Narrative/Novel D&D...ND&D. Imagine if the game played just like the D&D novels? - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobble View Post
    You could not. A D&D type RPG is the antithesis of a narrated style . The game and its action isn't told to the players. THEY create it moment by moment. AFTER it happens THEN one could describe it in prose or whatever.
    Yeah, I totally understand where you're coming from. Yet the characters would also be narrating their moves and decisions. It's not like the DM is just sitting there droning.

  2. #12
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    If I remember right, a popular opinion on the forums here is that combats typically last 3-4 rounds. Since each round is ~6 seconds, that's 18-24 in-game seconds. Pretty quick to me.

    I will also say that combat in 5E is the fastest yet. If your combats are taking too long, then you need to get your group into using best practices. A single character's turn should typically take less than 60 seconds to resolve.
    - Use an initiative tracker.
    - Have players roll attack and damage dice at the same time "longsword attack is 18 for 9 slashing damage." DM replies, "The orc takes the blow on it's shield." Or if you hit, "Your sword sinks into the orc's thigh, leaving a nasty gash."
    - Players should know what they are going to do when it becomes there turn, they have had several minutes to figure it out while the other players and NPCs were going.
    - Don't look up rules at the table, if the DM or another player isn't sure, the DM says, "Not sure, let's make a strength attack with proficiency for grappling, on the orc's turn he can try to break it with an opposed check." (Sure, they got the rule wrong, but who cares? Fun continues!)
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Henry View Post
    Yeah, I totally understand where you're coming from. Yet the characters would also be narrating their moves and decisions. It's not like the DM is just sitting there droning.
    Then it is NO different than how almost every game I've seen has done it since '78. Players say (narrate) what their character is doing and roll the dice. You don't NORMALLY play that way???

  4. #14
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    If you think 5th edition combats are "slow slugfests," then I have two reactions:

    1. Have you ever played any other editions of D&D?
    2. Are you sure you don't just want an indie game? (Nothing wrong if the answer is "I do want an indie game.")

  5. #15
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    I have only played one RPG that has had something close to what you are calling "Novel" fighting... and that is Feng Shui.

    The edition that I played in that game had the barest minimum in combat mechanics. Instead, because the game was meant to be an adaptation of action movies, our combats were to narrate like 10 seconds of "action movie action" and then finish it up with like a single roll for a movement or an attack. So we would go through the whole thing of narrating some Jackie Chan-esque sequence of slamming one guy in the knees with a vaccum cleaner, then pulling the cleaner away from the wall so the next bad guy coming in trips over the cord still plugged into the wall, then throwing the cleaner through the picture window to create an opening that allows us to dive out through the now-broken window and crashing into the roof of the car below... and after describing all that we make like a single roll for whether we got hurt from the fall onto the car. The assumption of course being there's no concern about whether or not you "hit" one of the bad guys with an attack and did "damage"... it's an action movie-- of course we hit and knocked the dude out of the fight with one blow. That's the entire point.

    But this was explicitly an RPG whose "game" part was different than D&D's "game" part. It was all narrative and making up cool stuff to do and get hurt by, rather than rolling piles of dice to knock counting numbers down to zero.

    I have no idea if the newer editions have changed anything in that game or indeed if we were playing our version actually per the rules (rather than the GM just running the game the way he wanted in order to exemplify the action movie aspect), but Feng Shui was the closest game I've ever played for that type of narrative result.
    Last edited by DEFCON 1; Monday, 17th June, 2019 at 11:31 AM.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    I guess what I'm getting at is that you're probably better off just designing a good diceless game or adapting a low-rules, high narrative fantasy game for your needs, than you are reverse-engineering.
    You have a good point, yet, for me, there's something impelling about D&D Fiction itself. I'm especially interested in the D&D Multiverse and its stories. It seems to me that, say, the Icewind Dale Trilogy or the Dragonlance Chronicles could be converted into a ruleset that plays as quickly as the time it takes to read the novels. And I'm stoked by how Salvatore describes scenes. I want a game that bakes that quick descriptiveness into the game itself. There's a bunch of D&D picturesque color and lore in the D&D Fiction which hasn't really made back into the TRPG in a systemic way. For example, the verbal spell components as depicted in D&D Fiction: e.g. "Shirak!" and "Dulak!" (Light and Darkness spell). In ND&D, the player would actually voice (narrate) the verbal spell components!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayoungr View Post
    If you think 5th edition combats are "slow slugfests," then I have two reactions:

    1. Have you ever played any other editions of D&D?
    2. Are you sure you don't just want an indie game? (Nothing wrong if the answer is "I do want an indie game.")
    Good questions.

    1. I was raised on BECMI D&D. Quick. Especially in regard to character creation! Later I played 2E as well. I've played and DMed 3E too, and yeah, you're right that 5E is streamlined compared to that. But my point isn't just about quickness. Yet even BECMI was slower than it takes to read a story of similar scope.

    2. There may be features of indie games which are relevant to what I'm aiming for. But my question is specific to the D&D Multiverse and its stories. I want to be able to run TRPG games which are: 1) truly as quick as D&D Fiction stories, and 2) which more fully capture the picturesque color and description of actions and abilities as seen in D&D Fiction. It's not only about becoming a master DM (or master player) who's good at describing things - I'm conceiving a ruleset that "bakes" a picturesque array of narrative descriptions into the game itself.
    Last edited by Travis Henry; Monday, 17th June, 2019 at 03:29 AM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
    I have only played one RPG that has had something close to what you are calling "Novel" fighting... and that is Feng Shui.

    The edition that I played in that game had the barest minimum in combat mechanics. Instead, because the game was meant to be an adaptation of action movies, our combats were to narrate like 10 seconds of "action movie action" and then finish it up with like a single roll for a movement or an attack. So we would go through the whole thing of narrating some Jackie Chan-esque sequence of slamming one guy in the knees with a vaccum cleaner, then pulling the cleaner away from the wall so the next bad guy coming in trips over the cord still plugged into the wall, then throwing the cleaner through the picture window to create an opening that allows us to dive out through the now-broken window and crashing into the roof of the car below... and after describing all that we make like a single roll for whether we got hurt from the fall onto the car. The assumption of course being there's no concern about whether or not you "hit" one of the bad guys with an attack and did "damage"... it's an action movie-- of course we hit and knocked the dude out of the fight with one blow. That's the entire point.

    But this was explicitly an RPG whose "game" part was different than D&D's "game" part. It was all narrative and making up cool stuff to do and get hurt by, rather than rolling piles of dice to knock counting numbers down to zero.

    I have no idea if the newer editions have changed anything in that game (or indeed if we were playing our version actually per the rules (rather than the GM just running the game the way he wanted in order to exemplify the action movie aspect), but Feng Shui was the closest game I've ever played for that type of narrative result.
    Thank you DEFCON 1! This is close to what I'm picturing. As far as quickness and intent. One difference though is that ND&D would offer a sample array of descriptors for each action, taken from D&D Fiction itself, to help spur the imagination of the player when they narrate their character's turn.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobble View Post
    AFTER it happens THEN one could describe it in prose or whatever.
    You're right that any TRPG session could be novellized afterward. But here's what I'm getting at...

    ...Okay, let's set aside the Narrative aspect for a moment. And just speak about sheer numbers. As in exactly how long it takes to run a story using a TRPG interface (5E, or any previous edition) versus the time it takes to read that same story in novel (or short story or comic book) form.

    The most basic aspect of my question is about making a version of D&D which somehow runs as quickly as D&D Fiction -- covering the the same amount of ground, in the same amount of Real Time. Now, if those were the design parameters, I'm sure that any D&D game designer worth his/her salt could do that. (Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, anybody)

    And it would still look and feel like D&D. Because it (ND&D) would be fully based on D&D Fiction. But numbers-wise, it would have to play a lot quicker than any existing iteration of D&D!
    Last edited by Travis Henry; Monday, 17th June, 2019 at 03:56 AM.

  10. #20
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    As a side note, most of the Drizzt books were written with the rules (at the time) in mind. This is why combats were quick in the early books, because in AD&D combat didn't take very long (about 2-3 rounds, same as in 5E). From my memories of the Dragonlance Chronicles, this was similarly true. The two books written by Gygax for Greyhawk were close to the rules... with some heavy houserules (included in the appendix).

    The problem is the difference between game time and real time. A 4 hour session can take anywhere from a few minutes of game time (6 second rounds with a crap-load of combat) to weeks, months, or even years of game time, depending on the needs of the story. The closest part of the game that matches game time to real time is social encounters fully roleplayed out, and even those are thrown off by the time required to roll dice.

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