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D&D 5E Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Maybe watching Matt's Campaign Diary video about session one will give you some insight.


Edit: I agree that session one wasn't what I was expecting from Matt.

Just gave episode 8 a glance and right off the bat, Matt C. doesn’t bother with a recap, relying on the players to vaguely recall a couple of points (they’d been off for two weeks!). DMing 101, in my book, is not relying on the players to remember what’s going on and provding a useful recap that leads neatly into interesting situation where the players get to make choices.

I hated it when my DM didn’t do a recap. Very strange.
 

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seebs

Adventurer
We also allow Unarmored Defense to stack, it doesn't hurt a thing and seems silly not to since the sources (Con for Barbarian and Wis for Monk) are different. We wouldn't allow it to double-dip if the sources were the same, however.

The ability score isn't the "source". The class ability is the source. When people tend to have +2/+3 in a few stats, letting them take a +2 and a +3 is not significantly stronger than letting them take two +3s.

(This relates to a pet peeve involving the ruling bad enough that I stopped paying attention to Paizo's rules interpretations for Pathfinder entirely.)
 

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
The ability score isn't the "source". The class ability is the source. When people tend to have +2/+3 in a few stats, letting them take a +2 and a +3 is not significantly stronger than letting them take two +3s.

(This relates to a pet peeve involving the ruling bad enough that I stopped paying attention to Paizo's rules interpretations for Pathfinder entirely.)

I don't want to get into an argument of semantics, but the "source" is Con or Wis depending on which class feature you are talking about. For our table, the Con source to improved AC for Barbarians is their hardiness and ability to withstand pain. Instead of giving even more hp, the features boosts AC. For Monks, it comes from Wisdom because of their training via martial arts and gaining insight into combat and how their enemies will attack. Thus, they are harder to hit and have improved AC.

If someone has levels in both classes, their AC would be 10 + Dex mod + Con mod + Wis mod provided they were not wearing armor or using a shield (Monks can't use the shield even though Barbarians can). Since most characters might have +2 to +4, the AC would likely be 18 or less--hardly game breaking--which is why we allow them to stack despite both being called "Unarmored Defense".
 

pogre

Legend
I am not a fan of multi-classing, but it doesn't matter - I'm a D.M. If a player wants to multi-class, as long as they follow the rules, I don't care. It is their character.

The internet has not had a big influence on my gaming aside from recruiting players from time-to-time. The biggest influence on my changing G.M. style over the years has been running other systems. That experience has allowed me to embrace what D&D is good at it, and not be afraid to leave D&D for other systems if I have a different vision for a particular campaign. My WFRP, Ars Magica, and D&D games are all pseudo-medieval fantasy games, but they are entirely different experiences and atmospheres.
 

Gradine

Final Form (they/them)
AngryGM’s posts on running the game were very illuminating when I was starting out and Iserith’s adjudicating actions guide I found here was icing on the cake (and a major reason why I stuck around)

I thought AngryGM’s schtick was just against DMing styles he didn’t like but it turns out he’s got a lot of retrograde opinions, so my enthusiasm for him has dimmed considerably (thank goodness he got off twitter!), but he still continues to produce thought provoking articles damn him!

I really don’t want to see him DM though, I might end up disappointed like I was, surprisingly, with Colville. :(

I used to (and I guess I still do) consider Angry GM's two-part series on "The Eight Kinds of Fun" to be basically required reading for any new GM. There are few things more important and fundamental to GMing than having an understanding of the reasons why your players are showing up at your table; and what they're hoping to get out of the experience. Fundamentally changed the way I approached the game as a GM. Not to mention opening my eyes to the fundamental misunderstandings that led to the edition warring around 4e. It helps that he really dials down his usual obnoxious shtick in these articles.

Even moreso than those, however, was the Adventure Zone podcast, particularly the original Balance arc, which has convinced me to stop letting the rules if D&D get in the way of the fun and the narrative. Of course, TAZ has also convinced me that I should probably be looking for a different system altogether.
 

Just gave episode 8 a glance and right off the bat, Matt C. doesn’t bother with a recap, relying on the players to vaguely recall a couple of points (they’d been off for two weeks!). DMing 101, in my book, is not relying on the players to remember what’s going on and provding a useful recap that leads neatly into interesting situation where the players get to make choices.

I hated it when my DM didn’t do a recap. Very strange.

I've been following Sly Flourish's advice from his Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master: The players are the ones who do the recap at the start of each session and the DM sits back and listens. Then the DM fills in any important information that they misunderstood or just plain missed.

A big advantage of this is that the players work as a team to help each other remember the high and low points of the last session and everyone gets to relive some of the fun of last session. The players also might hit upon aspects of the game that the DM did not previously think were that important, but can now seek to revisit in future sessions since they found those things entertaining.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I've been following Sly Flourish's advice from his Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master: The players are the ones who do the recap at the start of each session and the DM sits back and listens. Then the DM fills in any important information that they misunderstood or just plain missed.

A big advantage of this is that the players work as a team to help each other remember the high and low points of the last session and everyone gets to relive some of the fun of last session. The players also might hit upon aspects of the game that the DM did not previously think were that important, but can now seek to revisit in future sessions since they found those things entertaining.

That's what I do, especially since the players' collective memory will almost always be better than mine. Then I can fill in bits that will be relevant to the current session.

I also see this as a good warm up improv technique ("Yes, and...") since it gets the players into the groove of offering a thing and someone else building on that thing. Do 5-10 minutes of that and they will tend to continue that pattern which makes the rest of the gaming session run more quickly and smoothly.
 

Iry

Hero
Yes, but not necessarily in a “great epiphany” way. I consume everything I read and judge it against my desires and the desires of the group. If something doesn’t mesh well, I can set it aside for years. If something seems promising, I look for ways to work it into a game and field test it. Anything that gets field tested usually goes through many adjustments. So my game is always evolving because of what I read.

The only downside is that there are very few new ideas these days.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
A big advantage of this is that the players work as a team to help each other remember the high and low points of the last session and everyone gets to relive some of the fun of last session. The players also might hit upon aspects of the game that the DM did not previously think were that important, but can now seek to revisit in future sessions since they found those things entertaining.

Glad that's working for you. My players are similar to how I was as a player, they remember a few random things but have lost the thread a bit, so while they might, after a while, piece something coherent together I prefer to avoid the awkward fumbling and instead provide an engaging recap that leads directly to them being able to declare an action and we're off.
 

I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Just gave episode 8 a glance and right off the bat, Matt C. doesn’t bother with a recap, relying on the players to vaguely recall a couple of points (they’d been off for two weeks!). DMing 101, in my book, is not relying on the players to remember what’s going on and provding a useful recap that leads neatly into interesting situation where the players get to make choices.

I hated it when my DM didn’t do a recap. Very strange.

It depends on the players. The group I play with now are terrible note takers and the DM has a memory like a steel trap. I've played with other folks who are incredible note takers. And quite frankly even as DM there have been moments I've forgotten what happened last session.

Recaps always feel very...schoolish or TVish though. I'm not saying that's bad, and maybe it's just me, but it always feels like I'm either a naggy teacher "Alright students did you remember to do your homework? We're reviewing Chapter 4 today." or "LAST TIME ON DRAGONBALL Z!" Haven't managed a happy medium, but the latter certainly gets people's attention.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
It depends on the players. The group I play with now are terrible note takers and the DM has a memory like a steel trap. I've played with other folks who are incredible note takers. And quite frankly even as DM there have been moments I've forgotten what happened last session.

Recaps always feel very...schoolish or TVish though. I'm not saying that's bad, and maybe it's just me, but it always feels like I'm either a naggy teacher "Alright students did you remember to do your homework? We're reviewing Chapter 4 today." or "LAST TIME ON DRAGONBALL Z!" Haven't managed a happy medium, but the latter certainly gets people's attention.

After being in a game with no recap (except what us players could manage to cobble together) this article resonated with me: https://theangrygm.com/the-art-of-the-recap/
 

S'mon

Legend
AngryGM’s posts on running the game were very illuminating when I was starting out and Iserith’s adjudicating actions guide I found here was icing on the cake (and a major reason why I stuck around)

I thought AngryGM’s schtick was just against DMing styles he didn’t like but it turns out he’s got a lot of retrograde opinions, so my enthusiasm for him has dimmed considerably (thank goodness he got off twitter!), but he still continues to produce thought provoking articles damn him!

I really don’t want to see him DM though, I might end up disappointed like I was, surprisingly, with Colville. :(

Colville's GMing does look lame on Youtube but I am sure is fine for the players. Whereas Matt Mercer GMing is a lot like how I imagine myself to be. :D
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Colville's GMing does look lame on Youtube but I am sure is fine for the players. Whereas Matt Mercer GMing is a lot like how I imagine myself to be. :D

Ha you're absolutely right. That's crying out for a "How I think I GM/How my players think I GM/How I actually GM" meme :)
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
How I think I DM:

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How my players think I DM:

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How I actually DM:

MW-CM882_office_MG_20140711105242.jpg
 



After being in a game with no recap (except what us players could manage to cobble together) this article resonated with me: https://theangrygm.com/the-art-of-the-recap/

Thanks for this. Angry always seems to provide some good food for thought. I'm still going to have my players share in the recap, but I will be sure to sprinkle in some important things that happened before the prior sessions.


Also, MM did a fine job with that recap. I'll definitely be checking out the series. Always good to review what we think we know just to be sure.
 



5ekyu

Hero
I expected the game to sparkle with talent and yet it just kind of slogged. Colville's narration seemed particularly weak which surprised me given his authorial talents (and how to vids) and there were some rules questions (and opening the game up to outside input via twitter seems like a bad idea). Also some of the players seemed quite unengaged/unhappy. It wasn't what I imagined at all. Very low energy.

I didn't make it through the first episode of "The Chain" to be honest, so perhaps it got better, but it also made me sympathetic to those who say watching people play D&D is not enjoyable.
I also found the chain badly managed. Whoever thought spending so much time on diecroll bids and skipping the "who am I and what am I like" portions on the first episode needs to be sent to pluck live cockatrices.

It was bombing on other details but that was the most egregious.

The second most was "'jumping right into it" with a fight that wasnt compelling that it seemed heading to a foregone conclusion. But I might be missing that a tad - seems like my attention was elsewhere.
 

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