What Do You Play?
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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:12 am 
 

I apoligize if this topic is out of place, but I was a little curious.

I have been snoping around here for a few days, and I was wondering what games everyone here plays now, and how long? Do you still play Basic/First/Second Edition? Do your gaming habits affect your collecting habits?

I personally play a 3.5 game weekly, but it seems like some people here have some hostility towards the newer edition. I have to kind of balance what I collect against what new stuff I need.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:55 am 
 

I'm DMing a group in 2E AD&D. Two years ago we bought Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil and adjusted 2E quite a bit (Skills, Feats, Saving Throws), but we're nearly done with the adventure and after that it'll be pure 2E again. We're playing in my own campaign world, though that started when I had much more time and now I just wish we had started in Greyhawk or another official campaign world. I guess I just have to hold out until I take 'em to the Planes ...

My impression of the new D&D game is, that it tends to favor power gamers, of which I have quite a few in my group. A lot of things have changed to the better (e.g. Skills vs. Proficiencies), but I am not comfortable with the Feats system. Too many possibilities for a player to max out his character. Also, the quality of the products in terms of art / layout has improved a lot.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 6:29 am 
 

I would agree that 3e is abusable, but no more so than most RPGs. The core books are fine for balance and keeping things in check, as long as you as a DM remains informed.

I tend to be incredibly skeptical of anything that comes out of a non core book, because some of them seem less well play tested.

The real key is checking the players and making them aware of what you think is out of hand. If the players go ahead and get to min-maxy, then the game provides ALOT of baddies who are efficient at de-powering them, if necessary.

I feel, in general, the overall efficiency, simplicity, and coherent nature of the system avails it, whether it gives to powergaming or not. I have "converted" a number of 1e and 2e players by showing them how much cleaer and more dynamic the new system is. Additionally, teaching a new person has gotten far easier.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:28 am 
 

We play a game system I made up. There are no classes, like fighter, mage etc. All abilities are "skills", and your proficiency in them increases as you use them, not as you chop down monsters and gain gold. That is the core of it, at least. So, you could have a character who was very proficient with a longsword, who could also cast necromantic spells, etc.
It's obviously MUCH more detailed than that, but that is the basis of it. It's been hugely successful. The tough part is adapting existing material, ie. modules, on the fly. The system itself is easy, but it does require more recordkeeping. For example, when someone attacks a monster with a sword, they get X experience points in Sword. When they are attacked, they get X in Armor and/or Shield. So there are levels, but only for individual skills, not the character as a class. Everyone seems to love the idea of having a character who can truly be whatever they want.
Skills like lockpicking can gain XP "out of the dungeon", as can Sword, Axe, etc., but the combat-related skills get less XP, obviously. So, when the party camps out for the night, everyone usually goes off and practices whatever skill they choose.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:57 am 
 

I don't actually play anymore.  I picked up the 3.0 books cheap thinking I might start, but was truly horrified with what the game had become.  For the past 10 years or so I've been locked in a room working on a campaign world.  I like Deadlord's skills system concept, even though I personally never had a problem with classes.

One of the key differences in the world I was building is the basic premise that munchkinism could be avoided/downplayed by making combat more realistically deadly and therefore undesirable.  Also, level progression was slowed exponentially (logarithmically?  I forget).  Magic was scarce. It was a mean world to live in, the focus being on developing an actual personality.  Sadly, we never finished -- after more than 10 years in development, not a single character ever played.

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:13 am 
 

I just got the Castles & Crusades boxed set and should be starting a campaign with it soon.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:43 am 
 

I only game vicariously now, by offering advice to those who contact me about their campaigns.  I follow their logs occasionally.  Unfortunately I don't have time for anything else -- committed to too many projects.  But I'd love to play 1E if I could!

My problem with 3.0 and 3.5 is a double-edged sword.  The game was clearly designed after a huge amount of player and DM feedback was received.  But since players outnumber DMs, the designers seem to have focused too strongly (much too strongly) on player empowerment.  Feats, skills, prestige classes, etc. give players options they love, and involve them in the game much, much more.  That's the good part.

The problem with all of that detail is that you can plan a character out from level 1 to 20 (30?  40?  The progression is too quick now), with every little perk, class, and ability you want to discover along the way.  It's then just a question of railroading the DM into meeting your agenda.  My own players (who I miss dearly) were wonderful, and willing to accept DM decisions with grace.  We had arguments after the session sometimes that made me a better DM.  But the new crop of players, every time I try to start a 3.0 (now 3.5) campaign, I try to put controls on the process to bring out the best qualities of the old game that have been lost.

My dissertation:  "Experience progression is going to be halved.  To compensate, awards for teamwork, problem solving, and role-playing will be given according to merit.  Prestige classes do not come automatically, you have to find an appropriate mentor in the game world and provide a serious quest or service to receive training.  Feats and skills can only be acquired if you've performed actions that would logically lead toward that ability in the last few gaming sessions, so creative thinking is again strongly encouraged.  Any questions?"

The reactions usually range from "Psheah, right!" to hysterical laughter.  The DM's Guide may say that the DM still has authority, but the players have so many pieces of candy dangled in front of their faces that are level-dependent that they now have a focused agenda on steering the DM where they want to go.  I think 3.5 is a great game for players -- if they're not nostalgic for the more measured and challenging game of times past.  But for DMs, especially long-standing ones, it's pure pain.  So I don't think I'll be playing again until the game changes dramatically.  I can't find new players that want the old paradigm.  Maybe I'll try C&C when I have the time.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:53 am 
 

I'd love to try an OD&D campaign sometime.  The game is just slightly older than I am, so I was too young to experience it in its original form.  Plus, I've got quite a few 5th printings in poor enough condition that I'm not worrried about them getting roughed up.  Do people still play OD&D?

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:57 am 
 

One of my players ran a lengthy OD&D campaign until some months ago.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:14 pm 
 

Howdy,


I play AD&D (1st edition if you like). The campaign is in it's 11th year. We have 7 players and me, the DM. Prior to joining this campaign, three of us have played every edition, three of us have played 2e and 3e, and two have never played.

They just entered G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King.


Futures Bright,

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:23 pm 
 

stormber wrote:They just entered G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King.


Ahh, fond memories. :D   And, as a player, just when you thought it was about to end...

  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:13 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:I
The problem with all of that detail is that you can plan a character out from level 1 to 20 (30?  40?  The progression is too quick now), with every little perk, class, and ability you want to discover along the way.  It's then just a question of railroading the DM into meeting your agenda.  My own players (who I miss dearly) were wonderful, and willing to accept DM decisions with grace.  We had arguments after the session sometimes that made me a better DM.  But the new crop of players, every time I try to start a 3.0 (now 3.5) campaign, I try to put controls on the process to bring out the best qualities of the old game that have been lost..


Bingo. You have to exercise a good amount of DM control. I fear for newer DMs, who did not play the old editions. I have actually been paid to DM 3.5, so I think I am OK at it. I do get complaints about being too strict, not allowing enough, and deflating PC power levels. As you said, you have to preserve the integrity of the old game through your own activity. Luckily, an experienced DM can do just that, and with more solid and clear rules. Part of this is awarding XP based on Roleplaying, teamwork, and problemsolving.

I am an old school player. To me combat should feel like you are in mortal peril every single time. There should be no "standard combat" and monsters should have some sort of plan or method they use. I give out big items sparingly, and if a good magic item is floating around in the group, there is a damn good chance someone else is looking for it.

Deadlord's ideas have merit, and I really think they are cool. I was at GenCon for the 3.0 release announcement, and one of the things the designers talked about was the "Sacred Cows," those things you have ot have to be D&D. These included the 6 standard scores, character classes, and the basic races. To preserve continuity and creative lineage with the older versions of the game, they kept these things in.

If any of you have not tried 3.5 (which was a nice improvement over 3.0), I suggest you give it a shot. The rules are very concise, and make for very interesting combat, and have nice rules. Plus, some of the suppplements have very cool material in them.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:38 pm 
 

Shingen wrote:Deadlord's ideas have merit, and I really think they are cool. I was at GenCon for the 3.0 release announcement, and one of the things the designers talked about was the "Sacred Cows," those things you have ot have to be D&D. These included the 6 standard scores, character classes, and the basic races. To preserve continuity and creative lineage with the older versions of the game, they kept these things in.

One of the things we aimed for in differentiating our world was the removal of the basic races (humans, elves, etc) entirely.  It wasn't a sacred cow to us at all.  

We invented five new races, which referred to themselves collectively as humans, for sanity's sake.  These would be "the good guys".  The bad guys  -- anything rivalling "humanity" is evil in their terms of reference --we called humanoids, collectively.  We pretty much did away with alignment, as it's a relative concept.  Oh, and in pseudo-Dragonlance style, there were little to no high-level priestly abilities.  The gods made the universe, got fairly bored, and ditched the place.  

I'd still say it was D&D.  In fact, my writing was referred to as "Gygaxian"  by one critic, but I'm not sure if that was meant in a good or bad way.

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:55 pm 
 

I've instituted new ability scores, like Speed, Luck and Intuition. Also split the magic classes up, so you could have 10 levels in Necromancy, and 3 in Evocation, for example. When you cast a Necro, you get xp in that. And the spell points you get for each skill can only be used for spells of that skill, so no gaining a few levels in all the skills and casting endless fireballs. It seemed a good way to use the spell point system and make it more realistic and less abuseable.
Hit points are based on total of skill levels plus CON bonuses. A "magician" can have just about as many HP as a "warrior" type, and since 90% of HP are "intangible" (who could survive 10 sword thrusts?), it is realistic.
I obviously did the poor man's copyright protection, but I don't even think for a second I'd consider publishing it, even if there were an interested publisher. It's MINE!!!! ALL MINE!!!!! I AM IN CONTROL!!!!!!!BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!


Uhhh, sorry about that. Someone just handed me a Scarab of Insanity.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:57 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Uhhh, sorry about that. Someone just handed me a Scarab of Insanity.

That's just on loan, I'll be wanting it back.  :twisted:

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:58 pm 
 

They JUST handed you a scarab of insanity?  

Are you sure they didn't stick it in your back pocket a few years ago?

:P


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:02 pm 
 

One of our first games when I was a kid, the DM told us we found a coffer (what's a coffer?  We all thought it was a coffin) full of "Frank-incensed."  We spent a good amount of time trying to figure out who would butcher Frank and put his pieces in a box, whether the pieces were undead, and what had made him so angry.  Being sliced up and shoved in a box, I guess.

Ohh, "frankincense," the rare Biblical spice, gotcha ... we had a good laugh a few years later.  Being attacked by Frank the Sliced Up Zombie in the Coffin was much more fun, though.
8)

  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:16 pm 
 

Shingen wrote:I apoligize if this topic is out of place, but I was a little curious.

I have been snoping around here for a few days, and I was wondering what games everyone here plays now, and how long? Do you still play Basic/First/Second Edition? Do your gaming habits affect your collecting habits?

I personally play a 3.5 game weekly, but it seems like some people here have some hostility towards the newer edition. I have to kind of balance what I collect against what new stuff I need.

I know I'm a little late on this thread, but it is kind of intriguing to find out what people do play.

Well, other than the obvious (D&D/AD&D), I tend to play a decent amount of Traveller (solitaire play).  I have familiarity with some six or seven other systems, but I haven't really played them.

Currently, I do not have an active campaign, though I am likely to be starting a one-on-one adventure with the better half using Castles & Crusades.  However, that is not the primary focus of my roleplaying time.  Neither is the online Gorean roleplay that I frequent.  My current focus is working on the first draft of my own RPG, which to me focuses on fixing the things that are totally wrong with d20 Fantasy, such as feats, the combat system, and the excessively high power levels everything is at.

As you may have guessed, I don't like d20 Fantasy.  It's not worthy to be called Dungeons & Dragons, because it ISN'T Dungeons & Dragons.  It's a video game on paper, and that's not what I'm looking for in a role playing game.  On the flip side though, it's rather ironic.  In order to create my game, I have to use the SRD and the OGL to do it.  At least they can't force me to keep the game mechanics they dropped into it.

All those things I don't like about d20 Fantasy are GONE in the game I'm writing.  No feats, a streamlined combat system, and a return of some sanity in regards to power levels.  I'm kind of tired of seeing dragons with obscene numbers of hit points because of some misguided idea that a dragon, being bigger, should have more.  I always thought that 88 hit points was more than satisfactory, and that roleplay would carry the day.

I would have no aversions to playing a game of D&D or AD&D where I live, if there were anybody here remotely interested in gaming at all.  One gaming store near a city and it suburbs full of welfare moms and crack whores just does not cut the mustard.  I wish I was in my old stomping grounds, which had three in a 20-mile radius.



  


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:43 pm 
 

To answer the thread -- I probably haven't played in 15 years, unless computer stuff counts =) Sadly, the experience from Baldur's Gate 2 or Knights of the Old Republic often times outstrips the experience of RPGing with poor players (of which there are far too many).

As a kid, I was into Powers & Perils for some reason.  Apparently it's still big (sort of) in Scandinavia (or maybe just Finland).  Later on Runequest 2e became my favorite.  Ironically enough I never, ever liked the D&D rules or universe, but it's always been the fallback that everyone can agree to play.

For sci-fi, Traveller and Star Frontiers were my big two.  I always appreciated that my character could die during char-gen in Traveller =)

  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:45 pm 
 

I currently do not play any rpgs. Life is just too damn busy.

My old gaming group (going on 25 years now) still gets together a few times a year, but we usually break out a game of Man-O-War, BattleTech or something along those lines. Just have to keep the kids from trampling the miniatures...

:( RPGs will have to wait.

But given the chance, 1E is our game of choice.


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