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Posts Tagged ‘DM’

First off, it has been a  while since I last blogged, mostly due to school and a job, so I apologize for the absence. Good news is I should be graduating this month with my Psychology Degree! YAY Go me!

Anyway, this isn’t a post for or against the age old trick/dilemma of splitting an adventuring party. This is merely an observation from a 4E standpoint. To set the scenario, I’ll start with the fact I’m currently running the Scales of War campaign, published by dragon magazine. It’s a campaign which takes the characters from level 1-30, and my current group (new players aside) have been playing since level 1. We are currently level 12 and running through the Module “The Bitter Glass”.

Now, I’m not an inflexible DM by any means, and I usually let the dice fall where they fall since I believe D&D is not just a story but a game as well. There are winners, and sometimes losers. I’m not a 90’s child where little Johnny gets a consolidation prize because “everybody is a winner”. If the PC’s mess up, they could lose their character. (more…)

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Death comes for us all!

Here’s a topic which has been floating around for a while with 4E, that has some people split. Is 4E lethal enough? Some people think that it’s near impossible to die in 4th edition due to the fact the old school -10 rule is now Negative Bloodied value, the numerous amounts of surges each class gets, and the fact that any healing while negative starts from zero!

First, I would like to say that I killed two characters in our last session, (A Scales of War campaign I am running) and I darn near killed a third. Darn you KRAKUS!!! (He made a death save, stood up and ran like hell). So with that in mind I took a hard look this last week at the lethality of 4E compared to other editions; and here’s what I’ve come up with.

First off, I believe that 4E is just as lethal as other editions. It’s been my observation from listening to talk, playing and DM’ing, that some DM’s are just reluctant to punch a number when it comes up. Secondly, 4E incorporates party KNOCKOUTS in a big way. Basically any character who has negative HP is unconscious. What better way to run a captured and tied up scenario? After all as a DM you have more than twice the wiggle room than other editions since negative Bloodied is easily greater than -10 after just a few levels. (more…)

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This weekend I had a two separate conversations regarding skill challenges. As it so happened I triggered one this weekend while playing with the ID DM and it also triggered a side conversation. The question(s) was asked, Do you tell players when they have triggered a skill challenge?
Well, this was an interesting question, and since the idea of the skill challenge is semi-new to RP. Sure they’ve been there before, but not in such the technical and literal sense. Here’s my take on the matter.

Skill Challenged!

First off, there are two types of skill “checks”. There’s the obstacle, and the challenge. The obstacle is what most of us are used too seeing. Pick the lock, climb the wall, jump over the table, search for traps. These are all obstacles which rely on a single die roll or check. An obstacle is a pass or fail type of check, where sometimes there is a partial level of success. A skill challenge is an obstacle which requires multiple checks to either pass or fail a larger goal. Such challenges can as simple as traveling over difficult terrain, or scouring the city for information on the evil den of thieves, to something as dangerous as shutting down a mystical portal which is pounding the party with evil energy each round. Which is what happened this weekend.

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