The Great D&D/Roleplaying Games Introduction Thread

#61

I think it’s worth talking to him out of a session setting to ask him why he’s playing like that, and asking him if he’d be willing to tone it back for the rest of the group’s enjoyment (since really, I imagine all of you are hanging out together to have fun).

Having everyone on-board is the best way forward for the group dynamic, I think, rather than punishing the Thief with harsh in-world consequences for a flubbed greedy roll that derails the whole party’s progress and/or seeds rancor between players against the Thief, or you and that particular player. Which is not to say you can’t kick back occasionally–if he’s trying to burn npc goodwill and risking mechanical failure that often, if falls upon you as the DM to incur a proportional response. NPCs can remember his poor behavior and use it against him as a soft or hard move going forward, to boot.

Another opportunity is present few opportunities for thievery. Lead the party away from cities on a long quest into wilderness, perhaps, and/or an extended dungeon crawl, or a continent-spanning chase where time is of the essence. Tie up your party with higher priority threats and present fewer stealable options. Fight uncaring automata who carry nothing of value on them. Introduce them to a society that has transcended the need for worldly possessions, whether through worldview or magical ability to create a post-scarcity whatever they need–or who subsist on temporary, impermanent or otherwise transitory magical creations.

Or, if the Thief isn’t playing along after you ask them nicely, have them steal a cursed item they can’t get rid of/that causes mechanical disadvantage/that clutters their inventory with extra weight. This is the asshole move, but damn does it sound like it would be satisfying.

The soft “don’t give opportunities to steal” and hard “be a hardline consequence-pushing asshole GM” are coping mechanisms that don’t address the underlying issue, though, honestly. Open communication with the player, whether behind the scenes or with the entire group (say, if everyone feels that this is an issue) is the most likely way to deal with the root underlying issue of “hey man, this is making the game quite a bit less fun for the rest of us.”

If you present your concerns and he blows them off like “hey, I’m just gonna play my character like I want to!” you’ve, uh, learned that he’s not so much roleplaying his selfish and inconsiderate character as living out a power fantasy he wishes he could do in real life. Which is a bit harsh of a condemnation of his character, perhaps, but… why even play a group game that requires so much personal, emotional and time investment from every member without considering the group experience, my dude?

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#62

I was playing in my (then to-be) stepdad’s homebrew system in middle school, and D&D in high school, but I haven’t had much opportunity for it since. I really miss it, though. I’m interested in the aesthetics and some of the discussion of the world of Shadowrun I’ve seen in streams of Dragonfall, and stuff I’ve seen just around the internet. I think the best way to ensure a game is to GM it, though… How is it as a system for first-time GMs? I’ve heard I should maybe not let PCs be deckers as it dramatically slows down the pace of encounters.

#63

I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be interested, too! I can’t invest anywhere near the amount of time that I am to the campaign I’m currently GMing, but sitting on the other side of the screen could be a lot of fun!

#64

I am innerested in trying to recruit some Waypointers on here, but I’m not 100% sure where to put recruiting posts. I am a frequent user of the Waypoint Discord and tried recruiting there, but my taste in games runs further crunchy than most of the guys there (not that I’m complaining!).

Anywho, look forward to more RPGin’ talk.

#65

I started playing D&D when I was 10; my dad is a music teacher, and one of his students was a little older than me and owned some early 3rd edition books. He gave them to me after he stopped being interested in “fantasy, which is for kids.” (His words.) I’ve been playing tabletop games ever since; nowadays it’s mostly Stars without Number, but also dungeon world and the sprawl.

I’d deffo be interested in either playing a game online with roll20, or maybe trying some play by post stuff here on the forums!

#66

Just make a topic. We have a Waypoint Play by Post game of Unknown Armies that just started. I’d imagine PbP is way worse for a super crunchy system, but I’m sure you could use Roll20 or something!

#67

I played Dnd 5e for a few months a couple years ago, and that was my introduction to roleplaying proper. It was a blast! I joined a campaign in progress run by a co-worker and some of his friends. I remember mostly hanging in the background and kind of just observing what kind of options were available and what the system allowed you to do. I learned a lot about what tabletop gaming could do that videogames couldn’t, and I guess that also got me into boardgames at large as well.

After that finished, another friend started a Pathfinder game, which I attempted to derail right off the bat by trying to be the most rediculously useless character I could be. I wanted to stretch the system as far as I could just to see what would happen.

And to my surprise and delight, it didn’t work! The DM was a champ and just rolled my shenanigans into the world and NPCs. After a couple sessions I just got into the groove and had some of the best gaming memories I have. That went for about 8 months or so before people just stopped having time, which really sucked.

But tonight I’m gonna be GMing a game of Dungeon World for the first time, and I am both terrified and totally excited to see how this goes. I have some ideas of what to do, but I’m worried that the players are going to find the scenarios I come up with dull.

Does anyone have any tips on how to make encounters or locations inherintly interesting? I’m don’t mean creating an interesting campaign, I mean making villages or travelling between them engaging for the players.

#68

A game I’ve always wanted to run a real campaign of (but never had the chance to) is Traveller. My dad had a stack of the rulebooks (which came in packs of these cheaply bound modules); I always loved the way they looked:

We always ignored the dune-lite campaign setting but the fun part was character creation. You’d effectively guide your character through their career before becoming a freelancer/adventurer/whatever, rolling for skills based on your profession (merchant marine, drifter, scientist, army/navy/scout-explorer, etc etc) and at the end of each “term of service” you’d decide if you wanted to continue/reenlist, change careers or be done. Apparently people who actually play set a limit on the years but we always just had a motley crew of younger/older characters. The older you get you experienced the effects of aging, and each term of service had a chance of disaster striking. The older rules stressed that this could mean death, the newer rules are more lenient and suggest the DM use their discretion. If you did well with your career though your character could have earned their own ship, a ton of money or even a pension (how’s that for escapism).

I ran one fast-and-loose game in college, stealing from Paranoia’s concept of 6-packs and just rolling a ton of characters to represent the crew of a ship, then as away parties got killed off or space battles destroyed entire sections of the ship you’d just take over as some other member of the crew.

I’ve got a decent group together now for Pathfinder, so I’m hoping to use Traveller as our “oh someone can’t make it” game as long as my group is up for space opera. Fingers crossed!

#69

I’ve always loved D&D and other tabletop RPGs, but had some trouble getting friends into it. It’s just so mechanics heavy that some of the actual role playing is lost to new players.

My strategy was to first introduce people to RPing with Fiasco. It’s short, funny, off the cuff RP that allows people to work together to build a world and characters. Did a pretty good job setting the stage for our D&D/Pathfinder campaigns, in terms of people learning how to build worlds by asking each other questions and having to come up with details on the fly.

I also really like The Sprawl (an @austin_walker recommendation! Thanks dude!). Like Fiasco, it’s all about building your characters and their relationships, (relationships being a major part of character creation) with some light stats/abilities thrown in. All the combat is based on d6 rolls that the GM and the players make, but it then resolves in conversation between those two parties rather than it playing out on a grid, like D&D. Plus it’s cyberpunk and cyberpunk is always good.

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#70

The more I see of Fiasco/Dungeonworld/The Sprawl etc.the more I wish those things had been my introduction to RPG’s. I started as a kid with D&D so my approach to stuff for so long was just treating it like a goblin-killing simulator. I’ve been trying to branch out from that with my own campaigns since college (incorporating a lot of Dungeonworld stuff I found out about from FatT) and it’s been so much more rewarding.

#71

How is Monsterhearts? Right now my tabletop experience is very much limited to D&D and FATE but I’m interested in going further afield. I really wanna try it but it’s difficult enough to get people to commit to an RP group as is, let alone for a game about sexuality and trauma and big awkward teen feelings which I can see a lot of people (understandably!) finding uncomfortable and unappealing compared to bonking goblins on the head.

My dream is to one day find a group interested in Night Witches, where you roleplay an all-women regiment of the Russian air force, since it’s been years since I kickstarted it and got my rulebook. So far…no dice.

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#72

Monster Hearts is an excellently designed game, but yeah it’s hard to find a group who feel comfortable playing it. Honestly any Powered By the Apocalypse game is a pretty good starter RPG. Urban Shadows might work for you, I usually describe it as “the punching part of Buffy whereas Monsterhearts is the kissing part of Buffy”.

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#73

Oh that sounds ideal, thanks! Keen to play something with the Apocalypse/Dungeon World system after hearing how well it facilitates everything in Friends at the Table!

#74

I haven’t read it but Urban Shadows looks really cool! Take a look at the playbooks and see if you can get a feel for it from there. It seems to do some really cool stuff with the corruption mechanics

I do want to add that Monsterhearts is the game that got me into rpgs after years of eyeing DnD curiously from afar. But I didn’t realize until later that it’s also one of the clearest, purest distillations of PbtA games out there, at least by my understanding. It’s definitely as good an introduction to PbtA as Apocalypse World or Dungeon World, and also a lot simpler than both, while really exemplifying the narrative play style and focus on the fiction that makes PbtA exciting to me!

If you can find a group that’s open and communicative it’s definitely worth it and you can have a lot of actual fun, it isn’t all just punishing.
Also the second edition just came out! :+1:

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#75

Heads up, there’s also a third PtbA urban monster fantasy game, Monster of the Week. While Monsterhearts focuses on the teen drama and Urban Shadows on the hidden factions of the underworld as crime gang allegories, MotW is more straight-forward Investigate->find->neutralize. Early Buffy, Scooby Doo, Ghostbusters, etc.

We landed on it for our actual play podcast based on the world and mood we had come up with during world-building, but I like all three systems. The best way to get a feel for each quickly is to read the playbooks, all publicly avaliable AFAIK. They showcase the tone and what’s unique with each one pretty clearly.

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#76

I started playing some D&D with people on some forums several years ago, it was fun, although scheduling became a nightmare and we didn’t really managed to get far. The DM did get annoyed that we did a lot more talking than battling.

After that failed, some of the group tried again in another campaign, which was also fun, although this time it fell apart after the second mission for similar reasons.

That’s about the entire extent of my experience of tabletop RPGs, which is to say it’s not very much. I did enjoy my time with it, but don’t really know how to really play consistently.

#77

I got with a small group in November to do some Dungeon World that went relatively well until the fact that we could never find good times for regular sessions ended it. It was fun. The highlight of the campaign (short as it was) for me was a scene where I took the artifact of a fortune deity into the bathroom at a horse track and perceived realities to attempt to do a Back to the Future 2 and win some gambling. I rolled well so I got three questions, “What is about to happen, what is about to happen & what is about to happen!” The GM, knowing what my Barbarian was doing shouldn’t really work, gave me a random number and rolled a D7 for the actual race result. I won the bet.

A few sessions later I returned to the horse track, bet on the same horse and happened to win again. My character got away with not learning any lessons about gambling.

I’d be down to do more Powered by the Apocalypse stuff, I’m vaguely interested in getting into another Roll20 group. Or play Fiasco! That’d be fun.

#78

I first played as a player DND 5 when I was probs 25. Didn’t finish a campaign or even a one shot.
Decided to host a campaign 3.5e. it was hard system I hand waved alot.
Then hosted the sprawl after listening to FaTT. It was great.
Now hosting a Dungeon World hack for harry potter that I made. It’s going well.

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#79

We’re starting a Monster of the Week game as well, but I’m borrowing the “Debt” moves and tallies from Urban Shadows as an add-on. It’s a cool little mechanic.

Edit: I just realised who I’m replying to. Hi, @Hermie – player in my group.

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#80

Used to really enjoy playing D&D 3.5 in high school… most of the people I tried playing with though didn’t take it seriously though so I stopped DMing? No one ever helped with prep (character creation/etc.) or responding to me when I tried to illicit input on where the plot should go, so I lost interest (was mostly “WHERRE’S THE LOOT AT” and my idiot 17 year old self couldn’t articulate “no it’s not about that though you should try and figure out what your CHARACTER wants and go after goals more interesting than material wealth” but then Diablo 3 came out).

I’ve tried since(as a player mostly), but groups always fall apart and I never get to play more than two or three sessions. Lately I’ve been reading about Paranoia and that seems like a really fun game, but I’d need some players :frowning: