Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

The Off-Topic forum for anything non-LDS related, such as sports or politics. Rated PG through PG-13.
Res Ipsa
God
Posts: 5472
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:44 pm
Location: Searching for the missing pieces of the Bothell Codex

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by Res Ipsa »

I like Betrayal, but Eldritch Horror isn’t similar. There is no traitor mechanic — it’s a straight co-opening post. Players are investigators working as a team to defeat the ancient one (hopefully before it awakens and become ridiculously hard to beat). There are something like 15 ancient ones, and each one changes some game rules. There are 55 different investigators to choose from. There are also 30 Prelude cards, which change the initial set up and some game rules.

So there is a ton of replayability in the game. And it is brutally punishing, especially if the players don’t coordinate with each other in favor of developing and protecting their own characters. When you win, it feels damn good.

I started hosting it as a “learn and play” (I.e., teaching the game to new players.) I figured I’d do it until people got bored. Four years later, it’s still going strong.

The Warhammer RPG universe is both primitive and dystopian. It doesn’t feel like good vs evil, but just evil v evil battling for survival. We play using the Fantasy Grounds website. I’m not sure whether I like it or not.

I haven’t read the new Paranoia version, so I don’t what they did with the commies. I just love the challenge of playing (or playing against) a an insane AI that is trying to kill the players.
he/him
"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see."
– Rene Magritte
honorentheos
God
Posts: 1505
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:15 am

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by honorentheos »

Res Ipsa wrote:
Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:55 pm
I like Betrayal, but Eldritch Horror isn’t similar. There is no traitor mechanic — it’s a straight co-opening post. Players are investigators working as a team to defeat the ancient one (hopefully before it awakens and become ridiculously hard to beat). There are something like 15 ancient ones, and each one changes some game rules. There are 55 different investigators to choose from. There are also 30 Prelude cards, which change the initial set up and some game rules.

So there is a ton of replayability in the game. And it is brutally punishing, especially if the players don’t coordinate with each other in favor of developing and protecting their own characters. When you win, it feels damn good.

I started hosting it as a “learn and play” (I.e., teaching the game to new players.) I figured I’d do it until people got bored. Four years later, it’s still going strong.
Purchased this today. Looking forward to playing it.

Also, bumped into a neighbor on the way back from walking our dog this week and we chatted about games. Yadda, yadda, yadda, got the groundwork laid for a neighborhood game group.
honorentheos
God
Posts: 1505
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:15 am

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by honorentheos »

Some Schmo wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 3:39 pm
honorentheos wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:19 pm
That's a good point, Schmo. Other than using parlay to either talk someone into doing something or convincing them they are better off walking away, is there anything you think you've seen a DM do that helps set that up? You mentioned puzzles. I'm curious about that.
One puzzle encounter I've thought might be fun would be where the party enters a large square room in some enchanted castle (or somewhere similar) where the floor design is checkered, and each party member is captured and placed on a square in the room. They suddenly find themselves as pieces on a chess board, and the idea is for them to play their way out of a trap or bloody combat. Their movement would be determined by their starting position on the board (so if you're placed on the bishop square, you can only move diagonally, and so on).

You could make it so that if they can checkmate the enemy, they avoid a fight and go straight to treasure, or escaping the trap, depending on the outcome you want. Obviously, as DM, you wouldn't want to play the NPCs like a chess expert. It would also only really be suitable for a larger party, although you could assign ally chess pieces to party members to control, or let the whole party discuss and determine moves.

Just an idea I've kicked around.
Hi Schmo,

Thought I'd follow up on this and report I tried to insert a chess match similar to this into the game but I didn't present it correctly so the players didn't end up playing chess.

The set-up: The players are currently tracking a raiding warband trying to find their encampment. It is a point crawl where their tracking skill check determines which of three random tables I roll on for results. One of the events on the failed check table involved their following a wrong trail to a clearing. In the clearing is an Ettin or two-headed hill giant playing chess with itself using human sized statues. When they discover it, the Ettin is arguing over a move that resulted in a capture of a piece with the body obeying competing commands from the two heads. Hidden in a rocky area nearby is the nest of an ancient basilisk who is responsible for creating the "pieces".

The Ettin was a home-brewed variant, with one of the two heads being above average in intelligence even for a human (Conner) and the other was typical Ettin dumb (Claude). Claude-Conner had every intention of playing chess with anyone other than themselves. But the party didn't even give him a chance to talk. As soon as they saw him, one cast a spell that produced five giant wasps that he sent to distract the Ettin. But then he had one sting Claude-Conner, so CC naturally swatted it and killed it, not even being aware there were people around but rather having been set upon by giant wasps. The party had the wasps harass Claude-Conner while they tried to sneak around the clearing only to run into the ancient basilisk who was successfully able to start her petrifying gaze on two of them. Murder commenced with one shooting Claude-Conner in the back with a damaging spell in time for the last wasp to take him down. The party finished off the ancient basilisk and proceeded to scavenge for treasure.

So they never found out that Claude-Conner really did want to play chess...though Claude was pretty likely to get either frustrated or bored and want to do Ettin things eventually.

I tried. But I should know by now my players aren't a talk-first kind of group. They don't always murderhobo right away. But they rarely care about anything having an inner life. Oh well.
honorentheos
God
Posts: 1505
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:15 am

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by honorentheos »

This thread is approaching one year old. It took from December to April before I was able to work in Res' suggestion, and I was never really successful in using a chess game as a kind of puzzle. But it's been a fun, interesting time. I was somewhat surprised to realize that the party was essentially 4th level at this time last year while just barely reaching 7th level this last week.

The party is just barely getting to follow up on something I mentioned last year, which is typical of D&D I guess. The players have control of the story but not the consequences of their decisions so it has made for an interestingly winding road of a story so far.

I didn't expect the pandemic to keep popping up as it has yet again, so it makes maintaining game flow a little challenging. We are still playing in person since we stopped using Roll20 (a virtual table top) post vaccinations but I'm keeping an eye on how the omicron variant affects things. Twice this fall one of the players ended up notifying the group of potential exposure, sending off rounds of tests and short self-quarantine periods. Most recently it was my wife whose direct manager ended up testing positive after feeling a bit under the weather and, because he frequently visits his elderly mother in a facility, decided to get tested just in case. It was surprising but also a bit of a testament to how the procedures they follow regarding requiring masks in the office and distancing, along with vaccination, resulted in zero other cases in the office.

Anyway, I've been reflecting on something I heard recently about the role game play takes in moral and social development, how narrative exploration is important to wellbeing, and how this nerdy little hobby fills a valuable niche in my life these days when so many other connections have been put on hold or irrevocably ended for various reasons. I highly recommend anyone who is curious to give it a try, it can be more than just a good time. It can be a pretty cool creative outlet and more.
honorentheos
God
Posts: 1505
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:15 am

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by honorentheos »

Res Ipsa wrote:
Fri Aug 13, 2021 2:55 pm
The Warhammer RPG universe is both primitive and dystopian. It doesn’t feel like good vs evil, but just evil v evil battling for survival.
Over the last year I've started listening to a number of RPG-based podcasts, mostly aimed at GMs. One of them is called, "Fear of a Black Dragon" from the Gauntlet network. It's a couple of guys whose focus is on OSR RPGs (old school renaissance or revival, role playing games for Shades, because.)

They have a format I really like, and for a couple of OSR GMs they are more closely aligned to my position than most OSR folks. For some reason, too many people in the OSR community seem to be OSR as a counter to what they view as the destruction of TTRPGs by progressivism or something. Even RPGs can't avoid the binary conflict that is our central plot point in this dark timeline I guess. The two hosts seem more focused on narrative-based games than they are on crunch, unlike many OSR types, and they are pretty cosmopolitan and ethical in how they run a table. But they also talk about old adventure modules I had ran in the past that have been updated, plus a ton of other classics I had never heard of or never ran/played.

It was through their podcast I discovered The Enemy Within campaign that was a Warhammer classic and has been updated for modern Warhammer Fantasy. I've shameless pilfered from the campaign to use bits and pieces in my own as well as using much of the Middenheim City settings book for a major city. All of the four books involved I own now. I can see Warhammer Fantasy being a pretty fun game based on this exposure.
honorentheos
God
Posts: 1505
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:15 am

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by honorentheos »

Ah, my favorite thread. Most righteous and obedient of all my OPs...

So, for Schmo and Res (and anyone else who plays TTRPGs), the party is heading to a corrupted city taken over by a priestess of the cult of Zuggtemoy where the potential for the cult to summon Zuggtemoy is not immediate but looming larger. The party has no idea it's Zuggtemoy, just that something is really kind of weird and there is a green super fertilizer. In the city is a temple overlooking a large inland sea (the size of the Great Salt Lake, for context). It's been largely abandoned due to the majority of the remaining residents being under the influence of Zuggtemoy's spores, except for the central sanctuary where a small contingent of priests/priestesses that serve the Eight remain trapped. If/when the party makes it to the sanctuary, I'd like to play up that these remaining clergy have been holding out for heroes who can help stem the tide of the coming storm that is the impending explosion of evil, and grant each a special magic item appropriate for the move from levels 8-9 to the middle-high tier for play at level 10.

I've decided the war domain cleric/battlemaster fighter would have her shield blessed to become an animated shield so she can duel wield in battle and keep her 20 AC up. But I'm looking for ideas for the rest. These include:

Half-elf Rogue Mastermind. Maxed out DEX and Charisma, low everything else. Wields a rapier most of the time, has bracers of elven accuracy that give him proficiency with a long bow, too. Favored by the God of fortune.

Fallen Assimar Warlock Hexblade. Badass agility glaive I gave her as her specialty weapon that allows it to be a finesse weapon rather than strength-based for fun. Her patron is a sentient glaive that is the servant of the Devil/Former Angel Zariel in Avernus which the player has not idea about at all. She just knows that this sentient glaive that craves blood offered to help her get revenge as long as she feeds it blood offerings. Subplot the player also doesn't know is that Zariel wants her to abandon Celestia and come join her in hell fighting the blood war after living a full life in bloody conflict as a champion of Zariel on the material plan. Player doesn't know any of that. May never know depending on how the campaign goes. But that's background.

Tiefling Wizard/Ranger (Necromancy). So far he is my most quiet player. I've thought about giving him something that would allow him to create teleportation circle glyphs or the like that would serve the story. It would allow the party to jump around more. But I think that might also leave him feeling left out if he doesn't get something cool for encounter ass kickery.

Mountain Dwarf Bearbarian/Artificer. This is my power gamer min-max player. Anything I give him can and will be used to try to break the game.

Thanks!

ETA: The whole Zuggtemoy thing is set within a current adventure hook regarding a couple of nobility claiming to be the reconstructed leaders of a lost empire, and the party has beef. This setting is modeled on the Dementlieu domain of dread, and the Empress is a high powered wraith based on Duchess Saidra d'Honaire, Darklord of Dementlieu from the Ravenloft book. Anyway, the demon lord stuff is campaign endgame work that this will end up exposing while the party is focusing on the adventure arc they are on, and the magic weapon granting corresponds with their having a major part of the bigger campaign revealed.
User avatar
Xenophon
2nd Quorum of 70
Posts: 689
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:29 pm

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by Xenophon »

Despite not doing any TTRPGing currently I do have to say I've always enjoyed reading y'alls posts on the topic, especially when y'all were attempting to do a little adventuring right on our board. I don't have anything to add but needed to make sure you understood that an audience for the material is there.
He/Him

“If you consider what are called the virtues in mankind, you will find their growth is assisted by education and cultivation.”
― Xenophon
Res Ipsa
God
Posts: 5472
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:44 pm
Location: Searching for the missing pieces of the Bothell Codex

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by Res Ipsa »

Gonna have to think about this Honor. I’m not sure I’ve ever played a level 9 character. 😂
he/him
"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see."
– Rene Magritte
User avatar
Some Schmo
God
Posts: 1639
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:21 am

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by Some Schmo »

I just have to say that I think you are probably a really fun DM, honor. Your write-ups alone make me want to join the adventure.

But I'm in the same boat as RI: I've never played a character above level 6 in 5e rules, so I'm not sure what to suggest that would be appropriate at those levels.
Religion is for people whose existential fear is greater than their common sense.
honorentheos
God
Posts: 1505
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:15 am

Re: Way Off-Topic: Question for RPGamers

Post by honorentheos »

Xenophon wrote:
Mon Mar 21, 2022 1:23 pm
Despite not doing any TTRPGing currently I do have to say I've always enjoyed reading y'alls posts on the topic, especially when y'all were attempting to do a little adventuring right on our board. I don't have anything to add but needed to make sure you understood that an audience for the material is there.
Hey Xeno,

Thanks for encouraging the thread. I'd totally be down for resurrecting Yearn if Schmo and Res were interested. It's be kind of fun to see how a narrative-only game like that played out. If it were to bump up, I'd hope others like yourself would feel inclined to jump in, too. It's just story telling. And we've all had practice bearing testimony of things we knew were true like Nephrites and angelic flaming swords. ;)
Post Reply