Author Topic: Advice on adventures  (Read 951 times)

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Offline X-DM Jon

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Advice on adventures
« on: February 05, 2009, 10:28:44 am »
Hi all,

 I've gotten a couple of questions from various people on the dynamics of adventures, "how do we start them" especially.

 So here's one answer:

 Adventures are always a variable. If the player takes a decision and goes in a specific direction ("I go here and do this" type of action), then it'll often start an adventure. But it really depends on DM energy. And you have to have a well-defined target, goal and means to get there in order to start an adventure. ("Means to get there" - once in a while your adventurous regent may decide to take a trek into another plane of existence. Bring a wizard :)

 My own succesfull adventures have been: Goal; commune with Haelyn, target: Mt. Deismaar. Goal; rescue the trapped spirits of Armiendin and Nichaleir. Target the WIT prison for the EO. Goal; escape from the EO's trap. Target: out of the Five Peaks. Goal; destroy the EO. Target: Gather a large enough army, unite the temples and go back to the Five Peaks with a kick-ass group of heroes.

 The story fell into place as it went along, some of the adventures were my choice - others were a group decision. Some were created from dire necessity, others from trying to achieve my agendas. Alltogether I had four or five adventures in 3 years, so you need to focus your efforts in order to win the adventurous initiative so to speak.

 Check out the forum for an example of one that's already running - oh and note that involving other players is always a good way to get the DM to focus on your idea for an adventure.

First of all remember that information gathering is the first step of any good adventure. If you don't know where you want to look, the DM ain't gonna tell you. So do your research first, then go adventuring when you have a target.


 Oh and it's a general issue that some players are less active than others - a good bet is to check the list of delivered DO's - those on auto-complete won't be the most active of neighbours. This is general piece of advice.

 And generally be as proactive as you can, contact everybody that you think may be able to help - even if you don't need them. You never know what people might be able to help you with - and adventures are international, i.e. they ignore borders. Everyone can use an extra level of experience! And don't forget that other players can support you with their Able Assistants as well.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 11:56:39 pm by DM Jon »

Offline X-Tuornen/LF (Geir)

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Re: The Wraiths of Ilien
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 03:49:22 am »
If RSC should decide to finish the business with the Wraiths by themselves it is my hope they will allow some clerics of IHH search the Catacombs afterwards as to put my slain men to rest and say our own prayer for the souls

OOC:
I hope this is not the wrong place.
What if anything can I learn from all this tread, and can I use it with my char in any way?
Laela Flaertes, By the Grace of Haelyn Duchess of Tuornen

- Geir
Tuornen / LF

Offline X-DM Jon

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Re: The Wraiths of Ilien
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 12:25:53 pm »
OoC: You should take OoC questions to the OOC section.

 But since it's relevant enough, I'll bite- and move it to the section "advice on adventures.

What can you learn? That's a really good question. I'll take a shot.

 First of all you get to peek into the mindset of your peers.

 Second you get a peek into the style of the game, it ain't easy to be a hero - people who take things for granted, get into trouble...

 Third it's always a good idea to involve other players in an adventure, that usually gets you a greater chance of succes. And more minds think better than one.

 Fourth you will see that the adventure is highly based on choice, now what that means for your actual chances of succes, I can't say. I think part of an adventure's succes is based on choice, part on the roll of the die.

 Fifth though we don't play with character stats and such, your characters level and abilities still count, so don't forget to use them. Turning undead, spells, feats, all that is useful in the right spot - just don't think it's what it's all about.

 Sixth - Be patient and proactive. If the adventure has hit a slow period, then either be patient or do yours to show that you're active and then be patient  ;D


 Apart from that, ask away.

Offline X-DM Jon

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Re: Adventures #63
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 04:02:46 am »
Ok.  How about a quick dissertation on what you MEAN by "prepare, prepare, prepare"?  It's a great concept, but I don't always have a good idea how to go about it.

 It's really a matter of information gathering. 1. Know thyself and thine world 2. Know thine enemy 3. Know thine allies.

1-3 Be a Know it all
 Research action is king, advisor queen. Use them to focus your efforts, find out what info there is on a problem out there - even if it is just to understand the world more in-depth. Then start a training regime and/or find more and bigger "guns" (diplomacy with other realms both PC and NPC, dig up that info on what heroes are out there, read every bit of info you can from all of the domain descriptions, then start bugging Bjørn for an upload of the old RoE turns, chock full of good stuff they are :). Read everything you can get your hands on, three times. You'll be surprised how many weird ideas suddenly spring into being once you understand more of the RoE world...

 Oh and diplomacy and adventure can be used to conduct research as well. I sent my lieut into the far east for a couple of turns, just so he could investigate some rumour. While I spent adventure actions going places and trying to find answers to the big adventure ahead. Because you see, when you read all the domain descriptions, you begin to discover pockets of special people and special places. People who knows certain stuff, places of insane power. Things that haven't been in the SR or elsewhere, but still lie there waiting for your visit.

 Hell, I thought up the crazy idea of finding out what the EO had done with his original eyes. I wanted to use them somehow... That particular idea fizzled, but the intention led to all sorts of other discoveries - research and advice is king and queen, but your own harebrained ideas are Divine!

Gather the know it all
 Send all your aa's on adventures whenever an event pops up. Try to gauge the danger level between minor nuisance and major event, to earthshaking incident. Stealing the Book of Laws is a major event (earthshaking for the OIT), the obelisk isn't - HOWEVER, the fall of Xavier Zenneth COUPLED with the ambush at the obelisk is a major event. It all adds up, something nasty is going on down there. You were expected?

 Anyway, what I mean to say is, try to judge whether the event you're sizing up for adventure could do with a probe first - espionage or research f.ex. Minor events equal xp. Major events need dealing with before they turn into crap for your domain. Earthshaking events have potentially catastrophic consequences - so when you deal with them, do so decisively and well prepared. Send your aa's on adventures as often as possible, preferably one's you semi-make up yourself and place them in your DO (bandit hunting is always good). Otherwise training. Send your regent well protected along if you have the time, the bodyguard is not enough.

The adventuring group
Hire aa's specifically for the task of adventuring with your regent. Fighters, paladins & rangers in particular. They aren't able to do a wide variety of things, but they keep people alive long enough for the variety classes to step in (spellcasters and sneaky buggers taking people down from behind).
 Get a hold of every damned kind of major class you can and use their abilities to the maxx (gotta love that cartoon :), especially the spellcasters, protect them with tanks and take your time to get acquainted with http://www.d20srd.org/ - especially the spells section. It has been noted by players that the spells don't have the effect they expect, that is because you're using them wrong. Consider them options in a sea of divine channeling or nature's inherent resources.

The why of magic (you figure out the how)
 Most of the really standard spells aren't necessary to spell out -  A cleric f.ex.: "I heal the wounded" (all the cure spells) "I bless the troops" (that can be anything from bless to prayer and so on), "I curse the enemy" (you get the idea). But some of them are worth your lives (sanctuary, protection from evil - don't know why? READ THE DESCRIPTION!, magic circle of protection from evil, air walk, meld into earth, heat metal, darkness, daylight, lesser planar ally, summon monster and the list goes on and on - most, if not all of these spells have at some point been used by me or others to great effect.) So read every damned last one of them, it adds to your possible repetoire of actions and reactions - then expand from there, into the realm of description and planning. Don't bother with the rules, just make it up and spin it into your tale.

 The point is to create characters able to take action in ANY situation (running away is a fine and time-tested action :)

The joys of the adventurous life
A lot of you are still talking your way through encounters, but you should also look upon every adventure encounter as a tactical situation from the moment Bjørn starts narrating. So keep doing the heroic statements, but crank up the planning. Especially on the sidelines, you don't have to involve Bjørn in this kind of planning, he just needs to know your decisions and preferably quickly.
Example: If I had been one of you, I'd have been throwing myself at the Governor's proverbial poking of the ant hill and trying to prevent it. Because there is nothing worse in RoE than acting just to see what happens. Poking the ancient artifact with a stick or the like. Investigate, take your time - let the arcane and divine know it alls look at the weirdness first. If they don't do it, then order them to do it! That's their damned job! Through the use of detection magic (again, a common use of channeling or natural forces), close, careful study and the like, alot of information can be acquired and an informed decision be reached.
 Meanwhile; have the tanks keep guard, while the sentinels watch your perimeter. You gotta stay frosty and alert, can't allow any of those bastards in here! Oh yeah, and if you do bring anyone able to cast spells - even if it's a paladin... Detection magic gives you a head's up on those nasty ambushes. Detect thoughts f.ex. or detect evil maybe.

 You will notice I haven't gone in-depth with the wizardly types. That's because I rarely play them, but I promise you, their place in the party is central. Make certain you use them to full effect.

Cooperation
  Most of this was 1. and 2... No. 3. is really a question of helping the others out. If you're adventuring together, help the others out and cooperate. I got my very first lesson of that when I decided to attack the Eyeless One and got feebleminded for my troubles, while (at that time unfortunately not very active) Gray had urged us to "join hands and unite our priestly powers". I thought "HIPPIE! LET's KICK ASS!", but later discovered that priests have the special ability to pool their powers and cast much more heavy duty spells that way.
 Now that is an actual D&D concept, don't remember from where, but I surmise that it could, possibly, have kept me from ending up going "cluck cluck" in the corner!

 So do the D&D rules apply? HELL YEAH! Just not in any way you would expect them to. They are behind the scenes so to speak.

 United you stand, divided Bjørn will kill you all!


For the REAL strategy players
 Obviously, for the less adventurous, you can ignore most of my ramblings here. I would definitely still urge you to read everything you can get your hands on thrice. Knowing is half the victory. Just don't start quoting from the BRCS, that's a completely different place (though a bit of inspiration never hurt anybody eh ;)

 Oh yes, and don't worry so much about sending too many emails. We'll let you know if you need to take a break.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 04:34:18 am by DM Jon »

Offline X-DM Jon

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Re: Adventures #63
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 04:16:40 am »
Oh! Before I forget. Counterspell!

 All spellcasting characters can at least attempt to counter hostile magic. That is perhaps the one main ability of your spellcasters. It's good enough to blast the enemy, but much more important is it to prevent the enemy from blasting you.