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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Deth Muncher's Avatar

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    Default 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    So here's my problem. I just went through my session, and one of my players pretty much had the. Worst. Day. Ever. She succeeded on something I asked her for all of twice in a five-hour session. Twice. Now, while the whole party is levelling up, I feel I need to give her something extra, because, let's face it, if you can't DO anything in a session, you feel pretty useless and lame, amirite? So.

    The PCs are just levelling to 6 now. What's something fun, and maybe on the mostly-okay kind of broken that I could give this player? She's playing a male Elf Paladin of Heironeous.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    So here's my problem. I just went through my session, and one of my players pretty much had the. Worst. Day. Ever. She succeeded on something I asked her for all of twice in a five-hour session. Twice. Now, while the whole party is levelling up, I feel I need to give her something extra, because, let's face it, if you can't DO anything in a session, you feel pretty useless and lame, amirite? So.

    The PCs are just levelling to 6 now. What's something fun, and maybe on the mostly-okay kind of broken that I could give this player? She's playing a male Elf Paladin of Heironeous.
    What do you mean? Was she not hitting enemies? Failing skill checks? Being prevented from stuff because of her paladin-ness?

    Give us more info and it'll be easier for us to help.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    You could let her take the "Hands of the Healer" feat from the Book of Exalted Deeds, but combine it with a magical location so that the net effect is that your charisma score counts as four higher for the purposes of calculating Lay on Hands points and her Lay on Hands ability damages all evil beings as if they were undead for [as long as the magical location's ability lasts].
    In Dungeons and Dragons, racism is frowned upon, unless you're playing an elf. Then it's an interesting character trait.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Give a free luck feat to help "balance the scales"?
    I am not crazy! I prefer "reality impaired".

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Was it a result of poor rolls or a result of build?
    Last edited by Weezer; 2010-02-13 at 07:07 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    You want to reward her for having bad dice luck?

    I'd turn it into something a bit more humorous. Come up with ways of improving her dice luck - have her rub her dice on you before they're cast, store them correctly, microwave the first one to roll 1, ect.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    I'm against this. Rewarding her for doing badly makes the reward far less satisfying than if she earned it by actually doing well, and it will probably annoy the others on some level, since she did really badly yet came out of it better than they did.

    If she sucked thanks to a bad build then you need to address her character and help her rebuild it, if it was just bad luck then it's tough, that's why we use dice.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    If you think the player is down, you could make a short encounter at the start of the session designed to show how respected/heroic/etc her character is - maybe a 5-10 minute throwback to her past successful adventures with some commoner she saved saying he recognizes the character and thanks her/tells her how her actions made a difference and the world a better place (as in, describe how the place/people she saved are doing now thanks to her efforts), or some effortless-grade bandits she can protect the peasantry from.

    In other words, just some roleplaying and a reminder that her luck WAS and WILL get better, and not that her character is powerless.
    Last edited by Grey Paladin; 2010-02-13 at 07:37 PM.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    I recommend something amusing but with no long term impact on the game. Maybe a 1 session boon, or no mechanical effect but an amusing RP scenario involving her comes up.

    If it's a long term mechanical problem I recommend solving it out of game with build help or etc. while trying to not alter her original concept.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2010-02-13 at 07:37 PM.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Specifications:

    She couldn't hit monsters, she couldn't pass skill checks. Basically, all she did was damage sponge. Which, I mean, is something, but she was feeling pretty terrible at the end of it.

    Maybe I should do something next session (off of the "one-time-boon" idea) that maybe the next time she'd fail something by more than 10, Hieroneous aids her and bumps the roll up?


    EDIT: It was no fault of her build at all. She was just getting raped by statistics. Like, she generally needed to roll around a 12 to hit the enemies - not the best, but certainly doable, ja? - and generally rolled about a 10. Also, she'd need to roll a 10 (or 8) on skill checks, but only ended up rolling under a 5, every time. I even told her to trade dice, and the new dice still failed.
    Last edited by Deth Muncher; 2010-02-13 at 07:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xyk View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    ..thank you, Deth Muncher. My life is richer for being aware of this. And weirder. ("You destroyed my friends! I will have my vengeance! Face the fury of my pelvic thrusts!" "Oh yeah? LAZOR!")
    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    You all are a terrible species. I'm going back to my fortress of misanthropy now.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Elf Paladin? I'm guessing she picked that because she wanted to be pretty. Correct me if I'm wrong*, though.

    Why don't you run a short solo adventure for her before your next session? Something where she can roleplay and try to feel appreciated by the world her character lives in. Something where her character mechanics don't matter as much, pretty much.


    *I often am.
    Last edited by UglyPanda; 2010-02-13 at 07:47 PM.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    IMO yeah, a luck boon for only a single session would be nice. The Voice of Hieroneous describing it to her is a nice touch. I'd do a +2 luck bonus to almost all rolls, or reroll 5's and lower (just once). If you want a +4 or reroll 10's and lower, it's up to you, but be aware that the impact will be huge. I wouldn't.

    Melee elves aren't as bad as people think. A bow, reflex save, initiative or at very high levels mithral armor can use the dex. The +2 to will saves vs. enchants is nice for melee, not to mention elf senses.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2010-02-13 at 08:01 PM.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Don't give her any bonuses simply because she rolled poorly. It happens, next time she might be lucky instead.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    If the luck remains truly awful for another session... reverse rolls. 1's are now 20's, 19's are now 2's. So on and such forth. If it's just rolling low, the luck will reverse. If it's just plain bad luck, and the rolls reverse too... umm... come up with another idea.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Myou View Post
    I'm against this. Rewarding her for doing badly makes the reward far less satisfying than if she earned it by actually doing well, and it will probably annoy the others on some level, since she did really badly yet came out of it better than they did.

    If she sucked thanks to a bad build then you need to address her character and help her rebuild it, if it was just bad luck then it's tough, that's why we use dice.
    Only if you do it often. If some one is not having fun and they get a new shiny toy to play with to have fun whats the problem? (That is so long as shes not oversteping any lines.)
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    IMO, it goes against the principal of having a dice-based system, if you're going to be handing out bonuses if someone is rolling poorly. Her character was simply having a bad day.
    It's what to be expected from a dice-based game, don't reward her for it. You don't give players who roll high a penalty, do you?

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    I'm for the idea of a one-time (or at least limited time) boon. Make sure it has something to do with her bad luck as well; it makes a nice connection.

    Example: She was a paladin of Heironeous, correct? Maybe, the next session, you can have him speak to her in a dream, assure her that all creatures go through trying times and that it is in those situations that faith is needed at it's most, faith in both the deities and in oneself.

    Heironeous is impressed by his paladin's perseverence, not backing down even when all the world was against her. He blesses her with his blessing, which can take several guises.

    It could be mechanical, providing an untyped bonus of +2 or so, or allow her to reroll results of 4 or lower, or let her perfectly suceed at a single action of her choice.

    Otherwise, it could be plot-related; maybe something good or funny or positive will happen to her in the next session. She will be allowed to use her powers in the service of people, maybe in some little solo sidequest, or she could be the one to discover the leads to the next part of your story. This latter one might be more appropriate if she actually roleplays moody and dissapointed, it will show her character the importance of fortitude.

    The blessing could last for a session or in in-game day. The point is to cheer her up and make her feel favored again.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    If you're against making it too obvious, including an item in the next bunch of loot that is paladin-specific or at least something that only her character would want. A wand of paladin spells may be a bit too obvious and a holy weapon is probably too good for her level, but something along those lines.

    Of course, if you want to be all dramatic about it, the dream from Heironyous suggested above sounds great.
    Last edited by RebelRogue; 2010-02-13 at 08:30 PM.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    You could simply use the DM's best friend. If she fails by 2 or less, come up with a favorable situation (the sun was in their eyes, etc.) or make sure that she gets a flanking bonus.

    For skill checks, remind other characters to use aid another (if possible).
    In Dungeons and Dragons, racism is frowned upon, unless you're playing an elf. Then it's an interesting character trait.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Demons_eye View Post
    Only if you do it often. If some one is not having fun and they get a new shiny toy to play with to have fun whats the problem? (That is so long as shes not oversteping any lines.)
    See Narazil's post.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    If she has an elaborate backstory, ask to include elements of it in the roleplay. Perhaps a side quest involving her fellow Paladins from the church, or even members of her family? Make her a more involved character plot-wise, if she's lagging behind the others play-wise.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Narazil View Post
    You want to reward her for having bad dice luck?

    I'd turn it into something a bit more humorous. Come up with ways of improving her dice luck - have her rub her dice on you before they're cast, store them correctly, microwave the first one to roll 1, ect.
    You could also advise her to take the feat "Better lucky than good." This causes all natural ones to be treated as natural twenties.
    In Dungeons and Dragons, racism is frowned upon, unless you're playing an elf. Then it's an interesting character trait.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Narazil View Post
    IMO, it goes against the principal of having a dice-based system, if you're going to be handing out bonuses if someone is rolling poorly. Her character was simply having a bad day.
    It's what to be expected from a dice-based game, don't reward her for it. You don't give players who roll high a penalty, do you?
    I find it funny as the OP never mentioned reward, if some one is having a bad day and you give them some thing it is not a reward but more of a consolation (right word? ) prize. Its not likly to happen much so its not like a player can abuse it.

    My vote: Give her a a item/class ability that lets her use up a turn attempt to reroll a roll or give a boost to rolls.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Deth Muncher View Post
    EDIT: It was no fault of her build at all. She was just getting raped by statistics. Like, she generally needed to roll around a 12 to hit the enemies - not the best, but certainly doable, ja? - and generally rolled about a 10. Also, she'd need to roll a 10 (or 8) on skill checks, but only ended up rolling under a 5, every time. I even told her to trade dice, and the new dice still failed.
    A 12 to hit should result in hits a decent chunk of the time. Sure, it's a rough roll, but if everythings missing...it's just bad luck. It happens.

    Permanent rewards for temporary bad luck is generally not a good solution, though. Look at tossing in the occasional mob that's easier to hit, perhaps. Look at her skill list, and try to toss in a relevant challenge or two that are easiest for her to pass.

    These are temporary things to make a specific player useful that won't throw the balance of the game off, and generally are a decent practice anyhow. Theres nothing wrong with giving every character a time to shine.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Bibliomancer View Post
    You could also advise her to take the feat "Better lucky than good." This causes all natural ones to be treated as natural twenties.
    Damn, where is this feat at? I see so many potential abuses for this. With saves, specifically.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Damn, where is this feat at? I see so many potential abuses for this. With saves, specifically.
    The poster was mistaken. It works only on attack roles, takes a swift action, and is usable only 1/day. Complete Scoundrel has a bunch of Luck feats, but I find them almost all to be of extremely limited use, and certainly not to be used in any campaign with a noticeable level of optimization.
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Ah, those. I like that book, and I like the idea behind luck feats, but in practice, Ive never actually considered them valuable enough to take. I might try them out in a E6 environment, I guess, but otherwise, nah, Im with you on your evaluation of them.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    The poster was mistaken. It works only on attack roles, takes a swift action, and is usable only 1/day. Complete Scoundrel has a bunch of Luck feats, but I find them almost all to be of extremely limited use, and certainly not to be used in any campaign with a noticeable level of optimization.
    My mistake, sorry. I've never actually used it myself, I've just heard it referenced in a few of my games when a player is on a one streak.
    In Dungeons and Dragons, racism is frowned upon, unless you're playing an elf. Then it's an interesting character trait.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    I always liked the idea of giving a character a +2 bonus on their next d20 roll if they fail like 3 in a row. the +2 stays until they succeed at something, then they get another +2 when they fail 3 more times, etc.

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    Default Re: 3.5 Making Up For A Crappy Session

    As a DM, if anything should get a player down, giving their character a nifty little sub plot is always a solution.

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