Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby tinyrick » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:28 pm

I've never had the pleasure of playing D&D, but have always been interested in it. I have a good idea of how it's played though since I listen to Harmontown. It's a podcast with Dan Harmon, co-creator of Rick and Morty and the creator of community. episodes are about 2 hours long. They spend the first 90 minutes talking about whatever's on Dan's mind while also interviewing a guest, then spend the last 30-45 minutes playing D&D. There's a webseries called Harmonquest where the same crew plays Pathfinder (It's not mentioned by name, but the books are on the table), which is like D&D 3rd edition with some extra stuff in for balancing. Wizards and rogues were apparently really OP in 3rd edition. Although in Harmonquest, the games difficulty is really scaled back in order to focus on the comedy. There's pretty much no chance any of the main heroes will ever die even though they do some dumb stuff. I'm thinking that it's partially scripted.
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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby Grimstone » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:56 am

My closest experience to playing D&D comes from the old infinity engine games which mostly used the 2E ruleset. Anyway, here's a funny D&D related thing I found:

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby Ladki96 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:05 am

Haha, reminds me of this:

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It's a pretty good blog ^^ very funny
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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby CarrieVS » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:17 am

So we're in a new campaign. I'm playing a Half-Orc Paladin and really enjoying it. Here's an excerpt from Sunday's session:

The party, consisting of my Paladin, a Gith Month/Warlock, and a Half-Elven Rogue, are engaged in a daring rooftop chase, in the dark and falling snow, pursuing a notorious burglar. The Rogue previously fell, but is ok and following us at street level. The other three of us are slipping, sliding, Dashing, and failing Athletics rolls (in my defence, I'm at -2 penalty to everything after being killed last session) all over the place.

Our quarry leaps to the next roof, fails his roll, but not badly enough to end up on the ground. These roofs have 5' walkways around the edge with a low parapet, and he manages to tumble over the parapet and fall on his face.

Next goes the Monk. He jumps after him... and fails his roll. He doesn't get over the parapet, but manages to grab it, and is dangling there until his next turn.

Next goes the Rogue, who was around a corner and didn't see either of them land. He comes into view, bow drawn, looking for the burglar - who is about 5' 10", slightly built, and heavily shrouded in black clothing that conceals all other features. He can't see him, but he sees the Monk, dangling by his arms. The monk is about 5' 10", slightly built, and always goes about heavily shrouded in dark clothing...

The player knows it's the Monk, but the DM rightfully insists on a Perception check. He rolls a 1.

Time slows down.

The player knows it's the Monk, but the character thinks it's our enemy. We can all see the pain in his face as he searches for a way out. He's a Rogue, he's Chaotic, he's been trying to take this guy out since combat started, and I already offered him a chance to surrender and he Misty Stepped right the heck out of there and started this whole rooftop business. We all know what the Rogue would do. I point out that he might miss, urging him to get it over with.

He demands the burglar surrender.

We're not buying it. The DM objects, and so do the other two players - even the Monk's player knows it's inevitable.

The Rogue's player pulls out his Player's Handbook. He finds a page. He reads out an alignment description:
Chaotic good creatures act as their conscience dictates, with little regard for what others expect.


We fall about laughing. He has us all bang to rights: if a Chaotic Good character wants to spare someone's life on a whim, we can hardly object on the grounds that we wouldn't expect it of his character. At least, not on this occasion. That is without a doubt the finest use I've ever seen of the largely-pointless Alignment 'rules'.

The DM allows it. How can he not? The Monk makes his Athletics roll next turn to pull himself up, and in the next few rounds a couple of well-placed arrows from the Rogue put an end to the encounter.
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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby Irishjava » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:38 am

Never has there been a better use of PHB-minuta to challenge a DM's decision. Massive kudos to that Rogue, and your group at large for what sounds like a pretty outstanding encounter.
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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby CarrieVS » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:04 pm

In this Sunday's session, we got puppies!

Albino warg puppies!

One each (including the Druid who was a one-time addition to the party as a guy showed up to find his game wasn't on, but excluding the Monk whose player was absent.) But we elected to give them all to the Druid as we didn't really want to go down the 'dangerous pets' route.
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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby Irishjava » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:21 pm

I'm just about to start my second big in-person campaign, and I'm doing everything I can to avoid some of the mistakes I've made in the past. As a DM with one completed campaign and another mature campaign running online, I'm recognizing a pattern repeating itself between the two despite my best efforts to avoid it:

1) Each campaign starts with a strong thesis statement: there is an interesting, solid objective with a mysterious component that the players will pick apart while questing in the world.
2) As more characters add themselves to the campaign, I like attaching them to the mysterious objective in ways that make sense and will be cool later when the players uncover more.
3) All side-quests develop a tenuous connection the the central mystery/quest.
4) I add WAY too many connections. The single objective becomes like 10 impossible to decipher subplots.
5) The players totally lose the thread and flounder for what direction to go for like 2 sessions.
6) I finally realize the players are floundering, and I introduce an important event/character/cataclysm that refocuses the players on the most important subplot. I largely drop the others.
7) Repeat steps 2-6 until the campaign is over. End the campaign after a solid step 6.

In an attempt to impose discipline on myself, the next campaign has a lot of travel between distant locations, with each location theoretically having a self-contained feel on the way to main story objectives. To my shame, I've already started putting main quest stuff in those locations. I need to find a way to minimize my tendency toward long, indulgent, hidden subplots that take 2 years to pay off.
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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby CarrieVS » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:18 pm

We had another exciting session yesterday - here's some highlights:

My character background will be relevant later. I've mentioned that he's a Half-Orc Paladin; he was a foundling raised by monks of the god Ilmater, who then sent him to a military order of their church to be trained. He has no idea who his parents are, or how he came to be abandoned by the side of a road, or even what his original name was. (I know most of the story, but I never decided what his father's been doing since his conception, or what happened to his mother so that she wasn't able to come back to where she'd left her baby.) I wrote that he wants to find out about his past, but had no illusions of the DM writing anything into the campaign to make it happen.

It was just me and the Rogue this week. Had the Monk's player been present his part in this story would have been taken by the Druid we met last week, but he wasn't.



We were disturbed in the middle of the night by imps trying to steal locks of our hair. Not something you wake up to every day. It was a surprisingly hard fight - two of us against two little imps - what with being in our pyjamas and only just having time to grab a single weapon each, but we destroyed them both, and rushed round to the Monk's room where I kicked the door in after we heard a struggle.

No such trouble with the imp in there: I rolled a crit on my first attack. With my greataxe. And the Half-Orc "savage attack" feature. That's 3d12, and I rolled above average. No more imp. Tragically, though, we were only just in time to see the much larger Spined Devil fly out the window with the Monk over its shoulder.

We found some clues, and also the Monk's stash of healing potions - we thought we might need them, and that if it was in the cause of rescuing him he couldn't reasonably mind. We also found his silvered greatsword - a successful Insight roll and I realised that a silvered weapon might be the only thing that Devil was vulnerable to. My character has no idea that the Monk is a Githyanki, the sword is a Githyanki sword, and that, if I understand the player correctly it's not supposed to be wielded by anyone other than a Githyanki.

We reached the lair of the banished conjurer whom we believed to be behind the attack. Some difficult encounters - the Goliath Barbarian gatekeeper almost put an end to us, thanks to my not realising that a magical weapon would overcome his damage resistance - had I, I should have used my Sacred Weapon feature. But when we finally killed him I swapped my masterwork greataxe for his magical (+1) one. Some less difficult - the Gargoyle sentinal might have been nasty had the DM not rolled two 1s for its attacks as it swooped down at us in the first round, causing it to faceplant into the ground.

The Rogue was having an off-day. First he failed a succession of search for trap rolls, and came close to getting us both killed in one passageway - only to find that he couldn't open the door at the end of it. (It would turn out that the room behind it was meant to be the final one of the level, so I'm guessing the DC was intentionally set too high.)

In a subsequent room, he critically failed an open lock roll, and broke his lockpick. Only to remember that he hadn't actually checked whether the door was locked - it wasn't.

We rescued two prisoners from conditions that amounted to torture - DM let us know the Wizard and Cleric, both 2nd level, will be NPC allies for us later on - but not immediately as they need to rest and recover.

More difficult encounters, much drinking of healing potions, but we won through. I even managed to take one henchman prisoner. Though with what he was involved in I'll be surprised if he doesn't end up lawfully executed, for all that he was "only the scribe!"

We happened upon a very battered-looking Spined Devil. It would appear that the Monk put up a serious fight before being subdued. Fortunately I remembered to switch weapons. Less fortunately, on my first successful hit with the greatsword, I rolled two 1s for damage (a greatsword does 2d6). "Wait!" I cry, just before the DM writes down my paltry total of 5 against the creature. I remember barely in time that I can re-roll 1s and 2s for damage (as it's a two-handed attack) thanks to my Paladin fighting style feature. I roll two 6s.

Finally, we reach the last room of the level - and the other sides of two separate doors the Rogue failed to unlock earlier. Within, imprisoned within a pentacle inscribed on the floor, is... well it's not our Monk.

It's a Genie.

If we free him, he will grant us each a wish. I make some initial endeavours to determine whether freeing this immensely powerful being will be a bad move - not entirely conclusive but no bad signs, and he's evidently a prisoner here just like the two poor souls we rescued earlier - and the five who were already beyond help. Then the DM tells us that this is his Christmas present to us, so we elect to do it. He promises not to go out of his way to make the wishes backfire. He also tells us to ignore the description in the PHB of the Wish spell, and just make one simple request each.

Our first impulse is to use one wish to get our Monk back unharmed. Unfortunately, we don't know his name, his race, what he looks like, or where precisely he is. We start pondering other possibilities, the DM making suggestions. I've almost made up my mind to request a stat increase, and in a flash of inspiration, the Rogue's player figured out the wording to get our comrade back "the Monk/Warlock with whom we have been adventuring." DM assures us that this will not backfire. And then the inspiration fairy visits me as well: I've been meta-gaming, trying to work out how to get the "best" wish I can, from a stats/rules perspective, instead of what my character really wants and what would be more rewarding and interesting to see happen. "I wish to know my parental history."

It's now the end of the session, so the results are for next week (when sadly, I won't be there, but I shall hear all about it.) Oh, and we'll be reaching 4th level as soon as we have a chance for a long rest.
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Re: Dungeons & Dragons: The Nerdening

Postby CarrieVS » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:19 pm

Double post!

Sometimes you get just the right dice roll at just the right moment - like when an incorporeal being was a round away from eating the soul of a dead PC, no-one had managed to damage or repel it yet, and I was the only one present with an attack that could do so. Right on cue, I rolled a crit and one-shotted it. That's always pretty cool.

Other times you get just the right idea at moment, and provided the Random number Goddess doesn't take spite against you, you get out of whatever difficulty it was. That's also always pretty cool.

Other times, you get just the right idea at just the right moment and still need it backed up by just the right roll. When that comes off, it's a special moment.

In the current campaign, I'm playing a Gnome Wizard, Jubel Fade. We're fighting giants inside their steading, and we've perhaps bitten off mroe than we can chew. Finally, the Cloud Giant we've been threatened with for weeks, wh's now the giants' leader, shows up. This race is as big and strong as any other giant and a lot more intelligent than many, and this one's a powerful spellcaster.

We have to take the better part of valour. We're all on our feet, thanks to some nifty work from the Monk/Warlock to rescue the other Warlock from what the rest of us thought was a hopeless situation, but we're being pursued towards a door that we can't open quickly, into a room that may have more enemies in it, by the almost unhurt Cloud Giant and a Stone Giant following him.

I have two spell slots left. A 1st level that I can't do much damage with and really want to save in case I need to Shield myself, and my only 5th level, which I've dared not use as Passwall is likely to be the party's only chance of getting out of the building. I'm considering spending it on a Cone of Cold, though, as a last ditch attempt to kill them or go down fighting (and also to roll 8d8 in anger, which I've never yet done.) No-one else is in much better shape.

I check my character sheet for any options I may not have considered yet, and remember that I have spell scrolls.

I have a few potentially incapacitating options, but I decide the least unlikely to succeed is Suggestion. I have to cast it on the Cloud Giant. He's in front, so I can use him to block the other from passing, he;s the most dangerous, and he can Dispell it if I cast it on the other. But I have little doubt that he has a good Wisdom and proficiency in it for saving throws. I have little expectation of this working but we're going to die otherwise.

I Suggest that he stands in the middle of the corridor and lets no-one pass. DM rolls the save. We don't know his bonus (later told, +7: less than I'd feared, but he still only needed a 9.) He rolls a three. He stops in his tracks. We're able to get away (we're not out of the woods yet, but we've leapt from the frying pan to the hearthstone). DM openly tells me I've "saved the party with that spell."
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