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Solfe
2012-Dec-22, 07:31 PM
This is kind of outside the normal topics of BAUT/CQ, but one of my other threads lead down this path.

How many of you have played D&D? What sort of stories and plots did the campaign have? Any memorable stories?

This thread is free for all on the topic of D&D. Enjoy.

My first memorable story was as a DM. I made the players fabulously rich. This wasn't one of those "its too much to carry" jokes. The issue was that if they spent even a small amount of it, they would upset the whole economy. After transforming several one-horse towns into vacation get-away hot spots or ghost towns, they figured out how to "get by" without screwing everything up. It was actually funny to watch them try and cope.

Moose
2012-Dec-22, 09:22 PM
Context: Our paladin was played by an otherwise great guy who was a bit of a munchkin. A bit over-statted (and one of the reasons I'm less than enamored by heavily alignment-restricted classes.) Since then, I've taken the gloves off somewhat when it comes to my stories. I prefer stories with a lot of moral grey, lose-lose situations, and friction between characters. Paladins probably couldn't survive my adventures with their morals untainted. A player who doesn't mind being at severe risk of falling... frequently... is welcome to play a paladin in my campaigns, so long as they don't start out as one.

I feel similarly (although far less drastically) about rangers, druids, and to a lesser extent, clerics and mages. The concept of "adventurer's school" gets my dander up, so a player's back story had better justify their entry into their profession. I'm not unreasonable about this, and a player who willingly starts out as, say, a level 0 wannabe or level 1 craftsman and intends to quest to become "someone" gets a fair bit of latitude in how this might come about.

Situation: We were doing a module called (EX2) Land Beyond the Magic Mirror (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Beyond_the_Magic_Mirror) based on Lewis Carroll, slightly modified to be a strange, strange passageway between realms. In it, players wind up in the middle of one of those clichéd giant chessboard battlefields. We wound up sharing a clearing with a white-tabbarded centaur-like critter. The paladin made three catastrophic assumptions, that 1) white uniforms meant "good"; 2) that this really was a centaur; 3) that this creature followed a knightly code.

He offered to arm-wrestle for passage. The 'knight' agreed.

The critter came with a special ability: wisdom drain on touch. No saving throw; it was treated as a touch attack. And our paladin willingly chose firm physical contact with its bared hands. The first wisdom point was lost to the un-resisted attack rule. "You begin to think this was unwise. Lower your wisdom stat by one." He failed to break its grip on a grapple check. (It had 20 strength.) "You definitely believe this was a blunder, although you're no longer sure exactly how you got into this mess. Lower your stat by one again." He goes for his dagger. The others also go for weapons. The 'centaur' punches him in the face with a legitimate physical attack to disengage for general melee. A third wisdom point lost. *chuckle*

Then I broke it to him; the wisdom loss was permanent. Legitimately permanent. I even showed him the relevant line in the critter's description, covering up a few other details in case they encountered another one down the line.

Heh, had that encounter lasted any longer, he was in serious danger of no longer qualifying for paladin levels.

Having already encountered the black-tabbarded rook, the group decided not to linger on the battlefield any longer than strictly necessary, and to hold to strict neutrality until the political situation revealed itself. (That didn't help any, in case you're curious. Neither faction had a discernible ethos, yet both sides were fanatically polarized. If you weren't with them...)

If you're curious: the rook was a 20' tall iron golem with a quarter-ton war-hammer on a similarly proportioned iron golem warhorse, nearly resulting in a TPK while rescuing the KOed Paladin from his refusal to put discretion before valor in a matter that simply wasn't any of his business. The PCs dragged his unconscious butt into a nearby dense grove where the rook couldn't follow.

I know it looks like I was picking on the paladin, but I'm an equal opportunity picker-on-er. Everybody was put through the wringer in weird and barely-predictable ways in that module. It was fun _because_ everybody was being folded, bent, and frequently mutilated with no idea whatsoever was was really going down. Nobody had read Carroll, so they didn't even have _that_ recognition to start with. I'll grant the paladin walked into more grief than I'd really planned to inflict...

Solfe
2012-Dec-22, 09:40 PM
For NPC's I introduced a very literal sheriff whom the players learned to loathe. He operated to the letter of the law. He implemented a "peace on the streets" campaign which covered exactly the streets. Houses, churches, temples, markets and plazas were not streets, so...

As soon as the characters realized this, they took full advantage of it.

Noclevername
2012-Dec-23, 05:33 PM
I was the mayor of muchkin-land, and had no idea. Still, the DM could have talked to me about it instead of just killing off my character in a way I had no choice about. To this day I still loathe Gelatinous Cubes...

Chuck
2012-Dec-23, 06:27 PM
I remember D&D. I haven't played since 1978. I had the original 3 book boxed set and first supplement.

HenrikOlsen
2012-Dec-23, 06:39 PM
I was in a long running campaign of about 6-7 players where one of the players had a character who was the direct or indirect reason for about 20 character deaths.
The special thing was that nobody minded because it was 100% in-character and made for great story.

One thing I'ev noticed about the people I play with is that we all have a good sense for story, if something makes for a good story it doesn't matter nearly as much that our characters have a lot of fun (http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php?title=Fun).

With a couple of replacements, it's the same group I still play with, though we've moved on to GURPS.

Solfe
2012-Dec-23, 06:42 PM
I remember D&D. I haven't played since 1978. I had the original 3 book boxed set and first supplement.

I have that some place. I also have the Chainmail rules too. I am not sure which kind of D&D is better, "the freeform - I have a couple of rules" or the new comprehensive rule sets.

Back to funny stuff. I had a 3 hours session turn into a 6-7 hour marathon of gaming. We should have cut it off, but everyone was having fun. The players had reached a remote village and were trying to set up a trade agreement. They offended the villagers and made an Indiana Jones style escape to a rope bridge.

One player had his character fly to the bridge with axe and was prepared to cut the bridge after his friends made it across. This is when the exhaustion hit. All of the other players shouted "Cut it now!" He complied, trapping everyone on the wrong side of the bridge.

We ended right there with everyone high-fiving and congratulating each other. Only the guy who cut the bridge looked concerned and perplexed.

At the start of the next session, everyone was sheepish. With a little sleep, they realized the implications of their last session. I started the next session with the characters toweling of from their heroic swim to safety.

Moose
2012-Dec-24, 01:36 AM
We ended right there with everyone high-fiving and congratulating each other. Only the guy who cut the bridge looked concerned and perplexed.

Heh, made that sort of blunder in one of my first campaigns as a player. Noob thief without the meta-knowledge needed to operate one effectively, in a way-over-our-heads-had-we-been-a-high-level-party-(which-we-weren't) situation. I was tasked with evacuating the squishiest members of our party (of which I was one) and given a teleport-without-error scroll with which to do so. Nobody told me (or my rogue for that matter) that physical contact between myself and the evacuees was essential to accomplishing this...

Solfe
2012-Dec-24, 02:57 AM
Ha-ha! I did the opposite in an online rpg. In this game, the leader of a group could mass teleport people if they had access to such magic. I botched turning over the group to someone else and teleported everyone home after spending an hour leading them to a hard to reach area. Of course, teleporting back was not an option. No one was pleased.

So what version D&D does everyone play? I recently moved from 2nd edition up to 3.5. I really don't like the look of 4.0.

Tensor
2012-Dec-24, 06:35 AM
I have that some place. I also have the Chainmail rules too.

I was wondering if there was anyone else that went back that far. I loved Medieval Miniatures and the college I attended had a monthly jousting tournament using those rules.


I am not sure which kind of D&D is better, "the freeform - I have a couple of rules" or the new comprehensive rule sets.


In my view, it depends. The comprehensive sets are nice if you are playing with a group who are not all that familiar with each other. It helps prevent arguments. OTOH, if you are all fairly well acquainted, you can all decide what rules work best for the group and pick and chose those. We had one guy who had a truly awesome variety of fumble outcomes. Which set was used usually depended on which players were there. I still remember the last four of the one sword list using a 2 d10 to simulate 100 outcomes:

97: Sever limb, nearest party member d4 to determine limb.
98: Sever own limb d4 to determine limb.
99: Kill nearest part member.
00: Decapitate self.

That last one always cracked me up. We even had one guy who had it happened to his character.

Solfe
2012-Dec-24, 12:07 PM
Those Chainmail rules were great. I was about 7 when I got my first set at convention. This was a hardcore set of historical gamers at this convention and they were amused that I was looking for the fantasy figurines.

I also picked up a set of "Chivalry and Sorcery" rules and "played" my first game of Tractics. My actual participation was to move the vehicles on the board. I was small enough to walk on the table top without stepping on things.

D&D and Chainmail was my only impetuous to learn to read. And after I learned to read, I didn't have too much interest in anything other than fantasy and antarctic exploration. I was a strange kid.

publiusr
2012-Dec-28, 09:40 PM
I try to collect monster manuals for the art in them alone.

Didn't like the cosmology shake up. I miss the great wheel where the multi-verse exists as based on alignment. A place for everything--everything in its place.

The new cosmology is based on origins. It seems smaller, perhaps more dangerous though. The feywild I like a lot. No energy planes. Instead of Limbo just being another plane--it is pivotal to the creation myths, a giant accretion disk with efreet there in spots and not just the slaad. The Abyss is the black hole at the bottom, constantly falling.

Other planes almost exist as planets in the astral, like "planet Baator" as one critic put it.

Concordant opposition is gone. Just Sigil, now.

Moose
2012-Dec-28, 10:32 PM
So what version D&D does everyone play? I recently moved from 2nd edition up to 3.5. I really don't like the look of 4.0.

Teethed on 1st, graduated to 2nd edition soon after. I wanted to get involved in 3.0... oh, but for the want of a group. Never bothered buying 3.5, although I do like what I saw in the bioware and obsidian games.

I experimented with a munchkin'ed Neverwinter Nights 2 character build a number of years ago. There were several goals:

1) Make mage sturdy.
2) Make rogue and bard classes irrelevant.
3) Do not seriously gimp mage.

Air Genasi with 2 levels of rogue (for the area effect evasion perk and access to class skills and skill points), then 7ish of Mage, 7 of Eldrich Knight (for the sturdiness), and the rest in that sexy Scholar/Nuker prestige class that grants maxed-out direct damage spells at only two levels higher than base rather than three. Almost immune to area of effect spells, and no saving throw weaknesses to speak of by level 15. Punches _well_ above her weight (due to very advantageous stat adjustments in the Air Genasi race), but suffers brutal XP penalties and lags two levels behind vanilla classes, and one level of spell progression beyond that.

A human can also do well with this build, trading the Air Genasi's exceptional stat synergy (and high number of bonus spells) for normal level progression (and almost normal spell progression.)

This build is only possible in NWN2 due to some of the Eldrich Knight restrictions in tabletop 3.5 that aren't carried in NWN2. The early feat budget is _tight_, but possible. Basically, this build entirely replaces the party rogue on core skills (traps, locks, spotting from level one), melees and buffs like a bard by level 10, and by level 15 or so, can lay down the magical smack like nobody else can. Scary, scary build.

starcanuck64
2012-Dec-29, 12:44 AM
This is kind of outside the normal topics of BAUT/CQ, but one of my other threads lead down this path.

How many of you have played D&D? What sort of stories and plots did the campaign have? Any memorable stories?

This thread is free for all on the topic of D&D. Enjoy.

My first memorable story was as a DM. I made the players fabulously rich. This wasn't one of those "its too much to carry" jokes. The issue was that if they spent even a small amount of it, they would upset the whole economy. After transforming several one-horse towns into vacation get-away hot spots or ghost towns, they figured out how to "get by" without screwing everything up. It was actually funny to watch them try and cope.

With some of my issues I think I was a little afraid to get involved in something that could be so absorptive, after reading some of your experiences it's something I could probably get a blast from now.

I'll have to see if they're much of a D&D society around here, there was one shop called the Adventurers Guild but seems to have closed.

Solfe
2012-Dec-29, 03:44 AM
Teethed on 1st, graduated to 2nd edition soon after. I wanted to get involved in 3.0... oh, but for the want of a group. Never bothered buying 3.5, although I do like what I saw in the bioware and obsidian games.

I was the reason 3.5 was written. In 2nd edition, I used every standard rule as a gimmick to get an advantage. Everyone of my magic users cast continual light on the inside of a lidded container to use as a flashlight. The other thing I would do is "cast magic" by role playing. I figured out that fighters with more than one attack should attack the person standing next to the obvious opponent first. It was a flank attack, half the time it negated the shield and if someone else mêléed that person/creature, they were going down that round.


I'll have to see if they're much of a D&D society around here, there was one shop called the Adventurers Guild but seems to have closed.

Try meetup.com. They might list a college group or other locals.

Ronald Brak
2012-Dec-29, 04:13 AM
I ran a game of Dungeons and Dragons last night. It started with the players hearing some odd noises in the fog at night in the mountains and they tried to decide if there was a goat out there. It turned out to be a strange creature with three heads, one of which was a goat. Not having any reason to randomly attack people in the night the creature disappeared into the fog. One player suggested they go help it as it was obviously sick as it hadn't randomly attacked them. After that they managed to do the following:

1. Receive a message saying where the people they were looking for were probably held capitive.
2. Met Lucharno, Nicky Two Fingers, and Benny the Otter and agreed to kill a merchant as a favour to the mafia to show that they were sorry for earlier escaping from the bad guys by hacking a hole in the bottom of the mafia's boat.
3. Told the merchant that the mafia wanted him dead. This was followed by a conversaton with a "blind" begger outside the merchant's house. "Alms for the poor? While you still have arms, that is."
4. Snuck into the capital city of the guys who were currently invading the heroes' home country.
5. Visited the guy who made the locks for the tower the captives were supposedly held in and got a blank key off him.
6. Borrowed a disguise and got forged invitations to the royal celebration from a snake. (The snake forged the invitations before lending the disguise. She disguised herself as a human so she would have hands to write with.)
7. Went to the royal party. Saw thousands of mind controlled orcs (monster dudes) paraded through the square who were about to be marched to their homeland for extra invadingness. Saw Prince Bad Buy get betrothed to the 14 year old Princess Greta of Devonia, the only nation with enough power to seriously oppose Prince Bad Guy's country.
8. Their plan to get the Keeper of the Keys drunk failed as he was already drunk.
9. One adventurer drank a love potion the Keeper of the Keys put in her drink, but she realized what had happened and shut her eyes until she had a chance to pull out a mirror and look at her own reflection and fall in love with herself. Then she stole the Tower key and replaced it with the blank key.
10. The heroes gained access to the roof of the tower and used the stolen key to get in. They found the supposedly dead former master of one of the heroes held under torturous conditions. He told them to leave him there in pain as he was misleading Prince Bad Guy and holding him back from doing greater evil. The heroes said, "Okay."
11. They went downstairs and the heavily armed and awesomly skilled adventurers bravely fought some army cooks. (Hey, army cooks are tough.) Feeling amazed at how awesome they were at their victory they walked into the main holding area where most of the captives were and faced war ogres and armed guards. Thrown off by the suprise of the tower having more than cooks guarding it, they actually let the prison warden monologue for a bit. Then a desperate fight broke out and the last surving prison guard said, "Spare my life and I will give you my written order from Prince Bad Guy himself." The toughest player took a piece of paper from him and read it, feeling quite proud as she had only learned to read a few month ago. The paper said, "I prepared explosive runes today," and blew up in her face. Fortunately having her head set on fire is quite normal for her and she survived. The sword wound she got a second later was a bit touch and go however, but a bit of sticky plaster and some ancient healing magic soon fixed that up.
12. They won. The captives were freed. Game over - for now.

Solfe
2012-Dec-29, 04:36 AM
The paper said, "I prepared explosive runes today," and blew up in her face.

That is one of the best gags ever! "Adventuring 101 - do not read explosive BOOM!"

One time as a DM, I noticed all of the characters had the ability to speak to animals in one form or another. So I made up a particularly funny joke coming from a horse. This was a mistake because the players started speaking to every animal they encountered. I eventually put a stop to it by having a mule say to a dog "Don't talk to them, it weirds out our owners."

Ronald Brak
2012-Dec-29, 05:01 AM
That is one of the best gags ever! "Adventuring 101 - do not read explosive BOOM!"

And it only worked because nothing like that had happened to them before. If players actually start checking for traps when there's no logical reason for them to be there it means that you've left too many bricks under hats.

starcanuck64
2012-Dec-29, 05:27 AM
Try meetup.com. They might list a college group or other locals.

I sometimes forget that I live in the information age, a quick Google search shows groups like this.:)

http://community.wizards.com/dndedmonton

Solfe
2012-Dec-29, 12:35 PM
And it only worked because nothing like that had happened to them before. If players actually start checking for traps when there's no logical reason for them to be there it means that you've left too many bricks under hats.

I created a villain for characters who checked for traps all of the time. In the campaign, there were only three kinds of traps - stuff to keep people out of castles, noise making traps on homes or businesses and animal traps. I used real world examples and the thieves of the party ate that stuff up.

Then I introduced a series of deadly traps, all apparently made by one person. The players nick named the maker "Bloodless Jack". They actually made up a psychological profile on the guy; sort of like Francis Bacon vs. CSI. The great part was that I made the character up from their description. Human, older than 50, a bard not a thief, etc.

The villain was captured twice by the characters only to escape because they botched some really basic things. First, they cast detect lie on him then asked him if he was "Bloodless Jack". Since that was their nickname for him, he answered "no" truthfully and was released. The second time they caught him, they mistook one of his cohorts for the actual villain and he escaped again. The third time, the players killed him completely by blowing his mountain top hide-a-way right off the mountain.

Of course, they never found the body... cue evil laugh. I would have brought him back, but the way the got him was so subtle and yet completely overkill, I decided against it. Heroes gotta win.

Moose
2012-Dec-29, 12:38 PM
That is one of the best gags ever! "Adventuring 101 - do not read explosive BOOM!"

Been there, had eyebrows blown off by that.

/ You know, there's a point in 2nd edition D&D where it's simpler to just let the fighter find all the traps.

jokergirl
2012-Dec-29, 12:57 PM
I don't really play D&D. Other systems, though. Once started a campaign of 4th ed over the net, quickly decided the system was incredibly imbalanced. But that campaign never took off, anyway.

;)

HenrikOlsen
2013-Jan-01, 06:57 PM
11. They went downstairs and the heavily armed and awesomly skilled adventurers bravely fought some army cooks. (Hey, army cooks are tough.)
That's where they put experienced sergeants who lost too many appendages to continue on the front lines, as a cushy thank you for services rendered.
Don't expect those guys to go down easy, especially when you remember the vast array of handy cutting tools available to them at all times.

Solfe
2013-Jan-01, 08:24 PM
Been there, had eyebrows blown off by that.

/ You know, there's a point in 2nd edition D&D where it's simpler to just let the fighter find all the traps.

I had a friend run sheep through a dungeon to find traps. When the DM wised up to that, the guy tried to hire torch and shield carriers for the same job. They were under the control of the DM and by extension passed many near impossible saving throws. :)

Moose
2013-Jan-01, 08:31 PM
I had a friend run sheep through a dungeon to find traps. When the DM wised up to that, the guy tried to hire torch and shield carriers for the same job. They were under the control of the DM and by extension passed many near impossible saving throws. :)

I suppose a less-than-shiny-mage or cleric could do that with low level summon spells. (Although I wouldn't try it with a druid in the party.)

Solfe
2013-Jan-02, 12:08 AM
I suppose a less-than-shiny-mage or cleric could do that with low level summon spells. (Although I wouldn't try it with a druid in the party.)

This was a second edition campaign and summoning wasn't that easy. The DM had enemy archers shoot at the guy standing next to the torch bearer so as to have well illuminated targets for as long as possible. My evil cleric would "bless" the bearer's torches, playing up the idea that he was very powerful since the bearers would be shot at last. Since my character couldn't cast and fight, he was often hit long before any torch bearer and the whole thing contributed to the perception he was some sort of "good" character.

Ronald Brak
2013-Jan-02, 02:15 AM
That's where they put experienced sergeants who lost too many appendages to continue on the front lines, as a cushy thank you for services rendered.
Don't expect those guys to go down easy, especially when you remember the vast array of handy cutting tools available to them at all times.

Also hot, slippery, flammable boiling oil, pot lids as improvised shields and battle frisbees, huge skewers as spears, and slitting a sack of chestnuts makes for a nice trip hazard. And don't forget flour - while a fuel air explosion is probably beyond the abilities of a 16th century cook equivalent, it's darned useful against the invisible. And if a necromancer just happens to wonder by - all those animal carcasses...

Moose
2013-Jan-02, 02:52 AM
And if a necromancer just happens to wonder by - all those animal carcasses...

How much mileage do you get out of several dozen undead squab?

Ronald Brak
2013-Jan-02, 05:21 AM
How much mileage do you get out of several dozen undead squab?

Technicallty infinite. For this reason it's vital to include unpleasent negative energy pollution resulting from presence of undead to prevent players with an economic turn of mind converting the fantasy economy to undead power. Oh, and it's also important to have conservation of mass to apply to regenerating monsters to prevent players from opening up a chain of troll burger restaurants.

Moose
2013-Jan-02, 02:17 PM
Clever. Between the flame broiling and stomach acids, I suppose there's a pretty low risk of regenerating a fully grown troll inside the customer.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Jan-07, 12:07 PM
How much mileage do you get out of several dozen undead squab?
In a slight derail, I'm currently playing Dwarf Fortress. If you're attacked by a necromancer, he will reanimate everything formerly living within his line of sight, which can be a bit of a nightmare if he happens to pass by the refuse pile with dozens of severed limbs and mutilated corpses or if he passes by the unprepared food stockpile there you can suddenly be faced with a horde of reanimated mussels and clams.

Solfe
2013-Jan-07, 12:25 PM
I always meant to try that game.

I used to play a text game called Gemstone IV. One of the character spells was something called "implosion", which was basically a hole in the world that sucked everything in and then exploded. It took about 30 seconds to form and the warning descriptions were rather bland and never included the word "implosion". The effect text was more exciting and global, so everyone received the message. The really amusing part was the only way for a character to communicate globally was to use a magic amulet. This meant the victim stood in front of the forming implosion while they dug out an amulet, wore it, rubbed it and then typed a message.

So-and-So "What is a black void?"
So-and-So has been vaporized!

Moose
2013-Jan-07, 01:39 PM
[...] a horde of reanimated mussels and clams.

Bahaha!!!!! Made my morning. :D


So-and-So "What is a black void?"
So-and-So has been vaporized!

Hee!