The One Hour D&D Game - Page 9




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  1. #81
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    Ignore KesselZero
    Reading over the posts here, there seems to be a slant to some that I don't totally get. That is, some folks seem to be reading Mike Mearls's original L&L post to mean that "one-hour adventures" are some sort of requirement, or mechanical benchmark, or fundamental unit. Folks are then saying "Well there's no way to play in an hour because of RPing and table talk," or "One-hour adventures would be too limiting to my play-style" and things like that.

    I don't think MM has any intention of making one-hour adventures any sort of requirement. All I think he means when he says he wants the system to be able to support them is that they should be possible. A one-hour adventure in 4e, including character creation and multiple combats, isn't possible. (Maybe if you're playing with a small group of very experienced players who agree to speed combat along as much as possible.) Functionally impossible, let's say. All Mike is saying, as far as I can tell, is that the ability to do that, to have that option, is missing from the current version of D&D, and he'd like the upcoming version to have that capability. I don't think he means every DMG is going to ship with a stopwatch.

 

  • #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    I'm not sure XP (or anything else) can be a measure of difficulty, reliably. It can be a rough approximation, but it can't get the details right.

    So what if XP was a flexible reward, rather than a budget? What if the DM adjudicated the level of challenge overall, rather than with each specific monster? So the adventure guidelines would state that this is a Level 1 Adventure worth 300 XP, and the rules tell a DM what a level 1 Adventure's DC's an monster levels are, and the DM populates his adventure with as many skill checks and mosnters as he things should be "worth" that level of XP?

    Since a DM is probably the best judge of what is actually a challenge for her particular party, I think that giving some broad guidelines and letting them figure out what happened might be a viable approach...perhaps...
    I'm confused. Isn't this the way D&D has operated since the beginning, with DMs modifying XP rewards to more accurately reflect the challenges overcome?
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-discussion/213067-unified-theory-gnomes.html

  • #83
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    It has some possible implications regarding the design of the overall system that might lead to a degraded experience for some players. If the game starts off a super-simple, super-fast game, it can take significant work to make it a complex, casual-paced game. Could, might, maybe, etc. But it's a valid concern.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whizbang Dustyboots View Post
    I'm confused. Isn't this the way D&D has operated since the beginning, with DMs modifying XP rewards to more accurately reflect the challenges overcome?
    Some people have a mental block when it comes to adjusting rules to suit particular situations. Some lack confidence, others find comfort in authority, some just don't think to do it, and so on.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #85
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    "It is a difference in designing for scenes vs. designing for Acts."
    "Each of the 3 'adventures' would be chapters in a larger arc and each of those play sessions can be part of a larger arc and so on."
    BINGO! My interpretation of what Mearls is saying here is that whereas the Encounter (usually combat in 4e but maybe a skill-challenge or NPC encounter) was the previous focus design point, the Adventure will replace this vision.

    Just like 4e play was a string of Encounters linked together to tell a single story, DNDN will string Adventures together to achieve the same effect. The (important) differences will be that the Adventure baseline includes more events or options than does the 4e Encounter.

    Look at his example - in about an hour (for the moment let's not include character creation (as it won't happen EVERY session will it?) and the normal side chatter that makes these games a social experience as well) his players characters:

    - Bought a treasure map from a halfling. (Interaction)

    - traveled through a forest to the purported location of an orc lord's tomb. (Exploration)

    - Dodged a few traps in the tomb and solved a puzzle needed to gain access to the inner sanctum. (Exploration)

    - Battled skeletons that ambushed them. (Combat)

    - And then defeated the vengeful spirit of the orc lord and the animated statues that guarded his tomb. (Interaction (?)/Combat)

    - With the orc lord laid to his final rest, the characters claimed his magical axe and a small cache of gems. (XP rewards)

    Now, is this the end of the story as a whole? I'd wager probably not. It is merely one piece in on ongoing narrative. An Encounter was a very narrowly defined piece but an Adventure is going to be a much broader one.

    If you look at the 4e system you can see that it is chock full of Encounter related rules because the entire premise is that Encounters are going to be the bread and butter of your gameplay. They decided that the Encounter was king and went with that.

    What excites me is thinking about how making the Adventure king will change everything from character creation (and how characters interact mechanically with the game world) to combat and exploration (and everything else) across the board.

    I also think that we can take his "D&D in an hour" premise with a pinch of salt. Maybe those no-nonsense Uber-Design Gurus can do all that in an hour but if it took me and my friends two hours or even an evenings play to accomplish all of the above then I'd be a happy camper.

    Dave

    P.S. Just in case I wasn't 100% clear the real game changer is making the Adventure the basic component in DNDN and building the ruleset to reflect that premise.
    Last edited by Caster; Monday, 19th March, 2012 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Clarity

  • #86
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    @KesselZero

    I don't think anyone is saying that the game is forcing one hour games. Many are just guessing that the only way a hour hour adventure is possible is if the core is very very bare of rules and complexity.

    If so, there are serious implications to this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whizbang Dustyboots View Post
    I'm confused. Isn't this the way D&D has operated since the beginning, with DMs modifying XP rewards to more accurately reflect the challenges overcome?
    Quest XP was pretty standard, I think, but I didn't think adjusting combat XP was all that common. But my experience with early D&D is very limited.

    Of course, very early on, most XP was from treasure, and that was tied directly to what treasure table the monster you fought had.

    But the salient issue is that XP wasn't always an "encounter design" tool. It was a reward, nothing more or less. Creating "fair" encounters wasn't really the point. If the random encounter table says you encounter "Orcs", then you roll for how many. It could be 1. Or it could be hundreds.

    In 3.5, we got the CR system, but it didn't work very well. It was confusing, and general game balance problems made it rather superfluous.

    XP as measure of challenge was new for 4E. And I think it works quite well. But it relies on a few important assumptions: an encounter will have total XP of (standard monster XP of level [party level +/- 4]) * party size, that monsters will not deviate more than 7 levels from the party, that monsters are present and free to act from the start, and that parties will get short rests between them. Those are important assumptions, because it forms a context the monster will be used in; how big of an encounter it'll be part of.

    The problem in the L&L article is with trying to generalize that to Adventure XP pools, and have that XP value make sense whether the monster is alone, or in a group with a bunch of others. And I don't think that really works. Once you take away that encounter context, a simple XP amount is not a good measure of challenge. Adding in some kind of "overhead" XP, counted against that Adventure pool, for additional monsters per encounter could work, but then we're basically back to Encounter-based design, which is what a lot of traditional D&D players don't like, and what I think Mike was trying to avoid.

    In addition, if that Overhead XP is purely DM judgement, then I don't think there's much point in having the system. If you standardize on assumptions of monsters per encounter and encounters per adventure, then you're basically just back to 4E-style encounter design.

  • #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkyle View Post
    Quest XP was pretty standard, I think, but I didn't think adjusting combat XP was all that common. But my experience with early D&D is very limited.

    Of course, very early on, most XP was from treasure, and that was tied directly to what treasure table the monster you fought had.

    But the salient issue is that XP wasn't always an "encounter design" tool. It was a reward, nothing more or less. Creating "fair" encounters wasn't really the point. If the random encounter table says you encounter "Orcs", then you roll for how many. It could be 1. Or it could be hundreds.
    Well, the one thing that I think it missed in modern D&D, is that you weren't supposed to fight everything.

    That's one of the big shifts of the game (along with giving Clerics healing spells every single level, rather than just 1 and 4th-6th) that didn't look obvious at first.

    Because XP was largely tied to treasure, and you didn't get all that much from just fighting, you tried to avoid wandering monsters (and unnecessary fights).

  • #89
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    Ignore KesselZero
    Quote Originally Posted by Minigiant View Post
    @KesselZero

    I don't think anyone is saying that the game is forcing one hour games. Many are just guessing that the only way a hour hour adventure is possible is if the core is very very bare of rules and complexity.

    If so, there are serious implications to this.
    I totally agree, but I take this as a positive rather than a negative. It will be quite different from 4e, which is very complex from the get-go. Assuming that 5e succeeds at its stated goals, we'll have a system with both simple and complex options, both of which should work well for the sorts of games folks want to play with them. 4e doesn't have a simple option. What I'm responding to in my original post is the idea that 5e having a simple core will harm the ability to play complex adventures or encounters. Again, assuming that the designers do what they say they intend to do, it shouldn't matter that the core is very rules-light and you want a complex game-- you should just be able to add it on.

  • #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minigiant View Post
    I don't want to buy Old School D&D + New School Modules. I am just afraid that core might be going back to sacks of HP with some ability scores attached to them. And some characters can choose to use a smaller sack of HPs for some spells. Those games exist already.
    No other D&D is really any different. The only changes are the time it takes to deflate those bags of hitpoints. D&D combat is abstract. The choice you have is to handle it quickly or drag it out over a longer period.
    Death is for amateurs -Charlie Sheen

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