Triple Advantage
Triple Advantage

Season 2, Episode 6 · 2 years ago

Ep. 17 - Discovering Downtime


On this weeks Triple Advantage we are talking about the first time a party gets to experience a city or village. The options presented always cause some fun player behaviour. Trucking along we continue to discuss tiers of play as outlined in the Dungeon Masters Guide. Finally, Jordan brings in yet another critical though!

Hello and welcome back to our wonderful audience, all of you listening in to another episode of triple advantage. We're on season two, episode five now, with a running total, guys, of seventeen episodes. This has been pretty fun so far. Any thoughts, any concerns? No concerns here, lad we're still doing this. We have seen a recent increase, I believe, Carlos, is that correct, in our viewership. Yeah, last episode, I don't know what it was about that day, but I guess we had. We jumped up to sixty one total downloads for the podcast over all, which to some of you with already established shows might not seem like much, but that's more people than I talked to on a regular basis already. So that's very true. I don't think I know that many people's an audience. Today, guys, we have brinon Jordan and myself, Carlos, back at it again with the only three that do this. So I don't know why I keep in introducing ourselves each episode. Today similar format as it has been in the past. brainines is going to take us in to the next section of the dungests master's Guide and Jordan. I assume has increased a list of critical thoughts and he's going to pick a right fruit from that tree and ask us a wonderful question. But before we get to that, we got to talk about the game and today's topic for this conversation. I want to deal with something that all of us, as players and as DM's, deal with, and it's not the first encounter like last week episode, like last week's episode, but the first city experience, the first quote unquote sandbox experience that you might experience in game. Do you guys remember the first city that you may have ran as a DM or the first experience that you might have had as a player in a city? Love to hear your thoughts on this, guys. As a city, are we classifying a city? Like we talked about downtime, or we talking about yeah, unction, yeah, more more on the downtime interaction of NPC's less of the you're clearly in a dungeon that you need to turn through, more so the well, what do you want to do with your time today? It's a free day. I tend to pretty much start my players off like that, like I don't like to drop them in when I do homebrew sessions like directly into like here's what you're going to be doing for like the next twenty weeks or so. I like to kind of started off with the city and I'll throw out like I'll start them off with some combat and I'll throw out a couple plot hooks, and where they decide to go from there is where I'll usually try and cater the campaign towards. So if they if they really want the dungeon delving, that I'll jump right into that. That's fine, but I like to kind of leave it. I like to leave the city. Go ahead. Sorry. Well, I guess to just shape the question a little bit. Further more, so the you have ran experiences, not not. Don't take it as a whether you change the experience of the players. You're not. But when you ran a city or when you experienced your first playthrough of a city as a player, what were some of the things that you were surprised about as a DM and both as a player, both to the how much did you plan out, maybe as a DM, and which characters did you have perhaps already in the city, or were you running more off of Oh, water d of course you can find armors and expedite some of the shopping experiences for players. Again, it's odd to talk about it because I guess you got a cater to the group itself, but I just want to you know, any experiences in a city environment or something like that that you might be able to speak about, just because I ran. I ran the first fandel in experience, I guess, recently, and it was an interesting take because, for example, as a DM, I want the whole session to be summarized in three sittings, but the middle sitting is when they arrive at Fandlin and how much of an open world sandbox experience to a want to give them but still try to keep it within a three session constraint, because how do I expedite that as a DM, for example? Or even little things that I notice that my players were doing, for example with the newer players, it was like, again, we've talked about this before, but it was, you know, too many tools all of a sudden and you're left wondering, well, I don't really know what I can do. Have you face any experiences with players and cities guys, or do usually try to expedite a lot of it to minimize any confusion knows to what you might be able to do. I I definitely get where you're coming from with the confusion. I think a lot of the time is what ends up happening. Is, especially when you're...

...on the road for a while, players kind of tend to fall in line with the fact that the DM is kind of leading them somewhere, like they have they have autonomy and can go wherever they want, but there's always a path in general and at least there's like a set destination. And then once they get to that destination, which is like a city or something, and they come up against these concepts of downtime and like I can what am I going to do now that we're here and we got three days until we got to meet up with the informant or whatever it is, then it it kind of goes out the window, because then it's like true, like true, open ended, like what do you want to do? Like you can do anything that's available in this city. What are you going to do? And players, in my experience, or kind of like I don't know, I'm gonna sit here and train in my room for three days because I don't know, like this is what I've done all a lot and I don't. I have no idea what to do. The one session I really enjoyed was when we were running a Ravnika campaign with our good friend Matt. He gave us each like he'd have an entire session in between like these kind of episodic quest that we'd be sent on and they'd switch back yours and you'd be like a the next session. Just you guys know is going to be downtime. Each one of you. I'm going to take you through and walk what do you do in with like the next two weeks until you guys meet up again for your next adventure. Just have that prepared them. We're going to go over it. But he would actually have a list. He's like here's the general things that you might do in Ravnika, here's the general things that your guild might have available on top of that that aren't of access to the other guilds. In reality, it's completely open ended and you can do whatever you want, but here's a bunch of ideas to start with, because this is what a lot of people do. And I thought that was really cool because it was like yes, it's open ended and we can do whatever, but it's nice to kind of have that that gentle prodding of like yeah, so there are there are still options that, like, at least I know you're prepared for. We're not going right off the rails here. So it's a bit of a nice pipeline, expedite, expeditation of Gameplay, right. You're giving them perhaps scenarios that they could partaken within a city. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, city experiences are always kind of weird, I guess, that way because because it's so open ended, it's like, Oh, what do I what am I actually going to do? Because I think for US actually, like now nowadays, like we work at a job and then we go home and we'll eat dinner, whatever, and then we'll go and do something a little bit of fun or whatever, or do some chores or that kind of thing. Like there isn't anything like whoa going on to do in the next like exciting thing or training up for something specific. Some of US might have that, but I don't think a lot of us do, whereas I think like adventurers, their job is, Oh, here's a job board, I'll take something and yeah, then we'll go and do that and we'll get paid crap ton of money and we're pretty much set to do whatever we want. Like there'sn't like a Oh, you need to go and do this daily in order to survive in this world. You know what I mean? Right, so, right. And so downtime becomes literally an entire day. So it's like, Oh, what am I going to do with my character for twenty four full hours? And that's just one day and I've got two weeks of this. I don't know if there's way too much that you can do and way too much that you're like with my character even want to do that. Some some characters might even just be like, Oh yeah, no, I'm just going to go on and do the next job because that's what he likes doing. Like some characters are literally not going to be interested in, Oh yeah, I'm going to go and invest my money, or Oh yeah, I'm going to go and by this new pack of gear or whatever. He might just be like, no, I'm saving up until I can get some sort of higher ranked item. I'm just got to go do no more jobs. That's what I enjoy doing, that's what I want to do, you know, and so it's kind of a it's kind of like, Oh, what am I doing? Here right now. So, yeah, the Super Weird experiences. I think my favorite experience in a city was when we met NPC's that had interacted with us in the past or had interacted with US indirectly. Specifically, I think Braden, your one of your campaigns when we ran into the peddler with the curse items and then we messed with a guy who...

...then became a girl. Yeah, if, if, if that campaign hadn't ended rather abruptly, that he was definitely coming back as a future villaity. You don't get to screw with an NPC that badly and not have him secret venge on your party. But that was like ton of fun, so much fun, but had nothing to do with it is like a story or anything like that. It could in the future, but players aren't like, I don't know, like that was just kind of something random that we decided to do because of little hints, I guess right. And it's interesting that you say that the that MPC would come back as as a villain a later on, because one thing that I tend to notice with at least the first city encounter especially, and again I go back between the differences of newer players and older players because at our tables they see a contrast to that very calm, very consistently. But for whatever reason, an emergent behavior that I think is in players is that every time you introduce them to a new NPC, for whatever reason they're the shadiest person in the world right away. It's like I described. For example, I described in Fanland when they arrived that it was late in the evening and all these stores were closing down. Two of my players decided that they wanted to go to the blacksmith and purchase some weapon Ram. Well, you know, a fun little interaction I thought would be if the blacksmith is just closing a shore, you know, have one of those moments where you just get please, come on like, can you? Can you sell, like you you you were just open. Come on like that kind of interaction. MMM. So I wanted to have that. So I figured, Hey, have the blacksmith almost be closing. So of course, you know this is I'm blacksmith is working tirelessly throughout the day, Bang and metal. It's hard work. So He's a little reluctant to sell them weapons because he's like, come on, guys, just come tomorrow. I just closed it seems pretty reasonable, right. But for whatever reason, that no, the the NPC, for example, saying no to a player. That the wall, you know, a challenge. I'm not getting what I want. Somehow it turns into there's something odd about this NPC because it's not just doing my bidding. What do you mean? I can't just buy from you? You're a shopkeeper. So I had it. You know, the NPC had said that these going to the end later on and then as the players watched him leave, he walked by this in right and of course they immediately thought this was Super Shady. Did it didn't cross to their mind that, you know, he's probably going home to shower and then later go out, which is what the I think what the more experienced player picked out of those situation. I think he verbally said, based on what you described, I would not think that this is shady. But okay, let's follow him, which is interesting right. And as a DM it's funny because as soon as the players bit into this sort of facade of something sneaky going on with this blacksmith in a small town, I just went okay, I'm going to be overtly descriptive because for whatever reason you're biting on too or, you know, like when you describe something a little too much, you give that extra sentence and then players are like, whoa hold up, this must be more important information, which is you know it. We do that on purpose, but I think I also like to do that to mess with people, because it's just like the the I feel like a lot of logic gets thrown out of the game, as it should write. It is a fantasy game, but I think a lot of like common sense type of encounters. For whatever reason the game muddles into. HMM, something is working against me. I must figure out why that's. I never thought about that before, but I think, I think it might have something to do with especially with new players, it's tough to wrap their head around like there's an entire living world going on in these the normalcy and right, yeah, it's exactly so. There are mundane events that you can also just be a part of. Right. I think that it's tough to wrap around like that. This guy is just a blacksmith living his life and that he's not part of the campaign. That's been specifically written in, like there's a pot hook because because he exists, there is a story there. No, not really, he's just dude. I also think that the health system has a little bit to play in it. For example, think of a character that just got beat to shit and they're down to zero HP and combat. Maybe they went down to zero ache multiple times in common that. Yet, as a player, when my character is back up to full HP, what do you think of them? Do? Are they, you know, in full spirits and completely healed and back and... full stamina again, or are they, you know, like, let's take a couple of days, guys, we just went through some rough shit, you know, because the the the health system in the game kind of enforces that go, go go behavior, right, like when you're in a city. We were talking about well, what do I do with the down time? Right, like if I'm not full HP, the downtime is I want to take a long rest until I am back to fullaghep and then I can continue and slay more monsters. But it kind of works against the sandbox, I guess, if you don't really like have more of that experience of just being able to Oh, what can we what non combat encounters could we explore in this time? I feel like that HP system of resetting back. It's hard to get that player mindset out of like, oh, your character can literally just go again, right like. And that's this broken ribs. What's that? What do you mean? I have thirteen broken ribs and I have to sit here for months Frist like. I take that. I take the magical healing as as kind of like that wishywashy don't worry about the time it takes to heal your burnt off. But you know, like you fell in lava and took fifty two damage. Don't worry about it. Fine, which speaks the running, I guess, different types of campaigns that you know have permanent injuries, right, like maybe you lost the foot and now you only have half your movement speed or even just like your hair. Yeah, yeah, I'm always super tempted to include that as a mechanic, like, especially when players start doing things that, like, they know is going to be super risky. M Yeah, as at, for example, of Carlos, you're my herd of the Dragon Queen Campaign. A couple players were recently attacked and bitten by vampires and they're currently with the necrotic effects of a vampire by their Max HP is currently been knocked down and I played that office flavors like they got bit and you can now see that, like the wounds are like blackened in festering, and definitely it's the mechanic. It's going to go away by the time they long rest, but I don't think I'm going to let those scars heal. I think that that's going to be one of those things that they just like they have a battle, it's a battle wounds now, like they survived this, but they're walking away with this permanent scar on their being, for sure, and I think it alludes to then. Now that we're talking about HP is, like how do you describe damage? For example, right like one point of slashing damage could be like a small cut. Ten points of slashing damage is like a piercing blow. All right, but I think it's just in general, I like you could be fighting a horror of Goblins at I'll give you a thousand cuts and then one large potion just heels all these wounds and you're ready to go again. Definitely makes it harder, I think, especially for people to be in a city for a long periods of time. Right, like if if you're not utilizing that h people to you know, maybe limit perhaps the actions in a day by putting an encounter in front of players constantly. You'd have it. I feel like most players would be like, okay, we're back out to the adventuring world. But another note. That's part of the game too, right they gets you are adventures at the end of the day, right you are, you are needed out in the realms right off and ward off evil. So maybe a play is both. I don't know. It's interesting because seeing seeing new players and how the you know, the downtime works and how you handle, you know, just talking to people can definitely be daunting and I think also in like an RP sense, it's one of the tougher things for to get a to get ahold of. But I just want to get your thoughts on like running cities, guys, because it's the first time that this group in particular went through it and they did have to take a bit of a more expedited path because they do need to move on to the next dungeon for the final session of this hybrid long form one shot. I guess I'll call it that. I'm running this adventure, so I'll continue to keep you guys updated with more and more thoughts that I have regarding the or only stages of a campaign, and if this can in this this forms into a more long form campaign, I'll definitely use that for more and informed Dande content, for triple advantage. But, Britain, I think it's about time we change our topic again, and you got that the DMG with you, you know. I certainly do so. Last week when we looked at the dungeon master's guide, we talked about continuing versus episodic campaigns, we talked about themes, we talked about character names, what's in them? This week we're going to be looking at tears of play, and I'm especially excited to get everybody's thoughts on this...

...because I think that in general, none of us have really cracked level ten, have we, unless we do like a one shot where we play like exclusively loved twenty type thing. But we haven't done that, and I think it's because we keep running. I think it's because, as players are as people, we keep trying to play this hobby and enjoy this hobby with as many people in our circle of friends and therefore we constantly need to restart campaigns so accommodate those that may just be starting out for their first time. Right exactly. You can't run a campaign on at level fifteen for a new player. It just it doesn't work, although I'd be super interested if you guys ever want to play a game with more of the more of the DM's than anything, to be honest. Yeah, let's see if we can run a couple of one shots. Maybe that's something we could prepare for this channel. We should prepare one shot and over the course of four weeks we have like a more, quote unquote, higher tier of play. Do have one in the works. So not awesome. I'll be done a play. Okay. Looking at the DMG, though, it breaks the span of twenty levels down into four rough categories. The first of them is levels one to four and that goes under local heroes. So at this point, like they're people that are still figuring out like these abilities, in these powers that they have, in figuring out how that makes them different from other people and how they can use that. Tokin a rise above and it talks about how, you know, their low level spells the really mundane year. Any magic items that they find are probably going to be instant consumables like a potion of healing. Very few items that they encounter are probably going to be like permanence that have big impacts on the world. At worst, it really says it like there might be the fate of a village hanging in the success, like their local town. They might be sent to do like some some region wide jobs, like crawling through like a tum or something like that, but it really nothing of grand grand scale. I do think that this is how most of us play. Level Onetwo four already correct your kind of in this in this space where you're just kind of being known as heroes. People are just starting to learn your name. People are just aren't realize, oh, that's the guy that kind of kicked the bandits out of town last week. Cool, but you're not, like you're not mythic status. HMM. And I'm wondering specifically how people, how you've seen this factored in with backgrounds, because I know a lot of people tend to make these big, grandiose backgrounds for their for their character. We had friend of ours in one of my campaigns that you were both in, played a rogue and he was talking about how he is. His rogue was from a a organization that was like so stealthy they were almost revered as God's because nobody could catch them. They were like the highest form of burglars and assassins that you could find. But he resulations. You got knocked out by three albums. Yeah, he's he's a level that I think successfully made one stealth check in the entire time we lay that session. But, like, do you ever find trouble with like trying to reconcile the fact that, like, you are just starting out on this campaign versus you want to have like a deep, intriguing backgrounds that kind of gives your character something more? It's it's interesting because I think of things, for example, like a full hero, to be someone that is in these like level one, two, four categories. One of the thoughts that have had is that maybe that particular title wouldn't be achieved until you become some sort of you know, even if it's for a small village, right, they know you as that guy who saved the distressed human, you know. But it's hard to do that with players who perhaps don't create bigger backstories. So maybe working down the realism is a lot easier in campaigns and I think certain backgrounds play into it a little bit better. For example, like a sailor, you could be a sailor all the time and now starting your adventuring world. You could be an accolyte and then start your adventuring life right like have a pivot and your current career. But there's definitely something like folk cure that are like okay, well, it kind of states that people know you. So what do they know you for? So I think the difficulty there is when people don't necessarily give you that background to then use. So then they're building their full hero background in the early stages of the campaign. Although you know that's that,... you said, right, like it's the working with the players perhaps to say it's kind of hard to justify that at level one you're in this high ranking of a super master assassin skilled. Perhaps we can work towards getting you there, right, unless you're a complete charlatan, in which case, you know, you can say whatever you want. That's true. Yeah, right. Personally, I haven't seen any super grandiose back stories that like were, you know, horribly difficult to be able to play into a story. At level wonder four. Again, it's one of those like early player like how do you create this fantastic character, you know right. Well, even, yeah, even with the new campaign, I'm I mean there's like you can. You can as the DM. You should be talking to them ahead of time and saying, okay, your level this okay. So what does that mean? This is what it means. It means that you're a person who has some power, but it's not a lot. You might have worked with a group of people that maybe we're able to do something for a village, but unlikely that you're some sort of superhero. And then, on top of that, like once they give you your backstory, you can say, okay, this is, you know, maybe a little bit too much. Here's what we can do to like fix this up and still make it really cool and what you want it to be. But we're not going to like say that you killed an ancient white dragon at level one. It just just just didn't happen. I'm sorry, you know weakening. And you could have a moment like in my about that. You can have like a scale that you found somewhere or whatever, and you can totally lie about that and you can be known in a town for that maybe, but in in regards to actually skill levels, like, yeah, it's not. You're not going to be the ultimate, you know, Superhero yet. Take one of the most fun elements that I had was actually when you were playing Le Beau Britain, because I think most of the party thought initially that Le Beau was some sort of like royalty and rolling in money, because you were buying everything. But you had explained to me, I had that any ten old time or something. Yeah, let the whole thing with Lebau was he was an extreme charlottean. That was like he was trying to worm his way into this group and was trying to with decently good hearted intentions, but was had this weird perception of, like their adventurers, they need a they need somebody that they think they can rely on. I'm going to be I'm going to be the money guy. He had like he had like this really cheap suit that he used to use to like con people. He had like ten gold to his name. So once he started rolled up with his parties like yes, I will buy that five dollar bottle of wine with my entire life savings. That's going to make me look good in front of these guys. Nice, a lot of fun to play. Actually. I kind of Miss Lamo sometimes rest in peace at the bottom of the ocean. Now dudes in health. So levels five to ten. It talks about how you're becoming heroes of the realm. At this point, you've moved beyond just being known in this one town. You're gaining regional renown. People are calling on you to take on increasingly difficult tasks. Towards the end of this maybe you're even saving the region or the continent from some epic, more epic disaster, something in grander scale. Talks about how your characters are really coming into their own as their class A. You're gaining the ability to fly, you're casting fireball, you can raise the dead. At some point, so the your villains. You're going to start reflecting that you're not facing bandits, you're not facing like these low level little villains. You're facing devils, you're facing mind plays, you're facing yeah, exactly, you're facing like these top two things. The first thing that strikes me is that in the homebrew campaign that I'm currently running, I feel like I've kind of been following this formula without even knowing that it existed, because Jordan, you can correct me if I'm wrong, but you guys, for like level, you start at level three with a decent little bit of ability under you. Yep, it was level five by that point you literally saved the city. Yes, and now you're what six or seven? I think we just got to seven. So and now you're really starting to like explore the region and take on bigger and bigger tasks and work your way towards that Hunter's permit which is going to let you become these essentially contract heroes for the realm.

Right. Yeah, it, it definitely it. It's definitely is following that. I think it's actually following it a lot better than I've seen most campaigns run. In Carlos has campaign two of an elation. It's a little bit more difficult to say, Oh, yeah, there are heroes of the realm. You can you can set the difficulty level well, but you know, reputation wise, it's reputation is weird, I think in campaigns in general, because heroes of the realm kind of gives me the idea that, oh, people should know who you are within whatever empire or smaller region or whatever. They should have like this reputation of some sort of a group that can do certain things or they've done certain things right, but I've never actually like, I don't know, there isn't. That doesn't come up very often. Like you don't walk down the street and you don't hear whispers of how do you know this guy's are? Oh, I heard that those guys did this or that or whatever. You know, it's not something that often comes up because I don't think a lot of players are interested in that kind of thing. But also, you know, it doesn't impact this story too much unless you run into someone who's actually important. I think it's one of the absolutely and I think it's one of those things that you perhaps, as a DM, could cheat around by letting the players know what they are, because I think of something like heroes of the realm as perhaps having cheaper or easier time finding lodging or equipment or, you know, generally if people want to help out the heroes and do as much as they can to be good to the hero so I would say I would maybe lower DC checks for, you know, trying to get prices down at a store, if you're trying to you know, whatever right, like it's easier to talk to royalty if people know that you're the one that's layed the dragon that was terrorizing the lands. Right, but if you don't tell your players that, hey, from now on, any DC check against town folk is reduced by ten because you guys are heroes. If you don't explicitly tell your players, then do they really feel as if they are heroes? Right, everything already kind of came easy to them. So, yeah, maybe you could just sort of cheat a little psychologically and you mix you I would change the mechanics of the game to reflect the fact that they are heroes of the realm, right in the sense, or even just throw in like certain scenarios, I guess, like ways that people are kind of like telling them. Thank you. So if you you know, like maybe rolling before and if it hits a for on a random NPC, they have heard of you. Yeah, and maybe that's how you play with the percentage of people that that know who you are, like at one point or another in the conversation they would have known of you. They would have heard of you through, you know, secondhand retellings of your story. There's some, but you are right. It reputation works interestingly and especially, like you mentioned, in Chelt, because you guys really have an interacted than anybody and the most part sheelt is so far away from everybody's like exact regular you know. And like again, it's like this curse is only affecting people who have been reincarnated. So it's a selective few amount of people that might know right about this issue. So we'll see. If you guys go back to town figure out what happens, then what happens in chilt stays chills. I've you guys are likely all gonna die. So very scared. Levels to sixteen are masters of the M moving up from heroes of the realm. So now it talks about how you're the point where the spells that you're being granted, in the abilities that you're being granted, let you kind of approach things significantly differently, like you're of a certain class of being that almost come can completely alter your place down when you have spells like teleport, when you have spells like true seeing like that can completely alter how you're approaching your adventures. It shifts into the more conventional adventures, into the less conventional adventures. Maybe exploring long lost areas, not unlike ohm. Maybe you're facing off with some extremely powerful villains it mentions rock JOSS and beholders dragons, even like you're fighting full grown, adult dragons. And the thing that I find interesting is... it talks about this is the tier that you're really going to start to make your mark on the world as a character. So your you're building a fortress on lands that have been given to you for your service. You're maybe founding guilds, you're founding your own orders, you're taking on students to teach them your ways, you're brokering peace or starting war between nations. I'm wondering, like, how, how do you how would that factor into your campaign? Do you think, like, have you ever had players attempt anything of that scale? So far? Now I have. It's all been said, Bolton. So no creatures are world chatters or world enders on their own if left unchecked. I will say something to what you said, though, with reguards to players just discovering long lost lands. I think that that's probably a little inaccurate, considering every encounter that your players have technically is new lands for everybody, especially if you're running prerun modules. It's like it. I would imagine that it takes it as like the first time somebody gets in there unless you right in. You know, you find corpses everywhere in the dragons chewing on the past adventures. You know, M bory saying drone. Oh, I have one campaign that has just hit level eleven where I'm a player, and it is, I guess, weird in a sense, like we're chasing down personal back stories. Were entering into areas that people have not been able to enter for centuries, because we've built up a way to be able to do that over the course of the campaign. I and so you can actually start to see your mark on it a little bit and the the I guess, the the people that you know are higher, higher up, and power and reputation and influence, you know, all that kind of stuff starts to sort of collide and so you you do get invitations to start doing things that make a difference on a much larger scale. I haven't seen it to too much like we are like we are just kind of entering into that stage, and so it's it's really exciting, I think, because I I really enjoy making that bigger difference because it's really cool to see, you know, Oh wow, like this is actually going to change the course of history for this for this particular nation or whatever. What I'm doing isn't just, you know, protecting a person, it's like an entire city or nation or whatever is being threatened by this particular thing. It's really, really cool to do and yeah, I don't know, I just really enjoy it. So that's it. Just haven't had that many moments to be able to do that in most of the campaigns that I've ran or play it in so far. But you can definitely notice, even not even at that kind of level, how your character is better and faster than the common folk, you know. Yes, yeah, I think you're talking about maybe starting to build a legacy on things that your character just naturally is able to do as well. Right, like if if you're a barbarian with a giant amount of constitution that is renowned for their fighting, you know, people might know that, you know, the Dragon slayer never went down in combat. Always stay up, like little stories like that that you could slice in as well. Yeah, yeah, the last urburn final tier is levels seventeen to twenty, and that's masters of the world. By this point you're kind of reaching, or have reached, the pinnacle of what you are going to be as your character. You've got if you're spellcaster, you've got the wish spell, you've got astral projection, you're gaining legendary magic items. You're where it was previously, maybe going to new continents or on explored areas. Now you're visiting different planes, you're fighting arched arch devils, you're fighting baylord demons, you're fighting the gods themselves in some cases. And it specifies that characters reach level twenty have a pained the pinnacle...

...of more mortal achievement and by that point you're kind of reaching the point where your stories wrapping up and come into an end, and what that might look like is different depending on the character mentions that. Maybe your cleric is selected to serve at the right hand of their God as send it to the heavens for their service. Maybe your warlock is now powerful enough to be a patron to other warlocks. Maybe their DRUID has become one with nature, maybe they're in nature spirit protecting some ancient forest now. But it also says that level twenty, and I think we've talked about this before, level twenty doesn't equal the end necessarily, like it doesn't dictate that, like the very end if your campaign has to come as soon as you hit level twenty. You could keep going, you could keep fighting off world ending existences as like a secret, like a force protecting your plane, if you want to like. That's just the level that you've attained, as you are the front line between your plane in certain doom, and that's how your campaign is going to play out. Now. Yeah, the last thing it goes into is just some mechanics for if you are to start your players at higher level. I'm not going to go into that too much. And what I'm curious as to is we all we all play our characters in various campaigns. Think of one character that you play as once you hit level twenty, what does that Pinnacle Look like to that character? Where do you want your character to be once they hit twenty? MMM, I guess that I can inform you as my dm for this particular campaign. But at level twenty, I am expecting this month that I've created called thorn to be a master thief assassin of sorts. My character is incredibly fast and I can quite literally teleport almost anywhere, especially with some smoke bombs at hand, which shakes were made listeners it's well, I mean I think it's I think it's balanced. Like, as a player, it's kind of balance because it's my action to throw the smoke bomb and my bonus action to teleport. Oh, you know, it's definitely it's definitely a cool thing that I'm really glad that you're doing, but it's something that I had not even thought about when I created those but the edge cases, but the edge cases are phenomenal and I love the fact that, for example, I can picture thorn, you know, going in and stealing something and perhaps even be put in like cuffs and in a cell and because I have shadow the step, I can just slip out. MMM, as long as I can see a spot with shadow, I can just so, with that ability in mind, of course, I picture myself being able to get caught on purpose to get close to an item, and I'm definitely just telling you this as actions that I will proactively start taking in your game. I can definitely see myself being taken into custody willingly because he's a ghost, he's a shadow, they say they can't catch him. So that's a kind of ethos that I would like to build for Thorn in the world that you have, you know somebody who, at the end of the day, you can't restrain. I'll tell I'll disappear at whatever given moment when it's, you know, appropriate for me or advantageous for me to do so. So hopefully that I can build some sort of rep with that and that level twenty it can be. Does he even exist? I don't know. That be interesting. Jordan. Do you have thoughts about any of your characters? I guess my highest little character is, like I said, a level eleven. So for him he's also a monk, but he's a way of the can say so. He's more of a weapons expert, and I so for him, I want him to be seen, I guess, as a as the number one weapon in any kind of battle, or kind of like the trump card that someone brings out when they need a win. He would just kind of like flash in and out of the combat, taking down people, not people not understanding what's happening or how they have already been taken down. He's just kind of running through everyone and everything, and that's just kind of how I see him progressing.

But I hadn't really thought about honestly, I hadn't really thought about it. Up until this point I kind of was just playing through the campaign. He's got his own personal goal in mind where he's kind of chasing down someone from his past and he's trying to discover the truth about that kind of stuff. So that's where his head is at right now. So I don't really want to think too much about Oh yeah, at level twenty he's going to be this kind of person. I don't even know if he's going to make it to that level, you know. So we'll have to see. Yeah, and you know, that's funny. I think we should discuss this topic a conversation later. But, like, what kind of way do you play your character, because to me it sounds like you play the your characters in a very in the moment kind of scenario, where I like to build the Road Map for my characters, for example milestones, and I think that that's because I can see the abilities that I'll get and I love playing around with combinations and future endeavors, you know. So I kind of like to have these little keystone moments that I'd like to achieve, which are, you know, leveling up, maybe a multi classing, and there the reason as to why I'm multi classing not so like kind of already predetermined. I find enjoyment in that. But Hmm, I think it totally depends on the character to some characters are based around a future desire and other characters are based around up past, if that makes sense right, where your past is your defining moments and it and it is leading you or pushing you towards something in the future, whereas someone who doesn't have like a really bad thing that happened or something that they're really trying to discover about the past might say, okay, in the future, this is what I want to be, like a kind of like a narrowto character, where he's like, I am going to be the HMM, sorry, I am blinking here. What's it called? Guys, help me out. Yes, the hokage. I'm going to be the hokage, and that's his future goal. This is like his pinnacle. You know, he's going to get to that point no matter what it costs, and that's kind of where he goes from there. So it's a future looking kind of character, whereas sauce gay is more of a past kind of person. He's got some issues that he's got to deal with and that's kind of what drives him forward. All right. Well, great discussion. I do want to keep talking about this and maybe we can shelve this for another, another session that we do in the meantime, listeners out there, what do you think? What play styles, what play tears do usually end up in? How do you DM's play that tear? How do you decide when you're going to start your campaign, what level to start at? Let us know and share any of your thoughts about what we've talked about at real city society and Jordan. I believe it is time, all right. That brings us to critical questions. All right, so for today, I finally are writing to critical question. I thought it was critical thought, critical thoughts. You're right, it is critical thoughts. Oh my gosh, Carlos got in my head. He doesn't even know his own segment. Guys, Seventeen episode strong, folks were figuring it out, so we got okay, HMM, moving into critical thoughts, guys. Okay, here's my question for today. How many major plot lines do you guys include in your world? Normally, I'm asked in this because I just got the last of the background stories from my characters for the new campaign I'm building and so I am personalizing plot lines for them. Of course that's going to be running throughout the campaign, but there's so many different options that I can go with. You know, there's so many different villains that you could include, there's different regions you can go to and I can't even like imagine being able to get through all of that stuff. So I'm trying to choose major ones that are going on and I was just kind of wondering, you know, how many of you guys normally choose and what makes those decisions for you? What, before we start this discussion, what do you cause sider a major, major plotline, something that is going to be part of the campaign or showing up over and over again? I guess like a theme kind of thing, like or particular villain that shows up in a in multiple scenarios, something that's not just like, Oh yeah, we...

...went to the Griffin Nest and we killed the Griffin and now we're back. Job Completed, that's the end of that story, you know. Hmm, I would say definitely. I try and incorporate at least one per character back story. If the characters have something in their back story that I can play around with and fit into some kind of a plotline. MM, in my personal homebrew world. I've said this a bunch of times, but I've I created the world a while ago and I've had so much time to just kind of play around with what's going on in the world at the time that the characters enter. So there are a ridiculous amount of possible large, multi episodic, if you will, spanning plot lines that are discoverable in this world that are kind of going on concurrently with what you guys are doing. I play roughly off the top of my head, I can think of at least ten, not counting background stuff. But it's up to you guys de find those right or if you if you're engaged with one and you don't really engage with another, or if if I try to kind of maybe nudge you towards one and you guys seem really reluctant to go in that way, okay, no problem, we're just going to focus back on whatever we were already doing. But yeah, I like to I like to overload it, probably similar to the Wild Bat Gut. I still have to read that. That's on me, but similar in concept. Yeah, there's there's all these multiple things going on, like too many that you could possibly pack into one single thing. So, but do you choose a couple then that are like, Oh, I think I want to run with these, based on the back stories that I've got from people, because I think that matches their themes or whatever, or do you just say you know what, any of them are open game. Just go for it. Based on based on the back stories that you guys provided me with for that campaign, I chose where you were starting, okay, and I chose what was going to be the first big encounter, which in that case was Joba and the gangs going on there. In this whole you guys have to clear a town full of gangs. But it's more than that. There's the shadowy puppet master and there's more behind him too. Yeah, so you're not done with that, like that's going to be going for a long time. But I just looked at one of the notes that you gave me earlier and I was like, Oh, Oh, yeah, joke on has that? Well, see does, but yeah, as it in that case, like I'll definitely gear the quote unquote, starting adventure towards what I think would be best for the party. Besides that, you guys are free to travel wherever. You guys are free to check out wherever things are going on in the world. Maybe you'll encounter them, maybe you won't know. I've never had an overarching theme on my campaigns for the most part. Well, I guess the short little homebrew campaign that I had I was was a little themed, but I don't want to give that out because if you goes play into the continuation of that, I'd like to give it a surprise. There's a continuation. I mean there might be. I like I still have the island. It's largely undiscovered. I could just change the main topic at the wind win campaign. We ended on such a cliffhanger with that one. I'm so disappointed. Take Sad left round center, guys, but we all have to start playing D India and leave some campaigns unanswered. That's another herds. It's best you let that one go. But for the most part, because I've been running modules, I guess the theme is usually that big and game quest that you guys are usually on since the beginning. anyways. Now, mind, you discover more and more about the setting that you're playing under, for example, and chilt. The longer you spend in Oh move, the more you discover about the culture and the city and perhaps what led to its downfall, and as we progress through the story there is more addition to that. But it's I don't think as players you guys have explored that theme, and I think we talked about this last week, for example, like the the soul monger and the lack of my lack of articulation as to what you'r the quest that you're on is. So I don't know, I've never had like a I've never had like a theme sort of tying everything together in my campaigns, at least from a player perspective, in my opinion anyways. Okay, fair enough. I'm as you guys know, I'm running the wild mount campaign. So I was I just got all the backstories and,... know, I think four of them are all from the same region and a fifth one I'll talk about another critical thought, but they're all from the same region and so I kind of thought, oh, this is really cool. I can add in, you know, connections that these players have. I can add in different major entities that are existing in this realm that they might want to protect a little bit more because they're all from that same homeland. You know, they can all they know about certain areas that are more dangerous than others and all that kind of stuff can kind of play into some sort of a story that I'm composing and the hope is that the they'll follow those plot hooks and if they don't, I'm still going to, I guess, my ideas that I'm still going to have certain events occur whether or not they follow that plot line, and so that event will have consequences in their homeland in the future sometime. But they don't necessarily know about that. So obviously, like the players can go into other regions and they can do whatever they want, but I'm trying to, I guess, personalize it enough that it makes sense for them to follow a story to a certain extent. Anyway. Does that? Is that a bad idea, or do you think like I should try and continue with it and prepare it? I think it's perfectly reasonable. And with regards to how you want to drive the story in your campaign as well, it makes sense, as it goes back to those things that we talked about in previous sessions as to how maybe not to a rail roady, but what kind of mechanics you can use to drive the story that you have planned out right? HMM, yeah, so the mechanics, I guess, would be things like personal people that they know from their past showing up and saying, Oh hey, there's this thing going on, or, you know, the organization that they're associated with will have certain tasks that occur in areas that they may or may not be attached to, and then other plot hooks will come along kind of enticing them into a particular story. But obviously I've told them, I said, you know, if this doesn't make sense for your character, don't follow it. You can all throw out other plot hooks that you can go down that is more suited towards whatever your character wants to do. But I thought, you know, maybe I could try and build an actual kind of storyline going on here. I don't know, I'm trying it out, I mean that's all it is, right like trolling air to see if your pair, try to see if your players bite and the go from there. M All right, well, that's all I had for today. Thanks, guys, for answering everyone who's listening. We want to hear from you. Send us a DM on our instagram at Royal City Society, and hopefully we'll talk again soon. See you guys. Quick Glass, little thing. When does your album come out again? Next door Gar epe comes out this coming Friday, may twenty two. Make sure you guys tune in to catch the release of that. It's really popular, like it's really popular on the pace. So it's bizarrely popular. I can't figure it out and I make the stuff guys. We also, or Bradain also produces. What's the theme again? I forgot that Dodge and said, oh my God, I was thinking dungeon crap, but that was something different. God, I do that too, but that's on the weekends. That's that's something else. Oh, that's just a craft beery. Yes, anyways, catch you guys next week.

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