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Post Post #700  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:34 am

Changes heavily session to session. They are still in the adventure campaign, it's just been heavily twisted, so step 1 is reading relevant chapter(s) a few times, just once to remember, and then the 2nd time, I try and consider how things will be changed from what the book says. Some times there is no relevant chapter. I've made 2 full custom dungeons, both were skipped (that was vexing). When prepping NPCs I don't stat them and tend to focus on things like motivations and try to have answers ready for things players are most likely to ask.
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Post Post #701  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:35 am

I'm very possibly still doing less than a DM who has his own campaign world, It's just a lot more work than it used to be.
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Post Post #702  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:25 am

I'm in a second campaign by the same guy who is doing the first one. This one is much less crazy mechanics, which is cool. I'm being a Bladebound Magus, which is doubly awesome.
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Post Post #703  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:41 am

In post 701, chamber wrote:I'm very possibly still doing less than a DM who has his own campaign world, It's just a lot more work than it used to be.

Eh. Who cares about other tables, it's about you.

Firstly, don't stress too much about custom dungeons. Build generic dungeons that you can SKIN to look like what you need them to. When it comes to NPCs and baddies, I tend to just pick a monster from the manual that's similar and reskin them into the NPC, easing my workload.

Reading the book ahead a couple of times is a very true thing, and I don't have a solution for you other than be less worried about the relevant chapter. Read it once, noting down stuff you like. Then get into the game and let the player's wildness dictate where you go, working off that list of cool stuff just as ideas when you need them.

It sounds like you're doing the right stuff for your NPCs, I'd recommend doing that for your dungeons. OR don't see your custom dungeons as wasted work. Just start getting a pile of stuff you'd made that haven't used (and so when they stumble on the dungeon, just pull out one you've prepared earlier).
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Post Post #704  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:28 pm

In post 700, chamber wrote:Some times there is no relevant chapter. I've made 2 full custom dungeons, both were skipped (that was vexing).


Why were the dungeons skipped? Did the players just decided "no, we will not do this quest", or did they find some amazing way to reach their goal without going through the dungeon.

Something that DMs need to do more is talk OOC to their players:

"Look guys, I know your characters can figure out some reason for not wanting to go to this dungeon, but this is the game that I have prepped for you guys tonight. If your characters don't go to the dungeon, the mayor will have another group of adventurers go in your place, and I will just give you THEIR character sheets to play with. Which do you want?"

RPG is a social game, the DM gotta have his fun too.

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Post Post #705  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:36 pm

Also, I don't know if this is relevant to your game, but never, ever allow a failed skill roll to end the game (unless the game end with a TPK).

For example, in my game last week the characters were exploring an island in search of a dungeon. The dungeon was in the middle of a dense forest. The characters could spy the location from the top of a nearby mountain that they just scaled, and now they were trying to make their way through the forest to the dungeon entrance.

They required some survival skill rolls to get to the dungeon. Normally the book says "If they fail, they are lost". But if they get lost, the game derails there, right? So let's change the penalty - they are on an island without other settlements, so food is super important. If they fail, they take two days to reach the dungeon instead of one. This means that they consume double the rations, and they get three random encounter checks during the night, which might take a few potions and wand charges from them. In a way, they still "get lost", but in a much more streamlined fashion.

In short, never roll a dice where one of the possible results is skipping part of the game.

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Post Post #706  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:55 pm

In post 704, Claus wrote:Something that DMs need to do more is talk OOC to their players:

"Look guys, I know your characters can figure out some reason for not wanting to go to this dungeon, but this is the game that I have prepped for you guys tonight. If your characters don't go to the dungeon, the mayor will have another group of adventurers go in your place, and I will just give you THEIR character sheets to play with. Which do you want?"


Absolutely! Sometimes I just say to my players "This is a game. The story is this way."
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Post Post #707  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:30 am

Run my first Strahd game and almost had the party infighting about what was the morally right thing to do.

I like Curse of Strahd.
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Post Post #708  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:38 am

So excited for tonight's session. Gonna be fighting a coven tonight!
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Post Post #709  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:47 pm

I need a campaign to play in.
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Post Post #710  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:48 pm

Okay so my Strahd game so far. Warning Curse of Strahd spoilers, definitely.

Vagnar the dwarven thunder cleric of Trithereon stands atop the castle they have just liberated from the clutches of Thrax. Mist swirls around him. He's distracted by horrifying visions of a nearby town in flames, which dissipate quickly. What doesn't dissipate is the uncomfortable mist which leaks into his lungs before he passes out.

Sir Menderallen (a human fighter of some renown) is sent by the local Duchess for whom he serves to visit a nearby camp of gypsies and convince them to move on (whether by diplomacy or force). Upon meeting the gypsies, they are incredibly happy to see the knight, and tell him the story of the brave prince who has been cursed. They also pass on a story of a Damsel in Distress, which is enough to get Sir Allen involved.

Grandpa (a twenty year old street urchin fighter who has taken a warlock pact with the fey) is sitting in a tavern when a large gentleman walks up and slams a letter down on the table. "Blood of the Vine Tavern. Three days north and through the woods. Be there." The stranger spots a large cook wielding an enormous meat cleaver (Spud, the barbarian) and says "bring your big friend. You'll need him."

(Mercy the H/orc Paladin will be rejoining us next session)

They arrive at the Blood of the Vine to find Vagnar comatose under the table. While it doesn't take much to bring him to, their order for water is delayed by an argument between the barkeep and Vavasour En-men-der-anna (a bardic diplomat from the nearby village of Vallaki). Ismark (the barkeep) wants nothing to do with the Vavasour's stupid festivals and has things to focus on back at home. Ismark recognises the newcomers as "Outsiders" and pulls them together, offering coin if they meet him at the mansion nearby. Vavasour Anna is excited by the idea, and is kind of swayed that maybe there's more to this valley than another festival.

The team head to the mansion, meeting the confused Ireena and the dead Kolyan. Trying to beat nightfall they carry the body of the Mayor to the church and convince the worn priest to bury the body. On return they investigate and find the priest's son, a man once, but now an emaciated vampire spawn. Without a plan on how to cure him, or even (worst case scenario) to kill him, he has kept him trapped in this small room and starved of blood.

The party approach the son, who lashes out once cornered. This is where things got interesting. Half the #squad wanted to protect the child, find a way to save him. The other half wanted to destroy the evil at any cost, the means justifying the ends. Our cleric used his last level 2 slot to cast "gust of wind" trying to push people away. The barbarian went into a rage and attempted to "non-lethally choke the kid". They fight him enough to kill the spawn, but not to destroy it. As the body lays there headless, Ismark (who is described as 'that guy in the office who is so very ready for the zombie apocalypse', loaded for bear with weapons and tools) places a steak through the heart. Despite not being in the vampires's 'resting spot" it doesn't kill him, but it does paralyse him. They sit worrying and decide to rest inside the church, Vagnar staying awake to provide watch in his own regrets as his team sleep.


I'm excited. The moral ambiguity has tickled them all.
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Post Post #711  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:26 pm

Hi guys, I'm currently working on a psychological horror RPG where 4-5 players have amnesia and they have to figure out how they got to this island they're trapped in. One of my key mechanics is passing physical notecards to people who 'trigger' unlocked memories, either by saying or doing something in the island. It is then up to them if they wish to divulge this information; some of it could be counter-intuitive if you did while others aren't so apparent until later. There will be monsters and threats abound, and death is definitely possible, but I'd rather those be as a result of extremely poor decision making instead of a means to an end.

I wanna ask if anyone happens to know an RPG system that facilitates this kind of style. It should be more narrative-driven but can have combat or action/skill stuff in it once in awhile. And the recommendation I will be giving to my players is that they shouldn't fight if given the chance as the terrors can easily damage you.

I would use CoC, but I feel like the Mythos works in a way that eventually claims you in the end. I want something that only bares the fangs of CoC but has enough versatility for redemption. I'm currently bouncing around on either Unknown Armies, Don't Rest Your Head, or Little Fears. All 3 deal with the PCs playing as themselves instead of a character they could buff and create.

Do you guys have other suggestions?

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Post Post #712  (ISO)  » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:54 am

In post 708, animorpherv1 wrote:So excited for tonight's session. Gonna be fighting a coven tonight!


This session was AWESOME! We went from 8:30pm to 1:30am, and despite having to be up at 8:00am for work I don't care. My animal familiar wolf crit killed the last hag despite eating -11 in ability damage, me taking -2 from ability damagr AND a -4 penalty to attack rolls and skill checks.
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Post Post #713  (ISO)  » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:56 am

I have another campaign tonight, as well, so I'm excted again.
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Post Post #714  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:30 am

Had a little mini-session (aka a weekly) with the GM, ended up getting a +1 Holy Intelligent Longsword that morphed into an Elven Curve Blade because of proficiencies and whatnot. Now to read up on intelligent weapons when I get home...

It also lights up near undead!
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Post Post #715  (ISO)  » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:30 pm

Curse of Strahd: My party is taking Ireena to Vallaki so that she can hide from Strahd's gaze...maybe. With them is her brother Ismark, who has been training for most of his life to kill Strahd. He is strong, prepared, and an ally they're glad to have. The whole time they're taught that no one says the Dread Lord's name because it can draw his attention. And Ismark tells them NOT to give out his and Ireena's names. They're trying to move with stealth. The players know that the characters believe that names have power.
They come across an old man being attacked by 4 wolves. The wolves breathe the fog of barovia over them and almost kill a few characters. They do hero things and crit a lot! Slaying the wolves, defending the man, and high five each other over their victory.

They save the old man, stabalise his bleeding! Splint his broken legs and carry him away on a cart they've had with them. They decide whether to camp before or at the Vistani campsite. They pick before, not trusting the Vistani, sitting in the woods around a fire.

As a few of them engage with him and help him, he acknowledges how wonderful they are and asks their name "*cough* thank you kind hero. Who are you? Who do you serve?". When they give their name he holds their hand, his eyes light up, and he says "'thank you', in the most genuine way you've ever heard". Vagnar the Storm Cleric is the only one who insight checks the old man. Rolls a 5.

So around this camp fire at night they hear a wolves howl and they all roll wisdom saves. This is a screen, only Mercy the paladin sitting next to the old man was the target. She fails and is charmed.
He turns to Mercy and blood dribbles down his mouth. "water. Please". Mercy leans over to get water and as soon as she's distracted, the old man grabs Ismark's hair and chin and breaks his neck. Kills him instantly. I roll a crit and a regular hit, enough dice to massive-damage him mechanically. Narratively, I got lucky, cause I would have said whatever dice I rolled was enough.
The whole table just goes "WHAT!?" Mykel stands up and yells "SPUD GOES INTO A RAGE. CAN I KILL HIM NOW?!" No one knows what's going on. Roll initiative.

Then they leap at this old guy. Spud chokes him. Mercy smites him. Four characters unload everything they have on their turns. On his turn he laughs, and with a thick german accent says "Mercy, Vagnar, Sir Menderallen, Enmenderana. Thank you. I'm sure that I'll see you so very soon." My group says "FUCK! THIS IS STRAHD!?!" And he explodes into a cloud of bats which fly off into the night.

The guy playing Mercy asks "okay so what did he look...like, hurt? Like, did I do a quarter of his health? I crit (half/orc savage crit) with smite!" I say "No. He barely looked bothered by your attack." The whole group just goes "how are we meant to fight this guy?" "There's no way." "We are fucked!" "Sure could use a vampire Hunter right now and not a fucking corpse!"

It was perfect. We had to take a break just for everyone to get their heads back into it. Strahd has appeared in the campaign in the best way, and I live for moments like this. I have never had a moment so perfect in my DMing history. And the best part was that all of the players agree that it was their fault. They trusted the NPC, they left him next to Ismark, they failed insight and wisdom saves. This was their fault, and they feel responsible.
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Post Post #716  (ISO)  » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:10 am

Friend of mine is running fate accelerated for me and a group on tabletop sim

Hopefully this goes well
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Post Post #717  (ISO)  » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:04 pm

I killed my first character. God damn yes.
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Post Post #718  (ISO)  » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:08 am

I always feel guilty when that happens. Even if they brought it on themselves.
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Post Post #719  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:32 pm

Come on Oman, you will really leave at that, and not give us the juicy details?

In other news, I'm back to DM'ing D&D (the SLA GM got a new job and asked for a break on GMing). One of my players jokingly challenged me to make an adventure where you "Kill Dungeons and Explore Dragons".

That must happen now. Suggestions?

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Post Post #720  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:14 am

Why do you want to kill dungeons? The most straightforward answer I can think of is that in this world they are some chaotic property of the world, that spawn monsters or the like, and can perhaps have some core that can be destroyed. Perhaps the Dragons are your dungeons in this world (because it seems hard for to me envision this working in a way in which the dungeon isn't still explored.)
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Post Post #721  (ISO)  » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:39 am

Claus: The party slips into a portal and is teleported to what appears to be a different plane. The "plane" turns out to be the innards of a dragon, which is slowly revealed over time. The players wind up exploring the dragon, and ultimately "slaying the dungeon" -- in that they kill the dragon as part of their escape.

(Anecdotal: I think this would be a much cooler concept if the players didn't already know that you were doing a "Kill Dungeon, explore Dragon" spin, but the above proposal would suit their needs, and could be very interesting. Stomach acid traps, fighting other creatures that the dragon eats whole, etc... There's actually quite a bit of design space here... come to think of it, I'm going to start making such a mini-campaign...)
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Post Post #722  (ISO)  » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:11 pm

In post 719, Claus wrote:Come on Oman, you will really leave at that, and not give us the juicy details?

Curse of Strahd he went upstairs into a coffin room on his own and was swamped by two Vampire spawn (easy as a team, deadly on his own). He went down and the rest of the party cleaned them up, but not before he failed his death saving throws. Felt p good cause he was like "yep, that was my fault."

Second character died during a huge deadly encounter against a demon, and two elementals. Got pretty huge, in fact we played that one combat encounter as a whole session. He absolutely would've been fine but he Nat One'd a death save which was pretty wild. Really fun, and the players loved it.


PAX AUS! Played FATE for the first time and fucking LOVED it, just had a great group, complicated our lives INCREDIBLY and fought through the whole thing. I think everyone had a moment to shine, driven by the players rather the GM, which...yeah I was really pleased and proud to have been a part of it.

Played SLA Industries and...it felt like a d10 version of D&D tbh. Not particularly interesting, but the GM was running that game for the first time (No playtesting), so it went way over time, we missed a lot of fun information, and just overall I felt pretty let down. Did speak to the GM afterwards though and he apologised without prompting so I think we can understand it was just a perfect storm of things-not-working.

Curse of Strahd still plugging away. It's feeling a bit stale in Vallaki right now, but we're going to move outside. I'm overall starting to sour on the Strahd storyline. Not because it's bad or anything, but just because there feels like there's too much in the book, and the big setpieces are the fun ones.
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Post Post #723  (ISO)  » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:21 pm

Okay I'm back into Curse Of Strahd. They left Vallaki and the joke about one the werewolves flirting with the Half-Orc has turned into a FULL BLOWN WEREWOLF LOVE TRIANGLE.

I adore my party.
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Post Post #724  (ISO)  » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:17 am

I've been dming for my rl group for about 9 months now and I'm starting to get the itch to play again. Is there any interest to get another MS group going? I assume fakegods is full. Especially any interest from a DM?
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