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  • Showing only topics with the tag "ttrpg". Back to normal view
    1. Esoteric tabletop gaming rules review

      Players are understood to be sharing a cake. How much cake do you want? Be fair. Anyone who has had the least gets to size the next piece. Don't finish the cake! Is this plausible ttg rules text?...

      Players are understood to be sharing a cake. How much cake do you want? Be fair. Anyone who has had the least gets to size the next piece. Don't finish the cake!

      Is this plausible ttg rules text? Do you recognize the instructions?

      7 votes
    2. Dungeon & Dragons favorite character sheets?

      I have started playing D&D basic with my family as a way to spend time together away from devices. I found the original character sheets:...

      I have started playing D&D basic with my family as a way to spend time together away from devices.

      I found the original character sheets:
      http://www.ultanya.com/2015/10/throwback-thursday-character-sheets.html

      Anyone else have favorite character sheets for D&D?

      6 votes
    3. Anyone wanna play a TTRPG?

      My old TTRPG group hasn’t met in months now, and listening to actual play podcasts only scratches the itch. Probably a long shot given the size of the site, but anyone interested in playing a...

      My old TTRPG group hasn’t met in months now, and listening to actual play podcasts only scratches the itch.

      Probably a long shot given the size of the site, but anyone interested in playing a TTRPG sometime soon?

      I’m thinking something easy and low pressure, like Stewpot, or Fiasco or maybe a world builder like the Quiet Year/Microscope/Anomaly/The Ground Itself; I have the PDF for most of those.

      But hey, if you have something you’ve been waiting forever to play: I’m here for it.

      I have literally nothing to do tomorrow so drop a message if you’re interested! I’m in CST

      13 votes
    4. DnD 5e's Newest Rulebook (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything) is out tomorrow

      For people new to tabletop RPGs, this is the equivalent of a DLC expansion. It's new content, new rules, new classes, and so forth to augment your 5e game. Notable contents include: Racial Traits...

      For people new to tabletop RPGs, this is the equivalent of a DLC expansion. It's new content, new rules, new classes, and so forth to augment your 5e game.

      Notable contents include:

      Racial Traits

      1. Racial stat bonuses can be moved around at will (i.e you can change a Half Elf's +2 Charisma to a +2 Strength)

      2. Races with negative stat bonuses no longer have negative stat bonuses

      3. A new "custom lineage" race exists, which allows to pick any race, and replace their features with a +2 to any stat of your choice, a feat, and darkvision.

      Class Variants

      These modify class features. Unfortunately, many of them are somewhat controversial in the community because people do not believe that they fixed many of the classes that are considered to have poor design, notably rangers and sorcerers.

      For the spellcasters, spell versatility (a feature which allows you to change spells you know on a long rest) was not implemented, disappointing many

      New Subclasses

      A few subclasses from other books are reprinted so you don't have to buy them (example: Eloquence Bard, from Mythical Odyssey of Theros), and a few are new, like Order Cleric, Wildfire Druid, and so forth.

      In particular, the Clockwork Soul Sorcerer is one piece of good news for Sorcerer players.

      14 votes
    5. As a DM, I kinda hate Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

      I hate that enemies have so low armor class. In earlier editions, you had to be tactical, use flanking manoeuvres and charge attacks, prepare the right support spells, maybe even pick the Weapon...

      I hate that enemies have so low armor class. In earlier editions, you had to be tactical, use flanking manoeuvres and charge attacks, prepare the right support spells, maybe even pick the Weapon Specialization feat for your favourite weapon. In 5e, no need; just stand wherever, roll an attack, you'll probably hit. In addition to removing much of the tactics from the game, this makes it basically impossible for enemy spellcasters to use duration spells. Good luck succeeding on 4 concentration checks per turn.

      I hate that enemies' proficiency bonus is based on their challenge rating. No high-attack low-damage monsters here. Don't worry; the tank in your party will never need healing, any level-appropriate monster needs to roll ridiculously high on the dice to hit them! Everyone else just stay in the back and lob your bloody cantrips, and the battle will be over in 3 turns.

      I hate that attack cantrips do as much damage as a weapon attack (or more). Why even have weapons at all, when your cantrips do more damage than a longsword, with better range than a crossbow.

      I hate that cantrips scale with character level. No need to learn anything new for the rest of the game, your trusty Eldritch Blast will be your most powerful attack throughout. Especially when you get access to Greater Invisibility and don't need to rely on your bloody familiar for advantage on attack rolls.

      I hate that familiars can do help actions in combat. Advantage every turn! And since they're no longer a class feature but a spell, they're also available to fighters and rogues, no multi-classing necessary. And unlike in earlier editions there are no real consequences of losing your familiar. All you lose is 10 gp worth of incense to get them back, a pittance at higher levels.

      I hate that a long rest fully restores hit points. No need to ever stay in one place for longer than 8 hours, no need to conserve spell slots to do end-of-the-day healing, heck; no need for a healer at all really! And it gets worse when they reach 3rd level and get access to Leomund's Tiny Hut, and don't even need to find a safe spot to camp.

      I hate that wild shape is basically useless in combat, due to challenge rating restrictions and the lousy selection of beasts in the Monster Manual.

      I hate that the only logical combat use of Polymorph is turning into a dinosaur. Prepare for the inevitable discussion around the table: Can my character turn into a tyrannosaurus rex, even if they've never seen one? No? But, uuuuuh, they saw a picture of one in a book at the library!

      I hate that you can use Counterspell to counterspell someone else's attempt at counterspelling your own spell.

      I hate that any character can use any skill. No need for a rogue, just hand those Thieves' Tools to the character with the highest Dexterity, they'll get that door open.

      The worst thing is that this game went through lots and lots of play-testing before it was released. The developers must have known about all of these issues and chosen not to change them, meaning that none of these are bugs; they're all features! This is how the developers intended the game to be!

      Did I forget any of your peeves about the game? Add them in the comments. Alternatively, comment with what you love about 5e, let's add some positivity to this rant.

      13 votes
    6. Combat-less TTRPGs with stat depletion?

      Combat appears to be an important facet of most RPG systems out there, including ones embedded into the games themselves. Seems fair to say that most RPGs have combat as a major, dedicated part of...

      Combat appears to be an important facet of most RPG systems out there, including ones embedded into the games themselves. Seems fair to say that most RPGs have combat as a major, dedicated part of their gameplay: stats like weapon damage and armor resistance are tracked and augmented by enhancements and skills; there are special game states and (for videogame RPGs) controls that separate combat from non-combat; combat serves as one of the major sources of XP for character growth.

      There's probably a good few examples out there of games that tried something different that I haven't even heard about. Disco Elysium does "combat" through skill checks in the few instances that it does tackle physical encounters. Griftlands uses card-based actions for both combat and social encounters, each having their own separate decks and "health" values.

      What I've been looking for was the kind of a system that doesn't take combat for a special game state. A system where the simulation extends to assimilate combat as just... a thing that happens because you're in danger – or looking to be the danger.

      To understand where I'm going with the next bit, you should know a couple of things about Frontiers.

      Frontiers is an episodic story about a group of friends playing a homebrew from-first-principles tabletop RPG system. The system, so far titled Frontiers RPG 'cause I'm very original, deals away with or reimagines much of the classic RPG trope library.

      One thing that differentiates Frontiers RPG is having 20-some traits for characters, where each trait is an abstracted statistic representative of a character's distinct natural-performance categories. For example:

      • Instrumentation determines how well the character naturally operates simple and complex technology
      • Visual Space determines one's eyesight and, consequently, the ability to model the geometry of an environment or an object in the head (because apparently these things are linked in the human brain)
      • Biomechanics determines how well does one's muscles perform under stress
      • Presence determines the strength of the vibe the character gives off naturally; the vibe itself could be intimidating, commanding, or inspiring, depending on said character

      Traits are tracked on a low scale:

      • −10 is the lowest possible for any living creature with any amount of agency.
      • −5 is the lowest any human could possibly get without outside intervention, and means the person is unable to perform in this area completely.
      • 0 is average human performance.
      • +5 is the best a human being could naturally achieve at their peak.
      • +10 is the epitome of human potential when amplified with hyperadvanced technology or supernatural effects.

      This means that when someone with Presence +1 enters the room, people can't but notice, even if they don't concern themselves too much with the person. When it's someone with Presence +3, however, most will stop what they're doing for a few seconds and pay attention to what the person is doing. Presence +5? The party stops when the person enters the room: they inspire this much awe and respect (or fear, depending on the person). Characters with high Presence naturally make for excellent leaders, teachers, negotiators, and point-makers.

      There are no dice rolls. Each challenge has a difficulty rating on the same scale as traits, which is how the outcomes get determined: either by checking the trait itself or the average of a set of traits (which are sometimes conceptualized into skills and sometimes only exist as checks). For example, if your character's Conditioning (representing physical endurance) is +1 and the challenge is a short jog (difficulty 1), they succeed without a problem.

      What makes this system not entirely deterministic is stat depletion. Each trait value above 0 grants the character 1 point of the trait. These points may be used to assist oneself or another character in a challenge if the challenge is of higher difficulty than their trait would normally allow to automatically succeed in. Points are regained at rest, up to the maximum of trait value points: e.g. Instrumentation 2 grants you maximum of 2 points you can have on your character at any given time.

      What I've been working with for a few months was HP-like stats derived from specific traits:

      • wounds for physical damage, derived from Conditioning
      • willpower for mental stress, derived from Volition
      • stamina for physical performance, derived from Stress Response

      (Having willpower as a stat works because for normal humans, D&D-like adventures would inevitably take their toll. Seeing people suffering may damage the will of a high-Empathy character, but then, everyone would suffer from seeing their loved ones in danger. Seeing a giant fucking monster would certainly make you consider your life choices. Persevering through emotional and mental challenges where your willpower is mechanically limited – a person can only take so much within a limit of time – is an underexplored, underdeveloped field of roleplay, and it fits into the story thematically.)

      This naturally geared itself to combat-as-special-state. Abstracting "health points" only makes sense when the only thing that matters is whether you're able to fight further. To this end, I figured that at a certain level of wounds, all traits would take penalty (to simulate being beaten up and stressed from combat) until such a time when the character receive proper care and rest.

      Lately, however, I came upon a way to streamline the system and make it "wider" (i.e. not just combat/non-combat simulation): use the trait points directly. This approach enables the player by allowing them to use their whole potential in all manners of situations, and have said potential used against them if they're facing a challenge their ability does not allow them to surpass.

      • rather than exchange punches in a bar fight, you can use your Executive Function – your thinking-on-your-feet – to distract your opponent and sucker-punch them while they're looking away
      • in a fistfight, character may use their Coordination to deflect a blow – or two points to direct it in a specific way: for example, to harm their proximous ally
      • before approaching the bench in order to testify, characters may use their Empathy in order to read the room and understand what sort of an appeal would work best
      • seeing an atrocity committed would take a point away from the character's Volition; if they have none left, they may faint, become disstressed (receiving a malus to all checks of a particular nature), or even become catatonic (unable to act coherently until snapped out of it or well-rested)
      • being shot by a scared youth may take a point or two of the character's Conditioning, but because they're still standing, they could use Volition to "not fucking flinch", which gives them a temporary bonus to Presence that they can use to interrogate with greater success or otherwise use the youth's capacities

      This works, at least on the surface, because it reflects the potential traits grant almost exactly. Someone with Conditioning 0 may be able to take a punch, but it would leave them seriously disoriented or may even inflict lasting damage (broken rib, dislocated jaw etc.); meanwhile, another character with Conditioning 4 may be able to get shot with a pistol and still function to a degree. Someone with Inner World +3 should find it little trouble to jot down a short story to tell their children before bed, while someone with Inner World 0 would find it impossible to come up with a logo for their new product even with intense consideration.

      What I haven't yet figured out is:

      • how to handle such "shooting above one's head" attempts for trait values lower than 0 (which is encouraged for challenge and roleplay reasons)
      • how to handle situations where all points are depleted and the player still wants to try a difficult thing that's just above their character's level
      • whether players should receive more than one point per level of trait, or even see points granted scale with value (Engineering 3 → 1 + 2 + 3 = 6 points total)

      The system is not perfect, but it's hella interesting, and I'd like to pursue it. If it leads nowhere, at least I explored. What I'm looking for from this topic is review of the concept of stat depletion and its potential implications. Assume that the rest of the system is perfectly viable and feasible unless its parts directly contradict or hamper the system as a whole. What problems can you see with this section? What benefits can one derive from it?

      5 votes
    7. Tabletop RPGs. How to start?

      Hi guys! I've always being curious about tabletop games, RPG, DnD and so on. The fantasy, creativity and engagement always interested me, but I've never met anyone who played it and never being...

      Hi guys!

      I've always being curious about tabletop games, RPG, DnD and so on. The fantasy, creativity and engagement always interested me, but I've never met anyone who played it and never being involved with it (I'm in São Paulo, Brazil, btw).

      So, to be direct, does anyone has any tips on how to start? I know there are "internet based" tabletop sites/communities, but I don't know how it works.

      I'd appreciate any direction! Thanks!

      11 votes