Still Searching for "That" System

Retreater

Legend
I think compromise is in order. My suggestion (take with a grain of salt) is that you use 4E. Not gamma; just plain ol 4E with maybe essentials even. It's a system you like, know, and can tailor. The players will need to learn it a bit, but with some assurance for a long running game they shouldnt mind the effort. Now for your part, you really need to stick with a long running game/campaign. If adventure path looses its luster, than go west marches sandbox. Whatever you need to do to make the game last.
That is an idea. Depending on if they ever get to liking GW in the slightest. If they hate the tactical parts of it, I don't think they'll do well with 4E.
 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Would you say that you fudge die rolls often? Do you "soft fudge" (use suboptimal tactics, even for intelligent opponents)?
Do you have a standard-sized party? Do you use any rules variants?

I don't usually play the monsters at full tactical efficiency most of the time unless it especially fits the monsters idiom (that Ilithid went all out, the hobgoblin soldiers were professionals...), I will adjust some non-major encounters before they get to them based on the current party well-being, and (I am trying not to) will sometimes boost a monster mid-combat to make it a bit tougher. Monsters often have use for prisoners or allies too, and are rarely suicidal. I will give the teenage group some hints (they usually miss) and are you sures (they usually are) when they're doing something very questionable. Party has 4-10 PCs, no feats and I don't think any rule variants except for all the WotC published races and sub-classes.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Not really. They can charge in and kill almost anything, even working independently. I'd say each campaign has maybe 1 fight where they really have to bring their "A" game.

Yes. Like when they say "I didn't even get to make an attack" or "why did I bother to roll Initiative?"
Ok that was a misunderstanding on my part, I thought you were referring to the combats where some resource use or tactics as being boring.
Correct. And I do add more targets if I'm running a group of 6 players, like +50% more common baddies. They still chomp through them.
The monster attack bonuses are too low. The monster damage is too low. The number of monster actions are too low. The monster AC is too low and save bonuses are too low.
Oh! God No 50% more common baddies will not cut it at all.
 


I run a lot of Savage Worlds. I just canned my PF2 game to go back to running SW (Nights Black Agents/ Zalozhniy Quartet). In my mind it’s a game you can teach the basics of in 10 minutes. Flat.

In terms of combat help there are at least two different one page combat cheat sheets out there I print and out in front of new players. It helps.

In terms of deadliness even a ‘dead’ pc isn’t dead unless it’s rolled on the injury table. Otherwise they are just incapacitated. You can fudge the Wound Cap rule to account for massive wounds if you needed to. Use it as training wheels. There is a wound calculator available as well print it and put it on the table. Savaged.us can handle character creation for you and has some virtual tools built in as well.

Savage Pathfinder isn’t significantly more crunchy than regular SW really. But the characters do start more capable than regular SW characters. It currently has Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne available to play. Straight from the box. Both conversions are credible and leverage the SW toolkit.

The Rippers plot point campaign is great. The second one is pretty good. Go pirates and 50 Fathoms plot point campaign and you are golden.

There are a bunch of character options available even in just the core. Combat is tactical or not (especially with Quick Encounters) as you want it to be.
Exploding dice create memorable moments.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I'm saying - for example - if the original encounter is with 4 ogres and 2 wyverns, that would be 6 ogres and 3 wyverns against 6 characters.
More un-interesting monsters wont make things better. Go for higher CR and different monsters.

If 4 ogres and 2 wyverns is dull, go with 1 Veterans (Ogre) 2 Berserkers (Ogre) and 2 Green Half-Dragon Wyverns.

Or 2 Ogres Chain Brutes, 2 Ogres Howdha and 1 Ogre Goblin Hucker and put 2 extra Howdah on the back of the wyverns.

etc
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Oh, and you say that the only variant for healing is Gritty Realism...its not.

Try Slow Natural Healing + Healing Kit Dependency.

This way they have to spend resources (HDs and Healer kit) to heal, and they dont regain all their HDs on a rest. And long rests arent possible in most environment; you dont let the party rest in a fortress just because they cleared the level and the map says there's no other monster on that floor.
 

Retreater

Legend
More un-interesting monsters wont make things better. Go for higher CR and different monsters.

If 4 ogres and 2 wyverns is dull, go with 1 Veterans (Ogre) 2 Berserkers (Ogre) and 2 Green Half-Dragon Wyverns.

Or 2 Ogres Chain Brutes, 2 Ogres Howdha and 1 Ogre Goblin Hucker and put 2 extra Howdah on the back of the wyverns.

etc
I agree with you. I was pulling names off the top of my head. And if they seem uninspired, that's typically what they put in WotC adventures.
The types of monsters you're quoting aren't the ones we get - which are usually skeletons, zombies, goblins, etc.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I agree with you. I was pulling names off the top of my head. And if they seem uninspired, that's typically what they put in WotC adventures.
The types of monsters you're quoting aren't the ones we get - which are usually skeletons, zombies, goblins, etc.
Cant argue with that.

I think the best way to build an encounter is not based on difficulty, its putting yourself in your players' shoes and asking yourself ''would I enjoy that fight?''. If the answer's no, you go back to the drawing board and swap pieces.
 

Retreater

Legend
Cant argue with that.

I think the best way to build an encounter is not based on difficulty, its putting yourself in your players' shoes and asking yourself ''would I enjoy that fight?''. If the answer's no, you go back to the drawing board and swap pieces.
I have a nice selection of painted minis and terrain, which can add to the visual and tactile fun.
Probably getting away from these modules that don't inspire me would help, should I decide to run D&D again.
 

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