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Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 07:19 PM #131
A RPG should not be only about killing. There are other games for that. Now do you want D&D to be an RPG or a miniature skirmish game?
If it is the former than player should choose option which fits their character and don't have to struggle between choosing the option that fits and a option which is labeled powerful.
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Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 07:28 PM #132
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 08:38 PM #133
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
An option that "fits" should also be an option that fits very capably. If you need a feat which is supposed to make you an awesome blacksmith, the feat should make you an awesome blacksmith. Not one that makes you a kinda mediocre blacksmith because of bad design.
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 08:41 PM #134
Gallant (Lvl 3)
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Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 08:46 PM #135
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
If the game is designed in such a way that naive min-maxing* breaks the game then it isn't fit to be used for a roleplaying game by anyone who cares about the outcomes for their character.
* Naive min-maxing = taking all obviously good choices out of an obvious and clearly labled source. It doesn't include Pun-Pun type exploits or dumpster diving between 27 different sourcebooks.
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 09:01 PM #136
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
More to the point, the game should punish Min-maxing.
If you take nothing but feats that add to your single-target damage you should not become a living god, you should be a squishy glass cannon who can't deal with a lot of things. If you take nothing but feats that maximize spellcasting, you should find yourself unable to do much in many situations, and if you take nothing but feats that max your defense enemies should just ignore you.
Min-maxing is to some extent inevitable, because when there are options its possible to select all options that line up nicely together. You should just end up being overly narrow if you do this.
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 09:09 PM #137
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
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"minmaxing" is not only about killing. Check out the 3.5 'diplomancer' builds. They just made friends with everybody. Everybody. Automatically.A RPG should not be only about killing.
Being an RPG is not a licence to be crap. The G in RPG stands for Game, and RPGs are obliged to be decent games.Now do you want D&D to be an RPG or a miniature skirmish game?
In a balanced system, you don't have to struggle between choosing an option that fits your character and an effective option. In a badly balanced game, you do face catch-22 choices like that, where the best mechanical option is inappropriate to your character, but the best appropriate option is mechanically so inferior you can't afford to take it.If it is the former than player should choose option which fits their character and don't have to struggle between choosing the option that fits and a option which is
Last edited by Tony Vargas; Sunday, 7th October, 2012 at 09:16 PM.
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 10:46 PM #138
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
Succeed on roll: lock is opened.
Fail by 1-3: you fail to open the lock but all subsequent attempts by other people are at +4 as you have overcome some of the challenges
Fail by 1-3, alternate option: you open the lock but have broken it in the process such that it cannot be locked again by any means
Fail by 4-6: you fail to open the lock but a subsequent attempt by someone else is at +2 provided you are present to give advice
Fail by 7-12: the lock remains locked. No other consequences.
Fail by 13 or more: you break the lock such that it cannot be opened even with its key, and must now be shattered or removed to allow passage.
* - note that take-10 and take-20 mechanics are something I will rip out of the game on sight: the one roll you make represents the BEST you'll ever do.
Unfortunately, picking a lock is not perhaps the best example to use for fail-forward as the results are usually pretty binary - you open the lock or you don't. Where fail-forward works better is in situations with many possible outcomes e.g. talking your way past the palace guards - a good fail-forward here might be that while you in fact fail whatever check you're making to talk your way past, they let you in but 3-6 minutes later say "Wa-ait a minute..." and raise the alarm then. (and the party may or may not realize they were a bit less than convincing even before this happens...)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *DM: Telenet 1984-1994, Riveria 1995-2007, Decast 2008 -->* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 10:55 PM #139
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
The answer to picking a lock is to never have doors that are plot-important be locked then. Because if you don't fail forwards, you end up screwing up the party.
So here's some good Fail Forwards for a lockpick on a plot-important door:
- You picked the lock, but left clear evidence behind. The persons who are interested in protecting what's behind the door will learn.
- You pick the lock but activate a magical ward. The lockpicker has been cursed.
- You break the locking mechanism, but realize a door hinge is improperly fastened and the door can be broken down.
If Next embraces Fail Backwards... well, I can ignore it just fine. But it'll be a step backwards for the genre as a whole.
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 11:21 PM #140
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Its a thoughtful post Lanefan but I think that you're kind of illuminating pemerton's point in that your answer (to create a simulation-oriented paradigm for "failure gradation" of lock-picking) speaks to the tension of "fail-forward", "fiction-first" conflict resolution and simulationist agenda rather than providing an answer to alleviate it.
Resolving out of combat conflict resolution, when lock-picking is a part of the equation (a la "breaking into the highly secured harbormaster's warehouse and locating, attaining and deciphering an encoded cargo manifest"), is a pretty standard fair scene. Many-a-times have I used "fail forward" technique in a Skill Challenge with lock-picking. You're not going to use this in simple task resolution (eg opening a treasure chest after slaying a dragon), but for conflict resolution (when the failure is not the deciding factor of resolution and thus you need the fiction to move forward in resolving the conflict despite the outcome of that singular check) you can use:
- the guards walking past as pemerton mentioned.
- the lock-pick breaks and now you have to remove the shard and then re-pick.
- the lock is old, rusty or the mechanism is otherwise compromised and the lock breaks and the noise caused by the broken lock clattering on the floor leads to another complication;
- unwanted attention which could be in the form of waking an chained (or unchained) guard dog who starts barking loudly (requiring handling in some form).
- the loss of a healing surge due to hurting yourself in the effort.
- the door or chest now becomes jammed and now requires force to open.
- you knock over a lantern that you're using for light (or a lantern on a nearby desk), spilling flammable oil that immediately catches fire.
- something else environmental/flukey...perhaps the sub-floor is old and rotted and cannot load-bear your weight for the amount of time required to pick the lock...the sub-floor gives way and you have to catch yourself or take a hard tumble into the floor beneath, a sub-basement or crawlspace...which can in turn cause all kinds of complications that must be resolved just to get back to the trunk/door (whatever).
Anyway, its really limited only by the imagination of the person and/or their rigid adherence to a process-simulation agenda.