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/tg/ - Traditional Games


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[ERROR] No.21069373 [DELETED]  [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

The new game I am GMing is Xorvintaal!
>unbeknown to the Players...
>original dragons who played the game are now the elemental forces of the world (fire, water, positive, negative energy, force, etc)
>negative energy has played the furthest ahead and is inevitably going to win unless the PCs intervene
>positive uses their only move left to bring about an archmage that is going to instruct the little remaining raw potential left unclaimed in the world (the PCs)

ENTER THE PCs

PCs are all level 1 Commoner children who have escaped doom by the intervention of the archmage. The archmage will run them through a series of trials and lessons to show them both in and out of character that the choices the PCs make are subjective at best and ambiguous at worst.
His lessons involve skirmishes that have meaningless objectives to test their epistemology and irrelevant tasks to test their logic.
When they inevitably complete all of the lessons, he gives them a lecture on the emptiness of objective reality and plane-shifts them out of the pocket dimension they have unknowingly been kept in for several years.

>positive's only hope is that the PCs are able to foil the repercussions necessary for negative's plan by sheer oversight of their existence.

Each PC has a karmic tie to a primordial dragon whelp. Player's IC/OOC know that if either die, they lose control of both characters.
The plot is for the Players to uncover the existence of Xorvintaal and stop the epic dracolich's plans before the world enters "end game."

Thoughts?
Xorvintaal / grand schemes general

>> No.21069393

i wanna punch you in the dick
like, right now

>> No.21069408

>>21069393
I must be doing something right.

>> No.21069421

>>21069373
>dragons dragons dragons dragons dragons dragons dragons dragons dragons dragons dragons
>PCs play commoners in what sounds like a campaign designed to be high-power gameplay
>"meaningless objectives"
>"irrelevant tasks"
>characters instantly die if precious widdle babeh durgon dies

>>21069393
I completely agree with this man. OP you had an amazing idea and just completely ruined it. Please leave.

>> No.21069429

>>21069421
Players control Dragons. You must have missed that part.
Also, I'm playing the PC dragons very loosely. They are building their dragons from scratch.

>> No.21069433

Xorvintaal?
Where I had heard that before..?
http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Xorvintaal

>> No.21069439

I threw up a little in my mouth

>> No.21069444

>>21069429
who gives a shit?

forcing players to do bullshit mister miagi crap and stuffing them in time machines so youre creepy pedo wizard can do horseshit is bad, you are a bad person.

>> No.21069457

>>21069429
>building dragons from scratch
dude what if their was a primordial dragon of "from scratch"
scratch dragon. made up of sketchbook drawings and raw resources piled up in the shape of the beast.

>> No.21069474

>>21069429
>Players control Dragons.
The hell is the point in fucking around with level 1 Commoner kids then?

>> No.21069478

>>21069474
just play MAOCT

>> No.21069484

It is worth noting that over the course of this *prelude* the commoners will get the ability to cast a few cantrips and a level 1 spell of the Player's choice at will.

The dragons are going to handle the high-powered enemies since Xorvintaal prohibts any of the high-powers to directly interact with the lowers.
Consider an end fight to be the mortals jumped by a goblin raiding party whilst their dragons are fighting the nine hells to close a gate to the negative energy plane.

>> No.21069491

0/10, would pack up my stuff and walk away.

>> No.21069499

Let's be productive in our criticism at least. The majority of us can agree that this sucks, right?

OP, one of the hardest things about DMing is becoming aware of when something you made actually sucks. Picture it from the point of view of the players. No one wants to dedicate their whole saturday (or whatever) to what you yourself described as "irrelevant" and "meaningless."

Some ideas are better off as written stories rather than collaborative story-telling adventures with dice.

>> No.21069508

>Making dragons viable monster options again since 2007!

>implying that they weren't always viable

>> No.21069509

>>21069484
>all PCs would learn spells
what about fighter and rogue PCs, asshole?

>> No.21069526

>>21069478
I don't see how that's an answer to why he essentially needs to run two parties of vastly differing power levels, where one will be totally useless and slogging thorough the whole training process sound like a chore.

>> No.21069536

>>21069484
Interesting concept, there. Controlling two different characters each in two different battles. Problem: there will be no fun to be had in fighting goblins if the other side of the map has fighting the nine hells. Problem: if the dragons are smart enough to know the commoners have to survive or else the dragons also die, they will seal them in stasis or at least just plane shift or teleport to the goblin fights, fry everything in one round, then leave.

>> No.21069587

>>21069536
What's keeping the antagonists from doing that same thing?

>>21069509
I don't think you considered this being a free spell-like ability cast at will.

>>21069499
Yes, this is all very true. That is why this is all crammed into a single prelude session to explain the setting to a bunch of players who have little experience with table-top role-playing.

>> No.21069700

Judging by these reactions, I don't think /tg/ likes mixing philosophy with their gaming. Much of the frustration and helplessness is what will bring these newbie players to give depth and rationale to their characters.
They will be the sole element of free-will existing in the world and they will be aware of it. The players will decide exactly how the world turns out, or they will enjoy the ride.

The lessons learned IC will be real ones that you learn from conflict, strife and the joys of success. This game will be applicable to the lives of these people well after the game is over.

>> No.21069717

>>21069587
>players who have little experience with table-top role-playing.
>having them control two characters with vastly different controls/options

Look, this setting may be great in your head and all, but not only has /tg/ reached a collective opinion on your work(bad.), you also expect new players to just jump into the fray in a confusing manner. New players are new. You don't place a beginner driver into the middle of nascar race. You start him off with a honda civic,or maybe a go-kart. Your grimdark world of grim and darkness is most likely not what your players are expecting. No should it be their first entry. If we don't think it's fun to play, what will your brand-new players think? Just run a premade, instead. It will be easier on everyone, and most likely, far more enjoyable.

>> No.21069753

>>21069700
>will bring these newbie players to give depth and rationale to their characters.
That's the best case scenario, it's just as likely that they'll be simply bored and/or frustrated by the Dm using them as aids and audience to his first year philosophy major masturbation.

As >>21069499 pointed out, this sounds like it would make a better story than a champaign.

>> No.21069762

>>21069700
>3deep5u
Yeah, I think we're done here.

>> No.21069775

>>21069433

The fuck did I just read? So one vampiric dragon "finds" a game with incredible convoluted rules that no one can fully understand that makes you act against your very nature and he some how convince every other dragon in the neighborhood to play it? What the fuck?

>> No.21069791

i see what your trying to do but the back and forth seems unnecessary. your setting is ok and has a bit of potential for rping so thats good. having the players play the dragons is unnecessary and hinders your game in my opinion. you can keep the whole karmic tie thing and have the dragons interact with them through unseen ways, leaves treasure in their path, gives them a blessing that they think they got through other means shit like that. you could keep the whole building a dragon thing in and have it effect the characters progression each level. this also opens your end game up were they can possibly find the negative dragons human counter part and kill it, or find a way to attack the negative dragon head on. if you really want to have them control dragons do it once as a grand fight with the negative dragon or something. control of a dragon should be a treat or at a momentary change of pace, not half the campaign.

>> No.21069798

>>21069717
They've played a few premades.
Also, I don't think you have really considered what the players are aware of.
From the start, it seems as though their wizard mentor gave them some cool powers and a dragon familiar and set them off into the world.
Matter of course, negative is only winning because it is abstaining and letting everyone else kill each other.
The setting is a bunch of happy and lively mortals being lead into a conflict they do not want. The PCs will be able to prevent or encourage any of these things as they are vastly more powerful than any other individual they are capable of interacting with.
By the time they get bored of their god-powers, they will realize they are playing into the hand of the BBEG.
Then shit hits the fan and all that built up character motivation is put to the test.
Since the antagonists are either unworthy or esoteric, the traditional approach of kill and loot everything will cause any genuine dangers or conflicts to be PvP.
I wholly expect the Xorvintaal fluff I explained to never be touched upon, and these characters to serve as legends for successive generations living in this world to gain insight to the true nature of evil in their world.

>> No.21069809

>>21069700
>I don't think /tg/ likes mixing philosophy with their gaming.
>my work is 2deep4u

Seriously? we've got a bajilllion and a half greentext stories dealing with adversity, struggles against the dictation of alignments, rebellion against the powers-that-be despite the unforgivable odds and sticking to one's morals though the thick and thin, never to compromise in the face of adversity, and you think we don't like playing with aspects of philosophy and morality? We love philosophy. We play games where our actions define us and create a story. We weave tales of gray morality turned white, and cowards turned champions. We create tales of morals and aspects that bring forth even more stories. We share, we create, we rejoice. So no. We don't like mixing philosophy with our gaming. We LOVE it. We love every aspect of it. What we don't love are people like you, who don't take criticism and simply want applause for whatever half-baked soedgyanddark creation they came up with, and insult anyone who says otherwise.

>> No.21069832

>>21069508
Hell, it actually prevents them from being viable monster options because it explicitly states that they do not directly intervene in anything that's going on, they just manipulate their proxies to score points.

>> No.21069859

>>21069791
I had originally thought about that, but my players didn't like the idea of having a guardian angel they couldn't role-play. They are approaching this as a dragon rider style game. The dragon moments will be like aerial dogfights and the mortal moments will be more Cthulu.
Otherwise, the tedium of adventuring will be at >9k power since they have the utility of an intelligent magical flying warmount.
Thank you for genuinely giving constructive feedback.

>> No.21069866

>>21069798
It's clear that you refuse to criticism of your terrible idea. So why did you post it at all if you don't actually want anyone's thoughts? Did you only want their praise?

>> No.21069880

>>21069809
Have you ever played a game where your OOC morality was questioned?
Have you given me any directly useful criticism?
Have I refuted your useful criticism?

>> No.21069883

While we go about bad ideas, I'm not sure if mine is terribad or awesome.

Have characters make level 1 character before-hand, and hand them lvl 20 versions of their characters as we begin, end of adventure/lufia 1 sorta deal. Their nemesis is back and as they go confront him/it, the nemesis uses the mcguffin to erase one of the heroes (an npc set for that) and time is rewinded back to when everyone had just met at lvl 1 but without the npc friend. Queue in using their now patchy but decent knowledge of the future to prevent the big-bad from ever being that string in the first place and work on going back to how things were.

>> No.21069894

>>21069866
Show me thoughts I haven't responded to that aren't "get out fag"

>> No.21069923

>>21069883
Games like that are epic fun, but you need to keep the players from even suspecting such an elaborate ruse by carefully using compelling NPCs.

>> No.21069937

>>21069798
it seems like you think this a great idea, and you know what? It might make a great story. but great stories and great table-top scenarios are often two different beasts entirely. if /tg/ would not like to play in your setting, then what does that mean for your average player? by asking our opinion, it means that we represent the actual audience pretty well. So, use the results your getting here, and realise, this may be a great story, but not a great game. tailor to what your players want as well, not just what you want. If they are the kill-and-loot, and show no signs of changing, you tale of complex and gray morality of subtle intrigue will not go over well. Remember, the name of the game is collaborative storytelling.

>> No.21069957

>>21069859
in my experience people only think they want to play gods. theres no fun in being all powerful, fun and excitement comes from being a man and defeating the god.

>> No.21069961

>>21069923
Well the *go back in time and have your npc friend erased from existence* happens rather early, after that its back go lvl 1 guys using in-game meta and future knowledge to adventure like bad-asses.

>> No.21070004

>>21069894
Okay.
>>21069421
>>21069444
>>21069499
>>21069526
>>21069717
>>21069753
>>21069809

We think it's a dull, derivative, superficial, frustrating, overcomplicated, mastubatory, and altogether bad idea. But when we tell you this, your response is "no you just don't get it it's perfect how it is". You even rejected the two people who actually said they liked the concept and suggested ways to improve it.

>> No.21070013

>>21069937
They are wanting an Epic. They are versed in literature and gaming.
I know the prelude is good because I've run it several times before and I've been told it is genuinely moving after you realize what has been going on all along.
I'm adding Xorvintaal to the mix because my group wants to be dragon riders.

The only story I have expounded on is the first-session prelude, and the general nature of the world.
All of the story telling is exclusively on the backs of the Players. I'm generating their world.

Thank you for addressing my curiousity directly and civilly.

>> No.21070043

>played a game where your OOC morality was questioned
For fuck's sake, don't philosophy majors like you have freshman pledge classes you can inflict this on instead?

Most people play RPGs to experience something different, not get grilled on their personal moral fibre.

>> No.21070110

>>21070004
This is a prelude and the setting. Those criticisms are irrelevant or illogical. Dealing with trolls is pointless when they have revealed their hand.

So, to actually address your criticism...

They are gamers, not role-players. This is a role-playing exercise in game form.

The schooling they receive is role-playing fluff with almost no rolls involved. This part of the story takes about an hour and develops the characters from nothing into a set of habits and preferences.

The dual power levels are the reason the players are never gods or weaklings.
Every encounter has multiple threats that their prelude schooling will get them accustomed to conceptualizing.
They will know that they have only one objective of keeping both of their PCs alive and all other considerations are secondary.

It is overly complex for the GM and no one else.

>> No.21070122

>>21070013
alright, now the idea is making more sense. Unfortunately, it seems you players changed from new to versed in literature and gaming, which is a drastic leap in skill level. as for genuinely, moving, I don't know. It seems like a great plot twist, but I would like demographics on who said what. Personally, i believe that you let that initial praise get to your head, which is no big deal, it happens all the time. Unfortunately, that bit of arrogance, and well as your overemphasis of NOHOPELEFTYOUAREBADNOMATTERWHATYOUDOBECAUSEOFGREYMORALITYISNTTHISGREATSTORYTELLINGGAIS is what drove people to act the way they did, considering that there are so little good ways to pull them off, and most of them end badly. Next time, do a generic plot summary, and ask what people think, then work the more concrete details in later, and be ready to accept criticism. /tg/ may communicate badly, but we still have a point, and it would be wise to listen.

>> No.21070213

>>21069937
and
>>21070122
here. Because
>>21070110
was posted, I take back anything slightly positive I said to you. Some of those points have actual criticism, but you rejected it in the same way that gave /tg/ their first bad impression of you. yes, some have greentext. yes, some point out that the idea has problems. But they all have some points you need to address, mainly the idea of slogging through a mile of crap only to get hit in the face of more crap. it seems like you want your deep story over the player's idea of over-the-top dragon rider antics. I don't know who you showed it to, but this is genuinely moving in the sense that Ocean's 12 idea of "you were playing into my hands all along!" in that, it isn't. it's a fine plot twist. but your whole deep and important lesson is at best over-exaggeration and at worst, selfwank over your degree in philosophy.

>> No.21070235

>>21070122
My phrasing to /tg/ was intentional. I want to see the worst criticisms this could get.
/tg/ does a good job of having level-headed posters such as yourself, so from hearing you distill the raw emotional response, I can anticipate how I need to present this to my group.

I can't do a plot summary because the only plot I can expound on is what I have said so far. I don't know how this game will turn out because I am not controlling the only characters that will determine the plot.

Thank you for being considerate and civil.

>> No.21070255

>>21070235
>want to see the worst /tg/ can get
>dismiss it as trolls

>> No.21070256

>>21069373
Your picture is a little weird, because dragons with the Xorvintaal template applied are considerably weaker than other dragons due to sacrificing spellcasting.

>> No.21070276

>>21069499
This this this this.

>> No.21070292

>>21070256
Being able to deliver a super-sonic flyby breath weapon that disenchants, every round, is weaker than being a high-level mage?

>> No.21070300

>>21070292

Yes. By a landslide.

Do you even D&D?

>> No.21070329

>>21070043
I've been in situations like this in games and I do what my IC morality dictate, because I'm playing a character.

>> No.21070394

>>21070292
Ha ha ha what? Of course it is.

>> No.21070411

>>21070276
I understand this is an opinion, but if you want to insist that it is a legitimate one, you have to point the WHY or HOW it is.

The irrelevant and meaningless tasks are actually rather fun in their completion.
One is formal dinner with an ambassador who already sided with the party, and the other is a cap-flag game that leaves collateral damage and injured friends regardless of "victory."

>> No.21070426

>>21070394
How can a mage of any kind handle that? The dragon is out of range before a spell can be cast, and can resist or disenchant any spell it is moving into.

>> No.21070427

>>21070411
But what's the point if they don't mean anything?

>> No.21070429

>>21070411
>One is formal dinner with an ambassador who already sided with the party, and the other is a cap-flag game that leaves collateral damage and injured friends regardless of "victory."
Holy fuck you are the worst DM.

>> No.21070476

>>21070411
and there goes your grand, overarching plot, which is cobbled together by "dragons did it." instead of "wizards did it." "a wizard did it" should be used to explain away technology levels, not be the glue that hold the entire thing together.

>inb4 eberron
magic is simply the macguffin used to justify the fancy toys, not the entire damn reason for doing anything ever.
>>21070411
>opinions not being legitimate.
you just can't take anything less then praise, can you? you've got one chance to redeem your shit. one.

>> No.21070486

>>21070426
You realize there are a ton of things mages can do that aren't combat, right? And that there are plenty of things they can do that can't be dispelled or resisted?

Come on, throw me a bone here.

>> No.21070738

>>21070476
Actually, a wizard is still doing it. The dragons are just the gods.
There is no glue holding this story together beyond the players.
The setting justifies why they are spiffy dragon knights. The prelude forces role-playing and then gives a platform to jump into the world.

What is the problem with this? I realize it is a bit megalomaniac to make the players deal with moral issues before starting the game, but how else am I going to use game mechanics to force role-playing?
Before you say role-playing shouldn't be forced, of course! They are wanting to play a role-playing game and don't know how to bring it about themselves. They are asking me to put them in a situation to role-play, and this fits the bill. They are blank slates without stats until they are dealing with the mage's tasks and discussing amongst each other.

I am well aware how thoroughly non-traditional this all is. What is it that makes this BAD?
I'm not saying its good. I'm asking for advice after all...

>> No.21070767

>>21070486
Which relates to beating an uberdragon in combat how?
Xorvintaal sacrifices utility for might. Some of the tweaks you can do make the dragons game-breaking powerful without being stupid combo twinks.
A 12 ECL Xorvintaal can solo the tarrasque with zero prep.

>> No.21070800

>>21070426

>PvP bullshit

I'm sorry, we're talking about how casters are better, not who would win in a fight. You feckless faggot.

Your precious dragon has speshul breath and is a dragon. Big whoop. That makes him as much of a one trick pony as a Totem Barbarian or a Dungeoncrasher Fighter.

Come back when you've learned how to D&D.

>> No.21070825

>>21070800
A creature that is unstoppable by any comparably leveled threat.
How do you determine something being better again?

>> No.21070895

>>21070767
A level 3 necromancer can solo the tarasque.

Big fuckin' deal.

>> No.21070959

>>21069373
OP seems entrenched in the idea that there isn't much else to be done to improve on this idea, but I like going through this sort of thing and have been running a game where The Great Game is a central aspect of it, so here goes.

>Dragons as elemental forces and are running everything.
This is fine by me, makes sense that dragons would run shit for a while until the mortals got their act together and either started making wizards or industrialized.

>PC's saved by high level NPC
This leans toward some trouble, and here's what comes to mind with it; vidya. Having a powerful character who will appear or have a hand in the story later come and pull the PC out of a dangerous or hopeless situation is a nifty story-telling decision, but only when the player is meant to be participating in a story, not contributing very much to it, and that goes against the usual idea we have of table-top gaming here. Rail-roading can be okay, but you need to make sure that your players understand that you are trying to go through a specific story, and that it's one you think they'll enjoy seeing through to the end; even so, if they're not up for that sort of gameplay, don't try to force it. This is a Group activity, and only letting them participate in ways that they don't get to make meaningful decisions is going to be a drag.

>When they inevitably complete the lessons.
There's no room for failure? For rejection of what he's trying to teach them? What if they find they disagree with what he's trying to instill in their minds, or have prior beliefs or ideals that contradict his positions? Is the archemage infallible? And if so, why get a bunch of commoners to do this when he could solve the problem himself?

>> No.21071046

>>21070825

>A creature that is unstoppable by any comparably leveled threat.

The cute part is that you actually believe that

A standard Red Dragon of similar HD/Level would tear your shitty template dragon in half

Spellcasting alone can duplicate or exceed Xorvintaal benefits easily.

>> No.21071649

>>21070959
THANK YOU!!!
Actual critical thinking and exposition...

>PC's saved by high-level NPC
Okay, my justification for why there is initial railroading;
In this story, Good fought Evil head-to-head and failed. The world is doomed.
The last possible hope for the material world, from the Good alignment's perspective, is in the form of the adventurers.
If you will, they are the Chosen, Destined, etc.
I'm loathed to use the trope, but that is why it is only visible at the tail end of the campaign, after characters have been made and the world is brought to life by the players.

>inevitably complete the lessons
I might not have been clear. I would have called them challenges, but that implies they can be bested. The tasks the archmagi sets to the children are rhetorical and have no win/loss dynamic; they are heavily implied, but he will berate them for believing victory or defeat were the only considerations.
The archmage is strongly polarized to force a character to exist by the Player's actions regardless of the role-playing intent. I'm trying to refine this mechanic and I would appreciate more input here specifically.
I would love it if the players hate him and try to "foil" his plans, or otherwise attempt to rebel against him.
His sole purpose is to keep them from becoming pawns of Evil.
He is in no way infallible. His motives are to follow through with what he has been lead to believe is the sole hope for Good in the world. He is losing hope and grasp of reality because it is completely outside of his control.

>why get a bunch of commoners to do this when he could solve the problem himself?
Since The Game has other players of all types, his moves are being watched. He needs to perform inception to succeed, because he is aware that anything more direct will compromise the under-the-radar gambit that Good is attempting.

>> No.21071710

>>21071046
>A standard Red Dragon of similar HD/Level would tear your shitty template dragon in half
How? Xorvintaal can out-run and out-rage anything the other dragon can give, and it is explicitly better at trading blows in direct melee.
It has better SR and saves, it has energy resistance penetration and all kinds of boosts to its megadeath breath attack.
What spells could a physically weaker opponent possibly cast to even that playing field?

Seriously, I've played one of these guys and my DM's jaw dropped when he realized that it was impossible to kill my guy or evade my breath of doom.
I could solo every single boss he has.

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