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Play Status: On Hiatus
I tried to add a “6” to the year in Greyneth’s war record. Apparently the devil took over and messed everything up.
It looks like Saturday and Sunday are out as well, leaving only Thursday and Friday as possibilities.
Ok, it’d be great to get some dorking in on this long weekend. I have Friday and Monday off so that helps. I think Monday is out for me as Kim’s mom is coming to visit. I’m planning on heading to Kev’s mom’s house for the 3:30 Utah game. So, I could probably be available Thursday night, Friday afternoon or night, Saturday night, sunday afternoon or night. Let’s play an elimination game and see what time slot is the last man standing. My preference is Sunday afternoon, but I’m open…
Great fun on Saturday. Things are really coming together nicely. Let’s keep things going!
Okay, next session is 5:30 on Saturday. I will go pick up Bernie from the airport and we’ll get playing when we get home. On the way back I can stop and pick up some fast food for us. I’ll leave it to Kev and Dave to get ice, drinks, snacks if you want em. Sound good?
Oh, also, I messed up the dying saving throw rolls last night. I was thinking that after an encounter ended, you could spend as many healing surges as you wanted. I was trying to look it up at the time, but couldn’t find it quickly, so after a few minutes I gave up. As it turns out, I was misremembering, and it’s after a short rest that you can spend as many healing surges as you wish.
So there’s a slim chance that if neither Greyneth nor Cal had been able to stabilize Connor in the upcoming rounds, he could have failed two more saving throws and died. Since he’s been up and around for a a week or two since then, that would make him a really well preserved zombie. :)
Agreed, I had a great time playing last night. Thanks to everyone for making it happen, especially Andy for all the effort he put into it.
To start some more gameplay discussion, I had a thought about how we as players might be able to make things run a little quicker and add some fun. How would everyone feel about each of us taking turns acting as the group’s “commander”? Basically, the party commander for the session would hold the final say in the group’s decisions. We’d still talk things out as a group, but then the commander would decide what he feels is the best course of action.
For example, if it had been Cal’s turn to command yesterday, we would have assaulted the camp via moving through the trees. If it had been Connor’s night to lead, he would have decided to make a frontal assault. Either plan was equally viable, so it pretty much just came down to personal preference.
I’m thinking that having a single person responsible for those kinds of decisions would allow the game to run smoother, quicker, and make it more fun. I just like the idea of saying what I think we should do in a situation, and then letting the commander decide what he feels is best. Otherwise, we just kind of debate until we don’t feel like debating anymore, at which point we often still don’t have one clear cut path. It would mainly be for those situations; instead of talking in circles, leave it up to the commander.
Does this sound fun to anyone else?
Just so I can update my char sheet, does anyone know how much xp we are supposed to currently have?
I’m with Kevin on the skill challenges being better for physical activities. I think we should have to make skill checks if a natural conversation lends to it, but I think it would have been better just to have a conversation with Sauger and see what we could get out of him, then that whole strategizing thing. I think we all have sufficient physical skills to get an advantage out of the skill challenges if they are purely or mostly physical.
I am up for whatever. After having knocked out that book, I have a better idea of the world. Just throw a few grumkins in every now and then, kk?
I think Cal will evolve a bit over the next few adventures into a better person. He’s starting to remind me a little too much of Jamie or the Hound…
Well, assuming Rowena was safe, Connor would want to try and learn about the war. It sounds like open conflict has broken out, so he’d want to know which Houses have joined forces, the perceived strength of each side, etc… Whomever turns out to be responsible for Rowena’s abduction will probably decide Connor’s recommendation on House Markal’s allegience. He’d also be willing to meet with Sauger and hear him out at some point, though Connor has doubts whether anything Sauger has to say could be important enough to draw his attention away from the throne conflict.
So, no, I doubt there’s any huge curveballs coming from me in the near future.
Another thought I’d like your reflections on: Let’s say you rescue Rowena. I have a plotline for where to go next and was thinking I’d like to start planning more adventures. I didn’t want to get so far ahead, though, that you take a left turn and so all that planning is useless. So I’m asking if any of you have any strong desires or motivations with your characters about what you think you’d do next. I’m guessing it fits my ideas, but I’d like to know about any curveballs if you know you’re gonna throw one.
Again, specifically, if the Ossharp officers had decided to force the issue, and a fight had arose, that wouldn’t have made it any less fun for me.
3)I’d say that if we have more information to work with, it definitely will make it easier for us to make decisions. Mysterious clues, that we have to work for and roleplay to uncover, might work if we had an unlimited amount of time to play. But I’d say, especially in the weekday sessions, we don’t have the real life time to do that level of investigating. I definitely don’t want it canned altogether, but simply stepping it down a notch from the current level of difficulty might work wonders.
1) I don’t care whether or not the skill challenges exist. That being said, they might be more useful for non-dialog challenges. One of the main issues I had with the Sauger challenge is that I wanted us to just be able to talk to him, and instead we had to keep strategizing whether we were going to “bluff”, “intimidate”, “diplome” (new verb), etc… In a skill challenge like a chase, or something else physical, it might work better. I know you didn’t set it up that way, Andy, but the cliffs of icy peril are the kind of thing that might bring out the fun of the skill challenge. Or it might end up being just as forced feeling as the first time we did it. I’d say leave it out for now, if that’s easier on you, and maybe we can re-visit it sometime down the line.
2) If everyone else feels that we could use more direction, and I’m the only one who likes a more free form world, I’m always willing to defer to the majority. To use a specific example, the fact that we avoided the fight with the Ossharp soldiers is cool with me. I like the fact that we decided, in character, that we had more important matters to tend to, and thus kept out of trouble.
On the other hand, if I’m the only one who likes that level of realism, I don’t mind playing how others consider more fun.
To respond to a few of Bernie’s points:
1. I think I’m gonna eliminate skill challenges as written and just use skills like we always have.
2. Be aware that in most campaigns 75% or more of your experience is coming from combat; in this one it’ll be more like 50-50. I am always judging things for experience. Don’t forget that immediately after the Sauger encounter you guys got 125 XP and leveled. A standard encounter for you three should be 125XP each so that just about fits. Anyway, just figure that any time you are completing your characters’ objectives successfully I’ll be rewarding it. I liken it to “quest” experience (like collecting heads or magic flowers in WoW).
3. As far as the openness of the world and your choice vs. my railroading, here’s my feeling. We have very different role players. Anything I do is going to excite one of you and disappoint another. Dave has said he’d lose interest if I reduced your options while it seeems like Kev and Bernie are a little more satisfied with some degree of railroading. Here’s my solution for now. I think I have been too stingy with information. Somehow I felt that after planning all this cool stuff in my world, to just “give it up” easily cheapens the experience somehow. For example, in an earlier adventure I made it obvious that a disguise worn by the badguys was indeed a disguise. I remember thinking to myself, “Damn, I gave that up too easily. Now they’ll just expect me to reveal all the mysteries….” In speaking to Dave yesterday, he commented that he really liked how the PCs “figured out” the disguise and learning they were right was rewarding. So I guess I’m figuring that roleplaying these mysteries may not be that fun, like it might be in a novel or movie. I easily could’ve given more info with the Sauger interrogation quicker and moved us along, but I somehow felt it was “cheap” and bush league to do so and would create a feeling that every time you need info it will be “full disclosure”. Now I see I just should have given up that info, it would’ve made you feel more rewarded AND moved us forward. In closing this point, I think that by giving more info it solves the coralling issue. With more data you will have more clear objectives and may have less indecision. This way, you still HAVE all the options and freedoms and aren’t forced at all, but also aren’t wasting time treading water. What do you guys think?
One thought of mine (and Dave’s)... Would anyone care if we just eliminated “skill challenges” as written and just use skills like we used to? Allowing roleplaying and discussion to propel the story and not skill rolls? I have always given experience for completing story, like “quest” rewards. That would keep happening even without “challenges”
Next week I have Monday, Wednesday and Thursday available through the week for sure. Also Friday Saturday and Sunday are open. I think Kim is going out of town with the kids so we can do a true marathon/sleep-over type if you want Friday or Saturday. I’d like to do one during the week and once on the weekend. hehe.
I can do the week and the weekend. Lemme know. Some thoughts going forward.
1 – Skill Challenges – I think we should try to do these in:
a) the proposed initiative format. Someone can make a suggestion as a minor action, and take an action on their turn. If they want to wait to hear what someone has to say about their suggestion then they take no action. This may seem like a weird way to have a conversation, so we’ll have to see how it works; or
b) we alternate who is taking the lead, and we defer to that person’s suggestions for the challenge. This is for challenges that require us to actively provide input on what we’re doing, as opposed to ones like the mountain where we’re just required to make a certain number of rolls.
2 – experience, rewards, etc. – As Kev and I talked about it, I think something that probably bothered me was the fact that I felt like we were getting little done towards character advancement during that initial interrogation. That is, when we fight a group of foes, I know that they will typically provide some level of experience, leading to character advancement. Maybe this is how it works anyhow, but knowing there was, for example, a tiered experience table based on how we completed the challenge would have been useful. Even a failure should result in some experience, as it teaches us how not to behave in the future. One good thing about the length of the interrogation was the fact that we DID actually learn to do this stuff more quickly in the future. While I enjoy the depth of the story presented, I also like to advance my guy, so knowing that i’m getting XP out of these non-fighting activities helps. Knowing that the better we do, the more XP we get, would help provide incentive to focus on the what of what we are doing, as opposed to just being focused on getting through it.
3 – options/lack of options – I think sometimes Andy will have to corral us in a little bit. While the breadth of choices are nice, I at least am concerned that I will “break” the story if I wander off the beaten path. I am less concerned after the post-gaming discussion last night, but it’s hard to know what freedom we really have, and what freedom we apparently have. We’re not used to campaigns where we have so many choices. Maybe Andy can get a little bell or something, and ding it when we reach a branching point. Then we can make the decision to move in one direction or another. I’m serious (not necessarily a bell, but something). At least until we get the measure of what is an option and what isn’t. I don’t mind a little prodding in a given direction if it removes a measure of indecisiveness from our actions. Again, to analogize to real life, we aren’t always unlimited in the choices we make, sometimes actions around us force us to react. In fact, we are probably less limited in this campaign then we have ever been in real life, and a general unfamiliarity with that degree of freedom is aiding our confusion.
4 – non-attack powers – it may take a while, but maybe while I’m in Italy I can come up with a range of non-encounter based attack powers. These could be usable during skill challenges, and could work just like our regular powers. We could get one power every 2-4 levels. I don’t exactly know how this would work, but it could provide some additional aspects to the challenges, as the list of skills is rather limited in and of itself. Powers could be usable once per encounter, and could be things (presumably) that add to a particular roll, or a set of rolls, or whatever. I think a few utility powers cover this, but not that many. Also, I’m inclined to take combat based powers from the general rogue tree, as the thought of dying in combat because I have a utility power that allows me to re-roll a bluff check is not that appealing to me. Alternatively we may just have to focus our efforts and advancements on non-combat powers/skills/feats. I just don’t want to eventually end up in combat and we’re all then standing around trying to talk our way out of it, because that is what we’re built to do.
Group roleplay XP sounds like the winner solution. As has been implied, everyone’s always trying to come up with clever ideas/roleplay well, so individual incentives don’t seem advantageous. I still like the idea of giving RP experience out on the spot though, as it reinforces the kinds of things you’re looking for in RP.
Ok we can do group RPXP rewards. My intention was never competition, just rewarding good roleplaying. I’m not going to penalize anyone, so I like this group idea…
If it’s all the same to you, Andy, I would agree with Kevin on sharing the roleplaying XP. I don’t want an environment where people are competing for RP xp. You could share it all, and then, if someone is just not holding up their end of the bargain, you could penalize them at the end. This prevents us from all trying to out-roleplay each other when the opportunity arises.
Also, to reiterate the email I sent, how much XP do we have right now, before or after last week’s award?
I was wondering if you were getting biteback on the whole RP reward thing Andy, perhaps you could award EVERYONE a small amount of XP in the event that we do something you like rather than just the person that did the good thing? That way you still get a means to reward things you want to reward, without creating the competitive nature that rewarding just the roleplayer.
I’m cool either way, but had that pop in my head just now and wanted to suggest it as a separate option. You figure rewarding specific behavior will make us all more apt to do those things, and ideally, less apt to do the opposites…
Responding to some of Bourne’s points:
1)I don’t know why you think that we don’t know that nobles can be bad. Like I said, I expect the main villains in this campaign to be noblemen.
2)Yes, in most settings there are other powerful organizations as well as nobility. I can see how Cal not being nobility could work to the group’s advantage at times.
3&4)I don’t even care too much about the background. As long as it’s understood that all the characters deeply respect and care about each other’s well being, I think it’ll make roleplaying easier for me. If Cal gets thrown in jail at some point, I need Connor to care enough to do something about it, as opposed to simply hiring a new guy to fill Cal’s spot in the group.
5)Random larceny fits into the one other point I wanted to bring up. In general, splitting the group up isn’t particularly good from an outside the game perspective. Even if it makes sense in game, it’s not often the best use of our time. One character does something, while the other characters wait around a half hour, at which point the original character has to wait around himself. I think that’s one of the main points they tried to address in the new addition, as the differences between everyone’s skill sets aren’t nearly as gaping as in the past. Everyone can sneak a bit, diplomacy a bit, tumble a bit, etc…the intention being that the weakest link is much stronger these days. I guess I’m trying to say, if we make the larceny just a little less random, (and, in hindsight, Cal’s first larceny wasn’t random at all, but a plan to try and infiltrate the enemy) there’s no reason all three of us can’t participate to some extent. It should be extremely rare that we actually need to split the group for more than a few minutes of real time.
Well, this is a nice discussion. I would like to point out that I never pegged Wed as a failure, I thought it was fun. I was just suggesting something to make it flow better. I have no problem with Cal’s thieving. The only thing I would suggest is that we each make sure all the players don’t mind fading into the background so another can have the spotlight for a half hour or so of real time. Believe me, I haven’t written your stories – I just like a story that makes sense so I just noticed a few times on Wednesday when it looked like Connor and Greyneth might have simply said, “Screw this, let’s just go”. Now, I like the simple idea that you have gotten to know each other at a tavern and so Connor and Greyneth know what you Cal’s capable of and would be willing to accept any risks or shame that come from dealing with a rogue of Cal’s sort.
In the end, I do the same thing. This is really something that affects the three players. If you’re all still having fun, cool. As a GM I am keenly aware of keeping the group together. There is nothing worse than having someone do something that splits the group. Division of the group usually means the adventure is over. “Hmmm, I don’t care about the damsel in distress.” “Ok, lets go watch a movie then, cause that’s what I prepared.” That sort of thing…
I can’t seem to figure out how to update that picture part (ok, I haven’t put too much time into it). As far as the intrigue goes, I really think several things are being overlooked.
1) Nobles are bad too, often worse than most, since they think their money gives them the right to act with impunity.
2) Cities are often NOT run by nobles, but the nobles serve as puppets for controlling powers. My NOT being a noble could often be beneficial. Further, I can pose as a servant, etc., when need be, and I can also get into places that even you guys can’t go.
3) Along the lines of 2, most established theives guilds act with the permission (usually at a price) of the local constabulary/nobility. Accordingly, if I get tied in with an expansive thieve’s guild, I can engage in political intrigue from the shadows. (but if this gets too complicated, running two storylines at once, then we can 86 this plan).
4) Since everyone seems to want to tie us together more tightly, I propose the following. Connor or Grynneth (?) often goes slumming when out drinking. I met one of them at a bar about a year back, and we have become good friends. Accordingly, when I heard what had happened to his sister/friend’s sister, and since I had no immediate plans, I offered my services, knowing that I had skills that could be useful in dealing with the sort of people who would kidnap a young girl.
(Incidentally, that is EXACTLY why you’d have me along on the most important mission of your life, even if you barely knew me, because I have underworld connections and I can get to and talk to criminals who would never talk to you. Desparate times make for strange bedfellows).
5) Finally, I’d like to occasionally commit random larceny. I AM a thief after all. I’m not picking pockets during the day, because there is too much risk, but at night, while you sleep, I can go rob and likely escape if nothing else. Plus, if I can steal enough, I can BECOME a noble and thereby engage in all your hoity toity intrigue.
6) You ARE moldy.
Also, part iii, I think the entire skill thing Bernie’s described sounds a lot like a skill challenge. I don’t have the DMs guide, but I seem to remember pursuit being an example of a skill challenge. Bernie, you might want to take a closser look at the skill challeng section, as it might satisfy your concerns.
I’m not really concerned about the whole “should we kill these rogues or not” phenomenon. If we had discussed it beforehand we could have hashed the plan out, one way or the other. But it didn’t really occur to me until after Connor charged into the room, and like Bernie said, if we’re in the middle of a fight, it’s going to be hard to adhere to instructions screamed in the midst of chaos.
What I am a little more interested in is this: Andy’s created this elaborate world, which is definitely influence by Song of Fire and Ice novels by George Martin. (excellent, btw) A big part of this world is going to consist of political intrigue, plots, schemes, uncovering mysteries, etc. In fact, I would say those are going to be the entire focus of the campaign. Andy’s intention is for us to be right in the center of all this turmoil, interacting with the men who decide the fate of the entire continent. I’m moldy concerned, that you, Bernie, might get bored/not have much fun if your character isn’t a part of that story, and is sort of only peripherally involved. I don’t think tagging along with the other two PCs as they take all the interesting storylines would appeal to me.
As for the nobles being bad guys, hell yeah. Those are going to be our main villains for the duration of this campaign, I expect. Also, I would definitely say that Wednesday was a rousing success. The point is to try and repeat the parts that worked the best, and tweak the rest.
I do disagree with Bernie about PCs developing a grudging respect for each other as the campaign goes on. That should be backstory at this point, and I would like to come up with at least a little bit more than we have. I mean, even if we completely handwaved it and said that Cal, Connor, and Greyneth have traveled enough together in the past that they all respect, trust, and value one another, despite each’s foibles; that would go a long towards helping me roleplay better. Like Andy said, since there wasn’t much time between Cal’s creation, and our first session, and we didn’t have any time to create any mutual backstory, it kind of felt like Cal was a stranger. Somehow that ruins my immersion in the world, as it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to be on the most important mission on my life with an unknown ally.
As a last note, if thieving is something that you need to do to enjoy the campaign, then it’s important to work it in. Everyone needs to be able to experience his fundamental character aspects in order to have a good time. But if it isn’t vital to your fun, I’d say it might be easier to interact with the campaign world without random larceny. But like you said, in the falcon situation, it actually wasn’t random larceny, but part of a larger plan. If you’re simply saying you want to use your thieving skills help accomplish our goals, even if it’s not the most lawful way to go about it; that seems perfect. Connor’s right on the border himself as far as ends justifying the means. But that goes back to what I was saying earlier, Connor needs to believe that Cal has the best interests of the group in mind; hence the need for some sort of mutual backstory.
Several follow up questions:
1) Can I keep robbing places occasionally? If so, I am going to focus on upping my theiving, especially if this is going to be more RP and less smashy-smashy. If not, that’s fine, I’d just like to know now.
2) How much XP do we have? I looked on Dave’s sheet but I didn’t see a number.
I can probably learn to be a nice guy, but sometimes nice guys have to work with bad guys in order to get things done. Further, if I can’t break into places and rob places, what is the point of being a rogue? I might as well re-roll a different guy. I have skills and talents designed to allow me to rob. Who ever heard of a “good” rogue? It isn’t like I kill the people inside. Tasselhoff was constantly ripping people off.
As far as the fight, I don’t think Dave or I were serious about killing each other (because I only had 7 hps left, otherwise he was DEAD! :) Honestly though, given the backstory, this is appropriate behavior for our present situation. And, frankly, given what history tells us about most nobles, THEY were actually the badguys.
You need to give this some time, and Cal will probably develop a grudging respect for these particular nobles, which will likely turn into a lasting friendship. They will likely come to respect Cal’s less savory ways of getting things done as well.
I don’t think it is fair to peg this as a failure after one night. First of all, they were able to beat the bushes along their social lines, and I was able to use my skills along mine. We’re not best friends yet, so you can expect some early friction.
On one level, it seems like you have OUR story written as well, which is the one thing that is supposed to be left up to chance. You get to create the whole world, but not control our actions within it. Otherwise, what are WE doing? I agree that sometimes you need to force our hand, but unless the whole thing starts to fall apart, then the methods we use to get to a point in a story should be up to us. Things probably won’t always go as you envisioned them.
As far as whether or not these two would stay with me, I’m pretty sure that they would at this point. Even if they’re not happy with my thieving, they don’t have to know about it. I can just as easily not tell them about the wonderful things that I “find.” Further, they won’t get thrown in jail for my actions. I’m not killing commoners, or even guardsmen, just rogues so far. You’re gonna tell me that if I am whacking you with a halberd, and almost killing you, and someone from across the room yells “don’t kill Bernie, just knock him out” you’re really going to listen? That’s pretty unrealistic. Connor can certainly try not to kill someone, and I didn’t kill the guys he subdued, but I wasn’t going to “almost kill” the guy trying to kill ME. Certainly when he wasn’t even the leader of the group.
My class choices were fighter, ranger or rogue, and I didn’t really want to play a noble or a fighter, since we basically have two already. Which leaves me with ranger or rogue. And if a lot of what we’re going to do is going to be done in cities, having a ranger seems a bit ridiculous. So I’m a rogue. And I’m going to be a bit roguish. It won’t upset your campaign, and I can’t honestly say that I think I did anything that detracted or distracted from the story line at all, except for robbing that house. Which, as you saw by my actions the following day, actually also had a point to it (sell the thing, find the rogues, pay a cut, get in their good graces, etc.)
Anyhow, my 2 cents.
Kev, the whole point of the GM discretion thing was this:
When Andy says roll a stealth and perception, for effectively what is one action of mine (sneaking while watching) I can apply the split roll. I can’t just say “well, I think this situation calls for stealth too.” It’s only when he directs the combination. That’s exactly why I gave the example of riding through the woods. Further, you’re making a 2 for 1 trade, and you have no ideas what the difficulties are yet, so there’s a fair chance that you undermine your stronger roll in an attempt to augment your second one. Subtracting 6 from one roll to add 3 to another does not seem like that much of an imbalance. I can imagine it happening all of 2-3 times in a given night, if that. Finally, it wouldn’t apply to skill challenges, as those represent independent rolls (i.e. sneak here, jump here, sneak there, climb that, etc). You guys obviously don’t like it, but the unwillingness to even try it makes me think that you picture it being a total exploit. The rules have been out for less than two months, and they’ve already admitted that they totally f-ed up a major RP aspect. I wouldn’t put too much faith in “they did it for a reason.” The reason, with all likelihood, is that a group of guys, much like us, sat around and arbitrarily decided that it should be that way. Kind of like making perception a skill to “find traps… detect secret doors… listen for sounds behind closed doors…” and then not giving it to rogues.
I’m glad that Andy will let me have perception, but I don’t think that ends this discussion, as it wasn’t just that situation to which this might apply. Furthermore, to your history point, if you were required to roll a history check to see if you knew the history of a given area, success in that check might make streetwise easier. To this end, you could alternatively say that, for example, if the check is against a 15, then make the check against a 20, and if you succeed, then you get a +2 bonus to your streetwise check. To make a similar argument for sneak-and-watch, if I am SO effective at sneaking (i.e. a higher difficulty check) that the guy thinks he isn’t being followed, he becomes less cautious and therefore easier to perceive. It’s a fact of life that being good at one thing can help you be good at something else, even if you’re not very good at that other thing to begin with.
I have one other point of interest. First, I had a blast on Wednesday and if nothing was ever different I would still enjoy it. That said, I noticed something we may need to address. Bernie, I know you are at a disadvantage here – you only had a brief moment to create a character and little time for backstory or to read all the stuff on this site. So far this campaign has had a lot of political intrigue, lots of roleplaying compared to combat, and we’ve really been pushing story and character development in a feudal noble setting. I have always felt that a game works best when all the PC have not only a reason to be together, but a reason to stay together. The easiest is to have backstory showing why they genuinely care for each other. Right now I’m a bit worried. I love Cal’s story so far and his personality is intriguing. Still, it may be problematic for the story. If he hates nobles, this is going to get difficult since Connor and Greyneth are nobles who are not at all disillusioned with court life. I think perhaps they would not have stayed travelling with a rogue willing to risk getting thrown in jail and derail the mission without some deeper attachment. I didn’t like the idea that my PCs were threatening to kill one another in the middle of a fight. I hope I am making sense here. Generally, we have Greyneth, a noble and traditional lawful, honorable character. We have Connor; honorable, but his idealism is not the morality of tradition, but the loyalty to House. And we have Cal, an unkown right now, but someone I would tend to say is not a “hero” at all, even possibly leaning toward the badguy half of the continuum. These seems a very difficult crew to keep together. I mean, Greyneth and Connor aren’t even of like mind often, but they have a friendship and loyalty that allows each to defer to the other from time to time. We need that dynamic for all three in my opinion. Here’re are two options..
1. Bernie creates more of a backstory for Cal: I had considered helping you with this, but I don’t want to write Cal in a way you don’t want to play him, but I have thought of lots of cool ways to create a connection here. More background = more investment in each other = more slack for each other
2. I can employ storylines that FORCE you to stay together: This is more work for me, and though may be more fun if this was a movie, I don’t think you’d like it cause anything that forces you three to stay together would likely limit your other options…
I think Bernie’s ideas are well-conceived. Still, I’m inclined to lean toward Kevin for a few reasons. One, anything that complicates rules that we still are fuzzy on would be best put on a shelf until we playtest a bit more. Second, I screwed up that skill challenge. I think skill challenges are intended to be a party thing. So someone with a better score in one skill would roll it, and someone else would roll for a skill they’re good in. BTW – check email later for XP rewards for the other day. Also, Bernie – you are welcome to freely retrain any feats you now have since we haven’t played enough to know better: you shouldn’t be punished because you didn’t know how the feats would affect you. Also, unless anyone cares, you can have perception for free because Connor and Greyneth have diplomacy for free.
Ok I read the paragraph below, here are my 2 cents:
Looking at this, I think if we implemented this we’d be tempted to use “The Bernie Method” for any scenario where a character had a high score in one skill and needed a boost in a 2nd skill for a given encounter. For example, I can see a scenario where I could argue that Streetwise and History could be combined, arguing that since I know the History of an area, I might know more about the local customs and therefore be able to find the movers and shakers. The long and short is, that after further consideration, I’d argue there’s a reason that these items are broken into separate skills, and if we find that our characters are in need of a skill that they don’t have, the rules have means for you to train that skill at certain levels with the selection of the appropriate feat/multi-class (at least I think that’s the case based on conversations w/Bernie, I’ve not confirmed this myself).
I say train Perception and let’s move on. Not trying to downplay the effort Bernie has put toward this suggestion, I just think that the rules seem good enough as is, and to be honest, I don’t know that we even have spent enough time playing with skills to really get a good sense of things before we start suggesting sweeping changes.
Ok, now on to the matter of skill checks. I don’t know how skill challenges work, so maybe that covers this, but I propose the following. If ever in a situation where multiple skill checks are required – e.g. sneaking after someone whilst attempting to perceive them as they sneak away from you – before the difficulty numbers are announced, you can opt to 2 for 1 points from one roll to the other. Example: I want to follow someone and stay hidden. Since I can’t perceive a giant blue elephant in an empty room, I would elect to commit 6 points to my perception check. This would detract 6 from my Stealth Check and add 3 to my Perception check. This represents my focusing my efforts more on perceiving and less on stealth. Since I am not as good at perceiving (putting it nicely), I would not receive the whole benefit of the 6 points. Since I don’t know what the difficulties are in advance, this prevents “gaming” of the situation. I could possibly see him but have lowered my stealth so much that he now sees me. I also think this should only be usable in one direction, from a greater ability to a lower. That is, I shouldn’t be able to give up perception points (figuring I’m going to fail anyhow) to ensure my stealth. Finally, this can be done at the GMs discretion. For example, if we’re riding through the woods, trying to perceive something, I can’t suddenly “be stealthy” and then dedicate the points to perception. This would only be when multiple abilities are logically being used in tandem. Thoughts? Oh, and, FYI, I’ll be multiclassing ranger as my next feat, so this won’t matter as much for the perception, but I think there are numerous situations to which this could apply.
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