory" really was written in game not pre game. What was important was what happened with your friends. That's where the stories were.
Campaigns weren't meant to go "1-20", they just went. Until they didn't.
Our games were sandbox, very little overarching save the world type stories. Possibly because getting to high level took forever without a "Monty Haul" DM :) Players set their goals in the world and the DM expanded his game to accommodate the players direction.
I run the same homebrew campaign today that I started with in original D&D. It's changed edition by edition (except 4th - I stuck with 3.5 and then PF). I'm not sure if it's really "old school" or "new". I'm immersed in it, it's built a history and mythology for itself. The adventures practically write themselves (and I have recycled material on occasion). And it saves me from spending a small fortune on adventure paths :D
I assumed "original gamer" was just another term for old timer myself. I started in 1974 but I wouldn't consider myself an "OG" in the sense of being in some kind of inner circle or being published, just an "old geezer" (I'm 56). OG in that sense would be a literal handful of people. We played Chainmail (both straight medieval and fantasy) and transitioned into D&D. No contact with GG and company other than buying the game from the FLGS...
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Yea i mean... Im only 22. Some people have been playing D&D for longer than I have been alive. But I hate when my age seems to invalidate me because some old fart played first edition.
You missed my point (? or not?). My point was that young / old doesn't matter that much. Experience is useful for some things but knowledge is not limited to old farts like me. My problem is with any group being categorized as annoying / grumpy / etc. That's why I brought up my experience. I don't make it a habit of annoying people, bringing up arguments about the "good old days" or "the one true way to play". Despite my age / experience :) My experience is that there are annoying people in every group. Young. Old. In between. That's just people. You need to learn to let that go. No use being annoyed by certain people. Easier said than done, I know.
Besides, us *real* old farts started with the original D&D game... 1E is for youngsters :)
I think generalization is a problem. About players. I've played D&D since 1974. Every version except 4E (I read it and decided to stick with 3.5), and, of course, Pathfinder. Among many other games. I manage to talk about it without, I think, being too annoying. There are grumpy, argumentative, dogmatic players of every age, play style and level of experience around here. Still not as many as on other sites I know.
Some people actually want to play their characters through without being "boosted up". Check with the PC. If they don't want to start at the higher level look at the situation. If the difference is too great talk to the player and start them at a minimum level for survival. If their party has any brains they'll cover for them.
Of course I run a sandbox game (always have) and that makes a difference. I have adventure threads in the game, but if the players are careful they can manage a level difference. If you're running an AP that might be difficult. I can't say for sure (not running APs myself), but logically when you have an adventure requiring players be level "X" for threat "Y" that would seem to be the case...
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Yep, and every thing going forward from post Disney Lucas Arts and licensees (comic books, novels, etc.). Given the variable nature of games outcomes I think they will be the exception.
AP Government, AP US History and CP Government. A ton of grading and no explosions in sight... unless... Omaha Beach in Battlefront! Well, probably not a good idea.
Oh, one of their minions bringing them back... something could be arranged :) Or hey, a new villain endangering the worlds... I'm easy. I loved that game.
Yeah. Hexen 3 would do nicely....
Fallout 4, Doom and Battlefront all look good. Now, I just have to figure out how to squeeze a few hours to play during the school year. I have a fairly heavy teaching load this coming year *sigh*
It's a Bethesda game. Think mods. For the PC. The engine isn't the shiniest (in all likelihood so the mod community can keep up) so you don't need a monster gaming rig. The engine they used for the Elderscrolls games like Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim (and Fallout 3 / NV) allowed for a thriving mod community. As I recall it's the same engine being used in Fallout 4. So mods... :)
I download my files, unzip them, rename the PDFs, drop them into organizational folders and put a copy on an external hard drive in case my laptop hard drive crashes. It's simple and not that time consuming. In short the present system works fine for me. I have zero interest in using cloud storage for proprietary files of any type or for any files I need access to at will. On the other hand I have no problem with other people having that option as long as I do not have to use it.
Once you download it, it's not online. It's just not paper. I miss the old days too. I have every issue of The Dragon / Dragon from #3 on (before it went out of print and turned 4E) and most of it's predecessor the Strategic Review. I wasn't all that impressed with the first couple of TD issues although the last Strategic Review was great. I've seen a half dozen other masgazines come and go as well. And I currently collect dead tree and pdf versions of Gygax magazine. Print magazines with an audience as niche as RPGs are not really profitable. Dragon+ (may) work because once it's done the only cost is bandwidth and it's an advertising tool. Some content swapped for you being targeted by ads which, after all, are for a product you are interested in and may very well spend money on. It's a pretty good strategy.
Depends on how much your time is worth. I used to build my own rigs too, but my last couple of gaming laptops (including the one I'm typing this on) have been Sager (or before that Alienware desktops). I don't know the current status of Linux, but it used to take a lot of putzing around with it. Or a dual boot. And then you find yourself spending most of your time in Windows. I know they were trying to reduce the amount of annoying that went with Linux. It was fun when I had the time though...
I haven't run Linux since before Win 7 myself. I skipped 8 / 8.1. Win 10 is looking very good however...
I think they are trying to reach as wide an audience as possible with Dragon+. They are starting with an app aimed at phones / tablets (ios or android). They are, apparently, planning on expanding to PC and Mac. They wanted to minimize their format issues (hence an app to present the content and make "subscriptions" possible. The subscription relieves people of the minimal effort required to otherwise find / download each issue. It ensures the maximum audience for Dragon+. Given that it is free, and essentially ad supported, they want to maximize their audience. The ads are essentially targeted at their audience as it is...
No, they were looking at doing a Win PC port before the Build Conference made it obvious that porting Android apps would be about as simple as the developer clicking a button and recompiling the code. They haven't specifically mentioned which version of Windows they were considering outside of mentioning the PC. Given the free upgrade from Win 7 and 8.1 to 10 (and the good reviews on Win 10 RC / preview) I'd imagine a lot of people will upgrade in any event. I skipped win 8 myself, but am planning on upgrading to Win 10.
*edit* And apparently just as easy for ios mobile apps to be ported to Win 10. I hadn't considered that (since I don't have any ios devices) but I thought I remembered it being so for ios and it is. Nice.
It's up for ios now, soon for Android with PC coming later. Based on information about Win 10 it should be a simple port to it. Once you have the application it's dead simple to get the magazine. Just subscribe for free and you're good to go. There are a number of emulators that allow you to run Android apps on a Win PC for that matter (i.e. Bluestacks). I have an ASUS tablet I should update and dust off for that matter. I find phone screens too small for a good read.
Forever Slayer wrote:
According to them: "Dragon+ is indeed free, and our plan is to keep it that way... Yes, the content will be free but there are ads that point to our products and partner products."
So, you get free content and advertisement for other D&D related material that does cost.
The quote is off an article on EN World about Dragon+. From WotC.
Additionally (to ios and Android) there are plans for a PC / Windows version as well. Should be made simpler by Windows 10. It will apparently be dead simple for developers to port their code to Windows 10 from ios or Android. And anything that runs on Win 10 will run across the whole spectrum of Windows devices from phones to tablets to PCs. Good thing, I'm not a fan of reading on tiny screens...
The news on apps came out of Microsoft's Build developers conference btw. The long term plan for a Windows / PC version is from WotC.
Hmmm... I'm over 50 (56), started playing miniatures and board wargames in the 1960s (Napoleonics included), Chainmail in 1971, D&D from 1974 on, beard, ah d@mn it. My beard is silver, brown and red. Looks like a cat that was run over by a car. I shave as a result. And I'm not an @ssh@t who hates "new" games. *sigh* Grognard status was so close... I could grow the beard (even if it meant scaring animals and small children) but I'm not sure I can be grumpy enough and dismissive of other peoples gaming likes / dislikes... and I even like some new games. And some old games too. Oh well.
*edit* Cheetos and Mountain Dew, check. Well, Diet 7-Up now... still, the beard and the lack of attitude... *sigh*