DMed my second game of DnD yesterday.

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User Info: Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt
2 months ago#161
KthulhuX posted...
However, if they are that type of player, their plan B is likely to be just as bland as their plan A.

A fully realized and consistent Plan B is actually pretty rare in my experience. Dedicating too many resources away from your Plan A makes you weaker, in specialization-focused games like Pathfinder at least. A "switch hitter" of dramatically different styles is rarely a good idea.

So Plan B usually becomes something improvised and non-repeatable. Maybe it uses a special consumable they've been saving, maybe it's taking advantage of this one specific fight's qualities (enemy type, terrain, etc). These are the fights where the martials form a protective circle around the wizard and pull out bows because they can't reach the enemy safely. Or the cleric empties his bag on the ground trying to find that one scroll of Stone to Flesh because his meatshield is suddenly less meaty than advertised. Or where the sword and board fighter has to leave the squishies he's protecting to go save a valuable NPC/macguffin being taken away ("You're the only one who can make it!").

When their Plan A is countered, D&D characters aren't usually versatile enough to have a grand Plan B ready (except high level wizards ugh). They usually have to drop their Plan A and adapt a new plan using the exact same ingredients as Plan A's.

That said, don't counter in the same way too often. You can imagine it would be super annoying to have to guard your wizard with a s***ty bow more than once or twice.

KthulhuX posted...
Plus there is the fact that, if you are talking about spells, it's not always an option to immediately switch to the "super weird spells". Because they likely do not have those spells prepared or known.

I have an issue with Vancian magic for that reason, and I don't really use it any more in my games.
I allow it, but I introduced the Spheres of Power magic system and all my players just gravitated towards that naturally, so yay.

Babbit55 posted...
Not disagreing with you, just saying public rolling to really good roleplayers won't change things up too much, though it does depend.

It won't change the story, no, but it'll change the game. Often, especially when the challenge they're facing is information-based, giving the players tons of free information is just way less fun for them.

It's the difference between solving a puzzle and pretending you're solving a puzzle. The former is obviously more fun, right?
One day dude, I'm just gonna get off the bus, and I'm gonna run in the woods and never come back, and when I come back I'm gonna be the knife master!
-The Rev
(edited 2 months ago)

User Info: Babbit55

Babbit55
2 months ago#162
Lightning Bolt posted...
It won't change the story, no, but it'll change the game. Often, especially when the challenge they're facing is information-based, giving the players tons of free information is just way less fun for them.

It's the difference between solving a puzzle and pretending you're solving a puzzle. The former is obviously more fun, right?


Not saying no blind rolls at all in a game, sure some things should be blind roll, I just mean all rolls of a type being blind, like Bluff and spot ect.

Like I said, not disagreeing, just doesn't need to be a blanket is all

Lightning Bolt posted...
It's the difference between solving a puzzle and pretending you're solving a puzzle. The former is obviously more fun, right?


I would say puzzles shouldn't be reliant on dice rolling at all though
(edited 2 months ago)

User Info: Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt
2 months ago#163
Babbit55 posted...
Like I said, not disagreeing, just doesn't need to be a blanket is all

Ohh.
Well that is totally not what I got from "only bad roleplayers need their GM to roll for them".
Mkay!
One day dude, I'm just gonna get off the bus, and I'm gonna run in the woods and never come back, and when I come back I'm gonna be the knife master!
-The Rev

User Info: Babbit55

Babbit55
2 months ago#164
Lightning Bolt posted...
Babbit55 posted...
Like I said, not disagreeing, just doesn't need to be a blanket is all

Ohh.
Well that is totally not what I got from "only bad roleplayers need their GM to roll for them".
Mkay!


Yeah, I get you, my language was perhaps on the strong side. I mean people who cannot roleplay something if they have ooc information are bad rollplayers by my statement.
(edited 2 months ago)

User Info: shadowsword87

shadowsword87
2 months ago#165
Lightning Bolt posted...
It's actually pretty easy as the GM to make the players stray away from their Plan A. Just make Plan A not work!


Huh, that's a pretty good idea actually.
As long as I remember to give them scrolls of weird spells, I could totally see that happen.

User Info: Mario_VS_DK

Mario_VS_DK
2 months ago#166
Bumperino.
Stupid signature!

User Info: Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt
2 months ago#167
How would you make a Zelda style dungeon work in a DnD/Pathfinder game?

Maybe comparing anything to Zelda is unfair, but Zelda dungeons feel like they were designed very differently from DnD ones.

That is, DnD dungeons usually feel like "gauntlets". You get the occasional hidden room or transforming space, but for the most part it's just room after room with self-contained puzzles or fights. "Left or right?" ceases to matter because each room has no apparent external context.

Compare that to OoT's water temple, where you go back and forth through the maze, raising and lowering the water level of the whole place. You would have to remember a room, picture what it'd be like if you pulled the lever in the other room, and maybe even need to find a new way back, encouraging a strong understanding of the dungeon as a whole. Maybe the water temple specifically was a little too hard for the target age, but I like the idea of dungeon connectedness, and of mastering the dungeon as a whole rather than room by room.

Or the earth temple from Majora's Mask! With the huge, layered, stone pillar in the middle room, and you had to approach the pillar at various heights in the correct order to knock out damaged layers. Then you'd walk on top of the pillar when it was the right height. That's cool stuff!

But these example puzzles are obviously best run by computers since they rely on precise calculations and physics simulations. So... what do you think a human-run Zelda-style tabletop dungeon would look like?
One day dude, I'm just gonna get off the bus, and I'm gonna run in the woods and never come back, and when I come back I'm gonna be the knife master!
-The Rev
First things first - each dungeon needs a special mechanic that mainly helps you get through that dungeon, but is mostly useless outside of it (theoretically, you could just revoke it once the adventurer's leave).

Example - Zelda II has a dungeon where you have to find a Power Glove that allows you to smash blocks, which you can then use to gain access to parts of the dungeon you couldn't otherwise get to. You could theoretically replicate this by having Gauntlets of Giant Strength that make them strong enough to punch through walls, or that are just designed to specifically siege-smash a very specific type of wall that only exists in that dungeon (or the gloves technically work on anything, but becoming depowered if removed from the dungeon). Conversely, a more magical option might be to have the dungeon filled with false walls that feel solid normally, but which visually appear to anyone holding a specific amulet, which also allows the bearer to pass through the wall as if it were mist.

You could add in extra complexities - Zelda II has a couple dungeons where you basically need to find an item somewhere in the world before you can access it, or where you need to cast a specific spell to get the entrance to appear. It wouldn't be extremely difficult to incorporate something like that into the mix.

Example - Zelda II has a dungeon where you can only beat the boss if you cast Reflect on your shield and redirect his own attacks against him. While in the dungeon, the players discover a shield that can reflect magic, and must use it against the boss (say, make a Dex roll as a reaction to all attacks, with a lower DC success protecting them but a higher DC success reflecting it back at the caster).

There are tons of puzzle-type dungeons people have come up with over the years, so it wouldn't be that hard to find a bunch of different designs, then just come up with backstory about some long-forgotten culture or insane mage who built a system of booby-trapped dungeons scattered across the world, each of which contains one part of something that needs to be reassembled for some reason (something akin to the Rod of Seven Parts, only preferably less evil).

Also, physical mapping would pretty much be a must. If you're going to have a puzzle like you mentioned, where players have to double back into previous rooms to trigger switches, you pretty much straight up need a reference for them to work off of, because otherwise it will quickly become hellishly frustrating for them to remember what's where and in which rooms, and how they get back to things.

"Wall of Text'D!" --- oldskoolplayr76
"POwned again." --- blight family
The more I think about it, the more I think an idea like that would work well if the players were dealing with some sort of previously (mostly) undiscovered magitech sort of culture that was able to build fortresses that were powered by some sort of internal magical power source, which allows certain tools or weapons to function within their bounds but which are effectively rendered inert outside of their range for lack of power. That would allow the DM to introduce almost any functionality or ability in an item that can be extremely useful in its "home" dungeon but more or less useless anywhere else.

But that would also allow items from previous dungeons to be used in future dungeons as well, as that laser-sword you picked up in the first magi-dungeon that has been a dull lump of metal for years suddenly flares back to life the moment you cross the threshold of the second magi-dungeon. Or maybe you need the crystal orb you find in dungeon three to reach the end of dungeon four...

Then again, I'm probably thinking along those lines because I've been thinking about magitech-type settings recently (ie, sort of a steampunky sort of setting, only minus all of the steam technology aesthetic and replacing it with something closer to Atlantis in the Disney cartoon from 16 years ago, or even how "technology" is handled in Breath of the Wild to some degree). So the idea of dungeons with pulsing lights in the walls and magical Tron-lighting just appeals to me.

"Wall of Text'D!" --- oldskoolplayr76
"POwned again." --- blight family

User Info: Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt
2 months ago#170
ParanoidObsessive posted...
First things first - each dungeon needs a special mechanic that mainly helps you get through that dungeon, but is mostly useless outside of it (theoretically, you could just revoke it once the adventurer's leave).

Actually, I think I'll be using monsters and traps for puzzles. Items are the Zelda progression system, so it makes sense to hand out new powers there, but DnD has its own and it'd be weird to layer them. I think.

So instead of the "Magic Lens To Look At Things You Need This Lens To See" and associated invisible things, I can use enemy weaknesses. Like a troll in flammable gas. If you attack its weakness without thinking, you'll blow yourself up, but with good planning you can instead blow the troll up with little effort. That's a weak idea alone, you'd need to introduce the gas elsewhere in simpler conditions and let the PCs learn about it first, and possibly add in another confounder, but you get it.

The way I view it is that I'm shoving Zelda-style puzzles into the DnD progression system. Or really, just modern puzzle design, which is puzzle themes that train the player with increasingly complicated puzzles using the same elements. I think.



BUT! But but but! That isn't the part of Zelda dungeons I meant!
The puzzles are all well and good, but I'm more interested in (or I guess what I need more help with) is the dungeon layout being a challenge on its own. Easy example, seeing a chest on a high ledge and a door next to it. You gotta find where the other side of that door is, don't you? So you keep that in mind as you explore, and it gives direction to your choices. You gotta beat the dungeon not just by beating the individual puzzles, but by understanding the whole dungeon's layout and function.

Or maybe it's less about understanding the dungeon as the challenge, and more about that "directed exploration" thing. After all, once you see a chest on a high ledge to your left, you'll be looking for both stairs and paths on your left. I've never been a fan of navigation being an uninformed choice.
Uhhh... I'm not sure really what the essence of this is. Send help.

But I've seen very few DnD dungeons that weren't just a large plopping down of rooms with hallways connecting them and zero gameplay reason to ever pay attention to where you are within them. And I'm really not sure why.

ParanoidObsessive posted...
Also, physical mapping would pretty much be a must.

Hmmm... mapping how?
I play online, so we pretty much always use maps. Everyone pulls up the same, gridded map and moves their tokens along it. Something like this if a picture helps:
http://i.imgur.com/2Ka3q0y.jpg
(though I as the GM have the ability to hide as much or as little of the map as I like)

But now I'm wondering if I ought to make them draw their own maps, or at least parts of them. After all, if I want the layout of my dungeon to be the challenge, maybe I shouldn't just give them the whole layout as soon as they see it. Zelda dungeons don't give you the full map and compass until you're well into them (except when they do).
One day dude, I'm just gonna get off the bus, and I'm gonna run in the woods and never come back, and when I come back I'm gonna be the knife master!
-The Rev
(edited 2 months ago)
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