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Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:57 am

Njall wrote:
Sabindeus wrote:My friends and I have been playing in a D&D 3.5 (fairly well houseruled and splatted*) campaign setting for about 7 years now, across 2 distinct campaigns.


* What I mean by this should be explained by this complete rewrite of a spell whose concept originated in the Book of Vile Darkness


Ah, I think I see the problem... :lol: Never was a fan of the book. Loook weeee're EEEVIL... WE HAVE NIPPLE CLAMPS! EeeeeeEEevil!. Sigh. Kids. Evil, as such, never appealed to me as a game concept. Sort of bland and boring, really. But I am a cranky old fellow. Or perhaps I am entirely missing the point you are making here - which seems likely.

Oddly though, it just looks like "improved, improved darkness". But yes, when your game starts to develop its own splatbooks (q.v.), then you have to start thinking about publication!


Well the campaign we're playing now has a party who are in fact, evil. However I think you misunderstand the nature of evil in our world given your comments. Yeah, the BoVD really does have some silly shit in it, but we're not using it.

This is from our Campaign Document, written by the DM:

This is an Evil campaign. What does this mean? The Slavic Lands campaign setting does not
admit of the concepts of fundamental Good and Evil as it applies to standard player
characters – only to outsiders who represent these cosmic forces, high-level clerics, etc. This
has not changed. Nonetheless, should you, the prospective player, choose to create a
character for this campaign, you will be playing a person who, by the definition of the D&D
alignment system (and quite possibly even by a modern definition), evil. Your characters will
not be heroes. They may be selfish, sadistic, ambitious, power-hungry, scheming, murderous,
dishonest, intolerant, destructive, any of the above, all of the above, or more. They will not
be what you or I would call decent human beings. You probably wouldn’t want to run into
them on the street, and you definitely wouldn’t want to get in the way of their plans.

However, under no circumstances must any of these character traits affect the fundamental
dynamic of player interaction. D&D is, above all, a group activity. The goal is for everyone
involved to have fun. To that end, the following alignments are categorically prohibited to
player characters:

- PE (Psychotic Evil): This sort of character murders babies and kicks puppies for the
sheer fun of it. He is an insane axe murderer or similar sort of stereotype, or is
mentally unstable, or psychotic in some fashion. He has no real goals, or no regard for
goals; his only real purpose is to wreak havoc and engage in mindless violence. Why
is he even in the party? Well, he’s not. Don’t even think about it.
- BE (Bonehead Evil): A total lack of sense of any sort is the defining feature of this
character. He does evil things with no regard for their effect on his own plans or
circumstances. Stupid heroes die on their first quest; stupid villains die far earlier,
since they get caught by the city guard for stealing apples and then executed, simply
to be put out of their clueless misery. Save us all some trouble and don’t make such a
character.
- EL (Evil Loner): Doesn’t work well with others. Prefers to accomplish his evil deeds
all by himself. Tells no one of his plans or whereabouts. Has no use for anyone but
himself. Makes an excellent villain – but a terrible D&D character, because, just like
the PE villain – why is he in the party? Just don’t do it.
- DE (Darth Evil): Wears all-black villain gear purchased from his local Ye Olde
Villainous Attire & Equipment, Ltd. Speaks in an evil voice with evil intonations.
Projects a veritable aura of wannabe BBEG. Please. How stupid do you think the
good guys are? You’ve played them – you tell me. Save the showmanship for after
you’ve taken over the world.

Basically, the aim of these restrictions are twofold. Firstly: playing evil characters is great,
but playing successful evil characters is the stuff of a real, long-lasting, consistently
enjoyable campaign. The character archetypes listed above are the mark of incompetent,
unsuccessful villains who accomplish nothing. And no less importantly: though you are
playing evil characters, D&D is still essentially a cooperative game. The entirety of the D&D
experience is founded upon the party dynamic. Characters that are grossly unsuited to such a
framework are bad D&D characters. They make the game not fun for the players. And
anything that prevents us from having fun can’t be allowed.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:59 am

Boyfriend wrote:
Talderas wrote:What's the base spell from BoVD? That seems excessively overpowered for a 9th level spell.


Well most many 9th level spells are excessively overpowered already, every noncaster gets totally screwed over by force cage (well rules might have changed but used to be like that) and that's not even 9th level.

The spell as written does not affect blindsight, which any 9th level caster should be able to easily gain access to, then there's various ways to mindlink yourself to still see within it, since it has permanent duration it can be cancelled with dispel magic or anything similar. Mordekainens disjunction will get rid of it automatically.
It's been a while since I've played DnD, but something that gets completely countered by Blindsight/Magical Dispel does not really seem very overpowered to me at 9th level.

The radius seems excessive to me, when would you actually want a giant ball of darkness that big; you're bound to get the attention of just about anyone.


Yes, 9th level spells tend to be ridiculous. I mean seriously, read Imprison or Trap The Soul. Granted Utterdark is a way flashier spell, but yeah.

Also seeing in magical darkness is not particularly hard to do.

And yes, it's dispellable, your assessment is right on.

The radius is what it is because this spell is designed to destroy cities. (granted, to destroy any city of appreciable size/worth, you'd need multiple castings, but smaller towns and buildings and such are pwned)
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Kelaan » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:36 pm

On the tangent of party-members-who-roleplay-jerks-very-well, how do I deal with them? How can I (as another player) help my character to be in situations to recognize such douchebaggery, let alone stop it? (Stopping it actually isn't so hard, or hard to rationalize, but the recognizing that you're getting screwed by mister chaotic-evil-but-no-one-knows-but-the-players is hard to rationalize. Esp when they've been munchkinned enough (as any specialist should be!) to be undetectable/etc.

Is it poor roleplay to do so? (Possibly.) Is it excusable when they are effectively griefing the party?
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Snake-Aes » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:54 pm

If the group as a whole isn't having fun, then you guys aren't mature enough to handle characters that don't play well with others in-game. For me it started working out once I saw that my character was getting screwed "for the art". Sort of a detachment from the whole "win win win" mentality we all carry naturally.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Njall » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:02 pm

Snake-Aes wrote:If the group as a whole isn't having fun, then you guys aren't mature enough to handle characters that don't play well with others in-game. For me it started working out once I saw that my character was getting screwed "for the art". Sort of a detachment from the whole "win win win" mentality we all carry naturally.


Or, maybe, to use your turns of phrase, just maybe, we've "matured" to the point where we no longer feel a need to be jerks for the sake of counting coup on our friends and ego. Perhaps, some of us realize it's a social game. Most of the folks in my games who commite this sort of behavior as a matter of course generally don't last long in the game.

My experience of the past thirty years of gaming has been that the ones who play jerks and relish screwing over othe players are generally the ones who cannot think past win-lose and are usually the least mature of the group. That said, it can be a matter of genre and taste. I have had people play long term moles and agents of chaos in the games and the ones that made it enjoyable usually had to be the best players avaible - and the ones that did not mind when...

and this is important

....they got their just deserts from teh rest of the group.

Betray us? You get shopped.
Steal from us or our friends? We turn you in.
Cheat on our share are rewards? You pay up, in blood if need be.

Just because you are in teh group doesn't mean you have carte blanche to do whatever you want to them. You don't have to be in the group and we don't have to adventure with you.

Again, try not to pigeon hole others as "immature" or "poor players" quite so readily. Tossing around words like "mature" in always going to be intersting and you should always anticipate the results. And I, for one, found it somewhat offensive and condesending.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Snake-Aes » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:11 pm

Njall wrote:
Snake-Aes wrote:If the group as a whole isn't having fun, then you guys aren't mature enough to handle characters that don't play well with others in-game. For me it started working out once I saw that my character was getting screwed "for the art". Sort of a detachment from the whole "win win win" mentality we all carry naturally.


Or, maybe, to use your turns of phrase, just maybe, we've "matured" to the point where we no longer feel a need to be jerks for the sake of counting coup on our friends and ego. Perhaps, some of us realize it's a social game. Most of the folks in my games who commite this sort of behavior as a matter of course generally don't last long in the game.

My experience of the past thirty years of gaming has been that the ones who play jerks and relish screwing over othe players are generally the ones who cannot think past win-lose and are usually the least mature of the group. That said, it can be a matter of genre and taste. I have had people play long term moles and agents of chaos in the games and the ones that made it enjoyable usually had to be the best players avaible - and the ones that did not mind when...

and this is important

....they got their just deserts from teh rest of the group.

Betray us? You get shopped.
Steal from us or our friends? We turn you in.
Cheat on our share are rewards? You pay up, in blood if need be.

Just because you are in teh group doesn't mean you have carte blanche to do whatever you want to them. You don't have to be in the group and we don't have to adventure with you.

Again, try not to pigeon hole others as "immature" or "poor players" quite so readily. Tossing around words like "mature" in always going to be intersting and you should always anticipate the results. And I, for one, found it somewhat offensive and condesending.
Someone who is evil and play "teh evulz" like you said is no different than the guy that can't swallow when the other player's character screws him over. It goes both ways.
I said maturity here because it really is a big deal, when it comes to putting players against each other(or even having them put up with the consequences of what they do to the rest of the world). It takes a preparation I have yet to see in anyone new to the game to have characters that don't play well with the team. Both the asshole and the other guys have to deliberately accept what they'll face.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Nakama » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:04 pm

I miss RPGs a lot! I wrote for L5R as a freelancer for a long while (look up Jed Carleton sometime if you're bored), ran a Mage campaign for a year, ran in Star Wars (the old d6 version!), AD&D, Vampire, Werewolf and multiple different L5R campaigns... and haven't been in an actual campaign of any kind in more than 8 years. :(

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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Joanadark » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:31 pm

I really, really, really, really miss D&D.

A lot.

Would anyone be interested in doing a forum/vent based campaign?
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Vanifae » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:24 pm

Joanadark wrote:I really, really, really, really miss D&D.

A lot.

Would anyone be interested in doing a forum/vent based campaign?

I could be interested.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Njall » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:26 am

Snake-Aes wrote:Someone who is evil and play "teh evulz" like you said is no different than the guy that can't swallow when the other player's character screws him over. It goes both ways.
I said maturity here because it really is a big deal, when it comes to putting players against each other(or even having them put up with the consequences of what they do to the rest of the world). It takes a preparation I have yet to see in anyone new to the game to have characters that don't play well with the team. Both the asshole and the other guys have to deliberately accept what they'll face.


Only if you don't beleive that a gaming group involves a social contract. If I am in a game and it is not a game where I am specifically expecting to be screwed over, I don't see why I should have to worry about the guys who are supposedly on my side. The world is bad enough without having to deal with traitors and parasites in the party. You don't steal from your friends so why should my imaginary person let yours steal from him/her/it?

To take advantage of the social contract like that is usually a selfish or (at best) self-centered act. To say that I should "suck it up" when the rest of us are doing our best to survive and you're being a parasite... The only exception to this is something long term or plot related because that's part of the campaign structure.

...is exactly like making us play Prisoner's Dilemma with you making all the choices. Sorry, after many years of play, I'm pretty convinced that evil for its own sake, particularly that inflicted on their own party by players is almost always the mark of a poor or selfish player. There are exceptions but I have found them to be rare.

And as I GM of very long standing, I get very very tired of presiding over the train-wrecks these sorts of players cause for their own aggrandizement and egos at the cost of other players.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Talderas » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:48 am

Snake-Aes wrote:Someone who is evil and play "teh evulz" like you said is no different than the guy that can't swallow when the other player's character screws him over. It goes both ways.
I said maturity here because it really is a big deal, when it comes to putting players against each other(or even having them put up with the consequences of what they do to the rest of the world). It takes a preparation I have yet to see in anyone new to the game to have characters that don't play well with the team. Both the asshole and the other guys have to deliberately accept what they'll face.


Mmmhmm. My current Shadowrun(Modded) character only keeps incapacitating his team because their actions threaten the greater reward that they were all promised for cooperating with the Johnson. All the other players know that my character is prone towards going to those measures if he can't convince them to not pursue the course of action they are planning. The fun bit to the GM is that they now make plans to prevent me from incapacitating them whenever they go against mission profile. I think one player is risking an addiction to Longhaul in order to stay awake to counter my Sleep Regulator. That's as far as I go. I only try to stop them from carrying out the op, I provide full support for planning the op as well as completely support it when it is carried out. After all, these are the very same people who are helping me get richer. I have a distinct motivation to keep them alive. Plus I don't want to be the only one left alive when the shit hits the fan and the Johnson comes a calling.

Now the Rifts game that I played, that was terrible and broke down quickly because the GM was bad. I'm not sure what the real problem was, whether he didn't properly reign in character concepts or whether he couldn't design encounters where the entire team could contribute. It ended with an encounter where the Glitterboy wasn't able to use his mecha because the enemy was engaged in melee with two other characters. The remaining two team members at range couldn't affect it. So the Glitterboy was sitting there thinking "Well fuck." the mundane archer (who was in too many cases the most effective and potent character) was bored and shooting arrows at trees, and the guy with the laser rifle had a weapon that was entirely ineffective against the enemy. The latter ended up getting frustrated, took a grenade out and tossed it in the melee figuring his two allies would survive the blast.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Snake-Aes » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:50 am

Njall wrote:
Snake-Aes wrote:Someone who is evil and play "teh evulz" like you said is no different than the guy that can't swallow when the other player's character screws him over. It goes both ways.
I said maturity here because it really is a big deal, when it comes to putting players against each other(or even having them put up with the consequences of what they do to the rest of the world). It takes a preparation I have yet to see in anyone new to the game to have characters that don't play well with the team. Both the asshole and the other guys have to deliberately accept what they'll face.


Only if you don't beleive that a gaming group involves a social contract. If I am in a game and it is not a game where I am specifically expecting to be screwed over, I don't see why I should have to worry about the guys who are supposedly on my side. The world is bad enough without having to deal with traitors and parasites in the party. You don't steal from your friends so why should my imaginary person let yours steal from him/her/it?

To take advantage of the social contract like that is usually a selfish or (at best) self-centered act. To say that I should "suck it up" when the rest of us are doing our best to survive and you're being a parasite... The only exception to this is something long term or plot related because that's part of the campaign structure.

...is exactly like making us play Prisoner's Dilemma with you making all the choices. Sorry, after many years of play, I'm pretty convinced that evil for its own sake, particularly that inflicted on their own party by players is almost always the mark of a poor or selfish player. There are exceptions but I have found them to be rare.

And as I GM of very long standing, I get very very tired of presiding over the train-wrecks these sorts of players cause for their own aggrandizement and egos at the cost of other players.
I have this nagging feeling we are talking about the same thing and didn't realize.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Njall » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:50 am

Edit:
Post by Talderas


My case is rested.
Last edited by Njall on Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Snake-Aes » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:52 am

case? what case?
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Re: Njall's Happy Fun Time Role Playing Train of Pain (RPGs)

Postby Njall » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:11 am

Perhaps I should have said, "case in point."

I realize I am coming on strongly about this but having had numerous campaigns and groups destroyed over the years by selfish and short sighted players, the first thing that sets off my warning bells is "I am just playing my character" when they feel a need to justify screwing over the rest of the group.

Now, I should clarify. This is not to say I do not dislike it when the campaign is built around this sort of thing. Amber and Paranoia are not huggy huggy games. I've played them as such and they lose too much of the flavor. If a character is going to be 'teh evul' for campaign reasons, with the approval of the GM, then I am all for it ASSUMING it is going to be done well. Too many times the excuse "I'm evil" is trotted out to excuse boring and puerile behavior. Hell, I was in a Mage game for 3 years (playing every week) in which *I* was the Big Bad and had been pretty much all along - after that reveal most of group was dead (my character included... we think).

I seldom see evil play and griefing done well (or even entertainingly to anyone but the griefer) that I simply am not willing to expend the social karma and mental effort to protect players who are going out of their way to be tools to other players.
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