D&D 5E We Would Hate A BG3 Campaign

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pemerton

Legend
I think a thing that tables have a hard time pulling off is talking their way out of combat. BG3 does this to great effect, especially in act 2. I’ve never really seen it done otherwise. Thoughts?
By "talking their way out of combat" do you mean the PCs persuading an initially hostile, even violently inclined, NPC/creature to be an ally or friend or otherwise to not fight?

If that's what you mean, it's something that happens reasonably often in my RPGing. In 4e D&D this would be resolved as a skill challenge; here's an example:

When the Tower shifted into the Feywild the PCs (following the hag's directions) headed north. The invoker summoned them phantom steeds, in the form of giant flying dragonflies. (When the player mentioned the dragonflies, I suggested rainbow gossamer wings, but he wouldn't come at that. So the Feywild charged him 100 gp rather than 70 gp worth of residuum for the ritual.)

As the PCs were flying along, they saw an eladrin hunting party, with a displacer beast pack, below them in the woods. As they were turning about to investigate more closely, the eladrin feyknight whistled and called the drow sorcerer's dragonfly to him. (The mysterious magic of the Feywild!) Pleasantries, which included the drow prominently displaying his symbol of Corellon to prove his good faith (he is a member of a small drow cult of Corellon worshippers who seek to end the influence of Lolth and undo the sundering of the elves), revealed that the eladrin was a Marcher Baron, Lord Distan. (The PCs and players recognised that name, as someone who had kicked the hags out of their former home 20-odd years ago, leading them to taking up residence in their Tower instead.)

He invited them back to his home, where it quickly became clear that he didn't really want their company, but rather wanted them to help him with a problem - he was expecting a visit in a few days from his Duke overlord, but his special apple grove was not fruiting as it normally would.

This was an adaptation to 4e mechanics and backstory of the scenario "The Demon of the Red Grove" in Robin Laws's HeroWars Narrator's Book. The reason for the trees in the grove not fruiting is that a demon, long bound there, has recently been awoken but remains trapped within the grove, and hence is cursing the trees. Mechanically, this was resolved as a skill challenge. First the PCs had to endure the demon's three cries of "Go Away!" (group checks, with failing PCs taking psychic damage - the sorcerer, who is also a multi-class bard, was the most flamboyant here, spending his Rhythm of Disorientation encounter power to open up the use of Diplomacy for the check, which in the fiction was him singing a song of apples blossoming in the summer). Somewhere during this process the cleric-ranger and invoker both succeeded at Perception checks and could hear the high-pitched whistling of a song bird. And the sorcerer's Arcana check revealed the presence of the demon - an ancient and mighty glabrezu (level 27 solo, as I told the players in order to try to convey the requisite sense of gravity).

At this point I thought they would attack the demon, but they decided to speak to it first, to find out how it had got there and what it was doing there. With successful Diplomacy checks they learned that it had been summoned long ago during the Dawn War ("When Miska's armies were marshalling on the Plain of a Thousand Portals") by a powerful drow who had come into the Abyss, in order to ambush a strong and cruel sorceress. But the sorceress had defeated it and trapped it in the grove. When they asked it the name of the sorceress, it replied that the name had been erased from its memory - at which point the player of the paladin of the Raven Queen worked out the sorceress was his mistress, and the player of the drow worked out that the ambusher must be Lolth. They also learned that it had been woken a year ago by an NPC wizard who was, earlier in the campaign, a nemesis of the PCs, as part of his attempts to learn the true name of the Raven Queen.

They then debated whether to bargain with it, but doubted its promise that "My word is my bond." The player of the invoker decided to use the Adjure ritual - that works on immortal creatures only, so he used it to try and change the immortal magic of the Raven Queen that was binding the demon. Instead of being trapped in the grove, they wanted the demon to instead go forth and fight frost giants and formorians. A roll was made (with help from the paladin, the ranger-cleric (who is also a Raven Queen devotee) and the sorcerer (who hates the giants because they serve evil primordials and he serves Chan, a "good" archomental). Unfortunately the roll was not very high, which meant that even with the bonuses it didn't achieve a full success, so the demon is bound for a week only - and hence was quite cheerful as it flew off to the north to beat up on frost giants.
 

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Divine2021

Adventurer
By "talking their way out of combat" do you mean the PCs persuading an initially hostile, even violently inclined, NPC/creature to be an ally or friend or otherwise to not fight?

If that's what you mean, it's something that happens reasonably often in my RPGing. In 4e D&D this would be resolved as a skill challenge; here's an example:
There’s a scene in act two where you can convince a boss to allow himself to be basically eaten alive. It’s an amazing moment, and one I’ve never seen repeated at the table.
 

You CANNOT tell me that if I want to have a Bronze Age theme I am a big heel for excluding flintlock pistols and the attendant gunner feat. My pals likes anime and wants to play that here. I get it. But the stuff I have been setting up and making is not that.

Hell I don’t even have platemail or long words because I want heroes in sandals and breastplate! Gorgons faces on shields, sandals and all. And we don’t have artificers.
(Totally hypothetical…I have a kitchen sink game I run with a lizard folk first mate on the ship, etc etc.).
And I think if people get together and they want S&S Bronze Age with just humans and big oversize weapons and whichever, then if there's that one gal that wants to play an elf, well maybe that's not the coolest thing. I mean, you can all talk about it, if minds cannot meet, then someone does something else, whatever. I think flexibility and being able to get with a plan is all cool. I just get bummed when I get the 'I just want it my way' vibe, from anyone, and I long ago stopped thinking that GMing gives anyone extra privilege. I mean, if you want to say "I'll go with that idea GM purely because I respect your GMiness!" its fine, you do you! Frankly, outside of this sort of discussion I don't even really care that much, unless someone is really in my face.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Me: "I'm hosting a luau."
Friend: "I'm sorry, I can't eat that. Can I bring something else?"
Me: "I'm sorry, but the menu is fixed. If you brought something, it would ruin the internal consistency of the whole thing. Really destroy the mood and theme."

I'm pretty sure anyone who tried that would be considered a jerk. Yet that's alright if you replace "host" with "DM" and "menu" with "game options". Most people would make accommodations for their friends, and if those accommodations mean some options that are vegan, kosher or halal, that won't destroy the native Hawaiian menu.

(Of course, the real trick to party planning is to provide enough options and diversity of options that people feel they have options, and if someone does have a dietary preference to find ways to accommodate it.)
I guess that means you've presented a bad analogy then.
 



By "talking their way out of combat" do you mean the PCs persuading an initially hostile, even violently inclined, NPC/creature to be an ally or friend or otherwise to not fight?

If that's what you mean, it's something that happens reasonably often in my RPGing. In 4e D&D this would be resolved as a skill challenge; here's an example:
Oh, man, I love that, the Feywild charged him extra for being tasteless, ROFLMAO!
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Because obviously if they actually had a different opinion of it than you they must be ignorant? Come now Max. You're allowed to like one version more than another, of course, but when you start telling me that no true Scottsman could possibly like 4e DS, well...

It's probably dwarfed by other editions functionally dead.

Athas.org doesn't support 4E in any serious way the Facebook group polling virtually no one's playing it.
It's basically 2E and 3.5 with a bit of 5E.

So yeah it seems 4E Dark Sun is functionally dead. So a bit disingenuous claiming its changes are good and popular when it gas virtually no legacy.

Maybe people would have cared if it hadn't made the changes it did. Same with 4E FR. They attempted to kitchen sink it and it's a prine example of why you don't do that to established lore.

Not the only one we see the process repeat.
 

pemerton

Legend
There’s a scene in act two where you can convince a boss to allow himself to be basically eaten alive. It’s an amazing moment, and one I’ve never seen repeated at the table.
When I ran the 3E module Bastion of Broken Souls, using Rolemaster as my system and ignoring the repeated advice that the NPCs won't speak and will only attack, one of the PCs persuaded an angel to allow herself to be killed by him (because she was the living gate to the demi-plane where a god had been exiled, and he persuaded her that the fate of the world depended on him speaking to the exiled god).

I've never had eating alive!
 

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