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Thread: "Busywork" in RPG's...
Tuesday, 28th November, 2006, 01:28 AM #41
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
I think with D&D a lot of the creation work takes up time but whatever you can do quickly or pick up already done on the cheap opens up more time for other creation projects. It can still all be a lot of fun.
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Tuesday, 28th November, 2006, 02:04 AM #42
Superhero (Lvl 15)
This is true. Prep is probably the least fun thing about being DM, but it's not all that bad. Plus, the results are almost always more than well worth it.Originally Posted by Mark CMG
Tuesday, 28th November, 2006, 02:43 AM #43
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Ditto to a lot of the above. Let me add a few:
a) Fatigue rules, and in fact any ability score penalties that lead to "Cascading effects"
b) Templated Summoned Monsters. Many Dms house-rule that you just use one summoned critter per level, for simplicity's sake. But the base spell lets you choose from a large list.
c) tons of modifiers to all sorts of things from all sorts of sources, that have all sorts of different durations, conditions when they work or don't work, etc.
Where can the Monte Cook Dungeoncraft article on winging high level NPCs be found, btw?
28 days... six hours... 42 minutes... 12 seconds. That... is when the world... will end.
-Frank, Donnie Darko
Tuesday, 28th November, 2006, 03:10 AM #44
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
As a player, I enjoy the process of advancing my character and picking new options, feats, spells, powers, etc. Hence, it's not busywork for me, although it will be busywork for someone who doesn't.
The same goes for monsters and NPCs as a DM. I generally enjoy the process of coming up with NPCs or modifying monsters, so it isn't busywork for me.
What is busywork is the process of recording their stats on cards so that I can make the game run more smoothly. I use a modified version of WotC's new stat block format, so existing commercial programs won't help.
My group has several conventions that eliminate some of the types of "busywork" that have been mentioned:
XP: We don't bother to track XP. PCs generally level up at the end of every session. Magic item creation feats grant a flat 25% discount off the cost of an item that the character can create himself. We've introduced a generic "Power Component" that costs 5gp per point of XP for spells that have XP costs.
Treasure: We don't bother to give out treasure. Every character simply selects whatever equipment he wants, up to the standard wealth for a PC of his level.
Tracking Equipment, Food and Water: We don't bother to track generic equipment. We have a standard adventurer's pack that works like a spell component pouch for adventuring equipment. The PC is assumed to have everything he needs to provide himself with food, water, a comfortable place to rest, and take care of his personal hygiene during an adventure.
Tuesday, 28th November, 2006, 03:12 PM #45
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
"Dungeoncraft: Winging It, Part 3: The Math of Winging It" in Dungeon #130 (Jan 2006)Originally Posted by Particle_Man
Tuesday, 28th November, 2006, 11:57 PM #46
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
In that case, I would call empty dungeon rooms busywork. I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to pull my hair out after spending 10-15 minutes searching a room for traps, secret doors, etc., only to find absolutely nothing of interest in there. There were hundreds, nay, thousands of rooms, corridors, and passages in Moria, but did Tolkien cover the Fellowship's exploration of them all? No! He cut to the chase. I wish my DM would do that. I know I certainly will, next time a dungeon sneaks its way into one of my games.Originally Posted by Joshua Randall
Wednesday, 29th November, 2006, 05:54 AM #47
Lama (Lvl 13)
Of course the fellowships purpose was to simply go from one end to the other as quickly as possible - they were not concerned with exploration at all except what was necessary to identify their position or change directions and move on. Moria was more analagous to the Underdark than a dungeon due to its sheer size.Originally Posted by Aeric
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Wednesday, 29th November, 2006, 08:08 AM #48
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Fair enough. I suppose I used Moria as an example because, in my mind at least, it is the granddaddy of all dungeon crawls, even if their goal simply was to cross from one side to the other.Originally Posted by Man in the Funny Hat
My point was this: if you have a hundred room dungeon, and only half of those rooms have anything resembling content, then the other half should be glossed over for the sake of expediency. I guess this is where the simulationist and narrative styles of DMing part ways. My current DM is so strongly rooted in the simulationist way of running games that, when our party had to search an enormous (and mostly-empty) inn for a missing cleric recently, we had to practically twist his arm to let us gloss over the empty rooms. If he'd had it his way, he would have described each individual room to us, and the adventure would have taken three times as long as it did. At that point, when we opened a door we were only concerned about one thing: is the guy, or anyone who might be able to tell us where the guy is, in here? If the room was empty, the door got closed and we moved on. It was amazing how hard it was for the DM to understand that idea.
Wednesday, 29th November, 2006, 03:03 PM #49
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
The Fellowship also weren't forced to accumulate as much swag as possible in order to buy superpowers that kept them apace with the CR system.Originally Posted by Man in the Funny Hat