D&D 5E Randomness and D&D

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
The ones I played in that were ... OK, were OK to play in, in groups that were gaming together primarily as an excuse to hang out (if that makes sense). There were some that were ... OK, at least for a while, if a GM insisted on running them instead of trying to come up with their own material. There was some overlap in those.

An adventure or a campaign about the PCs and their interests and goals feels different to me, as a player and as a GM. I don't remember any instances of any such adventure I was involved with feeling like a time-filler to me, but it's possible there was at least one I don't remember.

In my experience, playing a published adventure is almost never about the PCs or their interests or their goals, precisely because the adventures are written to be dropped into play at just about any table. I've found that the longer the adventure (or series of), the more likely this is to be a problem.
I've noticed this with some GMs as well. To be fair, the material doesn't always give clear and concise direction on how to tailor the campaign to the PCs. Paizo's adventure paths come with a players guide that gives traits and other items that sets up PCs for the campaign. It varies greatly between APs if those items are carried through in the material. Sometimes a burden is left on the GM to add it. I dont mind that though, as I find it key to any successful campaign and one of my favorite GM prep practices.

If I'm playing in a game and the material feels very disconnected form the players and their characters, I tend to blame the GM first. Though, many a published adventure does nothing in their favor as well.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

prabe

Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Supporter
I've noticed this with some GMs as well. To be fair, the material doesn't always give clear and concise direction on how to tailor the campaign to the PCs. Paizo's adventure paths come with a players guide that gives traits and other items that sets up PCs for the campaign. It varies greatly between APs if those items are carried through in the material. Sometimes a burden is left on the GM to add it. I dont mind that though, as I find it key to any successful campaign and one of my favorite GM prep practices.

If I'm playing in a game and the material feels very disconnected form the players and their characters, I tend to blame the GM first. Though, many a published adventure does nothing in their favor as well.
The Paizo APs I've played in, it didn't feel at all as though they were meant to be tailored to the PCs. Honestly, at least some of them didn't really feel as though they were meant to be played, but some of that might be that I really do not get along with published adventures.
 

Because the bonus to the roll is rarely more important than the d20 roll, they're not really important.
I see. In order to get a bonus of, say, +10 to a d20 roll, which has an average of 10*, requires extreme level and attribute scores. It is unlikely in 5e to get that kind of bonus in the typical range of play. You are looking for a point where in the typical range of play the skill of the character eventually shifts the result of the d20 roll that, in certain circumstances, the chance for failure is minimized. Or, allows the opportunity for spectacular success.

I have a similar preference, although I want the character attributes to matter mostly at low level and the level of the character becomes the dominant factor in the die roll. Thanks for the reply!

* Close enough
 


leozg

DM
5e is the edition I've seen most of the players wanting to play pre-made adventures. I just don't get it. When DMing I love when something unpredictable happens and I have to deal with it, using my creativity to keep the flow, keeping the story or coming up with a new plot, a new branch or a side quest. That's my job as DM. And my players love to know they can go everywhere and do whatever they want, they don't need to followa pre-made story. And randomness plays an important part in it. Too much and player choices are irrelevant because their influence in outcome is minimal, leading to frustration, too few and players choices are equal to the outcome, leading to boredom.
A great part of my preparation is having pre-made NPCs, small side quests, monsters and locations to use when appropriate.
May sound arrogant, but IMO this is RPG at its finest, premade adventures are at best a tutorial.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
For those who really like randomness, here are two goodies.

The Net Libram of Random Magical Effects v2. A d10,000 list of random and wild magical mishaps. Originally written for WFRP.

Winds of Chaos Expanded Critical Hits. Several critical hit charts written by physicians that go into some graphic detail about what massive trauma to particular parts of the body would actually look like. Originally written for WFRP.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
The Paizo APs I've played in, it didn't feel at all as though they were meant to be tailored to the PCs. Honestly, at least some of them didn't really feel as though they were meant to be played, but some of that might be that I really do not get along with published adventures.
Did you use the players guides? How much session zero info was conveyed to you by the GM? Im just curious.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
5e is the edition I've seen most of the players wanting to play pre-made adventures. I just don't get it. When DMing I love when something unpredictable happens and I have to deal with it, using my creativity to keep the flow, keeping the story or coming up with a new plot, a new branch or a side quest. That's my job as DM. And my players love to know they can go everywhere and do whatever they want, they don't need to followa pre-made story. And randomness plays an important part in it. Too much and player choices are irrelevant because their influence in outcome is minimal, leading to frustration, too few and players choices are equal to the outcome, leading to boredom.
A great part of my preparation is having pre-made NPCs, small side quests, monsters and locations to use when appropriate.
May sound arrogant, but IMO this is RPG at its finest, premade adventures are at best a tutorial.
While many published adventures tend to be a succession of elements independent of the PCs, some of them (successful IMO) provide a map and toolbox to react and be proactive to the players agency for the GM. There is a little blame to place at the GMs feet as well. Many assume all the work is done, and all they have to do is toss it on the table and the adventure will proceed. I think it takes more work than that. Obviously, some GMs will take greater care of adventures they are writing themselves in this instance.
 

prabe

Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Supporter
Did you use the players guides? How much session zero info was conveyed to you by the GM? Im just curious.
We used the player guides at least for Mummy's Mask--that's the one I remember, which doesn't mean we didn't use others--and the broad premises of the campaigns were conveyed by the GMs.

Keep in mind, I didn't much enjoy Rise of the Runelords--which is generally considered a high point of Paizo's APs. They really just don't work for me.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
We used the player guides at least for Mummy's Mask--that's the one I remember, which doesn't mean we didn't use others--and the broad premises of the campaigns were conveyed by the GMs.

Keep in mind, I didn't much enjoy Rise of the Runelords--which is generally considered a high point of Paizo's APs. They really just don't work for me.
Fair enough. What are the differences with the games that do work for you?
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top