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  #1591  
Old 06-29-2017, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
Guidance. Guidance!
(I wanted to minimize concetration spells as they are new players.)
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  #1592  
Old 06-29-2017, 08:47 AM
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(I wanted to minimize concetration spells as they are new players.)
I can understand that, but I'd argue that guidance barely counts. You cast it then do a skill check and then it ends. In effect it's just "+1d4 to your or your allies' skill checks."
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  #1593  
Old 06-29-2017, 09:23 AM
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Weirdly, two of my players took Guidance but I think one of them used it one time and the other never used it. It seems powerful to me, but I guess it depends on the player.
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  #1594  
Old 06-29-2017, 09:54 AM
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I used Guidence for the first time in however many years this week (though I think my last spellcaster didn't have it and I've only been playing this one a few weeks).
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  #1595  
Old 06-29-2017, 10:11 AM
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Guideance is fantastic in any campaign with a lot of skill checks, provided the character using it doesn't have other long-duration concentration spells they need to maintain. As long as you're in the vicinity of the character making the check and there isn't an external reason to not use magic, you just use it on every check for an average bonus equivalent to 5 character levels.

And it stacks with Help and Bardic Inspiration.
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  #1596  
Old 06-29-2017, 10:19 AM
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Some DMs embrace a very open world game or a "let the dice fall where they may" attitude whereas some DMs require a rough script to guide players toward or fudge rolls to keep things exciting (or to help PCs).
HandofVecna, that friend of mine in Patrick's West Marches game, runs a game. He tells stories of how his players get FIRED UP when someone dies. It is on the stakes are high you had their attention but now you have their interest

I don't think my players are like that. You can figure out what your players like with experience.
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  #1597  
Old 07-01-2017, 05:57 PM
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I got to sneak in a couple of hours of playing D&D at a friend's place today. He's running the game for his step daughter, and his wife and I are basically guest characters on the quest. My character is a Firbolg Fighter named Fite. There's a new road through his forest that is bringing in a lot of industry and causing the local wildlife to act aggressively. He was sent by his tribe to find a Druid to help.

Firbolgs have a bunch of really funny abilities, like being able to turn invisible but only for 6 seconds, or being able to talk to animals and plants but not being able to understand them in return. I spent most of the session disguised as a normally sized elf, and had to sneak off and take a nap for an hour to recharge it. I convinced a fly to find the Druid and bring her to me, but all it could do is fly around her head once it found her. He's also very confused about towns and just super naive in general. At a bar he tried to order dew collected from a sapling.

My solution for my problem is that I want the Druid to "blow up the road." She said she will help once she finishes her quest, but he doesn't really understand that quests take a long time and he keeps asking if they're done after everything they do. Our other player is an arcane trickster and she's already wanted by the town guards. We already killed a bunch of guards and paid someone to hide their bodies. This campaign is going to be crazy.
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  #1598  
Old 07-01-2017, 06:06 PM
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Good to see y'all are teaching your friend's step daughter the fundamentals of the game: Acting like a psychopath in town, and just plain faffin' in the woods.
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  #1599  
Old 07-01-2017, 07:01 PM
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You would think that spending a year and a half DMing would make me a polite player, but nope! I'm immediately trying to derail everything and created an alternate, probably impossible goal.
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  #1600  
Old 07-09-2017, 09:02 AM
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I ran my first session in over 2 years last night, and it went pretty well. There were only two players and we were all pretty rusty, but everyone had fun. The thief is addicted to a stimulant powder, the cleric has a debilitating stutter that requires a CHA check to cast verbal spells and makes communicating with NPCs difficult.

They got shaken down pretty thoroughly, haggling to get smuggles into not-Yharnam for 5g and a spare set of thief's tools. In the city they immediately got cornered by a gang, and rather than fight the cleric gave up everything but the clothes on her back, while the thief made it through by agreeing to shake down the rest of the smuggled immigrants. He tried a little funny business to avoid it, but eventually went through with it. He sold his bow and quiver of arrows to a collector of foreign oddities on the high street for 4x list price, and so was forced to damage his precious rapier later to dispatch a gray ooze.

Next session they receive treatment and the hunt begins.
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  #1601  
Old 07-13-2017, 05:04 PM
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So I'm playing beast conclave ranger (revised ua) in Patrick's Aelusk game, and I had a crazy idea (but I'm posting it here because it's kinda general D&D). I just hit level 2, and at 3 I get my beast conclave and my pet. The new conclave lists a few specific beasts you can take as pets, but does say a gm can let you have others and sets out some guidelines.

So I was looking through the beast list trying to decide which normal one I wanted to go with, when my eyes found: swarm of ravens! Did I mention my ranger is a kenku? Swarm of ravens!!!

Its attacks, size, and CR land within the normal parameters. Its hp is high, but it also has a specific drawback where it can't be healed or receive temp hp. So statistically it could work out that way.

I'm not sure it would actually be good. Like, it doesn't have any special abilities to recommend it, really. It's got good damage, but that damage also is cut in half when it's below half hp (and it can't be healed).

-WAIT NO I just double-checked and it's immune to most or all conditions and is resistant to blunt, piercing and slashing damage. So that's actually kinda really strong. But still, no healing...?

Flavorwise it doesn't seem to work that well either. You create a bond with a beast, but would that work with Many tiny beasts? As its hp grew, wouldn't you be dealing with like fifty ravens before long? A hundred? Could you command or create a bond with a flock?

Okay but actually now that I'm thinking, the ranger needs to spend gold and food to summon a new pet or revive a fallen one already. I can see attracting a flock of ravens with food and gold, a few at a time. The longer summon to recover the flock to its full strength, over a long rest, or a shorter one for partial healing (for hit dice!). In fact, that could also be a way to heal it- gold (shiny things to attract them) and food to slowly attract more ravens over a short period of time...

This post isn't a passive aggressive way to ask or guilt Patrick to let me use it as my pet or anything. I haven't even thought about actually trying to do it yet. It probably wouldn't be balanced very well at all. I'm honestly just thinking out loud since I saw the beast list entry and went "ooh! Birds!"

But thematically/flavor wise, I kind of really do like the idea though. The corvid person ranger loyally leading a flock of ravens through the countryside, fighting alongside them. And what the heck, worst case scenario I just summon something else later. It's worth a shot...?
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  #1602  
Old 07-13-2017, 05:27 PM
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I mean, if he says no you're in the hook for attempted murder.

So there's that to think about.
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  #1603  
Old 07-13-2017, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
The corvid person ranger loyally leading a flock of ravens through the countryside, fighting alongside them.
isn't that how this is already working

i should count the number of kenku players again
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  #1604  
Old 07-13-2017, 08:13 PM
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I mean, if he says no you're in the hook for attempted murder.

So there's that to think about.
No he wouldn't, but Patrick might be on the hook for unkindness to his players.
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  #1605  
Old 07-13-2017, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
i should count the number of kenku players again
There are at least four. Maybe five? Plus a warlock of the Raven Queen, so some corvid-themed powers there.
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  #1606  
Old 07-14-2017, 07:55 AM
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I love the flavor and it sounds cool, but there are a few things that are more powerful than the UA guidelines.

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As a rule of thumb, a beast can serve as an animal companion if it is Medium or smaller, has 15 or fewer hit points, and cannot deal more than 8 damage with a single attack. In general, that applies to creatures with a challenge rating of 1/4 or less, but there are exceptions.
The swarm starts with 7 hit dice for 24 HP, plus resistance to the most common damage which makes it more like 48 for a lot of fights, so it's 2-3x too high. It can do 12 damage, though the lower attack at half hp and lack of healing mitigates that. It's also immune to 8 conditions, which is a lot. Also, the attack has +4 to hit which looks like dex, but doesn't add any bonus to the damage. Leveling will be really weird in general. But, the ape and black bear examples break their own rules anyway, so I'm fine with it going a bit over. Would you be ok with altering it somewhat?

Immunity to grappled and restrained seem reasonable for a flock, but I might drop the rest of the immunities. I'd like to bring the hit die down to 3, but give it +1 con so it has a fair amount of HP and will stay normal as it levels up. Maybe let it keep piercing resistance (they can dodge around an arrow, but a swiping motion or a blunt object would likely hit some) since most valid beasts have some kind of ability or bonus. I really like how Swarm and Beaks interact, so I want to leave them as is. Maybe you can only heal it on a short rest? or it would take 10 min, so you can't heal in battle? I don't want to constantly lose your companion and have to spend 8 hours and 50g reviving it. And maybe we'll bring the dex down to 12/+1 and give it +3 to hit and +1 damage. I'm a bit wary of making the damage even higher, but I want it to be simple when leveling.

I'm open to counterarguments, but I think that keeps most of the flavor and would make it a reasonable beast companion.
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  #1607  
Old 07-14-2017, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Immunity to grappled and restrained seem reasonable for a flock, but I might drop the rest of the immunities.
That sounds fair. An alternate idea for status effects would be resistance or immunity to single-target effects, but vulnerability/disadvantage against AoE effects. A poison dart against one raven won't do much against a swarm, but say a cloud of poison enveloping them all would be pretty brutal. I dunno if that would be shooting myself in the foot for later down the road though.

Quote:
I'd like to bring the hit die down to 3, but give it +1 con so it has a fair amount of HP and will stay normal as it levels up.
I think I actually like the lots-of-hit-dice low-con-mod thing for this. It also differentiates it from other singular beasts, which are pretty much all 3d8+(0,1,2). (Also, my pet of any sort will gain hit dice and HP as it levels up.) But you're right about the con mod and the 7 is a clunky number. So what if we keep lots of hit dice with a +0 or +1 con, but smaller hit dice. Like either 2d6+0, or 2d4+1 per level. (I get it at level 3, so either 6d6=24 or 6d4+3=21 when I get it.) I do think its hp should be a little higher than normal, considering that it's hard to heal and it weakens as it takes damage. And it also gives me about the same or a slight benefit for HP/level, but a slight advantage to hit dice healing. Which also brings me to:
Quote:
Maybe you can only heal it on a short rest? or it would take 10 min, so you can't heal in battle? I don't want to constantly lose your companion and have to spend 8 hours and 50g reviving it.
Agreed. (Especially on the latter!) If I had more smaller hit dice, it would be more like summoning back a few ravens at a time. So normal short rest hit-dice healing is in play, and some period of 10 minutes + food to heal... something?

Additional healing ideas: They can't be healed with normal spells or effects still, but I can heal them with goodberry. (Wounded ravens each eat a berry to recover vitality.) It would also take me an action and spell slot to cast it, even in advance, AND an action for X of them to eat X berries, so it's fairly costly as an in-combat heal, but it gives me some option for emergencies. (At least to start, since goodberry doesn't scale...) Also: Maybe they can heal by drinking healing potions, but only out of combat. (since they can only drink one at a time out of the narrow bottle!) These give me a few more options to keep my pet from dropping dead all the time, but are still relatively limited?


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Maybe let it keep piercing resistance (they can dodge around an arrow, but a swiping motion or a blunt object would likely hit some) since most valid beasts have some kind of ability or bonus.
Sounds good to me.

Quote:
I really like how Swarm and Beaks interact, so I want to leave them as is. And maybe we'll bring the dex down to 12/+1 and give it +3 to hit and +1 damage. I'm a bit wary of making the damage even higher, but I want it to be simple when leveling.
I kind of like the dex and damage where it's at (what's more dexterous than a bunch of birds? they flit around!) and don't think it needs any adjustment: we can pretty easily read Beaks as a Dex attack that deals 2d6-2/1d6-2 damage (which also matches their RAW hit dice concept, being "more but weaker". So it's Dex (+2) and proficiency (+2) to hit for +4, and 2d6-2 +dex (2) = 2d6 damage base to get to what's in the rules. That's pretty simple to deal with as I level up.

That solves the problem of leveling/scaling for me, I think. Also remember that my pets of any sort will be getting my proficiency bonus to their attacks (no change when I first get it, just scales with me later) and their damage (so an extra +2) anyway, and they'll also get ability increases when I do, so I can scale their DEX up for extra damage and accuracy as usual that way.

Thoughts?
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  #1608  
Old 07-14-2017, 11:18 AM
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Just get a cat, man. Nothing funnier than a bird who owns a cat.
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  #1609  
Old 07-14-2017, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by R^2 View Post
Just get a cat, man. Nothing funnier than a bird who owns a cat.
I'd go wolf if this doesn't work out, since birb + doggo is fun for the whole family. But I'm kind of loving this idea now and want to make it work!
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  #1610  
Old 07-14-2017, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
That sounds fair. An alternate idea for status effects would be resistance or immunity to single-target effects, but vulnerability/disadvantage against AoE effects. A poison dart against one raven won't do much against a swarm, but say a cloud of poison enveloping them all would be pretty brutal. I dunno if that would be shooting myself in the foot for later down the road though.
That's a clever idea, but there are a lot of AOE status effects, even early on. It also makes effects more conditional and adds something else to keep track of/remember. I'd probably recommend against it because it's worse for you and gives me something else to pay attention to.

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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
I think I actually like the lots-of-hit-dice low-con-mod thing for this. It also differentiates it from other singular beasts, which are pretty much all 3d8+(0,1,2). (Also, my pet of any sort will gain hit dice and HP as it levels up.) But you're right about the con mod and the 7 is a clunky number. So what if we keep lots of hit dice with a +0 or +1 con, but smaller hit dice. Like either 2d6+0, or 2d4+1 per level. (I get it at level 3, so either 6d6=24 or 6d4+3=21 when I get it.) I do think its hp should be a little higher than normal, considering that it's hard to heal and it weakens as it takes damage. And it also gives me about the same or a slight benefit for HP/level, but a slight advantage to hit dice healing.
Sure, 2d4 is fairly similar to 1d8, I'd be ok with that. It makes sense from a flavor standpoint. Start with 6d4+3 hit points and add 2 d4 hit dice each level.

But, to start with 21 HP you would need to round up on each dice. If you're getting two per level, I think you should take the average of the two (as an example,
the earlier Ranger UA gave them 2d6 hit die, and their average was 7). 2d4+1 averages out to 6, so starting HP should be 18. Does that work?

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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
Agreed. (Especially on the latter!) If I had more smaller hit dice, it would be more like summoning back a few ravens at a time. So normal short rest hit-dice healing is in play, and some period of 10 minutes + food to heal... something?

Additional healing ideas: They can't be healed with normal spells or effects still, but I can heal them with goodberry. (Wounded ravens each eat a berry to recover vitality.) It would also take me an action and spell slot to cast it, even in advance, AND an action for X of them to eat X berries, so it's fairly costly as an in-combat heal, but it gives me some option for emergencies. (At least to start, since goodberry doesn't scale...) Also: Maybe they can heal by drinking healing potions, but only out of combat. (since they can only drink one at a time out of the narrow bottle!) These give me a few more options to keep my pet from dropping dead all the time, but are still relatively limited?
I think the simple solution is to say that combat is way too hectic to try to heal a single bird from a flock. You need at least a few minutes to get them to settle down and be able to address their wounds one at a time. That way, we don't need to come up with specifics about why X works but Y doesn't.

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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
I kind of like the dex and damage where it's at (what's more dexterous than a bunch of birds? they flit around!) and don't think it needs any adjustment: we can pretty easily read Beaks as a Dex attack that deals 2d6-2/1d6-2 damage (which also matches their RAW hit dice concept, being "more but weaker". So it's Dex (+2) and proficiency (+2) to hit for +4, and 2d6-2 +dex (2) = 2d6 damage base to get to what's in the rules. That's pretty simple to deal with as I level up.
2d6-2 is weird because there isn't anything else in the game that calculates that way. I don't have any issue with it for power reasons though; as long as you keep track of it going forward that's fine with me.

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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
That solves the problem of leveling/scaling for me, I think. Also remember that my pets of any sort will be getting my proficiency bonus to their attacks (no change when I first get it, just scales with me later) and their damage (so an extra +2) anyway, and they'll also get ability increases when I do, so I can scale their DEX up for extra damage and accuracy as usual that way.
Yeah, absolutely! I like the changes that they made to the beast subclass, I just want to keep this weird, flavorful choice in line with the power level of their examples.
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  #1611  
Old 07-14-2017, 12:39 PM
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Just get a cat, man. Nothing funnier than a bird who owns a cat.
Or a little Odin for each shoulder.
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  #1612  
Old 07-14-2017, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
That's a clever idea, but there are a lot of AOE status effects, even early on. It also makes effects more conditional and adds something else to keep track of/remember. I'd probably recommend against it because it's worse for you and gives me something else to pay attention to.
Good point! Got it. So immune to grapple and restrained but not the others.



Quote:
Sure, 2d4 is fairly similar to 1d8, I'd be ok with that. It makes sense from a flavor standpoint. Start with 6d4+3 hit points and add 2 d4 hit dice each level.

But, to start with 21 HP you would need to round up on each dice. If you're getting two per level, I think you should take the average of the two (as an example,
the earlier Ranger UA gave them 2d6 hit die, and their average was 7). 2d4+1 averages out to 6, so starting HP should be 18. Does that work?
Oh, good call. I was taking the average of each die rounded up (which is how all the single dice work), but you're right about averaging the two at once. Okay, that works!



Quote:
I think the simple solution is to say that combat is way too hectic to try to heal a single bird from a flock. You need at least a few minutes to get them to settle down and be able to address their wounds one at a time. That way, we don't need to come up with specifics about why X works but Y doesn't.
Works for me. So they can be healed regularly, just only out of combat. Temp hp? Still no, or they can have that too (but also only out of combat)?



Quote:
2d6-2 is weird because there isn't anything else in the game that calculates that way. I don't have any issue with it for power reasons though; as long as you keep track of it going forward that's fine with me.
Gotcha. Yeah, I think it's okay, I'll just enter it on the sheet and be done with it. 2d6 is as much damage as a maul or greatsword, so especially as a beast companion attacking potentially twice per turn it makes sense to knock its basepower down a little bit.


Quote:
Yeah, absolutely! I like the changes that they made to the beast subclass, I just want to keep this weird, flavorful choice in line with the power level of their examples.
Yeah! I'm excited we got this to work and really want to hit level 3 now and like I said, worst case scenario, if it sucks or is too powerful we can tweak it or I'll just give up and summon a wolf.
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  #1613  
Old 07-14-2017, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
Works for me. So they can be healed regularly, just only out of combat. Temp hp? Still no, or they can have that too (but also only out of combat)?
Yeah, we can stick to the same rules for temp HP.

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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
Yeah! I'm excited we got this to work and really want to hit level 3 now and like I said, worst case scenario, if it sucks or is too powerful we can tweak it or I'll just give up and summon a wolf.
Sounds good!
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  #1614  
Old 07-16-2017, 05:05 PM
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We had our first session today, and it seemed to have been a big success. Everyone had fun and laughed a lot, so I'm pretty sure about that.

Spoilers for Lost Mines of Phandelver:

It started as the group found the dead horses of their employee and his bodyguard. They got attacked by four goblins, who the wizard put to sleep and the others destroyed without taking a point of damage. Except for one, who they tied up and made show them his hideout. That way they could avoid the traps on the way.

They also had skinned the goblins and two of them wore their skin to make the goblins at the hideout think they were goblins. I guess I shouldn't have allowed this, as even goblins shouldn't be that dumb, but whatever. They were brought to the leader of the cave, as one of the group was a human noble who acted as a prisoner.

The leader was a bugbear who didn't care for his goblin minions and therefore didn't realize that two of them were even uglier than normal. The human acted as an important noble and made the bugbear an offer for for money and help, to help him get control of the region. The two, the halfling dressed as a goblin and the petwolf of the bugbear went into a separate room. Meanwhile, the other two told the second in command, a goblin, that they would kill the bugbear, because that one was always a jerk to the goblins.

The human acted like she would offer the bugbear her body which confused the monster, who then patted the wolf to calm himself. The other two had already caught up and together they destroyed the bugbear and wolf with criticals. Then they terminated all the goblins.


The first encounter should have been a surprise attack, which I left out, because I wanted them to definitely win. I generally made it pretty easy on them, accepted their ideas even if they were not that realistic and made easy checks. Part of that was that the whole dressing up as goblins wasn't expected from me, and I had a bit of trouble adjusting, but it was also hard to think up of good values for the ability checks.

Not that it matters, everyone had fun, so the superrelaxed approach was the right one. I just hope it won't take that long to get to a second session.

Also, being DM is pretty hard, especially with my lack of experience with P&P in general. But it was a really fun day.
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  #1615  
Old 07-16-2017, 06:49 PM
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Sounds like you did a great job!
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  #1616  
Old 07-16-2017, 08:56 PM
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Nice! Sounds like a successful first session!
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  #1617  
Old 07-18-2017, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FelixSH View Post

Not that it matters, everyone had fun, so the superrelaxed approach was the right one. I just hope it won't take that long to get to a second session.

Also, being DM is pretty hard, especially with my lack of experience with P&P in general. But it was a really fun day.
Nice going, here's to many more!

You could see if anyone else wants to try DMing too. Maybe one of the other players will discover they really love to do it.
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  #1618  
Old 07-19-2017, 08:13 AM
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I got to play a bit in our main campaign yesterday, but one of the players couldn't make it and another was late and had to leave early, so we only played for an hour. We snuck into a mausoleum and found a note saying that anyone carrying a corpse in to bury it wouldn't be harmed by the guardians. The Druid had feign death prepared (!), so we used it on an NPC and got past the first area without any fights. We explored a bit and ran into a black pudding. I tried to use lightning bolt on it, but it's immune, and I rolled a wild magic surge that made me afraid of the nearest creature - the corpse of our NPC companion. The Druid ended the spell so they could help us in the fight, so hopefully that won't cause us any more trouble in the next session. We did a fair amount of damage and it ended up running away, and we had to end there.

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We had our first session today, and it seemed to have been a big success. Everyone had fun and laughed a lot, so I'm pretty sure about that.
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Also, being DM is pretty hard, especially with my lack of experience with P&P in general. But it was a really fun day.
DMing is tough at first, but it sounds like you did a great job! As long as everyone is having fun, just keep at it.
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  #1619  
Old 07-19-2017, 10:56 AM
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aturtledoesbite aturtledoesbite is offline
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We snuck into a mausoleum and found a note saying that anyone carrying a corpse in to bury it wouldn't be harmed by the guardians. The Druid had feign death prepared (!), so we used it on an NPC and got past the first area without any fights.
i love everything about this
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  #1620  
Old 07-19-2017, 11:03 AM
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Oh, I forgot to mention: I had to roll a performance check to act like I was sad that my friend died. I got a 23 and was sobbing while we explored the tomb, lugging around a "dead" Dwarf.
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