Entering a sealed tomb via Phase Door


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Liberty's Edge

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Its a dungeon.

Its already the same old same old.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Phase Door is really not a problem. If you used it to enter, it remains in place until it's been used a number of times. If you find yourself gasping for air when you enter... you back the hell out the Phase Door and reconsider your further exploration options.

Shadow Lodge

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Krensky wrote:

Here's a tiny hint. I generally don't use 'dungeons'.

They don't make any sense in anything resembling a realistic world.

Luckily the worlds of D&D / Pathfinder don't take place in anything that even vaguely resembles a realistic world.

:D

Shadow Lodge

Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Funny, the most boring thing I can think of is the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics you're describing.
Where do you draw the line? Is it "gotcha!" to have monsters that want to kill the PCs in the dungeon?
Depends on the dungeon and what you're defining as a monster.

Congrats, it only took you until your next post to find something that far FAR more boring than "the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics".

Since you consider monsters / enemies to be unfair, I'm assuming a typical adventure you run is...what? A walking simulator?

Shadow Lodge

LazarX wrote:

When you get to the level where wizards can cast Phase Door, and that's not the big gun they have ready, that's usually a sign that you need to think of different challenges.

Air is hardly the problem as opposed to the undead that most likely lie within.

I'm of the opinion that past a certain level, the GM doesn't really need to program in ways to "win" anymore. Characters have enough powers and resources to find their own ways, there doesn't have to be a GM-defined default.

Liberty's Edge

Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:

Here's a tiny hint. I generally don't use 'dungeons'.

They don't make any sense in anything resembling a realistic world.

Luckily the worlds of D&D / Pathfinder don't take place in anything that even vaguely resembles a realistic world.

:D

Depends what you mean by realistic, and it was fairly clear I mean internally consistent and verisimilar. At no point should the players step back and say: "Who builds like this?" or "Wait... Why are there zombies here?" or, worst of all, "None of this makes sense."

Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Funny, the most boring thing I can think of is the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics you're describing.
Where do you draw the line? Is it "gotcha!" to have monsters that want to kill the PCs in the dungeon?
Depends on the dungeon and what you're defining as a monster.

Congrats, it only took you until your next post to find something that far FAR more boring than "the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics".

Since you consider monsters / enemies to be unfair, I'm assuming a typical adventure you run is...what? A walking simulator?

Um... How exactly do you get from a sentance saying that what the PCs encounter in an old tomb depends on what the point of them going into the tomb was and what the goal of the encounter is to enemies is unfair. Are you sure you're not arguing with some imaginary version of me?

As for a typical adventure? Let's see.

Spoiler:
The officers of the MSY Night Star (an armed Gasturian merchant with a letter of marque and a secret commission from the Queen's spymaster) are on the island of Cherepaha to attend a ball being thrown by the Docquarian consul (a man exiled to this hardship post due to his incompetence and turpitude). They're here to steal papers, code books, and communications from his office safe. Captain Henry Jakes and his wife (and the ship's owner) Marchesa Natalia kev Alais-Jakes were working the room despite discovering that their arch-nemesis, Commissioner Dascoiux of the Docquraian Imperal Inspectorate, was incongruously in attendance. The ships Doctor/Chaplain, Father Jean-Paul Marquand, the purser Chastity Armstrong, and the commander of the ships Fusiliers, the Duchess Alice Elizabeth Henry Pettigrew were breaking into the consulate's safe. Meanwhile the ship's Coxswain, Julian Swanson was killing time with Alice's ghillie Dubne and the crew of the Night Star's pinnace and measuring up the local Cardinal's (who is a traitor to the Church and a lackey of the Commissioner) bully boys in case things went wrong. Chastity's other sisters, the First Mate and Engineer, Temperance and Patience are on the Night Star proper since neither are really fit for polite company. Anaru, the ship's bat-winged Chiropt navigator/shaman, is also aboard the Night Star. Their players weren't present anyway.

The married couple's challenges will include social sparing and maintaining cover with Natalia keeping her temper under control as the local ladies hit on her dashing husband and the Captain keeping his temper under control as the Commissioner flirts with his wife and implies that they're all criminals and pirates. Jean-Paul, Alice, and Chastity will have to deal with guards, lost party guests, and several skill challenges. Julie and Dubne will have to make sure Julie doesn't engage in his favorite pass time (brawling) and make sure the pinnace is ready for a quick escape.

When it goes pear shaped (and it will, it's just a question of how and when) the couple will have to deal with being, more or less, unarmed. The B&E team will need to escape with the goods and hopefully figure out a way to cover up what they were actually there to steal. Alice (a twelve year old girl) will also have to deal with that her suit of Legorn armor (magical power armor) is back on the Night Star and the magic she knows is more about building and fixing things. From past experience, fire will probably be involved. Julie and Dubne will need to keep the dock clear and maybe even provide long range support with the pinnace's gun and Dubne's rifle.

Enemies after it goes wrong include the consulate guards, the commissioner, the local guard, the Cardinal's men. Maybe some local pirate talent. Probably a few armed patrol craft.

After it's all over they'll have enough intelligence to keep Lord Percy (aforementioned spymaster) happy for a few months and they should have the log from a Docquarian merchant ship to find the abandoned Aelfan fort that they believe contains part of the crystal MacGuffin they've searching for. Unfortunately the Commissioner and a rogue Aelfan admiral are searching for it too.

Dungeons and monsters are boring. :)


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That sounds like an interesting story

However...:
It sundls like no game I'd like to play. it's almost as if the "plot" is already written and the "characters" are just along for the ride. No, not my taste at all

I like dungeons and monsters, no plots, a group of strangers discovering what they can and cannot do to help each other realize their own individuality.

But then again, I'm simple minded and odd.

Liberty's Edge

I'm constantly amazed that people see a description of a scenario and decide they know how was planned out.

The ship's crew was assembled by the table as a whole with the players and me discussing personalities, backstories, roles, etc as a group.

I know my players, I've been playing with them for more than a decade so I have a good idea how Player A playing character type B will react to any given stimulus. Now, I wasn't expecting the Captain and Marquesa to get married. Actually I was expecting them to bicker incessantly. A few unexpected results on some seduction checks later though and BAM, he's in love and that sub-plot is now a romantic comedy.

I created the home brew world this occurred in, so I know the big players and moving pieces. I decided that questing for the lost MacGuffin is a time honored adventure trope, to use it here. So after the party gets assembled through a mix of relationships, consensus, fate, and enemy action they learn about the MacGuffin and the rogue Admiral and how itf found it will be a bad thing. So they're off to the races. The Commissioner can a bit later when the Captain and Marquessa grew from just being swashbucklers to slightly more social focused style.

I have broad strokes for what's happening. The details and outcomes depend on the characters and players.

Silver Crusade

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Man...

I'm with DM under the bridge on this one.

Admittedly, I'd make sure the PCs encountered tombs earlier on in their careers so they got educated about this. Part of the early levels is training PCs in how the DM operates after all.

My Players know I'm fair, but that I also enjoy putting PCs through things that damage their collective sanity as well as their bodies. They brag about overcoming the utter nonsense I've thrown at them.

During an excursion through an elementally themed tower they found themselves on the layer associated with Minerals (I use old 2e cosmology), and encountered baddies wearing heavy, all encompassing armor made out of lead.

They thought it was just a 'well, they had huge ACs, maybe its just tough!' thing until they discovered the mineral this part of the Planes of Mineral was infused with:

Uranium.

They, being cagey adventurers used to situations changing for the worse amid adventure though, were able to fight their way through it, either through tough fort saves, grabbing lead armor, or utilizing class features (the monk was immune to poison and disease).

Its a DM's duty to inflict pain and torment on the PCs, in a fair manner. Its what their stories of overcoming it all are made out of.

Unpredictability is a watchword for adventuring.

Sovereign Court

Uranium, really. In a world where radiation isn't discovered?

Silver Crusade

Hama wrote:
Uranium, really. In a world where radiation isn't discovered?

Well technically it was Viridium, you know the radioactive green metal that causes leprosy. My guys kind of made the leap out of character when they ran into their first set of viridium weapons that 'viridium' was something else.

Also, uranium was around in our world before Curie did her radioactivity studies. It's naturally occurring. It's on the periodic table of elements.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, but people kinda didn't know to stay away.

Liberty's Edge

Spook205 wrote:
Its a DM's duty to inflict pain and torment on the PCs, in a fair manner. Its what their stories of overcoming it all are made out of

It saddens me that there are people out there who still believe that horse crap.

It's the GM's duty to make sure everyone is having fun.

Oh, and your cute uranium thing?

It doesn't work that way. At all. If they were feeling sick from that length of time you had already killed them with no hope of preventing it.


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@spook205: If you're treating radiation sickness as just another poison/disead, you're not playing "gotcha" with the players. Poison/disease are standard hurdles that have to be overcome and multiple classes have methods of overcoming it, as well as numerous types of consumable and permanent magic items.

"Gotcha" DM'ing is hitting your players with an issue they should have no expectation of encountering. Notice I didn't say would, but rather should.

I don't think you have to hold players hands. I do think it's good GM'ing to be honest about the kinds of challenges and assumptions about the game. You don't have to tell them what the specific challenges are, but broad strokes and general concepts are good.

As a GM, I don't lie or conceal things from my players. The bad guys in game certainly lie to the characters, but I as GM don't do it to my players.

Sovereign Court

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Restoration would easily fix radiation poisoning.

Sovereign Court

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There's a reason canaries were brought underground by miners, and it wasn't to lighten things up with their singing.

If adventurers aren't savvy enough to survive the very environment they're delving, then they deserve to die.

Is it a "Gotcha" to fry PCs who plane shift to the Elemental Plane of Fire without fire-proofing magic, too?


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Krensky wrote:
I don't know... Maybe because some people are interested in playing a game of heroic fantasy rather than a game of fantasy dynamic entry?

"Some people" being the operative words.

Don't pretend everyone likes to play the same way you do.

Quote:

What possible purpose does that serve other than getting your jerkholery on?

That's pretty much a textbook example of how not to design an adventure.

I don't think you know what you're talking about.

Again: Don't pretend everyone likes to play the same way you do.

Liberty's Edge

Arnwyn wrote:
Krensky wrote:
I don't know... Maybe because some people are interested in playing a game of heroic fantasy rather than a game of fantasy dynamic entry?

"Some people" being the operative words.

Don't pretend everyone likes to play the same way you do.

Quote:

What possible purpose does that serve other than getting your jerkholery on?

That's pretty much a textbook example of how not to design an adventure.

I don't think you know what you're talking about.

Again: Don't pretend everyone likes to play the same way you do.

Yeah.

Pack that tired old thought terminating cliche up and talk to the folks who started this discussion by telling the OP and others they were doing it wrong by randomly killing PCs for not playing GM-May-I right.


Again, I think we need a "what does 'Gotcha' mean?" thread

I have my own ideas about it, but it isn't really the topic of this thread.

Liberty's Edge

deusvult wrote:

There's a reason canaries were brought underground by miners, and it wasn't to lighten things up with their singing.

If adventurers aren't savvy enough to survive the very environment they're delving, then they deserve to die.

Is it a "Gotcha" to fry PCs who plane shift to the Elemental Plane of Fire without fire-proofing magic, too?

To detect whitedamp in coal mines. Not relevant to the question the OP asked about would the air in a sealed tomb be breathable like he wanted it to be.

Liberty's Edge

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Terquem wrote:

Again, I think we need a "what does 'Gotch' mean?" thread

I have my own ideas about it, but it isn't really the topic of this thread.

There's a certain amount of 'I know it when I see it', but in general it's any circumstance to catch the players (not the player characters) unaware with no meaningful chance to affect the outcome. Basically the entirety of the Tomb of Horrors. Or Grimtooth played straight.

Sovereign Court

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If the PCs use magic to gain entry into an unknown space without the ability to magic their way back out, that's idiotic for any number of reasons. Whether the atmosphere is toxic is almost besides the point.

You do something THAT unwise, it's hardly "rocks fall, you die" territory. It's like complaining the GM isn't rolling dice for the damage dealt when you stick your head into a guillotine trap. "Player, May I?" only gives the player so much agency. The GM is still the GM, and when you do something that you shouldn't live through, you shouldn't. Even if you "had no idea what would happen". That almost makes it even worse.

If you didn't know the possible hazards, then what were you doing messing with them in the first place? Don't go sticking your head into holes in the wall, and for Gods' sake don't teleport blindly into a place you know you can't teleport back out of.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think all of this drama boils down to everybody talking past each other. At the head of the thread, DMUtB said if it's truly perfectly sealed, sure, kill characters that teleport in and then laugh. I suspect (DMUtB, feel free to correct me) this doesn't mean "You teleport in. You suffocate and die." I'm betting it would play out more along the lines of "You realize you can't breath." "I cast life bubble." "OK." or "Oops! I teleport out!" "Roll a Concentration check." "Fail." "Your contingency goes off."

And I doubt Krensky's games are the Randian dystopia "fair play" where nobody can excel. It's just that if the DM's sense of what's realistic (or in-scope for worrying about) varies widely from the player's, they talk about it. If a fire inside a portable hole is going to deplete the oxygen dramatically faster than the player anticipates, he's going to remind them before they do so rather than first warning them when they roll for suffocation.

But the two sides seem to be reading it as "I always tell the players what's going to happen and what the results will do" and "I kill the players randomly for unpredictable reasons". It's all about setting expectations before you get there. If the DM challenges the players with unpredicted (not unpredictable) hazards, great. If the DM tells them how the world works and when they're missing big but apparent assumptions, great. It all boils down to how much you want the challenge you want the player to be able to move to their character.


Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:

Here's a tiny hint. I generally don't use 'dungeons'.

They don't make any sense in anything resembling a realistic world.

Luckily the worlds of D&D / Pathfinder don't take place in anything that even vaguely resembles a realistic world.

:D

Depends what you mean by realistic, and it was fairly clear I mean internally consistent and verisimilar. At no point should the players step back and say: "Who builds like this?" or "Wait... Why are there zombies here?" or, worst of all, "None of this makes sense."

Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Funny, the most boring thing I can think of is the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics you're describing.
Where do you draw the line? Is it "gotcha!" to have monsters that want to kill the PCs in the dungeon?
Depends on the dungeon and what you're defining as a monster.

Congrats, it only took you until your next post to find something that far FAR more boring than "the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics".

Since you consider monsters / enemies to be unfair, I'm assuming a typical adventure you run is...what? A walking simulator?

Um... How exactly do you get from a sentance saying that what the PCs encounter in an old tomb depends on what the point of them going into the tomb was and what the goal of the encounter is to enemies is unfair. Are you sure you're not arguing with some imaginary version of me?

As for a typical adventure? Let's see.

** spoiler omitted **...

Can I interest you in some iron for your railroad? Very good prices!

I also have some bolts to hold it together and reduce flexibility of the track, but I think you have those covered don't you?


deusvult wrote:

If the PCs use magic to gain entry into an unknown space without the ability to magic their way back out, that's idiotic for any number of reasons. Whether the atmosphere is toxic is almost besides the point.

You do something THAT unwise, it's hardly "rocks fall, you die" territory. It's like complaining the GM isn't rolling dice for the damage dealt when you stick your head into a guillotine trap. "Player, May I?" only gives the player so much agency. The GM is still the GM, and when you do something that you shouldn't live through, you shouldn't. Even if you "had no idea what would happen". That almost makes it even worse.

If you didn't know the possible hazards, then what were you doing messing with them in the first place? Don't go sticking your head into holes in the wall, and for Gods' sake don't teleport blindly into a place you know you can't teleport back out of.

One of the benefits to being able to play and be so many characters, is that death can be educational. I've learned quite a lot from characters that died from my own stupidity, it helps me to be a better player.

Teleporting blindly down could go a lot worse than poison gas or no air. Being devoured by a giant rat warren (multiple swarms) comes to mind.

On Krensky's point that dungeons don't make sense and don't exist, well luckily for us we play in settings that have them. Our "boring" "realistic" world also has them in many varied forms, see here: http://www.sliptalk.com/derinkuyu/?utm_source=soed&ts_pid=2
I'm also really pumped to visit that ice cave. There are also other cave complexes around mount Fuji, and no joke, these are near a famous haunted forest and one of the major suicide areas in our world. The suicide forest is also so dense, due to the volcanic mineral rich earth, that it is far thicker than many other temperate forests and closer to being a cold jungle much of the year. The Vietnamese also built underground dungeons, complete with traps, to hide from their enemies and so they could sally forth in unexpected areas. :P

Liberty's Edge

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:

Here's a tiny hint. I generally don't use 'dungeons'.

They don't make any sense in anything resembling a realistic world.

Luckily the worlds of D&D / Pathfinder don't take place in anything that even vaguely resembles a realistic world.

:D

Depends what you mean by realistic, and it was fairly clear I mean internally consistent and verisimilar. At no point should the players step back and say: "Who builds like this?" or "Wait... Why are there zombies here?" or, worst of all, "None of this makes sense."

Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Funny, the most boring thing I can think of is the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics you're describing.
Where do you draw the line? Is it "gotcha!" to have monsters that want to kill the PCs in the dungeon?
Depends on the dungeon and what you're defining as a monster.

Congrats, it only took you until your next post to find something that far FAR more boring than "the sort of adversarial, gotcha-based, game of accounting and anachronistic combat tactics".

Since you consider monsters / enemies to be unfair, I'm assuming a typical adventure you run is...what? A walking simulator?

Um... How exactly do you get from a sentance saying that what the PCs encounter in an old tomb depends on what the point of them going into the tomb was and what the goal of the encounter is to enemies is unfair. Are you sure you're not arguing with some imaginary version of me?

As for a typical adventure? Let's see.

** spoiler omitted **...

Can I interest you in some iron for your railroad? Very good prices!

I also have some bolts to hold it together and reduce flexibility of the track, but I think you have those covered don't you?

Am I supposed to be offended by your straw argument? Did you actually read what i wrote or just decide that my game is a railroad, which I'm assuming you mean in a pejorative fashion since that's how you've characterised everything other then your prefered play style. Explain how a campaign where everyone sat down, agreed to the initial conditions and premise of the game, and then the players react to and direct the flow of those events from that point forward is a railroad.

As for real world caves, catacombs, etc. So what? Much like Kthulhu you seem to be arguing against things an imaginary me in your head said, not the things I said.


No no, not straw, iron! Do you want the iron? The iron will be perfect for your railroad.

:D

Why is it a railroad?

"When it goes pear shaped (and it will, it's just a question of how and when) the couple will have to deal with being, more or less, unarmed. The B&E team will need to escape with the goods and hopefully figure out a way to cover up what they were actually there to steal. Alice (a twelve year old girl) will also have to deal with that her suit of Legorn armor (magical power armor) is back on the Night Star and the magic she knows is more about building and fixing things. From past experience, fire will probably be involved. Julie and Dubne will need to keep the dock clear and maybe even provide long range support with the pinnace's gun and Dubne's rifle."

They are going to be unarmed and you have said they are already going to fail and be forced to fight unarmed. Joyous smooth rails.
What the team have to do and how they are going to do it is already set by you. Luscious scenery on this railroad.
Alice is minus her power armour and really out of her depth. Good setup, I hope she enjoys the train ride of weak contributions.
Julie and Dubne are on long range sniper support, and as they are armed it seems they will get to do the most effective actions. I am glad you are looking out for them and they can contribute, but I am sorry to report you have stuck them in a RAIL SHOOTER.

Please recognise your rails.

Liberty's Edge

* Blinks and almost falls over laughing.

Oh geese. I keep forgetting the mindset involved here.

The only thing I set up was that one way (of like four) to get the info the players wanted was to steal it from the consulate. The players chose that method and made the teams themselves. I told them they characters figured the info would be in the safe in the consul's office and they went from there.

Of course the Captain and Marqussa were essentially unnamed (both had daggers, she had a pocket pistol, he had his prosthetic arm, and both had sharp tongues and harsh language). It's a society ball. That they attended willingly and knowing they'd have to leave their swords and pistols and such behind for. Of course this was resolved after the first couple of guards.

Alice is a combat monster. Even without her power armor. She built her character with those strength and those weaknesses. Seriously man, look at your players character sheets some time. They tell you how the players want to succeed and how they want to fail. If Alice's player didn't want to be in that circumstance he would have: one, not built his character the way he did and two, not have put hischaracter in the situation he did.

I may have slightly mislead, Dubne's an NPC. He's, in PF terms, Alice's cohort. Julian's player was an unexpected arrival that night and was late so he sorta got squeezed in. I find it hilarious that you thing they'd get the most effective actions because they're 'armed'.

I never assumed they'd fail. I assumed they'd succeed and they did because the player character's goal was to steal the files. I also assumed it would get loud and messy because I know my players and how they operate. Heck, the players wanted it to get loud and messy. Why? Because 'failure' like that is a hell of a lot more fun and interesting than success. The only thing I did was make sure I had things ready to go when the flare went up.

* Snicker.

Railroad indeed.

Shadow Lodge

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It doesn't really matter too much if they are unarmed or not. You don't need many weapons for a walking simulator. :P

Liberty's Edge

What are you even on about now?

Shadow Lodge

Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Where do you draw the line? Is it "gotcha!" to have monsters that want to kill the PCs in the dungeon?
Depends on the dungeon and what you're defining as a monster.

Walking simulator.

Shadow Lodge

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Krensky wrote:

Its a dungeon.

Its already the same old same old.

If you don't have the imagination to conceive of making a dungeon different than "same old same old", then you don't have the imagination to be playing this game in the first place.

Liberty's Edge

Kthulhu wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Where do you draw the line? Is it "gotcha!" to have monsters that want to kill the PCs in the dungeon?
Depends on the dungeon and what you're defining as a monster.
Walking simulator.

Nope. You're still not making any sense.


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I don't know about anybody else, but IMO if you teleport/D-Door/Passwall/whatever into a room blindly, it is wise to be prepared for just about anything. There might be a pool of lava on the far side of the door. There might be a bubbling cauldron of hydrofluoric acid. You might have successfully arrived dead center in a planar binding circle containing your friendly neighborhood pit fiend. You could even have teleported into solid rock. This is why the average wizard with an intelligence score above 6 scries ahead first.


deusvult wrote:

There's a reason canaries were brought underground by miners, and it wasn't to lighten things up with their singing.

If adventurers aren't savvy enough to survive the very environment they're delving, then they deserve to die.

Is it a "Gotcha" to fry PCs who plane shift to the Elemental Plane of Fire without fire-proofing magic, too?

The Elemental Plane of Fire has fire right in the name.

How much do you expect your PLAYERS to know about mining and underground dangers? Do you expect your PLAYERS to know all of the ins and outs of metallurgy if they take up blacksmithing? What about Healing, do you ask them what sterilization methods they used prior to wound treatment? Do you pull out Gray's Anatomy (the book, not the show) and quiz them on the specifics of human anatomy?

I get it. Toxic gases underground is a real thing and if you are including that in your game, there's nothing wrong with that. I think it's all in how you present it and deal with it in game. If you tell your players that this will be a realistic and technical portrayal of underground exploration, go for it. If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's a bit of a bait and switch going on.

Grand Lodge

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Irontruth wrote:
If you tell your players that this will be a realistic and technical portrayal of underground exploration, go for it. If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's a bit of a bait and switch going on.

Why does it have to be one or the other?? It's like people don't want any kind of internal realism or verisimilitude, because, you know, dragons... Or don't want dragons because, you know, realism...

What's so wrong with an internally consistent, realistic fantasy game setting, that has dragons, giants, wizards that can lob fireballs, and dungeons occasionally filled with poisonous gases?

As long as the setting’s verisimilitude is kept consistent with itself, I just don’t see the problem...


With phase door you can send the warforged in with a torch first. You could even send in a summoned creature. As soon as it has trouble breathing, it will run back out.

I like to only gotcha when PCs are being stupid.

Silver Crusade

Digitalelf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
If you tell your players that this will be a realistic and technical portrayal of underground exploration, go for it. If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's a bit of a bait and switch going on.

Why does it have to be one or the other?? It's like people don't want any kind of internal realism or verisimilitude, because, you know, dragons... Or don't want dragons because, you know, realism...

What's so wrong with an internally consistent, realistic fantasy game setting, that has dragons, giants, wizards that can lob fireballs, and dungeons occasionally filled with poisonous gases?

As long as the setting’s verisimilitude is kept consistent with itself, I just don’t see the problem...

As I said above, I don't think gasses and dangers are gotchas as long as the DM takes time to 'train' his players.

If I start up a game of Dark Souls, it rapidly informs me of the kind of crap that I'm going to run into. A game of Skyrim informs me differently. And Baldur's Gate still differently.

Early adventures and such found the groundwork of how a campaign goes.

If for say, 12 levels I had them stomping around in caverns, detailing every stalagtite, ever pocket of fungus and made water and air issues then a sealed tomb with poison gas would be "fair."

If it was a low key world where I didn't track torch mechanics, and I basically taught them dungeons were safe, open places that just happened to have monsters in them...

In my Uranium example above, the players were shocked and surprised, but they were used to crazy nonsense and having to adapt to it. Two levels earlier they had the Lightning level where everything was electrified, and before that the Radiance level that had Quick-Man style laser beams ripping through parts of it unexpectedly.

The place was a death trap. They adapted. Stuff like that hadn't been uncommon in the campaign up to that point.

If I'd been running a campaign based on say, LoTR with them fighting orcs and locales that were more backdrop then trap benighted magical nightmare, it would've been unfair if I dropped them in my Elemental Tower. Because that's not what the campaign has been teaching them is how things work.

Phase Door is 7th level. I'd imagine the party knows how the DM operates by now. This means either their complaints are based on them, 1.) Not paying attention, and/or 2.) The DM not being consistent with teaching them how his world works.


How deep in the earth are we talking about with this sealed tomb?
If players knew they were going to teleport into a chamber that rests under the sea, they would accept if the place was hard to breath in.


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Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Walking simulator.
Nope. You're still not making any sense.

'Walking simulator' is a term for a game focused on exploration and problem solving, and not around killing things. By this terminology, there are essentially two types of games: Walking simulators, and murder simulators. A walking simulator is what you have left when you take the murdering out of a murder simulator. Obviously, murder simulators are more fun, since they combine the entertainment of walking and murdering in a single package.

Incidentally, this is one of the worst threads I've ever read. So many groundless assumptions about other people's games. So much badwrongfunning...


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Digitalelf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
If you tell your players that this will be a realistic and technical portrayal of underground exploration, go for it. If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's a bit of a bait and switch going on.

Why does it have to be one or the other?? It's like people don't want any kind of internal realism or verisimilitude, because, you know, dragons... Or don't want dragons because, you know, realism...

What's so wrong with an internally consistent, realistic fantasy game setting, that has dragons, giants, wizards that can lob fireballs, and dungeons occasionally filled with poisonous gases?

As long as the setting’s verisimilitude is kept consistent with itself, I just don’t see the problem...

Verisimilitude does not mean "realistic". It means "seems realistic". What qualifies for you might not qualify for me. Honestly, this word gets tossed around as if it has some sort of standard, it doesn't. It is entirely subjective with no objectivity to it at all. To say that something achieves verisimilitude is to say that it achieves it FOR YOU, but doesn't actually say whether it achieves it for anyone else, which is basically a pointless thing to say in these debates, because it debates something that can't actually be debated.

It's like you saying you like chocolate and then me responding "no you don't." It's a pointless debate, as is pulling out the word verisimilitude.

If you read my post very carefully, which you clearly didn't do, you'll note that I didn't say running a realistic and technical campaign is bad. I said that telling your players that it isn't a realistic and technical campaign... then turning it into one... is bad. Otherwise known as a bait and switch.

Bait and switch on the characters? I'm okay with that.

Bait and switch on the players? I'm not okay with that.


Spook205 wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
If you tell your players that this will be a realistic and technical portrayal of underground exploration, go for it. If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's a bit of a bait and switch going on.

Why does it have to be one or the other?? It's like people don't want any kind of internal realism or verisimilitude, because, you know, dragons... Or don't want dragons because, you know, realism...

What's so wrong with an internally consistent, realistic fantasy game setting, that has dragons, giants, wizards that can lob fireballs, and dungeons occasionally filled with poisonous gases?

As long as the setting’s verisimilitude is kept consistent with itself, I just don’t see the problem...

As I said above, I don't think gasses and dangers are gotchas as long as the DM takes time to 'train' his players.

If I start up a game of Dark Souls, it rapidly informs me of the kind of crap that I'm going to run into. A game of Skyrim informs me differently. And Baldur's Gate still differently.

Early adventures and such found the groundwork of how a campaign goes.

If for say, 12 levels I had them stomping around in caverns, detailing every stalagtite, ever pocket of fungus and made water and air issues then a sealed tomb with poison gas would be "fair."

If it was a low key world where I didn't track torch mechanics, and I basically taught them dungeons were safe, open places that just happened to have monsters in them...

In my Uranium example above, the players were shocked and surprised, but they were used to crazy nonsense and having to adapt to it. Two levels earlier they had the Lightning level where everything was electrified, and before that the Radiance level that had Quick-Man style laser beams ripping through parts of it unexpectedly.

The place was a death trap. They adapted. Stuff like that hadn't been uncommon in the campaign up to...

Yup, this exactly what I was saying. It sounds like you've been honest and upfront with your players. They know to expect the things you are putting in front of them. I wholeheartedly agree with this approach.

Liberty's Edge

Matthew Downie wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Walking simulator.
Nope. You're still not making any sense.

'Walking simulator' is a term for a game focused on exploration and problem solving, and not around killing things. By this terminology, there are essentially two types of games: Walking simulators, and murder simulators. A walking simulator is what you have left when you take the murdering out of a murder simulator. Obviously, murder simulators are more fun, since they combine the entertainment of walking and murdering in a single package.

Incidentally, this is one of the worst threads I've ever read. So many groundless assumptions about other people's games. So much badwrongfunning...

So he's saying my games are inferior because the beats and overall game structure is goal oriented and that combat is merely one potential way of achieving a goal, rather than the be all and end all of the game?

Or is it because I suggested that the presence and nature of enemies (people, 'monsters' animals, etc) in a scene (or dungeon or cave or whatever) depends on a number of factors?

Grand Lodge

Irontruth wrote:
It's like you saying you like chocolate and then me responding "no you don't." It's a pointless debate, as is pulling out the word verisimilitude.

Verisimilitude in this particular context means, consistent with itself, which is what I said; an internally consistent game setting, that has a gritty, realistic feel, and contains elements of high fantasy... So, yeah, that can mean two different things for two different people, but many on these boards like to scoff at those who like to use the term "realistic" when discussing D&D, as if it had absolutely no place in the game.

You said: "If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's a bit of a bait and switch going on."

My post just asked the question of why is it baiting and switching if you've run a high fantasy game and then call for a save later on in the campaign if the party, up until that point in the campaign, never entered a dungeon with that type of hazard?

Just because the characters have not encountered something within the campaign setting before, does not mean that the "something" just sprang into existence the moment the GM uses it; especially if, yeah, here it comes, he has a setting with any verisimilitude to it...


Digitalelf wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
It's like you saying you like chocolate and then me responding "no you don't." It's a pointless debate, as is pulling out the word verisimilitude.

Verisimilitude in this particular context means, consistent with itself, which is what I said; an internally consistent game setting, that has a gritty, realistic feel, and contains elements of high fantasy... So, yeah, that can mean two different things for two different people, but many on these boards like to scoff at those who like to use the term "realistic" when discussing D&D, as if it had absolutely no place in the game.

You said: "If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning, there's a bit of a bait and switch going on."

My post just asked the question of why is it baiting and switching if you've run a high fantasy game and then call for a save later on in the campaign if the party, up until that point in the campaign, never entered a dungeon with that type of hazard?

Just because the characters have not encountered something within the campaign setting before, does not mean that the "something" just sprang into existence the moment the GM uses it; especially if, yeah, here it comes, he has a setting with any verisimilitude to it...

I didn't say "high fantasy". You're reading "high fantasy", but I didn't say it. If that's your focus, you're not reading my post correctly.

I also never said that a GM can't throw challenges at the players they haven't seen before. I said something else and was very specific.

I get it, you think I'm opposed to something, unfortunately what you think I'm opposed to is something you're inventing and not actually something I've said. You can respond with more righteous indignation, but it'll be pointless, because you'll be tilting at windmills that you built, not my windmills.

Grand Lodge

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Irontruth wrote:
You can respond with more righteous indignation, but it'll be pointless, because you'll be tilting at windmills that you built, not my windmills.

Wow, such hostility from the get-go... Especially if you believe it is from what amounts to a simple misinterpreting of your post; there is just no need of it.

For the record, I take you saying that if you provide a high adventure game, and then later ask for saves for monoxide poisoning (which I take to be seemingly out of the blue), then that is a bait and switch. I am simply wondering why? I hardly see the need for such hostility for a question that might stem from a simple misunderstanding...

My last post may have been a tad on the snarky side, but I don't feel that either of them were of an accusatory nature, but if you read them as such, then I apologize, as that was not my intent.


Don't feel too bad, Digitalelf.

I get what Irontruth is saying, and he said it better on a subsequent post: "telling your players that it isn't a realistic and technical campaign... then turning it into one... is bad." I don't think this is unreasonable at all.

It's just his original example ("If you tell them it's a high adventure story with action and excitement, then call for saves due to carbon monoxide poisoning") was a very poor one.

Sovereign Court

Sorry, but High Fantasy for me doesn't mean getting black lung because of passing through a mine, getting rabies because you fought with wolves or getting an STD because one of the PCs went to the brothel. That isn't high fantasy. Just like inconveniencing PCs with carbon monoxide or other poisonous gas.

Sovereign Court

Hama wrote:
Sorry, but High Fantasy for me doesn't mean getting black lung because of passing through a mine, getting rabies because you fought with wolves or getting an STD because one of the PCs went to the brothel. That isn't high fantasy. Just like inconveniencing PCs with carbon monoxide or other poisonous gas.

That's a fair opinion, but some of us have a different operating definition of what is "High Fantasy"

For me, it focuses on whether or not the setting is the "real world". Conan the Barbarian is "low fantasy", but so is Harry Potter.

Star Wars is "High Fantasy", Star Trek is "Low".

By this definition, although Golarion lore technically puts the world in the same physical universe as Earth, for all practical purposes it's not supposed to represent a fictional aspect of "the real world" and as such is pretty firmly "High Fantasy".

And if the designation is purely a descriptor of the setting (as it is to me), then questions of how appropriate it is to die by disease because you laid with a poxy whore or drowning in a flash flood because you camped in a gulley or other "mundane fates" is completely disconnected from whether the game is "high" or "low" fantasy.

By extension, for some people, it's perfectly appropriate for toxic atmospheres underground to be a (lethal) concern in their high fantasy games.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Digitalelf wrote:


Just because the characters have not encountered something within the campaign setting before, does not mean that the "something" just sprang into existence the moment the GM uses it; especially if, yeah, here it comes, he has a setting with any verisimilitude to it...

Nor does it mean that your characters have absolute total knowledge of every hazard they may run into.

And it's not really an issue in the example provided, since Phase Doors are Two Way. If you suddenly can't breathe the moment you enter, you flarking walk out through the same Door. At that level to cast a spell such as Phase Door, the problem encountered, isn't a hazard... it's a delay, provided the party has any brains and time.

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