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Fiery Diamond
2011-05-10, 11:07 AM
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AsteriskAmp
2011-05-10, 11:26 AM
New DMs will NEED modules to learn how to go along, to have a sample to build their future adventures upon, how much loot is normally given and positioned, how many monsters are logical per area, getting a good idea of the ecology and architecture of a locale, as well as handling DCs that are not in the PHB or DMG explicitly, also, stating of NPCs. It's a great learning tool if you run it AND understand it, consider it a case study if you will, which is by itself fun to run.

Old DMs will find modules cool unexpected additions to their campaigns, you adapt it into your world since it actually handles some of the most annoying aspects of planning, and then you read it, give it a fair amount of study and it's ready to be inserted in your campaign. Sometimes you want modules not because of time but because they are honestly interesting.

Insane DM, you have built a campaign based around a collapsed plane where reality is formed according to disasters and modules represent miniature extensions of land that suddenly pop into existence to be solved. By solving modules you recreate the material plane in this place.

ClockShock
2011-05-10, 11:30 AM
Why? Because people have fun playing them.

Problem solved.

Mark Hall
2011-05-10, 11:30 AM
I use them because I like to have a jumping off point. It isn't about "lazy", but rather about what the fun parts are.

For me, the fun parts are running the game and interacting with the players. If I use a published adventure, I don't have to spend lots of time coming up with NPCs or maps or general tenor of encounters... these are handled for me. Instead, I get to focus on the fun stuff... tweaking pre-existing characters to fit my game (like blowing a vampire's gold-treasure on a Sword of Nine Lives Stealing), making a few changes here and there, and making sense of what is occasionally a senseless module.

I CAN go off the rails... with Ruins of Adventure, I'm going to replace the entire Pyramid section with something that isn't such a pain. And when players complete a module and want to move on, I can have some great ones (my players loved my follow-up to the lamentable "Corrupt Crypt of Ilmater" which had them hunted by Malarites, the followers of the god of the hunt)... but it's easier, and more fun, to have a script... even if you drift off it, or radically depart at times.

Thane of Fife
2011-05-10, 11:35 AM
A few reasons:

1. Limited time. Yes, if you always don't have enough time, then you're right, it's probably best not to be GMing, but sometimes, say, you don't have enough time to plan for everything, and it's nice to have some extra adventures on hand in case the PCs do something unexpected. Or, alternatively, perhaps you planned a game, but not everybody showed up, or you're starting something else, and you get caught off guard. Again, having a module can be really helpful.

2. They're cool. Why do people play games in the Star Wars universe, or Warhammer 40k, or Forgotten Realms, or whatever? Because they think it's neat. Sometimes you pick up a module and think, "Wow, that's cool. I want to run that."

3. Comparability. Because modules are published, they let players in different games play the same adventure and talk about it. People tend to enjoy comparing experiences, and modules allow them to do so from a more equivalent framework than homemade adventures.

Mark Hall
2011-05-10, 11:58 AM
3. Comparability. Because modules are published, they let players in different games play the same adventure and talk about it. People tend to enjoy comparing experiences, and modules allow them to do so from a more equivalent framework than homemade adventures.

This is a big one. If you get grognards together and bring up a famous module, EVERYONE has a story, and everyone has a common point of reference. If I tell about my adventurers charming the minotaur in B2, I'm pretty sure hamlet and Matthew will have responses about it... because its a common point of reference.

Jan Mattys
2011-05-10, 12:04 PM
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I really, really envy you. Your way of thinking seems to suggest that you assume you will always have some people around who is both skilled and with lots of free time. You either are in your early twenties, tops, or you are really rich, or you have the job of my dreams.

My group is all in the mid-thirties. We all have lives. We all have jobs, often not of the 9-17 kind, but quite demanding instead.

Having something quick and ready is a blessing.

The Glyphstone
2011-05-10, 12:20 PM
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Not to mention the horrible flaws in this analogy...the director of your local community play is not, in 99% of circumstances, also expected to write the entire play from scratch, build the theatre, and sew all the costumes, all by themselves without any help.

valadil
2011-05-10, 12:22 PM
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I think this is legit. My main group are all married or engaged. Some have houses. Kids are on the horizon. If it was the case that the current GM ran out of time, but someone else could take over, we'd let someone else take over. But when nobody has the time to spare, we'd rather play a published game than stopping roleplaying together.

And to continue the original list, but with a bit more positivity...

7) As an obstacle course. When I GM I take into account the PCs' abilities. If they don't have a rogue, I don't require them to pick locks. They'd get pissy if I required abilities I knew they didn't have. But the published module can't take that into account. I like the image of a team of adventurers working together on a standardized challenge. If they don't have a rogue (or wizard with knock) and the dungeon has locks, the party goes home. I wouldn't want every game to run this way, but after playing a campaign that had challenges carefully tailored to exactly what abilities the PCs had, such a game would be refreshing.

8) Restraints can encourage creativity. Treat the published adventure like Iron Chef. See how different sets of people going through it can create different stories. This doesn't really fit with my style, but another GM I know only ever runs published games. He finds that the more givens he has set in stone, the more creative he is in trying to work around them. Sometimes too much freedom can be overwhelming and lead to writer's block. The module puts constraints in place and he runs free within them whereas with no boundaries he'd stand still wondering where to take the party.

Fiery Diamond
2011-05-10, 01:50 PM
I think this is legit. My main group are all married or engaged. Some have houses. Kids are on the horizon. If it was the case that the current GM ran out of time, but someone else could take over, we'd let someone else take over. But when nobody has the time to spare, we'd rather play a published game than stopping roleplaying together.

I don't get this mentality. Just like I don't get the mentality of "gaming with jerks is preferable to not gaming" that some people have. But then, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person in general. To me, it's the above bolded part is comparable to a guy who loves reading fantasy books (and only fantasy) going, "I can't find any good new fantasy books. I'll pick up some historical fiction, because that's better than not having anything to read at all."

Tyndmyr
2011-05-10, 01:54 PM
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Some people don't want to GM. At least, not especially much. They don't like prep work. So? If tools exist to minimize something you dislike, use them!


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Ideally, yes, and there's a bar at which this happens. However, if you can use published modules to make the game work, why not? Not every aspiring GM has limitless time. Good GMs are not in a massive overabundance.


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Skill isn't a binary thing, it's something you develop. I routinely advise that first time DMs grab a module to start with. For any system. It helps you understand how the system is supposed to play out. Sure, it may not be perfect, but it gives you a starting point.


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I find that many people are only good at prep, or only good at improv. Both of these can be practiced and improved, but modules can help you get there.

And neither railroading like crazy or having "sheep players" is necessary for many modules.


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Or tournaments. You've gotta have something standardized for the tournaments.

I think the better question is "Why do you hate published modules so much?"

Jude_H
2011-05-10, 02:05 PM
You're right, Fiery Diamond.
Having a job means I'm too lazy and uncreative to play D&D.
I only wish I'd learned this sooner.

Altair_the_Vexed
2011-05-10, 02:05 PM
I don't get this mentality. Just like I don't get the mentality of "gaming with jerks is preferable to not gaming" that some people have. But then, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person in general. To me, it's the above bolded part is comparable to a guy who loves reading fantasy books (and only fantasy) going, "I can't find any good new fantasy books. I'll pick up some historical fiction, because that's better than not having anything to read at all."

My word - your professed attitude fills me with rage.

Other people have different lives, different pleasures, different wants and desires. Not everyone is stuck in a narrow little rut. Trying out new things is the beginning and the essence of experience.

They might try running a seemingly poorly written, crazily plotted scenario in order to have fun making sense out of it.

Some people like the challenge of running someone else's game.

You might as well say "Why would anyone enjoy using pre-written monsters or magic items? It must be lack of imagination or laziness." or "Why use established classes, skills, combat mechanics and races? Don't you have the gumption to create a balanced system whenever you want to have fun?"

druid91
2011-05-10, 02:08 PM
I don't get this mentality. Just like I don't get the mentality of "gaming with jerks is preferable to not gaming" that some people have. But then, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person in general. To me, it's the above bolded part is comparable to a guy who loves reading fantasy books (and only fantasy) going, "I can't find any good new fantasy books. I'll pick up some historical fiction, because that's better than not having anything to read at all."

To be quite honest I don't get this.

When I've used a module, and simply improvised when broken, Everyone had fun...

Now sit me in front of a sheet of paper and ask me to write a good adventure?

It is about as much fun as watching paint dry.

I'm much better at improvisation and innovation than actual creation. Give me a world to play with and it get's better, so now that I managed to get hold of the ebberon book I might start making up my own stuff.

My point is, not everyone is creative enough to make up a setting and adventure.

Me? I'm the best option my (Non internet) group has for DM, because I've played longest and know how it's supposed to work.

And I can't make up a non-generic derived world to save my life.

It's nearly always, bit of ocean in the corner, massive forest center, mountain to the right of the forest, plains and cities to the left.

Sometimes its mixed up but that's about it.

Kiero
2011-05-10, 02:11 PM
New DMs will NEED modules to learn how to go along, to have a sample to build their future adventures upon, how much loot is normally given and positioned, how many monsters are logical per area, getting a good idea of the ecology and architecture of a locale, as well as handling DCs that are not in the PHB or DMG explicitly, also, stating of NPCs. It's a great learning tool if you run it AND understand it, consider it a case study if you will, which is by itself fun to run.


Nonsense. They teach you one specific way of running games, and poorly prepare you for anything that doesn't involve over-planning and a process flow approach to running things.

I've never seen an introductory adventure, or module that I actually thought was a good way of running a game.

Sipex
2011-05-10, 02:20 PM
Several reasons. I've always been a 'from scratch' guy myself but I can certainly understand why people like modules. I really don't see any of the reasons listed to be bad in anyway.

edit: You may want to change your tone. Nobody is going to take you seriously and you're just going to get a lot of sarcastic remarks the way you're going. I mean, I don't use modules myself and I'm already offended so I can only guess how offended module DMs would be.

Mark Hall
2011-05-10, 02:21 PM
I don't get this mentality. Just like I don't get the mentality of "gaming with jerks is preferable to not gaming" that some people have. But then, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person in general. To me, it's the above bolded part is comparable to a guy who loves reading fantasy books (and only fantasy) going, "I can't find any good new fantasy books. I'll pick up some historical fiction, because that's better than not having anything to read at all."

You seem to be of the opinion that games that use modules are inferior to games made by the DM. While I can see this being the case if the DM slavishly follows the module, turning it into a straightjacket for the players ("No! You can't do that, because the module isn't set up that way!"), it's often not. A good DM adapts the material he has at hand, whether it's a published campaign setting, a module, or the adventure he created himself. In the end, I've found little difference between "This game was based on a module" and "this game is completely original", save the quality of the DM.

valadil
2011-05-10, 02:37 PM
I don't get this mentality. Just like I don't get the mentality of "gaming with jerks is preferable to not gaming" that some people have. But then, I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person in general. To me, it's the above bolded part is comparable to a guy who loves reading fantasy books (and only fantasy) going, "I can't find any good new fantasy books. I'll pick up some historical fiction, because that's better than not having anything to read at all."

Your analogy makes no sense. What you described sounds more like "I can't find a D&D group so I'll play WoW instead." That's not what the group I described is going through.

If you and your friends did not have time to put together a weekly game, what would you do instead? Not play?

For what it's worth I don't agree with other mentality you described either. I would not prefer to play with jerks than not play at all. I like hanging out with my friends. D&D is an excuse to get together and hang out. My love of D&D is not so great that I would abide horrible people just for a chance to throw some dice. But my love of my friends is great enough that I'd abide a sub par* D&D game just to hang out with them.

* Which is not to imply that prewritten games are the worst. While I prefer a homemade game, the worst homemade game I've been in was many times worse than your average module.

AsteriskAmp
2011-05-10, 02:38 PM
Nonsense. They teach you one specific way of running games, and poorly prepare you for anything that doesn't involve over-planning and a process flow approach to running things.

I've never seen an introductory adventure, or module that I actually thought was a good way of running a game.

Sunless Citadel was rather great in introducing me to DMing and D&D (I statarted DnD DMing), it got me started and gave me a baseline on design and fluffing (not everyone is instinctively good at it, my current DM [and actually my first DM and former player of mine] for example started of like it was a book, narrating, it didn't go well).

valadil
2011-05-10, 02:42 PM
Nonsense. They teach you one specific way of running games, and poorly prepare you for anything that doesn't involve over-planning and a process flow approach to running things.

I've never seen an introductory adventure, or module that I actually thought was a good way of running a game.

I haven't either. But seeing someone else do something wrong is motivation for me to do it right. If I run a module and think "these NPCs weren't fleshed out enough," or "those maps were useless. The players went were the road took them and never looked at a map," or "those descriptions were better than the ones I improvise... maybe I should write those ahead of time" you're learning how to prep for your own style of GMing. I'm half convinced that learning to GM isn't really about learning how to tell a story or deal with players, but it's about learning what preparation process will leave you able to run a game.

Tyndmyr
2011-05-10, 02:45 PM
Nonsense. They teach you one specific way of running games, and poorly prepare you for anything that doesn't involve over-planning and a process flow approach to running things.

I've never seen an introductory adventure, or module that I actually thought was a good way of running a game.

They're not at all perfect. I have beefs with introductory modules in just about every system. But they're a starting point. They get you playing, and understanding the feel of the genre, and the basics of the system.

A tool for learning, absolutely. An example of perfection to aim for...no.

Personally, the average game invented by the average DM does not appear to be significantly better than modules are. However, the variance is much greater. The best DM invention is far better than most modules, but the worst DM inventions are truly horrific.

But it's not entirely a binary thing. A good DM need not follow a module slavishly, and can just work premade material into his world where appropriate.

Edit: I, too, feel it's different than playing with jerks. I advocate getting rid of jerks and building a jerk-free group. That's because a jerk is inherently a problem in a social setting. Premade material in a game is a very different thing.

Vladislav
2011-05-10, 02:50 PM
Sigh. This is just another "my way of playing is superior, why the hell are some people playing not my way?!" thread. I feel dumber for spending two minutes skimming over it.

Tvtyrant
2011-05-10, 03:04 PM
Sigh. This is just another "my way of playing is superior, why the hell are some people playing not my way?!" thread. I feel dumber for spending two minutes skimming over it.

QFT

Personally I feel that playing with friends is as valid as playing for the game, and as such if time doesn't allow the DM time to make their own stuff then the module is fine. Playing D&D isn't necessarily about the game itself, but the opportunity to explore characters and ideas with others.

JonestheSpy
2011-05-10, 03:10 PM
Man, what a first post. Way to really establish your superiority there, FD.

Anyway, here's a point that hasn't been mentioned yet - artists steal ideas from each other all the time. And yes, I regard managing the collective storytelling that is rpg'ing as an art (when done right, anyway). So why wouldn't a GM use an adventure they like if it fits into their campaign, or can be tweaked to make it fit?

Just because a band does a few cover songs it doesn't mean they can't write their own, and ideally they make those covers their own by doing them in their own unique style.

Zaranthan
2011-05-10, 04:23 PM
1,5) Too Lazy: yeah, get over yourself and actually do the work if you want to DM/GM.
I do plenty of work as it is. I don't need more work in my play. If some amount of work is necessary to improve the fun, so be it. If some of the work has been done for me already, why should I do more work than I have to?


2) Not enough time: If you don't have enough time to prep, you shouldn't be the one DMing/GMing. You don't volunteer to direct your local community theatre's play and then just show up for dress rehearsal and the performance.
So, every group must center around a DM with a trust fund? Also, your analogy's off. It's more like you volunteer to be director, and then some guy on the internet calls you a talentless hack for getting other people to write the play and design the choreography.


3) Lack of skill: For lack of skill, using a module isn't likely to help that much. Not only are many modules not very well balanced anyway (not the least of the reasons for this being that each group has a different level of optimization-fu), but unless you railroad your players into sticking with exactly what the module says, you'll be at even more of a loss when they go off in left field and you haven't even tried to develop your skill at balancing things to the party.
So, everyone should just make it up as they go along, possibly playing for years under false assumptions? We don't all go to gaming conventions or come running to the boards asking about every little rules dispute that comes up. Even a simple tactic recommendation like "the warg hides while the wolves charge in, fleeing if the party kills one of the wolves in the first round" can help someone who's not really sure how to use a monster's abilities run a convincing encounter.


4) Lack of creativity: Okay, why are you DMing/GMing again? If you lack the creativity to make these things up, you're likely also bad at improv, which when paired with using modules is a bad thing unless you railroad like crazy or have sheep players. Not only that, but... why on earth would you run a game if you weren't creative? The only reason I can see is that no one else would step up to the plate. Maybe you should work together with someone to come up with ideas; goodness knows this board has helped people with that.
Because nobody else wants to. Because I'm the one who got a Monster Manual. Because I'm the only one who understands the grapple rules. Because I know enough spells off the top of my head to run an encounter with three spellcasters in a timely fashion. Because my material's getting stale and I want to give the players a fresh experience.


6) Hack/n/slash: This one I'll accept. I just wouldn't want to be involved in this kind of game - if this is all you wanted, why aren't you playing WoW or something? But I acknowledge that some people do play like this, and I can't really say, "Stop having fun! You're doing it wrong!" So I accept this one.
Because WoW doesn't let me:
- Fastball special the rogue
- Pour oil down a troll's throat and run it through with a flaming sword
- Surprise the kobold ambushers by kicking down the wall instead of the door
- Fight a dragon that acts like a dragon, rather than an orc with AoE attacks
- Drop a chandelier on the guy I'm dueling
- Grab the evil mastermind and jump off a mountainside with him
- Save a village from destruction, and then be treated like a hero, instead of having to pay for a cup of water by selling the useless trinket they gave me

Just because it's "hack and slash" doesn't mean it's mindless, just light-hearted.


So playground, help me understand why people use modules.
The same reason people use any other premade material, from monster manuals to weapon descriptions to spell lists: because it offers a tool to improve their play experience without spending years coming up with it on their own.

Pigkappa
2011-05-10, 04:37 PM
Unless a DM is really good and has a lot of time to spare, I think he should make use of pre-written modules.

A good campaign requires several plot hooks to intertwine in an interesting way. Creating a linear adventure is easy, creating a long a complex one is difficult and it requires a lot of time.




1,5) Too Lazy: yeah, get over yourself and actually do the work if you want to DM/GM.

2) Not enough time: If you don't have enough time to prep, you shouldn't be the one DMing/GMing. You don't volunteer to direct your local community theatre's play and then just show up for dress rehearsal and the performance.

4) Lack of creativity: Okay, why are you DMing/GMing again? If you lack the creativity to make these things up, you're likely also bad at improv, which when paired with using modules is a bad thing unless you railroad like crazy or have sheep players. Not only that, but... why on earth would you run a game if you weren't creative? The only reason I can see is that no one else would step up to the plate. Maybe you should work together with someone to come up with ideas; goodness knows this board has helped people with that.

Answering to 1 and 2: consider a complex module such as Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (in any of its several versions). It is really interesting and well made. To make up something like that, a DM would spend several months of work, and nobody in our group has so much time to spare. And I don't think I would be able to make up a place as interesting as Barovia's lands.

Answering to 4: to run a module in an effective way the DM needs to read it before the game (which does require some work; EtCR is 200+ pages) and think about the possible reactions player will have. He will also change a few minor or major parts of the adventure to suit the party and, if necessary, merge several modules to work together (this works well for short adventures which can be quite dull by themselves).

dsmiles
2011-05-10, 04:47 PM
Sigh. This is just another "my way of playing is superior, why the hell are some people playing not my way?!" thread. I feel dumber for spending two minutes skimming over it.

I'm with you.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-05-10, 04:56 PM
You're right, Fiery Diamond.
Having a job means I'm too lazy and uncreative to play D&D.
I only wish I'd learned this sooner.

I also wish I had learned that not devoting every second of my life to D&D means I'm too lazy to play D&D. [/extreme sarcasm]

Ravens_cry
2011-05-10, 04:56 PM
Published modules allow a new DM to learn the process of running a game, the tactical, session by session aspect. They may or may not be good at teaching you how to make your own adventure, the strategic aspect, but both skill sets are equally important. Sure, they can't cover every contingency the players might do, but that is also an important skill to learn, how to improvise when players do something you do not expect, how to rewrite future sessions when a current session makes something invalid. This is also an important skill to know when you have your own adventures. After all: No plan survives contact with the enemy players. :smallamused:

The Big Dice
2011-05-10, 05:00 PM
I learned more about how you're supposed to run an RPG from modules than I ever did from rulebooks. I also learn more about settings from modules than from manuals.

Modules are useful, for lots of reasons. Many of which have already been touched on. And as a GM, I've gone from relying on them to ignoring them as and when I deemed I needed to. Because I'm not going to turn my nose up at something that keeps my interest in running games and helps me through those patches of writer's block or GM burnout.

Kiero
2011-05-10, 05:08 PM
I learned more about how you're supposed to run an RPG from modules than I ever did from rulebooks. I also learn more about settings from modules than from manuals.


I learned more about how you're supposed to run a game from talking about it on RPGnet than I ever did rulebooks or modules. What with it being an interactive medium where I can leverage the experience of other people who've done it.

That's not counting old-fashioned experience and making the mistakes myself, given I learned how to GM by doing when me and my group were all equally new to it.

Talakeal
2011-05-10, 05:14 PM
When I use a premade module it is simply because I read it and thought it would be cool, usually because I liked the story or some of the encounters.
My players HATE modules. When I run a module they specifically do everything in their power to run it off the rails, and I have one player who has a standing statement of "I will ignore any text which is read to me from a book". Not quite sure why, but I guess I can take it as a compliment to my own adventure writing skills.
The only complaint I have about modules is they are Monty Haul as all get out, especially if I am running an older TSR module. I always have to go through and carefully scale back the treasure of the adventure of have my future games wrecked by the sudden influx of gold and magic items.

Tvtyrant
2011-05-10, 05:25 PM
I think the best use of models is as plug-ins for situations that are situationally similar in a campaign. For instance A Dark and Stormy Knight and similar modules are nice for making travel/random encounters interesting. I could make dozens of plugins for when the party suddenly decides to travel to a mountain I mentioned three sessions ago rather then kill the Duke, and I could just wing it (with a much lower level of quality usually), or I could use modules that fit the situation as a shortcut.

Kiero
2011-05-10, 05:30 PM
For me even aside from the inherently rail-roady nature of the things, I don't see the point in paying money for something you can only use with a given group once.

dsmiles
2011-05-10, 05:36 PM
For me even aside from the inherently rail-roady nature of the things, I don't see the point in paying money for something you can only use with a given group once.So not true. I can't count how many times my group has played through certain published modules. There's no reason you can't enjoy something more than once. Do you read a book once, and never read it again? I don't.

I pick up on different things every time I read the same book. Same thing with modules.

druid91
2011-05-10, 05:38 PM
Sigh. This is just another "my way of playing is superior, why the hell are some people playing not my way?!" thread. I feel dumber for spending two minutes skimming over it.

:smallsigh: Ah, another "I disagree with this person so I'm going to take the moral high ground by saying/implying they are intolerant fools" post.

I really wish these would stop popping up everywhere an argument can happen.:smallannoyed:

You do realise of course that at best you are following the exact same logic you are condemning?

Namely, "This person doesn't think like me, I think superiorly, Why aren't they thinking like me?!":smallwink:

Tvtyrant
2011-05-10, 05:42 PM
When a topic starts out claiming that every possibility but one is inconceivable, and that one the OP allows for states "Why aren't you just playing WoW." Then yes, the author is being insulting to everyone who disagrees. Especially when there are ones like "too lazy" thrown in.

AsteriskAmp
2011-05-10, 05:44 PM
For me even aside from the inherently rail-roady nature of the things, I don't see the point in paying money for something you can only use with a given group once.

There are free modules online.

The Big Dice
2011-05-10, 05:49 PM
I learned more about how you're supposed to run a game from talking about it on RPGnet than I ever did rulebooks or modules. What with it being an interactive medium where I can leverage the experience of other people who've done it.

That's not counting old-fashioned experience and making the mistakes myself, given I learned how to GM by doing when me and my group were all equally new to it.

Bear in mind I'm talking about learning experiences from as long ago as 25 years ago. I'm not as old as dirt. But dirt and I are starting to have a lot more in common.

Other than that, just like when I learned to play guitar, things made more sense when I was doing them than they did when I was reading about them.

druid91
2011-05-10, 05:56 PM
When a topic starts out claiming that every possibility but one is inconceivable, and that one the OP allows for states "Why aren't you just playing WoW." Then yes, the author is being insulting to everyone who disagrees. Especially when there are ones like "too lazy" thrown in.

Which is not what Vladislav said.

They did not say "Your being insulting"

They said "Your arguing your way is better makes you an ignorant fool, and I feel dumber for reading this.*"

*Paraphrased

Tvtyrant
2011-05-10, 06:07 PM
Sigh. This is just another "my way of playing is superior, why the hell are some people playing not my way?!" thread. I feel dumber for spending two minutes skimming over it.


Which is not what Vladislav said.

They did not say "Your being insulting"

They said "Your arguing your way is better makes you an ignorant fool, and I feel dumber for reading this.*"

*Paraphrased

Saying that other ways of doing things is "lazy" is insulting, and should be seen as such. Saying it is a waste of time trying to respond to someone who has already made up their mind and has attacked the people who responded is a reasonable response, and your arguing that anyone taking the high ground is automatically as the original party. Which by your logic makes you just as insulting/prejudiced by taking the high ground against them, and if I took it against you would have the same result.

Kiero
2011-05-10, 06:44 PM
So not true. I can't count how many times my group has played through certain published modules. There's no reason you can't enjoy something more than once. Do you read a book once, and never read it again? I don't.

I pick up on different things every time I read the same book. Same thing with modules.

There are very few books, movies, games or anything else I consider good enough to want to read/watch/play them more than once in my life.

When it comes to RPGs, I have precisely zero interest in ever repeating anything.


There are free modules online.

Which doesn't change everything else that's wrong with them.


Bear in mind I'm talking about learning experiences from as long ago as 25 years ago. I'm not as old as dirt. But dirt and I are starting to have a lot more in common.

Other than that, just like when I learned to play guitar, things made more sense when I was doing them than they did when I was reading about them.

I find talking to other people who've done it more useful than merely reading, and a good way to support running something for the first time.

Pigkappa
2011-05-10, 06:47 PM
There are very few books, movies, games or anything else I consider good enough to want to read/watch/play them more than once in my life.


This means you don't ever buy any of those, right?

Katana_Geldar
2011-05-10, 06:48 PM
Okay, here are some reasons why I like modules:

1) You learn so much by reading them and running them, and not just if you're a new DM. A lot of really good modules makes you feel like another DM is in the chair, helping you out.

2) You don't have to follow them religiously, and well-written modules will give you a few options in terms of fluff. And they do need to be tweaked sometimes, as things might not work as well as the designers hope they would. I am currently running 4E Tomb of Horrors and not all of it is perscriptive. Currently we're in a gap in an adventure done by me, but it's still ToH.

3) Chances are another DM is running the same module as you, somewhere out there and you can get support. They'll relate the story of how their party tackled it, what to look out for and possible suggestions for fixes.

4) Some games are rather hard to write adventures for, modules make this easy. I am speaking of Paranoia, which goes against the grain of almost every RPG you can think of. I like running Paranoia but as I am a storyteller GM I find doing adventures for it difficult. Modules make this so much easier, and due to the nature of the game I am free to use the module as a framework and do whatever the **** I like.

5) Modules give you the chance to play a specific game. Are you going to sneer at people who wish to test their characters against the almighty Tomb of Horrors? What about Hommlet or the Temple of Elemental Evil?

6) Some tournaments only let you play/run modules anyway, it may be restrictive but it makes sure everyone is on the same page.

Oh, and I love reading books more than once and playing computer games more than once and cannot understand why people don't do either.

dsmiles
2011-05-10, 07:00 PM
4) Some games are rather hard to write adventures for, modules make this easy. I am speaking of Paranoia, which goes against the grain of almost every RPG you can think of. I like running Paranoia but as I am a storyteller GM I find doing adventures for it difficult. Modules make this so much easier, and due to the nature of the game I am free to use the module as a framework and do whatever the **** I like.Wait. There's people that don't use modules for Paranoia? :smallconfused:
Writing a scenario for that game would be so hard...:smalleek:

Katana_Geldar
2011-05-10, 07:03 PM
It is hard, and after writing one I don't think I'll do another one soon. Good thing I just bought Flashbacks.

Kiero
2011-05-10, 07:13 PM
This means you don't ever buy any of those, right?

Libraries are wonderful things. I've stopped buying anything I haven't read at the library first, and deemed it worthy of owning because I'd read it again.

You can get DVDs at the library too.

In the case of games, I buy extremely rarely and don't play very often. There's the stuff I buy because I can see mileage in it (usually fan-made mods extending the life of the game into forever), and stuff I just don't bother with in the first place.


6) Some tournaments only let you play/run modules anyway, it may be restrictive but it makes sure everyone is on the same page.


Tournaments can go burn in their own special hell. The singular worst RPG session I ever had in my life, which managed to combine railroad with pixelbitch was in a TSR-run tournament back in the mid-90s.

The worst roleplaying experience of my entire life was in a tournament game run by TSR in what must have been about 1995 or so. It might even be the root cause of some of my dissatisfaction with the traditional GM/player split, and is certainly something I often channel when talking about it. I had never played one before, and have never played one since. This is the only time I'll recount the entire sordid tale.

Summary: tournament AD&D 2e game, running through a module in a limited timeframe. This one experience managed to combine railroad with pixelbitch, culminating in two hours of real time spent looking for a secret door we knew was there, because it was the only exit.

Long form: Back at school my regular group were asked to represent our school at an inter-schools AD&D (2e) tournament run by TSR over in Cherry Hinton. Obviously in the days when they still existed as a going concern. Obviously being active gamers at the time, we were chuffed to be doing this with the school's blessing. If I miss particular details, blame it on my memory, I don't remember a lot of my early gaming. Caudex might be able to clarify on some points, he was there.

Come the day of the tournament (a Sunday I think) we roll up to a school near their offices and the hall is laid out with many tables surrounded by chairs. We get introduced to our GM and get settled.

Now I must clarify this from the off. The GM was an alright kind of guy, I don't entirely blame him for what happened. I think he was genuinely caught in a bind by the situation he was in. They were probably briefed quite thoroughly on trying to keep things "fair" from table-to-table so had to be strict in their interpretation of things. Given it was run from a module (again no doubt to make things "equal") things were already heading in a certain narrowly-defined direction.

Anyway we get our character sheets, and I notice they've added up the bonuses for my paladin character wrong. I was often the GM and I had an eye for this kind of thing at the time (because I was often the GM, I was also made party leader by the others). I point the error out to the GM, but he doesn't feel comfortable changing it to the correct value because, well, the mistake is the same for everyone. One of my magic items is a folding boat, which is the subject of an amusing story later.

We get started, it's a standard dungeon crawl module. Some McGuffin or other we have to find down there for some reason or other. By this point we'd pretty much stopped playing dungeon crawls in our regular session, having grown bored of the dynamic. So we weren't exactly in peak dungeon-bashing form. An hour or two of mapping and room clearance later, and we're stuck.

We've cleared out all of the most apparent rooms on the level, but there doesn't seem to be a way to continue. The thief and the elven character get to work looking for secret doors. In every room. By sheer process of elimination and scrutinising the map, we work out the only place it could be. So we search this room. Nothing. We search it again. Nothing.

We know the secret door is in here somewhere. There is nowhere else to go - we can't leave the dungeon because we'll fail the game. I don't think the world existed outside the dungeon anyway. We can't go on until we find this door. So we keep on trying different suggestions and different spins on the words, spells, magic items, the lot. For. Two. Hours. I don't even remember what it was that eventually opened this door, or perhaps that the GM finally rolled what he had to behind the screen.

After that I think we'd hit a stage of not really caring how the game went. Sure school pride was on the line, but we'd gone past frustration point. The door leads to a passage and then some steps going down to a cavern and underground river. Aha! Finally something we can do perhaps. In my exuberance that we're finally going somewhere, I shout out "Yay, [command word for the folding boat]!" GM rules that my character said the command word, and thus the boat opens up in my pack, knocking me off the stairs. Result of which I lose almost all my hit points, as well as looking like a complete ****. Needless to say no one was happy with that ruling, especially after the pixelbitch from hell.

I don't remember much else that happened, but we didn't get much further after that. We didn't win, I think we may even have come last. But apparently the GM said we were one of the more fun groups he'd run the game for. We just weren't disciplined enough for that style of game I guess.

Looking back on that experience, it was everything I wouldn't want in a game. A GM with an agenda other than "create the most fun for everyone at the table". A railroaded adventure where you had no options but to stay the course. A pixelbitching One True Solution puzzle which held up the entire game until you solved it (I hate puzzles to this day). Some bizarre interpretations of what's going on at the table (the folding boat debacle). And no means whatsoever for the players to make their ideas count, nor take any kind of control of the game besides what their characters did.

There were no issues of problem players or anything like that, because it was me and my regular group. Though perhaps in other tournaments where groups might be pickup types you could get that thrown into the mix.

dsmiles
2011-05-10, 07:13 PM
It is hard, and after writing one I don't think I'll do another one soon. Good thing I just bought Flashbacks.Good God. I think congratulations are in order. So, Congratulations! (Ans is there any way I could swipe it from you? :smalltongue:)

Katana_Geldar
2011-05-10, 07:15 PM
If you like, PM me and I'll give you the 101. My notes for it are at home. It's very spacey.

BTW, Paranoia modules I would not run again with the same group due to the nature of the game. I have run the same module, my favourite one The Quantum Traitor, five times and I would do it again.

Kurgan
2011-05-10, 07:25 PM
One thing modules can provide is excellent starting points for adventures. Especially useful when you are new to a system and do not know how to judge the challenge of a task yet. You also do not need to abide by them religiously, and can alter the thing as you see fit.

For example, when I first ran adnd2e, I took the Spider Farm module off of Dragonsfoot, replaced the goblins with elves (one of the recurring villain factions for the campaign), and other than that used it as is. From doing this, I was able to figure out some of the dos and don'ts of the system.

Could I have taken the time and delved through the books to figure some of this out? Probably, but it is more interesting jumping right in and learning from experience sometimes, and modules allow for just that.

Anxe
2011-05-10, 07:40 PM
OP nailed the reasons for why I use 'em. I do a lot of work for my campaign, but often I get burnt out and just wanna DM something without doing most of the work. Modules serve pretty well.

druid91
2011-05-10, 08:11 PM
Saying that other ways of doing things is "lazy" is insulting, and should be seen as such. Saying it is a waste of time trying to respond to someone who has already made up their mind and has attacked the people who responded is a reasonable response, and your arguing that anyone taking the high ground is automatically as the original party. Which by your logic makes you just as insulting/prejudiced by taking the high ground against them, and if I took it against you would have the same result.

Yes, but here is a fundemantal difference. I am not putting myself on a high ground but knocking out from beneath another.

And once again you ignore the words that were said.

Vladislav said nothing about laziness, nothing about any of that. Merely Condemned the OP because he has an opinion, and asked why others differ.

Tvtyrant
2011-05-10, 08:33 PM
Yes, but here is a fundemantal difference. I am not putting myself on a high ground but knocking out from beneath another.

And once again you ignore the words that were said.

Vladislav said nothing about laziness, nothing about any of that. Merely Condemned the OP because he has an opinion, and asked why others differ.

Uh, no. Actually the exact words were "my way of playing is superior, why the hell are some people playing not my way?!" as a paraphrase of the OP, with the clear implication that the OP was insulting through the "my way of playing is superior" line. If you deliberately add in "my way is obviously superior to the OPs" then yes you would have a point. That having nothing to do with either Vladislavs paraphrasing, you are in fact adding words in and then arguing against them. The OP had also gone on to imply that anyone playing a different way should quit playing and was lowering the standards of the game.

Also, implying that there is a fundamental difference between putting yourself on a pedestal and putting yourself on a pedestal is pedantic at best.

Jude_H
2011-05-10, 08:46 PM
As much as it'd be sweet to nitpick what V meant or didn't mean, the OP is pretty damned self-righteous and hostile.

{Scrub the post, scrub the quote}
There's the question mark at the end, but FD has already acknowledged that he knows the very simple answer: premade settings and modules save an awful lot of time. Even though it's posed as a question, the OP reads very clearly as an attack, plugging one way of playing as superior. I have a hard time faulting someone for calling the OP out on that.

Legend
2011-05-10, 08:52 PM
<snip>tld;dr = People who use modules are lazy and/or uncreative. If you can't/don't write your own adventures, you should stop DMing, even if that means your game folds. Your way of playing is badwrongfun.

Boo. :smallmad:

Sure, you found six different ways to say "you're uncreative and/or lazy," but it's basically the same claim over and over. There are plenty of reasons of creative and hard-working DMs to use modules. Many people enjoy reading them, enjoy using them as a basis for an adventure, and find a string of adventures written by someone else provides a nice backbone to a campaign (whether that's Queen of Spiders or Age of Worms). They provide ideas, elements, characters, stories, and plots.

A band that plays for fun often does covers in addition to their own music. Even professional artists often write for others or have others write for them. A theater company might write their own plays, but many like to perform the works of others. To assume from that that they are lazy or uncreative does not make sense. To tell those people to stop doing what they do is insulting to them and lessens the net enjoyment in the world.

RPG players have been using and playing published adventures since the early days of the hobby. They provide an opportunity for shared experience. And, yes, they provide a way for time-strapped, less creative, and less hardworking people to game. But that doesn't mean that everyone who uses them has those attributes or even that people with those attributes are having badwrongfun and should stop playing. More people playing is good for the hobby and good for us all.

In your disregard of published adventures, you're missing out on tons of great material. Frankly, it's your loss.

dsmiles
2011-05-10, 09:01 PM
I just realized I never addressed the OP's opinion.
{Scrub the quote, scrub the post}I would like you to show me where 'going along with the plot' is bad. Seriously, show me. Just because we follow the plot of a published module doesn't mean we're boring. I can guarantee we have just as much fun as everyone else's groups. Not everyone wants a sandbox game. Not everyone enjoys that type of play.
{Scrub the quote, scrub the post}Perhaps you're the one who needs to 'get over yourself.' You don't like modules? Fine, I really don't care. Some people do. No need to put them down because they have fun in a different way than you. It's a choice. Much like choosing to eat a burger for breakfast. Or choosing to go see a particular movie, or read a particular book.
{Scrub the quote, scrub the post}And the people who have the time may not want to DM/GM. Or the ones who have the time may suck at DMing/GMing. Or maybe we all have work during the week, and families on the weekends. Maybe we only get together every other week to game because gaming is a casual experience for us. Maybe we only get together to game a couple of times a year, just to have a bit of fun. Life doesn't revolve around gaming for everybody, most people have it the other way around.
{Scrub the quote, scrub the post}Or, maybe you're new, and need to DM/GM a few sessions before you try your hand at writing adventures.
{Scrub the quote, scrub the post}I'm still not getting where following a plot is a bad thing. I also resent being called a 'sheep player.' That's pretty insulting. You're coming across in a 'holier than thou' manner, and it's going to piss off a lot of people. Playing modules is neither inferior nor superior to sandbox-style gaming. People enjoy different things. I enjoy Hard Rock, KPop, and Nerdcore music. I'm pretty sure not everyone else does. I'm not about to insult them for enjoying Top 40 or Classical.
{Scrub the quote, scrub the post}Really? Because that's exactly what it sounds like you're saying. Those of us who enjoy modules are apparently "doing it wrong." :smallannoyed:

druid91
2011-05-10, 09:12 PM
Uh, no. Actually the exact words were "my way of playing is superior, why the hell are some people playing not my way?!" as a paraphrase of the OP, with the clear implication that the OP was insulting through the "my way of playing is superior" line. If you deliberately add in "my way is obviously superior to the OPs" then yes you would have a point. That having nothing to do with either Vladislavs paraphrasing, you are in fact adding words in and then arguing against them. The OP had also gone on to imply that anyone playing a different way should quit playing and was lowering the standards of the game.

Also, implying that there is a fundamental difference between putting yourself on a pedestal and putting yourself on a pedestal is pedantic at best.

Uh, How is "My way of playing is superior" Insulting... Aside from the fact that not everyone plays that way/team spirit esque sense?

No. My point is.

1.) Vladislav Said that the OP was wrong For believing his way was the best and asking why others used theirs. Not for the insulting way he said it.

2.) That that argument is inherently flawed. Because if noone spoke their mind because everyone can do it there own way, thus wondering why others do it differently is wrong,... why are we on these boards?

averagejoe
2011-05-10, 09:37 PM
The Mod They Call Me: Thread locked.