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Emirikol

D&D 5e free to download: any portable elements to WFRP3?

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Ok, I've examined their document.

 

The one thing that I like (would consider porting), is that they have stopped with the endless, inane, petty, power-gamer pandering +1 modifiers and switched to:  "advantage/disadvantage."  You simply roll again and take the better roll (or worse roll in the case of disadvantages).

 

Person is prone?  You have "advantage."

Person has cover? You have disadvantage.

 

This would be a smart move for WFRP3 house ruling rather than this being your die roll (anybody got enough dice?!?!?)

 

Anyways, this might be a neat option for "mastery."

 

5673257359_8c7c17f843.jpg

 

jh

Edited by Emirikol
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I feel like advantage was meant to mitigate having a bunch of fiddly modifiers to add up while wfrp mitigates those fiddly modifiers by making them into the more-intuitive-and-fun-to-roll dice. Also, the actual advantage mechanic involves rolling MORE dice. So you've got advantage/ disadvantage replacing modifiers with more dice and the wfrp system...replacing modifiers with more dice. I'm not sure how it could transfer over.

On another note, I like the little nod toward sexual diversity in the document. I think it would be fun for the fluff to include some more things about gender roles among the different species or things like some species not just doing the binary male/female (maybe have something akin to the two-spirits gender from some Native American tribes and have it for the wood elves).

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I think it would be fun for the fluff to include some more things (...) like some species not just doing the binary male/female (maybe have something akin to the two-spirits gender from some Native American tribes and have it for the wood elves).

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Here is a D&D thread regarding "encounter balance."  These threads drive me nuts.  Partly it drives me nuts because WFRP3 has and never has had any sort of "encounter balance."  http://wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140707

 

Encounter balance in D&D means this, and only this:    PUSHING THE WIN BUTTON   Does this encounter require you to push the win button once, twice, or three rounds in a row?

 

In WFRP3, "encounter balance" means 'how dangerous this monster is in relative comparison to other monsters, but there is no formula for a GM do decide if an encounter is safe or a sure-fire TPK for his gaming group.    Although, I made one of these formulas in a different thread, there is something very valuable towards NOT ADVERTISING IT TO YOUR PLAYERS.  Every encounter should be deadly IMO, or why bother?   "Hey, go murder that quadrapalegic street urchin because you'll get 10 x.p." is the nonsensicalness' of the murder-hobo-win-button philosophy where if you know your monsters, you know mathematically whether or not you can win an encounter.

Edited by Emirikol
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I think it would be fun for the fluff to include some more things (...) like some species not just doing the binary male/female (maybe have something akin to the two-spirits gender from some Native American tribes and have it for the wood elves).

Slaanesh approves this post!

 

 

In my mind, I think Slaanesh would be happier about Victorian sexual repression, given what that kind of thing can do to people's minds and sexuality. Although I guess you swing the other way too where if you get over-exposed to something you have to start seeking out more extreme versions of it. Still, I think an interesting Slaanesh story could maybe involve a town counsel of moralistic busy-bodies who try to control the actions and morals of everyone and inadvertently invite ruin.

 

 

Here is a D&D thread regarding "encounter balance."  These threads drive me nuts.  Partly it drives me nuts because WFRP3 has and never has had any sort of "encounter balance."  http://wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140707

 

Encounter balance in D&D means this, and only this:    PUSHING THE WIN BUTTON   Does this encounter require you to push the win button once, twice, or three rounds in a row?

 

What do you mean by pushing the win button? Playing a wizard?

 

 

In WFRP3, "encounter balance" means 'how dangerous this monster is in relative comparison to other monsters, but there is no formula for a GM do decide if an encounter is safe or a sure-fire TPK for his gaming group.    Although, I made one of these formulas in a different thread, there is something very valuable towards NOT ADVERTISING IT TO YOUR PLAYERS.  Every encounter should be deadly IMO, or why bother?   "Hey, go murder that quadrapalegic street urchin because you'll get 10 x.p." is the nonsensicalness' of the murder-hobo-win-button philosophy where if you know your monsters, you know mathematically whether or not you can win an encounter.

 

There's nothing wrong with having a mathematical solution that guides game design. I think a lot of people would love for there to be a formula that could take party composition into account (e.g. strength/weapon skill and agility/ballistic skill training, total wounds, soak, etc.) and allow encounters to be created based on that. I really don't think it''s beyond game designers to at least take a stab at this. I think that the use of A/C/E dice does allow some mid-combat flexibility, though. Still, I'm thinking of all the threads people have written about having a solo encounter with a bad guy end abruptly or having the game be too easy or accidentally murdering the party and I think it would be nice to have some hard guidelines for people to follow. Yeah, you could just "learn the system" and get a feel for encounter design but that takes a lot of time and a lot of mistakes. Surely it would be better for those to occur on the design end rather than the play end?

 

On another, related note, I think it's important to keep in mind that the more mathematical and concrete structure that you have in a game's design, the more robustly it all needs to be balanced. D&D has a lot of simulationist stuff going on in it, with lots of numbers, and thus needs to be heavily designed and balanced with those numbers. If your game is structured around numbers, it should add up. WFRP is a bit more abstract than D&D, but it still has a good deal of number structure going on, and thus needs to have some form of balancing factor.

 

Something else, not directed to anyone on this forum, but just in general. Has anyone else noticed that for being a hobby full of nerds, that a huge number of roleplayers seem to not only be bad at probability and math, but also actively reject its use?

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Regarding math solution to encounter design: The difficulty numbers I came up with seem to work pretty well from my testing. They can give you some advanced measure of predictability, which is good for GMs to string a sequential "you win even if you don't really think" combat adventure together.

 

The ones in D&D however drive me crazy.  They pretty much tell the players exactly how easy, easier, or easiest an encounter is going to be and every player knows exactly how easy the encounter is going to be..  It's just too obvious for me.  I prefer a lot less predictability.  D&D is also designed as a "win button" game, where you're going to win. The game is designed to be easy for players to roll and not have to mentally process story consequences, and easier for players who will extract every single munchkiny, twinky +1.  I believe the immortal words of Bryce Lynch sum D&D/Pathfinder up best:  "Why not just roll a d6? On a 1-5 you win, and 6 you roll again."   It works great for D*D/Pf.  I enjoyed it for years and oftentimes still do (and usually with my munckiny-twinky character of the week).

 

I believe that the variables in WFRP with multiple ways to really get wiped out (disease, insanity, fatigue, stress, wounds, and critical wounds), make that curtain much less easy to see through, even though the math could be worked out.  All expectations could be predicted, but that's not what makes it fun. There's something about a storyline that, if you're stupid and willingly enter danger, can get yourself killed (and that your experience is not derived from killing monsters).  There should be some effort involved.  There should be some thinking.  Sure, it's not  that differen't from D&D, but I've taken a liking to the depth of variables of this game more than D&D.

Edited by Emirikol

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I wasn't aware that players were meant to be privy to the numbers behind encounter designs or how easy/hard an encounter is meant to be in D&D. If it's because they read about those parts in the DM's guide, isn't that akin to someone reading an adventure before playing it? That and it seems like it could be simple enough for DMs to mix things up in D&D encounters by adding reinforcements, environmental obstacles, etc, all of which are alluded to/avoidable through clever or lucky play.

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Agreed on all points, but as that information is part of the core of the [D&D] game, it simply becomes too predictable.  

 

[edit:  this is made even more painfully obvious when your fellow players are also GMs themselves or have been around the game for a while]

Edited by Emirikol

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GM: "Your torches barely illuminate the darkness of the caverns. It seems they have suddenly opened up into a larger area.  Your footsteps echo in the darkness. Up ahead part of the enormous ceiling has collapsed and a bit of light trickles in.  At the far end of the enormous cavern is an immense, stature of a squat daemon with tentacles on his.."

 

Player:[interrupting in loud monotone]   You mean Cthulhu.  He has 457 hit points and is CR27.  I just read about him last week in the Pathfinder Bestiary 5.  He's not official for D&D 5th edition and that's way above the level of monster that we should be fighting since we're only 8th level.  Well, Fred, who doesn't play his fighter right, is only 7th.

 

GM: [reaching to his holster]

 

Related thread: The absurd culture of min-maxing at all costs

Edited by Emirikol
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I'm inclined to feel that unless creating a new character takes under a minute, your character shouldn't be killed off that quickly. Also, if you're playing a deadly game don't expect players to put a lot of effort into character creation. ALSO, if you're playing a deadly game, you're telling your players they should try making broken combat monster characters that can't die. It doesn't seem to me like pointing out that a game is very lethal (as well as contrasting that to "very hard") is really that off-base. There's a reason why popular sports don't have elimination of other players from the game outside of being eliminated for breaking the rules. There's also a reason why video games have gotten rid of a lot of arbitrary barriers to play (restart from the beginning, limited lives, etc.). For most people, getting knocked out of a game that lasts several hours isn't fun.

 

Also, I would tend to believe that rather than blaming the players (or the GM), you should blame the game that facilitates poor play. For example, if you want to tell a grand or immersive story in D&D, which is based on wargaming and has always been structured to be primarily a combat simulator, you're not going to get very far without ignoring a lot of the game's rules. If you have to ignore so many rules, why play that game?

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.................

 

GM: (interrupting player) Fred the Fighter seems to have lost his mind as upon seeing the statue starts spouting arcane formlue more akin to the babble of Tim the wizard, and charges towards the statue. In a blast of eldritch light Fred vanishes from his 5 by 5 gridspace. When the sickly afterglow leaves the rest of your eyes you note that the statue is slighty yet disturbingly different. Now protruding from it's cavernous maw are a small pair of stone feet that you could swear look remarkably similar to those of your erstwhile companion Fred. In addition, the eyes of the statue now seem to carry what you could be forgiven for thinking was a twinkle, if stone could twinkle..........

 

 

Oh, by the way Fred, I was using the 3rd Ed CoC rules for this where he eats D4 people per round, I just rolled a 1 and it happened to be you.

 

So, what is everyone else doing?

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GM: "Your torches barely illuminate the darkness of the caverns. It seems they have suddenly opened up into a larger area.  Your footsteps echo in the darkness. Up ahead part of the enormous ceiling has collapsed and a bit of light trickles in.  At the far end of the enormous cavern is an immense, stature of a squat daemon with tentacles on his.."

 

Player:[interrupting in loud monotone]   You mean Cthulhu.  He has 457 hit points and is CR27.  I just read about him last week in the Pathfinder Bestiary 5.  He's not official for D&D 5th edition and that's way above the level of monster that we should be fighting since we're only 8th level.  Well, Fred, who doesn't play his fighter right, is only 7th.

 

GM: [reaching to his holster]

 

.................

 

GM: (interrupting player) Fred the Fighter seems to have lost his mind as upon seeing the statue starts spouting arcane formlue more akin to the babble of Tim the wizard, and charges towards the statue. In a blast of eldritch light Fred vanishes from his 5 by 5 gridspace. When the sickly afterglow leaves the rest of your eyes you note that the statue is slighty yet disturbingly different. Now protruding from it's cavernous maw are a small pair of stone feet that you could swear look remarkably similar to those of your erstwhile companion Fred. In addition, the eyes of the statue now seem to carry what you could be forgiven for thinking was a twinkle, if stone could twinkle..........

 

 

Oh, by the way Fred, I was using the 3rd Ed CoC rules for this where he eats D4 people per round, I just rolled a 1 and it happened to be you.

 

So, what is everyone else doing?

 

 

-Fred relating these stories to his beautiful partner, as they lie together on a beach. "Oh, honey, remember when I used to waste my time playing "daddy-may-I?" with power-hungry socially awkward nerds?"

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Eh, I just don't like vilifying either side, player or GM. We're all friends and should be able to work out what kind of game we want to play together. It sucks for the GM if a player ruins his attempt to tell a story by making it all into tactilol number crunching and it sucks for a player if a GM arbitrarily/intentionally messes with the part of the game that the player enjoys. Both sides can come to an agreement. This agreement can also be helped by having explicitly outlined and reinforcing rules, but too often game designers fall for the player vs. GM paradigm.

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I think one of my players lost 3 characters in the Dying of the Light campaign.  He's running our upcoming Bretonnia campaign. I'm thinking my random character creator might come in handy :)

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Too much communal story telling loses the sense that it is a game with possible failure, whereas the other end of the spectrum fails to incite the imagination and failure becomes and exact statistical odd.

 

jh

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In other words, there is a difference between "roll playing" and "role playing" :P

I am quite happy to admit that over my gaming career I have played my fair share of the former, but I always enjoy the latter more.

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I like Role and Roll in my storytelling games. Drawing a hard line in the sand and handing out team jerseys for one side over the other never seemed interesting to me.

 

As to OP, I like the advantage/disadvantage system as well, although I feel like I've already been doing that with fortune/misfortune dice anyway. I'm intrigued by 5e, but so far it's not offering me anything that I haven't been doing already with the FFG narrative dice games or Fate.

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The question I ask myself is, Emirikol, with so many good rpgs out there, why even bothering trying to incorporate into Warhammer 3 pieces of a system (D&D) which is awful? Why not from other systems?

 

For example, you have been struggling (or you are) trying to flesh out social combat in this game, there are games, like TOR, Dogs in the Vineyard, The Burning Wheel...that can give you ideas on how to improve this part of the system.

 

Even for the action cards, you could take some ideas from the Stunts of the Fate system.

 

Well, it may also be that I am the only one in the RPG community that finds all incarnations of D&D the anti rpg.

 

Cheers,

Yepes

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D&D did not start as the "anti-RP" system though, it started as a way to have RP elements in a mechanical combat system, and most of us seem to be old enough to know that. It was more interesting than Traveller, and less complex than Bushido. I dunno dude, I just think you need to keep an open mind on what systems may bring to the table, be they mechanical, or thematic.

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I'll be in the situation of having to run 5e for a bunch of kids, so I'm going to try to see how it handles on the open road ;)

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I find these threads about encounter difficulty interesting, because as a very experienced GM, I started gaming in 1985, I really don't have issues with that problem at all.

I do think beginning GMs need all the help they can get so they can avoid a TPK event that could ruin their game and even disgust new players from the game altogether, but for WFRP, this help isn't really about numbers that much.

Of course, learning to compare S, T, Wounds and Soak, as well as Damage output helps a lot. Taking the time to evaluate how much damage per round the Ogre mercenary will likely deal to the party's strongest fighter (and weakest) makes the threat level much more obvious and guides the GM.

But this basic mathematical evaluation will only help avoid TPK or undesired PC deaths, it won't tell you how to make an encounter thrilling, challenging but not too deadly, which is the hallmark of memorable encounters.

So here's my two cents to starting GMs:

Start by creating the encounter in your head as you would story points. Imagine how you would like it to play out, dramatically speaking. Which PC will probably shine during this encounter? Is there a time limit to this encounter, something to retrieve or a person to save before the enemies flee or do something terrible? Are there NPCS in the vincinity of the encounter that could be involved either to hinder or help the PCs? What is the layout and what game effects could this layout have? How brave, organized and determined are the opposition?

Once you have the story of the encounter, you need to draw a quick map, jot down the game effects of the layout, and think about defining enemy stats.

Here's the veteran GMs' trick: to run a thrilling encounter, you need the right ingredients, but you don't need to throw them in all at once.

Example: The PCs have broken into a corrupt burgher's mansion, they know the man is a cultist, possibly a powerful one. You know he's a beginner, but has good bodyguards. There are also a lot of servants and such in the house. The encounter will develop in the house, room to room fighting with the burgher retreating to his strong room at the third floor where he will sound a bell to alert neighbours and town watch.

Here are the tools you will use to make the encounter interesting and thrilling for all players and make sure it is so.

Encounter starts with an infiltration, PCs must sneak in the domain, silence night watch servants. You planned that they would jump a wall, pick lock a door and silence an old maid.

Veteran GM trick if it they do all that too easily: add a second locked door with servants in a room chatting, or one of the bodyguards seducing a servant directly in the path of the PCs. IE.: you add one more hurdle on the fly and make it slightly harder to overcome than the first.

If the infiltration scene is too hard, here' the trick: If you walk around the house you will find a ladder leaning on a neighbours house that can help climb the wall. Or if you have good Guile players in your group, have the night door man of the domain be a gullible old fart who thinks the PCs are the doctor come to see the sick stable hand.

Then do the same with the rest of the scene, every element of a scene can be scaled up or down on the go to make sure the session is enjoyable. Respect your player's successes, if they overcome an obstacle easily by being clever or rolling an incredible hand, don't add more of that kind of obstacle. Only add more if you realize you didn't properly evaluate the difficulty of the obstacle and the pcs just went through it like a breeze.

For combat, same thing, you can add waves of attackers, you can decide that the last dude is wearing half-plate, you can have reinforcements "on the way", that stresses the pcs and you get to make these reinforcements arrive when you want.

As long as you give a dramatic, interesting and logical encounter for the players to interact with, they won't mind that you tweek some fine points on the fly.

Oh, and oh, last veteran GM trick, never tell your players what you are doing behind that screen, never. They might suspect, but it's none of their business. :) They will quickly learn to forget about the very existence of this screen and they will only be concerned with the story. Story, story, characters, story. That's what makes the game so memorable.

Edited by Jericho
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