Food for Thought

Veracity's 5e D&D Campaign of Mystery

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Veracity
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Food for Thought

Postby Veracity » Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:00 pm

Some misc DM thoughts annd feedback as CII progresses....

--I don't assign "XP points per se."
--This is not a very "combat-based" world.
--Not everyone levels up at the same time.
--Leveling is primarily based on information gathering, decision making, mysteries uncovered and personal accomplishments (which in turn are based on PC goals sent to the DM). No one will level up just by "killing monsters."
--Passive perception is not used a whole lot. (I prefer PCs to do things consciously.)
--My goal is to limit "meta-knowledge" as much as possible because I want PCs to make choices based solely on what they themselves know (and I don't beleive meta knowledge ever really stays meta).
--I run private "between game sessions" for party members who are on separate courses and/or timelines, but anyone can request a "between game" session if they want to work on something special. (I will book as schedules allow.)
--I spend many, many, many hours creating maps and floorpans to make my world vivid. (10 hours just on the "outside" parts of Brewtown for instance.) I enjoy this and hope it is enjoyed in return?
--You aren't all required to come together as a party. (I can handle it if you remain splintered and only remotely connected.) But I hope that sometimes you will have common goals and make plans together.
--As each of your groups lands in Brewtown, it might be a good opportunity to find common goals...
--There can be a lot to do in Brewton, Castle Ale, and/or the surround areas. So you can choose to spend a lot of time there or a little.
--However, because I put so much work into your adventuring areas, I would like you all to try to stay on the same continent and in the same general principality.
--For instance, if some are at Castle Ale and others exploring a graveyard 3 miles away, that's fine. But if some of you sail off on the Seabird and others travel on land 25 miles north of Brewtown, I'm not sure I can keep up with mapping out all the diff areas.

Best, LadyNessey

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Hazen
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Hazen » Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:04 pm

I, for one, would like to keep split parties at a bare minimum. It may be an inconvenience for the DM - having to switch gears and keep track of multiple threads, but at least the DM is engaged the whole session. However, for the players, it involves a great deal of idle time where some fraction of the players are not participating some fraction of the time. A little bit is fine, as are separate non-gameday sessions, but I prefer we not go overboard (pun intended).

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MercyDrake
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby MercyDrake » Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:34 pm

I like worlds that (1) are a sandbox and allow players to do things that may not even be a glimmer in the DM's eye, and (2) have a timeline of events that will happen on a set schedule if the PC's do not intervene. Yes, I understand this requires the DM to have created three or five times as much world as will ever be used, but the world always comes across more real. And I can tell you from experience a party, told the Duke is in danger, that goes off and explores a dungeon, and comes back out to find out the Duke is murdered and they could have prevented it, makes for a memorable moment (like the Petrina oh sh*t moment when we realized what we'd unleashed) and a more memorable campaign.

It is certainly acceptable to have the DM artificially limit the sandbox as the Ravenloft designers did with the fog around everything, or maybe in this case to have no ships leaving Brewtown for the other continent.
================================
As for splintering parties... I would prefer the party stay mostly together. As Hazen said, it is more fun if everyone is involved and doing things. Side sessions for particular characters are acceptable, of course. Telling certain characters they will be side-sessioned this time around until they link up again is fine as well. Players just don't want to be in a session and never be called upon.

That being said, we still do need to coalesce into more of a party. Maybe that will happen due to a shared threat?
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Brianna Sollandry
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Brianna Sollandry » Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:57 pm

Must all “hooks” be applicable to all PCs?

Do you believe that a "hook" must be delivered only by the DM, through an NPC, or is it OK for a fellow PC to come up with something and try to motivate other PCs to work with them on it?

I found something significant to work on. I role-played, deduced, and figured it out on my own; it was not handed to me by an NPC. I presented it to another PC and was rebuffed. If an NPC had presented it, would it have been seen as more “legit” and, perhaps, gotten more traction?

I have something else that I intend to present to at least one PC for which I hope for a better result.

Am I required or expected to make such proposals to the “party” as a whole?

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Veracity
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Veracity » Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:22 am

This is really up to you all to decide.... But, for what it's worth, the way I see it, you can all have individual goals and knowledge, but adventure together for your mutual protection and team up to achieve things where your goals and interests overlap. It being up to you to talk and get to know where your PCs' goals overlap...

Perhaps related? I didn't have folks pick alignments upfront... From what I'm seeing, I would guess we have: one TN, one CN, two CG, and one maybe NG. That seems to me like compatible alignments for a "shades of grey" type party as opposed a strict G vs E or Lawful party.

Then, from a practical point of view, the more of you who join factions, the easier it is for me to throw in possible/potential adventure hooks for you. I say possible/potential because you don't have to pick up any particular hook. There is no "the Great Evil So-and-So will enslave the world if we don't do X."

There are lots of factions, lots of forces, at work in this world. None are always on top.

When I design my map pages in Roll20, I think about which factions might be active in that vicinity and what they might be up to and then I try to plant things to hint at their activities. Over time, their activities evolve, with or without you.

Best, LadyNessey

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MercyDrake
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby MercyDrake » Tue Jan 05, 2021 3:53 pm

If the players are playing their PC true to the character created, then it shouldn't matter whether the idea came from an NPC or a PC. If the character is cool to an idea for character reasons, it should be so across the board. We are, after all, supposed to be role playing.

That being said, it is also not straightforward to role play something different than type, so mistakes and inconsistencies do happen.
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Brianna Sollandry
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Brianna Sollandry » Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:23 am

Hazen wrote:I prefer we not go overboard (pun intended).

I am sorry for inconveniencing you.

I had a (moderate) interaction with the DM, in which I realized that my life had just changed in mysterious ways, and then the DM went back to the main group, announced that my ship had sailed, and proceeded for the rest of the session with the rest of you.

In retrospect, I should have logged out right then. Instead, I stayed on and saw things my character does not know, and have made an effort to purge that meta-knowledge from my behavior.

I am looking to see you-all in-game on Feb 4, having not interacted with the PCs on the Seabird since 12/21/2020.

Have fun!

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Brianna Sollandry
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Brianna Sollandry » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:01 pm

MercyDrake wrote:That being said, we still do need to coalesce into more of a party.
MercyDrake wrote:IIf the character is cool to an idea for character reasons, it should be so across the board. We are, after all, supposed to be role playing.

So which is it: "we need to coalesce into more of a party" - by accepting a "hook", regardless of whether our character in "cool to it" - or role playing requires us to reject a "hook" - no matter the source, no matter if everybody else accepts it - if the character is "cool to it"?

That said, morality matters. I offered a "hook" which any "good" character would accept. An "evil" character would reject it. A "neutral" character might accept it, or reject it if they saw other personal goals as "more important". I was rejected - which told me, loud and clear, that the person I was speaking to was not "good". That will necessarily inform my future role-playing with that character.

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Veracity
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Veracity » Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:36 pm

Let's let this all play out.

There will be ample mysteries to go around in Brewtown and Castle Ale and the surrounding countryside.

We haven't really had a lot sessions yet with all the PCs.

Best, LadyNessey

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Hazen
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Hazen » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:08 pm

Brianna Sollandry wrote:
Hazen wrote:I prefer we not go overboard (pun intended).

I am sorry for inconveniencing you.

I actually enjoyed the Morena kidnapping. It came as quiet a shock. I was blindsided - and I mean that in a good way.

Above, I was reacting to the DM's comment about characters going their own way going forward.

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MercyDrake
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby MercyDrake » Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:57 pm

I have to agree that the kidnapping was unexpected and therefore a good twist.

As for the character being non-good - something was correctly reasoned out. very good.

This is going to come out wrong, so I'll apologize up front about it - you are expecting other characters to react to your character and your suggestions as if that is exactly what they must do. They must do no such thing.
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Brianna Sollandry
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Brianna Sollandry » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:03 am

MercyDrake wrote:You are expecting other characters to react to your character and your suggestions as if that is exactly what they must do. They must do no such thing.

Think harder.

When I propose this or that scheme, PCs (and NPCs) respond in character - and I watch their words and actions and draw conclusions about their moral character from what I observe and use that to inform my future behavior vis a vis those characters.

It's called "role playing".

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Veracity
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Re: Food for Thought

Postby Veracity » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:24 am

This week, Atmohs, Ursa, and Bastia are starting at the usual time. Morena and Wutryn are joining an hour and 1/2 later. That's when I expect all will be in Brewtown together.

So, just a couple days and all can talk goals and opportunities together in game.

Morena will be able to fill you all in on what she uncovered aboard the "Midnight Star." Wutryn and Morena can report on how they got to Brewtown. And the rest of the party will be able to relate their adventures since Morena was spirited away. :-) It should be a fun night!

From DM side: I have all the Brewtown exteriors and interiors completed. I have a "local map" prepared that PCs can purchase from vendors. There is much to explore and do in Brewtown and then there will be the festival at Castle Ale.

Castle Ale does not provide accommodations to festival goers. So most folks stay in Brewtown until the day of or day before the festival. (Brewtown will have plenty of mysteries to keep you going until then. ;-)

Best, LadyNessey


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