Narrative/Novel D&D...ND&D. Imagine if the game played just like the D&D novels? - Page 5
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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Henry View Post
    Well, yes! I would love to play a 7-minute long D&D story which covered the same amount of plot as a D&D comic issue. Yes! Just the thing for a quick game. A complete adventure in 7 minutes! Yes!
    As it stands, 7 minutes of 5E play covers like one round.
    The comic book-sized plot would be resolved through various quickly-decided "moves" that the character(s) make. And the story unfolds in 7 minutes. Great!
    It's still a TRPG (and not just a comic-book-sized Lone Wolf-style choose-your-own-adventure) because there'd be a number of different story/plot options supported, and there'd still be a DM (to fill in the holes with improvisation), and because any character could be brought into the story (not just a pre-gen), and because the character advances in level. So the book would be somewhat bigger than a comic-book (due to having to support a number of different possible plot twists, depending on the actions of the PC(s)), but it'd play out in 7 minutes. Done.

    That would be the quickest ND&D format, alongside short-story-sized ND&D modules, novella-sized ND&D modules, novel-sized ND&D modules, and trilogy-sized ND&D modules.
    So now you are talking "adventures" with pre-defined outcomes. So the story is already written, and you are just choosing at various times which path, and resulting outcome, you get to pick.

    You still have lots of problems with your idea;
    - First, as soon as you have 2 people involved, you will no longer be able to do ANY reasonable adventure in 7 minutes. Do you even understand why? One person could lecture to the other a plot in a few minutes, but no options or variations would take place. This is called "story time" and you often find it in Kindergarten.
    - Second, you are talking about a choose your own railroad adventure. The adventure has already been prepared. You understand this right? You talk about having a DM to fill in holes with improvisation, but you can't do that in a few minutes. Do you understand that? Human interaction takes TIME. And the more independence the game allows, the more time it takes. Do you know why? Because the people are interactively creating the story, they are developing the story as they go, they are not choosing from a few pre-developed possibilities.

    Look, I get your excitement with your idea. But do you even have much experience playing and running a variety of RPG games? Are you familiar with a dozen different systems? What about "solo adventures", have you gone through and read one or two of those books or grabbed a Solo adventure and worked through one?

    I don't think anyone wants to kill your excitement, just temper it with experience and opinion because their are a lot of concepts that you seem to be missing that really makes it come across as if you don't really know what you are comparing your suggestion against.
    Laugh Travis Henry laughed with this post

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccs View Post
    And why would we need to play it out if we've already determined how it goes?
    Your question could be asked in regard to all the D&D modules which have ever been based on novels (DL series, Azure Bonds, etc) or vice versa (Keep on the Borderlands novel). Why buy the novel if we've already played it? Or why buy the adventure if we've already read the novel? The only difference with Customizable Novels is that the customer is personalizing the novel (whether they played the module beforehand or afterward, or whether they don't even intend to play the tie-in module).

    Like I said, the ND&D game is not connected with the Customized Novel concept. At its simplest, the D&D Customized Novel would be more of a keepsake...a piece of D&D memorabilia: "Here's my customized version of Crystal Shard with my pet cat's name in place of Drizzt's!" haha) But as the Customized Novel platform became more advanced and customizable, it could be used to more exactly model how each customer's party played through the story.

    ND&D (and 5E) modules which are based on those novels could serve as a product tie-in though. "Play the module, and then customize the novel and print off a copy for each of your players!"
    Last edited by Travis Henry; Monday, 17th June, 2019 at 06:27 PM.
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  3. #43
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    I will bet you YOUR life savings that you cannot make such a game. After playing and running RPGs for 40 years I know I stand a 0% chance of losing this bet.
    I'm a member of Gamblers Anonymous, so I refrain from betting nowadays. haha.

    It would not be hard to win this bet. Though I don't have time at this moment to fully flesh out a ruleset, here's a first draft:

    As for the ND&D Rulebook:

    A research team reads through the hundreds of D&D novels, short stories, and comic books, and gleans sentence-by-sentence descriptions of all the Actions which have been depicted in the D&D Fiction Multiverse. If the Action was performed in various novels by different characters, all those cut-and-pasted example sentences are grouped under a single Move. And the Moves which are race-, class-, or level-specific (e.g. cast Fireball), are also grouped. I mean, there are certain "tropes" which are associated with all or most Halflings in the D&D novels.

    These grouped lists of novellic Moves serve as character creation tables. Or advancement tables for character level-specific Moves.
    (The book and page number are listed beside each sentence.)

    To create a character, the player picks a certain number of these Moves. (Say, three or five or whatever number we decide best models a 1st-level character in a D&D novel.) Or the player rolls them randomly, based on race and class.

    Within the various cut-and-pasted sentences which are listed under each Move, any proper names are enclosed in brackets ([Drizzt] [Raistlin] etc), reminding the player to substitute their own character's name instead. Also if the description could apply to other weapons within a particular damage type, the specific weapon is enclosed in brackets [mace (bludgeoning)], to remind the player to substitute their own weapon instead. These sentences serve merely as inspirations when the player narrates their Move. They can narrate it pretty freely, like in Feng Shui RPG.

    So on their character sheet, there's a list of "Feng Shui / Dungeon World"-style Moves, which are taken right from D&D fiction. There might just be one sample sentence (a quote from a D&D novel) on the character sheet - the whole list of quotes would be found in the ND&D sourcebook.

    To level up: after completing each ND&D adventure, your character just gets one more novellic Move.

    As for rules - there's still a bit of quick dice rolling. Like maybe a d20. Maybe the six stats. That's about all. ("The Black Hack Lite")

    That's a rough sketch of ND&D Rulebook.

    ***
    As for an ND&D Adventure Module:

    The key scenes and plot points of a particular D&D novel are gathered. For example, The Crystal Shard or Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

    (An ND&D module wouldn't necessarily have to be based on a D&D novel; the same could be done for any existing D&D adventure - it's just that for ND&D, a module's playtime and presentation would be boiled down into a novel-length size and form.)

    The DM describes the Challenge of each scene. The players declare what Moves they're doing. They roll a single opposed d20 versus the DM or something. And then the result is described based on on the margin of success or failure. Like Feng Shui or Dungeon World or FATE or something. And that's the end of the fight scene.

    On to the next scene. Note that there are alternate scenes depending on how the battle went. But no one will fail any worse than Drizzt or Tanis would fail...because they're the heroes of the story.

    Cut scene. DM exposition about what happened in the meantime (travel, exploration). There's suggested boxed text for this (more-or-less based on the actual text from the novel), which the DM of course can modify.

    On to the next scene.

    etc.

    The End.

    ND&D is just less "granular" than 5E (or any edition of D&D so far). That doesn't mean it's impossible or not fun. If we'd been raised in an alternate universe where D&D was even more "granular/crunchy" than it is today, then those people would think that 5E would be "impossible" and "not fun." If D&D required the characters to declare their Action every second, and to roll for every footstep, and to play even travel time and downtime in second-to-second "realistic" rounds, and even have to declare when they're taking bathroom breaks in the dungeon, and for how many seconds those breaks last, and to keep track of calorie intake when eating rations (sounds like Rolemaster - haha), then 5E would sound "impossibly vague" and "not fun." Posters would be saying the same thing about 5E that you're saying about ND&D.

    Also, I have played a number of 5E Solo Adventures. I admit that I'd best also learn the best practices of various diceless and ultra-lite RPGs, and also "relationship-based" RPGs such as Smallville Cortex system...since (for example) in the novels, Regis has nearly as much "screen time" as Drizzt even though Drizzt is way more powerful from a mechanical/combat perspective. It's like having Lois Lane and Superman have similar screen time in the same story.

    I'm not saying I personally have all the resources to make ND&D yet, but I'm sure it can be done.

    At the very least, even if you just took the existing 5E rules, and boiled down all combats into a single die roll, that would be a step in the direction of novel-like quickness.
    Last edited by Travis Henry; Monday, 17th June, 2019 at 07:33 PM.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Henry View Post
    I'm a member of Gamblers Anonymous, so I refrain from betting nowadays. haha.

    It would not be hard to win this bet. Though I don't have time at this moment to fully flesh out a ruleset, here's a first draft: HUGE SNIP
    Since you left OUT a HUGE requirement I listed ("That is impossible IF you want to play a D&D type RPG.") I will wait until you are serious or, up your English language Comp. skill level.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Henry View Post
    I'm a member of Gamblers Anonymous, so I refrain from betting nowadays. haha.

    It would not be hard to win this bet. Though I don't have time at this moment to fully flesh out a ruleset, here's a first draft:

    As for the ND&D Rulebook:

    A research team reads through the hundreds of D&D novels, short stories, and comic books, and gleans sentence-by-sentence descriptions of all the Actions which have been depicted in the D&D Fiction Multiverse. If the Action was performed in various novels by different characters, all those cut-and-pasted example sentences are grouped under a single Move. And the Moves which are race-, class-, or level-specific (e.g. cast Fireball), are also grouped. I mean, there are certain "tropes" which are associated with all or most Halflings in the D&D novels.

    These grouped lists of novellic Moves serve as character creation tables. Or advancement tables for character level-specific Moves.
    (The book and page number are listed beside each sentence.)

    To create a character, the player picks a certain number of these Moves. (Say, three or five or whatever number we decide best models a 1st-level character in a D&D novel.) Or the player rolls them randomly, based on race and class.

    Within the various cut-and-pasted sentences which are listed under each Move, any proper names are enclosed in brackets ([Drizzt] [Raistlin] etc), reminding the player to substitute their own character's name instead. Also if the description could apply to other weapons within a particular damage type, the specific weapon is enclosed in brackets [mace (bludgeoning)], to remind the player to substitute their own weapon instead. These sentences serve merely as inspirations when the player narrates their Move. They can narrate it pretty freely, like in Feng Shui RPG.

    So on their character sheet, there's a list of "Feng Shui / Dungeon World"-style Moves, which are taken right from D&D fiction. There might just be one sample sentence (a quote from a D&D novel) on the character sheet - the whole list of quotes would be found in the ND&D sourcebook.

    To level up: after completing each ND&D adventure, your character just gets one more novellic Move.

    As for rules - there's still a bit of quick dice rolling. Like maybe a d20. Maybe the six stats. That's about all. ("The Black Hack Lite")

    That's a rough sketch of ND&D Rulebook.

    ***
    As for an ND&D Adventure Module:

    The key scenes and plot points of a particular D&D novel are gathered. For example, The Crystal Shard or Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

    (An ND&D module wouldn't necessarily have to be based on a D&D novel; the same could be done for any existing D&D adventure - it's just that for ND&D, a module's playtime and presentation would be boiled down into a novel-length size and form.)

    The DM describes the Challenge of each scene. The players declare what Moves they're doing. They roll a single opposed d20 versus the DM or something. And then the result is described based on on the margin of success or failure. Like Feng Shui or Dungeon World or FATE or something. And that's the end of the fight scene.

    On to the next scene. Note that there are alternate scenes depending on how the battle went. But no one will fail any worse than Drizzt or Tanis would fail...because they're the heroes of the story.

    Cut scene. DM exposition about what happened in the meantime (travel, exploration). There's suggested boxed text for this (more-or-less based on the actual text from the novel), which the DM of course can modify.

    On to the next scene.

    etc.

    The End.

    ND&D is just less "granular" than 5E (or any edition of D&D so far). That doesn't mean it's impossible or not fun. If we'd been raised in an alternate universe where D&D was even more "granular/crunchy" than it is today, then those people would think that 5E would be "impossible" and "not fun." If D&D required the characters to declare their Action every second, and to roll for every footstep, and to play even travel time and downtime in second-to-second "realistic" rounds, and even have to declare when they're taking bathroom breaks in the dungeon, and for how many seconds those breaks last, and to keep track of calorie intake when eating rations (sounds like Rolemaster - haha), then 5E would sound "impossibly vague" and "not fun." Posters would be saying the same thing about 5E that you're saying about ND&D.

    Also, I have played a number of 5E Solo Adventures. I admit that I'd best also learn the best practices of various diceless and ultra-lite RPGs, and also "relationship-based" RPGs such as Smallville Cortex system...since (for example) in the novels, Regis has nearly as much "screen time" as Drizzt even though Drizzt is way more powerful from a mechanical/combat perspective. It's like having Lois Lane and Superman have similar screen time in the same story.

    I'm not saying I personally have all the resources to make ND&D yet, but I'm sure it can be done.

    At the very least, even if you just took the existing 5E rules, and boiled down all combats into a single die roll, that would be a step in the direction of novel-like quickness.
    This is roughly what I was going to propose, just much better thought-out and actually written down.

    Well done. This seems very do-able to me, even if requiring a lot of groundwork.
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  6. #46
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    It still sounds like basically just Dungeon World, to me.

    "Moves" to describe your character's schtick? Check.

    Roll against a target number? Check.

    Margin of success or failure determining results? Check.

    What's different, apart from the fact that you're rolling a D20 instead of 2d6?
    XP LordEntrails, oknazevad gave XP for this post

  7. #47
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    Still sounds like every adventure will be a railroad to me. At that point I would rather read a real novel than pretend I have any player agency with a setup like this one.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Henry View Post
    I'm a member of Gamblers Anonymous, so I refrain from betting nowadays. haha.

    It would not be hard to win this bet. Though I don't have time at this moment to fully flesh out a ruleset, here's a first draft:

    As for the ND&D Rulebook:

    A research team reads through the hundreds of D&D novels, short stories, and comic books, and gleans sentence-by-sentence descriptions of all the Actions which have been depicted in the D&D Fiction Multiverse. If the Action was performed in various novels by different characters, all those cut-and-pasted example sentences are grouped under a single Move. And the Moves which are race-, class-, or level-specific (e.g. cast Fireball), are also grouped. I mean, there are certain "tropes" which are associated with all or most Halflings in the D&D novels.

    These grouped lists of novellic Moves serve as character creation tables. Or advancement tables for character level-specific Moves.
    (The book and page number are listed beside each sentence.)

    To create a character, the player picks a certain number of these Moves. (Say, three or five or whatever number we decide best models a 1st-level character in a D&D novel.) Or the player rolls them randomly, based on race and class.

    Within the various cut-and-pasted sentences which are listed under each Move, any proper names are enclosed in brackets ([Drizzt] [Raistlin] etc), reminding the player to substitute their own character's name instead. Also if the description could apply to other weapons within a particular damage type, the specific weapon is enclosed in brackets [mace (bludgeoning)], to remind the player to substitute their own weapon instead. These sentences serve merely as inspirations when the player narrates their Move. They can narrate it pretty freely, like in Feng Shui RPG.

    So on their character sheet, there's a list of "Feng Shui / Dungeon World"-style Moves, which are taken right from D&D fiction. There might just be one sample sentence (a quote from a D&D novel) on the character sheet - the whole list of quotes would be found in the ND&D sourcebook.

    To level up: after completing each ND&D adventure, your character just gets one more novellic Move.

    As for rules - there's still a bit of quick dice rolling. Like maybe a d20. Maybe the six stats. That's about all. ("The Black Hack Lite")

    That's a rough sketch of ND&D Rulebook.

    ***
    As for an ND&D Adventure Module:

    The key scenes and plot points of a particular D&D novel are gathered. For example, The Crystal Shard or Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

    (An ND&D module wouldn't necessarily have to be based on a D&D novel; the same could be done for any existing D&D adventure - it's just that for ND&D, a module's playtime and presentation would be boiled down into a novel-length size and form.)

    The DM describes the Challenge of each scene. The players declare what Moves they're doing. They roll a single opposed d20 versus the DM or something. And then the result is described based on on the margin of success or failure. Like Feng Shui or Dungeon World or FATE or something. And that's the end of the fight scene.

    On to the next scene. Note that there are alternate scenes depending on how the battle went. But no one will fail any worse than Drizzt or Tanis would fail...because they're the heroes of the story.

    Cut scene. DM exposition about what happened in the meantime (travel, exploration). There's suggested boxed text for this (more-or-less based on the actual text from the novel), which the DM of course can modify.

    On to the next scene.

    etc.

    The End.

    ND&D is just less "granular" than 5E (or any edition of D&D so far). That doesn't mean it's impossible or not fun. If we'd been raised in an alternate universe where D&D was even more "granular/crunchy" than it is today, then those people would think that 5E would be "impossible" and "not fun." If D&D required the characters to declare their Action every second, and to roll for every footstep, and to play even travel time and downtime in second-to-second "realistic" rounds, and even have to declare when they're taking bathroom breaks in the dungeon, and for how many seconds those breaks last, and to keep track of calorie intake when eating rations (sounds like Rolemaster - haha), then 5E would sound "impossibly vague" and "not fun." Posters would be saying the same thing about 5E that you're saying about ND&D.

    Also, I have played a number of 5E Solo Adventures. I admit that I'd best also learn the best practices of various diceless and ultra-lite RPGs, and also "relationship-based" RPGs such as Smallville Cortex system...since (for example) in the novels, Regis has nearly as much "screen time" as Drizzt even though Drizzt is way more powerful from a mechanical/combat perspective. It's like having Lois Lane and Superman have similar screen time in the same story.

    I'm not saying I personally have all the resources to make ND&D yet, but I'm sure it can be done.

    At the very least, even if you just took the existing 5E rules, and boiled down all combats into a single die roll, that would be a step in the direction of novel-like quickness.
    There's one thing rather notably missing from any of the above write-up, which would if included end up slowing play considerably: social interaction; either between PCs and-or between PCs and NPCs. This is where a huge majority of characterization and character development occurs, to the point where if you intentionally strip it out you haven't got much R left in the RPG.

    Also, what happens if the PCs lose a battle they're supposed to win? Does the prepared narration have branches and tracks to account for this?

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Henry View Post
    On to the next scene. Note that there are alternate scenes depending on how the battle went. But no one will fail any worse than Drizzt or Tanis would fail...because they're the heroes of the story.
    A game where your going to win regardless won't be very entertaining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayoungr View Post
    It still sounds like basically just Dungeon World, to me.

    "Moves" to describe your character's schtick? Check.

    Roll against a target number? Check.

    Margin of success or failure determining results? Check.

    What's different, apart from the fact that you're rolling a D20 instead of 2d6?
    Okay thanks - I'm barely familiar with Dungeon World - so I'm just going off what you and others have said. Okay, maybe the proposed ND&D is similar is DW. Others have said Feng Shui.
    I'd guess a couple significant differences:
    1) The rules might be even quicker/lighter than DW. When I skim through the DW rulebook it still looks pretty complex.
    2) The goal would be to explicitly tie ND&D into the vast body of existing D&D Fiction (novels, Dragon short stories, comic books), using sample quotes with chapter and verse. It's fully immersed in the D&D Multiverse.

    Maybe if you took DW and reskinned it for the D&D Multiverse, that'd be a start. But then, need to streamline combats and social interactions so that it plays exactly fast as a novel.

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