nine nine! it’s almost time for the 100th!
anyone who wants to tune in for GM prep for the next episode: https://www.twitch.tv/events/RyUqhiZXSquATXRfhq3vZQ
nine nine! it’s almost time for the 100th!
anyone who wants to tune in for GM prep for the next episode: https://www.twitch.tv/events/RyUqhiZXSquATXRfhq3vZQ
@AdamKoebel So lets get started
1 in temrs of time did ramus join the party when the necro king was still fairly new and starting? because I rember him joining in the CoS and it wasn’t nearly as fucked up yet
2 assuming im correct and the was at the temple where the page died like 70 episodes ago was yottas race ever seen or mentioned before him joining the party just wondering since it seems he was raised in that area?
3 Just wondering do you make characters roll for disease/sickness when they travel for long peroids of time or through contaminated areas like sewers ETC ?
4 The building with the defaced statues was that the building from episode 3 with the same defaced statues?
Episode 100 Live-Live show THUÝ WILL BE BACK #IBelieve
where will we find the link to your other stream that weekend?
Quick question, is Berg still technically ‘mecha-Berg’ from heaven and is that going to be touched on later? Also good luck with gm prep!
the mechanical body was a way for a mortal to exist in heaven, his new body is physical and brand new.
the Court was doing pretty good when Ramus joined but that was 10 years ago…
the Gaja are super rare in the Court of Swords, so it makes sense nobody would have seen one before.
Sometimes, but not always. It really depends on if it’ll help or harm the flow of the game.
I don’t remember that specific building! Can you gimme a YouTube link?
@AdamKoebel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZU2Cml7czo&index=6&list=PL-oTJHKXHicQpK4d231BKSC9UJQr3HQny time stamp around 14:54 so is it the same building?
So hyped for Episode 100!
Was expecting that cliffhanger Adam and I’m looking forward to Episode 100 kicking off with a fight.
First thing’s first: Wizards keeps tweeting out CoS 100’s start time as 1PM PT instead of ET. You should probably clear that up, or a bunch of people will tune in 3 hours late.
I know it is difficult to tell with Berg, but would his stance be considered enlightened in CoS? He does not prescribe his actions to fate, but he doesn’t dwell on any of that. He accepts what comes his way and moves forward. This is a little different than the holy man Kalimat, who clearly wanted to follow the fate laid before him, but it still seems to fit that general mold. I also like how it plays well with Ramus’s pursuit of the Tower ideal: destruction of everything, including Heaven. In both of their cases, it seems very Asimovian: they are following the rules of Heaven, but in doing so they are doing things that Heaven may not like.
I think @Ezekiel_III was getting at this next point also, but Rib’s problem with Heaven is that fate it used to puppeteer the lives of mortals, yet his tribe and ancestors are puppeteering his life. He is throwing off the shackles of one master doing the bidding of another. At least it sounded like Yotta was trying to make that point. It is the same as Berg in the past, who escaped slavery in the Court of Swords to be a slave of the Tower. One could argue that he is still a slave of Heaven now, but I think he isn’t because of his perspective now. The conversation today showed that he is free, as he isn’t concerned about the goals of his would-be manipulators. Whatever position he is in, he is in, and he will move forward from there.
Edit/Addendum: Have you considered adding an additional goal for each character to be set by the other players/the group as a whole? It could work like highlighted stats in Apocalypse Engine games, letting the other players help steer characters in interesting directions. An example for Rib might be something like “Learn about the tribes of the party members, so I might know what has shaped them.” This would be a little incentive to draw that parallel between RIb and Yotta. I know that player conversation like in the post shows can help drive play like this, but a little carrot in the mechanics doesn’t hurt!
Such a massive props to the cast this week for their efforts. a great mix of RP and Combat. i loved the camping vignettes between the characters talking about their personal philosophies. Reminded me alot of the small character moments that used to come out in the West Marches! you’ve been awesome at dolling out bits of information about your character @itmeJP and its been awesome.
a special mention to @AdamKoebel for taking an obvious effort to make the swamp feel dreary and awful to deal with thematically and expressing it through the mechanics of the game (not being afraid to throw fuck tons of exhaustion out) and then the Wyverns as the cherry on top. fantastic pacing!
ahhh, so much awesome shit going on, cant wait for the live show!!!
So maybe I’m a bit off-base by suggesting this here, but I’m wondering if It would be better for Yotta to be given a reason to seize authority or agency within the group rather than being given it by feeling he has to “prove himself”. I feel like visiting the Monastery of the Sun might be the perfect opportunity for Yotta to really establish himself as a leader of sorts - or at least give Zeke the opportunity to establish some firmer, long term goals for Yotta.
I think coming back to the monastery and seeing his ancestral home be profaned and defiled, seeing his family’s legacy in complete ruin, and/or seeing first hand that his absence cost his family their lives (and hey, he already had a dream showing exactly that) would be a huge turning point for him. Maybe his long term goal becomes “restore the Monastery of the Sun to its former glory”.
There are a ton of different angles there, too. Maybe he’s wracked with guilt and feels he has to atone, and this is how he does it. Maybe he does it out of familial obligation. Maybe he does it to avenge his family, or even the citizens of the court in general. Hell, maybe Yotta decides “screw Maharib, I’ll be the damn Knight of Swords instead” and take the future of the court into his own hands (eh? eh?).
this is a great insight, actually - we talked about those exact things in the post show!
That post show was super intense. I hope you guys work it out. I’m glad you guys aired that since this does come up from time to time in a real game of D&D/RPGs.
The swamp section of the show was so much fun to watch simply because it really reminded me of the Darkest Dungeon. i could imagine the goup of 4 just going through the mud (Weald or Courtyard in this scenario) , failing the rolls and having “Stress” building up (Sound effect included), at the point when they got ambushed by the Wyverns and i just thought Yotta got struck with an Affliction etc. Hopeless, Maharib getting Abusive and for Berg, Focused. It was really just a Darkest Dungeon D&D session and that made it all the better.
P.S. Plus that Ramus spell, so great. When my exams finish and i set my daily schedule once again i might go back, read the majority of D&D 5e spells and probably compile the second installment of my previous Custom Spells designed around Disease/Rot/Necromancy/Poison and similar stuff in order to expand and maybe finish a whole skillset for a “Pestillence Death Priest” or something similar from level 1 to level 20 (think of Necrophos from Dota) since there is no proper subclass for this kind of thing yet at least in my opinion and we all need some rot and disease in our life. “Calm down, a little plague never hurt anyone” - Me
P.S 2. When i do make that skillset know that it will be 1/3 fight oriented, 1/3 utility oriented and 1/3 rollplay oriented (so you can infect those anoying NPCs you don’t like or maybe a whole country if you are high leve enough and find ways to bring them all under your control or vanquish them [or simply torture them w/e floats your boat i don’t judge murder hobos])
The problem, as you pointed out in Office Hours Episode 55 question 3, is that simply adding a Goals system doesn’t change the fact that D&D is a game about killing monsters and taking their loot, and doesn’t have game mechanics to support the kind of gameplay that Zeke wants.
Zeke wants to, almost literally, unite the twelve kingdoms, but he has no satisfying game mechanics for convincing or resolving conflict when his goals and (invisible, unspecified) traits conflict with other party members. “Listen to me when I suggest things” is totally 100% a call for duel of wits. But there is nothing like that in D&D, and little hope of simply hacking it in, because that system depends so heavily on the foundation created by Traits, and a more granular set of social skills. So what tools does he have? 90% killing and 10% persuade checks. Too bad he has a negative charisma score! I guess that leaves killing.
At the same time, I think a big part of why Max finds it so difficult to write goals is because the game mechanics don’t offer him any equipment for doing so, beyond “Don’t die,” “Explore the thing,” etc. Whereas in games like Burning Wheel players are again able to look to their Traits to guide those decisions, Max appears to be stuck in precisely the lack of agency caused by low granularity control over XP gain you describe below. D&D simply doesn’t offer enough things for him to be about, besides killing. He is being asked to build a church with a handgun.
I’ve cut the transcript down for brevity, but I think you made these point quite well:
Q: How would you make D&D 5e into a goal-based reward structure?
A: The question… is not actually as simple as it sounds. I think one of the core failings of the Dungeon Master’s Guide… is that it thinks you can just swap out elements of D&D without having to retool anything else.
I’ve talked before about how milestone XP feels unsatisfying, and goal-based XP is basicly the same, with milestones set by players. The less granular an XP system is, the less control the players feel like they have over it. If I sat down at the table and the GM said to me, just play the game, and I will give out XP whenever I feel like you have achieved a story goal, I will immediately then fall back on the next thing that is a priority. … I have to just avoid the things that will kill me.
Do you remember how frustrating the beginning arc of Court of Swords was, when the players weren’t comfortable with the game, and they were a little afraid, and they would back off of everything? … Imagine if that was the whole game. … Or you try to find other ways to accomplish your goals. Which is what the problem really is here.
Because, in Dungeons and Dragons, I can say, “I want to unite the twelve kingdoms and win the love of Prince Prissypants,” and you can tell me as my Dungeon Master, “That’s a goal worth 69,000 XP,” but when it comes down to it I just don’t have the tools to win the love of Prince Prissypants and Unite the Twelve Kingdoms.
Seriously, look at the action words in that sentence. Unite Kingdoms. Win Love. And if Dungeons and Dragons were a parser-based adventure game, we would get a syntax error: “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to Win Love. I’m Dungeons and Dragons!”
What I mean here is that you can’t just swap out the things that players are rewarded for without also giving them the tools that they need to get those fucking things, right? Asking a player to create a self-motivated goal that doesn’t involve killing the shit out of everything is asking them to build a church with a handgun. It’s very very difficult. Easier, in fact, to just go out and find a church that’s already been built, and fucking take it away from the current owners, because you’ve got a gun, and they don’t.
So, the situation here isn’t just about dangling an alternate reward in front of players to get them to change their play style, but about altering the entire motivation structure of the game. I think if you did goals in Dungeons and Dragons you would have to be, like, “Write a goal about a place you want to explore,” or, “Write a goal about a treasure you want to obtain,” or, "Write a goal about a thing you want to just lacerate to death."
You need to make it such that the goals are already in line with D&D’s toolset: Murder, Chaos, by sword and spell. It’s actually really unfair to give the players the opportunity to write a goal that isn’t achievable, either in the fiction or in the mechanics of the game. This would be like encouraging a player in Burning Wheel to write a goal about inventing an orbital gun platform. There are no tools in Burning Wheel for inventing orbital gun platforms. It’s simply impossible. So the goal system has to reflect what the game is capable of doing.
I mean, yes, I could definitely write, “I will unite the twelve kingdoms” as a goal for Dungeons and Dragons, but that would mean that my Uniting, based purely on what’s on my character sheet, my Uniting would involve 90% murder-fucking, and about 10% persuade checks.
So, I guess, if that’s okay with you, go ahead and do it. […] Keep in mind, though, that in D&D, where level really fucking matters, versus Stars Without Number where it barely matters, you’re going to have to either guide your players or systematize a guide into making realistic goals. A goal like “I will totally fuck up a dragon” is a shit goal for a first level character. It is impossible. … Now, I know narratively you could trick a dragon into dunking their head in magma…, there’s lots of ways you could RP around this, but the game doesn’t give you the tools you need to do this.
I suppose what I’m woefully getting at is that if you asked me to do it, I wouldn’t do what you’re trying to do. D&D just doesn’t have the equipment to care about your character’s personal goals above and beyond, say, Inspiration mechanisms.
The assumed goal in Dungeons and Dragons is XP gain by way of overcoming physically dangerous enemies, with a secondary reward economy of Gold. If you were to staple Beliefs, Instincts, and Goals to it, you’d find that just like Mirrorshades, the game would eventually be barely using D&D at all for anything.
Well you see here’s all they need to do. They go through and burn up these characters in burning wheel staying true to the characters. Then go and create them in Fate accelerated and stars without numbers for the hell of it. Anytime there are social interactions they use the burning wheel rules, anytime there is granular combat use the dnd rules, use fate for action scenes that don’t need the granularity of dnd combat, and SWN for when they inevitably get a spaceship. Haha.
All jokes aside I really like dnd combat but kind of wish leveling up your social skills were predicated on using them and leveled separately from combat skills. I think max’s struggle with goals is the character more than anything goals seem easy if you know what drives your character and what they want but Berg doesn’t know what he wants. He wanted to not be a slave and he got that but now all he seems to have is following Ramus around. He’s a man that’s spent his whole life being a tool for others to use (much like Yotta called out Rib for being) that until heaven asks him for something specific he doesn’t know what to do with his “freedom”.
I think some people just have trouble coming up with goals, I tried this with my group and a couple players couldn’t do it. I think Zeke will be happy if they just let him run with his ideas more which is understandable.
As an admitted rules stickler I love how comfortable Adam has gotten with breaking from the rigidity of them when they don’t make sense. The Wyvern tail moment was awesome and a perfect way to make a player feel powerful. Walking that line is important. You want the players to think creatively and it just feels bad when you come up with a creative idea and it falls flat (I push him in the vat of boiling water “ok he takes 1d6 burning damage and gets out” “Wow I cant believe I did that instead of just hitting him with my weapon”). But you also need to not make it where every encounter the players have to rack their brains for the secret instead of just looking st their character sheet and doing what they are good at. It was just a small thing but it was such a good example of the little things that makes Adam such an amazing dm I wanted to make sure to call it out.