Author Topic: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job  (Read 10690 times)

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Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1170 on: August 11, 2018, 12:45:42 pm »
It's possible I DM a bit this weekend as compensation for Friday, but it won't be today because I still feel bleh.

Incidentally, it's not helping my DM work flow so Monday might be a DM inservice day if it's not a sick day.
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1171 on: August 11, 2018, 12:45:57 pm »
Oh, and weekly roundup once any weekend posting happens or doesn't happen.
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1172 on: August 13, 2018, 10:16:28 pm »
Unless if I wake up dog sick tomorrow, we should resume tomorrow.
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1173 on: August 14, 2018, 10:46:49 am »
Weekly Roundup

Alicia

This week was all about trashing the fortress, which went well. The first encounters were throwaways - not every threat can meaningfully challenge epic characters, and that's okay. Some romps do help establish that you're a big deal. As for the main encounter? Well, Syala set the tone with a natural 20 and beating Jade like a drum, the encounter's dice luck was horrid. I put this encounter around CR 33-35, you're just taking it out back behind the woodshed.

Sometimes the dice decide things decisively, and boy have they here.

Moore

This week was all the rumble with Nasir and friends. This is a hard fight, they're prepared and frankly have the offensive momentum against your group. Some bad luck hasn't helped, but you've slowly worked around the limits of the gimmick and their tactics, surviving. Frankly this battle's gone harder than I thought it would in prep, but you've hung in there and are hitting them back. In this sort of hard, brutal rumble that's all you can do sometimes.

As mentioned in chat, Moore is a big deal. He helped throw Hell off an entire Prime Material world and is now horning in on efreeti activities, a sign Aurora may be taking a serious charge at the efreet post Lifasa? That's going to get a firm response from both the Grand Sultan and the devils helping out. That's the downside of being a legendary hero - the opposition doens't treat you as some annoying mortal hero who's gotten a little too powerful. No, they treat you as a player who needs to be decisively crushed.

In other words: Zoisite isn't bothering with the minions anymore, he's personally trying to take you out. Don't die, Neph.

Tryll

This was mostly slow moving research, but that's okay. Got vacation time coming up for you, so let's get to that and see how it goes. That aside, I liked the interaction with Ebony - putting aside what happened a bit and setting things back. I'll be the first to admit she overreacted to the Benyen thing, but it's not like it causes some horrible endless drama rift, either.

More next week once you've had four days of good sessions. Let's go Starline.

Alyssa

The ooze plan went quite well, as did the negotiations with the gemstone. I don't want to be brief here, I don't, but sometimes all you can is that yeah, you did exactly what you meant to and triumphed. You won, you took out the trash and you got your way. That's worthy of praise, I just don't want it to sound like you're getting a minimum effort blowoff on account of it.

Seira

Diplomacy all week, but generally good diplo that should set up this week. The discussion about Io with the red dragons was really illuminating, tying some things about Io and dragons that I've been quietly establishing for a long time.

Quote
"It may be. We are Io's children, and what are we? We are proud, we are powerful, we are arrogant. What are we but perfection over lesser races? You are Io's child, look at what you did to gain more, to become more. Io is the father of rising above what you are and ascending."

---

"It is the nature of dragons to seek more. More treasure, more power, more perfection. What is our hoard but a reflection of that?"

It puts Io's edict against prismatic and platinum dragons in a new light as well. After all, if Io is about overcoming and perfection, perhaps it wasn't meant to stop them from happening, but make it only so the greatest of dragons could ever succeed and overcome this, coming closer to perfection? With dragons being both iconic and powerful, I've always felt they deserve a purpose in any cosmology beyond being scaly treasure hoarders.

That aside, the stuff with Zaaman Rul was good, as well as setting up the next adventure. More diplo, hopefully you can make headway with Kossuth. Good luck!
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
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Offline Ebiris

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1174 on: August 14, 2018, 10:59:25 am »
Quote
This week was all about trashing the fortress, which went well. The first encounters were throwaways - not every threat can meaningfully challenge epic characters, and that's okay. Some romps do help establish that you're a big deal. As for the main encounter? Well, Syala set the tone with a natural 20 and beating Jade like a drum, the encounter's dice luck was horrid. I put this encounter around CR 33-35, you're just taking it out back behind the woodshed.

Sometimes the dice decide things decisively, and boy have they here.

Yeah, it's going well for us but when you have three deities showing up in person to step on you you're not gonna have a good time no matter who you are. It's been pretty satisfying, and even if I initially felt a bit like the bad guy for just showing up and attacking them it's worth remembering that these demons are our enemies and messing them up is our job. Syala and Antenora expressing their grudge against Malcanthet helped solidify that.

Also considering the opposed rank check needed to snag a proxy spark, it's a good thing we didn't end up going for one of Shar's after all. That would've just been a lot of hard work with a disappointing payoff.

Hopefully we can deal with these slaad buzzkills and properly tear the place down before going home and then getting Zariel sorted.

Offline Corwin

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1175 on: August 14, 2018, 11:31:18 am »
Pretty excited over the chance to advance the Zariel plot! I've been striking out while looking for a suitable proxy, so this makes me pretty happy.
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Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1176 on: August 14, 2018, 11:55:57 am »
Yeah, it's going well for us but when you have three deities showing up in person to step on you you're not gonna have a good time no matter who you are. It's been pretty satisfying, and even if I initially felt a bit like the bad guy for just showing up and attacking them it's worth remembering that these demons are our enemies and messing them up is our job. Syala and Antenora expressing their grudge against Malcanthet helped solidify that.

Pretty much. This is a full out assault, pretty much full on hostilities between the two groups from now on out. Jade was meant to put up more of a struggle, but she was pretty boned regardless. Her plan was to try a fighting escape, but she never got to that part of her plan. She couldn't run lightly with Malcanthet watching, but she was hoping that with that meteor coming, she'd be able to extricate herself from the situation.

Quote
Also considering the opposed rank check needed to snag a proxy spark, it's a good thing we didn't end up going for one of Shar's after all. That would've just been a lot of hard work with a disappointing payoff.

I had 2-4 tries at this expected before you go tone, fortune favored you instead. Fair enough.

Quote
Hopefully we can deal with these slaad buzzkills and properly tear the place down before going home and then getting Zariel sorted.

Sounds like a plan.
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1177 on: August 14, 2018, 11:57:14 am »
Pretty excited over the chance to advance the Zariel plot! I've been striking out while looking for a suitable proxy, so this makes me pretty happy.

Yes. going for Shar proxies was a great flavor idea but really hard. Shar naturally hides what is hers, plus the rank check is unwinnable for the two of you are right now.

I was going to dribble proxy chances in front of both of you, understanding that some will probably be passed on due to circumstances.
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Ebiris

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1178 on: August 14, 2018, 02:30:24 pm »
We're a few levels away from getting 14th level spells but there's not a lot there so here's one I made up that'll be obviously useful for Alicia to murder lots of people in melee combat, but is also I think pretty unique and fun, if perhaps a bit complicated. The stuff about how spell effects propagate through linked squares feels a bit awkward to explain.

Basically it's like being discount Vista though.

Space Compression
Transmutation
Level: Sor/Wiz 14
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Area: 100ft/level -radius emanation
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

Under the effect of this spell space and distance become malleable, able to change at the caster's whim. Once per round as a free action the caster may alter the distance between any two points within its area of effect such that distant squares are treated as adjacent to one another. Once set, the points remain in their new configuration until either the caster resets them or else moves so that one of them falls outside the radius of the spell (based on its 'true' position - this spell cannot be used to extend its own area).

For example a caster can link her present square with one at the edge of the spell's radius and cover several hundred feet with a single five foot step, bypassing any obstacles or attacks of opportunity in her path. Or she may connect her square with that of a distant enemy, allowing melee attacks to be made through the compressed space. Lines or ray attacks can travel through compressed space normally, whereas for a radius effect a cone is projected through compressed space based on the orientation of the squares and the remaining radius of the effect. For example if a 20 foot radius fireball detonates 10 feet to the left of a square that is linked elsewhere, a 10 foot cone is cut out of the fireball's radius moving past that square, and the 10 foot cone then issues forth from the linked square aimed in the same direction drawn from the fireball's point of origin.

A creature threatens normally through linked squares, potentially increasing their melee reach and triggering attacks of opportunity on other creatures moving around them.

Offline Iron Dragoon

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1179 on: August 14, 2018, 09:07:35 pm »
Weekly Roundup
Alyssa

The ooze plan went quite well, as did the negotiations with the gemstone. I don't want to be brief here, I don't, but sometimes all you can is that yeah, you did exactly what you meant to and triumphed. You won, you took out the trash and you got your way. That's worthy of praise, I just don't want it to sound like you're getting a minimum effort blowoff on account of it.

When things click it just goes well. I'm happy with how it turned out so far.
Process: Attempting to Give a Shit
╔═══════════════════════════╗
║█████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░║ (25%)
╚═══════════════════════════╝
Estimated Time Until Completion : FATAL RUN TIME ERROR

"Whenever I'm about to do something, I think, 'Would an idiot do that?' And if they would, I do not do that thing."

Offline Nephrite

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1180 on: August 15, 2018, 12:55:49 pm »
Moore

This week was all the rumble with Nasir and friends. This is a hard fight, they're prepared and frankly have the offensive momentum against your group. Some bad luck hasn't helped, but you've slowly worked around the limits of the gimmick and their tactics, surviving. Frankly this battle's gone harder than I thought it would in prep, but you've hung in there and are hitting them back. In this sort of hard, brutal rumble that's all you can do sometimes.

As mentioned in chat, Moore is a big deal. He helped throw Hell off an entire Prime Material world and is now horning in on efreeti activities, a sign Aurora may be taking a serious charge at the efreet post Lifasa? That's going to get a firm response from both the Grand Sultan and the devils helping out. That's the downside of being a legendary hero - the opposition doens't treat you as some annoying mortal hero who's gotten a little too powerful. No, they treat you as a player who needs to be decisively crushed.

In other words: Zoisite isn't bothering with the minions anymore, he's personally trying to take you out. Don't die, Neph.


Yeah, it's been pretty lame that one character (Xandra) can literally not do anything due to one bullshit ability. I've been trying to find ways around it but nothing's worked, so I'm kind of just giving up on that for right now.

I'm hoping the new way of dealing with them (by separating them) will work.

Also, I have a lot of feelings about the general numbers being thrown around in the fight, insofar as they're all rolling with +80 attack bonuses or even higher than that. They're regularly rolling 90s or above to hit AC -- I get that they have magic and whatever else buffs and these aren't run-of-the-mill yahoos here, it just feels like even with Moore's specialized buffs we're barely on equal footing. I mean, my point is there's no difference in 50 AC or 90 AC here which just feels really shitty.


Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1181 on: August 17, 2018, 11:27:11 am »
Time to catch up on the backlog.

We're a few levels away from getting 14th level spells but there's not a lot there so here's one I made up that'll be obviously useful for Alicia to murder lots of people in melee combat, but is also I think pretty unique and fun, if perhaps a bit complicated. The stuff about how spell effects propagate through linked squares feels a bit awkward to explain.

Basically it's like being discount Vista though.

Space Compression
Transmutation
Level: Sor/Wiz 14
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Area: 100ft/level -radius emanation
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

Under the effect of this spell space and distance become malleable, able to change at the caster's whim. Once per round as a free action the caster may alter the distance between any two points within its area of effect such that distant squares are treated as adjacent to one another. Once set, the points remain in their new configuration until either the caster resets them or else moves so that one of them falls outside the radius of the spell (based on its 'true' position - this spell cannot be used to extend its own area).

For example a caster can link her present square with one at the edge of the spell's radius and cover several hundred feet with a single five foot step, bypassing any obstacles or attacks of opportunity in her path. Or she may connect her square with that of a distant enemy, allowing melee attacks to be made through the compressed space. Lines or ray attacks can travel through compressed space normally, whereas for a radius effect a cone is projected through compressed space based on the orientation of the squares and the remaining radius of the effect. For example if a 20 foot radius fireball detonates 10 feet to the left of a square that is linked elsewhere, a 10 foot cone is cut out of the fireball's radius moving past that square, and the 10 foot cone then issues forth from the linked square aimed in the same direction drawn from the fireball's point of origin.

A creature threatens normally through linked squares, potentially increasing their melee reach and triggering attacks of opportunity on other creatures moving around them.

Interesting idea. I don't have a lot to say - it's worth looking at but it comes down to figuring out what spell level it should be before anything else. What sort of guidance did you use to put it in sor/wiz 14? Also, do you need line of sight/effect to link two points? Like if say you cast this and you're standing outside of a huge castle with no view inside, can you link a square within and step through, bypassing defenses?

Kassim having something similar to this is coincidental, FYI. This sort of space fuckery's around, though usually in a more passive role.
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1182 on: August 17, 2018, 11:28:21 am »
Weekly Roundup
Alyssa

The ooze plan went quite well, as did the negotiations with the gemstone. I don't want to be brief here, I don't, but sometimes all you can is that yeah, you did exactly what you meant to and triumphed. You won, you took out the trash and you got your way. That's worthy of praise, I just don't want it to sound like you're getting a minimum effort blowoff on account of it.

When things click it just goes well. I'm happy with how it turned out so far.

Yes, it's gone well. It's surprisingly hard to get Alyssa into a fight, just the way it's worked out so far along with her style. The Chaos Ooze was entirely skippable with your setup, though it required not blundering into it or getting unlucky.
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?

Offline Ebiris

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1183 on: August 17, 2018, 11:34:46 am »
Time to catch up on the backlog.

Interesting idea. I don't have a lot to say - it's worth looking at but it comes down to figuring out what spell level it should be before anything else. What sort of guidance did you use to put it in sor/wiz 14? Also, do you need line of sight/effect to link two points? Like if say you cast this and you're standing outside of a huge castle with no view inside, can you link a square within and step through, bypassing defenses?

Kassim having something similar to this is coincidental, FYI. This sort of space fuckery's around, though usually in a more passive role.

I just picked 14 because. I mean there's no damage dice or anything, you could probably justify it being at near any spell level. But it's a powerful sort of effect since most movement stuff is teleportation and skipping through the astral or ethereal or shadow planes, outright fucking with the topography of the plane you're on is more the kind of thing only gods can do inside their divine realms so being a few levels into epic feels right.

It would still require line of sight/effect although on that note the area should probably be changed to a spread rather than an emanation so it can go around barriers. Like a 50 foot wide wall of force shouldn't block off a 3000 foot radius zone of control if it can go around the wall.

Offline Anastasia

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Re: DM Nagging: It's pretty much my job
« Reply #1184 on: August 17, 2018, 11:43:43 am »
Moore

This week was all the rumble with Nasir and friends. This is a hard fight, they're prepared and frankly have the offensive momentum against your group. Some bad luck hasn't helped, but you've slowly worked around the limits of the gimmick and their tactics, surviving. Frankly this battle's gone harder than I thought it would in prep, but you've hung in there and are hitting them back. In this sort of hard, brutal rumble that's all you can do sometimes.

As mentioned in chat, Moore is a big deal. He helped throw Hell off an entire Prime Material world and is now horning in on efreeti activities, a sign Aurora may be taking a serious charge at the efreet post Lifasa? That's going to get a firm response from both the Grand Sultan and the devils helping out. That's the downside of being a legendary hero - the opposition doens't treat you as some annoying mortal hero who's gotten a little too powerful. No, they treat you as a player who needs to be decisively crushed.

In other words: Zoisite isn't bothering with the minions anymore, he's personally trying to take you out. Don't die, Neph.


Yeah, it's been pretty lame that one character (Xandra) can literally not do anything due to one bullshit ability. I've been trying to find ways around it but nothing's worked, so I'm kind of just giving up on that for right now.

I'm hoping the new way of dealing with them (by separating them) will work.

Also, I have a lot of feelings about the general numbers being thrown around in the fight, insofar as they're all rolling with +80 attack bonuses or even higher than that. They're regularly rolling 90s or above to hit AC -- I get that they have magic and whatever else buffs and these aren't run-of-the-mill yahoos here, it just feels like even with Moore's specialized buffs we're barely on equal footing. I mean, my point is there's no difference in 50 AC or 90 AC here which just feels really shitty.

We talked about this on IRC by chance, so I'm going to paste the relevant parts of my comments there and build on them.

> Also, I haven't had a chance to reply to nagging yet since this morning was a thing, but short version: They're basically mimicking Aurora's battle plans.
> One squad of really powerful unique units boosted to the max, alpha strike strategies, basically going in and wrecking face.
> It's been interesting on my end mimicing some of those tactics so closely.
> Like for example, the way Aurora (or a lot of epic level PCs, really) try to ignore barriers. Stone shape, disintegrate, smashing, incorporeality. They went all in on that right away with a way to come in with that worm, as well as synchronized retreats with time stop.
> Mooring.
> But to also tie this to a point - when you say it's really satisfying to smash him and see Kaja take out Ebrek, it feels like it's paying off, too. That sense of satisfaction is a good thing to see in PCs, especially with an enemy. Makes the victory more meaningful, or at least that's the idea.

So to the meat of it?

Quote
Yeah, it's been pretty lame that one character (Xandra) can literally not do anything due to one bullshit ability. I've been trying to find ways around it but nothing's worked, so I'm kind of just giving up on that for right now.

You were dancing around the right ideas, you just didn't put them together quite so. I thought you made a good effort but didn't find the right answer, that happens.

Also, while I agree about that sort of shut down being rough, it's also shown that Xandra can do decently well with melee smites. It's her B plan but it's still a plan. Picking up some boosts there would be a good long term backup for her, no doubt.

Quote
I'm hoping the new way of dealing with them (by separating them) will work.

It did. They made a calculated gamble that she could take care of Moore with some mutilations and knock out the main target one vs one. It didn't work out for them, but I felt both sides made a reasonable choice there and your strategy paid off.

Quote
Also, I have a lot of feelings about the general numbers being thrown around in the fight, insofar as they're all rolling with +80 attack bonuses or even higher than that. They're regularly rolling 90s or above to hit AC -- I get that they have magic and whatever else buffs and these aren't run-of-the-mill yahoos here, it just feels like even with Moore's specialized buffs we're barely on equal footing. I mean, my point is there's no difference in 50 AC or 90 AC here which just feels really shitty.

Now I'm gonna get into my opinions here, but lemme toss a disclaimer out: This isn't about saying what you're feeling is wrong. I'm just going on about how this processes on my end and hope this helps enlighten you as to why it's happening. I've always felt understanding the reasoning to this sort of thing is more clarifying than anything else.

Oh yeah, both sides are all in on it. Lemme put it this way, I think it's mostly a matter of framing. Moore's really good at boosting people. He requires the Grand Sultan personally pulling resources to have a team that can compete with that game. Both teams are going in hard here, and I see it as a testament to how good Moore is at his job that he's able to keep up with that sort of press. A typical level 20 team of heroes would've melted like snow in a bonfire to this assault. But Moore was able to keep up, keep everyone afloat and his team helped take care of business - in a large part because they were so enabled by Moore to be able to do so.

This is why things like tactical advantages, time to prepare and other such things can matter a lot. Compare and contrast this with Jade's operation over in Alicia's thread, which lacked that support and wasn't expecting a full on assault by that level of power. Sure, she had some boosts in play and worked to empower herself, but she lacked the resources or time to leverage herself to a level that Nasir and friends did.

So instead of something that says, 'You can barely keep up, feel bad,' it's meant to be 'holy shit do you see what you're keeping up with, that's awesome'. At least that's the DMing intent here. Generally, when I push someone with a challenge like that, that's a lot of the intent of it.
<Afina> Imagine a tiny pixie boot stamping on a devil's face.
<Afina> Forever.

<Yuthirin> Afina, giant parasitic rainbow space whale.
<IronDragoon> I mean, why not?