D&D General How Do You Feel About Randomness?


log in or register to remove this ad


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That's unfortunate. I find such tools (not strictly this specific weapon, but similar "powerful signature item" things) an excellent method for shaping both long-run story and short-run challenges.
Agreed; though in my game any item is subject to destruction on a failed save if its bearer fails a save vs AoE damage, meaning nothing* is guaranteed to last forever.

Some players IME like the signature-item idea more than others, while for other players it's more character by character.

* - "indestructible" is a very rare property some items can have but for those, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.
A PC having a holy avenger or the like, and becoming used to its presence, means something as simple as being disarmed, even if only briefly, suddenly becomes much more tension-raising, even stress-inducing. Especially for those fancy things that aren't nearly so picky about who can use them! And then, at the long-run level, rebuilding or empowering an incomplete, weakened, or damaged artifact is a great motivator for all sorts of behavior, without needing to commit to any specific "plot" or sequence of events. The player knows they want an even shinier shiny, and that becomes a natural bonus element stacked atop whatever story the party collectively pursues. Further, even if they complete it, its mere existence then implies all sorts of other things: others who want it, forces that had disassembled or damaged the original, foes who might want to destroy such a powerful tool to deprive their enemies of such things, etc.
Agreed.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Often enough. Or any other powerful item. Really this is the Big plus for Pure True Randomness.

In the balanced game the PCs will only ever find an amount of treasure set by the rules.
This is false.

In the Random game, PC might find anything anytime. Sure more powerful stuff will be rare...but not impossible to roll.
And yet here we have a multi-decade vet who has never had one in any game.

So the second level PCs kill some goblins...and a couple rolls later...find a Sword of Sky Cleaving.
Except this effectively never happens.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
For really powerful items, like a Holy Avenger, I prefer the quest method rather than the wait for random chance to deliver one to you. If you're a paladin and want to use a holy avenger, speak to your temple leaders, do some research, and find out where one is located and then take out the dragon or powerful undead that is keeping it locked away.
 

ezo

Where is that Singe?
For really powerful items, like a Holy Avenger, I prefer the quest method rather than the wait for random chance to deliver one to you. If you're a paladin and want to use a holy avenger, speak to your temple leaders, do some research, and find out where one is located and then take out the dragon or powerful undead that is keeping it locked away.
Here's the funny thing: I've rolled Holy Avengers twice during all my years DMing AD&D. Once, we didn't have a Paladin in the party... so, it was just a +2 long sword. They never knew it was a Holy Avenger until months later.

The other time, we had a Paladin in the group, but not currently with the party. So, when the PC rejoined the adventure, it was a surprise. He needed a magic weapon, so they planned on giving it to him anyway, and the first time he used it boy was he surprised! :)

Now, a third time I didn't roll one, but the player wanted to quest for it. He learned everything he needed, found the creatures and materials and such, and finally finished it. Then, I let him roll---and it was an intelligent weapon as well! Crazy fun. :D
 

I like randomness to a degree, but not if it's going to screw over players. For example, random encounter tables should be chosen or adjusted for the party's abilities.

I really don't like totally random character creation. It takes away player choices, and in my experience it results in a lopsided, unbalanced party with some PCs drastically more capable while others can't contribute at all. I was in that boat once and it wasn't fun to play. I think randomness in character creation should be a choice the player makes when they don't care enough to choose, and it should be structured so that all results are balanced.

Random events can be hilarious in a light-hearted game, if they aren't "rocks fall, everybody dies" or "cobra bites your character, you die" sort of events.

At their best, well-constructed random tables save DM labor while inspiring ideas, and enable solo play as well.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I like randomness to a degree, but not if it's going to screw over players. For example, random encounter tables should be chosen or adjusted for the party's abilities.
This is one of those contentious stands I will regularly argue against.

The random encounter chart should reflect the fiction of the world where it might be rolled on. That is, Party Level vs Challenge Rating should have nothing to do with it, IMO.
 

bloodtide

Legend
This is false.


And yet here we have a multi-decade vet who has never had one in any game.


Except this effectively never happens.
I'm a little confused as what your saying?

If you have a random treasure table, and '20' is an artifact....then you will eventually roll that '20'. That is how dice work.

If your random treasure table has low value items only.....then, sure, you will never get an artifact.
 


Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top