Why are we okay with violence in RPGs? - Page 15
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  1. #141
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    How on earth did we get into bonobos here.

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    That's not my recollection of early D&D, there were a lot of "save or die" type creatures about, and there wasn't much guidance in the way of balancing encounters. I suppose it depends on the DM you had. I remember that certainly once you got past a certain level you didn't worry about hordes of goblins and the like, but you had a healthy respect of monsters and undead, particularly those that might paralyse or have level drain.
    Some of those AD&D monsters were brutal and the only guideline I remember using was monster HD and eyeballing things like damage output.

    My recollection of AD&D (both 1E and 2E) was it could be quite lethal. 3E could also be a lethal system, but there was a lot of ink spent dealing with things like Encounter Levels and having GMs pace encounter levels. So my experience with 3E involved a lot less character death, though it did still happen. I think it does boil down to the GM and to the playstyle.

    Also worth mentioning that 2E did have XP guidelines for non-combat.

  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    @Lanefan, I'm not sure I agree with your premise. AD&D, while lethal at low levels, was not particularly dangerous at higher levels. Granted, save or die effects might have made it more dangerous, but, most save or die effects are not a result of combat - poisons, traps, that sort of thing. By the time the PC's were about 6th or 7th level, they were among the most powerful combatants in the game. By double digit levels, they were competently taking on unique monsters.
    My experience shows the kill rate to be more or less the same across the levels (except 1st level, which is higher); the difference is that higher-level types can either afford revival spells or have them available within the party, meaning that while the kill rate is the same there's much less actual character turnover. The cause of death changes - less come from direct combat, more from save-or-die effects and spells - but it's still deadly, and survival remains a key goal.

    And, really, to me, the shift from 1e to 2e wasn't all that great. We killed everything we could in 1e because, well, why wouldn't you? Outside of dragons, there was virtually nothing that could take on a PC one on one and the group of 6-8 PC's plus a few henchmen and whatnot could mow through a LOT of combat.
    That was your approach, and the game could handle it, but by RAW you'd have got the same xp for intentionally bypassing or avoiding an encounter as you would have for beating it up. More to the point, if the published modules are anything to go by combat only accounted for a small percentage of the available x.p.; with the vast majority of potential x.p. coming from treasure. (a long time ago a poster named @Quasqueton ran the numbers on this, if you feel like digging through ENWorld's dusty archives)

    I found 3e a LOT more deadly than AD&D to be honest. The massive increase in monster damage while the PC's didn't actually get a whole lot more HP's than in AD&D meant that I was killing PC's straight up in combat pretty darn often. It was hard not killing PC's, to be honest.
    3e was a different breed of animal in a few ways:

    First, because of the steep (and open-ended) power curve it heavily relied on the DM to make sure encounters were more or less level-appropriate; where earlier editions with their flatter power curves could get away with a wider variance.

    Second, both the monsters and the PCs had a lot more going for them above very low levels/HD which tended to force a certain degree of character optimization.

    Third, while 3e was about as lethal as the earlier editions, various other nasty effects had either been nerfed (level loss made temporary; item saves much less frequent) or removed (no permanent penalty on revival from death)

    And, you're ignoring the fact that from 3e forward, the game codified non-combat Xp awards. Plenty of 3e and later modules have text to the effect of, "convincing so and so to do such and such grants a CR X xp award." Something you rarely, if ever, saw in earlier editions.
    True, this does appear more often in the more recent editions - but even there, what %-age of the total x.p. available in the module do these type of encounters represent? With rare exceptions, not much.

    If anything, I think as time has moved on, we've moved farther and farther away from the whole "murder hobo" approach to the game. At least the modules have gone this way.
    Again true, though I think this is an odd case where the underlying system design and the published modules are in conflict: the system wants to reward one aspect of play (combat) while the modules want to reward other aspects (exploration, social interaction, or whatever).
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  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    Exactly in the early days avoiding conflict to gain treasure was one of the better ways of getting XP, because of the risk vs reward, was significantly less than getting into a fight. I remember scouting was a very popular strategy in those days.
    Agreed. Still is.

    I'm curious as to why you wouldn't use it, what problems do you feel it doesn't address or it creates, in comparison to monster slaying for XP.
    A number of reasons, mostly revolving around not wanting characters getting rewards they don't deserve. Milestone levelling brings everyone up no matter how much they did (or didn't) contribute, where I much prefer the reward be more commensurate to the individual risk taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lylandra
    Individual XP seem to be shunned upon in most groups I've played in as it discourages newbies or tends to be unfair or biased. In addition to setting unhealthy risk-reward incentives for players to "go solo".
    I've used individual x.p. forever and I've yet to see it as discouraging newbies. If anything, the reverse is true: it makes them more gung-ho than the veterans!

    And your choice of words regarding risk-reward incentives for going solo is perfect: "unhealthy". Going solo is high risk high reward, and is much more likely to adversely affect the character's health (if death can be assumed as a negative health effect) than staying with the party.

  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    Sure, XPs has its 'negatives' too, although not everyone sees all of that as bad. Having read many of @Lanefan's posts about the table he and his group run, I'd say they're ok with much of it. They easily run disproportionate leveled characters at their table with no worries, and have a lot of fun doing so. The higher-leveled characters shielding the newbies, with character death being a certainty.
    In fairness, I think @Lylandra was referring to newbie players rather than characters.

    But yes, and back to the theme of system flexibility, 0-1-2e are far more flexible as regards in-party level variance than either 3e or 4e are; 5e has trended back towards this flexibility which is excellent. (EDIT: @billd91 got to this ahead of me, upthread)

    And that brings up another issue I have with milestone levelling - lower level characters can never "catch up". Also, how does one ever introduce items or events that give an individual character a level - or take one away? What happens if a character gets a wish and wishes to go up a level - does the whole party get dragged along for the ride?

    In a long-term campaign things like this will happen, and level variance is thus inevitable unless the DM does some very arbitrary forcing of things.
    Last edited by Lanefan; Friday, 14th June, 2019 at 09:13 PM.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    And that brings up another issue I have with milestone levelling - lower level characters can never "catch up".
    The thing about milestone leveling that breaks the association of levels to combat is that it gets applied when you reach the milestone, *however* you reach the milestone. It doesn't have to be "you gain a level when you hit a milestone." It can be, "you gain some number of XP when you hit a milestone." And I think that fixes all the issues with milestone leveling you mention.

    People who are behind still catch up - they gain the same XP as those at higher level. Items or wishes that add or remove levels are then of no difficulty, as you still refer to the XP chart.

  7. #147
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    Ive found that if the game in question has non-combat mechanics that are as engaging as the combat mechanics, and non-combat rewards on par with the combat rewards, players are much more willing to seek other solutions to in game challenges.

    Many games have an imbalance between those two elements leaving combat as the preferable method for a variety of reasons. Early editions of D&D avoided this by granting XP for treasure. But as the game shifted away from dungeon delving as its primary focus, this became problematic in its own way. Then 3E came along and things shifted even more toward combat.

    So the reason that violence is so prevalent is due to genre and the roots of RPGing. But I think it can be changed pretty easily when needed. You just need to figure out your play priorities, and then adjust the XP/Advancement system to more closely match them. Find a system that serves what you want rather than a system that dictates how you play.

  8. #148
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    A FAR better question, "Why would we NOT be okay with violence in RPgs?" given the nature of humans and the fact that the VAST % of people who play RPGs like some or a lot of violence in their games.

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobble View Post
    A FAR better question, "Why would we NOT be okay with violence in RPgs?" given the nature of humans and the fact that the VAST % of people who play RPGs like some or a lot of violence in their games.
    Personally I am totally fine with violence in RPGs and fine with hack N slash style campaigns. I think it depends on what you want though. If I am in a Noir Campaign, I expect more focus on role-play and solving problems in ways that don't involve combat. But nothing wrong with being Conan or Bruce Lee either.
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  10. #150
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    Yes, of course. The genre will greatly influence the amount and frequency of any violence. But, the original question is somewhat odd IMO.

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