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Ilya
2005-Feb-10, 04:01 AM
Move yourself one category up if you recognize the origin of Kizarvexis' handle.

Without googling it!

TravisM
2005-Feb-10, 04:07 AM
Rock on. I liked the different extentions I.C.E. came out with. I had several different D&D variations at one time in my youth, and still find the time once or twice a year to sit with about 4 or 5 buddies in the most formal display you'd ever expect to see out of us. The time we're most serious is when we're playing 'pretend.' :lol:
Some of the others:
Cyberspace
Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles
Ninjas & Super Spies
Middle Earth Role Playing (MERP)
etc...

Musashi
2005-Feb-10, 04:11 AM
I was playing weekly with some friend but real life got in the way and we tried to switch to play-by-post which worked for a while and then petered out.

Kesh
2005-Feb-10, 06:05 AM
I just finished reading the first novel from the new Eberron campaign setting. :D

Bawheid
2005-Feb-10, 09:28 AM
Used to play all the time from about 1978 (back when it was a 3 volume box set) until about 1985. Mrs B and I started hanging out together because of D&D and it is our 20th wedding anniversary this year; which just goes to show how compatible magic users and rangers are. :D

AstroSmurf
2005-Feb-10, 10:26 AM
Not quite sure when I began... rpgs in general go back to '89, but I played mostly Swedish games in the beginning. A friend of mine has most things published for AD&D as well as 3rd edition. That's some collection!
I'm more into odd things like Fading Suns, Space:1889 and Ars Magica these days.

frogesque
2005-Feb-10, 11:09 AM
Never played, I was more a Lemming (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemmings) :lol:

captain swoop
2005-Feb-10, 11:13 AM
I started back in the 80s with the Original D&D and moven onto AD&D when it came out, I still have my original DM Guide, Monster Manual etc.
We quickly discovered Ruen Quest and stopped using the DM Guide but still used the Monster Manual.

Plus we adapted some of the D&D campaigns to Runequest.
When we got into Sci-Fi we came up with a hybrid 'Traveller/Runequest rule set of our own which substituted Sci FI weaponry and skills for the Runequest versions but used the career creation of traveller.

I like travceller, the only game where a character can be killed while you are rolling up his previous career :)

Some of our group have been playing for around 20 years. We have a Fantasy campaign going on set in the 'Thief' game world and a Scifi campaign that has been running for around 10 years. We are very tight with experience so none of the long running characters are over powerful.

Johnno
2005-Feb-10, 11:26 AM
which just goes to show how compatible magic users and rangers are.

Well, you see, I almost always play a Cleric. So now I just have to find a girl who almost always plays a fighter/barbarian... *chuckles*

Johnno
2005-Feb-10, 11:28 AM
rpgs in general go back to '89, but I played mostly Swedish games in the beginning.

Mutant? NeoTech? :D

Started with Mutant about that time, maybe '90 or '91.

HAVOC451
2005-Feb-10, 11:33 AM
I played AD&D through the 80's. A group of six of us played once or twice a week for about eight years. Good friends, great times.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-10, 11:53 AM
I also was a big RPG player in the 80s and 90s, even went to a convention or two. Did my psychology Bachelor's thesis on RPGs! Haven't played for years though (not counting computer games like Baldur's Gate of course).

Bawheid
2005-Feb-10, 12:31 PM
which just goes to show how compatible magic users and rangers are.

Well, you see, I almost always play a Cleric. So now I just have to find a girl who almost always plays a fighter/barbarian... *chuckles*

=D> =D> I didn't make it clear which of us played a ranger, did I?

Maybe you just need to settle down with a nice half-orc thief...... :D

Moose
2005-Feb-10, 12:41 PM
The rare times I get to play PnP, I nearly always play rogues of some kind, though rarely plain-vanilla ones. I usually try to throw in some curveball to role-play around.

My favorite two:

1) A retired siege engineer who does precision machinery (clocks, sextants, spyglasses) when he's not on the run. Nearly always on the run from someone. Pragmatic, rational, competant, and very much wanting to settle down to run his trade, yet somehow attracting more danger than the most impulsive swashbuckler, nearly always the result of otherwise perfectly reasonable decisions.

2) An elvish "girl gone wild". Basically down-home country girl who finds herself becomming a yeoman scout after her family's plantation is razed and her father's having pined away. Rather than attempt to settle down, she later found herself becomming a high-profile negociator/trouble-shooter for a major thieves guild on the very edge of a bloody civil war. Her theme is basically one of having learned the wrong lessons from having had to face up to her own mortality, far before she was prepared for it.

I _always_ play fighter/rogues of some combination in NWN.

Rogues. They're the first ones in, the last ones out, and always have good options when they get "there". Rogues are never ever bored.

Johnno
2005-Feb-10, 12:50 PM
Maybe you just need to settle down with a nice half-orc thief...

Well, it's not like I'm picky. Any female DnD player who'd be interested in me would do... umm, wouldn't even have to be a DnD player now that I think about it... grin

mickal555
2005-Feb-10, 12:52 PM
Whats dungens and dragones I mesn I've heard of it but....

Johnno
2005-Feb-10, 12:57 PM
Whats dungens and dragones

It's a role playing game set in a fantasy (medieval) world.

You take the role of a human/elf/dwarf/etc, go adventuring (in dungeons), meeting (/slaying) dragons and other monsters...


edited for clarification

Tensor
2005-Feb-10, 12:57 PM
I started playing in 1974, using the Chainmail rules (The town I grew up in was near Lake Geneva and the college I went to hosted a few GenCons). Several of my first DM's played and learned with Gygax. I kept playing until the mid 1980s. My last campaign was the Dragonlance Series. I still have the original ADD guides and several teenagers in my neighborhood use them every now and again when they play.

Captain Kidd
2005-Feb-10, 01:07 PM
Whats dungens and dragones I mesn I've heard of it but.... :o :o :o
Woah! :D

Waaaaay back in the dark ages before computers and Everquest (believe or not, computers weren't always around ;) ), as a matter of fact the basis of MMORPGs were role playing games. D&D was one of the better know ones and mostly pure fantasy. And the center of all sorts of stupid controversity. People claimed that playing it made you satanic, and if you played D&D and listened to Rock-n-Roll, well, you were likely the Antichrist personified. So it made you think, oh no! Can't have kids learning how to think!

Hmm, think of RPGs as, well MMORPGs without the computer. One person would be the Dungeon Master, DM, (or Game Master, GM, for the other RPGs), the person who ran the game (heh the software basically). Players were basically the same as they are now in the online game except you sat at a table rather than at a keyboard. Everything was in your head so you had to have a DM/GM who was good at telling stories.

I still think the experience was far richer than todays computer MMORPGs. There's still software limits, with dice and imagination you do do anything. I use to be the main DM and did all sorts of things. The players managers to start a hugh forest fire once, well, one player. He loved wizards but could never quit get area of effects down. Like lobbing a huge fireball into a tiny room that contained the rest of the party. You know, this guy loved fireballs, he even did the calssic drop one at his feet to dry off after he misjudged the length of a water walking spell. Fortunately for him he was immune to fire. Unfortunately, he was in the middle of the rest of the players who were not immune. Everybody learned to give him a lot of clearance.

Ahh the nostalga... great now I'm depressed, it's been way too long since I played.

Johnno
2005-Feb-10, 01:33 PM
great now I'm depressed, it's been way too long since I played.

Well, I for one wouldn't mind trying IRC dnd, or something similar. I know a few people who frequently play over IRC, I could ask them for advice, maybe get their dicebot or something.

Only have 2nd edition books myself though, and have barely played 3rd edition (last I heard they were coming out with 3.5 or something)...

Anyone interested?

Swift
2005-Feb-10, 02:37 PM
Back in my grad school days I played pretty regularly and took it up again with a group of friends some years later, but haven't played since the late 80's. With that last group I had a really wicked (in the slang sense not evil :wink: ) female elf fighter.

Doodler
2005-Feb-10, 03:11 PM
I played pen and paper 2nd Ed. AD&D for a while, then moved on to playing it online when Neverwinter Nights launched the 3rd Edition rules in a multiplayer computer game.

I still think 2nd Edition was far better. And I get no end of grief for playing paladins.

Bawheid
2005-Feb-10, 03:22 PM
(snip)
And I get no end of grief for playing paladins.

And rightly so. :D

Moose
2005-Feb-10, 03:38 PM
Bawheid, I was thinking the very same thing. *chuckle*

Every munchkin RPGer I've ever encountered was absolutely married to their 2nd Ed Paladin.

Back when I DMed, I had a semi-solution for this: I warned my gamers that I discouraged the use of paladins for balance reasons, but would permit them. However, since paladins were sworn to follow a very exacting ethical code as the intended "downside" for notching off their balance somewhat, that I would hold the character to it. To the letter. Ignorance on the part of the player of that code would not be considered a valid defense.

Combine that with my reputation for engineering ethical quagmires (there's a reason I play chaotic neutral or true neutral characters, after all), and the paladins were seldom a problem for very long.

Bawheid
2005-Feb-10, 03:42 PM
Moose: That was pretty much our answer to them as well.

Cap'n Kidd: We had a guy with depth perception/fireball issues as well. Same player who had a tendency to throw molotov cocktails while standing in a doorway..........

AstroSmurf
2005-Feb-10, 03:42 PM
rpgs in general go back to '89, but I played mostly Swedish games in the beginning.
Mutant? NeoTech? :D
Drakar och Demoner :P
Never got the opportunity to play Mutant - when I started, they were into "Mutant 2" which was far less interesting than the original, so I never got into it. The original setting was definitely cool, though. And NeoTech wasn't invented yet ;)

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-10, 04:40 PM
Back when I DMed, I had a semi-solution for this: I warned my gamers that I discouraged the use of paladins for balance reasons, but would permit them. However, since paladins were sworn to follow a very exacting ethical code as the intended "downside" for notching off their balance somewhat, that I would hold the character to it. To the letter. Ignorance on the part of the player of that code would not be considered a valid defense.
The campaigns I played in managed to limit paladins by using a rule that you had to roll your stats first then could only pick classes that were allowed with your stats. Since Paladins had to have CHA of 17, as well as fairly high stats in most of the others, it was rare for someone to get it. If they did though they were allowed to have one but many players didn't bother.

Unfotunately that method restricted players being other classes as well such as rangers, druids and illusionists, but at least it was fair.

Doodler
2005-Feb-10, 05:08 PM
Bawheid, I was thinking the very same thing. *chuckle*

Every munchkin RPGer I've ever encountered was absolutely married to their 2nd Ed Paladin.

Back when I DMed, I had a semi-solution for this: I warned my gamers that I discouraged the use of paladins for balance reasons, but would permit them. However, since paladins were sworn to follow a very exacting ethical code as the intended "downside" for notching off their balance somewhat, that I would hold the character to it. To the letter. Ignorance on the part of the player of that code would not be considered a valid defense.

Combine that with my reputation for engineering ethical quagmires (there's a reason I play chaotic neutral or true neutral characters, after all), and the paladins were seldom a problem for very long.

Nothing like destroying a player's ability to enjoy a class by engineering campaigns around their downfall. :evil:

I got good at avoiding that mindset by memorizing a good chunk of the Paladin's Handbook on issues of ethos. Secondly, I also determined that the best answer to some situations was to simply let matters proceed without my involvement. Paladins are big picture people, they get themselves in trouble when they get mired in the minutia. Another way of avoiding ethical quagmires is to accept that there may be no positive way out of a situation and offer nothing more than a few words of council before letting matters proceed unabated until enough destruction had passed to allow for a more honorable compromise. "I was not sent here to solve your little problem in your favor, I'm here to figure out how best to tidy up this disaster in the best interests of honor".

Bottom line, keep your nose clean, clean up the mess AFTER someone else makes it. When you become the mess, you've slipped off the path. I wasn't above solving someone's little problem for them, then turning and unloading an impressive sermon on the virtues of not having created the situation in the first place. Many an experience point were earned at the expense of some NPC's minor henchmen after I let him know exactly what he needed to know, whether he liked it or not.

Paladins can be a boatload of fun once you know how to play them.

Moose
2005-Feb-10, 05:10 PM
Because we tended towards longer campaigns, we usually determined stats appropriate to the character concept (usually through some point-buy variant). It tended to keep folks on a fairly even footing, and the DMs balanced the encounters accordingly. But it also made it rather easy to "roll" up a paladin by nerfing intelligence.

Doodler
2005-Feb-10, 05:17 PM
Because we tended towards longer campaigns, we usually determined stats appropriate to the character concept (usually through some point-buy variant). It tended to keep folks on a fairly even footing, and the DMs balanced the encounters accordingly. But it also made it rather easy to "roll" up a paladin by nerfing intelligence.

The Paladin Handbook had a pretty decent rollable table of pre-determined stats that met the criteria, I also did a couple using the alternate methods. The best one, as you mentioned, was the one where you started with an 8 in all stats and a pool of points to build up your stats. Paladins could bump up to their minimums and apply the rest as they liked.

Moose
2005-Feb-10, 05:33 PM
Nothing like destroying a player's ability to enjoy a class by engineering campaigns around their downfall. :evil:

Hardly. If I was after their downfall, I would have said something along the lines of "A dragon shows up, eats the paladin (crunching loudly), and flies off into the clouds, never to be seen again." Either that, or "You can't play a paladin. Choose something else."

The vast majority of players who consistently choose paladins play them like a fighter. In core 2nd Ed, fighters have absolutely no abilities that rangers and paladins can't do. If you play a ranger like a heavy fighter, though, you get a heavy fighter. Paladins, however, can do absolutely anything a fighter can do, plus light clerical stuff, for no ingame penalty whatsoever.

So, you never see fighters in this sort of campaign. Ever. Munchkins always take paladins.

That isn't fair for the other players, and it isn't fair for the legitimate paladin roleplayers either.

I (and others who take this tack) simply make it prohibitive to abuse the paladin.

If you play the paladin as a paladin, great. Nothing I do will prevent that. That's not to say I'm going to make it easy for you. The life of a paladin is supposed to be a difficult path up a very slippery slope (and the sudden stop at the bottom), which is what I'm aiming for. I will tempt you to violate "your" oath on as many levels as I can reach. The paladin who successfully negociates my quagmires (as opposed to a no-win, no-escape situation, which I don't do) gets roleplaying XP bonuses, the same as the other player characters do when they do something particularly in character.

Paladins-as-uber-fighter munchkin types, however, can't survive in that kind of environment, so they tend to take character classes more suited to what they're really going to play.

It makes for a much better game all around.

You'll note that this is exactly the same strategy you take when you've got a player who insists on playing a "chaotic stupid" psychotic character type, rather than a "chaotic evil". You don't bludgeon them into doing things your way (which causes unnecessary fights), you simply make them face the consequences of their actions.


I got good at avoiding that mindset by memorizing a good chunk of the Paladin's Handbook on issues of ethos. Secondly, I also determined that the best answer to some situations was to simply let matters proceed without my involvement.

[...]


Paladins can be a boatload of fun once you know how to play them.

Sure, cause you clearly know how to play them. You sound like a treat to DM.

The vast majority of paladin adherents consistently abuse the character class.

Johnno
2005-Feb-10, 05:53 PM
Drakar och Demoner


Thought that was a straight copy of dungeons and dragons, translated into swedish? Could be wrong of course, never tried it.


And NeoTech wasn't invented yet

Yeah I don't remember when it came out. Think I have the rulebook somewhere, got to buy it off my brother because I always had to be GM, got tired of borrowing the book. I loved the NeoTech rules though, especially leveling. Managed to get lvl 21 for handguns or something...*chuckles*

tlbs101
2005-Feb-10, 05:58 PM
I started playing in 1974, using the Chainmail rules ... I kept playing until the mid 1980s. ... I still have the original ADD guides ...

Ditto here, except I was always the DM because I was the oldest. I wanted to RP but none of the other kids were smart enough to be DM.

I created a decent DD world for RP in 1976 that we played for several months, I even created some new monsters for the world. I was hard pressed to keep ahead of the group as they explored.

Our group was playing war-game RP even earlier than 1974.

Even in college starting in 1976, there were several who played, but there was never enough time to do it justice. I haven't played or DM'd since the late 70's.

Thanks for bringing back good memories, Ilya. :D

aurora
2005-Feb-10, 06:25 PM
I started playing in 1974, using the Chainmail rules (The town I grew up in was near Lake Geneva and the college I went to hosted a few GenCons). Several of my first DM's played and learned with Gygax. I kept playing until the mid 1980s. My last campaign was the Dragonlance Series. I still have the original ADD guides and several teenagers in my neighborhood use them every now and again when they play.

I started playing in about '76, after reading an article written by Gygax (who used to be active in the Diplomacy zines). I wish I still had the original white books, but lost them somewhere in all the moves.

Lost all my issues of the Dragon somewhere along the way as well.

Probably be worth something today. Oh, well, stuff happens.

ShroudedMoon
2005-Feb-10, 07:58 PM
I gamed pretty regularly (every week) for about 5 yrs through high school and beyond in the early 90s. Didn't play D&D a ton as we hit on most everything else that came out during that time period. Still have boxes of game books that I can't decide what to do with because of the sense of nostalgia tied up in em.

Mike

PyroFreak
2005-Feb-10, 08:27 PM
Holy smokes! You guys are talking about playing in 1976 and I wasn't born till 8 years later! I played a little with friends as a freshman in college, but that was about it. Boy I feel like a young-un.

I stopped playing because I sucked at it. I was always the run-in-and-hack-and-slash type; I enjoyed the battles, and not so much the role playing. I'll stick to my computer - it's visual and more exciting.

Just my opinion.

Maddad
2005-Feb-11, 02:51 AM
AD&D! That takes me back years. Haven't played in forever it seems. I DMed a few campaigns. Learned not to allow chaotic evil alignments; it doesn't work for a group working towards a common goal.

I suppose what got me out of it was all the God-like player characters. The game became more roll playing and less role playing. Guys were immune to everything and could sustain more hits than Odin himself. My own characters included a 5th level fighter who lost his left hand to a fumble way back when he was second level. Could have healed it somewhere along the line, but I played him in character as a one-handed fighter. I also liked my female half-elvin magic user, but at 13th level she became too powerful for the low level adventures we ran.

peter eldergill
2005-Feb-11, 03:32 AM
I have the original copies of the DM's guide, player's handbook and monster manual in my bathroom as reading material! My wife HATES that it's in there

I would LOVE to play sometime in Toronto if anyone here actually reads this. I've loved the idea of the game since 1980 but have never really played since none of my friends were ever really interested or good at it :cry:

Anyhow, if anyone in toronto reads this, please PM me and maybe we can start

Pete

Chuck
2005-Feb-11, 03:49 AM
I played most of the old Avalon Hill wargames in the sixties and early seventies and Flying Buffalo's play by mail games in the mid seventies, and then went to work there in '77. I played some D&D in the late seventies but never really got into it. No campaigns and no saving characters from game to game. I rarely play games of any kind now.

Ilya
2005-Feb-11, 04:27 AM
Anyhow, if anyone in toronto reads this, please PM me and maybe we can start


If you want to find people to play with, I suggest you go to Google Groups and check out rec.games.frp.dnd

Personally, I play every couple months or so with my kids. I did not play at all for several years, until the kids grew old enough to get interested.

BTW, the joke in this poll is "own a suit of banded mail". Banded mail, as described in 1st edition AD&D, never actually existed. Roman lorica segmentata was the closest thing in real life (and not very close at that) and nothing at all like it existed in midaeval Europe, on which D&D is mostly based. That did not prevent some gamers and/or SCA types with real armorer skills from making "banded mail". (By far most often such hobbyists make chainmail.) So if you do own one, then a) you are a far more dedicated gamer/midaevalist/fantasist than I ever was, and b) most non-gaming armor experts will say you do not actually own a banded mail, because there is no such thing!

Tensor
2005-Feb-11, 06:54 AM
I played most of the old Avalon Hill wargames in the sixties and early seventies and Flying Buffalo's play by mail games in the mid seventies, and then went to work there in '77. I played some D&D in the late seventies but never really got into it. No campaigns and no saving characters from game to game....

Oh man, does that bring back memories. I started with "Battle of the Bulge" in 66 and continued playing until the mid '80s. In 74 our club spent a semester playing GDW "Drang nach Osten"(sp?) om addition to minatures. I still have most of the original games in my closet and bought a used copy of 1914 a year ago.


...I rarely play games of any kind now.

Neither do I (Life got complicated) :cry: But, I do remember those times very fondly.

Tensor
2005-Feb-11, 06:55 AM
Holy smokes! You guys are talking about playing in 1976 and I wasn't born till 8 years later! I played a little with friends as a freshman in college, but that was about it. Boy I feel like a young-un.

Just be quiet you, or I hit you with my cane. :lol:

Lycus
2005-Feb-11, 07:08 AM
Just be quiet you, or I hit you with my cane. :lol:
Would that be a cane+1?

Musashi
2005-Feb-11, 07:16 AM
Heck, if he has had it since at least '76, it is probably at least +2, whippersnapper bane.

mickal555
2005-Feb-11, 07:42 AM
OK now um what are MMORPGs ?

sorry :oops:

Lycus
2005-Feb-11, 08:02 AM
By the way, does anyone else watch the Venture Brothers? :)


Oh come on! You're gonna kill me because I had fake sex on graph paper with a girl who barely spoke to you in real life?!

Johnno
2005-Feb-11, 10:08 AM
OK now um what are MMORPGs ?

Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game

basically a online rpg game with servers that support a massive amount of players.

Usually computer games are single player, or multiplayer, largest multiplayer game I've played could be played with up to 32 people on the same server I think, but massive multiplayer games can have hundreds, or thousands of people on the same server (world).

So instead of playing with 15 of your mates against 16 other people on the opposing team, or exploring a rpg world with say 10 companions (largest Ive done was 7 other people and me), you're in a world with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. Every time you play you can play with new people, or play with friends, or make new friends. A lot easier in rpg than shoot em up games.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-11, 12:00 PM
I have a number of friends hooked on MMORPGs so I decided to stay away from them - I just don't have the time to spare and I know that if I really like the game I'll play it constantly.

I started AD&D just as 2nd ed. came out. Still have the books in storage somewhere. Also played a lot of Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu and occasionally Paranoia for kicks.

captain swoop
2005-Feb-11, 12:00 PM
Runequest was the system we liked, AD&D was quite quickly disgarded, none of that character class artificiality, you got to divide experience between your stats and abilities. If I remember right only Priests were restricted in the ways they could act, visiting temples and making Devotions etc and observing the faith of their cult to avoid losing their powers.
Magic in Runequest is available to all and there are no restrictions on what types of weapons you can use. Skills were self limiting, if you are spending months and experience learning spells and buying magic items etc then you haven't got the time to spend learning to use a sword etc.

Plus in a long campaing we tended to keep the stats fairly fixed and start players off with above basic skills in the areas they were interested in. IE we assumed some previous experience before the characters met up and started out.

Johnno
2005-Feb-11, 12:17 PM
you got to divide experience between your stats and abilities.

That's what I liked about NeoTech (futuristic reality based rpg), you could only gain levels in skills you had used during a session/adventure/mission (up to GM). The way it worked was you rolled 3d6, and had to get a score higher than your skill level, to increase the level 1 point.

The beauty of the NeoTech system was that it was played just with 6 sided dice, every time you rolled a 6 you had to redo the roll with 2 dice instead.

For damage you would try to get a high score, say a bullet did 3d6 damage, you'd roll 3 6's, and redo the roll with 6d6.... and so on. Nasty things could happen easily.

As for skill checks, you'd try to get a score lower or equal to your skill level. I got to level 21 in handguns, pretty hard to fail getting under 21 with 3d6, unless you kept rolling 6's, which happened every once in a while.

And then of course modifiers would apply. He's behind cover, add X to your aim roll, he's running add X to your aim roll, you're aiming at a guy in a car that's speeding away, add an extra d6 to your roll.

Really good system.

Not to mention the damage tables, they actually listed specific injuries like "punctured lung, you need medical attention or you will die in Xd6 minutes". Very realistic. Of course you had hit points, and to get the nasty injuries you had to receive a critical wound, which was something like losing equal to half the amount of HP you had in that part of the body, from one injury. Even if you didn't lose half your total body HP, you might still lose an arm. Losing all the hp's in a bodypart would make it useless, but not necessarily critically wounded.

Man I need to dig up the rulebook, just thinking about the complexity makes me chuckle.

Of course in the end it's up to the GM to decide, and the rules are just guidelines, but some players get mad at the GM because they get hurt, and will hold a grudge 'til next time when they're the GM. So to avoid that, you roll the damage dice in plain sight, and then let them roll on the critical injury tables... *chuckles*. Was usually enough to do that once and they'd then accept that maybe it's better that the GM decides, after all, it may be vital to the story or continued gaming that the player doesn't really lose his arm, and that it's just crippled.

captain swoop
2005-Feb-11, 12:30 PM
I tend to 'tweak' results to suit the story or plot, I am known for not sticking rigidly to the rolls.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-11, 12:34 PM
I never tweaked results as a DM, I always let the results stand. When I had to make a 'hidden' roll (eg. locating a trap) I had a screen on the side. The players would see me roll the dice, it would roll behind the screen, and then I wouldn't touch it until after the event for the hidden roll was over. The players could then see the result on the die if they wanted to.

Captain Kidd
2005-Feb-11, 12:48 PM
There were some times when I was DMing that I only rolled dice for the sound effects. I needed certain things to happen and when the roll didn't suit it, fine, I made up my own. Plus I didn't like killing people off, making their life hard as possible sometimes, maiming them (although they tended to do that to themselves half the time), and generally making them wish they would die, yes, but I viewed it like a novel or TV show. They were heroes after all, and the main characters of the story to boot, kill them off and there goes the storyline. (I'd have a multi-game thread usually with puzzles and mysteries and a final goal.) I'd do it on occasion especially if they pulled something really stupid and obviously thought that my reluctance to kill them meant they could get away with anything, but I'd ensure that at least one survived to go get clerical help to ressurect the others.

I also discouraged people playing multiple characters simultaneously, it tended to change the feel of the game from roleplaying to moving various pawns around.

I was also known as a miser when it came to giving out magical items. But the others tended to way overgive. One guy wouldn't figure out treasures until the end of the game and use the prebuilt tables in the back of the AD&D-2ED DMG. That tended to lead to horribly off-balanced games. One time we ended up with 3 figurines of wonders power and a sentient sword, with the average player level being 3-4.

After awhile they realized that maybe my idea of pre-planning what magic items they'd get (and the treasure in general) wasn't all that bad.

Moose
2005-Feb-11, 12:51 PM
Agreed. The story comes first. Death-by-die-roll isn't much fun, although the threat of it can really make the players sweat, so it's useful in its way.

It never seemed to occur to anybody in my group that raising/resurrecting slain players was a perfectly viable option (and I didn't go out of my way to advertize the fact), so the players tended to sweat when I kept the coals on, so to speak. "Safety is way the heck over there, but can we hold out long enough to make it?"

Johnno
2005-Feb-11, 12:53 PM
I tend to 'tweak' results to suit the story or plot, I am known for not sticking rigidly to the rolls.

Yeah, same here. There are two main rules in most rpg rulebooks, #1: the GM is always right. #2: if the GM is wrong, see rule #1.

And most rulebooks also state that rules are just guidelines.

That's the way I always play, if I need to tweak a roll one point to let the player have 1hp left and the chance to escape, I do so. If someone comes up with a plan so genious it's groundbreaking, and it'd all fail because of the last roll being a 16 instead of a 15, I tweak it.

In some games we've even added "luck rolls", either it's a set number that's the same for everyone, a d3 or something, or varies by race. Anyway the way it works is that when a player fails a tohit roll, or a save roll, or whatever roll, he can use a luck point to either reroll the die, or add/subtract a point from the die roll.

If you don't want to go that way, there are always gods who may smile upon the adventuring party ;)


TriangleMan what's the point of a "hidden" roll if the players can see it anyway? Make it in plain sight in that case, just as well. The point of the hidden roll is that you can tweak it, that's the only point about the hidden roll. Why else hide it, if you're going to show it to them anyway?
If you play that way, and your players know it, and you never tweak the rolls, I don't see the point of hiding it.

TriangleMan
2005-Feb-11, 01:07 PM
TriangleMan what's the point of a "hidden" roll if the players can see it anyway? Make it in plain sight in that case, just as well. The point of the hidden roll is that you can tweak it, that's the only point about the hidden roll. Why else hide it, if you're going to show it to them anyway? If you play that way, and your players know it, and you never tweak the rolls, I don't see the point of hiding it.
Some rolls that need to be done at the time (eg finding traps) will affect game play if the players can see the roll. If a player has a 60% chance to find a trap, I roll behind the screen and announce "no trap found". Now the player has a conundrum:
a) there is no trap;
b) there is a trap and he failed to find it
If he could see the roll ahead of time, and say it was a '61' then he knows that a trap could still be there and will likely take a different action then had he not seen the roll. That's why it's hidden. Afterward (say he goes into the room and triggers the trap) he can look behind the screen and see the '61' if he wants to. That way he knows that the GM is not tweaking for story benefit.

I realize that doing it that way may seem counter-productive based on some other posts but my group always felt that the GM was the referee and it was players vs the game, not the GM. Yes it means characters can die at inappropriate times, or have an easier time then expected, or that the story line can be destroyed, but the advantage is that any successes were genuinely due to the players and their characters' abilities, not 'help' from the GM. For many players knowing that the GM is willing to tweak can diminish the accomplishment of succeeding in the adventure.

Johnno
2005-Feb-11, 01:11 PM
It never seemed to occur to anybody in my group that raising/resurrecting slain players was a perfectly viable option

Our problem was that if one player got killed, chances were everyone else was going to get killed as well. If only one player bought it cause of a critical hit or a trap or accident or whatever, sure he'd get resurrected. People died frequently in our campaigns, you just knew you needed to have enough cash to pay the others for resurrecting you.

Death was rarely permanent when we played, except when someone was going to move away or something like that. Even then you'd usually have the option of retiring peacefully, but who wants to do that, eh? Or take your character with you to another group, or save it for later when everyone else had the right level character.

Only really played one character a lot, human fighter with a two hand axe. I quickly realized it's called dungeons and dragons for a reason, and to make things worse, I was travelling with two dwarves who didn't need torches to see in the dark... GRIN

Johnno
2005-Feb-11, 01:28 PM
If he could see the roll ahead of time, and say it was a '61' then he knows that a trap could still be there and will likely take a different action then had he not seen the roll.

Unless it's a trap that's harder to detect. You can't know if you've succesfully searched for traps or not. You can know it's unlikely that there's still a trap, but can't be certain.


That way he knows that the GM is not tweaking for story benefit.

Where's the fun in that? There's no mystery if you know that there will be no tweaking. If it's vital to the story that a character survives beyond the next door, let him/her survive. If it's vital to the story that a bad guy gets away, and the critical hit you weren't expecting does 2 points too much damage, tweak it.


but my group always felt that the GM was the referee and it was players vs the game, not the GM.

So you're supposed to beat the game by using rules and dice rolls, not beat the story by imagination and roleplaying. I see. How boring. But that's just my opinion.


but the advantage is that any successes were genuinely due to the players and their characters' abilities, not 'help' from the GM.

No, it was a success of dice rolls. It was luck. Chance. Nothing else.


For many players knowing that the GM is willing to tweak can diminish the accomplishment of succeeding in the adventure.

Yeah, but did the GM tweak it, or didn't he? That's the beauty of it, that's the mysterious atmosphere.

I'll take a great story and a good laugh before just rolling dice and seeing what I can accomplish.

I guess that when you play computer games you don't use the save function except when you're quitting the game for the day? Because that's what it'd be like if you didn't tweak rolls, it's be like a computer game, where you can't break the rules, not even a tiny bit to continue the storyline for another week or month. No, you'd choose to have your character die because a monster got lucky with a critical hit.

Could never play with a GM who wouldn't tweak rolls for the sake of the story.

But hey, you have your way of gaming, I have mine. Lets agree to disagree ;)

Moose
2005-Feb-11, 01:33 PM
TriangleMan what's the point of a "hidden" roll if the players can see it anyway? Make it in plain sight in that case, just as well. The point of the hidden roll is that you can tweak it, that's the only point about the hidden roll. Why else hide it, if you're going to show it to them anyway?
If you play that way, and your players know it, and you never tweak the rolls, I don't see the point of hiding it.

Helps prevent meta-gaming.

The existance of the roll itself (and the result) can let the players infer characteristics about a room.

What can you infer from a die roll? Well, suppose the DM rolls the dice the moment players enter a room. They (correctly) assume there is a hidden characteristic about the room that caused a saving throw or a spot check (which dice the DM uses can usually narrow that down further). Knowing the value of the die roll will tell you if the event triggered and was avoided.

To mitigate this, you perform frequent dummy rolls anytime there's room for a real threat, so the players can't tell which ones are real by the presence of the roll. You keep them hidden for the time being so the result of that roll doesn't tip them off about the odds of this being a real event.

Hmm. Rereading this, I'm not sure this is going to make a whole lot of sense.

Bawheid
2005-Feb-11, 02:16 PM
As a DM I used to occasionally randomly roll dice and say "You don't hear it" or similar. Helped keep them on their toes.

Doodler
2005-Feb-11, 02:24 PM
Just be quiet you, or I hit you with my cane. :lol:
Would that be a cane+1?

Nah, the Elder Cane of Youth Smiting, +1, +3 vs. abnoxious youngsters.

Captain Kidd
2005-Feb-11, 02:25 PM
I quickly learned to do dummy rolls so that they players weren't clued in when I suddenly rolled for no apparent reason. I'd also roll various things in advance too. If there's a trapped door coming up requiring a roll and there's a battle going on just prior to reaching the door, I'd throw in the roll during the battle so that it's just another die clattering behind the screen.

We had games that there'd be very long breaks between die rolls. I'd wing some of the players' abilities on the fly. It worked really good that way too.

It changed the game from being nothing more than dialogue breaks between die rolls to actual roleplaying.

Moose
2005-Feb-11, 02:44 PM
As a DM I used to occasionally randomly roll dice and say "You don't hear it" or similar. Helped keep them on their toes.

I think my favorite was "[rolls masked D20] Hmm. Too bad." Great for shaking up players who metagame, although you run the risk of making them stall for a long time before they clue in.

Johnno
2005-Feb-11, 02:54 PM
The thing with bogus hidden rolls is that you have to find the balance. You can't roll too many, because that'll make the players overly paranoid, or they won't care. And rolling too few they'll know something's up once you make a roll.

Personally I don't even roll the dice sometimes, and just make it happen anyway. I mean if someone's really clumsy, or loud, or whatever, bad things can happen and you don't need to roll a die every single time he/she takes a step. If I know it'll be a nice plot device that their rope snaps because it's close to its weight limit when they're hauling up a treasure chest, it may snap without a die roll, and the players will have to come up with a new plan.

captain swoop
2005-Feb-11, 03:21 PM
We see our campaigns as interactive stories, things happened that helped along the plot. I only rarely killed a player off and then only if the story needed it, usualy at the end of a campaign. Players were hurt and maimed, one guy died but was resurected by Wood Spirits, it meant he had to carry soil from the Sacred Grove with him wherever he was and return to the Grove once a year. That made it fun, plus his hair turned green. One guy ended up with a very powerful Demon trapped in a small glass bottle, as he was playing a very honourable cleric he couldn't just get rid of it and of course didn't want the bottle to break while he had it. It certainly made him think about what he was doing all the time.

Tensor
2005-Feb-11, 03:28 PM
Just be quiet you, or I hit you with my cane. :lol:
Would that be a cane+1?

Nah, the Elder Cane of Youth Smiting, +1, +3 vs. abnoxious youngsters.

I just wish it was +1 for walking speed.

AstroSmurf
2005-Feb-11, 03:57 PM
I think my favorite was "[rolls masked D20] Hmm. Too bad."
My style is more like (roll masked die. and again) (look at character sheets) Hmm. (looks up at players) Never mind. 8)

Doodler
2005-Feb-11, 04:00 PM
Just be quiet you, or I hit you with my cane. :lol:
Would that be a cane+1?

Nah, the Elder Cane of Youth Smiting, +1, +3 vs. abnoxious youngsters.

I just wish it was +1 for walking speed.

Ah, ya gots to have your Softshoes of Speed for that. :)

Oughtta write a new handbook. AD&D Geriatric Adventures :D

Bawheid
2005-Feb-11, 04:05 PM
Suddenly I have the Abe Simpson as a strikebreaker scene playing in my head...... :D

Ilya
2005-Feb-11, 07:18 PM
If he could see the roll ahead of time, and say it was a '61' then he knows that a trap could still be there and will likely take a different action then had he not seen the roll.

Unless it's a trap that's harder to detect. You can't know if you've succesfully searched for traps or not. You can know it's unlikely that there's still a trap, but can't be certain.

My favorite solution to this was to have every player roll a few d20's and d100's before the session, and write them down. If I needed a roll without the player aware of it, I'd check off one of those.

Chuck
2005-Feb-12, 03:24 AM
I played most of the old Avalon Hill wargames in the sixties and early seventies and Flying Buffalo's play by mail games in the mid seventies, and then went to work there in '77. I played some D&D in the late seventies but never really got into it. No campaigns and no saving characters from game to game....

Oh man, does that bring back memories. I started with "Battle of the Bulge" in 66 and continued playing until the mid '80s. In 74 our club spent a semester playing GDW "Drang nach Osten"(sp?) om addition to minatures. I still have most of the original games in my closet and bought a used copy of 1914 a year ago.


...I rarely play games of any kind now.
Neither do I (Life got complicated) :cry: But, I do remember those times very fondly.
My first Avalon Hill game was Guadalcanal. My buddy and I had never played anything like it and we didn't know what we were doing. The slaughter was incredible. We then switched to Tactics II and got a lot better. Later he met a part time house painter who belonged to a group of college wargamers and we joined that.

My favorite was Blitzkrieg. I also played Battle of the Bulge, Luftwaffe, Anzio, Stalingrad, Waterloo, Midway, 1776, D-Day, Gettysburg, Richthofen's War, 1914 (twice, it's awful, too much like World War I), and PanzerBlitz/PanzerLeader.

The Dungeon Master who ran D&D when I played was always rolling dice. I didn't realize why until I read this thread. I thought he was just rolling for wandering monster appearances.

I still have a few of those games gathering dust.

Chuck
2005-Feb-12, 03:11 PM
I also played Jutland, Bismarck, U-Boat, and Origins of World War II, but not very much.

Another thing my Dungeon Master did was to have our conversation attract more monsters figuring they'd be drawn by the sounds of our voices. It paid to say only important things.

aurora
2005-Feb-12, 11:25 PM
I also played Jutland, Bismarck, U-Boat, and Origins of World War II, but not very much.



Ah, Jutland. One of my favorites.

Chuck
2005-Feb-13, 12:11 AM
I also played Jutland, Bismarck, U-Boat, and Origins of World War II, but not very much.Ah, Jutland. One of my favorites.I made the big rangefinder and played in a friend's attic where there was lots of floor space after he tossed out his old family treasures that suddenly became expendable.

Theta Orionis
2005-Feb-13, 06:57 AM
I played AD&D in HS. Havnt played in 17 or 18 years.