A Dungeons and Dragons Documentary

This is an area to discuss topics related to gaming.
THOTH
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Post by THOTH » Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:24 pm

I agree with the position that the rules are guidelines - and its up to the gamemaster how rules strict the game should be...I almost always er on the side of free-flow playability and tend to simplify rules (roles and such needed to accomplish actions etc) rather then defining them to the point of micro-reality. To me playability almost always wins out over "realism" though I think Ive struck up a good balance.

As for "storytelling" approach I like it - have really enjoyed the Ars Magica campaigns I've played (never DMd)...but such an approach doesn't do it for eveyone. I've even run the same (D & D based) campaign with different groups that have ended up being like 2 entirely different games - I largely let the players take it where they will. I ussually have a good enough mix of slash & kill stuff with the more talky intruiges and the like (I tend to do a lot with politics & religion)...I personally find that I like a good balance. What I don't enjoy so much is some of the overly formulaic/mathmatics orientated games...solving puzzles is OK/great - but getting bogged down into consulting mutliple tables to do one little thing - no good...

BTW I have a pristine copy of the little silver spiral bound chainmail book as well....I go back a ways as far as this gaming stuff is concerned...though I'm not sure I could even pull off running or even running in a straight up AD & D campign (whatever edition...and I could hardly tell you what is different from one to the next)...I always have just pick and chosen bits to use and just translate stuff into my "system" (which is largely based on attribute roles with mods...with the rest being role-playing)...and I've spawned a number of folks who ran (once) campaigns based upon whatever system I was using at the time. Most who have ever played in my game really liked it (I've had a great many players play my game over the years and most have been very loyal and claim its the best they've ever played in...really truly) - though my game is a little too loose for some of the engineer types who just couldn't handle not knowing what series of rolls are required to perfrom some act..."What do you mean its just one roll? And you won't even tell me what I have to roll until I describe to you exactly how/what I'm doing?" lol

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Post by TheDungeonDelver » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:36 am


I actually have this movie on DVD. I think it's very good content-wise. Production value wise...not quite so much. But overall it's a great movie I think.

I wonder if YouTube is hosting the extras with Gary. Hmm...

Anyway the bestest thing in the world about this video is the fact that Stefan is a 1e adherent (or seemed to be in the video). Still playing AD&D1, Stefan?

Yes, I am still old, old school, but have taken some things from all the subsequent versions too...3rd edition is better for miniature combat.
There is a lot less abstraction in their minis combat rules; but I've never understood why so many of my 1e fellow fanatics eschew miniatures rules. If anything AD&D 1st edition is closer to miniature combat than not: it stems directly from the 1974 edition of D&D (which I own and is a great game in it's own right - if you're going to blow a couple hundred bucks on gaming stuff that's not Dwarven Forge I heartily recommend grabbing a set of the OD&D rules and supplements), which in turn comes from Gygax & Perren's Chainmail - a table top medieval wargame with a "fantasy supplement" that became D&D! :)

I find that if anything, miniatures make AD&D easier, even when we're abstracting. F'rex you can't really get three 28mm minis across what is nominally a 10' wide Dwarven Forge corridor, so we write down marching order and the minis are there just to give us an idea where things are going - and because they're super cool and look great with the awesome DF! :D

But when it comes to spell ranges and spell effects, DF + minis shine for AD&D. Here's an example: reading the description for the 1e Fireball, the whole "33000 sq. ft." sounds like a nuclear blast in terms of AoE but once I actually put "33000 sq. ft." (scale) of Dwarven Forge on the table, voila, the fireball spell lost some of it's deadly mystique: that 33000 sq. ft. is merely 33 squares of Dwarven Forge, assuming 10' high ceilings - and if the party's squaring off against, say, giants who've got 15' ceilings, suddenly that's only 17 squares, and so forth.

In conclusion, I put up quite the front as being an "auld grump" when it comes to my gaming (and there is much I dislike about 2nd edition AD&D and d20 Fantasy...:-/ ) but as Gary himself will tell you, if you're having fun then you're doing it right. :)

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Post by admin » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:41 am

Oh...and Capt. Kirk and Col. Hogan always got the babe, too!

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Post by jkratzer » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:06 am

Celtchief, Wereweasel;

Robert's last post would be a great addition to Saturday Night Live!
I Loved it! Classic comedy in the true tragic vein (right next to the jugular).

Robert; can I borrow it? If I use it in the same game as Jeff's Colonel Hogan-meets-Captain Kirk sewer crawl, it will make the game at Shore Leave a classic! FYI, Shore Leave was originally a fan-run Star Trek convention; it's still fan-run, but has branched out beyond Trek to other TV & movies. 28 years old and still crazy!

See ya!

Jim

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Post by Wereweasel » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:47 pm

Celtchief,

That last post or yours would be a GREAT addition to the "Bad DMs" thread.

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Post by Celtchief » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:42 pm

Hey Jeff,
Yeah, I think you and I are on the same page for roleplaying. We have roleplaying encounters, every now and again, but for the most part, it's a game of tactical choices.

And it did not matter if I was playing Basic, 1st, Merp, Star Trek, or anything else... it's how I play. I don't think the system defines how you game.

I do think miniatures take away this particular conversation....

DM: "OK, so the fireball hits everyone in the room"
Player 3: "I was not in the room"
DM: "Yes you were, the sorcerer cast the spell while everyone was in the room"
Player 3 (Wizard, mostly): "I was in the room, but I told you I left the room to search to skeleton corpse for spell components for my Doom of Akrias spell, which clearly states that one needs the knucklebone from a freshly destroyed skeleton that was destroyed with the aid of a cleric of Akrias, which I am, cause I took one level of cleric just so I could cast that spell, I mean, I don't think the party appreciates that I did that, so I was not in the room.
DM: "What? Nevermind, you did not say you left the room."
Player 3: " Yes I did, why are you always trying to kill my characters! GOD, YOU ARE THE WORST DM EVER! FINE! FINE! I'll just roll my saving throw and die! FINE..... ::Rolls Dice:: Oh..I made my throw, and cause I took levels of the Spell Thief of Damon Prestige class found in this book put out by a small D20 publishing company called MunchkinsRUS that no one has ever heard of and gives me my spells and my thieving abilities, with good saves in reflex and will, and with D8 hit points, but with the penalty of only getting 6 skill points to balance it.... I don't take any damage... nevermind... So who's turn next!? Lets go guys, you hold up the game forever!!! Oh, and Since I am in the room next to the guy, I improptu sneak attack him for 18D6's....

DM: But..you said you were in the...hallway... you said.... ::Sob uncontrollably:: "OH GOLLY!! IF ONLY WE HAD MINIATURES!!!!!!!!"


Robert

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Post by jackattack » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:00 am

Do you call each other by your real names, or by your characters' names? Do you describe the actions you want your characters to perform in third person or in first person? If you've taken the second option on either or both questions, you are still roleplaying.
Favorite Pieces: Chasms, 45 Degree Passages, River & Lava Banks, Ledges, Large Curved Walls, Elevation Arch

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Post by jkratzer » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:03 am

Jeff;

Kirk and Hogan, eh?
Now I KNOW you're my kind of gamer! Although I think you may be missing some GREAT FUN in not role-playing James T. in a castle/dungeon crawl. Imagine the Great Starship Captain stuck crawling through a sewer with NO phaser, NO communicator, No tricorder, and best of all, NO SPOCK!
And THEN he runs into Bob Hogan, crawling OUT of Stalag 13 on a dead-drop sweep!
Come to think of it, I believe I just came up with a few . . . fascinating twists for my game at Shore Leave in July.

Thanks, Jeff! You're an inspiration to all of us! Whee!!!

See ya!

Jim

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Post by admin » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:10 pm

Regarding role-playing...

I must be such a freak-a-zoid! I have been gaming with the same guys for over 25 years, as we never "role play" as it is defined now. We aren't mini-maxers, and we love great adventures with good storelines and such -- we just never act out of characters. It is something I really don't have any interest in doing. We make interesting characters and have cool campaigns, but we rarely speak in character. We get more enjoyment playing ourselves in the D&D world than we would playing another persona. I guess that is where my point of view for my True Dungeon event comes from. (www.truedungeon.com)

We also really love the combat strategy and tactics that D&D offers -- and the innumerual options that are allowed with the DM system. I love problem solving, and D&D offers a great outlet for my creative resource management kick. My heroes growing up were Capt. Kirk and Col. Hogan -- two guys that always found a creative way to solve a problem.

So...don't quibble too much about which is the best role-playing version. You are all crazy if you ask me. Hee hee!

PS. Thanks Stefan!

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Post by Zaltar of Valoria » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:50 pm


Well in the one I watched was ok but you did seem a bit tired? Reading now what you were doing at the time and your schedule I have to say yeah, very tired. Glad you got that project done. Do you think these will every be made into that documentary or has it already?

Yes!, I was extremely over-worked and wouldn't have DM'd if not for the filming schedule that day-so yes, parts of the game are in the documentary...since that time I met Mari and she straightened me out quite a bit. I also hired Jeff and he has done a tremendous job of managing DF and taking a heavy load off my back...before him I had (to learn) to wear an assortment of "different hats" running the business while still trying to be creative, oh and hopping all over the world to various conventions...I feel like I am a much changed person now...gone up a few levels...the ones where you get the kool powers (I had been drained several levels by vampires and for a while wasn't sure I would make it) Now I feel like Arthur in Excalibur after drinking from the Grail....

PREPARE FOR BATTLE!!!

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