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Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 03:07 PM #21
I think of exploration as the "what do you do?" part of D&D.
"You're in a large room, about 30'x30'. You have entered from the south and there is a passageway in the western wall. There is a large, cylindrical, stonework object rising out of the floor in the northern end of the room. In the four corners of the room, there are metal grates in the floor. Wispy smoke with a vaguely orange tint drifts upwards from the grates and collects on the ceiling of the room. You notice that the floor where you stand is slick with some sort of slime. What do you do?"
Interacting with dungeon features is the exploration part of D&D.
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Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 03:10 PM #22
Roleplaying - Character interaction (mostly verbal) between PCs and between PCs and NPCs. Speaking in character.
Combat - Violent conflict. Attack and damage rolls. Setpiece encounters with hostile creatures.
Explorating - A bit of a catch-all, encompassing the time you spend in the dungeon that isn't combat (dealing with traps, picking locks, finding secret doors, investigating side passages, searching and looting rooms), as well as 'overworld' exploration (traveling to a new area or a new city, investigating its geography and culture; 'mapping the frontier').
Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 03:25 PM #23
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
The term roleplaying meant playing a role like an actor. Early on, that got kind of attached to the socializing aspect of acting in RPGs due to the fact that many people felt like they were acting when they were socializing their PC, but they didn't basically think they were acting in combat.
It's really a misnomer. Any activity that you have your PC do is roleplaying, whether it is combat, exploration, or socializing.
The first sign of a broken rule is when someone suggests that the way to stop it is by readying an action.
Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 04:13 PM #24
Solving mysteries (i.e. finding clues and reaching conclusions) and working out mechanical how-do-I-bypass-the-trap/obstacle are probably also "exploration", although I find the dividing between exploring and role-playing to be a little unclear. I suspect that talking to NPCs in order to get information (as opposed to acting or developing relationships) is equally exploration and role-playing in the eyes of the designers.
Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 04:16 PM #25
Lama (Lvl 13)
Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 04:23 PM #26
Defender (Lvl 8)
Exploration is going into the wider world/ planes and just poking around to see what's what.
It is also having players poke around and see where the rules can bend and break, where the interesting twists are. Exploring all sorts of options. I am reminded of meeting a guy at a LG con who ran a sorcerer who took Unseen Servant as one of his spells and tried out every single way to stretch that ambiguously worded spell to his advantage and to most tables delight.
I want D&D Next to push all aspects of exploration. I want room descriptions to be springboards to heroic and cinematic actions. I want creativity back in the hands of players and DMs without being negotiated through fluff or crunch in the book. Idea first then rules to help it happen. I hope they can follow through on their promise of letting stuff happen and let the dice sort it out if it is tricky, i.e. half-orc diplomacy, halfling bend bars and elven games of 'quien es mas macho?'
Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 09:24 PM #27
While interacting with NPCs and new cultures is an important part of Exploration, it can be done without role-playing, really. (Still social gaming.) Look at the Knights of the Dinner Table - you can explore the Temple of Gazzar-Kree, learn the ways of the priesthood, and figure out the rules for game advantage, without making the slightest effort to get into the character of a half-dwarven battlemage.
“Well, I’m sorry, I thought my Dark Lord of the Sith could protect an exhaust port less than two meters wide!”
-- Emperor Palpatine
Saturday, 11th February, 2012, 10:25 PM #28
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
I very much hope that what they mean is what is meant by the kinds of things you do (before and during) when you really go exploring - especially into a hostile area or environment you've never been to before. You start penetrating into areas others are determined to keep you out of, or into areas that are naturally dangerous and to me that is exploration. (I mean you can explore your local comic book store or shopping mall, but D&D is about exploring dangerous areas. A totally different kind of exploration)
Exploration can be very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing and you're ill-prepared for it. Especially when there is no chance of extraction or rescue, the environment is hostile and reactive, and you must explore your way out as well as explore your way in.
I hope that's what they mean and suspect that is probably what they mean.
Sunday, 12th February, 2012, 02:04 AM #29
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
During a recent game, my halfling rogue and his companions ventured to the Caves of Chaos. After the long trek there, which was distilled into a few minutes of getting to know one another, we were presented with a crude map of a long canyon. Making our way deeper into this canyon, we found that it was riddled with cavern entrances. As we started to plumb the depths of these caverns, meticulously mapping each one, we found that one was the lair of a tribe of kobolds, the other the base of a band or orcs, and yet another probably belonged to an ogre.
I wanted to know what was in each and every cave. I wanted to kill most of those things to make these wildlands safer for honest, hardworking halfling families. I wanted loot. Killing and plundering aside, this felt like exploration to me.
In another game, Emen, my half-orc fighter, and her band of friends and acquainatnces are exploring and forging a new kingdom hex-by-hex. The hexes c ome in varying terrain types: forest, plains, marsh. Some are wild, empty lands with naught but mundane flora and fauna. Others include the lair of a dangerous monster, or even a monster just passing through. Some even hide ruins from teh past, hints at the history of this land we have been charged with taming.
This too feels like exploration.
Slick, polished battlemats with carefully constructed encounters don't really feel like exploration-- even when connected by some really nice narrative, but they bring something to the game too. Challenging, fun combats that allow my characters to use a wide range of attack powers and magic weapons to overcome a variety of threats.
Gods, I'm so glad I love so many incarnations of this game. I'd be really sad if I only had the chance to play one.
Sunday, 12th February, 2012, 02:44 AM #30
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
There were some pretty strange ideas expressed at the start of this post. how the heck do you play D&D without dungeon crawling?