D&D 5E Wandering Monsters 10/30/2013: Trick or Treat?

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
I do not like the talk of "tricks" at all.
To me that sounds as if WotC considers obstacles etc. to be encounters the DM uses as sort of random encounter instead of having a prepared map of the area in advance at the PCs encounter whatever lies in their way.
I do not want to suddenly have a chasm appear before the PCs because the DM thought (or a table said so) that it is time for another exploration encounter.
Why not?
 

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Derren

Hero

Because those are landmarks and shouldn't simply appear out of thin air.

An in a more general view, imo exploration implies that something is already there and you have to discover it features. Having things appear just to challenge the PCs is the antithesis of exploration.
 

Kavon

Explorer
To me that sounds as if WotC considers obstacles etc. to be encounters the DM uses as sort of random encounter instead of having a prepared map of the area in advance at the PCs encounter whatever lies in their way.
Because those are landmarks and shouldn't simply appear out of thin air.

It seems that this 'thin air' consists of similar stuff the creatures from random encounters are made of ;)
Just as there are people who like to play with random encounter tables and ones who don't, I can see there are people who might like a random table for landmarks and such things.
"You come upon..." *rolls dice* "...a great chasm that suddenly comes into view" or "...a warmongering band of worg riding hobgoblins that suddenly come into view".

I can see the value of such a thing, even if I might not use it myself.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
Because those are landmarks and shouldn't simply appear out of thin air.

An in a more general view, imo exploration implies that something is already there and you have to discover it features. Having things appear just to challenge the PCs is the antithesis of exploration.
I don't understand your argument. I thought "random encounter instead of having a prepared map of the area in advance" and "landmarks...simply appear[ing] out of thin air" have always been a staple of exploration in D&D. Every edition had random encounters (usually with lair chance), and most of them had random dungeon generation rules.
 

Derren

Hero
I don't understand your argument. I thought "random encounter instead of having a prepared map of the area in advance" and "landmarks...simply appear[ing] out of thin air" have always been a staple of exploration in D&D. Every edition had random encounters (usually with lair chance), and most of them had random dungeon generation rules.


I do not know how you ran your campaigns but in mine I had a map and knew what is where and didn't just place things on them in order to challenge the PCs. Doing some completely invalidates the "Exploration pillar" as there is nothing to explore, just to encounter.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Because those are landmarks and shouldn't simply appear out of thin air.

It all appears out of thin air. Whether you wrote it down in advance, or did it on the fly, from the player's perspective it's all the same. It does not actually have an existence independent of the PCs - the DM can make it seem like it does, but it all just exists in the DMs brain or on their private sheets of paper (or in their computer) prior to the PCs encountering it in some way.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Derren said:
Doing some completely invalidates the "Exploration pillar" as there is nothing to explore, just to encounter.

I don't really agree.

I can see that you much prefer to discover something that already exists as you play rather than have it randomly appear. That's fair enough, there's a lot of folks who feel a little robbed when randomness comes into play and removes the strategy from the thing. There's plenty of groups who feel basically the same way about combat (ie, success or failure or whatever shouldn't just be "random").

But I don't think that this is mandatory for an enjoyable exploration challenge in general. It's totally possible that other groups dig the random roll and don't care if it was pre-made or not.

Just like it's possible that some groups dig more randomness in combat and aren't particularly bothered by a random roll bringing death on either party.

I think in an ideal world, 5e would provide a base that's fairly robustly strategic, and allow people to introduce more swing easily if they want.
 

MarkB

Legend
It all appears out of thin air. Whether you wrote it down in advance, or did it on the fly, from the player's perspective it's all the same. It does not actually have an existence independent of the PCs - the DM can make it seem like it does, but it all just exists in the DMs brain or on their private sheets of paper (or in their computer) prior to the PCs encountering it in some way.

True enough. On the other hand, there's something to be said for architectural features of a dungeon being put together in a way that makes some form of sense, both in terms of good lair design and in reference to who's living there. That's tricky to do if you're rolling them up at random.
 

delericho

Legend
True enough. On the other hand, there's something to be said for architectural features of a dungeon being put together in a way that makes some form of sense, both in terms of good lair design and in reference to who's living there. That's tricky to do if you're rolling them up at random.

Agreed.

Though I would also take issue with one thing Mistwell said:

It all appears out of thin air. Whether you wrote it down in advance, or did it on the fly, from the player's perspective it's all the same.

Surely, the players' perspective isn't the only one that counts? And if the DM feels more comfortable with everything pre-plotted on his fixed map, then that's a valid preference?
 

Kavon

Explorer
Surely, the players' perspective isn't the only one that counts? And if the DM feels more comfortable with everything pre-plotted on his fixed map, then that's a valid preference?
Of course it's okay for a DM to prefer to do this.

This (part of the) discussion sprang from Derren saying that it was not okay to do the reverse (which is obviously his preference), by arguing that random dungeon features and the like are wrong and shouldn't be done because they appear out of thin air. We're just arguing that it's okay to use random encounter tables if that is your preference.

For the record, if anyone even cares, I wouldn't like using random dungeon features either, but I can see their use and that it might be fun (for me) for an 'on-the-fly' adventure.
(Oh, and Derren, if I'm misunderstanding your point/putting words in your mouth, I apologize)
 
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