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Triple Advantage
Triple Advantage

Season 2, Episode 5 · 2 years ago

Ep. 16 - The First Encounter

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How does player dynamic change between groups? Is it driven by the DM or the players. In this episode we talk about social dynamics in game, especially dealing with new parties. We continue our divination of the DMG and explore the various types of narrative styles. Finally, our critical thought of the week is discussed.

Hello, welcome everybody to the ever developing, still somewhat without a schedule, triple advantage podcast, your source of all things tabletop role playing game, D D and so forth. I'm Carlos, and today we have Jordan and Braden yet again for another episode. Guys, hello, can't wait to the day that the viewers are not surprised to hear that it's both Carlos, Jordan and Braden on the place this week. Hey, got to keep everybody on their toes. I think another one is I'm surprised our viewers are still getting podcasts in general. So there's that for good notes today for you, guys, we have same general structure as we've had for the past couple of weeks. We're going to in the later sections of the PODCAST, we're going to dive right back into the DMG, with brain taking point on that, and Jordan has yet another critical thought. He just keeps coming up with them. It's just an endless font of creativity here, but more on that later. Right now, guys, I actually want to talk to you about something really exciting. I started another campaign. I started deming another campaign for a brand new group of people, and this time I actually curated the group a little bit. It wasn't just an open invite to our facebook group. It was more so picking out people that I knew would maybe work well together and picking other people and but in general, like the group, doesn't really know everybody else in the group too much. It's for people and I have the pairs of people essentially know each other, which I which I thought would be a good idea with regards to getting some engagement. And you don't want to throw in a bunch of random people together and expect them to interact right away. But in general I think the first session went really well. I am running a hybrid version of the lost minds of Fan delver with dragon off ice spire peak, because they both take place in the same city, so I figured May as well mix a match. But yeah, with that in mind, guys, one thing that I really found interesting when dming was it was a completely different player experience. Right, it was. It wasn't you guys, and not to say that there's anything inherently wrong with you guys, because we tell each other that all the time, but it's just such a it was a different dynamic and it was kind of Nice. So I wanted to talk to you guys about that. Player dynamics at the table and how you guys, within the first couple of sessions, maybe figure out the rhythm of your campaigns. Do you guys do anything in particular? Do you prep it or do you just kind of go with the flow and figure it out as you go? I'll let Braden go first on this one, and you're asking from a DM perspective right now. From a player perspective? Oh, I'll open it up to a player perspective as well, but go for DM. Answer from the DM's perspective first. It's really it's tough to say because I the group that I play with contains a lot of the same people that are playing across several of our campaigns and that we played with as DM's and players in the past. So some of the dynamics are already there and you just kind of have to let them happen. I find that a lot of the time it does have to do with how well people know each other, because I know for my for my homebrew campaign, you'll get account of the boyfriend and the girlfriend pair always pairing up and agreeing with each other on different things. The people the long time, like Dand veterans will occasionally pair up and have some more creative ideas versus some of the more recent players joining the campaign. Versus, I know, like in the campaign that I run with you, Carlos, the hold of the Dragon Queen Campaign, you guys know each other, but it's not like not as closely, especially in a DD context, as they do in my homebrew campaign. So the dynamic is still like you guys are together as a party, but you're not exactly you're not exactly having these like close groups of two or three. Were you really clicking with another player in a really exploring those avenues? So I don't I don't like to kind of impose my own ideas as to how the dynamic should work. I like to just kind of let it work if it does. As a player pretty much the exact same thing. I like to kind of Suss out the group in my character and feel like who, what character does my character like dive with, like what? What's a good Mesh, and then I'll try and play off of that and if it keeps working, then awesome. If it doesn't, back to step when of we dragon. And so for me,...

...okay, so I play in both of your campaigns, for the most part I try to find out who my character would be associated with most. For one of them was very difficult, but for the other one, my character is a bit more chaotic and it was easier to find the chaotic person that was in line with that same character Mesh. My other campaign actually is really interesting because it I play it with my three brothers and then some family friends that we've known for a long time. So the like, I guess, like we're all friends there, or are we known each other for a really long time? We know how we act and we know like all the little buttons that we can push to mess with each other in that kind of stuff. So it's really interesting to see that coming to play. It is true, actually, that a lot of the like players will stick with whoever they know the most outside of game. I've always kind of found that, you know, that doesn't always work with your characters, but people like to do it because it's it's it's it's real life kind of crossing over right. Yeah, yeah, I think that that's with regards to the campaign that I just started, it's going to be like a for session campaign type of thing. It's just an introductory story, but one of the things that I definitely planned out initially was getting them to pair up, because one player was absolutely new to the game. The other one had been playing for a couple of sessions, but nothing, nothing long term. So I thought it would be easier for them to create a care creak characters together and in the campaign they actually come from the same origin. One of them is a very royal blood type of person and the companion, who the other PC that's playing it, is his guard. So it was really fun to just immediately have that our p element within the dynamic of the group. And again it's not I mean it's always up to personal preference. As a DM, I guess if you want to maybe shoehorn certain people together, but I'm finding I'm finding a little bit more fun with with doing that in the sense that there was very it was smooth, you know, the the for a brand new player to come in. I think it was really helpful for them to have a buddy to go back on and to have that to have a rhythm already established with them on how they're going to at least interact with one another in character, which really gave it gave half the group, you know, a sense of flavoring and the other half they kind of knew each other as well. So the whole campaign with I think for me my goal was how do we make adventures that are, you know, essentially meeting them each other for the first time in a bar, for example, have that sort of real in between player feeling of okay, we're just starting this and we're all just meeting each other, but how do we not make it weird? So that's a little maybe I'm not maybe I'm not describing that well enough there, but it totally makes sense. Like oftentimes like it's like it's like using Meta gaming a little a bit to bridge the in game to the player. You know, yeah, exactly. I so the campaign that I am about to run I have two pairs as well that have kind of combined back stories a little bit, which is awesome. It always makes for a really interesting RP like right off the bat, just because they have some sort of history that they can go off of in character, and that really helps to kind of kick things off. With my other campaign with my family, it's it was easy to get kicked off because we already knew each other and so there was already like that chemistry, like we knew how to act and we knew how to, you know, be together or whatever, and we could kind of pick up on different ques that way, when you really really know each other, you can kind of get into that RP. But it's a little bit more difficult and I definitely recommend, like, based on my experiences, doing some sort of a shared backstory with someone. It's it's I don't know, it's just better. I...

...think it was a lot more fun as a DM to run in general. So I'll give you guys a little bit of more detail. In this campaign, the the biggest things with regards to starting it was getting those links stories sort of established before the first before the first session, even though the quest that they're running is like hey, adventures, here's some gold. Go get it right. But another thing that I did, and this was more of a game mechanic choice, again for trying to sort of mitigate this new player, this wall that you might have as a new player, is all the characters are actually at the Max hp that they could possibly be for that level. I did not let them roll their hit points. So, for example, one of the characters is a fighter and it's level three. So it has with the Constitution modifier and the level, I've given them all MAX HP. Each time you level up you're just getting whatever maximum possible HP would have. So what the what? What that did, I think, is it lets them take a couple extra hits and combat, you know, and that I found was critical when the third component of this adventure comes in, which was actually running the monsters like they would attack. You know, I had Goblin's. The first was it's lost minds of m delva. Right. So the first encounter was goblins and instead of just hey, for goblins pop out and they're just shooting at you, it was hey, a volley of arrows comes out of no where and you can't see anything because these goblins immediately went back into the shrubs. So they had to figure out how to find them. You know, it wasn't difficult, but there was that extra layer of difficulty in the combat which wasn't just I attack, they attack, I attack, and at first like level of one encounter. So I'm really excited to see what this Max h people will let me do as a DM, because I think I'll be able to more easily run multi attacks on opponents without worrying that I might excellently, you know, kill someone in session one or two right which I think was one of the more difficult things that I had, that I that I found, especially in the early days of Dming, I was fudging a lot or I was fudging a lot of roles just because I didn't really know how to balance encounters, you know, interest. So I'm letting you guys know because I'll keep updating the viewers and you guys as to the listener. Sorry, it's not a visual podcast yet, but it's definitely been a little bit more fun and I'm Ashall also running the average damage when monsters attack the PCS. I just take the average instead of rolling each time. I found that it's speeds up a little bit just to pace of play. But again, that's just a flavor decision on my part. But it's been pretty fun. Like as a for a first session, it was actually, you know, it ran really smooth and I think is like, I don't want to take my own horn here, but like you can definitely feel the experience as a DM kind of grown. You know, the ability to sort of like pull the story along is becoming so much easier now. Have you guys found that? I guess like I know that. I know that we've been running pretty long term campaigns throughout the majority of our dming. anyways, it's kind of hard to say it, but I think it was. It was nice to do this for me because the only other campaign that I really ran as one that I play with you guys. So right, it's nice to see its progression. What did dom what did your players think of the average damage? I don't know. I didn't tell them that. It's not a mechanic that the players need to know. I just told them how much damage they're taking. But wouldn't they figure it out after, you know, a couple shots hit and it's the same damage every time? Yep, Yep. I think they made a comment with our darts to like expecting it. But I think again, it's kind of using that metagaming a little bit right, because if you know a Goblin is going to deal for damage a turn on average, then the threat level of a Goblin is almost immediately established as a player, right, right. So I don't know. I'll see how I might not continue to do that, I don't know, but it was nice because it would. There's a lot of Goblins, so I didn't want to be rolling for each attack either. You know, I wanted to combat to move along because that's one of the biggest pet peeves that I have. And not to knock it on breaching clear team, but combat, combat in general, takes a long time. Right. So I'm China, I'm as a DM. I'm trying to figure out ways to drive a narrative but...

...also, you know, keep it moving along, because it I find sometimes like that. Okay, let me roll for seven enemies. Tell you how, Holle you know, it breaks the pacing of the combat, or at least what I'm hoping to get out of it, and I think that's why. That's what I meant with the first question. In a sense too, is like what kind of choices do you guys make as DM? So keep that pace of play, you know, keep that that rhythm in your games. But I don't have you guys ever done anything like that any metagamy kind of hacks to players psychology. I wouldn't say that necessarily. I tend to it just in terms of encounterbalance. I tend to especially when they're effacing waves. If it immediately looks like they're going to just steam roll through this encounter. It's like, Oh look, three more emerged from the rock back there. Not Not sure if that's particularly a hack or what we're referring to you, but it's something I've noticed. It's it works not as well the other direction when you overload the encounter, because there's not much you can do that's case, except start pulling and punches. But definitely did that before. To you like the you make an encounter, you break it up into waves so you have a little bit more control over what they're fighting. Sorry, what were you going to say? Put You off? No, that's for that's pretty much it. I noticed that that tends to tends to, at least on my end, make it a little easier, like if they're looking really, really rough, it's like, okay, maybe maybe there isn't two, three hiding behind that rock. Maybe maybe this is it. I've I've also, though, I'm guilty of letting player choices frustrate me, especially when they get really cocky and then I immediately go oh, you want to get cocky, here's all eight of the things that you're facing all at once, instead of the five and three separation I had originally planned. Have Fun. It's an interesting balance to write because I don't know, there's there is that sense of a power dynamic as a DM right, like you don't want to be it's like you don't want to you don't want to play and act as if you're this God in this game, but you technically are. To write. Like, but, like, I find that something. I've had moments where it like there's player that there's frustration between player choice and like things, things like you're clearly metagaming and you know that this is a dangerous thing. Why are you trying to kill your character? Those are the things that frustrate me as a DM, and I think I've gotten a little bit better at handling that. This new group has is not even in the picture there, but more so it's choices with certain characters another campaigns. Guys, it's like you're trying to die, and I guess like this is that. Yeah, I mean personally, I I tell my groups straight up beforehand, like I'm not going to pull the punches. I'm sorry, guys, if you go in and you're fighting something that you can't handle, run, just do it, like that's what you have to do or don't fight them in the first place. Like, whatever you doing, I'm not going to pull any punches here. So if your characterize, your character dies, like that's it. I think. I think I hit one of the hardest moments that I had when dming. To be honest, was in tim of a dilation when half the party got petrified. I don't fuck to do as a DM because at that moment, if you guys would have chosen to continue fighting, you would have died for sure. Yeah, but I can't tell you that right I can only allude to it so much. You know I mean as one of the petrified characters and that I kind of have the gift of hindsights because I was in that follow up session. But I feel like, especially for our group of experience characters, you walk into a room, half your party is instantly petrified and there's not at least a little voice going like, Oh, maybe this is a dumb idea, then you get what's coming to you. But I think that that's that's that's where I'm trying to get to, at least my personal goal as at d M, is to find that nice little nichetion between the metagame and the character choices and the player choices, that that connection of this is dangerous, you know, because there is a disconnect between a player and his fictional character going into a room and it's Oh, a Medusa, you don't know that, right. Oh, I froze half the party,...

I can still do it because I'm the hero in this story. Well, only so much. So it's that's that's where the balance, I think this little balance comes from, right, because, like, I want to keep a story going, but events happened that petrified half the party. But if the players want to attack the the remaining creatures, I have to let them, right, even though I know it will end the story. So it's true and it's a weird balance. Yeah, yeah, one of the potentials might be to a foreshadow, I guess, I guess, the power of this creature or whatever, or whatever thing you're about to run into, whether that's through different like books that they've come across or if they actually see it like absolutely obliterate something. It'll help to like paint that picture in their head like Oh, maybe we shouldn't do this, you know, even if like you don't obviously have to, like you don't do that for all things, but like if you were to do that kind of stuff, it might be something that that the players might be able to do figure out, like Oh yeah, maybe we should have yeah, yeah, absolutely, and I think it's that information delivery as well. Right. I like that's one of those encounters that I thought saying lifelike statues often enough would have been really direct us to what you're encountering. But I was leveraging player knowledge, not character knowledge, and I think that was my fault as a DM, because you are supposed to find out, or at least elude that it is a medusa that you're fighting or you're going to fight. But again, it's just I didn't know how to handle the situation up until that point. Yeah, so you almost have to like make NPC's that are more powerful than them, than the party, and then run them in and have them get obliterated and then make a new NBC. That's somehow it gets entangled with them every time you have something like that. Yeah, yeah, but yeah, I you know what this could this this conversation. You can continue. I think we've taken up enough time with this a short discussion, but next week I'll talk to you guys a little bit more about that, which is more so how do you deliver exposition in a story to drive that narrative even for even further? So we'll get to that next week. I think it's a pretty good time to move on to our next segment. Braden Carlos, all right, I'm distracted now. I'm excited for that next conversation. Let's take a look at the dungeon master's guide. Last time we met we discussed play style and balancing between hack and slash type combat, just kind of nonstop wall to wall, go, go, go, calm at all the time, versus immersive storytelling, more episodic and focused on the inner struggles of the different characters and how you can make that come to life in your games and where the balance is, where you the balances in each of our campaigns. This week we're going to take a look at some some ideas to get some things flowing in how you might decide had to run your campaign. The first thing that we're going to talk about is character names, and I find it interesting because it's talking about how everybody should kind of be on board with names, kind of as an extension of what the theme of the adventure is it mentions. You could have names like a seeth, this trey voc, I'm not going to try and pronounce that third one, Chiron, stuff like that, and then it's naturally going to look pretty weird when Bob Rolls Up to join the adventures. A little lot of place. The Maje Man, Aka the Majument, not what I was thinking of, but I was thinking of the same players, previous druid character who walked in with bill. Remember we had Phoenix? No Way, it wasn't. We had bill. Yes, because after we derided him, he decided that it was bill with three L's. Since that the MAGEMENT's not a bad example as well, but I'm trying to think of any that we've had in our recent campaigns that just kind of don't Mesh as much. I will say the made man is kind of a wild name, but on the same time the background for the sorcer is bulk hero, so I think that's okay in that sense, as like the addressed name this person,...

...and I think if, if this cant, if this campaign continues further than just the Tomb of annihilation storyline, will explore some of that a little bit. There's some plan in mind with reguarding your actual character back stories, because you guys, some of you guys, have given me actual threads to pull on, which is, you know, really fun for me. But yeah, I think we've had a character that's had a couple of quarter life crisis and this page seems a couple of time, which is also been interesting. But yeah, I actually didn't think of that too much, Braden, because I ever like when I think of a character creation, when I think of naming things right, like for me, it's pretty easy to just say, yeah, I'm making a real character in this world, but as a player, right, like the options are, Hey, I'm making someone fun that I want to play ass right, of course I want to name them Johnny with a silent x Jordan. Do you experience this at all in your campaigns or is there they are pretty just just the previous examples. I've been in both of those campaigns. Oh, I know, a bunch of people like putting in like punny names. Oh, sometimes those can can really bug me. In what way? I'm curious now whoa okay, like so one one character was Ling Guenie. I hate it. Yeah, I'm sorry, I asked Sweeney family has been established in water deep for a long time. As a as a brief aside, this is tangentially connected at best, but I don't know if I'll get another chance to tell this on the air. I have the same character that plays both bill and the Maje man. His current name is not so much a name. We refer to him as jl because he plays his character as having Turette's because of course he does. Of course, and in the delivery of his name he starts he goes yes, my name is and then it devolves into a series of explatives and on his character sheet when he gave it to me, it said Jay and then three explatives and then l. So we just started referring to him as jail. And then I give them a hunter's permit, which is something that they need in this fictional universe in order to complete officially sang and bounties, and actually went through and I printed off like physical hunters permits for them to have, just as kind of like a fun thing that we were doing. I was like yeah, you just need to sign it as your character and everybody was signing it and he's sitting there pensively. I was like, what's wrong? Mean a pennies? Like no, I'm just trying to decide if I want to sign this with my real name or not. Somebody your real name is like, well, that's not my real name. I was like, well, what's your real name? Is like, I haven't told anyone. He had. I'm like, but you should tell me. I'm the M. Yeah, let's just going. Let's do a quick interjection here and a PSA to all seven or ten audience members that we have. You are not playing against the DM. Yeah, yes, you're also not playing with the DM. The DM is just there to get the game moving. If you have if you have story hooks that you want to throw into the campaign, let your DM know. This is not an secret. You're not pulling surprises on the DM, because it's hard to drive a narrative if all of a sudden you have this other long lost family and insane background that you're suddenly pulling out and I have to improvise on. Let me establish that in the world with you. You know you're not again players, please. You are not playing against anybody in this game other than the tasks and very well, said very well, and I say that because I don't want to say you're not playing against at DM, you're playing against other players. That's not true either. You're collaboration is key, and that's actually something that I did with this new campaign. I took them in. I started them out in the same way I did in the Tumb of annihilation with the adventure is guilt, except the little...

...anecdote that I gave the NPCU was, hey, you guys are a new party. Let me give you some advice. Stay together. So that is good advice. It was a way to, you know, sneak Meta game into, you know, a reasonable setting, right, like, Hey, this guy's giving people quest these guys clearly don't know each other. Let me give you some advice. New Adventures Art. I feel like I was sidetracked this entirely. Let's move on. Next step. We've got whether you want to run a continuing campaign or an episodic campaign. Now I think that what's the three of us run would generally be considered continuing campaign. So continueing campaign being you kind of move along with a large arc type idea. I'm that's you're kind of like like the story is one continuing story versus an episodic campaign. Think of like an a like something out of like a s cartoon or something, where every week it's the same characters back with the same dynamics, but every week is like a completely different, disjointed story that they're going on, kind of like, kind of like how I kind of run one shots when you guys bring back the same characters. Yeah, I think that generally our campaign's collectively would be considered continuing, but they have any of you ever run an episodic campaign? Or would you? I would actually and I'm actually planning on building a larger scope, but this goes in general for just the Royal City Society as a whole. The ability to be able to create a character and just jump into a story that somehow it ties in to this grander world is really exciting to me and I think, like you mentioned right, it is more like a show, like each session the characters go on some form like some long form adventure that has a resolution at the end of the session. Now, mind you, I think that that does require a little bit more time commitment, because even now I would be hard pressed to create a full and each narrative with like a two hour time slot. I feel like that kind of episodic campaign might require, you know, three hours, four hours of playing, which not everybody's willing to sit down and do just so, just so you can explore more than just the one dungeon, you know. But yeah, keep thinking that engine in two hours. Yeah, and that's what I mean right, like it's it. I would I would be hard pressed to do that without, you know, these big sort of wipe cuts per se. So you just finished this room and now you went back to the in and handed, like. I mean, you work out with the players. Maybe that could work. That could be some good pacing for a story, but I would prefer to have more game time, I think, to you know, start a story and finish it like, like it like. I mean I just think of like Lord of the Rings for examples, like all these things are kind of like one, one one, like like the first Lord of the Rings, right, like you start in the Shire and you move along and all of that takes place in like three hours. I feel like you could do that in a campaign, but you need that time, you know, to establish an initial plot, to establish, you know, some mid story and then a climax and then a finish. Otherwise you don't have a story right, and I think that would be key for an episode of campaign. Is You need to have a story each time you play other as it's just pull. Well, what they accomplish, I don't know. Yeah, exactly it would. It's it would have to be a pretty planned out campaign and it would have to be like I'd almost like avoid dungeons in general for something like that and just have like smaller battles because battles take so long, and then try and have some sort of like, I don't know, like meety story in there instead of combat. If I were to do an episodic campaign, that might be where more of a like and sorry, what's it called? The storytelling, immersive storytelling type of campaign might be more suited for an episodic type of thing than like a hackenslash. So moving on to our less section. It talks about the campaign theme, and when I read this the first time, I figured it meant theme almost like a genre, like is it a horror setting? Is it a fantasy setting, or what's the now theme more meaning, like what's the what's...

...the deep kind of idea that's underpinning all this? Is the idea related specifically to mortality. And actually looking at him. Of Annihilation. I think that is a really good example of that. To the idea of these these undead or previously having being resurrected, people now dying again. And what are you going to do about that? How are you going to stop, essentially, how are you going to stop deaf campaigns revolving around evil and Intrinsic Evil at the center of everything, not just focusing on outside features, but campaigns focused on the players themselves, in the players being troubled, like maybe that's the theme, via the flaws within the heroes. And how would one run that, essentially, and I think that's the last thing we're going to discuss. So my question Visa v that would probably be would you guys identify a theme in any of your campaigns right now? I don't think I can. The campaign I just started, for example, is just brand new. There's no general theme associated to that yet. I think from a DMS perspective into annihilation, I guess a theme would be like Dungeon delving at this point, but I wouldn't necessarily put it like a good and evil type thing. I'm not sure. I'm hard pressed to find that. I think about that it's hard to put us as a good and evil type thing when like half the party is not good. Well, I mean more so, like I it's one of those realizations that I've had where I think maybe the gravity of wire on this quest hasn't been emphasized enough. These are just things that I kind of notice based on retention of information, for example, like players, like the big ticket item here is like the soul monger, and each time it's like what is that again? Like fucked, and I why that name does not stick with me. They knows it, but the name is does not, and it's not to your fault or to anything. It's just I think, like as a DM, I have noticed that we're getting to this point in the campaign where you're very close to the final act per se and we still don't know what we're really looking for. You know, it's it's a iterative things that I try to work on. But you were going to say something, Jordan. Yeah, so with my campaign that I'm building on wild mounts, I actually asked the players ahead of time what they were expecting out of the campaign and what kind of things they would like to see, and so I've kind of used that as like there their responses to that as a way to build a theme for them. So I don't want to like give away too much on that kind of stuff, but I've used the answers that they gave in order to build a theme that I think kind of matches what they were looking for. And then also I've noticed some of the things that they put into their characters and I think that I will start to use that as part of the theme as well, or as almost too, two separate themes that are running at the same time and I can introduce both of them at at at different times. So I really like the idea of having a theme because it kind of makes it feel like a story, like there's one story that the that the group is kind of following. Mid I'm more of a planner than I am an improviser, so that kind of makes sense why I would enjoy that kind of stuff. So yeah, that that's kind of I don't want to say too much. I want to, but I don't want to. That's okay, like I'll be updating you guys with new chapters of that new campaign that I'm running, as it happens, you know, and a retro and, like you maybe you can talk about it retroactively like I have in with him annihilation. I don't think I've been spoiling anything with the conversations we've been having, but I also I'm not going to tell you guys what comes next. You know, man, no inside or details on triple advantage. If that's what you're expecting, you guys got to go find it somewhere. US whole reason I'm here. But if you do want insider information on the things that we were releasing, go check out our instagram page at Royal City Society. We're publishing content on DM's guild semi consistently and we'd love...

...for you guys to go check it out and give us any feedback that you guys have. It's all narrative, it's all for fun, so don't be afraid to just check out what we have and, you know, Haula at us if you have any concerns or comments or whatever. I don't know, how do you engage with people online when you record previously and then you post a day later? Strange, but anyways, go do that, all right. Continuing on off of that, I think that that brings us to an end of divining the DMG for this week. While you're over there checking out our stuff at Royal City Society, leave a comment on the post for today's episode. How do themes factor into your campaign? What are the themes? Tell us a fantastically hilarious character name that you've had run in your campaign or that you've had as a character. But now I think it's time to move on, Mr Jordan. Yeah, all right. So going on to critical thoughts, guys. All right, so for this week I'm going to go off of the theme that we were talking about a little bit with Carl this earlier and session ones and stuff like that. So for you guys, do you DM differently for new players as opposed to experienced ones, and, if so, like what kind of changes do you make? I'll answer and say that I don't DM differently for other group, but I have made drastic changes to how I dm at certain points of a story or between sessions. Maybe, as I'm running a campaign, I read something interesting that I think I can introduce, so I do that, but I don't tend to DM in a different flavor between groups. I think maybe that's part of the allure of a DM in a sense. Right, like you, have your the unique the unique take on a story that a particular DM might give you. I think is part of the art of this game in general. Right, you wouldn't necessarily say, Oh, this person, you know, you know, like, for example, I like personally, right, like my DM style is definitely a hybrid of other DMS that I've seen and other things that I that I've that I want to incorporate. So, you know, little things like everybody saying how you want to do this, right, and like maybe that became more popular because Matt Mercer and critical role, but it's such a great line to give a player, right, like it's such a great and engaging thing to say to someone. Hey, you just saw the monster. How do you want to kill this? Right, get that Saratonin bump. When? When? When? When you get that choice, you know, it's like, Oh, this isn't just an attack, it's, you know, cooped a gross Kuda Gras. I don't know it was butchered. Sorry any French speakers out there, but and then I have a little Mike merls in there. I think that's when I started introducing the rule for either perception or insight. You know, you will determine different aspects of this story based on that choice. And I saw, I think it was heroes of the veil when I started watching Mike Morles do that and then just after watching him and how his little happy fun hour that I like. Sadly it doesn't happen as often anymore, but seeing him and how he thinks out like balancing mechanics in game has definitely influence a little bit on how I develop mechanics in game. And Yeah, so it's I think it's like any form of art really with regards to you know, you might draw your musical inspiration from a certain artist, right in the same way that you draw, you know, game mechanics that you like to use from other dms and from other things you've seen. I don't know that's that. It's my take on it. I think I've found a little niche on how, you know, I talk and how I expect it, like a how explain situations. But I don't know what about your Brat, I'd echo pretty much the same thing. I don't change up my style really from campaign to campaign and I do also tend to echo a lot of my influences and I think we have pretty much the same influences for the most part. I will say anecdotally that is occasionally to my detriment because when I do have new players, especially new players that are coming in to an experience session like we recently had, I really don't slow down the...

...pace at all for them when I probably should, and it's a lot of kind of whiplash on their end when there's suddenly being tossed into this and I'm just like throwing out words that are probably meaningless buzz words to them that everybody else is seeming to pick up on right and it's it's definitely something I feel like I do need to be a bit more compassionate in that regard, just towards the fact that they probably don't have much of an idea what's going on beyond the very, very basics. But I don't know, it's it's something I'm not fantastic at yet, for sure. I don't Jordan, what about your where's your dam inspiration from? Do you change it up? I I'm definitely have the opposite problem as Braden. There I think I might change up things a bit too much. Where if there's a new player in the group or new players plural, I definitely take it a lot easier on them with regards to just everything. I let everything slide. My D my NPC's are a lot dumber or the DC's are lower or anything along those lines, just to kind of like give them the idea, I guess, of success and kind of give them an idea of like this is how the game is run and you don't have to worry too much about these kind of things yet and hopefully down the road I start to get a little bit more like, okay, now your experience, I'm going to start increasing the difficulty here. It's it's not. It's not very good dming, I don't think, because if I am like changing the difficulty based on how many or how many new players are are and that kind of thing, than it kind of you know, I don't think the DM is supposed to do that. I think if they're really running a story, that the difficulties shouldn't change at all. But I can't help myself so and I think. And then it goes all back to that general conversation that we had, which is just how do you get your players, and especially new players, to engage with the story right if they're failing at every moment. It's not going to be fun exactly. But at the same time I could see that being the case as well if you have a mix of players and it's clear that certain actions by some party members have seemingly succeeded more often than others. So do you change like DC's between, you know, players in one session or do you do it in separate sessions and stuff like that? Well, so I would definitely like I would set the DC to be the same for the group at that time. But if there are new players in the group, then it the whole difficulty for everyone kind of decreases, and so it just like, I don't know. I think for the experience players, it takes a little bit away for them because, you know, they've seen success and they know what that feels like and they know all that kind of stuff, and so sometimes failure being added in their kind of adds to their like anticipation or or fear or kind of like oh no, like what's going to happen? I don't know, a little bit of anxiety there, which can get your blood pumping and, like you know, that's how they can get their rush, whereas I think the new players, like you know, they don't want to be like, oh no, I fail the now the group is looking at me like I did something bad, you know, or that kind of thing. So I don't know what the right mixes there to yet. I'm still kind of feeling it out. So yeah, and then for sure. I mean I like, for example, right like in the in the session that I ran for this new campaign, one Goblin ran away and once they got to cragma hide out, I just had the goblins that were on guard be sleeping. Objectively right, that one GOBLIN would have ran and warned everybody. But at the same time, what they have right like it like in early level campaigns, very like. Is a Goblin just going to run away? Maybe I don't know. So maybe that's what I'm telling myself as a DM, that I didn't change difficulty settings for the module based on new players. But I think in general right, it got everybody excited. And, for example, you, do you guys remember who was? Was it any of you that ran lost mines? I think I definitely brain. Yeah, I was in that. Was it you, Jordan? Yeah, I think I was in that one. I don't know if I ran it. No, I don't know. I'm talking about like when I dmed it the first time. Yeah, I'm I'm pretty sure I was part of it as well. Yeah, well, because...

...of certain narrative changes and how I explored it, we're able to get through the CRAGMA hide out in one session, which I wasn't able to do the first time I dmmed it. was that there someone where I was one of those like last standers, and there was the one bug bear left over in the in one of the mines or whatever. Yeah, yeah, who, yeah, it was. Actually that bugbear encounter was really funny because the druid that was playing did a thunderwave and did fifty and like kill, kill two goblins and dealt so much damage to the bug bear in one turn that it wasn't able to get that much damage. And I objectively speaking, a bug bear really crits every time it hits right. So it's kind of nasty. But I'm going to leave that one as a surprise for players when they do get hit by the bug bear the first time. But, like I'm saying, like it's just I don't know, I didn't change the difficulty of the encounter in general. I just you know, they didn't interact with the wolves. They kind of just let them be. So okay, we don't have to run that combat encounter. They managed to scare or pretend that there was a giant monster in the cavern that prevented certain goblins from moving forward and I don't know, just in general as a DM, it was nice to see that I can run that kind of dungeon in one session and just get through with it, because I really wanted them to get the fan dollar by the end of the first encounter the first session, but I didn't want to change page how the encounters within the hideout were to facilitate that. Right, and kind of this works into what you were saying right, like I didn't want to make the goblins all of a sudden too stupid, right. I just established a level of stupid and kind of stuck with it. Yeah, I can't help but think like so. Recently I re watched community and I keep thinking, like you know, allbed in, that show runs dungeons and dragons, I think twice through at the season's and every time he's like super like, nope, these are the rules. That's it. I don't care if you've played before, if you know what you're doing. You know this, this is what happens. That's IT, period, end of story, and that's kind of cool to to me because it's like, Oh yeah, like real world consequences, like if you do something, there will be something that happens to you, whereas like, I think I might tend to like fudge things just to make it easier on people, and I'm like yeah, maybe not so great. I remember I was actually watching that episode earlier today because so doing probably the thing didn't watch, but one of the quotes at the very end really got to me because at the end of that episode he they take too long arguing out front of the big bad m only burst in. He's left through the back door. Yeah, he's like sorry, that's it for the session and one of the players just goes like you can't do that, like you o us an ending, and he goes, I don't know you anything, like I create a world and that world has consequences. For example, if you stand out here fighting each other for an hour arguing about who gets to kill the guy inside the tower, the guy inside the towers going to leave through the back door? HMM. And I just remember, like we had one session, one time where these guys did not end up really it was a one shop that they didn't end up arriving really at the destination they would have wanted to. They didn't. They defeated the evil person, but they never really found what they were looking for within this house that they were exploring. And I'm boards like we were packing up. It was like, Yep, good session, guys, and somebody was like well, what what should have happened? was like, you have no idea, you can't tell us, like you gotta. I was like, I absolutely cannot tell you. You you made choices that resulted in not figuring out. That's right, I was so bad and this wasn't you. Actually, this was another session, but but it's like, yeah, the choices that you made have led us to this particular ending. Like this isn't a video game. You don't just get to go back and figure out what you did wrong and do it again, like this was the adventure. The adventures over. But going back to that, to the divining the DMG segment and that last section of episodic verses along form story, I'll disagree with you. I'll say that in a one shot, if you're doing a like an episodic kind of thing. There should be a some sort of resolution, right, like maybe, maybe we'll disagree on that, but it's more so unlike the player reward as well, right, like I wouldn't want to slog through three hours of of game to not kill the big Baddie. You know, if we're continuing the...

...story, that entices me to come back to the table, but if I know it's a oneshot, then okay, like, I wouldn't do that, personally, I don't think. But again, like Duran's question said, like every DM is different, right, like. It's just what flavor of table do you want to have? You know, if we show up to Braden's table, you know, clearly these consequences are established and that might be a way of playing that you really enjoy. Right. I think it's interesting. It's interesting especially because we play with each other, and that sounds really super sauce, especially since we especially since we run DND games with one another from time to time. It's interesting to see how our dming styles have evolved a little bit. Like I personally like I like to do more of the Improv style of running an adventure, because it's fun for me as a DM all right, but there are something to say about planning and knowing what your campaign has to hold, right. Yeah, for sure, I don't know. It's it. That's a really open question. I feel like we could talk about that for our go a long time, just like every other topic on triple advantage. Yeah, but for now I think we've talked enough about it. Thank you for answering guys. This has been critical thoughts on triple advantage with Royal City Society. Again, thanks to all the listeners out there. We just want to say, you know, send us a message, let us know what you think and we'll try and respond to you and maybe put some of the stuff that you say on on our next podcast. So, yeah, send us a DM at Royal City Society on our instagram account and we'll see you guys all next week. I'm Jordan, I'm Carlos and I'm still Braden. Man, I don't know about this ending, guys. Okay, you can just cut it then I will not. This is all coming and lovely hold. See you guys in a couple of days.

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