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Thread: D&D Nostalgia

  1. #1
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    D&D Nostalgia

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    As I turn on my 'way-back' machine. I'm reminded of running a D&Dv1c game of first and second level players. They were investigating the Caves of Chaos and came across a cavern filled with mushrooms. Some were ambulatory and would ambush the party. Yet, before that happened, I flash back to my fondest memory of the 'exploration' part of the game. As the DM, expressing and conveying the world to others and watching their awe as the power of imagination would allow their minds to see what I described.

    There's not much 'good awe' in the world today. Most things have been discovered, rehashed, rewritten, or plagiarized. And without war or strife, we've become somewhat stagnant. The only awe today is more along the lines of Shock and Awe, which is just chaos and discord in disguise.

    It's too bad the "Moral Majority Man" is keeping NASA down. Otherwise, we'd be on Mars already, discovering new things with our own eyes.

    Some of the party carried their swords, shields, wore armor (if possible) or robes, and carried more goods in their backpacks than we could ever manage (didn't know what encumbrance was back then). They made ready their spells, knocked their arrows, and were amazed by mushrooms that stood over 3 feet in height. We were all newbies back then, back before the word even existed in our vocabulary. But we didn't care. We just wanted to play the game and have a new type of fun with odd shaped dice.

    The glow of the light spell cast upon the end of a staff drew long shadows across the cavern and ceiling. On constant alert and under extreme paranoia, the party moved through and between the giant mushrooms.

    Then suddenly, a Piercer fell from the ceiling impaling one of the party while 10 mushrooms with legs and arms jumped out and started beating on the rest of the party. It was a massacre. -oops

    They quickly rerolled characters and we started over fresh.

  2. #2
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    I remember my early days as well, allthough it was 2nd edition. My brother and I were the players and a friend of mine dm'ed. We were exploring an abadoned mining town trying to figure out what happened to the populous. We stumbled upon the only two inhabitants, a man and a woman. I was suspicious and questioning them turned into a fight. We managed to set the man on fire (he was very hairy and it seemed like a good idea) as we were getting our heads kicked in by the woman who was a spellcaster of some kind. Then we ran, she followed and blew us away with a fireball. This is how I learned to always kill the mage first.

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    Wow, although not nearly 20 years, I have been playing for 8, and I started in 2e.
    My first character, a purple dragon knight of Cormyr, traveling in a widely exotic party. I was a walking armory (I remember when encumbrance wasn't there) 3 shortswords, 2 lances, hand-and-a-half sword, warhammer and a shortbow. Plus wearing Plate armor with a shield.
    Walking through this forest towards the Tamarac Falls(the DM's creation) and having left my horse 5 miles back in town. I am in the lead with the thief, he being human and I the only elf in the party.
    The next thing I know, he is on fire and so am I, not knowing what to do and freaking out, I follow suit with the thief who is only wearing leather armor and jump into the river. (Did it ever even glimpse into my mind that my armor wasn't hot and that I had almost nothing that was combustible)
    He starts to swim while I sink like a rock.
    I have to use a little ingenuity, I tried climbing the side of the river, not so successful, well let's try this, I pull out my crappy lance and vault my 5' elven body in plate armor up above the surface of the water and stick one of my many shortswords into the bank to stay above water.
    As I surface I watch my party systematically destroyed, the halfling sheriff in chainmail, the paladin in plate armor and the wizard all blasted to ash by a powerful lightning bolt. The wemic bard runs for it as I look downstream and see the thief escaping and look up as I try to get out of the water and get hit 8 times with spears, 1 to the head, 4 to the chest and 3 to the abdomen and sink into the water to die 2 rds later from drowning, gotta love the hit points of a knight.

    Wow, to think that was 6 months after my first game session I was in, with my first character who was 10th level in 2e, that is a major accomplishment back then, and died a odd but interesting death.

    I play 3.5 now, though am saddened by the fact that such realism had entered the game eliminating the main focus of the game. The game used to be about how much imagination one has and how fast you can protect your hide as you run... lol...

    I now run games, and bring house rules to the table that bring a little of 2e back to life to enlighten that imagination that fell to the wayside.

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    My first character was an evil Orc priest. DM gave me a little back story that I was booted from my tribe for failing to kill a Dwarf priest. First thing I decided to do was march to the Dwarf clan fort and try to kill him. Got within sight of the wall and died from a boulder falling out of the sky. Who would guess? Then the DM made me sit and watch a session to see what roleplaying was all about. That was over 12 years ago and been hooked ever since.

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    So, this nostalgia, along with more of an interest in D&D than a Super Heroic game, I've begun preparation to run said D&D game.

    I'm up to 57 pages of house rules...... Mind you, only the first 15 are relevant to the non Caster class. From pages 16 and up, I've added/created some new spells and a complete spell list for the casters to work with.
    Also, I've begun drawing a map with a great hex mapper program that I found, figured I'd share:
    http://home.paonline.com/zaikoski/ak/

    Obviously, I've more time on my hands than I suspected.

    Mo

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    Recently I noted that I was going to start running a D&D game. Well, one player (a 23 year old kid - one of the reasons age is important to me when picking players) has been wanting special favors. I have cut/pasted the email dialog and removed the names for privacy. Just for your reading pleasure:

    __________________

    Hey Mo,
    I was wondering if I could play a monster race. The only issue with the race that I would what to play is that it may make the game a little unbalanced. I really would like to play a half-dragon. I believe the ECL on them is 4 so at level 2 I would effectively be 6.
    I have another question; Can a party member be afflicted with lycanthopy, and if so would that change their alignment to evil? Or would it only change their alignment when the "shifted"?

    Thanks,
    XXX
    ________________________


    Dear XXX
    sorry, no exceptions. Races are defined in the house rules and those are the only ones allowed. No unbalancing the party.

    The alternative to that is take the prestige class of Dragon Disciple. At level 10 of DD, you are effectively a half dragon.

    As for Lycanthropy - if there's an encounter with were-beasts, feel free to throw yourself in front of them in an attempt to become infected. If there is a paladin or cleric in the group, you will be subject to their code. And, according to the MM, werewolves are 'always chaotic evil'. Therefore, you will most likely be subject to the whim of the rest of the party beyond that of the paladin or cleric.

    Mo

    __________________________________

    Mo,
    I would take the dragon disciple pc but it is overly involved and I would have to wait until much later in the game to take it.
    XXX

    ______________________________

    XXX,
    translation? - you want instant power and don't want to get involved in the game ?
    Mo

    ________________________________

    Mo,
    I hope that you understand that this will not be an every week kind of game. We all have lives and that interferes with meeting to play, and on top of that people are not going to want to be obligated to show up every week... at that point it becomes a duity and looses the fun aspect of the game.

    Have you read the Dragon Disciple pc at all? In your magic poor world I would be hard pressed to find a dragon, let a lone a dragon disciple... that is were the much later in the game thing comes in. Besides by the time I could get to a dragon disciple to train me I would be much higher in level than 10 which there for = not worth it.

    XXX

    ___________________________

    XXX

    You are sounding more like <power gamer name> every day.

    Where are you coming from with this sentence, "I hope that you understand that this will not be an every week kind of game. We all have lives and that interferes with meeting to play, and on top of that people are not going to want to be obligated to show up every week... at that point it becomes a duity and looses the fun aspect of the game."

    That sounds exactly like something <power gamer name> would say, jumping to conclusions and intentionally trying to turn an argument by using distracting ploys or making it sound like he's being inconvenienced.

    The way I translate (<power gamer name>-speak) that sentence is, "I want a really powerful character, and since we're not playing weekly, and it'll take me the whole summer to ever see a level that I can become a dragon disciple (or any powerful of a character), then I'm going to whine about how unfun the game can be."

    Six things XXX:

    1) You don't have to play, no one is twisting your arm. I invited you at the request of <player #1>; and even with my reservations, I was very willing to see how your involvement played out. Now I'm starting to see just how it's going to go due to this string of emails.

    2) <player #6> played a dragon disciple in my last game, aside from the Wizard <player #3> played, he did the most damage in each round, he was one of the most effective characters in the game, and he had no complaints aside from the standard gaming issues that everyone suffers. He loved his character.

    3) You fail to grasp that if you wished to play a dragon disciple, then all of the requirements of that class would be offered by me. I am not limiting the 'allowed' character classes/races/alignments. I just don't want power gamers coming in with their all powerful savage species' to screw up the fun for everyone else.

    4) I haven't the desire to run a game on a weekly basis. Originally I thought this would be a monthly thing, mainly just to get <player #3/player #4>, <player #1/player #2> and <player #5> together, because it's been so long since they've had that interaction - especially in a gaming situation (over 2 years). So this game may be more of a social event than a power game fest. Most of us miss gaming. And World of Warcraft doesn't really fill the need for 'friends' gathering together to hang out and kill monsters while getting treasure.

    5) This world/game is designed with Tolkien in mind. Low Magic (and I have a feeling you're about to <power gamer name>-out and say that Tolkien was filled with magic... but ask yourself, how many magic items did you really see in the story? The wizards were massively powerful, but how many were there, 3?, And, what did the orcs carry, were they all +16 swords of human slaying? No.). Additionally, the world/game makes it unique to find a magic item, making it full of wonder and amazement. This isn't about power gaming. Giving the players a sense of mortality and struggle. Some of the best gaming takes place when a player has the urgency to do something right, using their mind to figure out situations, and then clobbering the bad guys with a sound plan and a good sword or spell - or just get lucky with some really good die rolls.

    6) You strike me as a power gamer, and you may not fit within this situation. You may be more suited to a champions game that allows 500 points for character building, or an epic D&D game where the characters start out at level 21 and have every magic item in the book to face down gods.

    In closing. If you feel that the game is 'not worth it', then perhaps you should find a game in the likes that I have described above, or just stick to WoW and keep making level 70's. Not everyone desires to 'roleplay', they would rather 'powerplay'. And this is perfectly acceptable.

    Know this, I have no desire to argue elements of my house rules or give favor to anyone in the game. I've had enough of that with Will in the past. This is a friendly game of old friends, that was my design, and it won't change.

    Moritz

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    Good for you, Moritz. Still I'm envious you have enough players that you can turn some down.

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    Yeah, I think someone else has been voted off the island of misfit players. Not sure yet, but Player #8 may be out on his ear - and not by my doing.

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    All I seem to find is 'power gamer moron' and 'rules lawyer geek' at the local shops. While I am not a role play nazi, it is nice to have some balance in the game. One of my friends wants to ban all players under 30 for our next game. I definitely feel your pain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rabkala View Post
    While I am not a role play Nazi, it is nice to have some balance in the game.
    Said like a true Zen master. Balance is key.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabkala View Post
    One of my friends wants to ban all players under 30 for our next game. I definitely feel your pain.
    Ya know, that's a great theory, but I'll warn ya, it won't hold true for all players above 30. Most of my stories on this forum involve a player that was around 34-36 when the events took place. And Oy Vey!

    But, it's still a good start. This doesn't discount that people below 30 don't have anything to bring to the table (most of my playing was before 30). Though, back then I think we had a different mindset and goals as to what we were going for in a game. Which may be a good start of another topic.

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    As an old-timer myself, I do sympathize with you on the "immediate power" mentallity of alot of gamers. Some of my most memorable moments in D&D come from new players who aren't as jaded or polished as other players. The barbarian who offerred fold a mount to get it to fit in a hole immediately comes to mind...

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    Good for you Moritz!
    I hate it when people want to start off with "All the Power" instead of taking the time to build the character as a person and not just a combat machine.

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    Hey Moritz, I have to ask a bit about the background context, was this a game where the starting character was level 2 or level 6?

    If the former, I can definitely understand your reaction, as that's effectively asking "can I be a level 6 character while the party is level 2?"

    If it's the latter...I'm not sure I understand. All in all, the Half Dragon is agreed upon to be a rather poor choice for a PC, definitely not if the player wants 'power'. If it was a level 6 game, what's the problem in him wanting to be a character with it and 2 class levels? Those 2 class levels means only 2 Hit Dice, and even as a barbarian (2d12), the party wizard would have just as much HP (6d4), more on average actually with the same Con. After one good hit from a CR 6 monster puts him to negatives, he may understand that most level adjustments above one or two generally are a poor choice.

    So, in short, if it's a level 2 game, yeah, you did the right thing. If it's level 6? Say yes, give him his so called 'power', then watch as a Giant Crocodile (EL 5) takes a single bite out of him and puts him into negatives. He'd probably quickly regret his choice.

    Edit: Of course, even if it was a level 2 game, it may not be all that bad. Sure, he'd have high stats, and would go through early encounters rather quickly. However, if his starting XP is the same as everyone else (1,000), he'd still need a good 14,000 more to level, and he'd be getting MUCH less than everyone else since he was an effective ECL 6 (compared to the rest of the party's ECL 2). Assuming of course you divy out experience individually, instead of as a group average. That means that not only will he take longer to get to his 'next' level at ECL 7, but that the rest of the party will easily beat him to it.

    That, and if you use the old FR variant of a -1 to all rolls per level adjustment 'negated', that means he'd start with a -4 to every roll he made, attack, damage, skills.

    Overall, no matter which way you went, I think he would quickly regret his choice.

    (And the powerful Savage Species? A joke. The Mind Flayer paragon is a godlike prestige, but other than that, the level progressions for monster races are fair. The abilities seem high at first, but only at low levels. That lack of hit points and hit dice is what absolutely kills a PC in the end, and it has been that 90% of the time, a player of mine using a level adjusted race is usually the first to bite it.)
    Last edited by Karui_Kage; 08-12-2007 at 04:51 AM.

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    It is not so much a power thing, as a matter of principle. The guidelines were clearly set by the DM and then ignored by the player.

    I have encountered numerous such instances in the past. I send my own world info to my players (about 550k) in emails a few weeks before they start. It lists acceptable ability scores, races, classes, prestige acceptance, deities, alignments, sources, rules tweaks, equipment selection, starting items, as well as background information on important places. I usually leave it a little open by telling them that some exceptions would be made if they talk to me first and have a good story to propel it. When a player shows up to the game having completely ignored what was in the information, you wonder if you want them in the game. It shows a complete lack of respect and an inability to follow the rules.

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