The One Hour D&D Game - Page 15




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  1. #141
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    A 1hour session is not an adventure IMO maybe a session or a side-trek at best.
    I will continue to harp on this point until it sinks in to everyone on the forum. I don't mean to come across as a jackass but this blindingly obvious concept seems to have passed quite a few of you by.

    Instead of stringing Encounters (that were predominately but not exclusively of the combat variety) together to form a larger narrative as was the design paradigm for 4e. DNDN (or 5e) suggests a paradigm shift wherein the larger narrative will consist of Adventures strung together.

    An Adventure is a more meaty version of the Encounter that supports all 3 Pillars (Combat, Exploration, Interaction) and becomes the DM's basic building block of storytelling.

    I think a few examples are needed to illustrate this so let's pull some from a source most of us are familiar with, The Hobbit. This may contains spoilers.

    The Hobbits tells an epic fantasy story but can be broken down into smaller pieces. (Side thought - maybe instead of Adventure we can us the term Chapters to describe this building block.)

    What follows is a simple breakdown of how one DM may adapt the story and use it as a foundation for a DNDN story.

    With a little help from Wikipedia:

    Adventure (or Chapter) One

    Gandalf tricks Bilbo into hosting a party for Thorin and his band of dwarves, who sing of reclaiming the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug. When the music ends, Gandalf unveils a map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.
    The group travel into the wild, where Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell, where Elrond reveals more secrets from the map.

    Adventure (or Chapter) Two

    Passing over the Misty Mountains, they are caught by goblins and driven deep underground. Although Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblins. Lost in the goblin tunnels, he stumbles across a mysterious ring and then encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game of riddles. As a reward for solving all riddles Gollum will show him the path out of the tunnels, but if Bilbo fails, his life will be forfeit. With the help of the ring, which confers invisibility, Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, improving his reputation with them. The goblins and Wargs give chase but the company are saved by eagles before resting in the house of Beorn.

    Adventure (or Chapter) Three

    The company enter the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf. In Mirkwood, Bilbo first saves the dwarves from giant spiders and then from the dungeons of the Wood-elves.

    Adventure (or Chapter) Four

    Nearing the Lonely Mountain, the travellers are welcomed by the human inhabitants of Lake-town, who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition travel to the Lonely Mountain and find the secret door; Bilbo scouts the dragon's lair, stealing a great cup and learning of a weakness in Smaug's armour. The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town has aided the intruder, sets out to destroy the town. A noble thrush who overheard Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability reports it to Bard, who slays the dragon.

    Adventure (or Chapter) Five

    When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, an heirloom of Thorin's dynasty, and steals it. The Wood-elves and Lake-men besiege the mountain and request compensation for their aid, reparations for Lake-town's destruction, and settlement of old claims on the treasure. Thorin refuses and, having summoned his kin from the mountains of the North, reinforces his position. Bilbo tries to ransom the Arkenstone to head off a war, but Thorin is intransigent. He banishes Bilbo, and battle seems inevitable.

    Adventure (or Chapter) Six

    Gandalf reappears to warn all of an approaching army of goblins and Wargs. The dwarves, men, and elves band together, but only with the timely arrival of the eagles and Beorn do they win the climactic Battle of Five Armies. Thorin is fatally wounded and reconciles with Bilbo before he dies. Bilbo accepts only a small portion of his share of the treasure, having no want or need for more, but still returns home a very wealthy hobbit.

    Obviously this is very quick and dirty and you can probably break The Hobbit down into fifteen or twenty chapters but I think it does illustrate what is meant by Adventure in the DNDN context. Each stands on it's own but collective they tell a greater story. And because each contains all 3 Pillars there is a width and breadth to them that was missing in the 4e Encounters.

    Thanks for listening,

    Dave

 

  • #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    I think the DMG does talk a lot about story arcs, plots, and how there are consequences to actions. It is very lose on trying to impose how the story works on the PCs mechanically because why do you WANT the rules telling you that? I don't think they should.
    I want the game to produce interesting consequences organically, without the DM having to work hard at it.
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
    -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
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  • #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostSoul View Post
    I want the game to produce interesting consequences organically, without the DM having to work hard at it.
    Any overarching theme or direction, and the vast majority of major pieces of setting content though is going to come from the DM. 'Consequences' are one thing, but they're far from everything. I'm also not really sure what the rules have to do with that really. They can sometimes provide a starting point for something, but is one set of rules really somehow drastically different from another in that respect? IME consequences are mostly a consequence of what the players chose to do or how they chose to do it.

  • #144
    My experience with 1 hour adventures: our previous session was only 1 hours, due to life interfering with gaming.

    1 quest/adventure
    2 combat encounters
    3 exploration encounters (chase, tracking challenge and trap) + general exploration
    2 interaction encounters (one avoided third combat) + interaction with friendly NPCs
    1 week of downtime

    All in all quite satisfying for so short a session, except I timed it a bit wrong: the quest ended in about one hour, so the rest was general exploration and interaction, because there was no time to get a new quest going.

  • #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred View Post
    Any overarching theme or direction, and the vast majority of major pieces of setting content though is going to come from the DM. 'Consequences' are one thing, but they're far from everything. I'm also not really sure what the rules have to do with that really. They can sometimes provide a starting point for something, but is one set of rules really somehow drastically different from another in that respect? IME consequences are mostly a consequence of what the players chose to do or how they chose to do it.
    In my experience, different sets of rules can provide very different results. We'd probably have to get into specific examples though.
    "If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
    -- Ernest Hemingway, "A Farewell to Arms"
    Burning Empires: Boldaq
    Keep on the Shadowfell

  • #146
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    I think it will be much easier to monetize a one-hour game than a four-hour one.

  • #147
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    Just a thought I had, that I'm sure many have had and voiced, but I think we could make greater use of the inverse law of ninjitsu here.

    In games with a larger number of players, you could reduce the HP of the targets by a set percentage, based on the number of additional players, but otherwise you increase the number of enemies as per usual. On round one, you still have more or less the same threat against the players, but when victory is in sight, it takes much less time to get there. I'm not sure on the ideal rate of HP drop, and of course it needs to plateau so AOE doesn't take over the place, but even a modest drop could save a round in an 8-person party.

    This is also pretty much edition-neutral. I plan on trying it this weekend
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #148
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    It seems to me that a lot of you are concerned that DNDN will lose a certain amount of it's complexity in regards to combat tactics & resolution and character creation (and possibly character advancement choices) with nothing to show for it in return due to the (largely assumed) limitations of the One-Hour Adventure model.

    From my perspective 4e's character creation complexity stems from the fact that players are actually maximizing their PC's stats, skills, feats, etc. so that they are the most effective in combat encounters as they can be at the expense of being equally effective outside of combat situations. Nor need they be as the rules governing those elements are scanty indeed and can be handled by a few sub-systems in a decent manner.

    However, By placing equal emphasis on all 3 Pillars (Combat, Exploration, Interaction), you require that the rules be balanced to handle each kind of activity fairly. It actually creates MORE choices and complexity across all 3 areas and not solely on combat.

    Handled correctly we should see beefed up rules for all kinds of Exploration and Interaction scenarios that will only ratchet UP the drama and suspense and storytelling and NOT diminish it as some of you suspect.

    Now we should be able to have character possibilities where they can be strong, average, or weak in one Pillar over another and yet still be important additions to a group of adventurers. Perhaps character roles will be defined by which Pillar a character is built around rather than the current Combat Roles version.

    Will tactical combat be somewhat simplified in order to accommodate this paradigm shift? Maybe so. But surely with nothing to show for it in return.

    Dave

  • #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caster View Post
    From my perspective 4e's character creation complexity stems from the fact that players are actually maximizing their PC's stats, skills, feats, etc. so that they are the most effective in combat encounters as they can be at the expense of being equally effective outside of combat situations.
    A fair number of people consider non-combat options to be valuable. You get XP for succeeding in an encounter, not strictly by creating pile of corpses wherever you go. In every long-ish game I've ever gotten involved in as player or DM, in two different states, people had to fight wanting to adopt half the monsters they came across.

    Nor need they be as the rules governing those elements are scanty indeed and can be handled by a few sub-systems in a decent manner.
    The thing with skill-oriented challenges is that when you start applying rules to them, they have to get very very gamey or very very narrow. You can add a mini-game for every little thing, but detailed rules on forging documents isn't going to interest many people. People are annoyed enough with the hacking and lock-picking mini-games in videogames.

    However, By placing equal emphasis on all 3 Pillars (Combat, Exploration, Interaction), you require that the rules be balanced to handle each kind of activity fairly. It actually creates MORE choices and complexity across all 3 areas and not solely on combat.
    Combat, Exploration, and Interaction are already covered. They could give people more EXAMPLES, but unless they want to bog down the game in minutiae, there isn't much you'd want to add.

    Adding complexity increases time requirements. Suddenly people who can't choose between their encounter powers will be paralyzed trying to figure out whether to kick the lock or pick the lock.

    Handled correctly we should see beefed up rules for all kinds of Exploration and Interaction scenarios that will only ratchet UP the drama and suspense and storytelling and NOT diminish it as some of you suspect.
    I fail to see how beefed up rules for how to grope statues for knobs and levers is at all compelling. Examples of how to keep people from just saying "I make a Search check?" Absolutely. But if you codify it you'll end up with rules bloat.

    Now we should be able to have character possibilities where they can be strong, average, or weak in one Pillar over another and yet still be important additions to a group of adventurers. Perhaps character roles will be defined by which Pillar a character is built around rather than the current Combat Roles version.
    This remains one of the worst ideas I have heard in gaming since FATAL. 4E's class skill lists are bad enough. Every character should have the ability to function in all buzzword categories. Some particular events may favor one character over another, just as a minion battle favors AOE and a solo battle favors single target damage, but everyone should be able to contribute equally over the course of a campaign.

    Will tactical combat be somewhat simplified in order to accommodate this paradigm shift? Maybe so. But surely with nothing to show for it in return.

    Dave
    Nothing GOOD to show for it, is the key concern.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #150
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    Incenjucar,

    I simply don't care enough or have the time to respond on a point by point basis to someone who picks apart every single sentence I may write but I do appreciate that you took the time to read through my post and give heartfelt feedback on it!

    Obviously we can only guess at what the final DVDN ruleset will look like so anything I may speculate on will remain just that, speculation, until it is released.

    I do have one question for you though as I am new to this forum, do you currently play any edition of D&D, if so, which, and are you happy playing it?

    I'm 43 now and started with the Blue Book rules in the 80's, dabbled with BECMI, but mostly played AD&D as a player. I skipped 2nd, 3e, 3.5 and picked up the game again with 4e as a DM and D&D ambassador to a younger generation of players.

    We are quite satisfied with the two current campaigns I run, including an all female player one that is ever expanding.

    All in all I'm excited and interested in seeing what DNDN will look and game like and enjoy putting in my two cents to the topics discussed here.

    Thanks again for your input, glad to know at least one person is reading my ramblings!

    Dave

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