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Elkstrom commented on the campaign Penlin's Burning Sky
Penlin's Burning Sky
over 1 year ago
penlin commented on the campaign Penlin's Burning Sky
almost 2 years ago
Craw commented on the campaign Penlin's Burning Sky
Necromik commented on the campaign Penlin's Burning Sky
about 2 years ago
Last Updated: about 2 years ago
Play Status: Currently Playing
Greetings! Hope this message finds you all well. Just dropping by to say hi, hehehe.
Thanks, Craw. Actually, we fly over on Wednesday, so things are crazy busy right now! I’ve been meaning to log into FG one Wed night just to say bye “live” to everyone, but it hasn’t worked out. There have been some nights when it was around 9 PM EST, but I was reluctant to interrupt. Please give everyone my best and tell them I’m looking forward to some gaming when I return.
Here’s hoping you are settled into Bologna and enjoying the summer.
…..poor Heimidall….after such an expectation about the truth about Indomitable, all the provocation and bravado and the big fight….in the end it seems he never had a good swing against the fiery “dream” creature..ehehe….what a shame….and even though I had the best of reason for not attending…I still feel sad for missing the final session of our game…..
Well done everyone and Penlin special Thanks for running such a fun and enjoyable game. I will miss Heimidall…
Have Fun in Europe, if you ever stop by Paris I have a very good friend from Brazil(also former college roommate and DM…lol) that lives there.
Lex’s dream is to retire in the low mountains and open an “Herbal cures and white-water rafting guided tours” shop.
I like the ending summary! Thanks so much, Peter, for running the Burning Sky for us over the last year. I enjoyed it immensely. Kudos for a job well done and giving me an entertaining game every week.
I posted a summary of last night’s session to the Adventure Log. Check it out. Everyone gets a mention.
Peter, is this your last game with us before you run off to join the circus in Italy? (Such is my understanding of the situation)
Once again, I have class first. I might only stay for the first 2-3 hours and call it an early night. Not feeling the greatest
Tamela and I will be able to make the game tonight. I look forward to seeing everyone there.
Ok, let’s plan on 8:30 EST / 7:30 EST as the safe start time for having a quorum. I might be there a bit before that, however.
It sounds like Tamela will be 7:30 CST at the latest.
I will be able to make it (about exactly on time). I will check with Tamela now to see if she is intending to be late at all.
I’ll be there.
Tonights the night I finally get to see if the schools firewall-y things let me through to get on fantasy grounds! Meanwhile the prof will go on about effective listening or something. I’m not sure. I wasn’t paying attention.
Thanks everyone for the updates. We have two cancellations for tonight. If Lex, Dom, and Tamela can make it, we will play. If we have another player cancellation, no game tonight.
Sorry guys…not making tonight….house is going crazy with relatives and preparations for Annie’s arrival Next Monday…if not sooner….Wish you guys all the fun tonight, maybe I can stop by later when everyone is on their way to bed….“wishful thinking”.
Craw if you play Heimidall, don’t forget his fierce “guardian instincts” and his Battle Rager talent that let him get temps (Con = 4) every time he hits with a melee attack and even more if it is an Invigorating Keyword attack (At will Crushing Surge and Enc Hack and Hew) and due to feat he gets extra 2 (so 6 temps on a miss and 10 temps on a hit with Invigorating powers)
So my friend scheduled something wrong. Instead of me going with her to look at a house today, like I thought was going to happen, we’re apparently going tomorrow at 9pm. So I may not show up till close to 10 for the game. I apologize. I’ll do my best to make it quick.
Don’t tell him that, CJ. He’s a Prof. He’ll dock you xp for not paying rapt attention in class.
I’m in for next week. Theoretically in class for the first hour of game time. We’ll see if that stops me or not…
No problem. No game tonight then. See you all next week. I will run Burning Sky this Wed. 8 PM EST.
Hey guys. Sorry to be so late to the discussion. I had been following the comments for the wrong game today.
Unfortunately I will not be able to make a Thursday game this week. It is not normally a problem, but I scheduled something for this week, since I was thinking the game was tonight.
Looks like it depends on Dom & Tamela for Thursday. If they both can make it, I will run a session. Otherwise, it’s Wed night if one of the other GMs wants to do something.
Ehehe It was actually Dom;’s Friend…lol Travis Bow out due to recent schedule changes in his personal life ehehe
Anyway I won;t be able to play Thursday. But could do Wed.
I guess that was actually Mik’s Friend, Travis.
I can play either night. I would prefer to play on Thursday if everyone else can make it. I can run a session this week on Wednesday, if all else fails. Dom, can you nudge your friend and see if he can send me a message and let me know if he is in for the coming month?
I’m still out for Thursday or Wednesday.
Scheduling for Wed/Thu March 23-24: It turns out I cannot play Wednesday night. I could host a game Thursday night, however, at the normal time. Please post to say whether you could make a Thursday game for this week only. If not, it will be up to Dom or Craw to run a session Wednesday.
What a night you should see how Craw was using your character…for one moment I though you were going to be killed!!! but in the end you barely survived with 1 surge and 1 hit point…hopefully you can make it to the battle with the big boss….My prayers will be with the Weirdo elf “May he have a honorable death!….by Heimidall….the grumpy old dwarf!”..lol
Just to let you know this has nothing to do with me blaming you for Taz death in Craws game, will be just a coincidence that I will be using your character when you die gloriously in the heat of the battle executing the Vengeance for your God!!
Hey guys. Hope last night went well. I look forward to a recap. I just wanted to heads up you all once more that due to this being when everything is due, I may have to miss next week as well. As much as I love D&D with y’all, I also love passing classes and getting to sleep at night. I’ll be done all this by the 30th, which is conveniently a wednesday night, and thus I shall celebrate my victory over school with killing as many faeries as possible. And then I will play D&D with you.
Will keep you updated. Sorry to miss sessions like this.
I’m having a couple rough weeks here but should be good for 8 or 8:30..just very tired. Sorry for the delay posting it.
Here is what I think we should do. I am happy to run a session with 3 players running 5 PCs (assuming a couple players are willing to run two PCs). Two players is not enough, IMHO.
Also, I’m not really a fan of waiting around hoping people “show up soon”. If we don’t have enough for a definite start time, I would rather do something else with my evening than wait for something that may or may not pan out.
So, for tonight, let’s try an 8:30 EST start time. Craw is definite and Dom should be able to make that time. Assuming we get Mirko (?), we’ll be ok. If we don’t have three players at 8:30, we will cancel.
And, in case my tone sounds grumpy, it really isn’t. I actually appreciate very much the honest advance notice from everyone, so we can make an informed judgement about whether a session is viable rather than have people waste an hour waiting around and then cancel.
I’m in, and that is all that matters!
Tamela can not make it either. She has to pick up her sister and niece from the airport early tomorrow, so she will be at her place cleaning tonight.
I will make it, but I may be a hair late (15 to 30 min at the most).
Reminder: Burning Sky, game on, tonight at 8 PM EST. The server is up now and should be up all day for PC maintenance/levelling needs. Looks like Lant cannot make it. If anyone else cannot, please give a shout.
Hey guys. I’m still pretty swamped with things to do, it being right near the end of the school year and me still being a few weeks behind. My plan right now involves no being able to make tomorrows game in an attempt to gain a few more hours of work time. If things go well enough I may join you mid game. Take care all.
Both. I’ll send them to you.
Does anyone have a .mod file parsed for MM3 or Monster Vault?
I should be home by 8 and joining you on time, if not seconds late.
Yup, as far as I know (!), we’ve switched to Wednesdays, 8 PM EST.
We are playing tonight, aren’t we?
FYI: server is up most of today in case you need to do any PC maintenance.
Magic item wist lists:
I have decided that one of my least favorite parts of being a GM is planning magic item distribution – especially poring over the candidate items and picking ones that are your PCs will want. At this point, I could use an update from just about all of you. Upcoming items are in the level range 7-10, but feel free to go a bit beyond. If you want a surprise, that’s fine – just say so but don’t expect my choice to be very inspired.
I think is always good a recap and session report when the story develops to some interesting points. I do it myself in my games, no details needed on the fight, just to keep the player’s mind fresh on what the whole situation is, keep the bigget picture and story in mind ehehe
I’m looking foward to the ned of this freaking Forrest…lol
BTW Dom when are you going to give us any hints of what we should focus and how to prepare on your game?…lol
Burning Sky – Behind the Screen:
Here is a little meta-discussion about what goes through my head in preparing and running a session. Think of it as a geeky, D&D version of MTV’s Behind the Music. If knowing this stuff ruins the mystery for you, let me know, and I’ll keep it to myself. On the other hand, it might help you read in-game signals or give you a chance to express where you think I should handle something a bit differently.
1) The point of the last “river ambush” encounter was not to kill all the monsters but to hold them off long enough to get the raft dislodged and going again. That was the main reason I kept sending more reinforcements – eventually, you would get desperate and decide to flee. (Granted, there are lots of other good and fun reasons to add monsters in later rounds). At first, it was 2-3 extra minions per round and eventually it was another water ogre. As combat turned out, there was a natural lull where your attention turned to dislodging the raft.
2) There was no plan for Crystin to die, but it might have seemed that way. After all, an extra ogre came near the end of the combat, made a beeline toward her and took her out. But, in fact, it was the natural result of adding reinforcements, having them attack the nearest thing and how the dice fell.
3) Honestly, I’m glad she’s gone. There are too many darn NPCs following the party around in this campaign. It gives me the chance (maybe) to add some plot wrinkles – maybe her father is ticked off at the party now or … I might have other ideas. Plus, as a GM sometimes you feel like you know too much about where the story is going, so I love the surprise “plot twist” either from player imagination or random flukes of the d20. And now I get to see how much/little the PCs care about getting her resurrected.
I’m not a big fan of session reports (I figure no one reads them), but I might do more of these if you find them interesting/helpful.
Sabbatical plans and upcoming changes:
Just a quick recap to confirm what I think we decided last night. In case you were away from the computer, my wife and I will be in Italy on sabbatical next academic year, roughly June 2011 to August 2012. Given the time zone difference, I don’t think there is any way I can reasonably participate in the group during the year. Probably no one is interested in weekend sesssions, and – don’t take this the wrong way – I think we will have better things to do with our weekends. :) Seriously, taking a leave from the group might be topping the list of regrets I have about the sabbatical – it’s a pretty short list. I always wanted to play as a kid and never had the right group – this is my first consistent gaming group and it’s been fun (sniff, sniff).
1) I’ll take a leave of absence as player and GM for the year and hope you will take me back on my return to EST.
2) We will finish the current Burning Sky adventure and pick up the campaign again when I get back.
3) It sounds like Dom will alternate GM duties with Craw. I think we have 3-4 game sessions to finish the Fire Forest adventure. This would be approximately the end of March, then Craw GMs in April, and Dom starting in May? This is just a rough guess – a heads up to Dom, mostly.
4) Presumably, you will want another player starting around May or June. I will leave this up to Craw and Dom.
Constructive criticism: aka “throwing stones from the front porch of the glass house”
Speed is good overall. We do not seem to be getting bogged down much anymore. Encounter implementation is running smoothly. The implementation of new techniques is working well with non-combat speed. I like Lant’s diplomacy idea. So far NPC characterization is good, but WotBS is not geared for long-term NPC relationships from what I can tell. Torrent excepted, but she seems more of a plot guide device than a real character. You are doing an excellent job of handling combat and I don’t hesitate to suggest off-the-wall actions, having confidence that you aren’t going to collapse into a rule-book searching snail. That said, I’d focus on encounter design. Implementation is excellent.
Since Lant was so happy to point out how my character is ignored…..(I hope it was the character….sniff sniff) Now I want to change and make a super charismatic one…just kidding.
1) I like the way your are setting up the story and the NPCs being part of it…I was alwasy a big fan of alwasy having at least one NPC to help steer directions when the group stalls. Plus I do like when you call to combats that are past their “peak moment” and will be meaningless, good to save time…. Favorite Moment so far….Last game!
2) Constructive criticism. What should be changed? Since our main issue with the whole game is Time, or better putting Lack of Time to play ehehe I do think encounter could be a little more complicated to give us some more “sweat”. I know we try to keep it under the rules given but maybe you could DME a little more adding some different things like changing the terrain to give more advantage to the enemies or add a trap like the Crystal cave. I disagree with lant the combats are taking too long, is just hard to do it with many NPCS, but one way to speed combat is basically exposure and we could actually have a Leader in combat for a change. In a real combat situation in general someone directs the group so maybe we should give a shot…not as a dictatorial type but just general directions….and in game the obvious choices are Faegan and Lex, ...which brings me to maybe we want to make Lant new PC to obey their orders in combat as we do not understand well what he is or looking for yet….lol
3) Tell me your “player motivation” Explorer!
I’d like to see more interaction with the environment during encounters. I just feel like they’re all a bit too much of the same apart from 2-3 squares of difficult terrain. I was actually looking forward to a fight inside the house last night, and was a bit disappointed we’d be fighting in an open field instead. I realize some of the trouble is that the areas we fight are rather devoid of anything sometimes, but I’d like it if there was some difficulties in where we fight or parts of the environment we could use to our advantage.
I really like how you’ve managed to structure our social interactions and skill checks with the initiative system. Consider that some praise that snuck itself into this section. I would however like to make a suggestion for the talking encounters, such as with the king last night. You had us roll initiative with no modifiers, so everyone had an equal chance of going first. I was thinking, however, that maybe rolling the initiative check with diplomacy modifiers might make more sense. That way the more socially inclined has a greater chance of speaking first and steering the conversation. Plus, with the d20 system, it still leaves enough chance for the less socially inclined to once in a while go before those who are made for talking, taking a conversation in a different way. Everyone still gets a chance to speak, but it makes it so the more charismatic of us, who are the more likely to step forward and say their piece, have a higher chance of going first.
I feel like we’re winning battles too easily. Maybe make them a bit harder? See if we survive?
This one isn’t really for you, but for all the PCs (Including me). Battles could use a bit more speed to them, and a bit more narrative to them. So I’d like to start seeing every PC start their turn and directly go right to their move/minor/standard and get that done and out of the way, passing the turn at the end of it to the next PC so that they can do their turn. But, right after the PC passes their turn they HAVE to input a narrative of what they have just accomplished. So by doing it after their turn is over we can speed things up, but still have a nice illustration of what they did during their turn. I realize I myself have been remiss in doing this, but I plan on implementing this plan for myself, regardless of if others join. This applies to both games, by the way. Since they could both benefit from a bit of speed and character description.
NPCs—I don’t want them contributing to battle, but I want them hanging about for story purposes. Not a complain really, just wanted to mention it.
-Penlin has a really soothing voice!
-I like that you’ve included back story of all the characters into the main narrative somehow. It makes me feel like my character matters (mattered) in the grand scheme of things and will affect the story, and that the story isn’t just unravelling regardless of his existence.
-Penlin is super smart!
-I like how you’ve streamlined searching for items and deciding who gets them by just handing them out. Saves lots of time. (PCs should still role play and describe them getting the item though)
-Penlin has the strength of one and a half men!
-I enjoy the improvements to the social encounters a whole lot. So much better than the flood of talking that used to occur, where people would feel ignored. At least now only Mik gets ignored.
-Penlin is really brave!
To help me plan better, I just want to know 3 things:
1) What is going well? Give me any scrap of positive reinforcement: a favorite moment so far, something that is working well, something you like about the campaign arc
2) Give me one piece of constructive criticism. What should be changed? Was there a session/encounter that fell flat? Somewhere you think the game bogs down? Any one thing that you would like to see changed is valid. Don’t be too shy – I have no pretensions about being an experienced DM. So long as it comes with a specific suggestion attached, I’ll be fine. As a professor, I get to read student feedback on my teaching twice a semester. You are all too nice to say anything worse than I’ve read.
3) Tell me your “player motivation” (see DMG p. 8-10). You must pick one! Saying a “mix” doesn’t help me. My goal here is to know “if I have a little bit of X in this week’s session, this person will be reasonably satisfied”. Alternatively, just tell me what X (one thing!) is for you if it doesn’t line up with one of the player motivations. I already have Lantfeust (ex Dante) down as “storyteller”, Craw (Lex) as “thinker” and Aerokii (Khael) as “instigator”, so they are exempt unless they want to change their answer. Mostly, it’s the newer group members that I need the info from.
By the way, even though I will solicit/require this every now and then, feedback is always welcome. Thanks!
Given the outfit, I’m surprised the goblin snipers had such a hard time hitting him.
Just because he’s gone and it never came up, I thought I’d share with you what I had written down for what Dante was wearing. Let me start by mentioning that Dante was colour blind. It’s written down in my notes and everything so it must be true. He was wearing bright purple boots with lime green laces. He had on bright orange pants with Blue stripes (Incidently that colour combination was my high schools colours. Our gym was painted in them and it was…well it made your eyes bleed). He had a pink sash around his waist. He had on a red shirt and a yellow vest that had blue buttons and brown stitching. He wore Green gloves. And he had a purple musketeer hat with a large white feather.
FYI – server is up.
I checked and the email alerts for posters was under the forum section. I changed it to go to all of you. I also tried another test message from the comments section to see if that was affected. Let me know if any email alerts came through.
Under the Edit my Profile section there is a check box for receiving email alerts. Since you are getting them on your board, you probably have that checked already. I think the poster of a comment can also uncheck email alert and the comment will not go to email. I set mine that way after getting some nasty comments about all the email one of the players was getting. I don’t remember who it was (I’d dock them 300 xp if I did) so I’ll assume it was someone no longer with the group. But, since the other DM wants email alerts, the rest of you will have to suffer the indignity of getting extra reminders that I exist from now on.
Dumb question: I get email alerts when someone posts to this Comments board. But I don’t get alerts when someone posts to Craw’s campaign. I’ve looked for the setting that controls this but cannot find it. Anyone know how I can set things to get alerts from Craw’s comment board?
Magic Item wishlists. There are upcoming magic item “drops”. Send me a magic item wish list to be sure to get phat lewt. They can be as detailed or vague as you like. For example, “I really want armor” right now is just fine. If you want everything to be 100% a surprise, that’s fine too but send a message saying so.
FYI, the server is up … for all your PC maintenance needs.
I was also considering this afternoon that it might make sense to bump 2 or 3 smaller enemies into a higher level or Elite enemy. In this particular game, that would probably be silly since it would involve rewriting encounters. In the case of drafting an encounter from the start, less may be more.
The fewer actors there are on the initiative tracker, the faster things should move along. I don’t think that we have serious area Control, so it might work well to have a few tough enemies.
I agree Penlin
I mean we all have real life things to take care. Also as we play more our group will become more knowledge about each others powers and styles which should speed things up.
I’m doing the same thing in my campaign: using a little higher xp rate and avoiding lesser rabbit trails that would make sense in a weekly campaign.
It does make a certain amount of sense to bypass non-critical or non-plot advancing encounters and roll their xp into the encounters that we do have. That way we still get all the story and feel of the campaign and also level at the same pace the campaign expects.
I do agree that 4 years is a bit sobering to say the least. In the 2 sessions that I have played in, the game seems to have moved along quite well. It would be nice to see the campaign overall moving forward too. I think our session time is well spent; I like the formula.
I find myself hurt by the thought that you’re not prepared to spend 4 years with us. Other than that, As long as the cuts don’t destroy the narrative, I’m fine with whatever you do.
I want to solicit some feedback about campaign pacing and advancement. We are nearing the end of the first adventure, which has taken us 5 months or so of real time. There are 10 adventures in the campaign, so we’re looking at 4 years to finish. That’s a bit sobering.
So, I’m considering changing the pace of advancement so that XP is handed out at 1.5x or 2x the normal rate. This means that we will skip ~30-50% of the published material. Since some parts are not as good as others, I don’t see a problem cutting out some of the weaker bits. It also perhaps limits my ability to squeeze in stuff customized to the PCs, but I don’t see this as a big problem.
Since there was some confusion about what our real start time was, I have posted it to the “home” page of this campaign. I will keep that always up-to-date, so you can check there if you’re ever confused. Once again, it’s Thursdays, 8:00 to 11:30 PM EST. I assume that this goes for Craw’s game as well.
Sorry I had to leave. I had to get to bed so I could wake up before the sun, which is currently rising outside, mocking me…Regardless, What’d I miss? Did we let them go? Or do we suddenly have extra trail rations?
“I poke the desk with my spear.”
My reaction to that line made me rethink between-combat interaction. I know, as the DM, that poking the desk with a spear is a ‘bad idea’ from a plot perspective. The reason I went ahead and let the action stand was that from a role-play standpoint, a fighter backing up putting some distance between himself and a potential trap by using a long spear makes reasonable sense. I’m disinclined to let you all ramble for a minute and pick the action that I think is best. A) It is your character, not mine. B) You would quickly lose the sense of the dramatic if nothing bad ever happened and if I pick for you and something bad happens, I’m a prick. C) AUUUGH! METAGAMING! MY EYES!
I thought the skill challenge in the elevator worked fairly well. Acting in order allowed me to focus on one player at a time. Role playing and banter could still flow out of turn, but I was only responding to one player at a time as far as actions with consequences.
Conversations with NPCs are the next step in the continuum. I am a reasonable typist, but I can’t come close to stream of consciousness. FG is a great program, but its flexibility is also a problem. There is SO MUCH stuff to keep track of! No point during a session is as taxing for me as DM as a lively NPC conversation. That is the best part of role-playing, so it is worth the trouble, but I’m with Penlin that we need to try some different methods to streamline the process.
I suggest the combat tracker. If it comes to your turn and you don’t have a comment, just say pass. If you have a comment and need a sec for typing, just say so, we’ll wait. Another option that has been suggested is to have one person handle the conversation and everyone else be quiet. A real conversation works that way. But in face to face conversation, there are visual clues that someone wants to interject something. If we go that route, perhaps a simple “ahem” if you are not the main speaker and have a comment?
I’d like to try one method in Penlin’s game and a different one in mine and see which works better.
We basically left the cavern and the Ragesian camp and ran into the mountains of Dassen.
There we met Faegan, who served in the Dassen army with Heimidall and was assumed to be dead on the last big battle against the empire. Faegan is friends with Torrent and the Resistance. He agree to help us and lead us to a “shelter” for us to spend the night. In the middle of the night we had the “monkey fight party”. Dante got mad for sleeping in the open sky and then being awaken by the noise of the fight with his typical “pleasant” remarks and “motivational enthusiasm”...he even argued with Lex for a moment…and almost forgot the event of the nigh of course, I “screwed up” you character sheet….(BTW sorry you did not like the effect and the FG bug)...lol
Can someone sum up for Aero and I what happend last game? I don’t think we ever actually heard. At least, we don’t recall
Everything you guys have discussed the last couple days sounds good. There certainly aren’t major problems and it seems that everyone has a handle on the minor issues.
Online roleplay can be a bit difficult. I have really come to love the skill challenge for that reason, though I mostly like running them than playing them. Roll initiative and allow everyone to contribute something in turn (or pass, but it should be rare). It’s just important to remember that a skill challenge is not an exercise in rolling dice. Skill challenges should be a way to highlight what your character is capable of and not be lost in the background. I always modify the script of a skill challenge with the suggestions that players make on the fly.
Just like the non-plot essential combats, most skill challenges should be short and sweet. Maybe even running them on a much more informal basis. So long as everyone provides an in character description and reasoning with the die roll, I find that they work well.
I tend to lean more towards formality when playing online, rather than free form. It can be difficult to know when to speak or what to do while trying not to step on anyone’s toes.
Ultimately whatever the group is most comfortable with should win out.
Penlin my experience with DM’ming and the new 4e is that combat will tend take longer than you expected ehehe mainly for 2 reasons:
1 – The group in general does not know well each other character abilities and playing styles. $e has so many options that is hard to keep track how everyone uses them, including the GM but this usually get’s better after a couple levels or a few section playing with the same group.
2 – Rolling play. As much I want the combat to be done quick I believe RPG is really a game to have fun rolling playing so eve in the middle of combat we most of us want to interact with each other more and may end up cutting short to avoid further delays on combat. If we wanted to be super efficient on combat only we would be playing an online game like WOW instead of D&D ehehe. I don’t think it was too bad since we had EL 4s an only 3 players (using other people characters does slow the process considerably ehehe). I agree with you if it does not affect the story or any condition on the future of the game you can either put more minions instead of elites or as you suggested make them run or surrender …possibly even opening a new branch for a side quest or something like it. Then you will judge our pc’s character of how they will react to a surrendering foe ehehe just an idea. But I know sometimes you always want to give that little extra nag, making we spend a couple extra surges here in there before the big fight ehehe
So far I really enjoyed the game and the team, that is why I’m sticking with it and asked Dom to to join us. DM is not an easy job but you need to enjoy it as well.
Everyone has their off days as well….Is all good man!
Nah – don’t worry about missing the occasional session. I certainly have.
As for character sheets, I was trying to be too fancy. At the end of the session, they showed me where to find what I needed. Shouldn’t be a problem again.
The feedback on NPC interaction is right on – it is exactly like trying to multi-task 5 conversations. Something similar could be said about skill challenges. The “dibs” suggestion is a good idea – we should have something like that. Lag and/or everyone trying to talk on Ventrilo at once might be potential problems, but let’s give it a try. I think the key idea is that there should be one designated person “in charge” of sorting through suggestions from other players and saying what officially is happening or being said. That person can always “hand off” that duty to another. A variant might be to have people – at least those who want to take the lead in a situation – roll d20 (no modifiers) to be “in charge” of a situation?
Aero and I are both sorry we were unable to make it. I started a new job friday and had to rush from my pseudo vacation home to Toronto as I was called in to work last minute. Suddenly I was forced to travel for 5 hours, being MUCH later than I had intended. Aero was also detained unfortunatly.
Very sorry you had to muck about with the strangeness that is Dante’s character sheet.
I’m most sorry I missed the introduction of a new character/player. Hi! I’m Lant! And Dante!
In terms of feedback, I don’t mind the 2 hour encounters as long as there is a method to the madness (A reason we’re fighting). Fighting for fighting sakes is unnecessary, and it sounds like that’s what happened the other night. Though, to Penlin’s credit as a gm/dm, he has never done that before, recognized when it happened, and plans not to do it again. Which is a good thing! It means he cares about his players. He cares so much, he tries to kill us every week.
The only thing I’d like improved is interacting with NPCs. In a chat system it’s too easy for all 5 PCs to type in a question/statement each and the gm is suddenly flooded with conversation directions, haing to choose one. And Hades forgive him if he answers to slow, since he has to delicately handcraft a response for a unique statement, then more PC statements may arise. It gets confusing I think and hard to tell if someone is being poitedly ignored by the PC or if the gm just hasn’t been able to read/assimilate the PC’s statement.
I was curious of there might be a better way to do this. Maybe on mic the first player to announce they have a reply gets to go? That way it’s not the person with the shortest statement being answered every time, but the person who has something to say first, just like it would be in a real conversation. Sort of a ‘dibs’ system.
Looking forward to thursday’s game and seeing what the new guy, whos name I don’t know, creates. I hope he’s not a ranger.
Just wanted to say sorry about the lackluster and short session Thursday night. It’s not like I feel really bad about it (we all have off nights), but I do strive for better. And, there was some good roleplay and we introduced another player to the group, so the session had its good points too.
When I said I expected the encounter not to take so long, I certainly didn’t mean it as “you guys took too long.” I was just hoping to get to a different/better stopping point. Dom was right: there were 8 creatures and it was EL 4. So I should not have been surprised. It took just over 2 hours – pretty typical. I think we do normal combats in ~1.5 hrs and harder ones in about 2 hrs.
One miscalculation was that there was no big plot element to it. You were camping in the wilderness and ran into typical dangers. It was meant just to inject a bit of action. Probably I should keep these “plot-free” action encounters to normal ELs and/or bring in more story or other complications to the longer, harder combats. FYI, the Burning Sky campaign seems to lean towards fewer but harder encounters.
Also, I felt like the combat bogged down into a bit of a grind after 3-4 rounds. Probably that should have been a signal to me to bring things to a close by having opponents flee and/or die. Do you all feel cheated if I do this when it seems that the fight is basically decided?
A few miscellaneous items complicated things too. We were trying to run PCs we weren’t familiar with, and I was unable to read the PC sheets properly (my fault, fixed now). The last thing was that I was simply low energy after a busy week. Combined with the above, I felt mentally spent after the encounter. Probably I should have said “let’s take a 5 min break and reconvene”.
As you can see, I’ve been thinking about how to pace our sessions. Four hours of online playing (slower than tabletop) every other week is not a lot, so I’m always anxious to make the most of it. Shorter combats and/or faster XP progression are things to think about…
Overall, I’m still very happy with the game, however. I just think it’s good to step back and reflect on things now and then. We’re probably ~4 sessions from finishing the first adventure in the Burning Sky campaign arc. That will be a good chance to get some more detailed feedback from you. So please think about what suggestions you would make.
If you all want to give a shot I have CJ on the “new” Ventrillo
Port number: 3860
I will also post that information on Hamachi Chat window.
To answer Mik’s question about Martial Power 2, my default rule is that any WotC product is fair game, so that certainly includes new supplements like Martial Power 2. Just observe normal rules about retraining, so that you phase in new material at the normal schedule.
FYI, I have a few misgivings about some of the Dragon content – I don’t think it’s quite as polished or playtested as the stuff in the books. Still, it’s in the character builder and is official WotC, so I will allow it by default. If anything seems weirdly overpowered or unclear, we’ll notice it in play and address it on an as needed basis.
I’m sorry to do this, but I need to cancel tonight’s game. I’ve come down with a cold and just don’t have the energy to run something tonight. I’m especially sorry that this makes me delinquent 3 weeks in a row. It’s been a very busy work month. The good news is that things look very clear over the next couple of months – the past month has been the worst case not the norm.
You may want to let us download the new files today to send us some how so we can speed the download the changes you may have done due to the new ruleset on FG and stuff..not sure if is needed.
If you want to do it yourself is just open a 2nd window of FG using Local host and then after you download everything yourself as a player you can post the campaing.dat file for us to download it…if it is too big….
Yup, game is on. I know that I have been out-of-touch lately (2 business trips plus a visit from my parents), but I’m back into the normal routine: this Wednesday, 8 PM to 11:30 PM EST.
Game on this week Penlin?
I was checking the new stuff that came out on martial power 2 and there a few very interesting things…are you ok if I use them once Heim level up?
I’ve decided that we will adhere to the official PHB rules that say you sell most items (except items that are specifically treasure: gems, art items, etc) for 20% of book value.
To answer Mik, I’m certainly not worried about anyone gaming the system, grabbing every little item and trying to get every little piece of possible treasure. And, I can see the argument that the armor is in good shape and might well be worth 50-80% of original value.
The flip side is that markets are less efficient in D&D (no WalMart, no Craigslist, etc), so it’s usually harder to find a buyer. A merchant takes a risk that he will have to haul the armor around for a while before finding a seller and therefore expects a good markup. Even now, anyone who tries to sell their used car to a dealer will see what I mean…but this is a minor point.
The more important reason is that this rule is part of a larger rewards system in 4E. If you have seen the DMG Rewards chapter, you will see what I mean. The system makes sure you have enough gold and magic items to keep things balanced, so you don’t need to sell your items for any more than what the rules plan for. And, the designers certainly assume that everyone picks up magic armor in the first few levels and will be selling their mundane armor.
If anything, deviating from the official rules runs the (small) risk of unbalancing the game (slightly). Really, we’re talking about very little gp here: 10 gp vs 40 gp for the plate armor, a difference of only 30 gp. Since you just got 120 gp and will be getting a similar amount over the next level, this rule has little overall impact.
And, when it doesn’t matter too much one way or another, I think it’s best to go “by the book”. I’m happy to “house rule” when something is jeoparadizing the fun.
Of course I need to reply to Chloe…lol
I do understand the tactical situation and the number crunching but D&D is not just like a Chess game or WAR tabletop game (uhh that wone is old ehehe). Is a whole Rople playing ehehe so you need to Live your character and it;’s emotion and embrace the chance to be someone else…at least that is how I play (...or at least try too…ehehe).
So in this case even though you know by the number there is no way to out run a fight or win a battle still doesn’t mean your character would have the same consideration (like Taz on Craw game..he is below average Int…lol) of calming thinking about that i the heat of a battle..or maybe he would…
To make a long story short, lets say we on real life are lost in the Africa Savanna and a starving lion meet us with “Dinner intentions” What would you do? I mean we know a human will never out run the Lion. And charging to fight him barehanded is more a Tarzan story than real so what would you do?
I can tell what I Mik would…Run Forrest, RUN!!! In the worst Scenario I just need to run faster than the slower of the group…(evil grim…).
Now in Heimidall’s case most likely he would stay behind and hold the lion he is a guardian by nature…eheh
Now Regarding TPK is all up to Penlin (or the GM) to balance the encounter and story proportions and if we make stupid decisions we should pay for them. In the other hand if the fight is fare but our rolls sucks and he gets crits all the time…then we are just out of luck and we should react accordingly….(please don;t cry CJ..lol).
Personally, if there is not a chance of character death, then I might as well go read a book. The story element of D&D is nice, but it is fairly slow to unfold. The drama of the combat and skill challenges is the real draw. Would you rather watch Florida play Alabama in football or watch them play Florida Atlantic. When the result is essentially pre-determined, it is not interesting. If my character dies gloriously, then I don’t mind so much. If I do something stupid with him and he gets killed, I’ll feel like an idiot. Either way, if there is a reasonable story reason to resurrect him, then sure, I’m for that. Otherwise, I’ll start a new character where the story allows.
The rez rules are fine. I thought there was a good explanation somewhere for the non-world-breaking nature of resurrections. If whatever killed you isn’t preventable before the rez, then you are just going to die again anyway. Old age, incurable disease, etc. make rez pointless. The eternal plutocrat problem is thus avoided. It also lends credence to the attraction of necromancy, as opposed to divine magic, as a path to immortality. Does it mean that the local noble can take crazy risks as a young man? Sure. Knowing that riding a griffon, while incredibly dangerous, is not permanently fatal would encourage that kind of behaviour. This is a good thing in a fantasy setting, however.
So, we’re in a tricky situation: several people want there to be a real chance of losing their PCs even though they would be sad if it happened. You guys like playing on the edge! Well, I will take that into account and be careful. Please do likewise. I’m not a “players vs GM” kind of guy, certainly, but I do like a hard fight every now and then … and, like I said, it’s hard to balance encounters sometimes.
Chloe points out that its sometimes hard to flee a fight. True. The corollary, though, is that the smart players keep an escape option open even while they’re fighting to win…
About death, unless is a whole TPK by some sort of rageous beast or creatures that would eat everyone it should be fairly reasonable for Penlin to figure some thing out to keep us alive (like Chloe options) but what is the Life of adventuring and dangers if we don;t face the real chance of loosing our PC!??? If we all die Torrent will have to find some new members to the rebellion to recover…”the box”!!
Now about the time on the city I do have a standard plate mail that could be sold plus the magic dagger could also be traded for something more useful to the group. also I recommend we get some potions to help on emergencies.
Penlin do we need to worry about rations and ammo? I mean…if we do please let us know but since standard adventures kit give you up to several days of food we should be ok… I hope…lol
I never liked the ressurection rules. Ressurection robs the story of any depth. Oops you died. But it’s cool. You’ll be back in a day or so because we snapped off your finger. The overpopulation from such an act, plus governments being able to theoretically rule forever as an immortal body are other things I hate about it. IF any of my characters die, I’d rather they be gone for good. The afterlife should not be revolving door and I want the death of my characters to mean something and not just be an inconvienance.
If penlin kills the party, he risks losing the most long-standing D&D group he has ever been part of. Yup, I’ve never really played long-term, so this is new territory for me. Anyway, I really want to avoid a TPK as much as you do, but encounter balancing is an imperfect science. Accidents happen!
I hear you that most/all of you would be at least disappointed if you had to start a new character. That doesn’t surprise me at all – this is an RPG where you’re supposed to get invested in your PC. My default rule is that the player always gets a veto over his character’s death. If you don’t want to give up your PC, then we find a reason or a way to bring him back. It may not be easy, but that’s ok.
I agree with Mik that the default resurrection rules give a reasonable “penalty” for death, and I would throw in whatever story setbacks seem to make sense plus it might take some time to get your PC resurrected. At the same time, they make it almost impossible to lose permanently your PC … as long as you have some small piece of his body. This can lead to some morbid scenes: running into the midst of combat to hack off your companion’s finger to carry back for resurrection. Seems grim. Or, there’s the chance that you cannot reach his body, etc. Or, perhaps only 1 PC survives to flee the combat, and he will never collect all the necessary parts. I’m willing to waive the “part of the body” requirement.
Here is my Take
If my PC dies (either 3 failed saves, – bloodied level DMG or is abandoned to the enemies during party retreat) of course I would not celebrate, but basically unless the whole party dies we should always have the option to resurrect the fallen comrade … I mean Torrent was a cleric right? Either her or someone else should be able to cast a resurrect Ritual is my guess.
By 4e rules (I guess I will beat Chloe due to the weekend …lol) the cost is 600 gp for the services..(but that is up to the GM to decide). But you only need a part of the corpse (not the whole thing…) and it cannot be older than 30 days. There is a penalty of -1 in every rolls (attack, dmg, skills, saves, etc…) until the character has reached 3 milestones….So what do you all think?
If the corpse is not “drag able” and later we cannot recover it or the belonging the item would be definitely stay lost but besides that character would still be playable is my take…
I… would really prefer not to die. I’d be extremely unhappy with the loss of my character, but I suppose it’s no fun if I always know “Eh, I’ll probably be ok.” I’d prefer the story/treasure loss to full on perma-death, but whatever works best for you.
As for retreating I was close to doing that on the last battle, so you must be doing a fine job!
Were Dante to die I would be sad, sure. But That doesn’t mean he can’t die. If he ends up dead I’m ok with it. It happens. That just means I roll up Lantfeust into this game as well.
Too often, PCs forget that it’s a possibility. There are more strict and more loose ways to respond to PC death. It’s better to discuss them as a group and agree on ground rules before it happens. There should be some consequence. They can be mechanical (the lost treasure associated with raising dead plus the temporary penalties for being recently deceased) or story (you fail in current quest, need to rescue the fallen PC, whatever), or some combination. Most severe would be that you cannot bring your PC back, but story-based ones can be severe too. The really awkward situations are when there is a TPK or the party has to flee, leaving the corpse of their friend.
I’m open to a variety of options, but would like to hear from others. First and foremost, how bad would it be to completely lose your PC? Would it ruin the fun? Or just be an interesting twist in the story and a chance to try a new character? (I assume most players are in the “it would ruin my fun” mode).
Too often, PCs forget it’s an option. There is a built-in assumption that “we’re supposed to win”, and that’s basically true. However, sometimes story, bad luck, or the simple need to have a real challenge dictates that the PCs are destined to lose a combat. Retreat is better than TPK. If you’re not contemplating retreat at least once per level, I will feel like I have failed in my duty to provide a real challenge. Also, I don’t really believe in fudging die rolls. Let the dice fall where they will and sort it out later is my philosophy.
I bring all this up because the sewer option is the “high risk, high reward” option. I’m going to design a set of encounters where I think you have roughly a 2 out of 3 chance of beating w/o an extended rest. Of course, they may turn out to be harder or easier – it’s hard to judge sometimes. Rewards will be ample, but you need to earn them.
...and you might just need to retreat.
By the way, if you feel like this is revealing too much, or letting you see too much behind the screen, let me know. Successful D&D requires players and GM being on the same wavelength, so sometimes it’s good to just come out and say what’s going on.
So, here is my count of where things stand on escape routes:
In favor of sewers: Chloe, Aerokii and Mik (he said so at end of last session)
Farmer disguise: Dante, Lex
So sewers wins – this is democratic. I know that Dante said “veto”, but I’m sorry that he doesn’t have veto powers. I was going to say nobody does … then I decided that I do. :)
I’ll try to keep it interesting to Dante and Lex as well.
This is a preliminary experiment/step towards allowing/encouraging you all to suggest directions that the campaign can go in that have some real impact (i.e. not a false choice where you end up in the same encounters, same consequences). This one is a little more “meta” than I would like (ahem, promise of treasure), but that’s a good enough starting point. I will make you work for it.
I’m probably not full aware of the situation so my comments might sound really dumb.
1 – Where are we taking the Box? I know we discussed about some “wizard school” but I have not a clue which direction that place is. Any enlightenment please?
2 – Why couldn’t we just exit through the east gate together with all the people that must be fleeing town?
3 – Where do the sewers go? I mean why would we take our chances if they would lead us on the wrong direction?
4 – Heim is from Dassen from a Fortress / town area, not too far from Gate Pass towards the southwest. But I’m not sure about Dassen kingdom thoughts about this whole thing…
Now Since Heim was kind of cast down and ignored his suggestion is just to go with a caravan of refugees towards to closes route possible to deliver the “box”.
I wondered what that sound was in the bathroom this morning. And why you came out without pants. I didn’t question your motives at the time since I wasn’t wearing any either, but I WAS curious.
Is accidently flushingg your pants a problem you have? Cause if so, you might need a plumber. Or a tailor
nah maybe some farmer accidentally flushed his pants down the toilet one day, or someone died down here. id bet they would have pretty gold coins on them too. just gotta shoo a few dire rats away first
those aren’t peasant clothes! They’d be cast offs from the homeless. And if even the homeless didn’t want them then I don’t either
I’m sure you could find a pair of free peasant clothes.. in the sewers!
Dante, with his rather flamboyantly coloured clothes and musketeer hat with large red feather may not fit in with the farmers. I assume someone will provide lice free clothes?
yeah but where are we hiding our 6 foot hammers and suits of plate armor? does this mean mik is the tie breaking vote?
Since Lex proposed the farmer disquise in the first place, he likes that idea. “Khael, I’ve seen corn-fed farmhands who are nearly your size. Besides, most of the Ragesian observation will be from the air, where the differences will not be so obvious. If we need to pass closer scrutiny, I can cast some minor glamours that will make you look smaller.”
At this point, you don’t know what a White Wyrm is, and the bodies have nothing on them to identify them (no uniforms, insignia or the like). Generally, treat anything you see in the combat tracker as OOC info that your character doesn’t know, and this includes creature names. Sure, I could change them to less descriptive things, but it gets a bit tedious.
Not sure about the act thing on dragon….what do you mean by that.
Regarding equipment I really don’t think it would make sense for me to not had my armor before the one we just found…kind of cheating for me, so I rather just keep low on money and sell my normal armor later when we have a chance….now about Javelins…come on…Is a Dwarf not a human or sifter ehehe so no way I would have anything else besides hammers or axes…lol.
Now as it may be beneficial in number’s wise to go for the dagger it would be totally against it’s principles (and mine) to trade my nice self made Warhammer for a flimsy dagger…no matter how many pluses it would have….is just not Heimdal’s style….maybe on emergency cases but not as main….yeah he is not that strong I agree but hey, not every dwarf has 18 strength you know…lol is just a plus +1 on everything ehehe.
Now regarding to the marking yes it will be only one at a time until I get Spinning “capabilities” in a couple more levels but for now just either run or stay very close to me…there is also a nice feat that let me give +2 to all adjacent allies when my marked “prey” shifts or attacks someone else…future will tell…lol
Chloe brings up a few good points. Re: healing potions. I read a design interview that explained why potions are so underpowered. Essentially, the designers wanted combat healing to come primarily from player abilities, not carried items. Also, they are designed to heal set points instead of surges so that the same xx gold piece potion heals the same points for a 1st level character as for a 10th. btw, Sal says thanks.
An excursion into the wild! With a volunteer bookkeeper!
As far as perception checks, there are a few schools of thought: use your passive all the time (easy but boring); have the player roll for each check he thinks he needs (spam spam spam spam); have the DM secretly roll every time a check is actually needed (best, but more work for the DM). As a DM, I default to the first and allow taking 20 only when time isn’t critical e.g. back at the tavern to examine the parchment you found in the dungeon.
FYI, as for magic item “wish lists”, let me elaborate just a little. For some, knowing what you’re getting may ruin some of the surprise and wonder of finding magic items. I totally understand. If you want some degree of surprise in your magic items, just let me know. Basically you can have any of the following options:
-give me what I want and only what I want
-just surprise me; I’ll be happy with what I get
-give me an X but let me be surprised with the rest
-give me one of the following (i.e. surprise me from the following list or within certain guidelines)
Out of fairness, I should probably respond to my own quiz. It’s hard to pick just one! But, if forced, I will definitely go with Thinker. Some interesting tactical combat (at which 4E excels) and some good in-dungeon decisions/challenges are enough to keep me interested. That’s sort of my “minimum baseline”.
Of course, the perfect D&D game has to go beyond this and have some perfect mix. For me, the roleplay aspects are not well summarized by just the actor and storyteller roles. Actor conjures up images of long in-character conversations with (potentially) little or nothing at state …. just sitting around in the tavern perfecting your PC’s accent gets boring for me fast (although I’ve seen other people who love this). I do like seeing the story unfold, but the DMG description of “storyteller” seems too passive to me … like your PC might just be along for the ride in a story (mostly) pre-determined by the DM. I think that’s why I inserted the “Decider” role as it comes closest to my role-playing ideal. PCs have significant story control and they express their personality not sitting around in the tavern but in decisions that affect the flow of the entire campaign.
Lastly, who doesn’t love a little Power Gamer? It’s not enough to hold my interest, but I do like the feel of progression and increasing power.
Thinker. I’ll also ham it up given half a chance (which the DM needent bother to design around—it will happen by itself.) The story will obviously become more important as we progress. Last night was good combat, with the varied foes, terrain hazards and active traps. I was ready for a break in the combat and either some exploration or NPC interaction at the end. I’d rather not go a whole session without killing/overcoming something, though.
Storyteller. I love plot. Factions, nuance, social ecounters, far reaching consequences, kings, queens, empeerors, assassins, intrigue, development from small to epic scale. I love it. I love watching a story unveil around me. I love being a part of it. So I’d love to see a far reaching storyline. SOmething that grabs me and pulls me into it.
So that is my choice. Focus on that. But I’d like to mention that a preference for story does not mean I’m against fighting. Fighting is fun. There’s killin and maiming and bloody fun for all. If the story moves into fighting, that’s the way it goes. It’s necessary. I don’t want to spend 4 hours a week talking. I assume encounters of a physical nature will unravel themselves as part of the narrative. I do prefer fights part of the narrative instead of randomly generated battles. So being attacked by a faction that is trying to stop the party is great. Walking through town and being et upon by trolls out of nowhere is just emotionally confusing.
I want to get to know your gaming preferences better so I can tweak the adventure we’re running to satisfy them. The DMG lists the following player motivations, and I’ve added brief summaries of them. I want you to tell me which one you prefer.
What I don’t want is to hear “a little of all of the above” or “a balance of action and role-play” because those are too vague to be helpful. So, I’m going to force you to pick one and only one. This is about telling me what I should focus on providing. If you want to pick a second and/or add a little caveat (“I am mostly this kind of player except that…”), that’s fine and will help build a better picture.
Sometimes, there is a lot of “judging” about some styles being better than others. For example, “I play D&D for the role-playing. You’re just a hack-n-slash World of Warcraft type loser who should go back to video games.” That’s not meant here at all. All are valid choices and are not mutually exclusive. One of the great things about 4E are the combat mechanics and tactics, and it’s perfectly valid to like combat and action. I would prefer people to post their preferences here in public, but feel free to PM them to me if you’re worried about being “labeled”.
Actor: enjoys role-playing their particular PC’s personality and his/her interactions with others
Decider: Is mostly about the story and role-play (similar to Actor and Storyteller). However, for the decider, the emphasis is on open-ended choices that can take the campaign in widely different directions. Recognizes that open-endedness means that players share as much responsibility for determining story and plot as the GM. Willing to keep track of a variety of NPCs and factions to accomplish this. This one is not in the DMG, but I felt like adding it.
Explorer: wants to see new places and find out as much about the world as possible
Instigator: likes to make things happen, with no patience for careful planning or deliberation
Power Gamer: I don’t like the DMG term since “power gamer” is often used in a sort of derogatory way as a moron who has no sense of role-play. This is not what they mean really. They mean someone who likes gaining levels, power, treasure … someone who likes to feel the mechanical progression of their PC. This player prefers combat and likes to find the best powers and tactics.
Slayer: Likes combat and action, pure and simple. Similar to the power gamer but less obsessive about character optimization and poring over rules supplements.
Storyteller: Prefers the narrative of the game to individual character motivations. Wants to see where the story goes and what will happen next.
Thinker: Likes careful choices and finding the best way to overcome challenges. Likes to win efficiently, with the best tactics and minimal use of resources. Likes encounters that force careful consideration of tactics even if the game moves a bit slower.
No restrictions on character creation so long as it comes from WOTC’s core or expansion books. Pick a character background if you want. You might like something from the Scales of War backgrounds, but these are not required by any means. PHB2 backgrounds are fine too. Let’s say that FR and Eberron backgrounds are off limits without GM approval simply because they may not make much sense, but I’m open to a good pitch for one.
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