Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons, Quotes, Rant, Role Playing Games, Video Game

#RPGaDay2021 Day 12: Triumph

Day 12: Triumph

“To feel the thrill of victory…there has to be the possibility of failure. Where’s the victory in winning a battle you can’t possibly lose?” Dr. Pulaski- Elementary, Dear Data, Stardate: 42286.3

I’ve been playing role playing games for a long time. Probably longer than some of my readers have been alive. I’ve seen and heard about many different styles of gaming and GMing. I know these #RPGaDAY2021 posts are supposed to be focusing on the positive side of our hobby. But I wanted to make today’s post some constructive criticism.

I’ve never found “Monty Haul” campaigns enjoyable. For those of you not aware of what this is, let me quote page 229 of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition Dungeon Masters guide by Gary Gygax.

Monty Haul – A campaign (or the DM running it) in which greatly excessive amounts of treasure and/or experience are given out.

Further insight on this is where the name came from. Monty Hall was a game show host who’s famous program was “Let’s Make A Deal”. He was known for giving away a ton of prizes to the contestants. DMs and GMs who give a lot of unique items, money or experience points to players beyond the scope of their character level, run the risk of giving too much. Thus the term “haul” in “Monty Haul”.

I know that when I’ve reached the top of the mountain, I’ve accomplished a major goal. That mountain I may be climbing could be a earning rank advancement in my Star Trek club through service, a character I’ve moved from 1st to 15th level naturally, or even enjoying the vegetables from my garden that I tended all summer. If I’m a 3rd-Level Fighter, don’t bequeath me a castle just yet, I know that I haven’t earned it. Yet I’ve had a DM try to do that. Let me work my way through the levels, role playing my way in the game. I know eventually I’ll get that castle/hideout/wizard’s magical realm in another dimension.

Giving away items that are too powerful (or quickly running us up through the levels by awarding excessive experience points) reminds me of the cheat codes in video games. I’ve had friends that would only play these games with the cheat codes. They wanted to get through the story faster is what I was told. I only used cheat codes in very difficult circumstances or if I’ve already played the game a million times and I want to get past an unpleasant level. WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness was a really popular video game that I enjoyed. I would still play it now. It is also popular when we use to hold LAN parties (I haven’t heard that word in a long time) with WarCraft II being one of the games scheduled. I recall one LAN party where we all had our computers in the same room with our speakers on. We could hear where other players were at when units were created or buildings finished. You could not use cheat codes in WarCraft II without the benefits also being applied to the other players. So we agreed not to use them. As I was managing my resources and building my troops, I was able to create three Griffin lairs. Griffins were flying troops and very nasty in large numbers. I had planned it so that all three would generate a new unit at the same time. In the middle of the LAN party the sound coming from my speakers was not one, not two but three Griffin cries (the sound the unit made when it was ready for battle) happening one after the other. From across the room I suddenly heard one of my friends exclaim: “He has three Griffins? Crap! I haven’t even made it to Archers yet.” My triumph was listening to the sounds of panic fill the room as suddenly everyone was re-adjusting their defenses to counter my upcoming aerial assault.

There is no winning in role playing games other than everyone having fun. I believe that fun should come through overcoming the challenge naturally and not having triumph handed to me on a silver platter. Don’t give me a helicopter to fly to the top of the mountain, let me make that climb with the possibility of my character failing.

Of course that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.

Final Thoughts:

Today’s suggestions was a difficult batch. It was days like this one that made me wonder if I wanted to participate in this challenge. Other days have been just as uninspiring. “Think” didn’t make me think of anything. Same with “Consensus” and “Deep”. I almost waited until the day of to see what other participants were posting about. But I also wanted to get these blog posts done in advance and schedule them for the day of. I was really worried that I was going to turn today’s post into a massive soapbox. I may have still stood on one, but I hope it helps some DMs/GMs with their future campaigns.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Humor, MST3K, My Creations, No One Lives Forever, Quotes, The Orville, Video Game

Making Memes

So I’m not the best at making memes, but here are some that I have created in the past. Eventually I’ll have them all uploaded to the humor section of my website. But until then I’ll post some every once in a while as a blog post.

Crazy Meme

I don’t recall where I found the picture of the man in the frog suit. But I knew it had to be used in a meme. This is the image I get of some people when they go off on conspiracy theories.

Kidnapped cereal

I made this in response to all of those “The last TV show you watched is who is rescuing you” memes. They got old after a while so I wanted to parody it.

MXC Right You Are Ken

I’ve always been a fan of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (MXC) since it first came out. It reminded me of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and my own dark humor sometimes. I noticed there was never a “Right You Are Ken!” meme out there so I made one of my own.

NOLF2 Facepalm Meme

While I was working on entries for the No One Lives Forever fan wiki, I saw this scene and knew that I had to make a facepalm meme for it.

The Orville Dr. Finn quote meme

Not all memes are visual jokes. This quote from Dr. Claire Finn from the third episode of The Orville is what sold me on watching this series on a weekly basis. I’m looking forward to a third season when it is finally released.

So this is my first batch that I’ve decided to release. As I mentioned above I’ll be posting more as the mood strikes and eventually they will have their own section on the site. I hope these brought a smile to your face.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Video Game

Character Creation Challenge Day 15: EverQuest Role-Playing Game

Character Creation Challenge Day 15

I found the EverQuest Role-Playing Game Player’s Handbook at a local thrift store several years ago. I picked it up to read about the system and the world it was set in. I had heard of the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) previously, but I had never played it. I recall seeing a copy of this game in a game store when it first came out. It was licensed to Sword & Sorcery Studios by White Wolf Games. It is a D20 based game using the 3.0/3.5 OGL released by Wizards of the Coast. So I figured that it could make for an interesting Character Creation Challenge.

When I did my first glance of the rules I noticed that there were several races not normally seen in the D20 systems. Barbarians are a race, not a class. There was a race of lizard folk (Iskar) and a feline race called Vah Shir. You could also select Ogres and Trolls as well. I believe these were options in the original MMORPG. For players of the online system, there was a conversion guide to create a paper and dice version of your character. Since it’s not available in any other system, I’m going to create a Vah Shir. The classes are limited for each race so out of the options available I selected Rogue.

As a D20 based system, you have the standard attributes. STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS and CHA. However instead of rolling 3d6 or 4d6 to create your stats, you start out with a base rating of 8 in all categories. You then have 27 points you can spend to increase the attributes. Each increase is 1 point per attribute until that attribute reaches 16. Past that the cost is 2 points per attribute. Keep in mind there are still racial modifiers to the attributes (+2 to STR and -2 to INT for the Vah Shir). After all was said and done, Fareed ended up with the following attributes. STR: 14, DEX: 16, CON: 12, INT: 10, WIS: 10, CHA: 13.

I then went through and filled in the Savings Throws, Hit Points, Initiative and other base stats normally seen in a D20 system. Skills were slightly different (again probably to reflect what was from the original source) but they made sense. I didn’t like the fact that I had to write in all of the class skills on the character sheet. Another thing that surprised me is that a cat race wouldn’t have any type of low-light vision? There is a section of the character sheet where you can record the resistances to certain types of damage (Cold, Electricity, Sonic, etc.) but in the character creation process, I didn’t see any information on what my character’s resistances are. When I found the description in the rulebook, it talked about them, but not how you gain them. This might be a special item bonus.

Equipment was provided by a starting package for each class. Why a Rogue would need a sewing needle made me wonder (he already has thieve’s tools). With the money that was provided in the package, I did add two bag’s of caltrops. Fareed was designed to be an expert at getting into impossible places and getting out quickly if caught. He would work for who ever could afford his fee. And with that, I declared the character done. Here is the character sheets.

Fareed character sheet
Fareed character sheet

Afterthoughts:

Creating a character by spending points instead of rolling dice was probably something that MMORPG players was familiar with. So I can see why the game designers would have elected to go this route. The ability modifiers had a greater range than I had seen in other RPGs. You had to reach a stat of 10 before you avoided any negative modifiers. I wonder if this was a reflection of the MMORPG? I’m a big fan of the 1st level characters starting out at class max HP (plus CON modifiers) so it pleased me that it was listed in the RAW this way. I’m not playing a Bard character, but it looks like they have a selection of songs that act like spells. There is also a 150 pages of spells. I think that fans of magic based classes would love this game.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the online game and discovered it has been running now for twenty years. That is impressive considering I’ve seen other MMORPGs die off after a few years. I’m currently not playing any MMORPGs now. My past experiences and thoughts on these types of games will be a future blog post or page.

Additional Notes:

I came across another blog of a participant for the Character Creation Challenge and added it to the list of links. The number of discovered blogs is slowing down but every once in a while another one pops up. If you see one that I haven’t added yet, feel free to let me know.

Coming Up Next:

The name is Bond, James Bond.