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Lathana



Joined: 12 Sep 2009
Posts: 18
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:11 am
Post subject: Anyone DM?
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Ello,

Does anyone else DM for tabletop roleplaying games? Any really, though I use 3.5 D&D rules. I've made my own world and have been running a campaign for about two years, it's so much fun. Thought it would be fun to chat with other people who DM or are interested in DMing. I love making things a bit unpredictable and letting the players take things where they want, makes my job harder but more fun adapting to a really free open world. Would love to hear other peoples experiences.
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Lathana
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Dudde
The Monster at the end of this Post


Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 921
Location: Oklahoma!

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 1:15 pm
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I used to, though I used second edition rules.

My problem was that I hated pre-creating the campaigns, it added more direction, but I think it was way more fun just coming up with stuff. I actually had a special character to keep stuff in line, I had a few people who wanted to superman through the town....his name was dexter, and al his base stats were at 69 =D

haven't played 3.5 rules actually, different? fun?
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Rhodric
Lord of the Morning


Joined: 19 Sep 2007
Posts: 1659
Location: Shanaine, Manetheren

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:42 am
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Never DMed myself but used to play a lot of AD&D. Friends and I moved apart though and never been able to recapture that lock yourself int he basement for 36 hours with a cooler and see what happens feeling. I think I played 3rd edition a couple times was pretty fun, although I think I'll always prefer second edition. Had a nazi friend who was always getting me killed. He would cheat on stats, cheat on rolls, was kinda annoying...chaotic evil was way too goody two shoes for him. 0
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Mnonkey



Joined: 19 Sep 2009
Posts: 30
Location: Northern MI

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:05 pm
Post subject: Just the once
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I've tried my hand at DMing before...Just once, playing with the 4th edition rules. It was pretty fun, but I was playin with a few people who didn't really like the idea of playing a game for 8 hours and not being halfway done with it by the end. My roomate and I are really the only people in my circle of friends who are interested in playing :S I have always wish that we could get people together for it, but everyone has differing schedules and schtuff though.

I really did like making my campaign though, I had a rough idea of what I wanted before we got started, with some dungeons and encounters made up, but as soon as they started getting into it a bit, they totally turned it into their own story, and I was makin new maps and hidden treasures on the fly, it was really fun XD
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Lathana



Joined: 12 Sep 2009
Posts: 18
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:38 am
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I only played AD&D about twice, as they brought out 3 just when I started playing. I bought all the books and then they brought out 3.5. Lol I wasn't impressed, but it was so much fun I begrudgingly got all the updated books. I can't remember anything about AD&D except the fact that you could target specific parts of the body, so I can't really compare the rules.

I can say I love 3.5 though. It's a bit more messy than 4th edition - there's a lot more content and a lot more freedom and variation, so it takes a bit of getting used to but its great and very free flowing. I DM in 3.5 and it gives me the freedom to make a wild variety of monsters and events and the ability to change everything on the spot.

I play 4th ed as a character, not a DM, and it's fun in different ways. The skills are a lot better designed, as fewer skills encompass more abilities. For example, instead of having jump, climb, etc they have athletics to cover any kind of activity that involves endurance, and they have acrobatics to cover anything that involves dexterity. A bit more freedom there. But the powers and characters are a lot more restricted. This is good in some ways, not in others. Both 3.5 and 4th ed are fun in different ways, and I'd compare 4th ed to an mmo rpg style of doing things - sometimes you really feel like you're grinding or questing just like you would in an mmo, and character building is very similar. It's still fun, but I think I prefer 3.5 cause of the sheer amount of possibility it presents.

And that's what it seems you guys enjoy too, adapting to players and their crazy whims. My players did something so horrendous once I got to send an angry mob after them. That was fun.

And I know what you mean, it's really hard to find a regular group of players in your area, and with D&D it's pretty important to have a consistent group of people who come to each session. I've never played online, I wonder how that would go?
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Kheltan
Silky Smooth Since Seventeen


Joined: 24 Nov 2006
Posts: 235
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:57 pm
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I've been DM'ing for about 13 years now. Almost entirely AD&D second edition with Player's Option (at least since Player's Option came out, prior to that it was straight 2e). I have DM'edcustom worlds, Planescape, Grayhawk, Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and a whole bunch of Dragonlance. I tend to mix it up pretty well and don't use to many pre-built adventures. I find them too limiting. I've always had the approach that the characters should have their own motivations and be the driving force behind adventure instaed of some arbitrary epic.

Of course, I have been known to start the PC's on the epic road but always find ways of doing so that appeal to their character so they are making the choice rather than feeling that have to something for the game.

When I have an epic vision I tend to use a handful of characters to spark the PC's and keep them on track. The most used--usually as Deus Ex Machina--is the planejumper Kien Van Tepes / Ygyezoken Cepes, a tiefling psionicist/mage with a penchant for chrono-manipulation. He is one of the many Van Tepes family that crop up.

The Van Tepes' have their roots in a family of hereditary necromancers and undead that were a secret tasque of darkling Vistani on Ravenloft (my own creation) from which I drew many PC's of my own. My first was the grandson of Tepes, Szav. He followed the family curse into darkness so a close was created, Necroszav, to hunt him down. It was Szav's sister, whose name has been lost to history, that escaped Ravenloft and created the tiefling Kien. Later, I made Szav's great-grand-nephew Nicolai, who was the first to learn the secrets of his heritage and actively pursure the fate it entailed. He was a Necromancer extrordinaire and ended up being spiritually bound to the Book of Death. He became a vampire and was eventually destroyed by a former companion. Of course, the curse was stronger than destruction and he returned as a rather naughty wraith. The curse didn't end there. Nicolia's illegitmate son, Dmitri, was driven to perfect medicine and surgery. The obsession led him down a path parellell to his father's and he nearly succumbed to darkness. Luckily he was killed while murdering one of his father's friends (an attempt to clear the family name). He ended up being brought back by the Vistani because only a decendant of Tepes could destroy the creature he had become. Dmitri did so and learned compasion and empathy. Dmitri's son, Peitr, fell in love with his sister and the angst of the unrequited and taboo love forced him down the path of darkness...so the curse continues.

Those are just the main line of the Tepes family. Kien has a number of mysterious children--no one knows who they are (not even Kien) except perhaps them and their mother--and innumerable decendants (all of whom refer to themselves as his "grandchildren"). The trouble with Kien and his line is that since Kien was a time traveller there is no telling when a certain child was born so one can't figure out the number of gernations removed by way of time passed. He could have a granddaughter that is thousands of years older than her mother. Plus, the only person who may have been able to keep it straight was Kien himself, but his brain was swiss-cheese from the trials of his long life and spiraled into dementia...so, much was lost.

Another character that tended to get things started was Otou Mooryan / Otho the Blind. Those who were involved in Visions of Sea and Sky will remember one version of him. He was a little troublemaker. In my DM'ing he was very useful because he was the perfect--if obsessed--agent of chaos (don't say that to him...he thought chaos was disgusting. He was all about Entropy).

Most of those story lines ended about six years ago after one massive campaign that combined all of my previous playing and DM'ing into one single event. Since then, I haven't played / DM'ed as much as I used to...everyone is pretty spread out now.

Recently, my storylines have been more a slow build to the next big event. I am building new family lines. New histories. New Empires. It will be hard to come up with something as monumental as two multivereses colliding (which is how the first ended, with a campaign that ammounted to an epilougue that took place 2000 years later), but there is something up my sleeves...


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Lathana



Joined: 12 Sep 2009
Posts: 18
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:14 pm
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That is quite epic! Sounds like you should make the campaign into a book or something, such amazing detail and interesting characters. Nice work.

And I agree, it's lots of fun to let the players characters personalities shape where things go. Even if you have a plan, they can take it in unexpected directions and make the whole thing so much more interesting.
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Kheltan
Silky Smooth Since Seventeen


Joined: 24 Nov 2006
Posts: 235
Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:42 pm
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Oh, that's only a very small part of the tale and only one of several families, besides.

To comment on the different editions of D&D, I've played 3 / 3.5 and found even them too limiting compared to 2e Players Option. TSR, the former (and original) owners of the D&D property had started something very interesting with Player's Option. When Wizard's of the Coast (who bought out TSR and their properties in 1997) 3e was announced us players of those times (1990's) were anticipating a continuation of some of experiements they had started. In late 2000 when 3e came out, I scooped up the first few books and started playing it. It didn't long to discover that--although they fixed the core system by way of simplification (higher is always better mainly, a single experience advancment table, parity of Ability Score tables, etc) and they did, indeed, build off the improvable skill system introduced in Player's Option--they took a step back by the over stress of pre-defined class and, later, prestige class. Also, they failed to fix several of pervasive flaws common through each iteration of the game such as the Hit Point and Armor systems. In my 6 months or so playing 3e I built a laundry list of other complaints. My friends and I decided to go back to the tried and true 2e Player's Option.

As for 4th edition...I've read through the rulebooks and doubt I'll be playing it any time soon. Hasbro (who bought WotC in 2002, I think it was) simplified and limited it even more from the looks of it. They seem to have turned into a tabletop version of a MMORPG with stress of gaining level, dungeon crawls, and miniatures. Not suprising when one realizes that the head of development for 4e was the man that brought us the D&D Miniatures game. Of course, there are several good business reasons to take the venerable property in this direction. Hasbro, being a toy company, knows they can compound their profit and sales by selling not only the rule books (which many gamers will only by a single copy of) but the miniatures, which players will continually replace and update. Also, the popularity of MMORPG's like WoW point them in that same direction.

The trouble with their approach, in my opinion, is that the people who want to play MMORPG's will play MMORPG's, not a tabletop RPG. The people who want to a play a tabletop RPG generally have some level of interest in character, story, and variability. This is why other story stressed systems tend to be the more popular ones on the Indie RPG market. Although not indie, a prime example is White Wolf's World of Darkness system. A good system but almost too light on rules. The player ends up completely at the mercy of the "Storyteller" (DM) with only the broadest of frameworks for defense against deliberate malignance.

Umm...yeah...that got rather carried on. Sorry, when I get going on this subject--which is very near and dear to me--I tend to just spout out and have trouble stopping my rambling brain from barbarding my audience with my exeriences.

To sum up, I reamain faithful to AD&D 2e Player's Option at least until such a time when my mates and I have our own "Lakonia" system ready to go (play testing of "Lakonia: Nemesis" will begin within the next few months).

Here is a partial list of the systems I have tried:

    AD&D 2e + Player's Options
    D&D 2e (yes, it exists)
    D&D 3e
    D&D 3.5e
    other d20 based systems
    Chaosium's "Elric!" (also known as "Stormbringer")
    White Wolf's Storytelling system (predecesor to World of Darkness)
    World of Darkness
    Palladium RPG
    Shadowrun 4e
    TSR's "Saga" system (*shudder*)
    GURPS
    Sengoku (if I recall, this is a variation of the Action! system)
    Star War d6 system


I've played and DM/GM'ed most of them at some time or other. AD&D 2e PO is my favorite by virture of the sheer volume of material available and the extensive play I've done with it. However, Chaosium's system has some decent points although the percentage based skills drive me crazy as does the scaling die pools (e.g. bonuses to Strength go +1, +1d4, +1d6, +1d8, +2d4, +1d4+1d6, etc. or something ridiculous like that). Next to AD&D 2e, I thought Sengoku had the most potential. It wasn't around long enough to really make an impact on the market or to build the library of supplements I thought it could have used. Also, being a historical setting (Feudal Japan, thus the name) always seemed to limit it.

Well, there's my forty-two cents!

Kheltan
The Vociferous

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