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Hey I just read some responses in the "favourite" and "suckiest class" polls from kungfusucka and prettyflywhiteguy that highlighted something I have only recently noticed, and that upsets me a bit.
It seems DnD has become the province of the min-maxer and is now more about rules than the story. All the articles in Dragon seem to be about combining feats, classes, skills and spells to make more "effective" characters. It seems like the attitude of the game has shifted from "let's all make a story and have a few laughs" to "let's have a contest between the players and the DM and see who wins."
Now don't get me wrong, me and my group are not dress-up-like-your-character thespians who spend 4 hours roleplaying our PCs drinking a beer and buying some pants. We like adventure and action. It's just that the main thing for us is the story that we all make together. The DM is a player just like everyone else and is there to have fun, not just adjudicate and blandly roll dice. PC's don't know that they are a rogue/sorceror with alchemy 6, they just see themselves as adventurers.
The rules and the combos should be simple enough to facilitate storytelling and fun. I have been playing since the tail end of 1st edition and only now does it seem that powergaming is the norm and is encouraged by WotC publications. We don't even allow prestige classes in our campaign as it's too much hassle, so if you want to be different, you do it with characterization not skill packages.
Maybe it's coz kids are used to the video game model of gaming, but it's getting to the point where the players are all "If I take blah and blah my threat range will be blah" and the DM is just their personal xbox to test their reflexes against. DnD was never a contest before, and now it quite obviously is.
Those wacky combos for the sake of power totally ruin it for my imagination. I always imagine these frickin spellthieving half-elven elemental blooded paladin/assassin hexblades with spiked chains yelling "OW!! My hit points!" when something whacks them.
It's just not cool.
I think the problem arises with the system D&D is built around. D&D has allways seemed to be more hack n slash then roll play oriented with its character creation system. with the new 3.0-3.5 edition rules they allowed more variation in characters then 2nd edition allowed. As a resuilt Min/Maxers and Powergamers had more variation to work with and create with and one no longer needed to differentiate there characters by adding character or personality because for the most part all characters of the same level and class in 2nd ed are the same numberwise, characters can now differentiate greatly by changing a few numbers and feats around. And honeslty from my experiance it only takes one power gamer to ruin it for the group. Because once one person starts power gaming the DM has to start upping the difficulty of the adventure and then the less powerful characters start dying and the players need to make newer stronger charcters to keep up. kind of like the nuclear arms race. In DnD you can try and add the RP atmosphere back into by making the fighting more cenematic and descriptive and requiring characters to make historys and play in character for an XP bonus or what not. As good roleplaying is not easily quantifiable numerically and a player can feel good about his character if hes got style and character one doesnt really need to powergame or minmax but if all you do is fight in the adventures and like most role playing systems it uses a numerical fighting system your going to want the best character you can get. So you start minmaxing instead of roleplaying. a few odd OOC actions here to get the PrC or this feat and eventually your charcter starts to loose any personality he may have once had and he becomes the NPC monster killing machine he was designed as. While this can be fun it gets old pretty quickly and will not keep a player entertained.
Agreed, I think thet D&D should definitely be about characters and personalities and how they react in different situations. Not just hack and slash (which the rules are great for) and min / maxing characters. I'm DM'ing a session coming up soon where I'll tweak the XP system from what they've all been used to. Previously, my group either used the split XP system (add up encounted XP and distribute equally) or the 'you hit it, you get XP for it' system. Essentially, to add more reward to it, I'm doing the first scenario with added XP bonuses for class XP and character XP.
Class XP would be for something as simple as a cleric turning, healing, or doing a heal skill check - acting in the role they would normally fill (saves them from running up to hit something to advance).
Character XP would be for acting in accordance with your background, defining moment for your character and even using 'catch phrases' that your character uses in certain situations.
So, the way I figure it, The encounter XP would take up 50% of all possible XP (monsters, riddles, etc), class XP 25%, and character XP the remaining 25%. It's a little different (doing it all per encounter) but it should get people thinking about their class and character in an entirely new light.
What do you think? :hmm:
The iron crowned is getting closer,
Swings his hammer down on him,
Like a thunderstorm he's crushing,
Down the Noldor's proudest king.
Under my foot, so hopeless it seems.
You've troubled my day, now feel the pain.
- Blind Guardian
I do laugh at the idea of a suckiest or best class. Both of them are true only if the system has a balance problem.
Now on the issue of building tough characters, that is how my group plays. However, to every advantage gained, a weakness is created, and as DM I seek to exploit these weaknesses. A strugle between PC and DM? Perhaps, but we enjoy some very fun games.
The issue of players wanting to challenge the DM is an absurd one. The DM can win with no difficulty. As DM, if you plain don't like a char, you can say "Your Character suffers a fatal heart attack. Then suddenly an assasin rubs a sort of poison over his eyes. He can never be raised." That is all legal if it is a simple competition as per rule zero.
On the issue of overall powergaming, so long as I see the party as fairly equal power level, it is easily balanced.
Where's your Baritone Saxophone?
Yea, when I play will my friends Its more of 'who can kill the most enimies' and ' ive got a more powerful charater than you'. I running a d20 modern game and ive put alot of plot and detail into it but nobody seems to care. Its still i killed people than you.
By day he fought with sword and shield.....
By night he fought with pen and parchment.....
He was....The Warrior Poet.......
Fear the ANZAC Clan!!!!!
ORDER OF THE SHADOWY FLAME!!!
Do you have uber micro...????
DnD has always been about powergaming.. do any of you remember the dart-loophole from 2nd ed? I do. I, unlike most of you, dont think that it is wrong, bacause killing monsters by throwing dice and then grab as mush treassure you can before the rest of the group IS basically DnD.
I really dont see why you should limit the players access to prestige classes, and thereby force them to make characters that dont kick as much ass as they are supposed to, thinking that it will make them roleplay, is just a desperate attempt to manipulate theplayers from the DMs side. By all means, I always allow my players to take whatever feats, skills and prestige classes they want, because doing so is, wether you like it or not, a part of the DnD experience.
Actually getting your players to roleplay their killing machenes require some degree of niftyness form the DMs side. Sure, they can devastate everything you put in fromt of them, but wether or not thats even going to do them any good is up to the DM. Put them in a situation where they dont know who the bad guy is, and have them investigate! That opens up for so much more than just agather informaton check, try it! Â´The PCs will have to know the NPCs to know anything about their motives, the validity of their alibies, or what the person actually know? And some whitneses might not even like the PCs, and the PCs will have to gain peoples trust through roleplaying ect. There are sooo many things you can do.
DnD is not the ideal system for roleplaying, but as with all of lifes troubles it can be solved through a little cunning
Finally someone agrees with me that the D&D game has become too much of a "video game RPG." Now I like my RPGs like everyone else (Final Fantasy 7 is STILL the best ever. Period.) but when you try to translate that to the good ol' paper and pencil, it doesn't work. Every now and again I like to play a power campaign, but that's when me and my friends have nothing better to do. I enjoy a good role-playing game; hell, that's what RPG is. However, when you get these "true roleplayers" coming around, wanting to play, they do nothing but piss and moan when they don't get to play their dragon-blooded vampire (oh, who ALWAYS dresses in all-black and is NOT vulnerable to all things vampires are vulnerable to because a wizard just happened to fix that little problem) elven drangonslayer fighter/wizard who wear full plate and carries a Holy Avenger as his toothpick. I'm sorry, but if you want to play my game, I WILL watch you roll, no I don't allow re-rolls, or "practice rolls," and don't get me started on re-rolling 1's and prestige classes. I don't allow one party member to hoard all the gold, because, if you do, the other party members tend to want to bump you off (true story, this one guy who played liked to play nothing but half-orc barbarians, and he always fudged his stats, and he would constantly threaten the other characters with his greataxe if he didn't get the liano's share of the booty. However, since it was forgotten realms, I had him meet Wulfgar and that character's face met Aegis-Fang, to his demise).I know I've gone a huge schpeel about this, but I soon got tired of D&D 3. and 3.5. The system just isn't fun anymore. Mostly I play AD&D and just take out the whole rule about demi-human races not being able to level up in certain classes to 20.
Hmmm... I've never actually tried to play a hack & slash campaign, and in my oppinion, it is simply... wrong.
D&D is not all about maximizing your characters and character levels to me. I can't believe you actually seriously think it is, but I guess that is your conviction which you of course are entitled to.
To me D&D is a lot more roleplaying than just Hack & Slash. If I wanted that, I'd go and play Munchkin. (which is actually quite fun, but really only exists to make fun of roleplaying)
When I DM, I always make sure that my players have a background story, and if they chose a feat, skill or item, I want a reason for them to have it. If they have a really good story, I might actually bring some of it into the plot.
I also empathise, when DM'ing, that they can't just run around being good sometimes, and then evil the next moment. I won't let them. In my oppinion, it only becomes hack & slash if you let it. The whole point is, that the game is flexible enough to become what you want it to be. If you feel the rules allow the characters to maximize too much, you just change them, so they better suit the general wish of the group. If you feel that you are being too restricted, you take something away, if you feel to free, you add a bit. If you lack beasts or monsters, you create some new ones. It's as simple as that.
For example, a friend of mine created a new class just for himself. It was a demonhunter found in another game, and to keep him on the same level as everyone else, he and the DM together created a couple of flaws, so it was more fun playing. By starting the "character flaws" thread, I guess I already showed my oppinion on these things
(I seem to be using the word "way" a lot don't I :lol
I like your XP ideas Grimbog. It would make the whole thing a lot cooler IMO if you need to roleplay as well if you actually want to do good.
A teacher at my school used to DM a lot before, and he once tryed out something new with a cleric. He said to the player, that he could ask his diety for any spell he wanted, if he really needed it, if it was within his own and his dieties alignement, within his dieties schools of magic and if his prayer was good enough. Often the player would fail to be imaginative enough, and couldn't cast the spell
I myself was about to start a campaign where you didn't get XP at all, but if you spent some training fighting technique, you might get a feat that allows you to be better in actual fights (like weapon affinity and stuff). And if a person studies a couple of books about the geography of this country, I would give him skillpoints in knowledge(geography)... The wizards, sorcerers and people would only learn spells by trying out different things (i.e. trying to summon a tiger, but ending up summoning a cat the first couple of times), and they wouldn't know exactly how many spells they could cast per day unless they tried to exceed their previous limits. I would really want them to explore and do a lot of different ****.
Anyway, for me, D&D is a good game for roleplaying, and I like it's flexibility. In my oppinion it is up to the people themselves what they make of it. And if a person is playing in a way different from the group, I would talk to him about it, and either get him to try the rest of the group's way, or try and find/start another campaign where you played his way.
I claim the title of "mistress of the vindictive"
=]Front in favour of Moderation of the Harshest kind[=
heres a perfect example of how DnD is a hack n slash game instead of a RPing game. what % of experience is gained outside of combat? Where are the XP tables to help DMs dish out XP for descovering who the real evil power behind the throne was?
If you really want to remove all power gaming but still keep the fun hackn slash action try this. when the players make a character all the do is come up with the description of him. you make the characters (use the point buy system for stats to keep it fair). and the player never sees the character sheet. lets see them power game with that. also while people know about how in general there strength and intellegence is they dont usually know a quanafiable number so it makes it more interesting. reminds me of fall out II there was this character who would say something like "Wow I feel as if I have just reached a new metaphysical plane of experiance." hopefully this will make characters choose PrC base on the coolness factor and not because it gives them invulnerabilities that there half dragon/vampire lacked.
Another option would be to take and adjust the experince system of palladiu games. it still rewards quite a bit for killing things but also has some bonus's for comeing up with good ideas and playing in character.
Although D&D may be focused on the simple "hack and slash" aspect, I try to focus more on story and character developemnet..And thanks to Grimbog I now have a way to do this.
However, as much as I try, my group is still focused on how tough or powerful their character is. I put many hours opf work into a scenario only to haveit ruined because they don't like how the tide has changed against them! :mad:
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that most people play characters around the age of 20. What the hell..."Look at me,I'm a master wizard at the age of 24"
thats my rant...thank you Grimbog for the XP Idea!