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D&D 3E
so i've got a regular weekly game going with a good group who… 
7th-Oct-2004 11:13 am
so i've got a regular weekly game going with a good group who actually seem to be into it and i'm really happy. but these guys are REALLY keeping me on my toes. i'm improvising a lot more than i usually have to and at one point i found myself recomending a course of action, which i normally don't do. but this 3rd level party was hurt up real bad, all out of spells and ready to face down a zombie dire boar... i found myself giving the old "*cough*runwaway*cough*" and they did. its fun because when i design adventures i end up designing them relatively linear, like a video game. the pc's in this group aren't recognizing my line of reasoning and aren't sticking to it, and aren't doing what i expect AT ALL which is really a good thing because i'm improvising well and they are enjoying it. i don't like killing pc's but i do enjoy it when i run an encounter that really taxes them, they just barely make it, no one actually dies, and i didn't have to fudge any rolls. when that happens i feel like i really designed the encounter well. at one point they wiped the floor with a fight between them and 18 orcs and a 5th level necromancer (they managed to take out the necromancer before he cast even one spell) but they almost bought it fighting three ghasts. it was a really good night.
7th-Oct-2004 09:19 am (UTC)
I often design adventures linear myself (with little notes in italics for other possible outcomes I could think of that people would bring up), and it always seems that players find the weirdest alternatives to the path you laid out; a good DM always should have the ability of slight impromptu. It sounds fun. It's always good when you can give challenging battles without having to do the, "I'm going to ignore that 20 I just rolled..."
7th-Oct-2004 10:01 am (UTC)
they were tracking a group of orc warriors who'd stolen an elven artifact, in effort to return the artifact. after they wiped out the orcs and their necromancer leader, they immediately started discussing getting the three surviving orce to take them to their tribal lands so they could go after the rest of the orcs. i hadn't seen that coming at all. luckily they decided not to so i dind't have to wing it on an entire geographical area i hadn't planned on them going to for quite a while. but that's not the only place they seriously deviated form what i had planned.
7th-Oct-2004 10:12 am (UTC)
i do enjoy it when i run an encounter that really taxes them, they just barely make it, no one actually dies, and i didn't have to fudge any rolls

Yup, that pretty much decribes DM nirvana. That and the fiendishly complex puzzles that really tax the players for a session while the DM gets to laugh at them silently. As long as they do get them by the end of the session, it's always worthwhile.
7th-Oct-2004 10:24 am (UTC)
i actually have a puzzle set up for a later session. to get through a door they have to arrange an abacus so it reflects prime numbers in order up through 23. there's a good clue and it should be easy, but it depends on them recognizing that the numbers on there already are all prime numbers, and figuring out how to represent numbers on an abacus. its really pretty simple, but i designed it so i may be biased. guess we'll see how long it takes them to figure it out. i'm thinking it will be either 3 minutes or 3 hours.
7th-Oct-2004 10:45 am (UTC)
If it does start taking too long, and starts getting boring, allow the characters an intelligence check to "suddenly realise" something. (IE be prepared to give them a hint; if there's a wizard in the party , he/she is almost certain to make a reasonable Int check.)
7th-Oct-2004 10:47 am (UTC)
that's my plan actually. if they don't catch on i'll give them clues on int checks. more exp if they get it on their own though.
8th-Oct-2004 08:58 am (UTC)
The trick is the encounter that happens just after narrow victory. Bloody wolves nearly destroyed a party of level 5s.
7th-Oct-2004 03:24 pm (UTC)
me personally, i have taken to design adventures that cannot by design, be run linearly.....anyone can get to point a to point b......but i'd rather see my players try to figure out if they should track down the person mentioned in the missive looted from the body at their feet, to attempt to figure out where that person bought (or got the ingredients for) the poison coating their bolts in order to discover who might be behind the attack, or attempt to run down and capture his companion that managed to escape in order to interrogate them.....

it is very possible that they will only have time to do one, and lose out on clues from the other possibilities....but which path will leave them open to another, better organized, attack or might possibly give them breathing room for a short while so they can investigate leads?

and that is something that most linear scenarios don't leave openings for
8th-Oct-2004 09:00 am (UTC)
I always end up popping some random detail in a description on a lark and then having the party follow that as the next major plot hook. Then I gotta go design a plot based on the random tattoo of a kobold pissing on a chariot on some barfly's arm.
8th-Oct-2004 09:02 am (UTC)
that's hilarious.
8th-Oct-2004 01:22 pm (UTC)
i'm usually prepared for thing like that.... especially the inevitable goin-off-on-a-tangent that usually pops up at the most inopportune time......of course its cuz i most likely written it into the adventure....

one of these days i'll master the art of writing the 4 hour scenario and start sumitting mods to the RPGA....
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