Players for an adventure?

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Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:07 am

Hello guys.

So after asking for Arch's permission to use his ruleset, working on and off on my own setting for the last year and getting a few tips from Kolson, I've decided to officially start my career as a GM, and per Kolson's advice, will run an adventure to get some experience. Anyone is welcome to join!

But before you make your decision as to whether you want to join me on this experiment or not, I think I should tell you about what my GMing style will probably turn out to be: I focus on the story first and the gameplay second. What I really want to do is create characters you will care about and join on exciting, and sometimes frightening, adventures. If you used a video game comparison, Arch's style would be a Skyrim while I am more of a Final Fantasy guy. This doesn't mean I'm going to neglect the combat aspect of the adventure(s); I really want everyone to have fun. But since I am new at this thing, the first encounters just might be not be... huh... up to par with what you are used to.

Now that the warning is out of the way, here's a few other facts you need to know if you're still on the fence:

  • You can only play humans, as there are no other races in this setting. A bummer, I know.
  • There are no standard "monsters" or "creatures" within this setting... yet *cough cough*. Plenty of dangerous animals though. Wolves, bears, a few lions, etc.
  • I use D&D 3.5, plus Arch's ruleset. Which means that yellow, white, black, red and green mages exist in this setting; except blue and violet mages, because [insert obvious reason here]. His prestige classes also apply.
  • I guarantee I will post at least once a day. In practice, I will probably post a lot more than once if you guys do lots of stuff.
  • Unless real life prevent you from doing so (which is totally understandable), I expect at least one post a day from you. No need for your post to be 300 words long; a simple question or action is more than enough. The intent is not to lose momentum.
  • I expect the first adventure to take one real-life month to go through. I could be totally wrong though.
  • I have four adventures in mind, so if you guys want to keep playing, I have some more material to offer.
  • These adventures were designed to fit with the story arc of a possible campaign I am also working on. They foreshadow important events and let the players get a feel for the world. However, it is important to note that each adventure is self-contained and you are free to stop playing at any point in time to avoid disrupting the other players' fun.
  • Also, it lets me screw up a few times before the actual campaign begin, if it ever does.
  • I won't start the adventure proper before Christmas, and most probably not before the new year since you guys will probably be pretty busy. Until then, I'll help the players on character creation.
  • About character creation: be wild. I may even let someone play royalty.
  • The player characters will all be members of the Coins, a mercenary company. You are assigned to the recently formed 113 adjunct (wink wink), which you joined for different reasons: maybe you simply wanted to explore the world, or you're a mage who wants to complete his training (quite common, the Coins even partnered up with several magic academies across the Archipelago to make it easier to join), or you're a criminal who was conscripted into service to serve her time, or it's just a job that's paying well, even with the risks involved.

I think that's it. If you have any question, feel free to ask.

You'll be able to find the details about my setting in another post.


Last edited by Zeiss of Dreamkeeper on Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:25 pm; edited 8 times in total
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Kolson on Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:30 am

Well I'm in. I hope the rest of you are too.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by K on Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:23 pm

Sure, i'm in.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Essoje on Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:09 pm

As long as it doesn't start right now, I might be in. I need a bit more time to recover.

I hope Kolson warned you about how the players will totally destroy all your plans because that's what players do. The less detailed a plan is, the less pieces you'll have to worry about when it inevitably blows in your face due to player action.

Also, I'd like to talk about dice rolls for a second... I hate dice rolls. I can't even count how many times as a GM and as a player dice rolls destroyed perfectly-good plans and more times than not the GM decided to simply not accept the result of the roll because the result means the adventure comes to a halt.

So while I understand someone's first GM thing isn't really the best place to do it, I'm... kind of tired of dice rolling. I have some ideas on how to approach and fix that (had all that free time after all), but it takes some minor bookkeeping from the GM's part, so if you feel like it might be something interesting, tell me so and I'll post the details.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:20 pm

Yeah, Kolson warned me about too much planning. Don't worry, I have a good bottleneck strategy in place... I think so anyway.

As for dice rolls, I'll keep them in the game. I'm the one who will roll most of the dices anyway, much like what Arch does for the Primus campaign. Many of your characters' skills will be passive, such a deception and knowledge (unless you ask something specific). I don't do critical failures neither, unless you're at Disadvantage.

So unless you guys insist to roll it yourself, you only need to write something like "I disarm the trap that are on my way" and I'll look up your character sheet to roll awareness and disable device myself.

Speaking of character sheets, here's a template: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4pdKgiss7uFTkRwS013aUNRaWM/view?usp=sharing
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:21 pm

After debating on whether I should use Javan's cards system to replace the dice rolls, I decided against it; the reason being I want to gain experience on "classic" D&D before I decide to branch out in anything else unfamiliar to me. I'm sorry if that's a deal breaker for you Javan, but I will understand if you decide to bow out.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Kolson on Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:24 pm

@Essoje Out of curiosity are you tired of random outcomes or just tired of using dice to generate them?

@Zeiss Nice template.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Rory on Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:49 pm

Zeiss of Dreamkeeper wrote:

  • You can only play humans, as there are no other races in this setting. A bummer, I know.

Never been a problem for me.

  • There are no standard "monsters" or "creatures" within this setting... yet *cough cough*. Plenty of dangerous animals though. Wolves, bears, a few lions, etc.

Interesting. As long as the fighters have something to fight.

  • I use D&D 3.5, plus Arch's ruleset. Which means that yellow, white, black, red and green mages exist in this setting; except blue and violet mages, because [insert obvious reason here]. His prestige classes also apply.

Good to know.

  • Unless real life prevent you from doing so (which is totally understandable), I expect at least one post a day from you. No need for your post to be 300 words long; a simple question or action is more than enough. The intent is not to lose momentum.

Doable.


  • You are free to stop playing at any point in time to avoid disrupting the other players' fun.

Good to know.

  • I won't start the adventure proper before Christmas, and most probably not before the new year since you guys will probably be pretty busy. Until then, I'll help the players on character creation.

That's actually a relief.

  • About character creation: be wild. I may even let someone play royalty.

I probably won't get wild, I just like to do regular ol' adventurer type.

  • The player characters will all be members of the Coins, a mercenary company. You are assigned to the recently formed 113 adjunct (wink wink), which you joined for different reasons: maybe you simply wanted to explore the world, or you're a mage who wants to complete his training (quite common, the Coins even partnered up with several magic academies across the Archipelago to make it easier to join), or you're a criminal who was conscripted into service to serve her time, or it's just a job that's paying well, even with the risks involved.

You're gonna have to explain the winking, I don't know where 113 adjunct is from. How big is it? Are we it, the squad of PCs being the makeup of the entire adjunct, or are we part of something bigger?

Tell us about the world.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:16 am

The 113th Adjunct is a reference to when we joined the Order in the Primus campaign.

You're basically joining a commando group (adjunct) who is sent on critical missions. The Coins is a mercenary company operating all over the Archipelago; potential clients come to them with a specific mission and the Coins send mercenaries to take care of the problem. An Adjunct is usually made of 3 to 8 people. The Coins aren't made of Adjuncts only, since they also handle personal security, police work and a few other things.

As for the world in general, I linked a document in the other thread along with a map. If you've read it already and want to know anything more specific, you'll have to ask.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Essoje on Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:50 am

@Kolson: I am tired of random outcomes, specially because of the mathematical oddity that is my gaming life. Mathematically speaking, a normal dice roll SHOULD be a 1 in 20 chance of getting a single face to land where you want (yes, on a high enough sample roll of hundreds of thousands, virtual dice works that way. Real dice are often sadly weighted due to small imperfections in casts, etc) but because of the way it works in reality, it can land 6 times in a row on 1s, or a certain dice could in theory never land on 14s, because there's no way to ensure the '1 every 20 rolls' rule on it. The 'card deck' idea was a proposal for fixing that for players, not the GM (which means the GM can keep rolling the dice).

Let's supposed I had a deck of 40 cards, and had values assigned to them from 1 to 20, and I had to take 10 cards from the deck and choose and discard one each time a roll happened until there's no cards left in the hand then get myself another 10 cards from the same deck later until the whole deck has been used, then reshuffle the whole deck and start again.

Mathematically speaking, I am guaranteed that the same number appears twice every deck I go through, and having the ability to choose the result changes the game from 'gambling' to 'resource management', and the deck of 40 being divided into 4 hands of 10 adds pseudo-randomness to make things interesting. 'Where do I use this 1? How much it'll affect me?', 'Do I really want to keep this 17 for later instead of using it now?', 'Man, talk about shitty hands... oh wait, if the past 3 hands were so bad, that means all the good stuff is in the last hand! Gotta make this hand work and then... REVENGE! MUAWAHAHAHAHAH!', etc.

It's not a perfect way to removing dice of the equation, and some things need to be changed in order to make it less likely to be abused or work more seamless. Here's a few points I could come up with from the top of my head:

  • Take 10 and Take 20 lose most of their meaning of adding certainty by using up time, enough that makes sense removing them for most things.
  • There's one thing that Take 10 works wonders, and it's when someone is trying to dump low numbers. If there's a check with no real repercussions for failing happening and the character wants to use a card lower than 11, they keep the card and Take 10 instead.
  • Action points, feats and powers that add re-rolling lose most of their meaning, since you can already prepare a better result in advance if you can plan in advance.
  • Critical hits can be abused when you can prepare for a critical hit use beforehand, like preparing feats in advance like Power Attack when using a 20.
  • Feats and powers that lower aim to add to damage (ie Power Attack)... actually continue being balanced if you remove critical hits from the equation. After all, you are still using up a high number from a limited pool, and it can quite easily cost you later.
  • Skill actions gain more prominence, as a good amount of these checks allow for preparing ahead. A good rogue could use his lower numbers in combat in order to stealth and ambush enemies later on to devastating results.


Finally, it only removes d20 rolls from the equation, and in the case of 3.5ed it would make sense that d6s and d10s continue to be rolled, as they are used almost exclusively for damage purposes.

Anyways, that's basically what I plan to add to my tabletop game from now on. I'm pretty sure that once I find all the loopholes it'll make tabletop games more interesting without really introducing that big of changes. After all, as verbose as this whole thing looks, the way it works in practice is quick and simple. You play a card from your hand instead of rolling a dice, and once the GM validates the deck itself, you can prepare the hands yourself from now on, so the extra work for the GM is almost nil.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Snarg of Wildpaw on Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:23 pm

I've got a bit too much tabletop happening right now to join in, but good luck on your first game, Zeiss! When in doubt, always kill players.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:11 pm

I can actually do worse than killing them. Cool
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Gwydo on Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:43 am

Sounds like an interesting idea. Always good to see new GMs join the ranks.
However, like Snarg, I'm too busy with other games and IRL stuff to add another game to my already overloaded plate.

Hope you have fun and the game runs smooth!
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:06 pm

Hey Gwydo! It's been at least a month since you came on the forum. Nice to see you again.

I hope it runs smoothly too.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Gwydo on Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:21 pm

Not much for me to do on the forum nowadays, though I do still lurk about. I try and keep abreast of the goings on of the group, but have been avoiding exposure to out of character knowledge stuff.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:27 pm

Don't worry, our characters in Primus have done nothing of importance in the past few months. Don't think too much about it.

*whistles innocently*
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Gwydo on Wed Dec 23, 2015 5:33 pm

Zeiss of Dreamkeeper wrote:*whistles innocently*

.....pulls out a dictionary to show Zeiss the definition of "innocent".
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Zeiss on Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:23 pm

So all the character sheets are completed. I'm ready to start the adventure tomorrow, if you guys want to.

The first post will be a briefing about your first mission as members of the Coins.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Rory on Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:38 pm

I'll check that out.
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Re: Players for an adventure?

Post by Kolson on Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:55 am

Start it up man. Smile
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