D&D 5E When Demons Intrude (Wandering Monsters 10/23/13)

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Sadly, it seems 1E/early 2E never really treated anything over 12th level seriously. It's like the designers saw the level of power and just couldn't keep a straight face. Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut, Castle Greyhawk, Throne of Bloodstone. About the only exception I can think of is Labyrinth of Madness, and wasn't that a Monte-made module (he strikes me as understanding high-level a shred better than others).

Don't equate the hut with those! The Roger Moore one from dragon may have "light" elements...but is a very different kind of adventure then the others.
 

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Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
Ironfell is pretty bad. The truth is, the way evil things have been named over the past couple decades has turned them from dark and mysterious into an absolute joke. And that's the very worst thing that can happen to dark fantasy.

As a remedy, I would first ban certain constructions. Nothing shall use the words dark or fell as part of their names. Even the use of shadow should be limited. Avoid compound words as names. And there should be a several year moratorium on using a capitalized version of a noun, such as the Darkness or the Voice.

It's not that any of these constructions can't be put to good use. It's that they've become cliches, and it's time to let them rest.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
... I think it could be a better story, ...

Actually, this is key. Not only is this sort of background not needed, its hard to do good stories, on top of the other elements needed for the description. Now, for the rest of the description they have good sources to draw on. For the story bit, its much more of a mixed bag. And these examples show how easy it is to mess this up.

They should stop. If they want to have articles like this in future publications, down the road, fine, though they need to do a better job. But for now, they should stop, and focus on finishing 5E.
 

Kinak

First Post
I don't think changing how those spells work is the key. Having those spells in the game as-is means the game is in "summoning is trivial" mode. You could e.g. add expensive/rare or story-based spell components to make them more important, but what would you get? That they become in fact more important, so you just shifted the game to "summoning is special", and you have at the same time made the "summoning is trivial" mode impossible. It's one or the other, and if you add only minor complications to the spells, you probably get neither mode, because the complication/expense is just an annoyance to those who want it trivial, and not enough for those who want it special (unless you're lucky to find exactly the perfect idea).

If it was for me, I would just put a visible "OPTIONAL" label beside spells that can change the campaign tone (other examples are Identify, the resurrection series, Wish/Miracle...), then tell in a sidebar how the game changes with or without such spell, or with or without a strong story-based requirement for example.
I'd prefer they be cordoned those sorts of spells off into some sort of dedicated opt-in ritual system, but that's probably a little too 4e for them.

Failing that, I agree that calling them out as optional would be nice, sort of like they did with some races in the last packet.

TerraDave said:
Actually, this is key. Not only is this sort of background not needed, its hard to do good stories, on top of the other elements needed for the description. Now, for the rest of the description they have good sources to draw on. For the story bit, its much more of a mixed bag. And these examples show how easy it is to mess this up.

They should stop. If they want to have articles like this in future publications, down the road, fine, though they need to do a better job. But for now, they should stop, and focus on finishing 5E.
I think the game would actually benefit a lot from having good stories for the various monsters... or even just hints of good stories. But, if they can't fit good stories into the existing structure, I agree that time and space could be better used elsewhere.

Cheers!
Kinak
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
I'm pretty encouraged by the references here to perhaps stumbling a little bit into the realm of "there isn't just one D&D story, there's lots of D&D stories."

Like, with the gnolls, yeah, okay, sure, I can buy that, but I can also not buy that, and it's good that the poll is pretty clear that this can be "one story among many."
 

Weather Report

Banned
Banned
Only Demon Lords, Arch Devils and Yugoloth ? should make lasting impressions; not the same, but in Ravenloft, every fiend makes its own mini-Domain.

I dearly hope they change their change their minds about calling The Plane of Shadow/Shadowfell, Ravenloft...
 

Stormonu

Legend
Don't equate the hut with those! The Roger Moore one from dragon may have "light" elements...but is a very different kind of adventure then the others.

Y eaaaah. I'm sitting here looking at area F3, Alternate Reality Tokyo, where the party fights a man-sized Godzilla in a miniature model of Tokyo. That's real straight-faced.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Y eaaaah. I'm sitting here looking at area F3, Alternate Reality Tokyo, where the party fights a man-sized Godzilla in a miniature model of Tokyo. That's real straight-faced.

You sir, have the wrong adventure. I am referring to the one from Dragon 83 by Roger Moore. There was another published later, it is not the same.

It has a soviet tank sitting across from a dwarven cannon in one of its museums, but no one in a godzilla suite.
 

Stormonu

Legend
You sir, have the wrong adventure. I am referring to the one from Dragon 83 by Roger Moore. There was another published later, it is not the same.

It has a soviet tank sitting across from a dwarven cannon in one of its museums, but no one in a godzilla suite.

We're obviously discussing different adventures. The one I am talking about is The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga, TSR 9471 for AD&D 2E, published 1995. And it's goofy as hell.

<EDIT> And now that I've found the one in #83, it's only for 9th level and above anyway, not the 14th+ level ones I was discussing.
 
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Weather Report

Banned
Banned
Yes indeed, there are spells the mere presence of which can change the tone of the game and the style of the story.

I don't think changing how those spells work is the key. Having those spells in the game as-is means the game is in "summoning is trivial" mode. You could e.g. add expensive/rare or story-based spell components to make them more important, but what would you get? That they become in fact more important, so you just shifted the game to "summoning is special", and you have at the same time made the "summoning is trivial" mode impossible. It's one or the other, and if you add only minor complications to the spells, you probably get neither mode, because the complication/expense is just an annoyance to those who want it trivial, and not enough for those who want it special (unless you're lucky to find exactly the perfect idea).

If it was for me, I would just put a visible "OPTIONAL" label beside spells that can change the campaign tone (other examples are Identify, the resurrection series, Wish/Miracle...), then tell in a sidebar how the game changes with or without such spell, or with or without a strong story-based requirement for example.


Yes, and for spells like plane shift, scrying, and teleport (those can break adventures, the story).
 

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