Page 132 - Branches and Forks

9th Jun 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Newbiespud 9th Jun 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
The world of the RPG is built on spoken words, character figures, and grid-based sets, but sometimes a single detailed picture that the players can touch and observe can do a lot to enhance the mental picture of the world.

In other news, I have a couple of meetup/convention announcements to make: First, in July, I plan to attend Northwest Bronyfest 2012 in Portland, Oregon. Then, a month later, I've made plans to go to the one and only Everfree Northwest convention in Seattle, Washington! I hope to see as many of you there that can make it, and I also hope I'll have neat Friendship is Dragons-related stuff to show off at both events. It should be a fun couple of months!

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



Karilyn 9th Jun 2012, 6:06 AM edit delete reply
The lack of a brony con in the southeast makes me sad. Someone needs to get on that. Atlanta has an infrastructure very welcoming to conventions! Hint hint wink wink.
Guest 9th Jun 2012, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
I commpletely agree.Someone get the Applejack-Con going in atlanta.
Steel Zephyr 9th Jun 2012, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
Try being in Colorado. Major conventions are close enough that I should be able to go to them, but far enough away to be inconvenient.
Oblivious 9th Jun 2012, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
The southeast doesn't suck because of a last of convention infrastructure, but because it's a wasteland in terms of all things geek. Believe me, I've lived in the region long enough, much to my chagrin.
Karilyn 9th Jun 2012, 7:23 AM edit delete reply
Well, maybe outside of Atlanta. But we have awesome geek here, and I revel in it regularly. It is simply not possible to have a metro area with 6 million people, and not be able to find enough geeks to get together. I regularly go to board gaming meetups, and bask in awesome things like Steampunk Shakespeare.

That and we have a ton of geek cons here in Atlanta, not the least of which is DragonCon (World's largest sci-fi/fantasy con to my understanding).

Rural areas are going to lack geek, but that's true of anywhere in the world.
Hylius 9th Jun 2012, 2:13 PM edit delete reply
Wasteland of geek? I just went to the Zelda Symphony last month and it was packed. Ain't no wasteland here!
Rokas 9th Jun 2012, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
Orlando has a nice, big convention center and lots of hotels. Great convention place, used to tourists and locals. Also I live there so y'all need to come here.

And to those who say that the Southeast don't have geeks, well, ya ain't seen SciFi City here in Orlando, that's for sure.
Digo 9th Jun 2012, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Orlando? Oh hey, I'm in Orlando. Yeah that convention center has it's own zip code, doesn't it? I worked there once.
Once. :o
Oblivious 9th Jun 2012, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, that's my point. I live in the ass-end of nowhere, so it's a cultural wasteland here. The fact that I have a DnD at all is nothing short of a miracle.
Oblivious 9th Jun 2012, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
DnD group*
Karilyn 9th Jun 2012, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
Just be grateful you aren't in the midwest....

Good luck finding one other geek within 50 square miles of you if you aren't living in Denver or to a lesser extent Salt Lake city... even just one geek of any age range from a middle-schol child to an oldschool programmer in her 60s.

Count your small blessings. Also move to Atlanta metro.
deeman45 9th Jun 2012, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Two words: Southern. Utah. AKA a barren wasteland with nothing but small outposts of "civilization" in the desert.

I use "civilization" lightly because there is little love for geekery. Because of the small town size there isn't much room for nerdy stuff, and what little appears is regarded with the utmost suspicion by the extreme Mormon presence (many of whom seem stuck in the eighties, still convinced that RPGs are tools for Satan to tempt you.)

Not to say all the Mormons here are whackjobs. It's just that the third that are are much, much louder than the normal 2/3.
reynard61 9th Jun 2012, 12:05 PM edit delete reply
Actually, I *am* in the Mid-West (Indianapolis, to be exact) and we have plenty of geek here. Inconjunction in July and Gen-Con Indy in August. We also have a small, but growing, Brony community:, (Hoosier Bronys) and (Indiana University Bronies) Come join our Herd!
Innisa 9th Jun 2012, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
Midwest bronies unite! Tragically, in my town in Indiana, there isn't a very large brony population and getting to conventions in Indy is too much of a hassle with everything...
reynard61 11th Jun 2012, 10:29 PM edit delete reply
Well join us anyway! None of the three groups posted is location-exclusive; and I'm the head-admin/creator of Hoosier Bronys so I'll be happy to add you to our herd!
Other Guest 9th Jun 2012, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
Yes! I was at an anime mini-con in Atlanta a few weeks ago, but several people also had mlp items. I'd love for us to get our own pony convention. The con scene has grown in the south over the years, and not just in Atlanta. Many areas of the southeast have some kind of fandom convention now.
Other Guest 9th Jun 2012, 8:52 AM edit delete reply
Five minutes after typing the above, I checked Equestria Daily. Apparently there is a pony con being planned for Nashville. It's next summer but that's fine with me. That'll give me time to plan and save for the trip.
Karilyn 9th Jun 2012, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
AHAHAHA, awesome. I was just thinking that a Southern Brony Con should be named Sweet Apple Acres. I totally missed that on EQ Daily's news. Sadly this means that Atlanta can't use that for our con :(

I'm highly tempted to make plans to go. I've drove to Charlotte for a convention once, which is the same distance. New York and Seattle might be out of the question, but Tennessee shouldn't be.
DB 9th Jun 2012, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
I’m always surprised by the apparent dearth of activity in, of all places, California—at least the Bay Area. I don’t recall hearing of more than one convention, and even meet-ups seem pretty rare. I dunno, maybe folks here are so hooked into the net they don’t feel the need to gather in person.

On the other hand, I’m twice the age of the stereotypical brony. I went to my first SF con more than thirty years ago, and for a couple of decades went to a ton of conventions, SF and furry. Ten-fifteen years ago, though, chronic lack of discretionary cash and a serious decrease in venues conspired to cause me to drift out of touch with most of the convention scene. (I pretty much am limited to one a year now.) Maybe I just am not paying attention.
Other Guest 9th Jun 2012, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Shake hooves with me. My first con would have been about twenty-eight years ago. I used to notice each convention would always have that one old guy. Now I am that one old guy.
Karilyn 9th Jun 2012, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
Don't worry. I've never been one to judge "that old guy" if they aren't creepy.

Heck, one of my best geek friends is the aforementioned oldschool COBOL programmer in her 60s, who still gets so incredibly excited about her identity as a geek, but sadly doesn't entirely seem to get modern geek. Oh well, she's awesome either way.
Curb 9th Jun 2012, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
Does anyone know of any bronycons down here in Texas? We have anime cons, I think there is a steampunk con as well. I haven't heard of anything pony this far south, at least where I live.
UUBron y 11th Jun 2012, 2:57 PM edit delete reply
There is going to be a brony con in Austin on Sept. 7-9, Brony Fan Fair.
DB 10th Jun 2012, 11:48 PM edit delete reply
Creepy . . . I can’t speak for Other Guest, of course, but I for one <i>try</i> not to be. I suppose it’s for others to judge the success of that, though. I’ve learned over the years, but I still suffer the occasional bout of social awkwardness that seems to be part and parcel of the fannish condition. (And, generally speaking, I probably do a bit better in text than face to face, alas.)

I do try to stay in touch with what’s hip and now, but with mixed results, I’m afraid. I admit to being puzzled by this whole “swag” thing, for instance. Oh, well. At least I’m not shaking my cane and lecturing kids about walking uphill both ways in the snow. . . .
DB 10th Jun 2012, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
“Now I am that old guy.”

I know what you mean; I’ve been a fan of <i>manga</i> and <i>animé</i> for about the same thirty-plus years, but the last time I stopped in at Fanime I realized . . . there was nothing in it for me. More than other fandoms, the generation gap was insurmountable. SF fandom also seems to be fragmenting, but doesn’t seem to be as far along. At least furrydom has a pretty comprehensive age spread, which is why it’s where I’ve tended to concentrate my fanac in more recent years. As already implied, I don’t know about the demographics of brony cons, but I can hope it’s reasonably diverse, more so than the media seems to think.
Yagokoro 9th Jun 2012, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
I'm not quite twice the age of the stereotypical brony, but close enough for jazz. I too am a little surprised (but only a little) at the lack of brony activity in the Bay Area as well. I just figure, "Ehh, the Bay Area always has a ton of stuff going on, especially around this time."
Bronymous 9th Jun 2012, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
Coltlanta! Someone set that up, I've been dying to go to one of these conventions.
Demonu 9th Jun 2012, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
Try not living in the US so you can only attend 2 cons max in your own country that are very general in theme.
Hemi-PoweredDrone 9th Jun 2012, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
The other day this group popped up.

Don't know if anything will come from it, but I'd be all for it. Even though I'd have to drive up the long phallic object that is Florida it'd be worth it.
Bronymous 9th Jun 2012, 11:56 PM edit delete reply
When: 03/01/2012. Hmmmmm.

But yeah, I'm all for that. I doubt it will be anywhere near as big as Bronycon,though. It would need some major PR, as soon as it actually gets off the ground.
Nebulous 10th Jun 2012, 4:44 AM edit delete reply
You mean you don't know about the
9th Annual My Little Pony Convention and Fair being held in Orlando in July?

Listed as Family Friendly for collectors and fans.
Bronymous 10th Jun 2012, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'm not really interested in that kind of "all-encompassing" convention. I'm looking for a convention about FiM, for Bronies by Bronies.
Guest 10th Jun 2012, 9:36 PM edit delete reply
There's word that one's gonna take place next year in Tallahassee, Florida called Corral Con Southeast. There's a Facebook group for it:
Bronymous 11th Jun 2012, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
Welcome to three posts ago.
Starhunter 11th Jun 2012, 2:38 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, Atlanta is great. They've got an airport, the Braves... um... an airport.
Bronymous 11th Jun 2012, 5:47 PM edit delete reply
We did have a Hockey Team, but they kind of...left.

World of Coke and the Aquarium are pretty cool though.
Hemi-PoweredDrone 11th Jun 2012, 9:45 PM edit delete reply
And before that you had a hockey team and they left. And once the Thrashers left they became significantly better. Atlanta is not the place for hockey. Apparently that's LA, at least this year. Did anyone actually go to those games, because down here in Florida most people attending where vacationers and moved people rooting for the other team?
Bronymous 12th Jun 2012, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Well, since Im not a massive hockey fan, and I get all my info from my friends... yes? I guess a lot of people enjoyed going to see them play. Not enough to keep them in town, obviously, but still a lot.
Raxon 22nd Jun 2012, 2:18 AM edit delete reply
But then Atlanta was moved out to sea, and it got too heavy and sank, so all the beautiful people left. Good thing all the caffeine in the water sped evolution for y'all.

I'm in Oklahoma, in a lil town outside Tulsa, where there are about two thousand people total, and we have one gas station in town. It turns out that solitude and a fondness for geeky can leave one a little... Unhinged, I suppose. I'm totally cool with it, because I never would have thought up the two most bizarre campaigns I've ever conceived. I love writing the crazy stuff.
redwings1340 9th Jun 2012, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Haha, is it going to be a theme in this series that they completely avoid the cockatrice nests even though the DM has created a lot of plot points around one of the ponies getting turned into stone? Then when they finally manage to meet it Fluttershy manages to beat it and save Twilight with a nat 20 intimidate check?
Digo 9th Jun 2012, 7:33 AM Maps edit delete reply
I like maps. I have a partial world map hanging in the family room where we game. It even has a scale, although the numbers are not perfectly round (1 inch = 110 miles).

It took about 9 game sessions before the players realized that the map was the eastern half of North America, 2000 years post-apocalypse. =^_^=
Guest 9th Jun 2012, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
Maps can be amazing, I remember the first time I looked at the map for Lord of the Rings, it just made everything click together.
Zarhon 9th Jun 2012, 7:53 AM edit delete reply
I'll just leave this here.

You now all have map-gasms.
Karilyn 9th Jun 2012, 8:05 AM edit delete reply
>clicks Whole Map

Holy crap it's Glast Heim!

Aegis Steadfast 9th Jun 2012, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
Aegis Steadfast
Oh god...

Release the meteors!
Zarhon 9th Jun 2012, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
Story posting time!

Theme: Recount your tales of shenanigans centered around game peripherals (DM maps, miniatures, dice sorcery, hand-drawn reference pictures, or whatever was used to improvise)
Xander Cruize 9th Jun 2012, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
At one point, I had this screen that had tables for weapon critical hits on it. Basically, when you'd confirmed the crit, you would roll 1d20 to see where the hit landed, then another to see how severe it was. One night, my players were rolling hot, and got into combat with a group of bandits. Everyone rolled a critical to hit their respective foe. Two of the five got crits to the head, and rolled the 'Limb destroyed, unusable' severity. The other three hacked off arms and legs. The fight, which was supposed to be the main focus of the night, ended up lasting only two rounds.
Bronymous 9th Jun 2012, 1:57 PM edit delete reply
There was the time we used the Pony Anatomy sheet to punish our Orc Wizard who decided to dissect Scootaloo (his new Pony companion after a one shot cameo quest. Mine was Rarity).

Also, anyone who's seen the Wandering Damage Matrix, I've been trying to get that put into the game for a long time.
DracoS 10th Jun 2012, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
The session before I joined in a game, the DM didn't have any miniatures for monsters, so he had to use miniatures for boats instead. From them on, my friends joked about the great battle against the scorpion boats.
Crimson Doom 10th Jun 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Only that one session? I've had to use chess pieces *every single session*. It works okay, but I *really* want some miniatures.
Oblivious 10th Jun 2012, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
During one of our DnD sessions, we had friend of one of our players watching, trying to see if he was interested in playing in a future campaign. During one of the lulls in the session, when the DM was drawing a new map up, he thought it would be funny to start making his own drawings on the map when the DM walked off for a bathroom run; he was effectively drawing his own NPCs on the map. This continued after the DM got back, since he was so amused, so he just kept feeding descriptions and locations to the guy (his art that day reminded me of Bryan Lee O'Malley). When we started play again, we had a fully populated city with various NPCs (some random, some deliberate), and it really made that next part of the adventure that much more engaging.

Unfortunately, the DM has a nasty habit of not properly cleaning his dry-erase mat, so those particular drawings stuck around for the next few weeks, until DM broke down and washed the mat properly, since the maps were barely legible at points. It was sad to see the tiny caricatures go, though.
Zeeth 10th Jun 2012, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
For years, everyone around me used dice under their minis to represent flight, whether a flying mount or fly spells or whatever. The number of dice was the height, relatively.

My sister noticed that the pizza we were ordering always had this plastic support thingy in the middle of the box, so the cardboard box didn't get crushed down on the pizza. She took some, cleaned them up, and they became platforms for her minis -- and since they stacked, she could use them to represent high terrain or flying stuff. Lots cheaper than any "official" flying miniature mounts, and hey, they came with pizza!
Digo 12th Jun 2012, 6:02 AM edit delete reply
Well, for one thing, I learned to never use pretzels as monster tokens when my daughter is around. I had a large scale battle going against the party, but a question of the rules came up. So we paused a moment to look up the rule for clerification.

Once we got our answer, I went to move a group of 6 Kobolds to flank the PCs. Except there was just one Kobold on the map and he was surrounded by crumbs...
Heat Wave 9th Jun 2012, 1:48 PM edit delete reply
I'll see you at both, then. I live in Portland, Oregon, so Northwest Bronyfest is practically in my backyard. Not only that, but I'm staff of Everfree Radio and we'll be up at Everfree Northwest doing the panels and such.
Stairc 10th Jun 2012, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Wow, the number and quality of the applications for the MLP adventure has been amazing. It's going to be really hard to choose for this adventure. Deadline's 12pm tonight by the way, if you still want to sneak one in.
xuincherguixe 10th Jun 2012, 7:41 AM edit delete reply
Half of me wants to go and app a Robot Unicorn Wizard now. (I'm too busy though, and I've already got a great game going.)
Karilyn 10th Jun 2012, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
I personally regret not submitting a bard of some sorts, either Pinkie or Sweetie Belle variety.

I'm so skilled at making up songs on the spot in real life, it seems a shame to not make use of that skill in a game world where it's highly appropriate.
Stairc 10th Jun 2012, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
Well Karilyn, it's not too late to submit something additional. You've got till midnight tonight. People are adding to their submissions all the time. :)
Karilyn 10th Jun 2012, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
But I like my novelist character. I figured everybody else would have the crazy stuff covered, so I could go with a character with a very mundane special talent. I was originally trying to think of something like Pinkie Pie's "Parties" but I couldn't come up with anything, so I was like "I'll make a librarian!" and then I was like, "But wait, Twilight is already a librarian." So I was like, well "Books are still cool, how about a novelist?" and it stuck.

Besides, just cause she's a novelist doesn't mean I can't find time to sing. We got singing librarians and singing fashion designers, so why not singing novelists?
Stairc 10th Jun 2012, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
Sure, why not add on the singing? Sounds like a fun spin on the character. Adds a nice element.
Karilyn 10th Jun 2012, 7:30 PM edit delete reply
Well, her special talent is storytelling.

Now I'm imagining storytelling through song, old folk/tribal style.

Oblivious 10th Jun 2012, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Out of curiosity... For these adventures you guys have been running, has the rule of thumb been to use 4e rules, or has that been up to the DM for the individual groups?
Stairc 10th Jun 2012, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
For MLP, I have no idea. This will be the first MLP one I run.

For D&D in general, yes. It's been all 4e all the time.
Azureink 10th Jun 2012, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
I play 4e D&D because I like how magic isn't the end-all-be-all, like it was in 3/3.5e. Also it is a lot easier to generate interesting encounters for the DM.

And just in case you guys forgot, this is an Unknown Ponies game, not a D&D game.
Bronymous 10th Jun 2012, 1:21 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, you should probably familiarize yourself with Unknown Armies before you run this thing, since that's what the system (and our characters) are based on.

And I play 3.5 because I couldn't find anyone who enjoyed playing 4.0 to teach me.
Stairc 10th Jun 2012, 3:49 PM edit delete reply
Actually Bronymous, I never specified it would be Unknown Ponies, though it probably will. Might be lightly modded of course, as a game designer I can't help fiddling with things.

4e is really slick too by the way, a lot more good than bad and makes life SO easy for the DM. I recommend checking it out if you ever get the chance, or just grabbing the Rules Compendium.
Bronymous 10th Jun 2012, 6:08 PM edit delete reply
I thought we had established last page that I am not one for making the DMs life easy. I actually have the official 4E Starter Set (Walmart edition) that is designed to teach one or more new players, but without a dedicated DM or veteran player, its less intuitive than it seems.
Stairc 10th Jun 2012, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
The 4e Red Box starter set is one of the worst introduction products known to man-kind. I couldn't even figure it out WITH foreknowledge of most of 4e's rules and 2 friends helping me. We finally just grabbed the official Rules Compendium and dove in. Worked from then on out.

Really, please, no one waste their money on that thing.
Azureink 11th Jun 2012, 12:30 AM edit delete reply
I think he meant the Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Starter Set, not the Red Box.
Oblivious 11th Jun 2012, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Well, Bronymous said the Wal-Mart edition, so I'm pretty certain that he picked up the red box, which is a terrible purchase. Much as I hate to say it, the official Dungeon Masters's set from WotC is a much better idea. Cost is a bit more, but the DM guide lays it out well enough, and has a good bit of material to get started with.
Zeeth 11th Jun 2012, 7:28 AM edit delete reply
There are two things I'd say for 4e:
1. Assume that if a skill isn't clearly covered by what's written on your character sheet, then you can do whatever seems reasonable.
2. Never, ever let a multi-roll "skill challenge" get in the way of role-playing. Tournaments are pretty much the ONLY time you will EVER see this mechanic get its proper use. It exists only as a shortcut for actual problem-solving when time and space are limited.
Stairc 11th Jun 2012, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
Actually Zeeth, I'd say the multi-roll skill challenge definitely has its place as a tension-mechanic. Some of the most tense moments in my games have come from the players' experience after getting 3 successes and 2 failures (on a 4 success/3 failure challenge) on their attempt to undo the enchantment on a collar holding a dragon prisoner... Knowing that the 4th success means they'll free it and gain it as their ally and that a 3rd failure means the collar will explode in a blast of shrapnel and likely drive the dragon into a murderous frenzy... With the wizards' hands still touching the dragon's neck.

I definitely agree with you, skill challenges shouldn't get in the way of creative problem-solving... But they can sure bring cool elements all their own. =)
Bronymous 11th Jun 2012, 1:51 PM edit delete reply
"Dungeons and Dragons Fantasy Roleplaying Game Starter Set". In a bright, shiny Red Box, nailed it. Its ok, though, not only do I have my own miniature (jk its a pog), but I also have a convenient place to put all of the DnD stuff I ACTUALLY use.

As for those multi-roll challenges, I've dealt with them in 3.5. They may have been introduced in 4e but they're hardly limited to it.
Medieval Man 10th Jun 2012, 4:37 PM edit delete reply
I am planning on incorporating equestrian ponies into my next campaign setting. So I had to write up the three types myself for the game system I use. I use Basic Fantasy, pretty slick system. Its a mixture of Basic D&D and 3rd Edition D&D. Really easy to modify. End shameless plug.
Zeeth 11th Jun 2012, 7:30 AM edit delete reply
Man, I really miss BESM. That was my absolute favorite system ever. I think I still have the second edition book, but I never managed to get a copy of third edition. I'd love to play ponies using BESM.
Medieval Man 11th Jun 2012, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
BESM is a cool system I had the 4th edition version of the book at one point. However BESM and Basic Fantasy are two different games. They tend to get confused a lot.
Appkes 11th Jun 2012, 1:10 PM edit delete reply
On the Call Of Cthulu campaign I just finished, theDM ruled that if there were more than 10 people seeing the monster, you took 1 less sanity loss than your roll indicated per 5 people over 10. He meant it to be a "safety in numbers mechanic", but I immediately scribbled some notes which I then paper clipped onto my character sheet. 2 years of the fortnightly campaign later, we had just encoubtered the ultimate horror of the campaign. I said that my reporter character flips a switch on the camera, sending a signal to the rogue station I worked for, which hijacked thirty large tv channels and showed live footage of what was happening, removing about sixty million from my d1000 sanity roll of 842. Yes, that was, d1000. The only time I've Ever had to roll that. The GM wanted us to go insane, but still manage to banish the cosmic evil. He was VERY angry, but I'd written down his exact wording of his ruling, and this had been in my notes since the start,and was valid. He refused to let me join the next campaign. The other players bought me a pizza.
Stairc 11th Jun 2012, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Appkes, if you'd done that in a campaign I was running I'd have bought you the pizza myself. That's absolutely amazing. =)
Medieval Man 11th Jun 2012, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
What a jerk. I would have bought you pizza for that. Cool move.
Oblivious 11th Jun 2012, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
I don't understand this whole concept of killer DM's. Sure, you don't LET your players win; it needs to be a tense and engaging experience. But the DM's goal is just to be the (mostly) unbiased narrator and roller of dice that helps determine was the players see, and the results of their successes and failures, large and small. The players and DM are trying to have fun, not have a big flaming VS. sign between them. Though if the war between the PC's and the DM escalates to the degree that a giant flaming VS. sign has manifested, I want to watch that session.
Medieval Man 11th Jun 2012, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
Exactly. For example, in the campaign I am currently running the players are about to explore a wizards tower. As written the place is an utter deathtrap. But that doesn't mean I am out to get the players or actively try to kill them. If they die its due to mistakes they make themselves. Let the dice fall where they may regardless of who is rolling them.
xuincherguixe 11th Jun 2012, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
I did a bit of thinking about that one, I'm not sure if I'd let that one go. Seeing a broadcast is different than seeing something in person. People might assume it's just special effects.

Of course, I also probably wouldn't add a safety in numbers mechanic to sanity rolls to begin with. I'd want to be playing up the horror.

Still I do like the way you think.

As far as killer DMs go... It's Call of Cthulhu. You're expected to bring a stack of character sheets because you will go through a lot. In a way, I'd almost say it's more about seeing how you'll end up. But I don't much care for that kind of game play. Doesn't really encourage roleplaying.
Oblivious 11th Jun 2012, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
Oh, no, I wasn't talking Call of Cthulhu; I meant killer DM's in general; ones that just set out to kill the players rather than have fun and tell a story, with player death as a looming possibility. CoC, from what I hear, is a PC meat grinder, and is a different beast entirely.
Medieval Man 11th Jun 2012, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
I always assumed the point of CoC was to see how close you could get to becoming irreparably insane while still maintaining a semi-functional character. Walkin the tightrope.
Oblivious 11th Jun 2012, 11:31 PM edit delete reply
Actually, that does sound interesting; might try to see if our DM will try it out when one of our other campaigns finish.
xuincherguixe 12th Jun 2012, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
I also haven't played Call of Cthulhu myself, I just know of it. So I'm really just making kind of educated guesses.
xuincherguixe 12th Jun 2012, 5:39 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I didn't think you were talking about just CoC. It's just that attitude may be slightly more forgivable there. Even then I have to say I find it distasteful. You can make things hard, but victory should always be something obtainable.

Although to my mind, there's a difference between DMs that make things hard, and the ones who specifically set out to kill people.

What it basically comes down to, is metagaming. Are the NPCs reacting to knowledge that they couldn't realistically have?

The armies of darkness should be trying to kill the PCs. But four people coming together are probably going to come up with better ideas than just one guy, even if that guy is in charge of the setting. That's one of the fun things about roleplaying games. Victory through the power of friendship is emergent!
Stairc 12th Jun 2012, 9:29 AM edit delete reply
Exactly. I feel the DM's job is to build an amazing experience for the players, nothing more or less.
Stairc 12th Jun 2012, 9:28 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, there's definitely a huge argument to be made for the broadcast not working. They're not really 'with' you for one, each person is pretty isolated in their homes. For another, it seems pretty ridiculous that a character could flip a live feed on to everyone at once. There are heavy regulations and controls over the air-waves.

However, as a DM, I'd go out of my way to find a way to make it work. It's a great, creative solution and as long as I could find some way to make it make sense - I'd do everything possible to encourage it and endorse it.

Raxon 22nd Jun 2012, 2:56 AM edit delete reply
Oblivious, I believe that players and DM are both in cooperation, and opposing sides. Yes, while most players want to enjoy the game, fight the battles, see the sights, and get rewarded for completing the adventure, it's also important for the player to tug a bit at the rails. Drop a bomb on everyone by mentioning something that seemed totally innocuous a little bit ago, that you can use to bypass a puzzle in a way that is more inventive and creative than the original solution.

When you learn the big bad's name, have your character reveal a birthmark, and call him father. It doesn't have to be correct, necessarily, its job is to amuse the players and the DM. The character could be making an honest mistake, and the big bad would get a chance to either screw with him, or flat out tell him.

My personal favorite is the concept of sealed envelopes with a "secret" about my character. Nothing gamebreaking, but I figure if my character has a dark secret, the DM shouldn't need to know it. If the DM doesn't know what it is, then he can't anticipate when it will need to be opened.

So while it is good to cooperate, doing a little improvising or whipping out an Indy ploy to surprise the DM and the other players with fun little details helps make the story memorable and more enjoyable. As long as you have a good DM, you won't be trying to wreck each others' plans, but rather you'll be building off each others' foundation, to make something a little different than expected, but richer and more fulfilling when it is complete.

...Did I just write a serious post? I think I need to lie down. I must not be feeling well.