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I swear that GMs are getting softer these days


Gamer Talk

51 to 100 of 153 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

John Robey wrote:

Y'know, in the old games when your character was little more than a chess piece and you could roll up a dozen in ten minutes, quick death was not so big an issue.

In terms of character creation time, death isn't a big issue, no -- but if it happens too much it still screws with campaign story and continuity, if those are at all important to you. Obviously if you're running the stereotypical old-school "These characters are going into the dungeon to try to kill whatever's there and get treasure" random-rolled-by-the-tables-in-the-back-of-the-1E-DMG game that doesn't really matter, but I think it does in most peoples' games.

At some point the players will stop bothering to even name their characters, much less put any thought into them.

Andoran

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Disgaea Geo Tiles

*Eyes light up*

*Scrambles to add Geo-tiles to next session's dungeon*

Cheliax

While the game has gained more features and in some respects become more difficult - avoid trap choice, creating superior builds from available options, etc, the game has - by philosophy, gotten much easier/softer.

This extends to:

Consequence of actions and bad decisions were reduced or eliminated

Risk associated with actions - in many cases all risk has been eliminated from D&D/PF. This goes to 3rd-4th and PFRPG.

Powerful (yet restricting) spells became more powerful, any thought process related to making decision on risk for using a spell, item, power were reduced to zero.

Vulnerability and character power increased several times over (more spells, increased everything, saving throw manipulation)

Character creation diluted and made very PC - net gain on attribute bonuses, no restrictions on class selection, progression or qualification.

DM/Game philosophy: Fixed CR range of encounters, limited encounters per day, WBL, ultra-fast level progression, player controlled pacing, player controlled campaign options (I want the Ninja PrC in your Pseudo-Medieval euro game), default magic-marts, etc

Shift from story and adventure to PC progress from 1-20, build, Prc choices vs. what you have done as a hero.
When we first played Ravenloft (the module) it was a fun & exciting adventure, our characters were part of the story but not the whole story. It wasn't just a speedbump to the next level but an actual adventure we experienced as a group.

Most of things on an individual level are not that big of a deal, but if you add it all up the game has gotten easier and less challenging.

And no, please drop the argument about making it moar "fun", fun is a subjective term and one size does not fit all. Most of the decisions and changes were not about increasing "fun" as much as they were about making things more accessible and marketable. User friendly =/= better, at least not when depth and detail is sacrificed.

Initially when my group transitioned from 2nd to 3.5 and then PFRPG I thought the game improved, but after running 3.5/PFRPG the last 7 years I realized that d20 D&D at its core is not a challenging game – at least not as gaming was in older editions/other games. D20 gaming is challenging only in a purely mechanical choice paradigm, beyond that – nothings there.

Sorry for the rant

Edit: throw your bombs


Auxmaulous wrote:
Stuff!

I respectfully disagree with nearly everything you said.


I have gamed with Mark for several years, often with him acting as DM. Here are my responses to his statements:

Mark Thomas 66 wrote:

most gms i have seen on these boards have seemed to have grown pretty darn soft on thier players.

i have read and heard calls on many things that seem to show that GM's are becoming softer

no sundering

IF PLAYERS CAN DO IT, ENEMIES CAN DO IT!

Mark currently leads us all in the amount of items sundered by a DM.

Quote:


no stealing the wizard's spellbook,

OK THAT ONE'S KINDA MESSED UP AND RENDERS A CHARACTER ESSENTIALLY USE LESS UNLESS RESOLVED IN A DAY. WHICH CAN MAKE FOR A GREAT RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK

See, this one I have no problem with. Wizards used to have multiple spellbooks to get around this problem an edition or so ago, and I think there were rules for just how many spells a book could hold a couple of editions back(so you would need multiple spellbooks anyway). From my POV, it's the story about eggs and baskets, but still, make sure you and the DM agree on just how many spellbooks you really have, or get ready to spend a lot of time in game re-writing spells you already know.

Quote:

no scenarios where the pcs are in prison cells without any equipment,

ONE OF THE BEST CAMPAIGNS I EVER RAN STARTED THIS WAY WITH THEM AS SLAVES IN THE HOLD OF A SHIP

God, I loved my Bard. He was such a jerk. I think that game lead to the greatest amount of quotes on our quote sheet, and it certainly had the most epic battle(the PCs lost actually, and the sole survivor[the bard, naturally] had to run to the high level priests in the other room and get them to cast several spells, including gate).

Quote:

no sending excessively high CR opponents after the party,

no attacking resting pcs, no wandering monsters,

I'VE HAD PARTY MEMBERS DIE IN THEIR SLEEP BECAUSE OF WANDERING MONSTERS JUST ASK ONE OF MY PLAYES WHO FREQUENTS THESE BOARDS ABOUT WOLVES

Somehow. Someday. I will get my revenge. Stupid wolves.

Quote:


conveniently open magic marts everywhere

NOPE

If only because Timbastian would have gone hog wild.

Quote:

no circumstance bonuses or penalties of any kind such as higher prices for people that a particular npc salesman doesn't like or bonuses to influence people who like what they heard about you.

CHARACTERS HAVE BEEN BANNED FROM MAGIC SHOPS OR HORRIBLY RIPPED OFF BECAUSE OF STUPID DECISIONS. THEY'E ALSO BEEN SOLD CURSED ITEMS OFF THE BACK OF A CART.

HA!!! Memories. Still, you'll pay for that.

Quote:

no henchmen or cohorts at all, and a complete banning of the leadership feat. i beleive a high level pc with amazing charisma should be able to pick up henchmen and potential cohorts

BY THE END OF THE AFORE MENTIONED CAMMPAIGN PLAYERS HAD A SMALL ARMY THANKS TO A BARD WITH LEADERSHIP.

You mean my bard, right? Yeah, that was a kickass harem I had going on. He was trying to become a god, which was hilarious.

Quote:

clerics get to ask thier gods for whatever spells they want now. it used to be based on whatever spells the GM felt like giving you at the time.

NOW THAT'S JUST POINTLESS

Yeah, you lost me here.

Quote:


point buy, your stats used to be left up to the dice

HELL YEAH!

ROLL DICE FOREVER! POINT BUY NEVER!


Austin Morgan wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Disgaea Geo Tiles

*Eyes light up*

*Scrambles to add Geo-tiles to next session's dungeon*

DISGAEA!!!!!!!!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

DoveArrow wrote:
I don't think DMs are getting softer. I think what's happened is that, over time, players, DMs, and game designers have learned what does and does not make a game fun, and in general, the things you've listed aren't fun. ...
Cartigan wrote:
Yeah sorry, there was a big DM meeting back right before 3.5 came out where everyone got together and decided D&D would be more popular if the DMs made the game fun.

With respect to these views, and the views of others who've advanced the same position, I'd say that the activities which players consider "the fun parts" has narrowed over the years. In the 1st Edition days, we thought that planning an exploration, keeping track of resources, trying to figure out the properties of magical items we found, wondering why the cleric's patron had seen fit to grant her three copies of remove curse, negotiating with surly NPCs; all that was all part of the fun.

I'd say that some people have narrowed down "the fun parts" to combat and rising in level.

Pres man talks about wandering monsters and self-centered NPCs getting in the way of the story. I'd suggest that, in earlier editions, overcoming those kinds of threats and obstacles was seen as aspects of the story, which only went in directions the PCs wanted with effort.

--+--+--

A well-functioning group of GM-and-players has a common idea about what kind of activities people want to roleplay, and what sort of details and struggles make for a satisfying campaign. And then they work together to accomplish that.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Let me say this very clearly and succinctly.

Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chris Mortika wrote:

A well-functioning group of GM-and-players has a common idea about what kind of activities people want to roleplay, and what sort of details and struggles make for a satisfying campaign. And then they work together to accomplish that.

+1

Chris Mortika wrote:

With respect to these views, and the views of others who've advanced the same position, I'd say that the activities which players consider "the fun parts" has narrowed over the years. In the 1st Edition days, we thought that planning an exploration, keeping track of resources, trying to figure out the properties of magical items we found, wondering why the cleric's patron had seen fit to grant her three copies of remove curse, negotiating with surly NPCs; all that was all part of the fun.

I'd say that some people have narrowed down "the fun parts" to combat and rising in level.

Pres man talks about wandering monsters and self-centered NPCs getting in the way of the story. I'd suggest that, in earlier editions, overcoming those kinds of threats and obstacles was seen as aspects of the story, which only went in directions the PCs wanted with effort.

You seem to be imputing a monolithic character to 1e/OD&D play style that doesn't match the way I remember playing Back In The Day. At least, I spent a lot of time playing in campaigns that tended to gloss a lot of the slow parts, along with some severe limited-resource campaigns. Both extremes, when run well and not sprung on players as a surprise, can be a lot of fun.

I think, though, that at least part of this comes down to more people having less time to play/more stuff competing for their downtime. If you put a bunch of time into planning an expedition to <area of interest>, having the expedition derailed when you run into a random dragon encounter is a lot easier to take when you know that everyone is going to be back to play again in a week. When lining up schedules is a major pain, I can easily see wanting to cut to the chase.


UltimaGabe wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


Something about how my DM is better because he does things most people consider assinine, cheap, or unnecessary
Remind me never to play with you. Or your DM. Or any DM you've gamed with.

+1. This has to be one of the most absurd threads I ever read. And I say that as someone who regularly plays hard mode in the true sense of the word. Hint: Being a jerkass =/= hardmode. That just gets you assaulted by your players.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

CoDzilla wrote:
+1. This has to be one of the most absurd threads I ever read. And I say that as someone who regularly plays hard mode in the true sense of the word. Hint: Being a jerkass =/= hardmode. That just gets you assaulted by your players.

Unless S.N. is describing the kinds of challenges the players are expecting to overcome. In which case, everybody's cool.

And I'd suggest that "hard mode in the true sense of the word" is more subjective than "the true sense" might indicate.


John Woodford wrote:

You seem to be imputing a monolithic character to 1e/OD&D play style that doesn't match the way I remember playing Back In The Day.

[other good stuff deleted]

+1!


I just wanted to add my thoughts on the original post, which isn't anything out of the ordinary and has already been said. I think that anything the OP posted could be fun or tedious depending on the DM. Sundering a weapon could be a huge thing for the character that forces him to adapt for a time, like in the Order of the Stick when Roy get's his sword broken, or it can be a jerk move where the DM just wants to punish the character, or if it happens more than once to the same character.

Same thing with a spellbook. It could be a way to have a side quest where the wizard needs to seek out his spellbook before he uses up the last of his arcane power and has to rely on his wits and wands, scrolls, and what spells he still has memorized, or it could just be a way to make your mage useless if you keep him from ever regaining his spells or using items to supplement his lack of spells. I think of it in the same way that the clerics of Lloth in the Forgotten Realms setting were forced to improvise during Lloth's silence. They hoarded their last spells carefully, and relied on their scrolls, wands, and magic items to maintain their control. Used right, and with the proper mindset by the player, that can be a challenging and memorable time for a character, used wrong or with a player who doesn't want to do it and it becomes a jerk move.

Same thing with imprisonment, stealing equipment, cursed items, negative levels, rust monsters, petrification, baleful polymorph, and other similar problems. Used properly and sparingly, if approached the right way by the DM and players any of those can enhance a game. Used improperly or overused, or approached in the wrong way by the DM or players, and they can destroy a game.

In the end I think it falls down to trust and knowing your players. If your players trust you not to screw them over for no reason, and you know your players don't mind facing adversity and dealing with unusual challenges then you should be able to occasionally throw a curve ball at the players. The greatest heroes are revealed by facing the greatest challenges, and I guarantee you that if you play it right and the player doesn't object, a player will remember his time as a mage facing down his nemesis with nothing but a handful of low-level spells and a couple wands and scrolls to regain his spellbook, and perhaps a few bonus spells as a reward, or his short quest as a fighter to reforge his broken sword in a way that makes it stronger than before, or even the time they clawed their way out of a deadly dungeon with a few sticks and rocks and took back their equipment and took revenge on their captor.

On the other hand, if you are going to just screw the players over, or your default encounter involves any of the challenges in the first post, of course your players will hate it. That same mage will hate the game if he is imprisoned, has his spellbook stolen, and then spends the next 5 sessions with no magic or any items watching from the rear as the rest of the party deals with all their challenges and he has no way of contributing, and the same fighter will be discouraged if you ruin his heirloom weapon that he has focused on and never let him regain a similar weapon. And if every adventure starts with the players losing all their equipment with no fight and being thrown into jail, or even if you do that more than once or twice with the same characters, you need to find a better starting place.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

John Woodford wrote:
You seem to be imputing a monolithic character to 1e/OD&D play style that doesn't match the way I remember playing Back In The Day. At least, I spent a lot of time playing in campaigns that tended to gloss a lot of the slow parts, along with some severe limited-resource campaigns. Both extremes, when run well and not sprung on players as a surprise, can be a lot of fun.

I'm sorry if I gave that idea. 1st Edition supported a lot of different play styles, a gamut from groups which followed the "never cut the party a break" advice in the DMG to more action-adventure campaigns. More recent editions seem to be narrowing the scope of "the fun parts," which is favoring some of those play styles and excluding others.

Incidentally, DMs who would never dream of stealing a Wizard's spellbook think very little of killing a Witch's familiar. At low levels that can indeed mean the Witch is wandering around for several sessions without spells.


There's been some discussion on this, and other, threads about 1ED and its "hardness / deadliness / agressiveness / purity" and so forth. I believe that what is important to realize is that this game (D&D/Pathfinder/etc.) and role-playing games in general have evolved a great deal since the late 1970s, early 1980s. After all, we're talking about nearly 30 years of gaming development. Something would be seriously amiss if things did not evolve over several decades.

In my experience, yes the game was much deadlier and much more GM vs. Player oriented in past editions. However, I also belive that there was much less focus on story development, character development, and story continuity in those games. For those that played during the 1ED / 2ED years, how many players ran "Bob the fighter with a sword". To further "flesh out" Bob's character concept, there might have been a line or two about how his family was slaughtered by orcs and that was about it.

Everything in those editions was focused on combat; after all the ruleset was directly extrapolated from Chainmail, which was a miniatures tactical combat game. Your character dies? No big deal, you can have another one in a few minutes to jump right back into the action. Skills in their current incarnation didn't even begin to be introduced until 2ED and at that point were considered completely voluntary and extremely limited. All that mattered was a character's ability scores, saving throws, and combat statistics.

Since that time, 3.5/Pathfinder has become much more focused on mutually developing a story/campaign between the GM and players. In my personal experience, the payers now spend much, much more time developing their character "concept", developing backstories, and so forth. Of course there are exceptions, but I think that the trend has been steadily moving in that direction.

Given that trend, I think it is a cheap-shot for the GM to actively gun for the characters, to exploit their every weakness, and to prevent them from using their class abilities and chosen skills or feats. I fully believe that the GM should challenge the players and if a character occasionally dies, such is the nature of the game. However, I also believe that the GM is no longer competing directly against the characters as they may have been in previous editions.

I realize that this post has rambled over a few topics without seeming to have gained any real purchase, but I don't think we should ignore several decades of gaming development and simply say things were harder/better or whatever back in 1ED. Things were obviously very different then, but better is a very subjective term. If you like that tactical combat oriented, "grinder" style dungeons of years past, more power to you. However, not all of us are as endeared to the past and we actually like how things have progressed.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Let me say this very clearly and succinctly.

Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.

You win one internet, and if you can answer the bonus question, you win another!

So for the bonus question: What is the difference?


UltimaGabe wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:


Something about how my DM is better because he does things most people consider assinine, cheap, or unnecessary
Remind me never to play with you. Or your DM. Or any DM you've gamed with.

My DM doesn't do all of the stuff on the list. just about half of it. i don't have a preference for his "Cheap" "Assinine" style, just that i got used to it. i know he is not a better DM, just different. and these cheap tactics don't happen automatically, he at least lets us resolve the encounter that leads to it. we at least get a chance to fight off the capturers, to stop the spellbook from being stolen and all that. and he doesn't do this 24/7. it's a once in a while thing. he has never sent a Great wyrm red dragon against a level 3 party (or anything similar). he has used fights with a total EL 6 higher than the party's Adjusted APL. he keeps it in moderation.


I'm not sure how much less deadly it is now.

For one of my groups, we are running the RotR and they are almost ready to finish the Sins of the Saviors.

Of the 6 characters that entered the Runeforge, there are two that are still alive. The rest have been replaced by goldfish folk. And one of those has all of his magic items permanently dispelled. Poor halfling rogue, not exactly getting a lot of gear to restock with. And they still have one big boss fight left.


Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
My DM doesn't do all of the stuff on the list. just about half of it. i don't have a preference for his "Cheap" "Assinine" style, just that i got used to it. i know he is not a better DM, just different.

In that case, I believe that you may have confused many of the persons who responded to your initial posting, including myself. The rather exhaustive list in the original post seemed to indicate that your GM was, in fact, performing all of those actions during the game.

Additionally the title of the post led me, at least, to believe that you thought that list of actions were somehow "harder" or superior to other styles of running a game.

Finally, I'll repeat what others have already stated in this thread: you should not have to "get used to" a style of gaming that you do not enjoy.


Brooks wrote:
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
My DM doesn't do all of the stuff on the list. just about half of it. i don't have a preference for his "Cheap" "Assinine" style, just that i got used to it. i know he is not a better DM, just different.

In that case, I believe that you may have confused many of the persons who responded to your initial posting, including myself. The rather exhaustive list in the original post seemed to indicate that your GM was, in fact, performing all of those actions during the game.

Additionally the title of the post led me, at least, to believe that you thought that list of actions were somehow "harder" or superior to other styles of running a game.

Finally, I'll repeat what others have already stated in this thread: you should not have to "get used to" a style of gaming that you do not enjoy.

i have had quite a bit of success in partially reforming his style towards the "Softer" Dms of today. but any assanine move he still does today now comes with a chance to potentially stop it. he is a lot less assanine than he used to be. and i am sorry for accidentally confusing you all. i am not the best at saying or explaining things and i accidentally say the wrong thing the wrong way. this thread was started by a discussion i had with a few players in my group that were former GM's.

Andoran

Brooks wrote:

There's been some discussion on this, and other, threads about 1ED and its "hardness / deadliness / agressiveness / purity" and so forth. I believe that what is important to realize is that this game (D&D/Pathfinder/etc.) and role-playing games in general have evolved a great deal since the late 1970s, early 1980s. After all, we're talking about nearly 30 years of gaming development. Something would be seriously amiss if things did not evolve over several decades.

In my experience, yes the game was much deadlier and much more GM vs. Player oriented in past editions. However, I also belive that there was much less focus on story development, character development, and story continuity in those games. For those that played during the 1ED / 2ED years, how many players ran "Bob the fighter with a sword". To further "flesh out" Bob's character concept, there might have been a line or two about how his family was slaughtered by orcs and that was about it.

Everything in those editions was focused on combat; after all the ruleset was directly extrapolated from Chainmail, which was a miniatures tactical combat game. Your character dies? No big deal, you can have another one in a few minutes to jump right back into the action. Skills in their current incarnation didn't even begin to be introduced until 2ED and at that point were considered completely voluntary and extremely limited. All that mattered was a character's ability scores, saving throws, and combat statistics.

Since that time, 3.5/Pathfinder has become much more focused on mutually developing a story/campaign between the GM and players. In my personal experience, the payers now spend much, much more time developing their character "concept", developing backstories, and so forth. Of course there are exceptions, but I think that the trend has been steadily moving in that direction.

Given that trend, I think it is a cheap-shot for the GM to actively gun for the characters, to exploit their every weakness, and to prevent them from using their class...

And yet, for all of that "focus on combat" in 1e, the Player's Handbook and the DMG combined have about 30 pages (out of 350) devoted to combat. The rest was devoted to characters, spells (and a lot more utility spells - i.e. non-combat - than 3x/PF core) and building the setting.

And, in my experience (since we're using anecdotal experience as fact), we spent a HELL of a lot more time on background and whatnot, as that's HOW we fleshed out our characters. I hear a lot more about build now than I do a character's hometown or family. And, you know what? All of the games I ran, AD&D and 3.x, built great stories, because that's how I play. The only difference was AD&D was more organic story building, 3.x was more plot driven. Because that is what I had to work with, player-wise. I tried to run 3.x the same way I ran AD&D, and it didn't work, because the players expect me to provide story, whereas my AD&D gang just expected me to provide the sandbox for them to tell the tale.

90% of the threads here deal with mechanics, not fluff. A majority of Forum entries in the old Dragon dealt with fluff, not mechanics. Yeah, there's a difference between edition expectations, but I think AD&D encouraged player driven experience, and 3x/Pf encourages character(sheet) driven experience.


houstonderek wrote:
90% of the threads here deal with mechanics, not fluff. A majority of Forum entries in the old Dragon dealt with fluff, not mechanics. Yeah, there's a difference between edition expectations, but I think AD&D encouraged player driven experience, and 3x/Pf encourages character(sheet) driven experience.

I would suggest that the predominance of mechanics threads indicates that there is more to discuss, argue, clarify, and codify regarding the crunch of the rules. This doesn't indicate that character "fluff" hasn't gained increasing importance, but rather that there is less to discuss regarding backstories and so forth.

Anecdotal experience is what it is, but mine suggests that earlier editions focused much less on story than on combat. For example, if you've ever perused the Against the Giants or other classic module series, there is very, very little regarding the story or the character motivations or whatever. Instead, what you have is a series of encounters with stat blocks and some maps.

Again, I'm not saying that this style of gameplay is inferior, but I am saying that it is very different than what D&D has evolved into. Motivation, story, and so forth didn't really matter. You threw some characters into a dungeon and let them fight through it.

EDITED FOR CLARITY

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KaeYoss wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Let me say this very clearly and succinctly.

Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.

You win one internet, and if you can answer the bonus question, you win another!

So for the bonus question: What is the difference?

Weakness means you won't kill. Kindness means you choose when you kill.

Cheliax

In all fairness many if not most of the 1st ed modules were original tournament run fare. Some even have tourney scoring charts printed with the adventure.

That being said even Against the Giants had a plot and story arc, if not a simplistic site based "mission" type adventure. Most of these early modules focused on site base exploration vs plot vehicle, considering their time I still find them superior to most material out there. Hell, even Paizo has made some efforts in replicating aspects of the classics.


The game isn't so much "less deadly" as it is "Less hilariously arbitrarily unfair."

The ideal goal, I think, is for player death to be the fault of the player. They screw up, and if they screw up hard enough, death is the result.

The problem with "old school" gaming is, the "screw up" is typically "You played the game." Walked into a room? Guess what, the ceiling, floor, walls, and chest in the corner are all monsters. Didn't properly play Mother May I? The trap goes off and you die instantly. Death was ever present...which honestly cheapens it far more then anything else. When characters are running in and out of a revolving door of mortality, death isn't that big of a deal. Ok, my 5th character died. Boom, time for character 6.


Auxmaulous wrote:

In all fairness many if not most of the 1st ed modules were original tournament run fare. Some even have tourney scoring charts printed with the adventure.

That being said even Against the Giants had a plot and story arc, if not a simplistic site based "mission" type adventure. Most of these early modules focused on site base exploration vs plot vehicle, considering their time I still find them superior to most material out there. Hell, even Paizo has made some efforts in replicating aspects of the classics.

I will completely agree with you that most of the 1ED modules were written for convention play as I stated above.

However, I completely disagree with you regarding the depth of the story arc in Against the Giants. I just pulled the G-1-2-3 booklet (TSR# 9058) out of my bookcase and it encompasses 30 typed pages (not including the cardstock maps that fit inside of the cover.) The "background" text is roughly 4 column inches encompassing less than 1/4 of the first page.

Following is some "Notes For The Dungeon Master" and then we jump straight into 33 encounters for the first section of the module. The following two modules are essentially identical and encompassed in the same 30 pages.

I would argue that the entire series, and many of the 1ED and 2ED, adventures were written as a series of combat encounters and subsequently encouraged simplistic character development and emphasized tactical combat.

This fact is not a bad thing, but it is still a fact. Different persons seek different things from a RPG, but to wax poetic about previous editions of the game has the risk of ignoring several decades of gaming development.

Andoran

CoDzilla wrote:

And I say that as someone who regularly plays hard mode in the true sense of the word.

These words, I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

Unless you are describing the game you actually play in vs the game you describe playing in on the threads.

Just because it says it has a high CR doesn't mean the game is hard. When your DM lets you have lots of house rules, and nerfs what you are fighting, well YMMV....


TriOmegaZero wrote:
KaeYoss wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

Let me say this very clearly and succinctly.

Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.

You win one internet, and if you can answer the bonus question, you win another!

So for the bonus question: What is the difference?

Weakness means you won't kill. Kindness means you choose when you kill.

Not the difference between kindness and weakness.

The difference.


Brooks wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

In all fairness many if not most of the 1st ed modules were original tournament run fare. Some even have tourney scoring charts printed with the adventure.

That being said even Against the Giants had a plot and story arc, if not a simplistic site based "mission" type adventure. Most of these early modules focused on site base exploration vs plot vehicle, considering their time I still find them superior to most material out there. Hell, even Paizo has made some efforts in replicating aspects of the classics.

I will completely agree with you that most of the 1ED modules were written for convention play as I stated above.

However, I completely disagree with you regarding the depth of the story arc in Against the Giants. I just pulled the G-1-2-3 booklet (TSR# 9058) out of my bookcase and it encompasses 30 typed pages (not including the cardstock maps that fit inside of the cover.) The "background" text is roughly 4 column inches encompassing less than 1/4 of the first page.

Following is some "Notes For The Dungeon Master" and then we jump straight into 33 encounters for the first section of the module. The following two modules are essentially identical and encompassed in the same 30 pages.

I would argue that the entire series, and many of the 1ED and 2ED, adventures were written as a series of combat encounters and subsequently encouraged simplistic character development and emphasized tactical combat.

This fact is not a bad thing, but it is still a fact. Different persons seek different things from a RPG, but to wax poetic about previous editions of the game has the risk of ignoring several decades of gaming development.

And nobody can claim that Pathfinder modules, especially the Adventure Paths, aren't chock full of fluff. And they're for 3.5/PFRPG.


Brooks wrote:


However, I completely disagree with you regarding the depth of the story arc in Against the Giants. I just pulled the G-1-2-3 booklet (TSR# 9058) out of my bookcase and it encompasses 30 typed pages (not including the cardstock maps that fit inside of the cover.) The "background" text is roughly 4 column inches encompassing less than 1/4 of the first page.

Following is some "Notes For The Dungeon Master" and then we jump straight into 33 encounters for the first section of the module. The following two modules are essentially identical and encompassed in the same 30 pages.

I would argue that the entire series, and many of the 1ED and 2ED, adventures were written as a series of combat encounters and subsequently encouraged simplistic character development and emphasized tactical combat.

This fact is not a bad thing, but it is still a fact. Different persons seek different things from a RPG, but to wax poetic about previous editions of the game has the risk of ignoring several decades of gaming development.

As hderek mentioned and in my own experience AD&D seemed to default more often to sandbox style. Thus the background, notes were really only starting points. DMs had to take the initiative to present the world and its denizens, and players had to pick up and drive the story. Some groups ran with this others as you say kept character development simplistic and focused on the wargaming (i.e. just go from room to room killing critters and taking their stuff). Kind of like today really. It all depends on the group and what they want out of their gaming hours.

Re decades of gaming development well I play 3E/Pathfinder but certainly I think there is a greater emphasis on mechanics, builds than in 1 and 2E. The reason is that players have far more rules choices and standardization than they ever did (which would seem to be a good thing on the surface). But I'm not entirely convinced it is. A lot of it could be accomplished with imagination and a collaborative DM. One reason why I'm interested in when Paizo puts out their basic PF system. I often feel the rules just don't need the level of detail they impose.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KaeYoss wrote:

Not the difference between kindness and weakness.

The difference.

Oh well. Didn't need that bonus point anyway. :P


Wyrd_Wik wrote:
Re decades of gaming development well I play 3E/Pathfinder but certainly I think there is a greater emphasis on mechanics, builds than in 1 and 2E. The reason is that players have far more rules choices and standardization than they ever did (which would seem to be a good thing on the surface). But I'm not entirely convinced it is. A lot of it could be accomplished with imagination and a collaborative DM. One...

I would respectfully disagree with the greater emphasis on builds in 3x/Pathfinder than in previous editions.

Having taken a completely un-scientific and statistically irrelevant survey of my own bookcase, I have no fewer than 10 splat books for 2ED/AD&D (and I'm certain that I do not own them all). In my opinion, the system made an entire cottage industry out of the Complete... series of books as well as campaign-specific offerings. There has to be an entire softcover devoted to every class, every race, and so forth.

Given this proliferation, I find it difficult to believe that Pathfinder gives players access to more rules and so forth and previous editions.

Again, completely unscientifically, the Complete Book of Paladins that I randomly grabbed has 122 pages. This means that, only on my own bookshelf, there are over 1,000 pages of additional rules in 2ED/AD&D.

This is not necessarily or inherently a bad thing, but I do not think that we should let nostalgia blind us to the fact that old-school D&D was much more choked with rules than Pathfinder.

Andoran

Brooks wrote:
Wyrd_Wik wrote:
Re decades of gaming development well I play 3E/Pathfinder but certainly I think there is a greater emphasis on mechanics, builds than in 1 and 2E. The reason is that players have far more rules choices and standardization than they ever did (which would seem to be a good thing on the surface). But I'm not entirely convinced it is. A lot of it could be accomplished with imagination and a collaborative DM. One...

I would respectfully disagree with the greater emphasis on builds in 3x/Pathfinder than in previous editions.

Having taken a completely un-scientific and statistically irrelevant survey of my own bookcase, I have no fewer than 10 splat books for 2ED/AD&D (and I'm certain that I do not own them all). In my opinion, the system made an entire cottage industry out of the Complete... series of books as well as campaign-specific offerings. There has to be an entire softcover devoted to every class, every race, and so forth.

Given this proliferation, I find it difficult to believe that Pathfinder gives players access to more rules and so forth and previous editions.

Again, completely unscientifically, the Complete Book of Paladins that I randomly grabbed has 122 pages. This means that, only on my own bookshelf, there are over 1,000 pages of additional rules in 2ED/AD&D.

This is not necessarily or inherently a bad thing, but I do not think that we should let nostalgia blind us to the fact that old-school D&D was much more choked with rules than Pathfinder.

For the record (and I know your post isn't responding to me) I consider AD&D 2E an abomination unto all that is celestial that should, except for the art of Mssr. DeTerlizzi, be shunned for the appeasing Lorraine era pap it is.

;-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brooks wrote:
This is not necessarily or inherently a bad thing, but I do not think that we should let nostalgia blind us to the fact that old-school D&D was much more choked with rules than Pathfinder.

Hey - to be completely fair, it took the better part of 15 years to get up to that many books! Pathfinder's just starting out!

(Tongue firmly in cheek, of course.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Brooks wrote:
There's been some discussion on this, and other, threads about 1ED and its "hardness / deadliness / agressiveness / purity" and so forth. I believe that what is important to realize is that this game (D&D/Pathfinder/etc.) and role-playing games in general have evolved a great deal since the late 1970s, early 1980s. After all, we're talking about nearly 30 years of gaming development....If you like that tactical combat oriented, "grinder" style dungeons of years past, more power to you. However, not all of us are as endeared to the past and we actually like how things have progressed.

I wholeheartedly endorse your facts, but I draw the opposite conclusion.

"Game" is much more important in 3.X+ than it ever was in 1E or 2E. While there's no question that the "grinder" style is gone from your average adventure (save everyone on the OSR boards), the 'adversarial DM,' having gone away for a while in the '90s, is back in full force. A lot of that has to do with combat becoming more tactical, but also the balance of combat more game-like.

The "killer DM" is out, but in his place stands the chessmaster. By the way I read most people on these boards, competent play by both DM and player consists of pushing the rules of combat to the utmost. It's a sophisticated technical enterprise, and there's a general expectation that both sides of the table are going to do their utmost to prove their worth.

While derived from miniatures gaming, 1E/2E didn't need them. That was almost the point. 3.X+ actually falls apart without tactical combat. Like narrative battle can actually break a character design. And there's character design! I mean, the notion of "a build" is something that's foreign to a lot of RPGs - and pretty weirdly abstract in an in-character sense - but players are more or less expected to have a road map or risk a "broken" or "sub-optimal" character and be thought of as dead weight.

And, to interrupt for the sake of clarity I infinitely prefer it this way mostly . I mean, it would take a fist of cash and probably a few shots to get me to go back to 2E, and 1E would take things I don't want to mention on a family-oriented forum. Engagement for entitlement is a decent trade-off.

But I do find it a challenge to characterization, in the sense that your proverbial "Bob the fighter" was much more easy to spot in the old days. After all, if you weren't working on backstory, what was there to work on? Now you can have a marvelously detailed character that someone's put hours into defining a very specific and interesting combat role for...but who has as much backstory as a limpet. It's a peril that just wasn't there before, and it closely relates to the importance of combat, player combat skill, and game.


J.S. wrote:

But I do find it a challenge to characterization, in the sense that your proverbial "Bob the fighter" was much more easy to spot in the old days. After all, if you weren't working on backstory, what was there to work on? Now you can have a marvelously detailed character that someone's put hours into defining a very specific and interesting combat role for...but who has as much backstory as a limpet. It's a peril that just wasn't there before, and it closely relates to the importance of combat, player combat skill, and game.

That's an excellent point and one that I haven't fully considered. While Bob was very easy to locate in previous editions, he's now become something of a Combat Limpet concealing himself as a character with a much deeper background and so forth.

Andoran

Brooks wrote:
J.S. wrote:

But I do find it a challenge to characterization, in the sense that your proverbial "Bob the fighter" was much more easy to spot in the old days. After all, if you weren't working on backstory, what was there to work on? Now you can have a marvelously detailed character that someone's put hours into defining a very specific and interesting combat role for...but who has as much backstory as a limpet. It's a peril that just wasn't there before, and it closely relates to the importance of combat, player combat skill, and game.

That's an excellent point and one that I haven't fully considered. While Bob was very easy to locate in previous editions, he's now become something of a Combat Limpet concealing himself as a character with a much deeper background and so forth.

To be honest, I am deeply troubled by your insistence that 3x/Pf players are inherently more interested in background and roleplay than 1e players. Nothing in my 31 years of playing suggests you premise is in any way true. And I've played with a metric assload of players over the years, I'm not making my assumption from a pool of ten (not that you are either).

If AD&D modules are sketchy in detail, it may be because the authors trusted DMs to make the module their own. If 3x modules are deeper in detail (when, in reality, if you take away flavor boxed text and stat blocks, aren't much longer than old school modules, and I6 had more story in its little finger than most of the output I saw for 3x, ditto the omnibus editions of classics (T series, A series, GDQ - a fully fleshed out and interconnected "AP" if you will) released in the mid-80s), it's because, perhaps, modern DMs couldn't be bothered to add the little touches.

No, 3x didn't give us Bob, it gave us Saul, the chain tripper.

I'd actually say, as a ratio, the role/roll play sides are about equal throughout the years. Any suggestion you make otherwise smacks of elitism, frankly. Or, perhaps, you entire 2e experience was your formative years (I have no idea how old you are, but, seriously, we probably all started out a little hack n slash if we didn't have older roleplay players teach us), in which case, great, you've arrived and it coincided with the release of 3x.

Either way, your experience with AD&D obviously isn't my experience with AD&D, and neither of us will convince the other we're right, so I guess our discussion, while entertaining, is most assuredly pointless.

;-)


Brooks wrote:


I would respectfully disagree with the greater emphasis on builds in 3x/Pathfinder than in previous editions.

Having taken a completely un-scientific and statistically irrelevant survey of my own bookcase, I have no fewer than 10 splat books for 2ED/AD&D (and I'm certain that I do not own them all). In my opinion, the system made an entire cottage industry out of the Complete... series of books as well as campaign-specific offerings. There has to be an entire softcover devoted to every class, every race, and so forth.

Given this proliferation, I find it difficult to believe that Pathfinder gives players access to more rules and so forth and previous editions.

Again, completely unscientifically, the Complete Book of Paladins that I randomly grabbed has 122 pages. This means that, only on my own bookshelf, there are over 1,000 pages of additional rules in 2ED/AD&D.

This is not necessarily or inherently a bad thing, but I do not think that we should let nostalgia blind us to the fact that old-school D&D was much more choked with rules than Pathfinder.

I see your point and truthfully I didn't consider the bloat of 2e softcovers too much (didn't own very much beyond the core books, a couple of the old monster leaflets and some ravenloft stuff.). Though of course 3E wasted little time in upping that ante. Additionally, and I can only speak from my experience and memory of that time I do feel that many of the supplements gave far more space to 'fluff' than your average 3E product which are almost all but rules (feats, prcs, new classes, races etc.)

And I'm not pushing to go back to 1/2E (though I've often been curious to try it again to test my memory) but as indicated I find that the 3E and PF because of the rules structure and its high level of specific details often promotes a more rules-oriented style of play (e.g. right build, specific encounter designs, miniature play etc.). From a DM's viewpoint this tends to increase the amount of prep time (and even if I had the time outside of life and work I take very little joy of making stat blocks). I typically use APs, Paizo modules and other published sources because of this. I'd rather play the game than spend an inordinate amount of time prepping it. The majority of the prep that I do is altering or tweaking story, events, and well the fluff to appeal to the individual players.

There are probably better rpg systems out there for the style of play I'd prefer but generally I'll stick to systems that are familiar to the others in the groups I play with. Tried Savage Worlds with some success but D&D is still the default for us.


houstonderek wrote:
If AD&D modules are sketchy in detail, it may be because the authors trusted DMs to make the module their own. If 3x modules are deeper in detail (when, in reality, if you take away flavor boxed text and stat blocks, aren't much longer than old school modules, and I6 had more story in its little finger than most of the output I saw for 3x, ditto the omnibus editions of classics (T series, A series, GDQ - a fully fleshed out and interconnected "AP" if you will) released in the mid-80s), it's because, perhaps, modern DMs couldn't be bothered to add the little touches.

My opinion wasn't that the authors relied on GMs to flesh out their modules, but that the game system around the time of 1ED or early 2ED/AD&D wasn't designed nor intended to provide deeply immersive stories. Instead, I believe it was designed to provide a combat simulation.

I would also suggest that the authors of those modules didn't skimp on background and roleplaying because they counted on their audience to flesh in things, but because it simply wasn't a priority in the system.

Albeit, my experiences with 1ED were in middle school so my remembrance may be colored by my age group and demographic at the time, but revisiting some of these old books and modules more recently has not done a great deal to change my opinion.

Obviously my own experience is my own and others may have had radically different encounters with the rules.

Cheliax

Brooks wrote:


I will completely agree with you that most of the 1ED modules were written for convention play as I stated above.

However, I completely disagree with you regarding the depth of the story arc in Against the Giants. I just pulled the G-1-2-3 booklet (TSR# 9058) out of my bookcase and it encompasses 30 typed pages (not including the cardstock maps that fit inside of the cover.) The "background" text is roughly 4 column inches encompassing less than 1/4 of the first page.

Following is some "Notes For The Dungeon Master" and then we jump straight into 33 encounters for the first section of the module. The following two modules are essentially identical and encompassed in the same 30 pages.

I didn't say it was Shakespeare, but for a tournament module it took you through the saga of the Giants, introduced the Drow, then took you through to the Underdark/Drow city and all the way to the Demonweb Pits - it was damn good.

Was it fully fleshed out and detailed, no. Was it epic - yes, and more so than all the material put out by Wotc for the 3/3.5 D&D run.

Much of the additional detail and depth had to be provided by the DM, and that frankly was good. As far as G1-G3, D1-D3 and Q1 all laid out some ground work for game companies to strive for - and it wasn't for the room/monster layout set up encounter after encounter that hooked people. The concept, theme and yes the story background inspired concepts emulated by game companies 20 years later.

Quote:
I would argue that the entire series, and many of the 1ED and 2ED, adventures were written as a series of combat encounters and subsequently encouraged simplistic character development and emphasized tactical combat.

And I would whole-heartily disagree with that argument.

The Desert of Desolation Series, Ravenloft, Tomb of the Lizard King, Assassins Knot, Against the Cult of The Reptile God, The Saltmarsh Series were all solid stories, quests, investigations and adventures. For the most part these were non-tourney mods and better than much of the material which came after them in 3rd edition.

Quote:
This fact is not a bad thing, but it is still a fact. Different persons seek different things from a RPG, but to wax poetic about previous editions of the game has the risk of ignoring several decades of gaming development.

Wotc D&D was not gaming "development", it was Wotc's version of D&D. The more I run PFRPG which is based off the wotc mindset the more apparent this becomes. I've been running 3.5/PF for years and recently have gotten into a 2nd edition game - currently am considering jump dumping 3.5/PF altogether. The bad/broken rules to the poorly thought out philosophy behind d20 gaming have left me a little more than burnt out.

Quote:
Having taken a completely un-scientific and statistically irrelevant survey of my own bookcase, I have no fewer than 10 splat books for 2ED/AD&D (and I'm certain that I do not own them all). In my opinion, the system made an entire cottage industry out of the Complete... series of books as well as campaign-specific offerings. There has to be an entire softcover devoted to every class, every race, and so forth.

And each had little mechanical impact on the game besides changing selections and builds to reflect fantasy archetypes. The complete series of books didn't give your PC Matrix wall-walking abilities, or change the way core classes functioned - in fact most of it was thematic fluff (swashbuckler,, etc) backed with mechanics. The 3rd edition interpretation is a Hell filled with purely mechanical abilities with half-a$$ed fluff to explain it. In other words reversed.

Andoran

Brooks wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
If AD&D modules are sketchy in detail, it may be because the authors trusted DMs to make the module their own. If 3x modules are deeper in detail (when, in reality, if you take away flavor boxed text and stat blocks, aren't much longer than old school modules, and I6 had more story in its little finger than most of the output I saw for 3x, ditto the omnibus editions of classics (T series, A series, GDQ - a fully fleshed out and interconnected "AP" if you will) released in the mid-80s), it's because, perhaps, modern DMs couldn't be bothered to add the little touches.
My opinion wasn't that the authors relied on GMs to flesh out their modules, but that the game system around the time of 1ED or early 2ED/AD&D wasn't designed nor intended to provide deeply immersive stories. Instead, I believe it was designed to provide a combat simulation.

Again, DMG, 30 pages of combat rules, 220 pages of fleshing out the setting/dungeon/world. PHB, two pages of combat, the rest detailing the classes, spells and game play/environment/party dynamic.

3x PHB, a whole lotta combat, not so much roleplaying. DMG, DM reference, not much player roleplaying guidelines.

Nothing supports your assertion that 3x supports roleplay any better than 1e did, and, since combat rules are WAY more involved in 3x, the PHB spent a LOT of page count on combat.

1e had much more abstract and less involved combat (and almost zero of the combat rules were in the PHB), didn't press minis as much (or, other than a passing reference to Grenadier models, at all) and had a ton to say about how the setting should be (don't remember a whole lot about political systems in the 3x DMG...).

Dude, the only difference between 1e and 3x in promoting roleplay is that you're in your 30s, not 13.

Andoran

Auxmaulous wrote:
Brooks wrote:


I will completely agree with you that most of the 1ED modules were written for convention play as I stated above.

However, I completely disagree with you regarding the depth of the story arc in Against the Giants. I just pulled the G-1-2-3 booklet (TSR# 9058) out of my bookcase and it encompasses 30 typed pages (not including the cardstock maps that fit inside of the cover.) The "background" text is roughly 4 column inches encompassing less than 1/4 of the first page.

Following is some "Notes For The Dungeon Master" and then we jump straight into 33 encounters for the first section of the module. The following two modules are essentially identical and encompassed in the same 30 pages.

I didn't say it was Shakespeare, but for a tournament module it took you through the saga of the Giants, introduced the Drow, then took you through to the Underdark/Drow city and all the way to the Demonweb Pits - it was damn good.

Was it fully fleshed out and detailed, no. Was it epic - yes, and more so than all the material put out by Wotc for the 3/3.5 D&D run.

Much of the additional detail and depth had to be provided by the DM, and that frankly was good. As far as G1-G3, D1-D3 and Q1 all laid out some ground work for game companies to strive for - and it wasn't for the room/monster layout set up encounter after encounter that hooked people. The concept, theme and yes the story background inspired concepts emulated by game companies 20 years later.

Quote:
I would argue that the entire series, and many of the 1ED and 2ED, adventures were written as a series of combat encounters and subsequently encouraged simplistic character development and emphasized tactical combat.

And I would whole-heartily disagree with that argument.

The Desert of Desolation Series, Ravenloft, Tomb of the Lizard King, Assassins Knot, Against the Cult of The Reptile God, The Saltmarsh Series were all solid stories, quests, investigations and adventures. For the most part these were non-tourney...

+ infinity.


houstonderek wrote:


And yet, for all of that "focus on combat" in 1e, the Player's Handbook and the DMG combined have about 30 pages (out of 350) devoted to combat. The rest was devoted to characters, spells (and a lot more utility spells - i.e. non-combat - than 3x/PF core) and building the setting.

What you're glossing over, intentionally or not, is what percentage of the book is full of esoteric charts for things that never should have charts in the first place.

Your assassin wants to kill somebody? No need to play any of that out, just roll on the assassination chart and you'll find out if you managed to do it or not.

You roll to hit? Well, that roll would hit the AC 8 guy in leather armor, but it misses the AC 10 guy in no armor with that weapon.

And then there's the chart that tells you what kind of harlot your randomly encountered. I hope it's a brazen strumpet and not a sly pimp!

(I like 1E, actually. I had fun with 1E. But there's really no escaping that in its way it's the RPG equivalent of that weird uncle you only see at Christmas and Easter.)


Auxmaulous wrote:


I've been running 3.5/PF for years and recently have gotten into a 2nd edition game - currently am considering jump dumping 3.5/PF altogether. The bad/broken rules to the poorly thought out philosophy behind d20 gaming have left me a little more than burnt out.

I know you and I disagree about the flaws in 2E, but I think you're going to be really unpleasantly surprised unless you have completely different players.

1E really put forth the idea that some rules were only for the DM and for the player to read them was cheating. That a lot of people followed this really retarded the fullness of 1E min/maxing.

2E really kept a lot of that mentality.

I think you're going to find that if you expose 3.X+ players who have gotten used to the ideas that characters can be optimised, that the rules should be knowable by all, and that there are good and trap options in everyhthing to 2E, they're going to break it open a lot worse than they do with 3.X.

That's not to say that 3.X is a better game than 2E. It's not, it's got different strengths. But it so, so, so is not built to stand up to the kind of rules scrutiny that even the most poorly designed mechanics of 3.X can. That, and with players more actively reading the rules you'll probably find out that a good 10% of the 2E rules you were doing wrong all along, and that jacks up balance in ways you're not expecting.

Still, I wish you luck. I still know people who are running 2E games, and they work exactly because none of the players have any inclination or ability at all towards system mastery.

Cheliax

Dire Mongoose wrote:

I know you and I disagree about the flaws in 2E, but I think you're going to be really unpleasantly surprised unless you have completely different players.

1E really put forth the idea that some rules were only for the DM and for the player to read them was cheating. That a lot of people followed this really retarded the fullness of 1E min/maxing.

2E really kept a lot of that mentality.

I have never had a problem with DM and player rules and guidelines operating on different levels. 1st and 2nd got it right without being too obvious, 4th tried but instead created a whole distinct monster =/= player paradigm.

The One system to rule them all has failed miserably. Stating out a dragon using the same rules as PCs is bad idea. Stating up creatures and trying to figure out what their challenge rating is a horrible way to design encounters. You design around a niche, not design playing hit-or-miss and hoping the creature falls into a magical CR range.

The 4 per/day encounter concept is probably one of the worst design inventions in modern gaming.
Instead of designing a creature based on the likelyhood of it killing you or you killing it instead we got CR=20% resources, CR +3, don't go over X encounters a day, don't do this, 13.3 to level up, etc, etc.
Limiting.

Quote:
I think you're going to find that if you expose 3.X+ players who have gotten used to the ideas that characters can be optimised, that the rules should be knowable by all, and that there are good and trap options in everyhthing to 2E, they're going to break it open a lot worse than they do with 3.X.

One of my 3.5/PF players is the one running the game so it isn't a case of system ignorance. We know 2nd eds flaws and they pale in comparison to the Wall of Flaws which is 3rd edition. The core d20 mechanic used to adjudicate everything in 3rd is just the beginning.

And no, there are very few trap options in 2nd ed, sorry just disagree. You don't need to sacrifice a metallurgy feat/skill/NWP for a Weapon Focus feat/specialization. That is a 3rd edition bad design trap. Sacrificing character flavor in preference to combat functionality - that's 3rd edition.

Quote:
That's not to say that 3.X is a better game than 2E. It's not, it's got different strengths. But it so, so, so is not built to stand up to the kind of rules scrutiny that even the most poorly designed mechanics of 3.X can. That, and with players more actively reading the rules you'll probably find out that a good 10% of the 2E rules you were doing wrong all along, and that jacks up balance in ways you're not expecting.

Not a concern. 3rd has more loopholes than any edition of the game - and due to the Hardcoded nature these loopholes carry more weight than earlier editions. We have seen tons of stupid all come out of 3rd edition - no, I'm not worried about 2nd ed.

Quote:
Still, I wish you luck. I still know people who are running 2E games, and they work exactly because none of the players have any inclination or ability at all towards system mastery.

I don't think its a system mastery thing. I think its more along the lines of system manipulation. In older editions players had less ability to break the saving throw system, infinite wealth loops and other nonsense. 1st/2nd doesn't have that kind of focus and by philosophy says to smash down that type of behavior when it disrupts the GAME. With 3rd edition they have to errata/hard code the changes so the players can follow the script and not revolt against the DM.

Anyway, I don't think anyone is going to change their mind on the subject - I do appreciate your civility in presenting your argument/rebuttals Dire Mongoose.


Auxmaulous wrote:


Anyway, I don't think anyone is going to change their mind on the subject.

Yeah, I agree. Still, I swear one of these days I'm going to find the spare time to write up my full defense of how broken 1E/2E dual classing (or the character with two classes, if you want to get all old school on the terminology) and why none of the things that are supposed to balance it work in practice unless you take a very DM vs. the players approach to intentionally try to make it unworkable!

Trap options in 2E aren't things like nonweapon proficiency choices; they're things like being demihuman with a low level limit, or the bad kits (if you're playing with those), or some of them are campaign world specific. (I also really think the 2E incarnation of the rogue is one, but that's a huge side argument I've had a few times before.)

I do really miss the focus that TSR put on the campaign settings during the 2E era, even though I can understand the drawback from the company's perspective of fragmenting the market unnecessarily. I don't think that kind of effort into giving you a wide variety of campaign setting options that were still all basically D&D has been done before or since.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

another observation about the guy

he also creates special terrain that just screws people's concepts over. far worse stuff than Disgaea Geo Tiles. try evil mansions connected to that maelstrom that over enough exposure can totally rewrite your character once shaped by other beings. my swordsage's home monastery was formed out of a castle originally owned by the same lamashtu worshipping nobles who owned the mansion that rewrote her as an inquisitor. she had to make a will save to stay lawful neutral as Zon-Kuthon and Lamashtu were fighting over who got to mold her to thier whims. Zon-Kuthon had won the struggle. but Lamashtu could have molded anyone she desired in that plane. he also has never used featureless plains in the entire time i knew him. 55% of the time, there is enough cover to screw over archers and effectively turn rogues into shadowdancers. try being an archer when precise shot only reduces your -12 into a -8 and rogues suddenly gain enough consistent concealment to hide as well as massive stealth bonuses. and few people in the group dare to consider playing rogues with such frequently appearant terrain. and said terrain is also difficult terrain, which screws charging and hit/run builds, as well as many terrain based spells.

there are also many things he is willing to include that most GM's just won't touch. his Fiat can counter any cheese. i didn't like it at first but can now tolerate it.

Emphasis mine.

I only play games I enjoy rather than tolerate.


"2e doesn't have player traps" and "2e has kits" do not belong in the same belief system.

There was one kit - the swashbuckler I think? - that literally was just a rogue but better in every way. It was "you're a rogue but you also can use these weapons oh and you get to have full specialization in them.

Oh but wait, there was a downside! The downside was "your life is exciting." You know, your life as an adventurer. Was exciting.

OH CRUELEST OF FATES!


ProfessorCirno wrote:

"2e doesn't have player traps" and "2e has kits" do not belong in the same belief system.

There was one kit - the swashbuckler I think? - that literally was just a rogue but better in every way. It was "you're a rogue but you also can use these weapons oh and you get to have full specialization in them.

Oh but wait, there was a downside! The downside was "your life is exciting." You know, your life as an adventurer. Was exciting.

OH CRUELEST OF FATES!

You forget that the Swashbuckler had to have a 13 in Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Intelligence, and that the Complete Thief's Handbook specifically says that the DM has to carefully play the troubles that seek out a Swashbuckler and that "life conspires to make things difficult for the Swashbuckler" and also that the DM should throw more "good-natured bad luck" at the Swashbuckler than the other characters. It was more than just the life problems that being an adventurer threw your way, playing a Swashbuckler was supposed to paint a big target on the character's back for the DM to throw minor problems at, and always read to me as a great way to spice up a planned mission by throwing a wrench in halfway through and seeing what the characters did to overcome it.

I think the Swashbuckler emphasizes something that has been degrading from edition to edition, faith in the DM. In 2e, and presumably 1e(I haven't played it or done more than a cursory reading over the core books) the DM was trusted to correctly roleplay the downside to characters like the Swashbuckler kit for thieves, Myrmidon kit for fighters, Bladesinger from one of the Forgotten Realms books, and even the Paladin. Each of those kits is slightly better than the base class they come from, but came with roleplay downsides that, with good DMing, offset the mechanical advantage.

In 2e, and even 3e and 3.5e to a lesser extent, the DM was trusted to play that downside enough to where the normal kits were not automatically better than the base classes, the same way the many PrCs of later books in 3.5e were given very tough rp challenges to overcome to get into the class. In both cases the DM's roleplaying was supposed to offset the class's mechanical advantages, and in the absence of role-playing those kits and PrCs were superior to the base class in every way.

To get back to the original point, 2e really didn't have any trap options if the DM played the kits' downsides, it was only when the downsides were disregarded that those kits overshadowed the main class.


Game time is valuable indeed. I also drop useless encounters, unless they add to the experience. You cannot do a week long trek trough the wild without encountering some monsters. But one or two good, memorable encounters will do the trick. I don't want to run 6 encounters going from point X to Y just because I rolled a die and some table said so.

Cohorts are "played" by the players themselves, although I often react for them myself if the situation asks for it (not totally mindless drones). Sometimes the DM forgets (it happens, I'm only human).

I try to avoid metagaming. It's not always appropriate for monsters to react certain ways, as it is not always for the players. You may know how to defeat a certain type of demon OOC, but does your character? Have the players ever encountered such demon before?
The same goes for the DM. Why would a bunch of kobolds steal the wizard's spellbook when they never encountered a wizard before (to give one lame example).

Same goes for killing the players. Is the bad guy out for blood? Or does he just want to bring them down, then flee? If it's hungry wolves out for prey then the players are out of luck once they go down (feeding frenzy). Same goes for an assassination attempt (down = down). But the assassin won't risk his own life if the job isn't done.

Unavoidable instakill encounters plainly SUCK. They slow down the game (making new character) and change the way players experience the campaign. And they slow down the players (getting paranoid about every tile or brick).

I want my players to roleplay their characters, not play a computer RPG on the table where characters are expendable and just pawns on a game board. I thnik that's what has changed during the years.

Better GM's?

That does not change the fact that players CAN and WILL die, however.

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