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What happened to 2nd edition?

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That to me says that fastness is the reinforcer and slowness is the punisher. The house rule someone mentioned of having to run combat RAW as the punishment for a failed roll was pretty hilarious to me for what it implies. I think that there can be such things as fast combat that isn't highly lethal to players and slow combat that is highly lethal, though. Of course, I'm of the mind that player characters and NPCs run by different rules from each other mechanically, since they already do so narratively. So that means that a combat can be lethal for PCs and not NPCs and vice-versa.

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I think the problem with the WH40K RPG combat system is that it produces prolonged fights in a rather extensive rules environment. It wouldn't be a problem if the fights were short because extreme lethality/easy auto-win buttons, or preparation had a bigger emphasis (Shadowrun is the best example here: your support crew usually win your fights before they start, so you shoot bullets only to have fun). I would say, combat shouldn't last longer than 3-4 turns - 6 at maximum - with 4 PCs and 6-8 opponents. 

Extensive rules environment? Compared to what? I don't think the system is particularly more complicated than most RPGs out there.

 

 

Star Wars probably.  

 

 

I was thinking about RPGs that offers quite a lot of opportunity for combat, but fighting isn't their main focus. Like Eclipse Phase, Traveller, Cyberpunk 2020, or Iron Kingdoms. 

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What's the use of developing a well thought-out personality and background for a guy that has a real chance of biting the dust in the first 10 minutes of campaign?

The same reason you develop a character in a long running game? It's the journey not the destination..
Developing a bacground and personality takes time. I've often spent 10-20 hours fleshing out a character. I'm not encouraged to do that if there's a decent chance I wom't even get an equal amount of play time out of it.

We've been playing a super lethal system for half a year now and have had two character deaths, so far. None of them in the first couple of sessions. Partly because we try not to be suicidally stupid, and avoid unncessary fights. Or, in true italo-western style, we shoot them in the back :D

Course if our DM had been so insane as to put us against a vampire or something equally insanely OP in the first session, we may have had a wipe, but that's really the DM not knowing how to scale encounters to what the group can plausibly handle than anything else. That will kill you in any system.

It hasn't hapoen doesnit equal it can't happen. I would refuse to put much effort pre game in a character that can bite the dust at any point without anything I can do about it.

Also I think we understand difgerent things by 'extremely lethal system'. Any system should pinish you for being stupid or suicidal.

Edited by LordBlades

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What's the use of developing a well thought-out personality and background for a guy that has a real chance of biting the dust in the first 10 minutes of campaign?

The same reason you develop a character in a long running game? It's the journey not the destination..
Developing a bacground and personality takes time. I've often spent 10-20 hours fleshing out a character. I'm not encouraged to do that if there's a decent chance I wom't even get an equal amount of play time out of it.
We've been playing a super lethal system for half a year now and have had two character deaths, so far. None of them in the first couple of sessions. Partly because we try not to be suicidally stupid, and avoid unncessary fights. Or, in true italo-western style, we shoot them in the back :D

Course if our DM had been so insane as to put us against a vampire or something equally insanely OP in the first session, we may have had a wipe, but that's really the DM not knowing how to scale encounters to what the group can plausibly handle than anything else. That will kill you in any system.

It hasn't hapoen doesnit equal it can't happen. I would refuse to put much effort pre game in a character that can bite the dust at any point without anything I can do about it.

 

Of course, if combat has no sensible alternative, then the super-lethal system becomes super-pointless. 

 

Oddly enough, DH2 already has a (very underdeveloped, but existing) solution: Reinforcement Characters. If you are afraid that your PC ill bite the dust in a firefight, then send in a Reinforcement Character instead. 

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It hasn't hapoen doesnit equal it can't happen. I would refuse to put much effort pre game in a character that can bite the dust at any point without anything I can do about it.

 

My usual response to that is, if your PC bit the dust, it's because of something you did. Dice rolls are always the result of actions, usually actions taken by the characters.

 

I'm assuming you mean situations where an overenthusiastic DM decides to do an "attack on the party" as a plot hook to get the characters involved in something by pissing them off. It has its place, certainly, and in some situations may even be warranted, but if that's your campaign hook, I do have to ask myself why it isn't added to the campaign backstory instead? Serves the same purpose and eliminates the "reroll through railroad encounter in first session" problem rather nicely. This really isn't a system issue, it's a communication one at the gaming table. It can happen in a "risky" or "riskless" system with equal ease.

 

Other situations, such as being assassinated and such, are generally the result of things your character did and a lack of precautions.

 

Or, you could be referring to the stance I sometimes encounter from players in the veins of "I have an airtight build, you can't kill me". That's certainly a valid way to play, and if you have a group that goes along with it, it's easy for a DM to adjust to it. And once again, system doesn't matter there. If you want an airtight build in "stupid lethal", just look up "Old Man Henderson".

 

Nimsim: I agree. It's perfectly possible to do fast and flashy. Legend of the Five rings actually did that quite well. It allowed for a rather decent scaling in lethality from "brutal as hell" to "the boss is hard, the mooks are there for style points; go get those style points!". DnD 5th seems to be going towards "fast" as well, there, rather than the endless battles of the prior editions. I'm curious how the DMG will look.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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It hasn't hapoen doesnit equal it can't happen. I would refuse to put much effort pre game in a character that can bite the dust at any point without anything I can do about it.

 

My usual response to that is, if your PC bit the dust, it's because of something you did. Dice rolls are always the result of actions, usually actions taken by the characters.

 

I'm assuming you mean situations where an overenthusiastic DM decides to do an "attack on the party" as a plot hook to get the characters involved in something by pissing them off. It has its place, certainly, and in some situations may even be warranted, but if that's your campaign hook, I do have to ask myself why it isn't added to the campaign backstory instead? Serves the same purpose and eliminates the "reroll through railroad encounter in first session" problem rather nicely. This really isn't a system issue, it's a communication one at the gaming table. It can happen in a "risky" or "riskless" system with equal ease.

 

 

You're forgetting that the "does something" often includes "does something cool/fun/interesting." It's not fun or good if a player has to choose between doing something cool and getting to keep their character. Unless everyone at the table has agreed to play a really realistic game of "warhammer 40,000 there is only war chaos sex drugs rock and roll daemons add some more skulls to it," it's a **** move to kill them for trying to emulate the over-the-top nature of the entire source material.

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That's really up to group consense and dynamic. It's something, at least when I'm running games, where I ask the group beforehand "Guys, how do you want to play?". This is why I'm all for a system addressing various playstyles in the rules. This is why I keep bringing up shadowrun four. It had a small blurb in the core rules with "cinematic", "gritty" and "standard" rules. Say what one will about the system itself, that page years ago first prompted the question at many gaming tables I know of "Ok, guys, we have a couple rules options here. What do you, the players, want to see from this campaign? Hollywood style? Hardcore sudden death mode?". Even if you have no proper solution, but simply address it where people will definitely read it, it opens up a pre-game dialogue that solves a lot of problems that keep cropping up in forum topics all over before they even happen.

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I feel like fate points are enough of an out to forgive the lethal combat system. Yes you'll be horribly disfigured but it's really hard to actually lose a character given almost everyone starts with at least 2 fate.

 

Like one time my players engaged in a daring prison break. One of them got super unlucky when an arbite got a perfect headshot off with a shotgun at point blank - went to like -20 in one shot. Burned a fate and the other PCs carried him out mostly dead. They had to replace what was left of his brain with a cannibalized portable cogitator (tech-priest was none too happy about giving that up). Same character, same backstory, but now with a new and improved poor-quality cranial implant and a new hook for why he can't remember most of his happy memories.

 

I've played with the same group of people for like 2 years now and we've never had an un-agreedupon character death.

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I agree that Fate points help buffer the lethal combat system.I tend to mix narrative with RAW.If I feel like the rules are going to bog me down then I go with a simple attribute/skill test then move the story forward.I will be the last that will stop the flow of the game to look up rule XYZ and debate the finer modifer's with the group PERIOD. I'm also a Dan Abnett and ADB fan big time and like my 40k the same way.I prefer 60%-70% investigate to 40%-30% combat.The story and the 40k universe is what sells me to the game,not the system.Lethality is part of the game but not the golden rule.If players are gonna die 1 month into the campaign then they either did something dumb or it was just meant to be.....the 40k way.Just my 2 cents.

Edited by miles1739

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It hasn't hapoen doesnit equal it can't happen. I would refuse to put much effort pre game in a character that can bite the dust at any point without anything I can do about it.

 

My usual response to that is, if your PC bit the dust, it's because of something you did. Dice rolls are always the result of actions, usually actions taken by the characters.

 

I'm assuming you mean situations where an overenthusiastic DM decides to do an "attack on the party" as a plot hook to get the characters involved in something by pissing them off. It has its place, certainly, and in some situations may even be warranted, but if that's your campaign hook, I do have to ask myself why it isn't added to the campaign backstory instead? Serves the same purpose and eliminates the "reroll through railroad encounter in first session" problem rather nicely. This really isn't a system issue, it's a communication one at the gaming table. It can happen in a "risky" or "riskless" system with equal ease.

 

Other situations, such as being assassinated and such, are generally the result of things your character did and a lack of precautions.

 

Or, you could be referring to the stance I sometimes encounter from players in the veins of "I have an airtight build, you can't kill me". That's certainly a valid way to play, and if you have a group that goes along with it, it's easy for a DM to adjust to it. And once again, system doesn't matter there. If you want an airtight build in "stupid lethal", just look up "Old Man Henderson".

 

Nimsim: I agree. It's perfectly possible to do fast and flashy. Legend of the Five rings actually did that quite well. It allowed for a rather decent scaling in lethality from "brutal as hell" to "the boss is hard, the mooks are there for style points; go get those style points!". DnD 5th seems to be going towards "fast" as well, there, rather than the endless battles of the prior editions. I'm curious how the DMG will look.

Problems arise when 'something you did' is what the system tells you your character should do. Take d&d 3.5 for example: the game heavily implies you will be fighting monsters to advance the story and your character and yet at level 1 there's a lot.of monsters that can get youbfrom full health to dead in one swing.

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I'm...actually not sure where it implies your sole avenue of progression is fighting monsters in DnD 3.5. That sort of thing is an artifact from first edition in the playerbase, it's not how the rules are written.

 

Probably the entire book full of monsters to fight, the encounter system designed around getting experience (aka progressing in the game) primarily from fighting monsters, and the fact that the majority of class abilities and rules in general are designed around combat.

 

Also, first edition was one of the only D&Ds to NOT be designed around combat. It was designed around getting treasure, because treasure was used for experience points. Players were rewarded for AVOIDING combat and there were quite a few rules meant to aid them in doing that.

 

Know your D&D, man.

 

Also, the guy you quoted did not say "sole avenue of progression," just that it is heavily implied that monsters will be fought as part of the game/story. Which is demonstrably true.

 

Also, while fighting monsters is not the "sole avenue of progression" it is the only way of gaining experience with specific rules from the DMG. The DMG says for GM's to just make up how much xp they give out for non-combat, or whether to give out xp at all. So yeah, RAW, combat is your sole guaranteed way of mechanically progressing the game.

 

I've edited this post twice now because of how bafflingly wrong your statement is.

Edited by Nimsim

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The system does not tell you to fight monsters. You tell your character to fight monsters. This is fairly basic. 3.5e has no more monster lists in its core rules than any other RPG, and nowhere does it say you have to engage them.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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http://www.wizards.com/dnd/DnD_DMG_XPFinal.asp

 

Show me in there where there are any specific rules for gaining XP outside of combat beyond "The GM can award XP if he likes, and maybe use these guidelines." The majority of wordcount is spent on combat encounter rewards with specific guidance.

 

"Story Awards" are listed as a variant option, not the default. The assumed default of the core book and its supplements is combat awards of experience. Even within this section, it mentions a default assumption of having a fairly large amount of combat in the game. 

 

In other words, just because non-combat experience points are listed as an option with a small amount of guidance on how to use them does not mean that the system is built around not having a lot of combat. The default assumption of 3.5 is combat, and it gives a small amount of rules for the people that want to shove a square non-combat peg into D&D's round combat hole.

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I backed up my assertion with actual quoted evidence. You back up yours. Given that xp is the primary mode of advancement in the game, I'm not really sure where else you're going to find evidence than the section on xp, though. The discussion was about the game assuming you're going to be in combat, incentivizing engaging in combat, and then putting you in combat with creatures that can instantly kill you. These are all demonstrably true things (non-combat xp rewards being a variant, combat awarding xp you need to advance your character, and having terribly unbalanced creature design).

 

Just because 3.5 had a crappy skill system tacked on along with a bunch of simulation rules for various things doesn't mean it wasn't primarily designed for fighting monsters.

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The combat rules are 27 out of 177 pages in my PHB. The DMG is chock full of options and variants on how to structure and run a plot, very few of which deal with combat.

 

Here's what you did:

You quoted one page of errata while conveniently omitting the rest to "support" your point.

 

And here's what I say:

 

Go and read the book. Kthanks, bye.

 

 

And oh snap, I just checked the actual book. XP for noncombat isn't a variant.

It's not in the errata either. The problem with the errata is, since you didn't open the actual book, but only looked at the web page, you completely failed to notice that the variants only refer to the paragraphs they're put in front of, not the text below. CR for noncombat encounters is NOT a variant rule. It is NOT in a side box.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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I didn't quote one page of errata. I quoted the entire section on how to award XP, which is how characters advance in the actual game. The majority of the DMG is dedicated to combat rules, delving dungeons full of monsters to fight, NPC with statistics in case you want to fight them, new classes that have little to do with story and more to do with making character combos, and magic items you can pick up off the monsters you kill so you can kill more monsters.

 

How many pages in your PHB are taken up by classes and magic spells? Maybe I should assume D&D is primarily about casting spells given how big a chunk is dedicated to them?

 

Again, please quote something that shows that the game isn't assuming combat as a primary way of progressing plot or something that can be assumed to happen frequently. The game is built with combat in mind, everything else secondary.

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Just going to repost my edit:

 

And oh snap, I just checked the actual book. XP for noncombat isn't a variant.

It's not a variant in the errata either. The problem with the errata is, since you didn't open the actual book, but only looked at the web page, you completely failed to notice that the variants only refer to the paragraphs they're put in front of, not the text below. CR for noncombat encounters is NOT a variant rule. It is NOT in a side box.

 

Again: Stop quoting out of context and read the actual thing. If you had, actually, read the DMG and weren't simply talking out of your ass, you would not have called whatstheword [the summary of a buttload of non-combat XP suggestions...] awards a "variant". You'd also not be trying to tell me, here, with the DMG open on my desk, that the majority of its content is about dungeon crawling...

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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First, what I originally linked is not an errata. It is an official posting of what is listed in the DMG. Second, if it were an errata, it would effectively overwrite what is listed in the printed DMG. Also, given that what I linked says story awards are a variant and then mentions story awards again several paragraphs later, it's simple to assume that paragraph and the intervening ones are all part of the variant.

 

Second, here's from the physical DMG:

 

"You can handle story awards in one of two ways. The first is to make all awards story awards. Thus, killing monsters would earn no experience in and of itself—although it may allow characters to achieve what they need to do in order to earn a story award. If you follow this method, you should still pay attention to how many experience points the characters would be earning by defeating enemies, so that you can make sure the PCs’ treasure totals are in line with what they should be earning.

The second way is to use standard awards for defeating enemies but award only half the normal amount for doing so, making up the other half through story awards. This method has the virtue of keeping the treasure earned at about the same rate as XP earned."

 

 

So let's consider what is implied there. First, both of the ways to handle story awards mention combat specifically being used in conjunction. So there you have your assumption that combat is a part of the story. Second, this implies that the story awards are an alternative to using the aforementioned combat and encounter XP system (which are even called standard awards, as in, the standard thing to use), as they both talk about modifying it. In essence, they are options/variants to be used instead of combat XP, or alongside combat XP. In addition, the three kinds of story XP suggested (Noncombat encounters, Mission Goals, and Roleplaying awards) all talk about these rewards being at the GM's discretion. Only the roleplaying awards section explicitly states that the DM should give xp for something. The other two present it as being at the DM's discretion. This is in contrast to combat which typically guarantees xp for the players.

 

So yeah, non-combat xp is an option to be added to combat xp, as per the book. The argument was over whether 3.5 assumes you'll be getting into combat, and this is pretty explicit about that. You can have no combat, but it's going to be ignoring the assumptions of the game itself.

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And combat is an option to be added to noncombat in the book. 3.5e is an entirely modular system which emphasises, over and over again, that each rules section is strictly optional. I do not know how someone construes "mandatory combat" out of a wall of text that, from beginning to finish, emphasises choice, fun and group consensus. DnD no more "assumes" you will have combat than any other RPG system does. I would go so far as to say its DMG is considerably more helpful in noncombat situations than most similar works from other publishers.

 

To the below: This discussion is over. It was over the second time you flat out lied. That's what omitting important details is and only citing select portions that "support" your argument, while completely ignoring everything else in the book. Lying. If you want to discuss, discuss. If you're going to bull? Shut up.

Edited by DeathByGrotz

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You'd also not be trying to tell me, here, with the DMG open on my desk, that the majority of its content is about dungeon crawling...

 

 

The majority of the DMG is dedicated to combat rules, delving dungeons full of monsters to fight, NPC with statistics in case you want to fight them, new classes that have little to do with story and more to do with making character combos, and magic items you can pick up off the monsters you kill so you can kill more monsters.

 

 

See how I have a list there, with commas and the word "and" before the last thing in the list? That would mean I'm saying that the majority of the DM's guide is composed of those things, not just dungeon crawling. I'll break it down.

 

Combat Rules: 10 pages

Encounters and Dungeon Crawling: ~40 pages

NPCs: 25 pages

New player options for classes/combos: ~40 pages

Magic items: ~80 pages

 

That's around 195 pages of a 300 page book. So 2/3 of the book.

 

 

And combat is an option to be added to noncombat in the book. 3.5e is an entirely modular system which emphasises, over and over again, that each rules section is strictly optional.

 

Except the rules passage I quoted puts combat xp rules ahead of non-combat ones, presents them as the standard way to gain xp (and makes no mention of them being optional; they are meant as the default, with some options presented later that don't use them), and huge chunks of class rules are dedicated to combat usage. I mean Christ, one of the basic classes is called a Fighter. What's she supposed to be doing other than fighting? You might as well say that the spell lists are optional too.

 

You're being deliberately obtuse at this point. D&D 3.5 is designed primarily to run combats in, with everything else being added on to that or presented as an optional module.

 

EDIT:

 

 

I do not know how someone construes "mandatory combat" out of a wall of text that, from beginning to finish, emphasises choice, fun and group consensus. DnD no more "assumes" you will have combat than any other RPG system does.

 

First, I didn't say mandatory combat, I said that the system assumes that you're going to be fighting and it's default system for awarding XP is based around combat. I've made it blatantly obvious that 3.5 assumes combat is going to occur, given that it's standard method for improving characters is a result of combat.

Edited by Nimsim

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