Forked Thread: Its the terminology that kills me...

FireLance

Legend
In my opinion, as for these terms being usefull for monsters.... I dont need WoTC telling me i need some kobolds with bows because the fight needs some "artillery", or some kobolds who dont fight with bows as "defenders". If i decide its a situation where the defenders of such and such dungeon or tower have set up a situation where range helps then they ALL have bows, and when the pc's hit an area where someone needs to put down their bows and fight so other kobolds can keep shooting without being molested then some of my kobolds will do that.

I dont need WoTC giving me arbitrary and pointless roles for my monsters to replace my common sense when evaluating the defenders I CREATED in the dungeon I CREATED. I think i have done a fine job so far in my years of GMing figuring out how many shamans are in X tribe and how many keep shooting bows while Y amount of goons leave thier positions to engage without WoTC giving me video game descriptions of each of these characters and premade stats along with silly powers for them that ignore any sort of inner system and stats u may have for a group of enemies.
While you personally may not need the advice, I think that giving pointers on how to run monsters in combat, how to make combats interesting by using different types of monsters, and how to synergize the different types of monsters is not out of place in a Dungeon Master's Guide which may be read by aspiring DMs who are new to their role and may not have had the benefit of your years of experience.

In addition, declaring that you do not need advice is one thing, but I'm curious why, based on the words you have decided to use, you seem to be offended that such advice is given at all.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

I dont need WoTC giving me arbitrary and pointless roles for my monsters to replace my common sense when evaluating the defenders I CREATED in the dungeon I CREATED.
The roles are neither arbitrary nor pointless. You might just not need them.
(But what's with the shouting?)

I think i have done a fine job so far in my years of GMing figuring out how many shamans are in X tribe and how many keep shooting bows while Y amount of goons leave thier positions to engage without WoTC giving me video game descriptions of each of these characters and premade stats along with silly powers for them that ignore any sort of inner system and stats u may have for a group of enemies.
Maybe you did a good job. Since when do you do this good job? Since you touched your first d20 dice, or did you pick up a few of your tricks with experience?

And what is your problem with premade stats? Did you not use Monster Manuals before? Aside from the fact that the nice thing of these "premade" stats is that they give rise to the theme of the monster. Kobolds are more then small reptiloids now, they actually have strongly distinguishing mechanical features from, say, Goblins.
 

ironvyper

First Post
While you personally may not need the advice, I think that giving pointers on how to run monsters in combat, how to make combats interesting by using different types of monsters, and how to synergize the different types of monsters is not out of place in a Dungeon Master's Guide which may be read by aspiring DMs who are new to their role and may not have had the benefit of your years of experience.

In addition, declaring that you do not need advice is one thing, but I'm curious why, based on the words you have decided to use, you seem to be offended that such advice is given at all.

I always viewed advice on actually running a game to be similar to reading a book on how to write a good book. If you need to read how to do it, your never going to be good at it. Because its in the soul and heart to create and and adapt, not in a book. Some people are built to be storytellers and some people are built to be players. Theres some crossover but nothing a book can teach you.
 

I always viewed advice on actually running a game to be similar to reading a book on how to write a good book. If you need to read how to do it, your never going to be good at it. Because its in the soul and heart to create and and adapt, not in a book. Some people are built to be storytellers and some people are built to be players. Theres some crossover but nothing a book can teach you.

You might be right about some people never being good DMs. But I am convinced that guidelines and advice can help a potential DM to fulfill his potential faster and easier. And a bad DM at least might learn to avoid some pitfalls...
 

FireLance

Legend
I always viewed advice on actually running a game to be similar to reading a book on how to write a good book. If you need to read how to do it, your never going to be good at it. Because its in the soul and heart to create and and adapt, not in a book. Some people are built to be storytellers and some people are built to be players. Theres some crossover but nothing a book can teach you.
On the other hand, there are books such as The Elements of Style that offer technical pointers and help shorten the learning curve. Advice on being a great DM usually can't be found in a book, but not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to play with a great DM, anyway. For the rest, advice in a book can make the difference between poor and competent.
 

ironvyper

First Post
Maybe you did a good job. Since when do you do this good job? Since you touched your first d20 dice, or did you pick up a few of your tricks with experience?

I first started running games people really wanted to keep coming back to when i realized i could run my game with my pace and my goals and stories and not some designers game. At the time this was Gygax who I didnt agree with (way too many stupid traps and silly tripe). But the lesson was that no book knows what your group likes. I've had groups that asked me to build a political drama and then turned and next time out asked me for a zombie survival horror or an old school dungeon crawl focused game. And nothing in other book other then "shut up and listen to the players" would have helped any. No book helped one bit and when i tried to play by the books i found my players bored for the most part.


And what is your problem with premade stats? Did you not use Monster Manuals before? Aside from the fact that the nice thing of these "premade" stats is that they give rise to the theme of the monster. Kobolds are more then small reptiloids now, they actually have strongly distinguishing mechanical features from, say, Goblins.

My problem with premade stats is they're a waste of page space over something like another original and creative design. I dont need a bunch of kobolds. I need kobods level one with thier racial stat changes and some advice on culture.

I rarely used premade monsters from the old MM's. It was much more interesting to me to focus on conflict between humanoids and none of my players ever complained so a huge majority of my fights over the years have been humanoid creatures with levels added to them from different classes rather then being advanced creatures or straight from the book creatures.

Kobolds dont need mechanical differences from goblins. Really the two shouldnt both exist. But if they do in your world theres a bunch of other ways to distinguish them. For instance i made my goblins like the creatures from the move Descent, i gave them tremorsense with echolocation as a decriptive feature and they fought with thier bare hands or cave man level tools. Kobolds were a fairy creature that lived underground and sometimes inhabited abandoned humanoid works underground or in remote places. But they are as smart as people and have a high proportian of sorcerers who i gave feary type spells. Everything from charm to obscuring mist and invisibility.

i dont need seperate mechanics for that though, the kobold goons are the lower class of thier culture who are too infected by the mortal worlds energies to have the power of sorcerers and the sorcerers rule the culture with special families with thier own area ruling kobold warrens and having high instances of sorcerers and priests. Anyone but the noble families with those powers was killed so you dont have to worry about those people being in normal encounters.

So there, flavorful, interesting, with clear DM guidelines on who should be where in an encounter area and not one bit of mechanics different then PC's use.
 

Mathew_Freeman

First Post
Ironvyper - I'm very happy that you spend so much time creating monsters for your game. However, I'm married and work full time, and I simply don't have time for that kind of work. So I'm incredibly happy that the MM and the published adventures has a nice range of interesting creatures to throw up against the PC's.

As regards DMing advice - I'm of the school of thought that says if you think you don't need any more advice on how to do something, then you're almost certainly not as good as you think you are. Look at what some very well-read authors (Neil Gaiman, for example) say in interviews - they always think they can get better and they're always ready to take advice on how they could do that.
 

Doug McCrae

Legend
'Passive aggressive' used to be my most hated term because no one who uses it is qualified to do so. But I'm beginning to think it's actually very useful for talking about roleplaying. The way one can mask one's true feelings behind character (and the game world, in the case of the GM) really encourages it. Much of Gary's DMing advice is pure PA.
 
Last edited:

Doug McCrae

Legend
But the lesson was that no book knows what your group likes. I've had groups that asked me to build a political drama and then turned and next time out asked me for a zombie survival horror or an old school dungeon crawl focused game. And nothing in other book other then "shut up and listen to the players" would have helped any.
Which is exactly what modern rpgs advise, certainly DMG 2 and the 4e DMG, inspired by Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering. Champions 4e has similar advice.
 

Turanil

First Post
One of the elements of 4E that puts me off the most is the act of identifying the classes as controller, striker, leader, etc. For example, in the above paragraph, the player characters are a wizard (I assume), a few...um, guys with arrow or guns and a couple of fighters. Or were they warlords? Are those the leaders?

I'm not a big fan of 'class/level' systems but it seems liked if your going to have them one benefit is an easy means of designation. With previous editions, players might say, "That's when my Wizard cast lightning bolt at the orc guard". Now its 'my controller'. Totally ruins the mood and atmosphere for me.

Anyone else feeling this or have you found it pretty easy to get into the spirit of the game with brutes, lurkers, leaders, etc.?
Many people agree (or seem to agree) that 4e tries to become its own genre. As far as I am concerned, it obviously isn't the Sword & Sorcery genre of old that I like.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top