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ChrisRevocateur wrote:

What's the greatest sacrifice anyone could make? Their life? Nah, they've got something much more important. Their soul.

Now if you do something evil, tainting your soul, or even irrevocably damning you to Hell for eternity, but the reason and result was for good, then it's possible that you just made the greatest sacrifice in the name of good that anyone ever could. You gave your soul so that others may be saved.

To illustrate my point, here's an example:

Say that I had a child, and somehow I found out that my child is THE Anti-Christ. True blue, take over the world and make everyone suffer Anti-Christ. I decide to murder my child so that he will never rise to be the Anti-Christ. If this actually ended the threat of the Anti-Christ (and didn't just postpone it until he was born as another child), then I've literally just saved EVERYONE from the worst fate possible, and by committing an utterly evil and reprehensible act, murdering my own child. It doesn't matter that he's going to be the Anti-Christ, he's still just a child, with no understanding of good or evil or any of that stuff. I murdered an innocent child, my own to boot. I am surely damned to Hell, where the soul of my child and I get to spend eternity together, only I'm being tortured the entire time.

But in sacrificing my soul, I have saved the entire world from the Apocalypse and the resulting suffering and destruction that comes from it. Good wins by default, and there is no need for the great battle between good and evil, meaning no war, less useless suffering.

So really, by committing these evil acts (and I don't know the specifics for any except the Shackled City one), could it be possible that their personal self sacrifice might just be the "goodest" thing they could do?

If the "Late, Great Planet Earth" described Anti-Christ properly, its first "miracle" is surviving what should be a fatal wound to the head. If were to attempt to murder the child and failed, you would not be postponing or cancelling the Tribulation and Last Judgment, you would hasten it.

At any rate, you'd probably remove whatever marked the kid as Anti-Christ out of sheer pity -- the kids at school would be teasing him mercilessly about that strange birthmark. End of Anti-Christ, no deaths.

Caineach wrote:

I understand the problem your running into. In my games, the GM is consistently throwing 2-3 CR+6 encounters at us a day, as we usually cake walk them. This results in a level almost every other session using the medium progression, which can be too fast for some.

We also recently had a new GM come in, and the CR system was pretty worthless to him. He had to keep throwing higher and higher stuff at us than the system recomended to give us any challenge (we cakewalked 1/2 dozen CR+4 encounters in a row), unil he ended up suprizing us with a CR+7 random encounter of dragons that resulted in TPK.

XP for damage taken isn't what I think your going for, so much as resources used. If you do it, you should also make sure to continue the middle earth policy of rewarding clever ideas, avoiding combat, and other things. And these things should outweigh the damage taken aspects.

In this case, to be honest, your DM may not be playing the monsters as intelligently as possible. An orc is smart enough to use whatever cover is available and smart enough to flee, giving the alarm to his comrades. An orc leader who has survived long enough to gather 1000 gp is probably smart enough to exchange half of them for healing potions or armor that exceeds the usual orc standard over the years before the party shows up.

Enough goblins to make a CR 6 encounter are enough goblins to include a spellcaster and a leader with some basic battle tactics (high ground, cover, reluctance to engage your party's tanks directly), with grunts split between archers and tanks (the goblins with more hitpoints serving as the tanks). The shaman will cast cure light wounds instead of causing them to keep the tanks swinging. The leader will skulk behind his "throne" shooting arrows +1 at any unarmored PC and guzzling his potions (about 30% of the value of the encounter's treasure). The grunts will shoot their arrows from the shadows, behind any convenient table. Most importantly, the grunt archers will be scattered and behind any cover available.

Mok wrote:

I guess this would apply to really any version of D&D, but one thing that knocks about in my head is an old element in Middle Earth Role Playing, where players would earn xp for the damage they took.

That has stuck with me over the years, and after a recent game of Pathfinder where players coasted through several encounters that were rated as being "hard" for their level, I thought perhaps... instead of giving out xp based off of the potential threat of the encounter, why not give out xp based on the actual threat of the encounter?

That is, the more the characters take a beating, the more xp they get, regardless of whatever the encounter is rated at.

Here's a problem that came up last weekend when running a game with three first-level characters. Goblins were raiding farms on the edge of town. I wrote the dungeon in the expectation that the party would launch some sort of assault on the dungeon. Instead they hid out in a ruined farmhouse and ambushed a band of raiding goblins. Had I awarded XP for closeness to death, then the party would be penalized for skillful play.