D&D Discussion


#1

In my happy news. I’ve been running a D&D 5e group with some of the church youth group for a few months, at peak attendance we had 14 kids there and I think it’s a total of 20 that show up off and on around a core group of 6… Had a three hour meeting last week with the youth pastor about how he can get behind this and push as an outreach opportunity, we’ve had three kids join the youth group, not going to church or anything, but engaging in good safe fun since I started. Neither he nor the head pastor expected anything like this. He’s a Tae Kwon coach and has several physical outreach things going on and had vague ideas about starting something with board games. We hashed out an idea to maybe back off to biweekly instead of weekly and extend the time and have it an open gaming night every other Saturday. I’d like to do it every Saturday, but we’ll see. So, since I’ll be there, and need another adult anyway (to make sure nothing horrible happens, church policy), we can possibly add one more adult and have a couple dozen or more kids hanging out reading, playing board games and such in the church. I really like this thought. We are a young church and the oldest kids in the youth group are starting to get to driving age. Somewhere they can go hang out and be safe for five or six hours on a weekend really appeals to me.

I fielded a call from a parent who I actually invited into the church a few years ago about some of her issues with her daughter playing. A friend had told her if she was OK with Harry Potter she should be OK with D&D… oops. She had a very strict upbringing and isn’t comfortable with the thought of people thinking power and magic come anywhere but from God. We spoke for a while, I mostly listened, and she said she knows she is being unreasonable and her daughter will be really upset and she’s sad she’ll lose all these friends she’s gotten but she can’t be at peace with it. I told her I didn’t agree but I understood and wished her the best with her conversation with her daughter.

Her daughter apparently set her heels and reasoned with her mother and won her over. She’s still not comfortable but she’ll let her do it. This girl has a hell of a head on her shoulders and is one of the best players despite absolutely no history before two months ago. I’ve got her mentally tagged for the first person to have her own group.

But during the conversation I was listening to this woman, who grew up in the church and has tons of faith, talk to me about the Bible and magic and God as someone who’s opinion she respects. And it was hurting her to not trust me with this. And I looked at other conversations I’ve had with people about cancer, or gaming, or life and realize that there are people that I know, and some that I don’t know that well that value and respect my opinion on their lives. I didn’t grow up really religious, and I don’t consider myself a religious man, but I have gained a faith over the last few years and I’ve been studying and paying attention to things and other people have noticed. It’s humbling, and it’s a bit of a weight now that I’ve noticed.

The youth pastor pointed out that to these kids playing D&D that I am Jesus (Metaphorically, I’m a horrible carpenter still). I am a living example of the church and their only connection to it. If they follow some of my examples then they could lead better lives, not just in a religious sense but in an overall sense.

Now, I still get to make jokes about the Paladin touching himself to feel good, and the youth pastor is still a Female Dwarf with a beard named Pat. But some of the things going on carry some more weight. I started this so these kids didn’t end up in stupid campaigns led by other kids as power trips and to show to parents that there were good sides to gaming. And now it’s a damn ABC after school special.

Also, I’m trying to get them to let me run Pathfinder. And eventually I’ll get my Monster Hunter International book and I know we’re doing some modern fantasy monster hunting.


What Made You Happy Today?
#2

@Woodman, that’s awesome. When I was those kids’ age it was the height of the Satanic Panic of the 80s so that would have never flown at church. I’m glad to see people have relaxed now. I don’t see why they would have a problem with Pathfinder. It’s basically D&D 3.5 with some rules tweaks (I like to refer to it as D&D 3.75).


#3

Yeah, I started playing in 1978 or so. One of my friends had to lie to his mom about what we did when I was in highschool in the late 80’s.

And they all only knew about 5e, I’ve been playing Pathfinder for years. I think the plethora of magic items and abilities will appeal more. They aren’t great role players yet, the ones who do roleplay mostly roleplay as annoying murder hoboes. But it’s getting better, and I think adding a system with more crunch instead of fluff will get them more into the mechanics. That and I’m havening real issues calculating encounter strengths against 7-10 3rd level characters in 5e.


#4

This post made me remember something to post here:

That is the limited edition collector’s edition variant cover editions of the 5th Edition core rulebooks, plus a 4-section DM screen. A friend of mine who was somewhat down on his luck for several years and is now in a much better place financially has apparently decided that he wants to try and pay back some of the help a friend of ours and I gave him over the last decade or so and bought me these as an early holiday present.


#5

Haven’t tried 5e yet - I got pretty fed up after 4e. I’m in a semi-regular Pathfinder game and enjoying it, even if I am stuck playing a bard again. Don’t get me wrong, my bard rocks but I was really looking forward to playing a half orc druid. In hindsight, however, the bard was probably a better choice for this campaign - I’m the only one who can actually talk to people… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#6

LOL @ Annoying Murder Hoboes. That would be a cool name for a punk band.


#7

I had a half orc bard named Henry Rollins who had beat poetry as his performance. I was a bow specialist as well and damn near kept up with the ranger.

5e is more like 2nd edition than 4e. The mechanics are ok, but there is no real differentiation in flavor in some things. Power gaming is near impossible, but any random two fighters are going to be near identical.


#8

This is one of the things I like about it. 4e, while not a bad system on its own (it works really well for Gamma World), just doesn’t feel like D&D as much as it feels like “MMORPG the Tabletop Game”.

I can see this, but that’s really only if you just follow the suggestions and use the “standard” build options. Changing up the backstory, taking some feats instead of stat bumps, and even just picking the different class options can definitely make some radically different characters.

One of the problems I had with 3e/3.5e near the end of its life, and eventually Pathfinder, is that the massive prevalence of splatbooks and alternative character options, while it did give great flavor, it also meant there was a pretty heavy instance of power creep that became min-maxer heaven, especially towards the later levels. High-level campaigns in 3.5/Pathfinder felt more like we were forces of nature walking around than adventurers. Part of this may have just been DMs who were overly generous with magic items or something, but it felt like it lost the humanity somewhere in the middle and you began to play games as gods. If I wanted that, I’d be playing something like Exalted.

(It’s also one of the reasons I like Shadowrun. Character progression is mostly skills-based, so to progress to the point where you’re basically superhumans would require YEARS worth of play using the standard Karma rewards rules. Yes, it’s possible to min-max a troll beatstick that’s basically impervious to small arms fire, but it’s equally possible for that character to come into contact with a squadron of Red Samurai who don’t give a shit about his damage resistance. Unfortunately, the character progression keeping characters not terribly different from their creation is balanced out by the always impressively pain-in-the-ass Matrix mechanics…)


#9

5e is very much a ‘regression’ from 4e philosophy of game design to something more like 3e. I’ve even heard it described as “3e from an alternate universe” as it takes a lot of stuff from the TSR era versions as far as ‘feel.’

It does lose some of the mechanical goodies 4e innovated, so it’s your call as to the degree to which this is a good thing.

5e Bards are awesome: They’re “full casters” (same spell slot progression as a Wizard) but get different special abilities (The Wizard gets to sit down for an hour and regain a few spell slots; the Bard gets to inspire everyone to be awesome) with subclasses that can focus on various specialties like Lore (knowing stuff… Even spells from other classes), Valor (kind of a swashbuckler archetype) or even Glamour (you’re the prettiest one. Or else.)…


#10

Haha! I rolled up a half orc bard who played bagpipes as her performance, but never got a chance to play her.


#11

Our PF DM is running a low-magic game - magic items cost 10x PHB cost, no crafting skills are allowed. We’ve found some pretty nice magic items, but we’re definitely not Monty Hauled out.


#12

Funny, I feel the exact opposite. The bard as a strong support character is dead in 5e. Instead of giving everyone +1 here’s an additional d6, who knows what they did to give me that d6, but here it is.

And their spells known is more like a sorcerer than a wizard. Limited in the spells they can learn.

I dunno, it feels nerfed and kinda useless to me. We have a bard in the party, and besides being a Kenku he doesn’t really do much. Granted most of them aren’t beyond “I hit the monster” anyway.


#13

You can always make house rules to make your bards stronger if you want.


#14

5e intentionally got rid of a lot of buffs because a certain style of gaming made them near mandatory. So, now, the Bard gets to say “You’re awesome!” as a Bonus Action and it sticks.

I’ve seen a lot of comments that the 3/3.5 bard was considered near useless, actually. The 5e version suffers a bit from being spread thin, but in an interesting way. One thing many miss is by the rules, the half-proficiency bonus to all skills includes initiative which is interesting.

They do resemble a sorcerer in some ways, sure. They’re a ‘known spells’ caster unlike the wizard. Same spell slots, too.


#15

Am I the only one who thinks that 1st Ed is ‘The One True Game’ and the later editions are rubbish? :wink:


#16

Elf is not a class. (Now 2nd edition using the optional weapon speed rules and ± vs armor type was the bomb-diggity. I don’t think kids these days have the dedication to copy out the hit tables onto a character sheet anymore, though I’m sure Orcpub would do it automagically.

I get this, but I had hit 8th level and was starting to really wreck face. Inspire courage was at +2, and then I picked up a feat to allow my inspire courage to add 1d8 sonic damage to every hit of everyone in range. In addition I had rapid shot and a couple other archery feats and could lay down some direct damage of my own. In addition I took spells that were area control spells instead of save or die and could funnel the enemy around some.

Most importantly I never didn’t have something useful to do. In addition I was the face and the knowledge monkey.

And all that as a 6’5" buzz cut dude with a bow spitting angry rhetoric at the enemy. I memorized one of the beat poems from So I Married an Axe Murderer once. (We were playing Rise of The Runelords and I’d planned out my face heel turn as well. Greed is the theme and I was going to start to take credit for everything due to my bard song. Between the sonic damage and the courage boost it was plausible and I was going to call us the Rollins Band. With my diplomacy and intimidation skills I could have convinced anyone that it was all me and my supporters helping them.)


#17

Race-as-Class was only in one edition of Basic I think.


#18

This is kind of what I was talking about. At 8th level, you’re the face (good for a bard), the knowledge monkey (OK for a bard, with Bardic Knowledge, but generally more the domain of the wizard), the support caster (Bard again), the archer (usually the ranger or rogue), the area denial caster (wizard again)…your one character was taking up the roles usually filled by 3 people. How did that affect the ability for other players in the group to do stuff?

5e was more about getting back to basics and making the party a cohesive group. 3e in its later years just felt like a bunch of individual badasses that didn’t need anyone else with them apart from being extra hitpoint soaks the enemies would focus on.


#19

I always hated 3e’s crafting rules because they cost XP. In a game that was primarily designed so that all players gained XP at the same rate, the casters (since it was generally only the casters who could craft magic items) are having to spend a significant amount of time, money, and resources at something that then also costs them XP, meaning that they’re now less close to that next level advancement than the fighter or rogue.


#20

Yeah, items costing XP to create was an interesting idea, but did not work in the rules. I think that only lasted through 3e, then was dropped for 3.5… Which had the different problem that in some cases people felt it was better in a strict game to not play a Thief as it was more financially optimized to have wizards use wands to detect traps, open locks, etc.

I’ve read a lot about 3e/3.5/PF balance issues, but honestly didn’t see them… But when my group played 3e we almost never had ‘downtime’ to craft items. Our group ran more like what the authors apparently expected, which was using the 3e rules but AD&D-style game play.