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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:04 am 
 

darkseraphim wrote: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..


The Basics of 3rd ed are good.  Problem being, most 3rd Ed DMs were learning to play at the same time as their players. As a result, I have yet to see a 3rd ed campaign where the players haven't just run roughshod over the poor DM who was railroaded at every turn into giving them characters more at home in a video game than any sort of heroic fantasy milieu.  Maybe now that 3rd ed has been around a few years, the DMs have hopefully gotten more knowledgable and able to control the game better. The few games I watched in the recent past were absolutely horrific, with the players spending all their time min/maxing their characters at the expense of the rookie DM.

   My group plays 2nd Edition, but I have heavily modified it over the last 15 years or so.  I customized around 20 or so core classes, balancing them so that any character class kit is viable and enjoyable to play, and munchkinism is totally nonexistent....there just isn't any one class that can be abused or min/maxed enough in my system to make it any more enjoyable than any other.  As a result, players in my campaign play the character they WANT to play, not one that will "kill them the most monsters." We actually get a lot of former 3rd Ed players that want more structure come and game with us after they wander around in the 3rd edition wilderness for awhile...it's really the Dm and the guys you play with that make or break the game, not the system.  It's odd but in some ways there may just be too many choices in 3rd edition...in my campaign the choices are limited, but with 20+ archetypes you could still game for years and not play every sort of character type.
     I game with a core of 3-4 players that I've been gaming with for 20 years or so, and several newer gamers.  A few of the things I do to keep it interesting:  All players must play a different character class than they did in the last campaign; Alignments are NG or NE, with only very exceptionally saintly or demonic beings at the extremes of Lawful or Chaotic; I use very non-traditional settings for my campaigns to throw the "old guard" of mine "off guard", so to speak...we are adventuring in a jungle campaign now, I've run an arctic campaign, an entirely underground campaign where the characters were all dwarves of different classes, and a shipboard campaign where the characters spent most of their time either on or underneath the ocean; I award "Hero points" for exceptionally heroic (some call them foolhardy) deeds so that my campaigns have a more "heroic fantasy" feel, characters can redeem them for added ability scores, hit points or escaping certain death in doomed situations.
 
    Mostly we play 2nd edition because my core group is older, had played 2nd edition for over a decade, and didn't feel like buying all new rulebooks and learning a new game.  The only other game we play with any regularity is Call of Cthulhu, several of us are Lovecraft fans and have been playing for about 20 years, dragging the occassional newbie to his or her doom...

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:27 am 
 

Been gaming for over twenty years - D&D, 1e AD&D, 2e AD&D mostly, though there have been a host of RPGs and wargames to distract me.  Had a core group of players that played religiously for well over 15 years, until real life interrupted things - moves, etc.

Don't play nearly as often as I'd like these days, but still squeeze in the odd game here and there.  The problem is finding players I get on with in terms of age, experience, and edition preference (1/2e).

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 9:19 am 
 

Badmike wrote:The Basics of 3rd ed are good.  Problem being, most 3rd Ed DMs were learning to play at the same time as their players. As a result, I have yet to see a 3rd ed campaign where the players haven't just run roughshod over the poor DM who was railroaded at every turn into giving them characters more at home in a video game than any sort of heroic fantasy milieu.  Maybe now that 3rd ed has been around a few years, the DMs have hopefully gotten more knowledgable and able to control the game better. The few games I watched in the recent past were absolutely horrific, with the players spending all their time min/maxing their characters at the expense of the rookie DM.

   My group plays 2nd Edition, but I have heavily modified it over the last 15 years or so.  I customized around 20 or so core classes, balancing them so that any character class kit is viable and enjoyable to play, and munchkinism is totally nonexistent....there just isn't any one class that can be abused or min/maxed enough in my system to make it any more enjoyable than any other.


Heh, the shoe's on the other foot now, 2nd edition.  I remember thinking how cheesy/munchkiny "kits" were.  And the Complete Guide to Anything, too.  (Nice format, content, and design -- still doesn't belong in role-playing).  

Now, we had our share of power-hungry players/characters in 1st, too.  I once played a 13th level drow MU/Thief character that somehow got transformed into a half-Troll, half-Titan after an involuntary reicarnation by Circe.  "I'm not dead yet!".  We had just left the dwarven mines of a rare +6 metal with a tidy sum for "rescuing" the miners, too.  

But it was a different sort of munchkinism, then.  It wasn't officially sanctioned in the guidelines.  It came from DM balance oversights.  It was easily corrected by a series of ghastly DM fixes that seem appalling today.  The DM used to be king and was treated with the respect of a king.

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:56 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote: It was easily corrected by a series of ghastly DM fixes that seem appalling today.  The DM used to be king and was treated with the respect of a king.


Oh, for those days again...!

The other night, I was DMing a campaign that I run for the "kids" of all my original gamers.  At any one time, 2-3 of us and our kids play "oldstyle" campaigns such as the Giants, L series, etc to have another go at the original stuff and to let the kids have fun (said kids being in age from 10-16).  Right now we are running D1 Descent into the Depths and the PCs were running an assault on the cavern.  The action completely bogged down as one of my oldest friends (the guy that introduced me to D&D, actually) kept questioning every single game mechanic in a battle with Drow (mostly, because his cleric and fighter were getting their asses kicked but good).  I kept trying to keep the game flowing but he kept bogging, until finally his characters were mercifully either killed or paralyzed due to spells.  All during his bogging his son and daughter had very uncomfortable looks on their faces as they urged their dad to just play.  Finally, he got up to go to the restroom and his son whispered to me "Don't take it out on us because our dad doesn't listen to the DM!"  When I amusedly pointed out that I would never hold a grudge, he shook his head and said "Yeh, right, the DM is the bull and my dad just got the horns!"  Pretty funny coming from a kid, even my friend laughed when I made his son reissue the line.

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:27 pm 
 

I personally love to get out my D&D Rules Cyclopedia, and run a nice simple basic game every now and then. Using alot of my old modules, I can crank out fun games. However, most of my players now prefer the customization and clarity of 3e, so it doesn't happen so awesome.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:26 am 
 

Right now I'm GMing a Shadowrun campaign for three friends.  In two nights they've managed to hose up two jobs well enough that, you guessed it, two major crime syndicates now have my players on their hit lists. (Yakuza and the Triads, which are actually like three small organizations in one)

I long for a good 2nd ed AD&D game.  Actually, we're playing Shadowrun because they all refuse to play 2nd ed, and I get a wave of abject nausea any time I'm too close to 3x crap.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:55 am 
 

slydeshadowdart wrote:I long for a good 2nd ed AD&D game.  Actually, we're playing Shadowrun because they all refuse to play 2nd ed, and I get a wave of abject nausea any time I'm too close to 3x crap.

It's thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and my brother brought over 3rd Edition "Epic Level" and "Savage Species".  Good for a laugh.  You can actually roleplay a gelatinous grizzly...aka a frickin' Gummi Bear.

And they have a spell/feat/whatever that does 305d6 (no typo) of damage.

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:22 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:And they have a spell/feat/whatever that does 305d6 (no typo) of damage.


Reminds me of Arduin.

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:44 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
And they have a spell/feat/whatever that does 305d6 (no typo) of damage.


For my own sanity, as a 3e advocate, could you find out what does that? I think someone may have incorrectly doen some math.

And, by the way, there is no actually advocacy of Gelatinous creatures as characters, but rather a template to be applied. Many other monsters are set as classes, which cannto be used as an indictment of 3e, because people always want to play monsters.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:52 pm 
 

Shingen wrote:
deimos3428 wrote:
And they have a spell/feat/whatever that does 305d6 (no typo) of damage.


For my own sanity, as a 3e advocate, could you find out what does that? I think someone may have incorrectly doen some math.

Fair enough.  He left the book behind so I'll quote directly from it.  Pg. 87, of the Epic Level Handbook.

Vengeful Gaze of God
(various stats omitted)
The target of this spell is subject to a fury like unto heavenly wrath that deals 305d6 points of damage (or half of that if a Fortitude save succeeds).  If the target is reduced to -10 hit points or less (or a construct, object, or undead is reduced to 0 hit points), it is utterly destroyed as if disintegrated, leaving behind only a trace of fine dust.  Channeling such terrific forces has its price, and the cast is likewise dealt 200d6 points of damage as your eyes bleed and your skin convulses when the power is released.  This spell often kills the caster, but it's often worth it.

It does have a "Spellcraft DC" of 419, which I'm told is impossibly high.

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:02 pm 
 

This spell must have been a direct result of the lobbying of the dice industry...

But then, in 1st Edition you only need a 305th level magic-user to throw a fireball and produce a similar effect... no?


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 2:13 pm 
 

Ralf Toth wrote:This spell must have been a direct result of the lobbying of the dice industry...

But then, in 1st Edition you only need a 305th level magic-user to throw a fireball and produce a similar effect... no?

Hmm..the game's over 30 years old...somebody might actually have one of these  :)

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:31 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
Ralf Toth wrote:This spell must have been a direct result of the lobbying of the dice industry...

But then, in 1st Edition you only need a 305th level magic-user to throw a fireball and produce a similar effect... no?

Hmm..the game's over 30 years old...somebody might actually have one of these  :)

The Arduin Grimoire actively encourages those types of characters.  The XP charts in AGI go up to 105th Level.  From there it's just a matter of extrapolation.

In 2E, spellcasters were limited to a maximum of 10d6 damage on both Fireball and Lightning Bolt.  Needless to say, that rule got tossed in d20 Fantasy.  Would you expect anything less?

Now, can anyone possibly tell me just what the point of having a spell that does 305d6 worth of damage without earning it the hard way?  Oh I forgot!  You have to ace that Red Dragon that has some 2000 hit points.

Overpowered.  I think I'll cast my single 10th Level spell now:

Armageddon (Evocation)
Level: 10
Range: 0
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: One world
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 round
Saving Throw: None

Explanation/Description: When the magic-user casts Armageddon, a blast of pure energy fires downward at the point where the magic-user stands.  Any beings caught within the area of effect take 1 sextillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) points of damage, no saving throw allowed.  The blast of pure energy is of sufficient power to vaporize the entire planet, again with no saving throw allowed.

Game over.

P.S. I thought the description needed updating to 1st Edition standards, but I have to wonder if I lost something in the translation.  After all, Best of Dragon I kept the description short and sweet.

10th Level
Armageddon: A blast of pure energy delivering 10^21 (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) points of damage.  Destroys the world.  No saving throw.  Game over.


But then again, how would d20 Fantasy word it?

Armageddon
Necromancy [Death]
Level: Wiz 10
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

A pure beam of energy strikes you.  You are entitled to a Fortitude saving throw to survive the attack.  If the save is successful, you take 3d6 points of damage.

You might still die even if you succeed on your saving throw, as all matter surrounding you is instantly vaporized.

You decide.



  


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:40 pm 
 

Ah, munchkinism taken to its logical conclusion.

The most entertaining thing to do with a group of diehard power gamers is to teach them Call of Cthulhu, have them roll up characters (librarians, ex-gangsters, archaeologists, 1925 weapons-law restrictions apply) and dump them into Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Offer $100 worth of old D&D modules to any player resourceful and clever enough to get through the campaign on a single character, -$30 per character death.  I can virtually guarantee you that you won't have to dole out anything by campaign's end.
:twisted:

  

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:45 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:Ah, munchkinism taken to its logical conclusion.

The most entertaining thing to do with a group of diehard power gamers is to teach them Call of Cthulhu, have them roll up characters (librarians, ex-gangsters, archaeologists, 1925 weapons-law restrictions apply) and dump them into Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Offer $100 worth of old D&D modules to any player resourceful and clever enough to get through the campaign on a single character, -$30 per character death.  I can virtually guarantee you that you won't have to dole out anything by campaign's end.
:twisted:


BRAVO!  I have buddies of mine who are diehard fantasy RPGers that still to this day cannot get a character in CoC to survive longer than one adventure.

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Last edited by Badmike on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:07 pm 
 

darkseraphim wrote:Ah, munchkinism taken to its logical conclusion.

:twisted:


Try playing the first version of Top Secret. Talk about lethal. Crap, we were dropping like stones! Get shot, you die...it was pretty much that simple.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:09 pm 
 

Shingen wrote:I have been snoping around here for a few days, and I was wondering what games everyone here plays now, and how long?


The Greyhawk Wild Coast game that I was playing in for the past two years or so has pretty much fizzled out over the summer due to schedule conflicts, players moving away, and our DM being on a series of summer international internships.  He's a third year law student this fall, so we're not too likely to get the game back on its feet :(

We were playing a 3.5e based game, with a fair number of 3.0 rules hold overs, and bits of 1e thrown in (3.x language rules, for example, are horrible).


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:08 am 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
Fair enough.  He left the book behind so I'll quote directly from it.  Pg. 87, of the Epic Level Handbook.

Description here
Vengeful Gaze of God


It does have a "Spellcraft DC" of 419, which I'm told is impossibly high.


While that sounds really bad, allow me to expand and explain, updating terms and giveing perspective for some of you.

The Spellcraft DC you quoted is the Spellcraft check necessary to cast it. It is THE highest level spell (essentially) ever printed, and while some of you bristle at the idea of the theoretical munchkinry, it does have outlandish requirements. The 419 they must succeed at a d20 roll modified by their Intelligence/Wisdom, and then their skill ranks, which are at max level +3. This means, on roll of 20, the player still needs ridiculous amounts of feats and abilities to even get close.

Since it takes about 13 encounters  to gain a level on the average, and there are maybe 4-5 encounters in a game, a charcter levels up maybe once every 3-5 games or so. Even at 2 games to a level, the player would take 20 sessions to reach level 10. At that point, encounters become more difficult and slow, maybe 2-3 encounters a game. So you are looking at about 40 game sessions to get to level 20. This spell would require you to be somewhere in the as-yet-unseen and never acknowledged 50 levels range, meaninf it would take, roughly, 400 sessions or so to get there. Even then, success is not assured. It requires over 3 million gp, 150,000 xp, and 76 days of work to set it up.

Furthermore, I believe that particular spell is more relegated to an ability of the gods than to be commonly used as a spell.  It is one of those theoretically possible things.

So, anyways, the point of all this ranting is to say that while possible, it is unlikely. It is not intended for everyday use, and should not be used to illustrate the perceived rampant munchkinry of 3.5 D&D. I understand it seems excessive, but is definitely the exception, and not the rule.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:26 am 
 

I look at the 3.0-3.5 game a little different.

I admit I am a throw back 1E guy who wonders what the hell happened to this game.  

I simply compare a 5th level 3.5E fighter to the same character in 1E. Not only would the 3.5E wipe the floor with our cagey veteran, but Mr. 3.5E could probably take on Mr. 1E and a couple of his freinds - at once.

I know this is a context thing...but still...munchkinism is munchkinism...

I knew 1E AD&D, and let me tell you, 3+E AD&D is not AD&D. :D


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:28 am 
 

Shingen wrote:So, anyways, the point of all this ranting is to say that while possible, it is unlikely. It is not intended for everyday use, and should not be used to illustrate the perceived rampant munchkinry of 3.5 D&D. I understand it seems excessive, but is definitely the exception, and not the rule.

Ok, ok, I was quoting from the Epic Level Handbook, one could hardly expect less.  Perceived rampant munchkinry isn't the real problem.  I'd still argue it's there, but it can be leashed by a competent DM.

I think the problem most "old school" players have with 3.0/3.5 is that there is a rule for everything, and everything has it's rule...er...guideline.  If you threw out half of the guidelines, it would make a perfectly useful system.  Munchkinism is not really the concern here, so much as leveraged rules-lawyerism.  

This all started with those rotten non-weapon proficiencies from the WSG and DSG in 1st edition...  :)

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