The former Tomb of Horrors / current 3e debate thread
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 7:57 pm 
 

Traveller wrote:The 1st and 2d Edition versions of the spell are identical in that regard, so to recap:

1. Player of the raised character must make a successful system shock roll, or the character is irrevocably dead. Success reduces CON permanently by 1.

2. Raised character has one hit point.

3. Raised character is confined to bed for a number of days equal to the time the character was dead.


Ah. 3E doesn't have the system shock roll, but you automatically lose a full level of experience. Blammo, no roll to avoid it.

For d20 Fantasy though, it became not just a rule, but a requirement.


I have yet to ever play, run, or hear of a game that didn't have somethign Rule 0'd by the DM. It's a requirement for any RPG that I've ever played or ran - there'll always be things the DM doesn't like about the system ;)

Sometimes having a "tight" ruleset is a curse, especially if you have to change a rule that doesn't suit your tastes. Because you have to change all the rules that are affected by the rule change. I use Attack of Opportunity as a simple example of the interdependency of the rules


No doubt. Although honestly, removing AoO's wouldn't really change that much. Personally, I'm a fan of the AoO system, although it definately can bog the game down with a lot of extra rolling and strategizing. But, it also makes a lot of sense (most of the time) - pulling out your backpack and rifling through it for that potion is a bit silly when there's a guy hacking at you with a greatsword ;)

The beauty of the system though is that unlike d20 Fantasy, where the rules are interdependent, Castles & Crusades is modular.


I haven't read anything about C&C, but I honestly can't see any game system as "modular". Game balance isn't a series of unconnected factors - doing something like you mentioned, adding the Sorcerer to the game, would affect a lot of other things. Each "module" of the rules would have to be balanced against each other to keep a good game, and that makes them interdependant by their very nature.

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:02 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:And I am not sure comparing a 3.5 ed. Clould Giant to a 1 ed. Cloud Giant is apples to apples. The 3.5 Cloud has been adjusted to deal with our new and improved Mr. 3.5. The accurate comparison is a nonUA 1st ed. fighter to a standard MM Clould Giant.

Then we have Mr. 3.5 (11th level fighter). With carefully chosen feats he is can "cleave" his way through similarly powered monsters at the same rate.


   Cleave is an ability that only works if monsters are already damaged (or against low hit dice monsters).  I regard it as a handy way to quickly end a fight that is already essentially over.  

    I still stand by my "giants had no chance argument."  They didn't...even in early 1st edition AD&D, and even in a campaign like mine, where magic items were hard to come by.  Of course, it took an entire party to render the monsters dead...clerics, mages and such thrown in.   :)

    My point, however, is exactly that the monsters in 3.5 have also been updated to smack on 3.5's upgraded characters.  Our current 11th level barbarian has around 187 hit points...and that is enough to last one round against a cloud giant if the rolls go against him.  3.5 combat has a way of sneaking up on you and rendering you dead just when you thought you were winning.

    Actually, I don't know why I am arguing this as I could just as easily join the side dissing 3.5.  It is rules heavy and does give the players greater say and responsiblity than some DM's would prefer.  I think it works for me because after 25 years or so of an ongoing campaign, the game is much more of a shared creation between the GM and the players...a concept that 3.5 encourages.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:07 pm 
 

Stumbling back into this thread, I feel like doing a Cartman impersonation and yelling "Cripple Fight!!"  :D

Yama-Arashi, you a person of zen wisdom, may you make more RolePlayers for this world. :P

Most people know my opinion, I'm active in 3.5e but love every edition.

Really, I'd rather just be playing with my RC and Gazateers.  :wink:


There are no bad editions of D&D, just Boring Players and Unimaginative DMs.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:09 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote: ...I still stand by my "giants had no chance argument." They didn't...even in early 1st edition AD&D, and even in a campaign like mine, where magic items were hard to come by....


As a DM I would take that Cloud Giant every time 1 on 1 versus your 11th level fighter even with your double speciallization argument.


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:15 pm 
 

bclarkie wrote:
MShipley88 wrote: In the first edition of AD&D, an 11th level fighter would not really be even slightly afraid of a single cloud giant. This was even more true after the publication of Unearthed Arcana sent the rules spinning out of control. After Unearthed Arcana, an 11th level fighter with a +3 sword could be expected to massacre almost every creature in the Monster Manual single-handed, and possibly take almost no damage.


Dude seriously, did your DM allow the monsters to think at all or did they just stand there and go toe to toe with your group of 20 characters. :? I can guarentee that if you are playing the game the way it is supposed to be played allowing the giants for appropriate bonuses for strength and playing the giant as the intelligent being that he/she is supposed to be, that a 11th level character should have a very difficult time at best


    I don't recall any monster bonuses for strength in 1st edition.  There were also no constitution or dexterity bonuses for monsters.

    There was one place in the DM Guide where giant strength was quantified for the purposes of wearing a Girdle of Fire Giant Strength, but the actual strength of any given monster was calculated into the base damage with no bonuses to hit other than the standard attack chart that was eventually replaced with a THACO score.

    Giving ability scores and bonuses to monster is exactly the strength of 3.5.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:24 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:
bclarkie wrote:
MShipley88 wrote: In the first edition of AD&D, an 11th level fighter would not really be even slightly afraid of a single cloud giant. This was even more true after the publication of Unearthed Arcana sent the rules spinning out of control. After Unearthed Arcana, an 11th level fighter with a +3 sword could be expected to massacre almost every creature in the Monster Manual single-handed, and possibly take almost no damage.


Dude seriously, did your DM allow the monsters to think at all or did they just stand there and go toe to toe with your group of 20 characters. :? I can guarentee that if you are playing the game the way it is supposed to be played allowing the giants for appropriate bonuses for strength and playing the giant as the intelligent being that he/she is supposed to be, that a 11th level character should have a very difficult time at best


 I don't recall any monster bonuses for strength in 1st edition. There were also no constitution or dexterity bonuses for monsters.

 There was one place in the DM Guide where giant strength was quantified for the purposes of wearing a Girdle of Fire Giant Strength, but the actual strength of any given monster was calculated into the base damage with no bonuses to hit other than the standard attack chart that was eventually replaced with a THACO score.

 Giving ability scores and bonuses to monster is exactly the strength of 3.5.


Why do you think that they were quantified in 1st edition. For shits and giggles? No they were meant to be used as modifiers for all of that strength category. THACO was for To Hit AC 0 and it was meant to be used before any modifiers were put in place. This was to be used for both monsters and PCs alike. You don't honestly think that your character wearing a Gridle of Fire Giant Stength and using a weapon gets +4 to hit and +10 for damage and a Fire Giant using the same weapon doesnt get the same bonuses do you? :?


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:29 pm 
 

Actually, yes.

   The strength bonuses were included as part of a magic item description.  If they were meant to apply to the monsters themselves then the strengths of all monsters would have been included, right?

   Not that I don't think giving the giants actual strength bonuses would not have been a great idea...but can you cite a module where the strength bonuses were included in the monster descriptions?


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:33 pm 
 

Direct from the 1st edition DMG page 73:

"Combat Tables

Using the Combat Tables
Find the level of the attacker on the appropriate chart and matrix that with the armor class of the defender. The resulting number or greater must be rolled on a d20 for a successful hit. Penalties and bonuses may modify either the die roll or the number need to hit as long as one method is used consistantly"

As a DM it is your responsiblity to play the monster like it is your own character. In a cloud giants situation how manyboulders is he going to hit your fighter with before your fighter even gets close enough to him to use his double weapon specialization? At 2-24 per hit on a fighter with an AC of -4, only a 13 is needed to hit. If the cloud giant gets 1 boulder per round with your fighter standing 60 feet away and leaving himself 1 round to get his own weapon ready for melee, that is at least 5 free attacks if the fighter is running at full speed in his armor at the giant. That means an average of 2 free hits at 2-24 hp before they even engage in one melee round. To me that puts the fighter at a distinct disadvantage. :) Then when you throw in the fact that the giant is both faster than the fighter and has a large reach advantage, let the fun begin....


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:10 pm 
 

I know that lots of folks have strong feelings about the editions they like best.  The new edition has really polarized the older generation of gamers.  But I don't think it has to be an either or situation.  I played 1st edition and I really enjoyed it.  I currently play 3.5, and I enjoy that too.  I say that without denying there's definitely a different "feel" to them both.

I think 3rd Ed gets a very bad rap for being about "Uber Builds" and "Kewl Powers", and it's not completely undeserved, but I believe it got that reputation not because of the rules system but because of the younger generation that have picked it up and started playing it.

The generation that's coming up now is mired in a certain mentality and culture, and they are injecting it into the game, not vice versa.  If TSR had never went under and the rules were still being published unchanged, the young gaming groups would be still be changing it themselves anyway, and you'd hear them crowing about their "Sick Half-Giant Anti-Paladin/Ninja/Assassin" builds in every game shop on the planet.  Just like now.  And if you play with a bunch of kids (or immature adults) that's what you're going to get.

Does the new edition lend itself to this kind of "optimization?"  You bet it does.  There's a new splat book out every month with a half dozen more classes and feats in it.  But remember, Dungeons and Dragons is a product put out by a business, and businesses have to make money.  They have to put out what sells, or they will not be in business for very long.  The young gamers want all these super feats and classes, so that's what WOTC gives them.  And some of them work very well, when they are used correctly within the rules, which many folks using them now do NOT do.  But I've found there's good material in the books, too, in between all the powergaming "crunch."  Now, please don't think I'm knocking any folks who play all "epic" and use every broken prestige class and uber feat combination in every book.  If you love your party of Neutral Evil Half Celestial/Half Dragon Githyanki Shadowdancer Assasin Paladins, hey, have fun.  Munchkin away!  Just count me out.  

I play 3.5 edition, and I like it alot.  I like the new D20 system.  But I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I play it with a good group of mature, intelligent  adults.  Our games are decidedly NOT all about the "Kewl Powers."  We stick pretty much to the core rules.  I have some splat books, and I like them and use them, but mostly for the flavor stuff.  I don't have the time or desire to keep up with every new uber feat and class contained in every supplement.  And I don't have to.  I just have to apply a little judgement as a DM and play the game our group likes to play.  We can use the optional stuff we like and leave out or change what we don't.  3.5 has that flexibility.  It is possible to run a 3.5 game with some of the same "feel" of the earlier editions.  It's about the people you play with.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:45 pm 
 

Excellent post — it's very refreshing to hear from someone who can be pro-3e without getting so totally defensive about everything. The system will still never work for me personally (unless it comes on CD and has the Neverwinter Nights logo stamped on it), but I enjoyed reading through your arguments.

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:35 pm 
 

GraysonAC wrote:I haven't read anything about C&C, but I honestly can't see any game system as "modular". Game balance isn't a series of unconnected factors - doing something like you mentioned, adding the Sorcerer to the game, would affect a lot of other things. Each "module" of the rules would have to be balanced against each other to keep a good game, and that makes them interdependant by their very nature.

I'm one of the playtesters for the system, and I can assure you that perhaps the only side effect of bringing in the sorcerer is to make it less desirable to play a mage. The sorcerer's spontaneous casting ability translates very easily into Castles & Crusades, and the reason it does translate so easily is that Castles & Crusades is based upon d20, but with less rules "crud" (for lack of a better descriptor). There is one other thing about Castles & Crusades that makes it choice for me, and that is the fact that I can take ANY Dungeons & Dragons adventure or game world from the past and use it without modification. I can do the same thing with any d20 Fantasy adventure, with very little conversion.

I'd invite you to look through the forums at http://www.trolllord.com and see just what people are doing with the system. You don't have to do anything special, and people won't jump all over you for not giving up d20 Fantasy (in fact there are some there who still play both). But, if all you're looking to read is some reviews about Castles & Crusades, there are some on RPG.net. There is also quite a bit of active discussion on the forums there discussing the game.



  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:23 pm 
 

Ship,

Did you say with a straight face that a 11th level Barbarian character in your current campaign has 187 hit points! 8O  

And that same character can be killed by Cloud Giant in one round!

That does not resemble anything I recall as AD&D.

I do not think I will ever understand 3.5. What the hell is the point. In 20 year of playing AD&D, we never had a single character hit 100 hit points. Never.

We played through the Giant/Drow series prior to release of any books other than the original three. Everyone lost at least one character if not more - permanently - just during Hill Giant and more died later on. The entire party was destroyed in the Vault. I lost every character over 7th level that I had.

Nice rationalization of cleave. Weren't you just telling us how low level monsters needed to be toughened up to 89th level barabarians so they could threaten Mr. 3.5. I don't know, but a party of 15-20 gnolls could be death to a party of 5th level 1e characters. In 3.5, those same gnolls are just a speed bump.

Anyway, I commend you on your explainations of 3.5. And since you are an active player, you are more than justified in your opinion, while my opinion is more about distant history. I am not trying to criticize you, but what percieve as warped version of AD&D.

Thanks for the debate.


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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:43 pm 
 

GraysonAC wrote:
killjoy32 wrote:i like 1E because its quick and simple and its about ROLEPLAY not dice rolls and tables.


That's the kind of stuff I understand - folks not liking 3E because it's a different style than the original game. It's very different. That's a dislike based on the game philosophy.

i found when i played the 3E game (which i actually got up and left in mid-game) i spent so much time trying to figure out all the skills and calculate stuff all the time, that i got no enjoyment out of the scenario or the role play at all.

maybe that was just me *shrugs*


*nods* Definately not just you. 3E is way, way more complicated as far as rules go. That's why I have to laugh when I see folks here saying things like "3E is meant for younger gamers" - no 12 year old is going to figure out 3E ;) Our group is still looking stuff up all the time, and we've been playing once or twice a week for a few years now.


It's just a different game.  Most of us dinosaurs don't want anything to do with it, but if someone has fun playing it that's great. I've been on the other side, having 3rd editioners ripping me and my group because we won't switch over.  Curiously, after several years, we are all still campaigning together, have managed to find others willing to play 2nd ed, and the local 3rd ed group is on their 15th or so group (none last more than a few months).  Not because the game is necessarily bad, but because the players/DM are bad.  I bet they ran bad 2nd ed games, too.
   Anyway, the hobby of pencil and dice gaming is graying anyway, and will soon be hard to find anyone for any edition willing to throw dice with.  Rather than take the time to learn an entire system my older group has stuck with the way we love to play.  It's all about the DM, and the group, and the adventures anyway.  

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:54 pm 
 

I have too agree with Diemos here. I hate the way 3.5 looks and feels. It might play fine, but it is not the D&D that I associaite with. It never will be, and that is ok, too. To me, 3.5 brought out all the things I hated about power gamers who mutilated earlier versions to make their super characters of everything slaying. There seems to be no sense of balance. Everything has its place. An orc is an orc - yeah, the orc king might be 5 hit dice, so what. In 3.5 that orc king could be the equal to 15th level fighter and slaughter an entire army by himself.

Shipley - Not to be critical. But what the hell kind of game were you playing where an 11th level 1 ed fighter can wipe out a Cloud giant without taking damage? If that was the norm for your group, then something was seriously wrong with your game. (at least compared to our group)
[/quote]

You have to give the bad guys some credit. I'm running Return to Geoff as an epic adventure, with a party of ten characters heavy on fighters, everyone in the 9-12 range (this is the original party we ran back in the day who finished GDQ1-7 and lived to tell).  Occassionally a fighter will get the drop on a giant and carve him up in a few whacks before the giant gets a shot off.  But it's all relative. The last two scenarios, an assault on a Cloud Giant outpost and an all out assault on a Fire giant castle, one of the characters was killed in each and everyone was scraping bottom for spells and healing during the finale of the Castle Throsmotnir assault.  These are guys loaded down with magic, both weapons and armor, and spells galore.  But it's still touch and go sometimes.  I had a cloud giant witchdoctor cast haste on his buddies in one instance and it was a nightmare for the players (that was the cause of one of the deaths). In the fire giant castle one giant used a Horn of Blasting to deadly effect, and a summoned fire elemental killed one character and almost another (both 11th level) before being destroyed along with the fire giant priest that summoned it.  If you play the monsters like they are your favorite characters, you'd be surprised how nasty they can be...
    I know 3rd edition presents toughter monsters, but even in 2nd edition if properly dm'ed creatures like giants and dragons can give even high level characters a run for their money.

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:01 am 
 

GraysonAC wrote:
Everything has its place. An orc is an orc - yeah, the orc king might be 5 hit dice, so what. In 3.5 that orc king could be the equal to 15th level fighter and slaughter an entire army by himself.


Honestly, does that make any sense to you? That because it's an orc, it's always going to just be an orc? In 3.5, that orc could very well be tough enough to challenge the entire damn party. In 1st/2nd, it was just another speedbump.


I do that all the time in my 2nd ed campaign also.  Players learn to beware the lone, defenseless looking orc or kobold in the woods.  He might be an exceptional specimen with character levels.  I had fun once with the 7th level kobold fighter (with weapon specialty) that spanked ass on a mid level party of over confident adventureres once upon a time ago....

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:13 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:
bbarsh wrote:Shipley - Not to be critical. But what the hell kind of game were you playing where an 11th level 1 ed fighter can wipe out a Cloud giant without taking damage? If that was the norm for your group, then something was seriously wrong with your game. (at least compared to our group)


 OK, so SOME damage. But, a first edition 11th level fighter with even a moderately magical suit of armor, a +3 sword and double specialization could chop up a cloud giant (12d8 hit dice, average of 54 hit points, one swing, no strength bonuses to hit, no constitution bonus, no skills, slow and only a ceremonial armor class) without much worry.

  Reducing all character stats down to 12 (no bonuses) might prolong the agony, but the result would be the same...particularly if PC magic-users were also involved.

  In fact, the first and second edition game tended to break down when the party fighters reached 7th level and/or the mages reached 9th level...particularly after Unearthed Arcana made all of the Dragon magazine material official. In fact 9th or 10th level was usually the level at which we started a new group of characters because it made no logical game sense to populate a region with literally hundreds of huge monsters for the party to chop up while laughing and drinking wine from crystal goblets without spilling a drop.

  By comparison, last night a couple of basic 3.5 cloud giants (2 of them), with nothing but the stats right out of the book, sent my campaign's party of seven 10th and 11th level PC's screaming in terror and trying to hide from giants who could run faster than them, hit harder than them and utilize all of the same combat skills of the party's fighters.  8)

  Much fun.  :wink:

Mark


It all comes down to DM ability.  A DM should be able to give a high level party a challenge without having to resort to ridiculous encounters or opponents (think H-series).  I understand 3rd ed might do a good job at this, but any DM worth a spit can even up the combat or make it challenging in any edition.  A lot of gamers "started over" at 9 or 10th level because in a traditional 1st or 2nd ed game they had been playing the same characters for a couple of years.  That, or the DM couldn't properly challenge them without resorting to flipping through the Monster Manual and finding every high level monster.  
  That's why the D-series is so great.  It shows exactly HOW to challenge a high level, capable party with lots of magic, spells and resources and not make it ridiculous. First, the enviornment is challenging in itself (cannot return to the surface since teleports don't work, lots of claustrophobic areas, no food or water sources at the ready, unusual flora and fauna).  Then, unusual foes (Drow, Kuo Toan, Mind Flayers) with special abilities that negated certain advantages of player characters, but not in a way that was silly (they could be defeated with effort).  Foes that worked in conjunction in large numbers (the troll, bugbear and Trog army; the kuo toan shrine; the Vault); it wasn't about just throwing higher and higher level creatures against the party.  Properly Dmed, D1-3 should be able to challenge levels over 10th.  Not to bash 3.5 ed (once again, I feel it's just a completely different game and not a mockery of regular AD&D like some people), but the high level adventures I've seen, for the most part, are just creatures with loads of feats and powers and hit points.  I did like the Shackled City series, I felt that so far this has come the closest to representing what I like about classic dungeons and dragons from the old days (just have to get around converting it to 2nd ed one of these days).

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:18 am 
 

GraysonAC wrote:
I Dmed a 3E campaign for a while, and I tried so hard to force people to roleplay that I nearly burned myself out on gaming.


Again, a problem with people, not with the system. Your problem is with non-rp players, not with the system you're using. The guys in my 3E game are as focused on their 'build' as anybody else - and they also roleplay the characters created. One of my players wants to pick up the Aasimar template (he's a 15th level Favored Soul), not because it gives any particular advantage (it's not actually a good choice, power-wise, for him), but because it makes sense with his character and the setting. He's using the rules to further roleplaying. Imagine that, the system actually helps that.



This is correct.  Maybe though a lot of people that play 3e are just really really bad roleplayers?  I've seen several sessions and there has been just no roleplaying at all, it's just number crunching and "build" min/maxing.  But then again I'm willing to believe the kids I see play 3e would have min/maxed 2e also down to a souless video game. The solutiion is to find good players and go from there.  Hell I've had one moron almost spoil a perfectly good party of adventurers by screwing around, that can happen in any game.  

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:28 am 
 

GraysonAC wrote:
Traveller wrote:Raise Dead in AD&D had very nasty (and balancing) side effects. If you survived the system shock roll, you were revived with one hit point and had to spend one week in bed for every level you were. In d20 Fantasy, there is no system shock roll, and you return to play immediately with one hit point for every level you are.


Ah. Well, I certainly concede that then. I do remember the system shock roll, although I think by 2nd Edition (again, if memory serves), there was no bed rest required.

I happen to agree that raising characters from the dead is too easy. In my game, Raise Dead (normally 5th) takes the place of Ressurection (7th), and Ressurection gets moved to True Ressurection (9th). True Res is the domain of the Powers only, not players or NPC spellcasters.
:P


In my campaign world, you can only be raised by the priest/religion of the god you worship.  An agnostic or character who is lax in his worship probably wouldn't be raised at all, or at the very least have to go on a quest for the priesthood who took the time to raise him as well as taking about every cent of his loot. Even if you are raised by a cleric of your faith, at the very least he/she is going to expect a suitible donation of gold (or in the case of the god of magic's clerics, a nice magic item) as well as a "favor to be named later".  Raise dead shouldn't be like a video game where your character pops up good as new a minute later.  At worst it's a pain in the butt for the characters but it teachs a valuable lesson, don't run to tackle the yeti horde by yourself next time using a wooden staff as a weapon....

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