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Pen and Paper RPGs


Seleuco
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Several kinds of nerdery combined: I play D&D online via IRC, using a script for dice rolls. We play 3.5 ed; I have no experience with 4th. Sadly, our group is somewhat too large -- we've got like a dozen people, which means that we've got around ten or so players in any given session. Combat always takes a long time in D&D, but when you've got more than twice as many people as the system was designed for, it gets a thousand times worse...

That said, it's great fun for the most part. Right now one of the campaigns we're running is Planescape -- a damned entertaining setting. Party is currently being stalked by the quori, a nigh-invincible race of monsters created by nightmares (which I believe were originally from the Ebberon setting). Given that damn near no one knows of their existence, and reality on the Outer Planes is shaped entirely by belief, our master plan at this point is to create a sitcom starring an adventuring party on the Prime Material and casting the quori as Team Rocket. If everyone who sees the show believes the quori are bumbling idiots, they'll eventually become bumbling idiots. Sadly, the airwaves in Sigil (the capital city of the multiverse, as much as such a thing is possible) are currently controlled by the Anarchists, a faction devoted to the destruction of the other dozen or so factions. So we have to find them (which is a feat in and of itself, given that EVERYONE is ALWAYS trying to find them, they're very good at hiding), steal their teleprojector (the device that lets them broadcast), and barter it back to the Sensates (another faction, who are the ones who are supposed to be in charge of the airwaves) in exchange for airtime to show our anti-quori sitcom.

Yeah, Planescape is awesome.

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yeah, so I was playin d20 modern the other night. The DM had set up a zombie apocalypse scenario with the party making their way through what was left and mostly interacting with other survivors. Google maps helped a lot.

Our characters were ridiculous.

Our leader was a sociopathic corporate executive with serious engineering prowess (He could jerry-rig a boeing 747 with duct tape with his best roll). Think evil Tony Stark with no power armor.

One guy was an action star who went insane and envisioned himself as a samurai living in feudal Japan and went around everywhere with a set of samurai swords.

I was a hair metal lead singer with a flamethrower. That is all.

Another guy was a french consulate (we had fun with him), and we had an army person too, but yeah, crazy characterization!

We were also unstoppable. The DM eventually cinematiced and ending of some sort, but yeah.

dnd is fuuuun (mostly)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't play DnD... I have, but I couldn't really get into it.

However, my brother developed a whole tabletop game that really fucked with my mind (along with another brother of mine and a few friends - they agree with me completely). You had no say in your character - the game always started with the GM just disappearing from the game and everything starting with you sitting where you were... 'What do you want to do?'. The element that you were actually playing 'you', combined with his 'five second rule' (if an event was suddent or required a panicked response, he would count to five - if you didn't respond you did nothing) and his excellent sense of storytelling - it really would mess you up IRL for a few days... I haven't done anything like that in about six years, though - he got married and now has a life to worry about :tomatoface:.

Ah, good times, good times...

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I play 4th edition DnD as well as 3 to 3.5 back when. It feels like all the classes got a retribution pally upgrade.

The campiagn settings as always are what really dictate your experience, however, I do like how they simplified the combat system. Allows more focus on role playing and not roll playing (yes yes, cliche, bite me :tomatoface:)

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I had a friend in high school who tried to get me and a couple of other people into it... We would sit down at lunch time in the cafeteria, and he would DM for us. He sat there with a bag of odd-shaped dice, and nothing else. It just got very boring very quickly, and we would rather make fun of and fight each other (out of pure fun) than anything else. A common scenario went like this:

DM: "You are in a room, blah blah descriptions."

Player 1: "I hit the elf with my axe for taking my french fry, jerk."

DM: "There are no french fries in the vicinity."

Player 1: "Well I hit him anyway because he's annoying"

Player 2: "I hit the dwarf back for hitting me."

Player 3: "I cast a Happiness spell so you guys will stop fighting."

DM: "Uhh... that doesn't work... it just makes them happy for fighting each other."

Player 4: "Do I know any spells? Can I cast something?"

DM: "Fine. You cast Magic Missle and it does... *rolls die* 1 damage to Player 3, since she's closest, and because of her happiness spell, she hugs you."

Player 3: "Wasn't there a dragon in the room? And I wouldn't hug him anyway!"

Player 4: "I cast Magic Missle again and it does *grabs random die and rolls it* ...56 damage to Player 3"

DM: "You can't just use any die, and there is a dragon in the room. You should be fighting it"

Things just never really took off for us.:tomatoface:

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Hell yeah I do.

Currently it's twice a week; one on Tuesday, and one on Saturday, Both are 4th edition D&D, and from what I've gathered I'm all but destined to the Defender role as NO ONE ever wants to play them. It's all strikers strikers strikers and like a controller. Maybe.

Tuesday game is a campaign set in the same world that the DM has been running for a little while now. We're all in Paragon tier, and the vast majority of the party is either evil or unaligned. Not of the 'baby killing and house burning' variety, mind; more the mercenary 'we're in this for ourselves and money' kind. In search of the various gifts of a dark god for a church. The party consists of:

- Xale, the human cleric of Xidgiel, a god of needful hunger. He doesn't particularly LIKE his god, mind you, and rather piggy-backs on his power until his level-bus reaches Demigod Town. Has the highest goddamn AC in the party (at something like 40!)and every heal spell ever. Secondary tank.

- Spectra Bane, tiefling rogue and the only one with bluff worth a goddamn--thus, the party's face and oddly, voice of reason. In it for power and connections to influential and powerful people (and a bit of a slut, all told). Hits with the force of a tornado...when she can roll above a five.

- Shango, tiefling star pact warlock and OLD AS DIRT. The stars are what leads him, and he ultimately wants to control luck itself; he enjoys making people slip on banana peels when it clearly shouldn't be possible. His debuff spells are terrifying in their effectiveness, and his damage ain't too shabby either. Too bad the player takes forever on his turns.

- Monté, a frankensteinian creature and battlerage vigor fighter (that's me!). Ugly and misshapen, intelligent but marred with a stutter, and wielding a gigantic shovel as weapon of choice. Noted for his bajillion hit points and inability to die; the DM has never gotten him to bloodied...or even below a hundred. The entire party trusts him, for one reason or another. Made an artefact sword of hunger feel FEAR just by holding it.

- Donovan, human ranger who wields a pair of revolvers. A cowboy of sorts, but probably the biggest, most callous monster out of the whole group; caused a man to cut his own eye's out and then took them as a keepsake. The DM hates trying to attack him, as he always calls out an Immediate Interrupt and gets out of danger at the last second. Has managed, in each place we visit, to blow something up spectacularly (usually with the warlock helping him out). Dangerously low on dynamite at this point.

Overall, the game has been a series of grimdark epic mixed in with a bit of fail; the DM has this bad habit of asking for detailed backstories for everyone, then doing jack-all with them and all but ignoring such efforts. He's made the rogue's skills useless on several occasions by not actually LETTING her use them (LOL MAGIC LOCK DERP). But on the other side of the coin, we ended an encounter with a giant solo rapebus of a monster in 3 rounds and less than half an hour due to fantastic teamwork and several handy criticals, so...

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I had a friend in high school who tried to get me and a couple of other people into it... We would sit down at lunch time in the cafeteria, and he would DM for us. He sat there with a bag of odd-shaped dice, and nothing else. It just got very boring very quickly, and we would rather make fun of and fight each other (out of pure fun) than anything else. A common scenario went like this:

DM: "You are in a room, blah blah descriptions."

Player 1: "I hit the elf with my axe for taking my french fry, jerk."

DM: "There are no french fries in the vicinity."

Player 1: "Well I hit him anyway because he's annoying"

Player 2: "I hit the dwarf back for hitting me."

Player 3: "I cast a Happiness spell so you guys will stop fighting."

DM: "Uhh... that doesn't work... it just makes them happy for fighting each other."

Player 4: "Do I know any spells? Can I cast something?"

DM: "Fine. You cast Magic Missle and it does... *rolls die* 1 damage to Player 3, since she's closest, and because of her happiness spell, she hugs you."

Player 3: "Wasn't there a dragon in the room? And I wouldn't hug him anyway!"

Player 4: "I cast Magic Missle again and it does *grabs random die and rolls it* ...56 damage to Player 3"

DM: "You can't just use any die, and there is a dragon in the room. You should be fighting it"

Things just never really took off for us.:tomatoface:

This sounds like a horrifying experience.

I'm currently in a 3.5 and a 4e game. Their both fun, but I'm pretty much sold on 4e and won't cry a tear if I never play 3.5 again.

My 3.5 character is Lazar Wolf Krogachev, the absent-minded and thickly (russian) accented artificer.

In 4e I play a goblin (a la Warhammer online) rogue who doesn't know he's a goblin and has never seen another goblin before. Half the people at the table can't understand most of what comes out of my mouth when Gimlet talks.

All-in-all, I have a ton of fun with table top. It is sometimes hard to admit to playing them, though.

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Currently DMing a 4e campaign. Great fun.

We have a Half-Elf bard bodybuilder in the group based off one of these guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYpUs87ha0w

He speaks with a thick russian accent and does muscle poses to inspire (heal) people.

Totally awesome.

And in case anybody is wondering, yes his skin is gold ingame, due to a magical dye.

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It's all strikers strikers strikers and like a controller. Maybe.

That's because strikers are awesome. I had one in an old campaign who was great fun. He started out as a rogue intended to hit people with sneak-attack throwing knives, but kept ending up in melee (for the first five or so levels, he never entered melee without going into negative HP. Not ONCE in level 1-5). I eventually multiclassed him into swordsage, which paired him quite nicely with a warblade in the party. He could use Finishing Blow to deal ridiculous damage to anyone under half their total HP, and I could use a combination of sneak attack, dual-wielding, stances, boosts, and strikes to do a ridiculous amount of damage during the first round. We could one-two punch damn near ANYTHING even remotely level-appropriate to death.

That campaign was also awesome for effectively being an evil campaign (though it wasn't started with the intention of being one). We had my LE rogue who was basically a mafia enforcer, an NE warforged who hated meatbags, a CN (borderline CE) wizard who focused on summons (whose backstory involved him being epic-level before he went senile and slowly relearning all his uber powers, Tellah-from-FFIV style), and a CE bard who had absolutely devastating debuffs and save-or-dies built into his bardic music thanks to the DM allowing an absolutely broken PrC called Siren that was meant to enhance monsters, not to be used by PCs.

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That's because strikers are awesome.

Yeah but its like...always facing Ken when yer playing Street Fighter. It eventually gets old VERY fast.

But then, sometimes you get the reverse of that. In a campaign I ran not too long ago, it consisted of a necromancer, TWO paladins (one of which was a TROLL), a Swordmage and a Warlord.

Yeah, try balancing encounters with THAT nonsense. Fun nonetheless, but goddamn was that a hassle sometimes. Oddly enough, they never fought over marks.

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I've always wanted the chance to really get into pen and paper RPGs, but all I've done is some Shadowrun years ago and a tiny bit of Vampire: The Masquerade that a guy at my college was running. And I guess one game of D&D back in grade school using some super old set that my friend got at a garage sale for a dollar.

I guess part of the issue is that I seem to go into pen and paper RPGs with somewhat different expectations than most of the people I've played with. I'm interested in the games for their ability to do what video game RPGs can't do. Complex character interaction, elaborate freeform schemes and weird approaches to situations. To that end, I often create characters who really aren't geared towards combat (which has the odd side-effect of making combat VERY interesting). Like in one of the few Vampire sessions we did, we were sent on a mission to kill a guy. I completely blew away the GM by taking advantage of the circumstances of our encounter to convince the target we were actually trying to protect him, and we ended up delivering him alive to our employers for interrogation (followed by execution).

But it seems most of the people I've played with got their idea of what an RPG is from JRPGs: they just want to make damage rolls and commit random encounter monster genocide for a few hours. I guess I just need to find a like-minded group to play with. :\

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I've always wanted the chance to really get into pen and paper RPGs, but all I've done is some Shadowrun years ago and a tiny bit of Vampire: The Masquerade that a guy at my college was running. And I guess one game of D&D back in grade school using some super old set that my friend got at a garage sale for a dollar.

I guess part of the issue is that I seem to go into pen and paper RPGs with somewhat different expectations than most of the people I've played with. I'm interested in the games for their ability to do what video game RPGs can't do. Complex character interaction, elaborate freeform schemes and weird approaches to situations. To that end, I often create characters who really aren't geared towards combat (which has the odd side-effect of making combat VERY interesting). Like in one of the few Vampire sessions we did, we were sent on a mission to kill a guy. I completely blew away the GM by taking advantage of the circumstances of our encounter to convince the target we were actually trying to protect him, and we ended up delivering him alive to our employers for interrogation (followed by execution).

But it seems most of the people I've played with got their idea of what an RPG is from JRPGs: they just want to make damage rolls and commit random encounter monster genocide for a few hours. I guess I just need to find a like-minded group to play with. :\

Ditto all of that, down to the very last letter. You sound like the kind of player I would enjoy playing in a game with.

The GM who introduced me to role-playing is of the same opinion, and he is also a big fan of Vampire: The Masqerade, though he usually runs his own sci-fi modification of it that he's been working on for over 10 years. (Read: Vampires on Mars with lightsabers. Shamelessly nerdtastic and fun, without losing any of the depth of the original setting.).

I like your ideas on character design. I tend to do something similar when I make my characters. Usually, I'll either play character who really doesn't know how to fight very well but always gets himself into trouble, or I'll play a combat monster who isn't necessarily predisposed to fighting. Two extreme examples of this that I have very much enjoyed playing are the 10-year-old autistic science genius who investigates ANYTHING that grabs his attention, and the pumped-to-the-max clone supersoldier and her handler (played by my friend) who were starting to get a conscience about all the people they were killing.

I absolutely love role-playing, but it's really difficult (at least in my area) to find a GM and group of players who don't just dick around a kill stuff. It's not that I'm against having lots of cool fights or anything (my other system of choice is Feng Shui), but I like those fights to be dynamic and important to the greater story. Most people seem to prefer mindless dungeon crawling and rules-heavy hack 'n' slash, which I find to be incredibly boring.

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Why don't you just split the game into two separate games? You could even have the two games re-unite on occasion for a special session.

Yanno, one of our GM's is trying that with one of his games (a Final Fantasy game using Star Wars Saga Edition, no less). It's with mixed results; since it plays every other Sunday, group A might not even play for a month while he does a session or two with group B.

But I don't expect it to go on for much longer anyway; two players (myself included) have dropped out for various reasons, schedule notwithstanding. But I won't get into it.

But it seems most of the people I've played with got their idea of what an RPG is from JRPGs: they just want to make damage rolls and commit random encounter monster genocide for a few hours. I guess I just need to find a like-minded group to play with. :\

See, players like these, when introduced into a social game, quickly find that they can't actually handle anything beyond what's at the other end of a sword. Either they adapt and become better, or leave.

The best way to get them out of such a mental ideal is to run a game yourself, in a style YOU want. Slowly introduce them into social problems and complex elements, weening them off the hack n' slash mentality.

If all else fails, there's always IRC chats and the like. Just...don't go to #dungeonOOC. For the love of GOD, don't go there.

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I just started DMing a 4e campaign myself (first day was today), though I'm currently suffering a lack of players.

I've played the games where the people on the other end just wanted to kill stuff, and i've played games where the roleplay was a huge part of the world. I've noticed you need both a good DM who can create the right kind of world and players who can run with what the DM feeds them, and also create their own stuff. Hopefully I can create some conflict in the base town that I've created and give a reason for the rogue to sneak around, or for my NPC to get kicked out, etc. It's my first time DMing, so it's been a learning experience. (figuring out how to track monsters has been a pain, currently using index cards to follow groups, but I need to make my encounters more difficult.)

When you just get going, don't expect a whole lot of ultra epic adventures, but once you get rolling, if you're not doing something with some mystique, then your campiagn will probably bore you.

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...we just played in a one-shot game today. "Stories from the Floating Vagabond," was the name of the system; old and hard to find, long since out of print but made for wacky one-shot deals or light-hearted comedy campaigns.

Me and two other players rolled up characters from TF2. I was the Pyro, and we had the Heavy and Scout. The amount of fun we had should be a sin.

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...we just played in a one-shot game today. "Stories from the Floating Vagabond," was the name of the system; old and hard to find, long since out of print but made for wacky one-shot deals or light-hearted comedy campaigns.

Me and two other players rolled up characters from TF2. I was the Pyro, and we had the Heavy and Scout. The amount of fun we had should be a sin.

One-shots are a beautiful thing, especially for stuff like that.

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