Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Triple Advantage
Triple Advantage

Season 2, Episode 8 · 2 years ago

Ep. 18 - Becoming a Party

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this weeks episode we discuss how a group of strangers became a party and defeated powerful adversaries to finalize the Hoard of the Dragon Queen campaign. Braeden continues to guide us through the DMG as we discuss fantasy styles in game. Finally, Jordan asks about strategy in game. How does player knowledge translate into actions in game? Listen in to hear our take on these matters!

Hello, wonderful listeners, my do we have great news. We're up to like two hundred unique downloads. This is phenomenal. We didn't think that any of you would actually care about what we have to say in regards to dnd, but because we clearly see that there is some interest, we're back again for yet another episode of triple advantage. Today we have the semi definitely regular gang coming at you, Braden Jordan and myself, Carlos, to take you through this week in our DD thoughts. And Braden, I think it's only fair that we start talking about what transcended this last Friday night. The campaign you were running came to an end. We finished the horde of the Dragon Queen. Can you tell us a little bit about that from your perspective? I think I'm blacked out during it, so I'll do my best. That was that was the first campaign that I've ever as a DM or as a player, but I wasn't player. Was the dam. That was the first campaign that I've ever seen through to completion. Terrifying notion, especially considering it has a very momentous ending. After several minor quests in fighting some mobs and jumping around and visiting different locations than a dungeon crawl, and then you're on a flying castle. It ends with you basically having to kill three extremely powerful beings in order to progress to the end of the story. Those beings spoilers for anybody who's in the in a horde of the drag Queen Campaign, but those beings essentially compiles of a vampire, a very powerful half Dragon Warrior and a adult White Dragon. At level six seven not possible. So a lot of a lot of back end tweaks on my part to make sure that you guys weren't just going to suicide the minute you right in there. But I wasn't sure whether the campaign would end up ending or whether we might have to take it into another week, just because you guys have been doing great with planning and strategizing and really going into these fights like prepared for the outcomes and prepared for what might happen, and that's naturally takes a bit longer when you're running sessions, but it was fantastic. Everybody was willing to stay much longer than we would normally run a session for in order to knock through this very final leg of it. I think it was a very satisfying couple final fights. It was a very satisfying ending. I can't wait to see what's next for these characters and for this our progression once we move on to rise of TMT. But right, I was going to ask because that is the second part of the hoard of the Dragon Queen, Right. Yes, the current plant, there's a bit of a there's a bit of a discrepancy between the end of part of the Dragon Queen and the beginning of rise of TMAT. Okay, bit of a time skip, for lack of a better word, just because you're magically back in water deep at the start of rest tmat and you're very much not at the end of Hord of the Dragon Queen. Right. So I think that the current plan is to do some one shots with these guys kind of figuring out the party, figuring out themselves, doing some good for the realm before being summoned back to deal with the resurgence of the cult, and that would they're also at level seven and its suggested starting at level eight for rise. So I think that that'll be a nice couple weeks, a little interlude to get them up to level eight and then get started. Nice not to fill you in Jordan. I think this is a really fun campaign to play for a couple of reasons. I think that as a player, it was nice having not only another experienced player in the campaign but also fresh faces into the indeed. So I think that the balance of creativity and everything was super new for me, because a new players always bring once they start getting into it, they start bringing all these new ideas, especially half day they start figuring out how to play their characters. MMM. But one of the things that really struck to me is extremely fun, especially about Friday's session Britain, was the planning and, like you mentioned right we we cat I felt like in those last couple of sessions we really became an adventuring party, which was in part by role playing because, you know, I...

...think my character Thorne, realized the gravity of the situation that they were in with we were in at we were in a sky reach castle whose king is a cloud giant, we have to fight a vampire, a half dragon and we almost got killed accidentally wandering into a white dragons lair. HMM. So, you know, big bats left Briton Center. So it was nice that the entire Party came together on how to lure and use some of the knowledge that we discovered in the world to defeat these enemies and ultimately it resulted out with a great payoff because at least well in all three fights actually, but the first two specifically went super well. I think the the we were rolling and I don't know what's the analogists believed in the heart of the cards with dnd, we kept our Palette and kept critting on a vampire, for example, which made that fight super, super quick and super exciting as a player to be a part of. There was so much screaming and so many yeays and excitement that I had to turn the MIC, that I had to turn the volume down on my headset, but I think the final, final encounter was one of the things that was one of the most, I think, memorable experiences so far. I guess in this game for me is that Britain, you did a great job at this. By the way, the layer that we went into fight this dragon, I was under the full impression that this was an adult white dragon and at the level that we were at. I know that you tweet the stats a little bit to make it a little bit more of a reasonable fight, but I think the dread that I actually felt that I might lose this character made it so much more exciting and it made the fight I think. You know, I wasn't so much thinking of what is the most optimal damage output is I don't want to die like so I was abusing shadow step any time that I could to get out of the range of this dragon. And we'd planned it out so that we could almost like spread ourselves out so that way we couldn't all get taken out by, you know, a nice breath, and it all came together so wonderfully. We managed to get this white dragon in this tighter chasm, poking its head out. It almost one shot our Paladin and our barred, but once we had a trapped our maids just feeding fireballs into the tube. So I was picturing a very cinematic and elaborate fight which was super exciting to be a part of and super exciting to play as well. Just in general. Some very excited to see what the rest of the rise of Tim at has to hold. But you know, you we were talking about this just before we started recording and I didn't have a character planned out. If Thorn died and I guess since it was, since this is the end of the campaign, I don't know what I would have done. Like, do you guys normally keep a second character on the ready just in case? I mean, I think I mentioned before that I've got just a bank of character story right, so I could theoretically just drop any of them really into most but at the same time, like it hurts to lose the character, like, especially when that you've spent it that I think Matt said that we had spent something like twenty. How many sessions was it? There was like twenty, twenty three stepons or something like them, and it's one of those things. I think you touched on it already. But yeah, every single fight is potentially a fight to the death, but there are certain fights where you walk in going like, Oh man, this could be it, and I think that those ones kind of make you really consider how attached you are to the character that you're playing. Yeah, depending on how much dread you're walking in there with. Well, I think it was just really fun for me because we were at nighttime, right, so I was able to just abuse shadow step throughout the majority of the camp. Feel that the majority of those last last few encounters, which I thought was really, really fun, but I was not ready to lose that ability because it's just like poofing in it out. Yeah, well, it's totally true. I mean, like I generally speaking, don't have like a secondary character at the ready, unless I think or know that I'm going into a big fight the next session, and then I might think about, okay, if I do die, which is possible, what do I want to do after that? Hold on, let me grieve for a second. You know, like I love creating a backstory that's very personal in...

...the world's and so for me to just kind of like create a character, usually I will only do that if I'm like, Oh, I got to start a session next week or something like that. Here quick, let me pound one out and I'll have this character and then he'll develop as I go. And actually, you right, like the more sessions you play with them, the more attached you get, and I would not want to lose any of my characters have been playing for a while. So I agree. It's a toughie. It does, it does hurt. Carlos, you and I have both lost a character to each other, which is funny. But yeah, it's it's not. It's not ideal. I didn't I didn't mind losing my character. I suppose it's naturally I think my the players, made the right decision given the the information that they had. Maybe looking back, maybe not, but at the time I was like, yeah, we got this and we didn't have it. As the DM, I'll tell you that. The so Jordan. I believe you weren't here yet for this part, for this, but the whole thing was they were surrounded by pirates completely just number. Yeah, I was number that we started in. Yeah, okay, go ahead. Sorry, right. I well, I forget the timeline exactly because you weren't there for a section of it and I don't pay. He wasn't there for this. I wasn't there for that fight, but I kind of showed up, I think, exactly after that. HMM, it was a little while after. Okay, so you were you, your character, knew, showed up and met the party on the crashed, all ruined ship that they found in the forest. It was one of these flying machinations, seemingly from a far away land that, you know, we might get to explore sometimes if you don't die in the tomb. But the I was talking about before. They were fighting just some straight out pirates and they got overwhelmed, to say the least, outnumbered, and in a chance encounter they they got the ability to shoot at the captain. Are the rogue had a clean shot available to it, but the rest of the party was like in manacles and shackled together. So shooting the captain led to them just straight out executing one of the other characters. That a like, I felt like it was logical. You know, it was a it was a very hey, put your bow down, stand down, or we're going to kill your friends. And they went noway, Jose, and they shot. So they killed their friends. Like, when that was going down, I knew I was gonna die. I knew that. What my thoughts was, well, I'm gonna die, but they're going to kill the captain and walk away with this fight. But they were still over well, yeah, I still go backwards. Unfortunately, pirate leadership moved on real quick after we happened. The big guy was like, all right, I'm captain now. Seriously overestimated the honor on those guys. That was that was a mistake. What do you mean honor? It's the next ever, this guy is just gonna straight up take over and take your gold. Yeah, that happened anyways. So fun little events like that. I think I will get you a customed to character day. In that case, I don't think it was your particular choice, it was what it was. But yeah, I'm really looking forward to see what rise of Tio Matt has in store for us and just generally looking forward to play with this group further. I think we finally gotten into the point of harmonized actions in a way, you know, and it's been really, really fun to think of plans with them and then try to execute them. Now, I guess as a DM it must be kind of Nice because we're just wasting half this session planning out how to take out one vampire. But it's it's nice to see strategy. Yeah, I'd never sometimes it's just like, I mean we've got team breaching clear on other campaigns where the entire strategy we're going to walk into a room with no plan and hope that we can out muscle whatever happens to be in that room. That's right, but it which is, which is a significant change of pace swing from we're going to spend half an hour in character, sitting around talking about what we know and what we might be able to do, which was is just mind blowingly impressive to me,...

...something I haven't done for sure now. I'm really looking forward to but I think and podcasts on, because you, the listeners, know, we're a timely, professional grade production here. Yes, we need to move on and change segments. Now to divining the DMG and Brandon, I think you have the book ready for us. This section you mentioned, was a little bit longer, so we might split this up for you, the listeners, between this and next week's episode. But Britain, take it away for sure. So last week we talked about tears of play. We talked about what leveling up means and what approximately it should mean for your impact on the world around you, depending on what which of these four tiers you find yourself in. This week, as Carlos said, we've got a longer segments that I think I'm going to split half and half. We'll talk about five of these. Five yeah, five of these this week and five of them next week. But we're going to start by talking about flavors of fantasy, which is a interesting topic to me because fantasy always struck me as very one note, like fantasy was fantasy. If you wanted to play dd, you were playing fantasy, versus if you wanted to role play sci Fi, you were doing star wars, or if you wanted to do horror, you were doing Cathulu. But it really, it really is more complex than that. The first thing that it talks about is heroic fantasy, and that is, I think, what people kind of think of as your typical fantasy, what I would generally think of. It's the typical fantasy like a hero tale. Yeah, so it focuses on these protagonists who are very heroic, very medieval, error central, very yeah, exactly. So it'll follow these groups of heroes as they do good for the people around them and for the realm and work their way up to become in these ultimate champions of the realm, which I think is generally it's what I think of when I hear DD. I don't know about you guys. Yeah, I mean it's odd to me because I guess like for me, when I think of fantasy, I I predominantly started out in my fantasy genres with video games. So a lot of my fantasy background is heavily inspired by things like world of warcraft right where, for example, when you talk about sci Fi, right like, well, world warcraft has fiends that are technically aliens coming into as were off. So it's odd when you mentioned like you know, you're in space, these these themes are almost they seem cut and dry, right like Oh, if you're playing in space, then of course this is sci Fi, and if you are on earth and in an old timing medieval segment, oh well, you're in fantasy. But what about steampunk and what about other types of inner mixed genres together? And I think that's where my idea of fantasy sits a little bit more, not so much true to the Oh dragons exist, but just more of the core that it's just more on the literal definition of fantasy being more a different world, that different setting that you're playing in, not that it that is not just the regular everyday things you see. I'm more with Braden on on how I imagine fantasy. I think personally, I my experience with fantasies started with books, so things like Narnia and the wheel time, stormlight archive is one of the ones I'm reading now Percy Jackson, that kind of stuff where it's heroes and there's villains and then there's monsters and and that kind of thing. Right, like it's pretty it's more in line with with what Briting things at least that's that's been my experience. The next section that it's going to talk about here is sword and sorcery. Now, looking at the first one, heroic fantasy, it really paints like this this golden picture of what fantasy is. There's your your shining heroes in your overcoming you're overcoming everything, you're overcoming the evils of the world and you're rising to the top. Sword and sorcery is similar but kind of takes some more a more gritty realism to it. So it's less about like a Hu we're the protagonist and we will overcome everything, and more of like no, yeah, we were the focus of the story, but we're we're people within this universe that are susceptible to kind of the goods and evils on both sides. So it talks a about doing...

...some grittier jobs like overthrowing tyrants or maybe you're becoming a gladiator. It talks about things like like the seedier side of town, like going into like the dark and disgusting Taverns to get information or to spend some time even. That, I would say, is probably closer to what I would generally run. I haven't read the rest of these yet, so we'll see if anything's closer than that, but that's where I'm fallen right now. I mean, I think Kuroque fantasy is what people generally think of as like this is what fantasy is. But sort and sorcery, I have found anyway, is what people tend to run in D and D it seems more like it seems more apt to this whole sandbox feel of the world when you're yeah, dungeons and dragons. But then again, I think in part we've all generally ran open world games, as opposed to hear you are, you know, you're at the Palace of whatever and you need to go kill this evil and you start off adventures like that, and I'm more of like a episodic like we mentioned in past episodes, type of game play, which might be easier to sort of drive that heroes fantasy m I think to that as soon as you start bringing in what other players want to see, it's going to naturally immediately tend further towards kind of the grotty realism. Right. Right, I think we all have at least not even the same player, but like one player in each of our campaigns is going to be like our right days over, I'm headed to the brothel. HMM, which is not something that I think really fits with this this idyllic heroes of the realm type. Yeah, broad fantasy is time and I think with this segment in general, right, we're getting into the very subgestive, subjective aspect of storytelling. Right, we're like what does constitute fantasy? What is and like what is a heroes fantasy? Right, like, I mean you could technically say low key, you know, as a villain or hero, but would low key go to a brothel afterwards if you're playing a true fantasy? Maybe? I don't, you know. Does that? Does that the Tur away from the Heroes Journey? Right, like you you see, iron man, for example, has alcoholism problems at the beginning. That doesn't necessarily take away from his heroism. Right, that might have had weird emphasis when I said it, but either way, just just to clarify to the the the audience here, I think we're all going to bout have very different takes the types of fantasy. The next one that it talks about his epic fantasy, and this really like. This takes the kind of heroic fantasy setting and drives it, cranks it right up to ten. So the contrast between good and evil is super, super stark here. So you've got the heroes, which are the players, the protagonists, who are kind of these paragons of good, these these ultimate champions the light, and you're going to be pitting them against the ultimate champions of evil. We're talking devils, we're talking demons, we're talking ancient dark gods. Once you start hitting like level torn. It also mentions really liking to add elements of romance to this. I have a feeling that is more to do with a lot of source material that this kind of stuff comes from. Like I've like, there's always a lot of romanticism when you look back on a lot of these traditional good versus evil tales, and I think that that's going to naturally spill over into into a campaign like that when you run it. I don't think any of us have ever run this sort of campaign, have we? No, I don't think so. It would be really hard to. I think I feel like you would need a party that's like a hundred percent on board with us. Yeah, because all of I've never made a character that's not at least a little bit gray. Right exactly, because we can't really imagine a real person being completely good or completely evil, and so as soon as you make it into something that doesn't seem real, it's hard for you to get attached to the characters. It's hard for you to imagine what you would realistically think in that situation. The role play side of it becomes a lot more difficult, I think. I think you came. You talked about this with like, with relations to Paladin's being lawful, good characters, right, and the specifically a near campaign bringing with the characters having a little bit of a different take on what being a hero means, perhaps and doing some more...

...evil actions as well, intermixed and I think it's it in a true role play, right, like your Paladin might have very strong feelings against it, but as a player you're not going to be like, all right, I walk away for a session, right exactly, or I stabbed this guy in front of you because you know, the first time I met him, you decided that he was going to kill someone that well to know whether he was good or evil. Yet it was too bad. You know, I'm a lawful, good Paladin. stabbed. No, like, I don't know. Can't start off a campaign that way. Yeah, the next one that it talks about is mythic fantasy, and I'm super excited to hear both your takes. Jordan, I know that you're super into mythology and all of its forms. Carlos, as well, this really talks about drawing themes and inspiration just straight out of the pages of mythology. So running a campaign where you're playing as like at as a Demigod, maybe having to complete labor similar to Hercules, or maybe it's similar to the leave legend of King Arthur, where you're growing up in squaller but you're rising up to the top to become king some day because a prophecy has for seen at that you will be king. I don't again, I don't think we've ever on this, but would you guys run this or participating one? I would personally run elements in this within that sort and sorcery style. I think that maybe having a full campaign under it is I don't know if there might be a general group interest in doing something like that. But, like you mentioned, right, like doing like labors or, for example, becoming some sort of hunters for a mythic guild, could all be intertwined within any of these campaigns. After all, like most of the magical realms have really been discovered in whatever setting you're playing. And Right, and I believe wizards just released mythic odyssees of parows, right, which would be the most I think they're releasing at the beginning of June. Right. Yeah, I think it's I think it's out. I think it's a we can double check, but after all, that's also not our content, so perhaps not a priority. Sorry, wizards, but I'd be interesting to see what that book has with regards to fantasy and a mythology, because some of the things that I can picture with regards that would be something like a character like Hercules, right, like are you playing as these characters that are already very strong? Is this theme more tune to a higher level Gameplay as well? Right, like, like I'm thinking something like, you know, like in the thor movies. He's got his he's got his small little platoon and they go out and do the labors of Asgard or, you know, Hunt and go to war and etcetera. But it's that little group that they travel with. So but again, like all these characters are already some sort of demigod tire characters. So high strength, perhaps, you know ten or higher level or something like that. Yeah, you almost have to start either hear higher level, or or all the characters have to like they just they have to start off all strong, or I don't know, like you could potentially say, okay, one person is going to be really strong, which would fit more. Like here's the thing, like mythology in general, like it follows one demigod, Hercules for instance, or perseus or this other person, and everyone else alongside him is kind of just a sidekick almost, and so it's top five layer. It's really difficult. It's not it's not impossible, but it's really I think would be really difficult to find people who would be willing to act as that sidekick character right like or any of the rest of his gang, you know exactly. So you can pull something off like that, it would have to be something that you all agree to ahead of time, or maybe you take turns playing as the main character. I don't know, but I would be hesitant to to do something like that unless all of you were all at that mythic tier level, just because it's more fun for everyone that way. Generally speaking, I don't think the role play would be bad, but once you get into combat it would start to get a little bit like, Oh, yeah, we just send him into do all the stuff. Yeah, yeah, and I think, sorry, go ahead. I think it would lend itself better to higher levels of play.

But like, just thinking about it a little bit, maybe you could start at lower tears but then have more of a timeline, you know, like you start at Hercules as he is young and you play that character and as a DM you explain how many years go by between different tasks and as you're leveling up, etc. But again, you'd have to have the right level, the right table for that. Perhaps, if everybody wants to be that acquainted, even even like like speaking about Hercules right, like all this little side characters could be could have their own special abilities which might make all those players more comfortable with playing some right just being like Oh, I have commoner stats, you know. Yeah, yeah, first of all, you guys are giving me great ideas for a new users in one shot system. I'm definitely using all of this and that's why we're here at Royal City Society to really facilitate and plant the seed and grow ideas as a community. Guys, make sure that you're checking out our instagram page, where current we're always working on new things and developing with writers, and definitely check out the arcane blade coming out on Thursday, and we even have music. Two albums. Do our GARF. I mean, guys, it's the place where things are made, Royal City Society. COME CHECK US out. Brain. Sorry, carry on, chameless, plug aside, SASS plugus. That my goodness, that was impressive. Yeah, I think that. I think that, though, when we talk about something like like we have just been talking about in this segment, that's really one almost too narrow type of myth that we've been touching on. Like I think of something like the Iliator, the Odyssey, which is also mythology that paints an epic story featuring several very strong characters that could equally it. There's there's a quote unquote, central character, but there's a whole cast of characters that are just as strong as said main character. So I think that it is very possible to pull off mythology that doesn't necessarily follow the the the type of narrative that we've been discussing up to this point. It's because, I guess, we've been really talking about like a superhero type of character, right like. But I think that I like, and I don't know we've said this a couple times, but that it goes back to what kind of table you have, because not a lot of people, at least when you're saying, Hey, let's go play dundeons dragons, I don't think the first thing that people that comes into people's minds is, Oh, great, I'm going to be a regular person in a regular world, trying to figure out, you know, how to live this epic life for how, you know, like the like an I like something like the Odyssey, right like. Maybe the campaign deals more with, you know, planning your ships and moving around and supplies and stuff like that, which are, you know, what we've ran most commonly in our sessions. What you don't want to be like the pall of deadpool too. I don't want to. I don't want to, I don't want to have to do accounting for so the final section that we're going to talk about today is. I don't know how much you guys are on this, but this is my bread and butter for fantasy, and that's dark fantasy. That's when you start bringing in the really horror aspects of the fantasy genre during the name undread Neck Romancers, bringing in evil gods, twisting people's thoughts, bringing in the most like dark and, for lack of a better term, edgy of monsters, talking about like vampires and where wills, integrating traditional horror themes into your campaign. I am huge on this. I have the call of CTHULHU starter set sitting directly behind me right now. Would started it already, can't, thanks covid. But that aside. Horrors my thing, and those of you that have played with me in some of my more umbery sessions have maybe notice that I really like to cut that in. I really like to get dark and weird with some of it. So well Bais, but just just a tap to the audience here. I got to say brand is one of the weirdest players Irl. He always got his own candles that somehow burn red. Don't know where he's found these, but he's got tons of them, seemingly endless supplies. When he walks into rooms, smoke comes in and he's always wearing a dark cloak. It's really uncomfortable. We go out to bars and just in general the dark atmosphere around Britain so well. I'm sorry for trying to make our nightlife more interesting. Don't ask him about his deer head, don't ask me about my dear head. But would you? Would you guys run or play in a...

...dark fantasy setting? I would love to, but I've definitely had difficulties in the past trying to really instill that who theme in the pacing of TTRPG. I it's it's hard to build that form of dread and anticipation, I think at a table at least. I haven't found the finesse on how to do so. Again, going back to a really general topic, though, just sort of set here, but it's just the your players at the table and what kind of table you're running definitely matters, because maybe long exposition might be boring to some all right, and I just haven't found the right balance on how to make that how to run a true horror setting with having people like actually be afraid of certain actions or have that dread build up when, in a world I'm the kind of person that you want to have of as a player and pain like that, because it's really easy to inspire that form of dread and horror within me. Core is not really my thing. I generally speaking avoid it if I can. But because of that, I think it's really easy for me to kind of get into them and be like, Oh crap, I'm actually afraid. We need to get away from this. Oh No, this is not something I want to touch. And so I can be a great player, but I would not be able to figure out a good dark fantasy horror theme for running one. Like you don't want me running it because it'll end up with rainbows in it somehow. You'll be like what? I will say I did enjoy the one time that I think I've really effectively blended dark horror, and that was when we were in my homebrew that you were both part of it at the time, when you were headed for Devil's Reef to take out some some fish people, MMM, and it started off as a traditional dungeon crawl, but I kind of set the scene with I mean my character never came back, so your character never and unfortunately, Carlos, your character was gone before the party really saw the fruition of, HMM, that adventure. So I don't actually know if you know what went down down there. have no idea. It was crazy. The stage was really set with our warlocks. Patron who is there, is doing the great chain one, okay, telling them like this seems simple, but something else is going on down there. They're doing like dark things down there, and then the more these guys kind of descended into it, the more it was like a lot of things like don't make sense, like why are they? Why are they have all these like occult ritual things round here? Like they're simplistic people, but they're doing these complex rituals, and then they start finding dark artifacts and then they start finding ancient histories of them essentially constructing a god quite literally out of well bodies that are no longer being used, for lack of a better term, and the implication that he has, this God has taken the place in their pantheon of the great chained one, and they're all creeping around with these knowledge and they got to kind of like this last door. That was the only place left that they could go. I was like from behind the doors. You start to push it open, you hear a soft clinking of chains and I think that's a good place to leave it tonight, and I think everybody you can't leave it there. What's behind the door? So I I enjoyed it. I enjoy the heck out of it and I would one hundred percent two that again, but I think that that is probably a good place to leave it. Wow. Now, yeah, the quaking of chains again. I didn't see you again, but we will be back talk about this next week. In the meantime, hit us up at real city society on Instagram. What kind of campaign do you like to play and what is your go too theme when you are running a session? Let us know. Let's talk about it and tail then, Jordan, I'm going to turn it over to you. Okay, all right, so today I've got a critical thought for you guys. As you know, I'm starting up a campaign pretty soon and I've been thinking about, you know, how to IDM properly for these guys, and I wanted to ask you guys a really...

...kind of, I guess, Meta Ish question. When you guys are playing in a battle, how much tactical awareness do you give your your characters, so your MPC's in your big bads in that kind of thing, and do you allow your real technical mind to kind of like take over? I know both of you guys are pretty smart people and you could probably do do well and things like chest and that kind of stuff. So do you allow that to kind of like play into all your characters, or or do you try and go the opposite way or where you're just like, okay, there's egg grow there and so I move my character? I think I'll kind of generalize this to our group of players, because I've noticed that for the most part, when we get together to play board games, we lean a little bit more towards the Strategic Games, the card building the war games in general. So I think that that definitely influences the the way that we play DD and the way that we approach combat encounter. Specifically, I think that, for example, in the Horde of the Dragon Queen Campaign, thorign is a slightly higher wisdom character, being a monk. So I use that in a sense to allow me to make you know, inferences on certain characters or certain types of monsters right like, for example, with the dragon that we fought in this last session I kind of played it off that, okay, we've seen what an adult dragon does to an entire city. Why is the Paladin wanting to go ahead at first and fighting this dragon like this? Is Not a wise choice and I think that I try to roll play that into the hey guys, I am concerned about doing this. It is dangerous because I've seen what it can do and then try to devise a plan outside of it. I think it gets a little hard and it runs away. Maybe when your characters are on the fringes of eight intelligence, eight wisdom, right where you might just generally be a little bit more smooth brain per se. So that's when I find it the hardest and I try to hold my tongue perhaps and just go along with plans more so. But I'll try. If I'm a higher intelligence, higher wisdom, I'll try to chip and try to be a little more active in conversation when it comes around planning encounters just in general. But like again, if you're playing somebody like drafts right, like a drax esque, I will defeat this monster. All call its kind of right, no barbarian. It also comes with its own set of fun. But I do. I personally, I do enjoy the more strategic combat. HMM, myself, Braden, how did you react, I guess, to the characters, as you said, the building a strategy in order to defeat each of these creatures, because obviously, as the DM, you were there listening to their entire conversation, so you know what their plan is. Is it hard to kind of, you know, ignore that and let your character kind of or your big bads kind of play it out as they would have? And does your strategy change at all when you see their strategy? Like when does your how do you know, like when your character goes, Oh yeah, okay, actually, I see what they're trying to do. I'm going to try and do something to kind of corral them or to do something to mess with their strategy. Oh, I just walked away and made dinner. I had no idea what their plans were. I wasn no, okay, actually, though, that's an interesting question. Their strategy wasn't really something that was necessarily their strategy wasn't necessarily, in the heat of combat, MMM, something that they would do, but it was everything leading up to that. Okay, so it was like, Oh, this person is going to have the half dragon is going to have kind of home ice advantage, for lack of a better term, if we fight her on her terms, but if our bard connolly masks of many faces into somebody that we know, she trusts and convinces her to come otherwise, other where where English serfuly. Yeah, it is is a struggle. The more guys are real society. We also do spell checking and grammar checking before we go. That's scared of me. But yeah, they convinced her using this character to go somewhere else and the other characters were lying in wait and basically this dark room and the strategy beyond that...

...was just we're going to smack her a bunch with SAR ripens and hope she goes down. But but the planning of it was more of right, so what if we what are we going to say to were like, what would convince her? What's that? What's the magic word that we think is going to like flip that switch to go like yes, now I am coming with you to this location. Who's the person that's going to be like yeah, this is a person that I trust to come with them to a location. Right, and then fighting the Dragon. It was more about like, okay, so we're going to lie in wait in exactly this position, in these exact spells. In the moment we see him, we're just going to unleash hell and just hope that we can keep unleashing hell before he kills us. HMM. What I really enjoyed about those sessions was that, inadvertently, I feel like we ended up giving a lot of these NPCs more life into them, because the approach that we had with resmer the half dragon, we took very considerately into okay, well, if we're sending our bard into convince her to come along, you know, we don't know what kind of character this might be. So we were planning on having my Monk Thorn be a tail, a close tail, to Connolly and Resmure, so that in case Shit went down early, he would have somebody there to help as well. And just in general, how we plan that out, considering what resmeer might ask, you know, because we were saying we were going to mask of any faces into a character that she knew, like. What was our fallback plan? What we're going to say to convince her that this is something, that this is somebody that she should follow and but this is some immediate action that needs tending to with the Dragon. What was really fun is that we had we didn't really know exactly what we were doing with regards to finding a dragon in general. Right, we had seen a dragon before destroy and level a city with a breath weapon, so we knew that it had that and again, playing into the wisdom of Thorn, I kind of just met a gamed a little bit into knowing that perhaps this dragon does ice breath or something like that, because we saw frozen ORC. So I think the plan devolved into how can we split up as much as possible? But even then we had a fallback plan if it wasn't going correctly. We had a plan to meet up with the wizard a specific location that he could slowfall us out of this castle just in case. So it was like we have location a, we have the fallback plan in case something goes wrong and then, you know, in case we need to bail, we have a plan as well, because we'd really didn't know, and our characters, I think we played into it, like the role place out of none of us had seen a dragon this close right. None of us really know what to expect and I think when people started rolling attacks and seeing that, you know, a sixteen doesn't hit anymore, seventeen or whatever they are. What was the armor class of that dragon at the end of it? I think it was like eighteen, right, seventeen, seventeen. So I think that was one of the things that people realize too, is like, Oh shit, this dragon is resisting everything, this dragon is dodging like fireballs. We think our major launched three fire balls and only one of them did full damage because the saving throws for a dragon are just generally higher. And everybody was like, Oh shit, like we might actually have a harder time fighting less and we thought, you know, which was fun right, like, as a player who knows general stop blocks of the Dragon, I was like, okay, I know what we're getting into in a sense, but it was fun seeing everybody else's reaction when the dragon is you know, make a Dixterio semy throw twenty four. Oh, it looks heed's, you know. Yeah, just a little bit looping back around, Tho Jordan, to your original question. Um, I think you got to be really careful when kind of playing that strategic borderline Metagamey, yeah, kind of strategy against your players. As a DM because I think it would be very easy for like, like if I feel like if these guys, for the hoard of the rank Queen Campaign, it's set down for like the half hour, forty five minutes, whatever it was, planned out this brilliant strategy and then walked in and because I knew it was coming, I immediately blew it up in their faces, like just just because I'm like got Haa, like now you got to react to this, right enies, like that's that's not cool. No, that's gonna that's gonna disc that's going to cause them to not want to strategize in the future. Right, it's gonna cause them to really be disheartened, like all that planning time went to wait, no, that's that's not fun for everybody. So I think that, especially in those cases, if they come up with a strategy that is very excellent and feasibly, the character that you're playing would not suspect that there is anything afoot or would not have time to react, like, depending on...

...what the strategy is that they come up with. Yeah, like allow that to play out. Okay, I allow that to play out and allow them to kind of have that kind of is a reward, because for an awesome session of planning and really diving right into the tactics of everything, but also just because I think that's more realistic, right. I don't think that it's realistic for every villain to have ESP and see the plan coming from miles right. Yeah, DM, overheard what the players Ye say. I think the thing I'm worried about most, I guess, is pack tactics or hordes, because the most obvious strategy when you have numbers over someone else is to take down more of their numbers as quickly as possible. Oh Yeah, so you send everyone to attack one person and that can I mean like it's an obvious strategy to me. But I'm also worried about doing that and them losing or or them kind of being disheartened because, oh yeah, no, like you know, so I'll all too hard. Almost just a thought on them. Maybe you can take this into consideration. And so I've been running a little side adventure for a relatively nearer group of players, and I told you guys about this. The Lost Mine off and over x Dragon, a bat ice fire peak. But I think the one of the one of the interesting things about my choice with running that campaign was. For example, I chose to have relatively cut and dry personality types for certain monsters. So the GOBLINS in this campaign, for example, if reduced to one number, or like if reduced to one they will immediately start begging for their lives and like as you you'd expect goblins to do so, but I've almost made it so that goblins are, you know, will do anything for a payday, will do anything for a buck, and that's just the way I've flavored these goblins. And at the end of the day of the party. Now, when they encounter Goblins, they know that they can capture one off our gold to it to get information. So part of their strategy isn't so much, you know, how to approach the combat on its own, but how can we extract more information from these characters that we are learning more and more about? Right. And then on the monster side, the way I chose to attack with Goblins is, if you haven't seen them, they're taking the hide action every single turn right, so they're shoot and hide right away, and I actually got a lot of inspiration from that from a book that I bought. It's called the monsters know what they're doing and it sort of dives into the background of what a Goblin would be and what you know, how they might approach interactions with enemies or allies and etc. Right. So it's been interesting now because my players know, okay, we call one Goblin, we can definitely bribe it. They're just goblins. Right. So the strategy sort of developed alongside how the enemies choose to fight. But I think maybe if you're concerned about pack tactics being a thing, right, maybe you could use the fact that perhaps these would be low level monsters that your new party is fighting and because of that, the party would generally know information about them when seeing them. So let's say they see a pack of wolves. They you, you as a DM could inform them in a sense of like Oh, you see three wolves prowling around, you know, you know, roll a nature check, and then you know that wolves will attack one opponent and try to take down whatever the strongest looking thing is. So that way the players okay, we have a tank, maybe they can be the biggest distraction because we know how wolves generally you know, like the general knowledge, like you throw meat at it, it's going to likely go for it and take a bite and take its food right, right. So it's these little things that you might be able to sort of prime your players with on just general information about the monsters, right, like when they first met Goblin's. I said, goblins are you know, goblins are super skittish from what you're read about them and you've seen a couple of them and they've mostly just work for a buck. All right, so it gives a goblins operating flavor. So the players could even just walk up to the GOBLINS. They tried doing this at one point and just straight out offering bags of gold to the Goblin that was trying to keep the hide out, and they seek their interest rights it up. Oh goblins, we have to go destroy them. It's Oh, Goblins, there's an easier way to do this, we don't have to fight, like we just throw money at them, you know. But it's more so being clear about than giving those little tidbits of information that might already be known to the player. Okay, cool. Well, thank you, guys for all the tips.

Braden, did you have anything to add or are we good? Nope, I think that that pretty much wraps it up. All right, awesome. So thanks again, guys, for answering my question, and for today that's critical thoughts and the end of the episode of triple advantage. Send us a message on Instagram at Royal City Society. I would love to hear back from people about how they run pack tactics or if they ever like get really into the strategy of things and what they do for that, and if their players are okay with it or if it just kind of ruins it for you. Yeah, so send us a message. Would love to hear from you and check us out on instagram.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (85)