Page 1271 - Submersible Ops

10th Sep 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Submersible Ops
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Newbiespud 10th Sep 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
I do kind of despise it when setting up for the full simulation of combat is something that has to be a considered for time and eats up over half a session. D&D 4e was my first experience with any tabletop combat (and juxtaposed against actual historical wargames I was playing in the strategy club, it wasn't THAT bad), so I didn't really think of it much at the time... but in retrospect I learned that early on my DM adopted a "monsters have half HP and deal double damage" rule that made things quite a bit more bearable, and that's how I've pretty much always run 4e.

Anyway, rambling aside: We've got another Spudventure published! We're continuing our delve into the Dungeon of the Mad Mage!
The Forgotten Ones, Session 8: Podcast | Video

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Digo 10th Sep 2019, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
Half HP and double damage? How well do parties hold up at lower levels with that rule in place? I imagine that can get awfully "rocket taggy".
Cliff Snowpeak 10th Sep 2019, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
I use the same thing in the games I run, but I usually pair it with a generous death system that adds "bleeding out" hp between the alive and dead states.
Pablo360 10th Sep 2019, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Wait, there are still systems that don't have a state between alive and dead?
Digo 10th Sep 2019, 9:56 AM edit delete reply
I can't think of any modern ones, but plenty of the old systems are still used. I wonder what the Venn diagram looks like between people who like hard-death systems and people who have a hobby of making characters for different systems just to collect.
Wulfraed 10th Sep 2019, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
RuneQuest has always had a short intermediate state (basically just enough time to have someone attempt to cast enough healing to cauterize the wound)

Of course, RuneQuest combat takes forever relative to the various D&D (roll to hit, roll damage) variations. RQ's system has both sides rolling...
attacker: roll to hit
defender: roll to parry/dodge
A-success D-success defender's weapon takes damage
A-success D-fail defender's armor takes damage, excess goes through to HP
A-fail D-success attacker's weapon takes damage
A-fail D-fail no effect

Attacker success roll hit location, roll damage

And then there are the fumbles <G>
terrycloth 10th Sep 2019, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
When they made the... god I don't even remember what it was called.

But Wizards took a lot of the criticism of 4e and didn't release a new version, but they did release new versions of all the classes and a bunch of new monsters to address them. It was too late though 'cause people already hated the game.

One of the things they did was the half-hp, double-damage monsters, at least for bosses.
Guest 10th Sep 2019, 2:12 PM edit delete reply
Are you taking about 4e Essential?
Draxynnic 11th Sep 2019, 2:38 AM edit delete reply
Probably still less rocket-taggy than 1st-level 3.5 characters. The length of a 4E battle on rollout was a bit silly - it was common to spend half a battle down to your at-wills.
Zaranthan 11th Sep 2019, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
4th Edition D&D? Just fine. The game was padded sumo at level 1, and got WORSE as you leveled up and could no longer tack on an appreciable amount of damage by using a Slide 2 to toss someone off a ledge.
ANW 10th Sep 2019, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Story time

Every session has a built-in time limit.
It's called, "Well, time to head home."
Stories where this limit forces you to find a stopping point.
Spoony Viking 10th Sep 2019, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
To their credit, the designers noticed the same issue, which was monsters from the MM II forward had lower HP and defenses and dealt more damage (not to those extremes, though, of half HP and double damage). The books also had suggestions on how to change MM I monsters.
Cyborg7221 10th Sep 2019, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Pretty sure the update was actually from MM 3 forward, MM 2 is just as broken as the first. Most of the monsters in MM 1 were also revised in the Monster Vault release.
Jennifer 10th Sep 2019, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
I had a short campaign that ended in the middle of a tense situation. We all had to go home, but I wanted to leave the players with something to come back to and had a dragon rip off the roof of the building they were in.

Then I went on vacation.

By the time I returned, the players had lost interest, even with the "annoyed dragon looking in at them."
Guest 10th Sep 2019, 7:09 AM edit delete reply
Wasn't early 4e infamous for its "padded sumo ganeplay" with all monsters having tons of health relatively to the PCs' damage output (aside from Minions)?
Cyborg7221 10th Sep 2019, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
I ran D&D 4e for YEARS before I stumbled across the "half HP" hack online. Guess that's why all our games ran so slow. Never heard of doubling damage, though, and honestly if I picked up the system again I would never do that. My regulars don't exactly have munchkin tendencies, so doubling damage output might result in a TPK.

I might wanna go back to 4e sometime, actually. Could just be nostalgia, but I actually really like the tactical combat system. Not so good for dungeon crawls in the traditional sense, but TONS of fun to design big set-piece encounters for. I got pretty good at mixing combat with roleplaying opportunities, if I do say so myself...
GW 11th Sep 2019, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
It was better than the "rocket tag" of high-level 3e.
RuneKnight3 11th Sep 2019, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
For anyone who doesn't like long combats because they seem perfunctory I suggest Deathwatch, Rogue Trader, or Only War from the Fantasy Flight Games 40K lines, where combat is actually part of the role play and critical damage is fun and flavorsome.

My players love when their combat monsters suddenly find themselves on the edge of defeat because all their careful planning that had served them well a session before collapses entirely before an unexpected threat.