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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default My favourite D&D is heretical!

    I'm playing in a 4th edition game right now (set in Icewind Dale - podcasts available) and having loads of fun. I've played Red Box, RC and AD&D2e in my time, and I'd never play any of those again. 3.x did nothing for me and I've got pretty much zero interest in it or Pathfinder. For me, 4th edition is D&D.

    It's the second time we've played this particular setup, it started out at 7th level with the PCs as "defenders of the Dale". We ended that run crashing a Netherese flying fortress into Maer Dualdon. Which should give you an idea of the sort of pulpish tone of the thing.

    This time around we're desparately trying to stop an ancient thing (some sort of phaerimm-spawn) rising and two opposing forces from trying to wipe the Dale out.

    To the heresy, then. Aside from starting at 7th level, that is.

    There's no dungeons. None. At. All. Oh sure, there's been the odd occasional underground location (one fight in the first run took place underground), but it's not a crawl. We don't use the Dungeoneering skill at all. They're not run as room clearance with five encounters per session. We're lucky if we can fit one encounter in, and two is rare (it does make Dailies kind of meaningless). There's no traps or trapfinding.

    There's no loot. We started out with some magic items (Inherent Bonuses, so just 3 "signature" items of our choice), but we haven't found any. There's no treasure to be found, either (aside from the Wizard and his rituals, no one even bothers keeping track of money). The PCs are not getting rich doing the adventuring thing, we're doing it to protect our friends, families and community. We don't even get paid for what we're doing.

    We're only vaguely keeping track of XP - I'm sure the GM is because he's building encounters to a budget, but we have no idea how much we have. Apparently we're about halfway to 9th level now. I'd be surprised if this game gets beyond 10th though (I secretly hope it doesn't, I like the heroic tier).

    Who's aghast that this thing calls itself D&D when "kill things, take their stuff" doesn't even apply?
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    I think Dungeon Crawl went out of fashion somewhere in the early 80s.

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    What's so heretical about this? I've been playing this way for at least 15 years now.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I think Dungeon Crawl went out of fashion somewhere in the early 80s.
    It came back in the early 00's. And then went away again. And reappeared in 2008. And then went away again.

    FYI, it's coming back in 2012 or 2013.

    -O

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Our group likes the occaisional dungeon crawl, but we try to branch out to adventures of all types. I am not aghast at anything here, well except the starting at 7th level. That is something my group will never even consider doing.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I think Dungeon Crawl went out of fashion somewhere in the early 80s.
    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    It came back in the early 00's. And then went away again. And reappeared in 2008. And then went away again.

    FYI, it's coming back in 2012 or 2013.

    -O
    Yep, I get the feeling 3.x brought back the dungeon crawl in a big way. I read a lot of stuff that implies this is the default mode to play 3.x and by extension D&D.

    I also get the impression the AEDU structure makes more sense with a series of constructed encounters that take place in an enclosed environment. When you can have days between encounters (as we often do since we're outdoors), Dailies cease to really have any meaning.

    Of course I'm playing an Essentials character (everyone else is Core) so the only Daily powers I have are on items.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    What's so heretical about this? I've been playing this way for at least 15 years now.
    As above, the loot one in particular I think a lot of groups would balk at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thialfi View Post
    Our group likes the occaisional dungeon crawl, but we try to branch out to adventures of all types. I am not aghast at anything here, well except the starting at 7th level. That is something my group will never even consider doing.
    My group would never start at 1st. I think the lowest they'd consider is 3rd and I was pushing them towards something higher for this game. I should note, I hope it doesn't go beyond 10th, and I quite like where we are at 8th.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    I also get the impression the AEDU structure makes more sense with a series of constructed encounters that take place in an enclosed environment. When you can have days between encounters (as we often do since we're outdoors), Dailies cease to really have any meaning.
    I ran into this in my Dark Sun 4e game. I solved it by basically either (1) really pushing them hard on encounters while traveling, or (2) making an arbitrary "two milestone" minimum before an extended rest.

    I ran into similar issues under 3.x and its Arcana Evolved variant; it's not unique to 4e.

    My group would never start at 1st. I think the lowest they'd consider is 3rd and I was pushing them towards something higher for this game. I should note, I hope it doesn't go beyond 10th, and I quite like where we are at 8th.
    With Dark Sun, I am finding that limiting wealth and access to magic items eliminates most of the really serious optimization tricks and lets me continue to challenge my mid-Paragon PCs. I use inherent bonuses, and most of the PCs in my group have somewhere around 3-4 magic items and boons, tops, unless they're one of the original party, in which case they've been collecting for some time now.

    -O

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    It came back in the early 00's. And then went away again. And reappeared in 2008. And then went away again.

    FYI, it's coming back in 2012 or 2013.

    -O
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    My group would never start at 1st. I think the lowest they'd consider is 3rd and I was pushing them towards something higher for this game. I should note, I hope it doesn't go beyond 10th, and I quite like where we are at 8th.
    That is the great thing about D&D. It can be completely different games for different folks and both sets can enjoy their games for completely different reasons.

    It seems your game revolves around individual stories and the characters are interchangable. You envision a story and how that story will best be told and what level characters would maximize the enjoyment of that story.

    For us, the individual story is almost an afterthought. Our game is all about characters and their development over time. We craft stories specifically for our characters and discard them if they get in the way of character development. We think nothing of walking away from an adventure if we feel that this is what our characters reaction would be and at that point the adventure gets shelved, not the characters.

    We have a continuous campaign. Decisions made in 1982 affect our game today. My favorite character of all time is a still active 24th level cleric I started playing with in 1986. Four of my other current characters are his children. I can't imagine a enjoying a game that would have shelved him after a few months.

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    It's not heretical to play the way you want to play.

    If you want to crawl through dungeons, fine. If you don't want to, then don't.

    If you want to start at 1st level, great! If you want to start at 7th, 10th, or 20th level, that's great too.

    If you want to play a hard game in which your player might die, play that way. If you want to tell a story in which the character won't die unless you decide to, that's fine too.

    Point Buy? Fine. Rolling stats? Also fine.

    I don't like all ways to play, and I have strong opinions about which ways are better. But those opinions mean that I prefer to play that way, not that anyone else has to.

    Don't apologize for playing the game you love. Feel free to tell people why you love it, and to try to convince them that they might love it too.

    But don't look down on people for playing the game they love, even if you really, really don't like that game.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Heresy implies that you are doing something heretical. Which you are not.
    You have taken a system and made it your own, which is the intended point I think.

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Noedig View Post
    You have taken a system and made it your own, which is the intended point I think.
    Well we could argue that for quite a while i think.

    Anyway, there is no problem with what you are doing, cheers to you. You should just maybe think if DnD is really the best system for you then. There are other games that can give you this feeling you want but "better" or "more of it". Just a thing to think about.
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    I swear, about 50% of what makes BW awesome is the little stuff like that that's applicable to just about any system.

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Yep, this is why Roleplaying games are awesome.
    D&D is designed with the classic; explore dungeon, bypass traps, kill monsters gain treasure pattern in mind, and a lot of pre written adventures are designed for that purpose. But theres no reason why it has to be used that way.
    I prefer more involved, character focused games with lots of social interaction and where you hardly ever need to open the books. Lots of people hear this and say: "Ah in that case you shouldn't play D&D you should play *Insert name of different game here* its a storytelling game all about social situations and intrigue and is set twenty minutes into the future so its all dark and gritty and cyberpunky..." Completely failing to realise all the other things I like about the D&D game...
    Ultimately you need to play what you want to in the way that you want to, and not let anyone tell you differently!
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    It's not heretical to play the way you want to play.
    ...snip... really good stuff...
    Jay R, you're making way too much sense for this post to appear on the internet. How the 'net didn't go down in a horrifying conflagration (or is that a fireball/cube?), I don't know.

    Kudos though!

    I agree with your wise words.

    To the original poster: Make the game what you and your friends enjoy playing. Play on!
    Last edited by Kerrin; 2012-08-02 at 12:11 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Siegel View Post
    Anyway, there is no problem with what you are doing, cheers to you. You should just maybe think if DnD is really the best system for you then. There are other games that can give you this feeling you want but "better" or "more of it". Just a thing to think about.
    We're having an awesome time combining our usual style of scenery-chewing with tactical skirmishes in a fantasy world most of us know well.

    For other sorts of games, we have other systems (like our nWoD-powered Mass Effect game which is currently on hiatus). This group has a pretty broad experience of systems, and a good record of matching them to the sorts of experiences intended.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    Who's aghast that this thing calls itself D&D when "kill things, take their stuff" doesn't even apply?
    Not I. Barring starting at level 7, that's pretty much how I play and how I like my games to be, so... kudos to you for enjoying your games?

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    So what you are telling us is that your DM is running a campaign where he is forcing you to actually play REAL characters, with REAL depth who ACTUALLY use their BRAINS rather than MINDLESSLY slaughter everything.


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    Kill a PC's father? Well that's just the cost of doing business.
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    I think the only RPGs that even acknowledge the dungeon crawling playstyle at this point are DND and nostalgic retro-clones.

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    To the heresy, then. Aside from starting at 7th level, that is.

    There's no dungeons. None. At. All.
    Your penance, my child, is to defeat three random encounters, and to roll all of your dice until the highest number on each appears. Only the one true Rollplay can save you from these evils! Repent!

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    What's heretical about not starting at level one? D&D4E is a fun game, but at low level combat quickly devolves into spamming at-wills. Starting at higher level pretty much solves that - just as starting at higher level in 3E largely fixes that edition's absurdly excessive lethality at low levels.
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    I guess "my" dnd is heretical, too?

    Every game I've played in so far has started at least level 5, nor have I done a dungeon crawl ever, or fought a random encounter. Most of the combats take place outdoors, and the GMs are always heavily into the idea that our PCs are fully fleshed-out human beings who want more out of life than loot and xp, and are thus quite stingy with loot. I play 3.5/PF. Admittedly, it's not the game I signed up for (I personally imagined PCs going through a hostile dungeon with nothing but their wits and a sharp stick), but there are fun moments.

    What you're doing is fine.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2012-08-02 at 04:43 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    What's heretical about not starting at level one? D&D4E is a fun game, but at low level combat quickly devolves into spamming at-wills. Starting at higher level pretty much solves that - just as starting at higher level in 3E largely fixes that edition's absurdly excessive lethality at low levels.
    For lots of people (or at least the vocal ones on message boards) "real" D&D requires that you start at 1st level and maybe even roll your stats 3d6 in order. Thus part of "paying your dues" and "earning" the right to a higher level character is having survived the wildly variable lethality of lower levels.

    That might include starting again at 1st level if your character dies, regardless of the level of the rest of the group.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    For lots of people (or at least the vocal ones on message boards) "real" D&D requires that you start at 1st level and maybe even roll your stats 3d6 in order. Thus part of "paying your dues" and "earning" the right to a higher level character is having survived the wildly variable lethality of lower levels.
    Dammit, where's that trollface that has the funny looking eyes that are sorta like that @ sign?

    Because really, that is not the D&D people on this board play. That is an old "roll some stats, write down class and race, pick some equipment, do some math, and maybe make a mention that you're from a farm" mindset that hasn't applied ever since D&D became less like Nethack (or whatever it's called, it's some super-lethal game where merely winning it earns you instant respect from gamers everywhere) and more like a game about larger than life heroes doing awesome things.
    Last edited by Hiro Protagonest; 2012-08-02 at 08:10 PM.
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    the more we decry my D&D as heretical, the less ideal "real" D&D seems to be.


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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    All hail The One True Way. Certainly us mortals are but fools to actually like 3E/Pathfinder, the crunch of combat, and getting treasure. When will this Wind Of Storm end as we must suffer through the roleplay?

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    For lots of people (or at least the vocal ones on message boards) "real" D&D requires that you start at 1st level and maybe even roll your stats 3d6 in order. Thus part of "paying your dues" and "earning" the right to a higher level character is having survived the wildly variable lethality of lower levels.

    That might include starting again at 1st level if your character dies, regardless of the level of the rest of the group.
    The majority of people who traverse these boards advocate starting play a little above 1 (usually 3-4 or so but it varies), with point buys to reduce the "I can't play my character because I don't have the stats for it" problem, and the majority of them have social interactions and realistic combat situations over dungeon crawls. The only thing that would be weird that you do for these boards is the lack of treasure, not because the point of D&D is "kill stuff and take its stuff" but because balance-wise the game sort of assumes you get the WBL for challenge rating to remain even sort of correct.

    Well that and saying you like 4th ed over 3.5. Especially given how much more 4th ed focuses on "4 CR appropriate encounters in dungeon corridors" compared to 3.5's "here's a sandbox and a bunch of tools". Editions wars, edition wars never change.
    Last edited by nyarlathotep; 2012-08-02 at 10:54 PM.
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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by nyarlathotep View Post
    The only thing that would be weird that you do for these boards is the lack of treasure, not because the point of D&D is "kill stuff and take its stuff" but because balance-wise the game sort of assumes you get the WBL for challenge rating to remain even sort of correct.
    Also, because high levels with no WBL just feels wrong. Like you're a puppy-eyed superhero-hobo living out of a cardboard box with a sign reading "Will restore cosmic balance for food".

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    @ Obryn. So why is it that it goes and comes back again and again. Just like it went way in 2008 and is coming back in 2012 or 2013, can't it remain forever ?

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jade Dragon View Post
    Dammit, where's that trollface that has the funny looking eyes that are sorta like that @ sign?

    Because really, that is not the D&D people on this board play. That is an old "roll some stats, write down class and race, pick some equipment, do some math, and maybe make a mention that you're from a farm" mindset that hasn't applied ever since D&D became less like Nethack (or whatever it's called, it's some super-lethal game where merely winning it earns you instant respect from gamers everywhere) and more like a game about larger than life heroes doing awesome things.
    I don't just post on this board, it's a sentiment that's pretty common on many boards where D&D is discussed (especially ones that aren't so heavily skewed towards 3.x but feature all editions).

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    All hail The One True Way. Certainly us mortals are but fools to actually like 3E/Pathfinder, the crunch of combat, and getting treasure. When will this Wind Of Storm end as we must suffer through the roleplay?
    I like the crunch of 4e's style of combat just fine. It's a fun tactical skirmish game. Which, with the AEDU structure, isn't just "spam your broken combo over and over til the enemy is dead" (or plural in the case of mages with their "I win, anyone who isn't a caster is irrelevant" buttons).

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    Also, because high levels with no WBL just feels wrong. Like you're a puppy-eyed superhero-hobo living out of a cardboard box with a sign reading "Will restore cosmic balance for food".
    High level heroes with no treasure feels just fine for our game. Though it's high heroic, not epic so it's more "will keep Dales safe because it's what we do".

    My own character has a wife and child in one of the towns; the two genasi siblings have all their research in a tower nearby; and the eladrin is an ambassador who would have no posting if it all went poof.
    Last edited by Kiero; 2012-08-03 at 05:16 AM.
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    Now running: Tyche's Favourites, a historical ACKS campaign set around Massalia 300BC.
    In Sanity We Trust Productions - our podcasting site where you can hear our dulcet tones, updated almost every week.

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    Default Re: My favourite D&D is heretical!

    Quote Originally Posted by elizasteave View Post
    @ Obryn. So why is it that it goes and comes back again and again. Just like it went way in 2008 and is coming back in 2012 or 2013, can't it remain forever ?
    Every time WotC is releasing a new edition they promote the dungeon-crawl aspects of it. Probably a few good reasons for this.

    (1) They are the easiest adventures to write on their end
    (2) It's probably what most players who played, then abandoned the hobby remember best and think most fondly of
    (3) Come on; doesn't everyone enjoy a good dungeon every now and then?
    (4) Dungeon-crawling is the root of the hobby; at the dawn of D&D, that's what D&D was. So every new edition draws on that for legitimacy.

    -O
    Last edited by obryn; 2012-08-03 at 06:47 AM.

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