The D&D thread

Locnar

Trakanon Raider
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26d 1h 7m
Im a gaming antiquarian, hell I played some Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind this very afternoon. Firmly stuck in the past as far as games go.

I think 1st has a lot of charm and there are still tons of modules written in the 70's and 80's I have not played or ran , actually most of them.

We REGULARLY have our characters die in 1st edition. It stings, but it makes the successes that much better. In three years of starting back up, I have still not gotten a character past level 5 before death :( But thats 1st edition.
 

Arden

Trakanon Raider
1,091
548
20d 21h 24m
I play old games all the time too. Nothing wrong with that. Just finished Super Mario Brothers 3. Still a great game. Liking old games doesn't preclude you from trying new games, though.

Tabletop DND isn't a video game. The "hardcore" thing is totally relative. I can use 5th edition to make you a campaign harder than any 1st edition campaign, and I can use 1st edition to make you a campaign easier than any 5th edition campaign....
 

Fyff

Trakanon Raider
2,141
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13d 13h 9m
Characters dying has nothing to do with the edition. Either you make the module challenging or you don't. Either your players use good tactics or they don't.

The balance in 1st edition is off it's not worth looking at. 5th has been tweeked so that everything overly powerful got brought down and everything overly low got brought up. That is the biggest difference to me. The game is balanced better than it has been for generations.
 

Dashel

Blackwing Lair Raider
1,562
2,071
21d 1h 38m
I'm prepping for the end of Lost Mine of Phandelver, and transitioning into Baldur's Gate: Descent to Avernus.

It's going to be the same group of players with brand new characters for the new campaign. I want to somehow tie in the old and new. I'm thinking about linking it to the Green Dragon, Venomfang, from Lost Mine.

I'm seeing Tiamat is imprisoned in Avernus.
Baldur

She is imprisoned in Avernus, the top layer of the Nine Hells, but influences her minions on other planes to do her bidding.

So maybe Venomfang want's to use the event's in Baldur's Gate (The neighboring city of Elturel was pulled down into Avernus) to find a way to free Tiamat.

Does that make any sense at all? So maybe Venomfang somehow points the new group to Baldur's Gate, to try and stop whatever is going on.
 

Locnar

Trakanon Raider
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26d 1h 7m
Characters dying has nothing to do with the edition. Either you make the module challenging or you don't. Either your players use good tactics or they don't.

The balance in 1st edition is off it's not worth looking at. 5th has been tweeked so that everything overly powerful got brought down and everything overly low got brought up. That is the biggest difference to me. The game is balanced better than it has been for generations.
See this gets into the same things I preach about in regards to early MMOs vs. modern ones. When things get over balanced, they get bland and you cannot challenge yourself with a hard race/class combo.

Question, in 5th edition are any of the races NOT raise-dead able? In 1st edition Elves and Half-Orcs CANNOT be raised from the dead outside of a wish (super rare 9th level spell with hard consequences to the caster). 5th level cleric Raise Dead or the higher level ones don't work on them. So you actually have the option to play "no save/reload" mode in 1st edition.

If time and trends are any teacher, I'm sure 5th edition has followed the same trajectory as everything else this past 30 years.

You mentioned tactics. There are things in 1st edition , actually many things, that are unavoidable and if the random dice roll goes the wrong way , you DIE. Take poison on even the lowest level monsters. You get bit , you save or die. Take an attack from even a low level assassin, if the percentage rolls come out a certain way, you die.

Frustrating? yes, but when there is a random element in (any) game, it keeps the suspense and dread up and the victory sweeter. Victory should NEVER be guaranteed even if you bring the right forces and have perfect tactics. You can increase/decrease your odds with good play, but there should always a random chance of failure.
 
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bigmark268

Blackwing Lair Raider
268
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14d 21h 14m
Killing a char has its place. Personally I rarely do it. It's just one of those things that the rest of the party then has to figure out how to do it. And it just becomes a mundane thing to do.

As for difficulty. That doesn't really matter to my players. It's more about are they enjoying what they are doing. and is everyone having fun.

I play 4th edition. We play once a month and have a pretty large party. Weve been playing for about 10years now. There's 12 of us now. Which is fine because not everyone can make it all the time. Usually I get 6 to 8 of us per session including myself as DM. We are all between lvl 10 and 23. (Some people show up more then others do)
 
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Ome

Golden Knight of the Realm
352
286
21d 19h 5m
Question, in 5th edition are any of the races NOT raise-dead able? In 1st edition Elves and Half-Orcs CANNOT be raised from the dead outside of a wish (super rare 9th level spell with hard consequences to the caster). 5th level cleric Raise Dead or the higher level ones don't work on them. So you actually have the option to play "no save/reload" mode in 1st edition.
Whats this really have to do with edition tho. I mean I can play any edition and state Elves and Half-Orcs cant be raised. Hell as DM I can say there is no raise dead period for anyone.
 

Fyff

Trakanon Raider
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See this gets into the same things I preach about in regards to early MMOs vs. modern ones. When things get over balanced, they get bland and you cannot challenge yourself with a hard race/class combo.

Question, in 5th edition are any of the races NOT raise-dead able? In 1st edition Elves and Half-Orcs CANNOT be raised from the dead outside of a wish (super rare 9th level spell with hard consequences to the caster). 5th level cleric Raise Dead or the higher level ones don't work on them. So you actually have the option to play "no save/reload" mode in 1st edition.

If time and trends are any teacher, I'm sure 5th edition has followed the same trajectory as everything else this past 30 years.

You mentioned tactics. There are things in 1st edition , actually many things, that are unavoidable and if the random dice roll goes the wrong way , you DIE. Take poison on even the lowest level monsters. You get bit , you save or die. Take an attack from even a low level assassin, if the percentage rolls come out a certain way, you die.

Frustrating? yes, but when there is a random element in (any) game, it keeps the suspense and dread up and the victory sweeter. Victory should NEVER be guaranteed even if you bring the right forces and have perfect tactics. You can increase/decrease your odds with good play, but there should always a random chance of failure.
I think there is a little disconnect here between us based on phrases like fun and what we are looking for in a game. And that's okay. I play dungeons and dragons for a tale. I want to weave a story between 5-8 people that everyone enjoys. There should be risks and rewards but having a player fail a save and die from something that's a normal mob and not an "end goal" type baddie isn't something I would like to present to my players. That's the great thing about table top though, you can weave your campaign how you like and as long as your players are having fun, that's awesome.

As far as balance, 5e strikes a really good balance where some players are single target monsters where others can kill 20 goblins a turn. The campaign I just finished up as a player, I was a barb fighter where I could crit on 18+ and did massive damage but only got two swings a turn. One of my buddies was playing a wizard and annihilated a bunch of little guys. In the "final fight" of the campaign, myself and another guy took on "the big bad dragon" while the other two guys killed all of the underlings. We were all engaged for the final 5 hour battle doing the things we wanted. That's the kind of balance 5e brings. I remember from my 1e games (and this was a REAL long time ago) where if I wasn't playing something out of Unearthed Arcana, I was a wet noodle compared to the guys just going to town on mobs.

To me, choices should be like transmog in modern MMO's (to me). The weapon I choose should not be drastically different than someone else. It should be what fits story wise and not give me a detriment. The class I choose shouldn't set me so far behind that I feel like I can not contribute to the party versus what the other guys are doing. I feel like 5e does this perfectly and allows me to tell the story and weave a tale I want to weave.

My friends and I are also miniatures gamers so I think that adds to it. We have our deep tactics and min/max games. There should be some reward in table top for doing some min max but overall the power curve should be lower. The difference between characters should never be so far that someone feels left behind.

*shrug* at the end of the day, if you and your players are happy with the system you use, that's all that matters!
 
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j00t

Vyemm Raider
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The raise dead spells all have a material cost. I played a campaign where the king hoarded all the diamonds and made it illegal for citizens to have any specifically so that raise dead just wasn't an option.

The thing that I like about 5e more than the other editions is that everything in the rule book is made specifically for the DM to facilitate whatever story they want to tell. If you want to eliminate the ease of raise dead, then just get rid of diamonds. Give your party access to a single raise dead scroll or give them a single diamond that they can figure out when to use
 

Locnar

Trakanon Raider
1,196
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26d 1h 7m
We have to remember that D&D has its origin in table top miniature war gaming. You talking about weaving a tale to players made me remember some things i've heard from others who play 1st edition but also use to play 5th, that a game of 5th edition is far more like telling a story than what happens in 1st edition.

This quote from above struck me:

In the "final fight" of the campaign, myself and another guy took on "the big bad dragon" while the other two guys killed all of the underlings. We were all engaged for the final 5 hour battle doing the things we wanted. That's the kind of balance 5e brings.
In 1st edition there are plenty of times you CAN"T do anything or you announce you are just holding the lantern and keeping aware of your surroundings while your fellows fight (because your a mage and already cast your one spell for the whole day, for example).

The contrast between the two again reminds me of early EQ and later MMOs. In early EQ there are encounters you have no role in or you've depleted your mana and are sitting on your ass for 10 mins. In later MMOs the devs make sure "everyone is engaged all the time".

I just think its interesting how D&D has evolved over the years same as MMOs.

In 1st edition if you are reduced to zero hps (and up to -3 hps), even if you are magically healed and saved from death , your character can't do ANYTHING other than move at reduced speed to a place of rest and then must rest for a entire WEEK before they can do anything else. I can imagine 5th edition players flipping out when told, sorry your guy is now at the Inn for bedrest for the next 7 days. haha

p.s. in my group the classes and races in unearthed arcana are not allowed , because (like a EQ expansion..) the power creep is so vast between what is in there compared to the original players handbook races and classes. Why be a regular gnome when you can be a (unearthed arcana) Snerfneblin deep gnome and summon earth elementals!

Anyways like I said, im a hopeless gaming antiquarian. But if you like hardcore and gritty, join a 1st edition campaign that plays rules as written (by Gary). Its very fun.
 
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Locnar

Trakanon Raider
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Whats this really have to do with edition tho. I mean I can play any edition and state Elves and Half-Orcs cant be raised. Hell as DM I can say there is no raise dead period for anyone.
Well we are talking the rules of the editions as written. 1st edition I'm very loath to change much because its like holy right? Its the edition written by the founders of the genre.

I suppose we could always throw all the editions out and say we are playing the trans-edition.
 

Fyff

Trakanon Raider
2,141
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13d 13h 9m
Oh, so your one house rule is not all of the books are allowed, that changes the conversation drastically. :)
 

j00t

Vyemm Raider
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51d 14h 17m
1st edition I'm very loath to change much because its like holy right? Its the edition written by the founders of the genre.
No, it's not holy. It's a glorified board game; the point of which to get some friends together and have a good time doing what you love. If you need to change some rules around to make it YOUR home game, then go to town.

My DM doesn't use random encounters, and if he does we just roll a d20 to see how the encounter goes and whether or not we've used up any resources. It's also a pretty common house rule that taking a healing potion yourself is a bonus action because it sucks waiting for your turn only to be like, I take a potion and gain 3hp. Okay next.

If you want things to be harder, don't let them use hd to gain back hp on a short rest or some variation of that. If you want death to mean something, limit their access to raise dead spells. Take away diamonds or make them extremely rare. There's also module (tomb of annihilation) where raise dead magic just outright fails because of the bbeg.

The point is 5e mechanically flows better than previous editions but it also allows the DM to make whatever mechanical substitutes they want.

I absolutely understand the nostalgia value of playing older editions. I played a TON of AD&D when I was younger so I get draw of it.
 

Locnar

Trakanon Raider
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26d 1h 7m
Oh, so your one house rule is not all of the books are allowed, that changes the conversation drastically. :)
Well not mine, but the groups. I only DM sometimes. Not including extra, later, books dosent feel like a house rule. I mean, we don't use Oriental Adventures either.

Yes I get it every group is different. I think the main , huge, difference between 1st and 5th is 1st is more like a fantasy war game and 5th is more like a story telling game. I'm not judging other groups or editions. But it is indisputable that 1st edition, as written, is by far the hardest/grittiest version of the game. Again, RULES AS WRITTEN.

By the way, because of all this corona shit my group has moved from physical tabletop to R20, and I have found it super nice and convenient. I'm actually afraid the convenience of it might make it harder to go back to actual meet ups around the table!
 

Arden

Trakanon Raider
1,091
548
20d 21h 24m
By the way, because of all this corona shit my group has moved from physical tabletop to R20, and I have found it super nice and convenient. I'm actually afraid the convenience of it might make it harder to go back to actual meet ups around the table!
Roll20 et al. are great for allowing you to game with friends who are in physically distant locations. When my current group started playing, we all sat around the same table, but due to life stuff we are all now scattered across three different time zones. It's really nice being able to still play with the same group.

Also, the advantages of a digital battle map that tracks certain mechanics (hitpoints, conditions, movement, etc) are huge. Gone are the days of having to take pics of a giant roll up hex map so we can recreate the battle scenario when we get together the following week.

That said, nothing replaces the dynamic of being in the same room when you game. I like the idea of getting together in person (those who can) and accessing a shared battle map via a personal device (phone, laptop, tablet) while those who can't be there in person are able to join remotely.
 
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j00t

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we play with fantasy grounds and it's very similar. we started using it because we were all over the place geographically but once a year we all get together and play in person. we still have a screen setup with the maps and whatnot just because it's so much easier
 
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Fyff

Trakanon Raider
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The dynamic lighting is the best feature I have ever encountered for ttrpgs. If I had tons of money, everyone at a face to face game would have their own console with dynamic lighting for the map that only they could see.
 
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Arden

Trakanon Raider
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20d 21h 24m
They need an app for phones and tablets specifically made for whatever system you see playing that is a character builder/tracker and also a battle map with features like dynamic lighting. Everyone can sit around the table and interface using their own device
 

Fyff

Trakanon Raider
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13d 13h 9m
You can technically play roll20 on phones and tablets. I doesn't seem to work well for me.
 

Arden

Trakanon Raider
1,091
548
20d 21h 24m
You can technically play roll20 on phones and tablets. I doesn't seem to work well for me.
Yeah but you are playing via web browser instead of a dedicated app unless I'm mistaken

Also an important distinction in the type of thing I am looking for is that it is built from the ground up for a specific system, and incorporates a character builder and tracker. It should also have some functionality that enables the GM to lock out certain character elements for the characters in the GM's specific game, such as money and stats etc.