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TOPIC: Tips for play - open forum

Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #1

  • Gary Aswegan
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Come one, come all, please leave some of your findings - musings - tips - snips or quips.

For example, it seems like just the other day that Stuart and I were discussing the value of time spent "pre-adventure planning" and discussing strategy for some of the little things like - who should carry the torch, where should the torch go first when entering a room...etc.

I think it goes without saying that if it can be arranged (and the tavern this year is totally conducive to allowing more group collaboration time) groups will do well if they take the time to plan together and go over what each players role will be once in a room.

There was talk some time ago that the thief could have a shadow to watch of his/her actions and also help that person not miss anything - there was even talk of having two groups of two people searching rooms to allow for an even more through search...

I guess the reason for starting this thread is just to say to everyone if you have something you want to share that may help a new player or someone just looking to sharpen their skills jot it down here please.

Disclaimer: ALL ROOMS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL - the advice and suggestions that may follow in this thread are offered up freely and at the risk of opening a great and stinky debate. PLEASE let's hear what everyone has to say about how to search a room or who should hold the torch - if it should ever change hands etc. The goal of this thread is to learn that there are just as many strategies for taking on a dungeon as there are players in this game. I think it goes without saying: how one person sees a room is not necessarily the same as anyone else.

Chat it up!
Gary
Gary aka: Grimwood, Cleric of the Western Woods CLERIC for life - I have the character card to prove it! Former owner of a Ring of Three Wishes and Jeff's finger!

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #2

Hey Gary! Let me be the first to suggest a simple, yet powerful concept we talked about before: team cohesion.

Player parties that are formed by matching singles, pairs and small groups should take a little time to get to know each other. Everyone should be made to feel comfortable in the group so that everyone feels open to contribute. The strength in parties comes from the diversity in thinking. :idea:

If possible, take advantage of any pre-game time after check-in to enjoy the expanded Inn and break the ice. My favorite words of saying from an Irish pub sign:

"There are no strangers here, only friends who haven't met yet." :D
Cheers, Stuart O.  + Thats the short haired, short statured, no beard, Indy Stu ...+ "Nemo saltat sobrius"

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #3

  • Gary Aswegan
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Team cohesion: A great place to start.

.02 from this one time player who has a wealth of experience from others who are 2-time players...all of us are, of course, avid gamers - I so much that even during my wedding ceremony in '96 the pastor mentioned it - but TMI and I digress...

A diverse group is a successful group - I think this example says it all:

Think of the strength of a diverse group like this: (challenge) - a spinx riddle (problem) everyone in your group is from a similar circle (result) the riddle will perplex and stump your group - however, a diverse group having one player from Canada could consider this a snap - see the difference?

I recall a forum chat about children being in groups - and while I agreed with the management concern - I still think that youngsters too add value to the adventure and solving of riddles or puzzles.

Looking at cohesion instead of construction now - I think the advice of this forum so far has been to (first and foremost) TAKE TIME: take as much time as you can get your hands on and talk to each person - or have each person talk to the group - see what each other has to say and what strengths or weaknesses are discovered. Keeping these things in mind is just as important as having a spell caster with a good memory...by this I mean if someone has a good memory or eye for solutions...get them reading everything in a room - or have them tail the thief for trap detection or room searching.

I recall at SoCal in the first room we were all looking for gems and stuff in the room and I stumbled across the first pole...I thought - this is an odd thing to be standing here propped up like this - it could fall and hit someone - I picked it up and carried it around the room for a bit - then I saw the second one - just about then someone said we needed to get round things to stay on a flat platform...the rest is history - but I can tell you I don't think anyone esle saw the poles or thougt of the rolling gem concept. (I give myself too much credit here I am sure...)

Maybe second in the cohesion category is PLANNING. After making the rounds finding out about each other - come up with a plan.

First on this plan - HAVE FUN - this is a game. If you find yourself in a group that is not to your liking (ie. not serious) perhaps there is a recourse open for you to change groups - but I like to think any group could be moulded to greatness with the right plan.

Go into the adventure with the right expectations - those being to have fun (IMHO) - and not to expect to WIN, and you will have fun. Hopefully winning is a side benefit - but that chance can be increased with the right plan and mindset.

Now on to that planning...I have typed enough for now and need to get to other things...someone care to add to this?

Gary
Gary aka: Grimwood, Cleric of the Western Woods CLERIC for life - I have the character card to prove it! Former owner of a Ring of Three Wishes and Jeff's finger!

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #4

Hey guys (everyone),

Some tips for play that I think would have helped my group at GenCon So Cal:

1) Know yourself/your character - Knowing that you (the Bard) has a Feather Fall spell for example, can save your life. Everyone should know everything about their characters. We didn't have enough time to do this at TD in So Cal. I am hopeful with the changes that this will now be possible. And if possible, try to know the other characters in your group. You might remember something they forget.

2) Use Caution Caution Caution and don't rush into things - I think this goes without saying and most people probably adhere to this but randomly/carelessly sifting through piles of anything is seldom a good thing to do. As well, rushing into a room or across a bridge will often get someone killed. Instead cautious exploration is often rewarded (like using a tool or weapon to push something instead of your hand).

3) Be observant - Take 1 minute and try to notice everything in the room. You don't have to figure out the use/function of everything but having it in the back of your mind will benefit you when a problem arises. The poles in Rodneys room are a good example of this. It is also worth mentioning that you should try to notice "odd" or out of place things. Three examples of this are the wind and the ledge in the bridge room, and the Stalagtites in the hall to the Spider room.

4) As mentioned, understand where the strengths are with the party before hand and agree on general responsibilities. Personally, I love puzzles (and not such a big fan of comabt). But agreements before hand eliminates discussion in rooms where time is precious.

5) If the room is "solved" - Don't just relax. Explore the room for more treasure (cautiously). :)

6) Healing - I think it is a good idea for the group to always have supplemental healing before going in the dungeon if possible. Even 1 pt can make a difference. But the Paladin and Cleric should use healing to keep everyone as even as possible and hopefully everyone alive (at least until the last room). But keeping track of HPs is important.

7) I think it is a good idea to let (some) people or person wander and NOT have everyone focused on one puzzle. As an example, in the Library, as we were all huddled around the table, one person wandered off and noticed that there was hidden writting on one of the books. This cracked it open for us and we probably would have been stuck if not for this wanderer.

8 ) Finally, Keep an eye on the DM. Look at what he is watching for. This might be considered by some as "cheating" but the DM will be watching the "hot spots". I see it as creative use of resources. ;^)

Of course having fun is important and I agree with having a diverse group and team cohesion. But I think these things will help any group in TD at least get to the final room and perhaps win it!

Thoughts?
Douglas
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #5

  • Gary Aswegan
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1-5 and 7 are straight forward and very sound tips - thanks.

I like #8. Who can ignore when the DM makes a point of specifically looking at a certain person who is about to touch something or walk near something...I did however, see very few tip-offs from the DMs at SoCal.

#6 is what I found most interesting and wanted to focus a bit more on:

6) Healing - I think it is a good idea for the group to always have supplemental healing before going in the dungeon if possible. Even 1 pt can make a difference. But the Paladin and Cleric should use healing to keep everyone as even as possible and hopefully everyone alive (at least until the last room). But keeping track of HPs is important.


Sound advice!

What do you think is sound healing in a group with say limited potions or none at all - should the Palidin heal using all of his points first then the Cleric spells, then individual potions and scrolls?

I am of the opinion that the Palidin should cash out his lay on hands as quick as possible with or without the Cleric burning up spells - the thought here is two-fold first the Palidin is doing a great deal of battle and most likely taking battle damage i.e. he is a higher risk character for an early death - especially the brave ones who lead the party AND second he can spoon feed 4 points to one person and 3 to another where the Cleric is random based on spell success.

"especially the brave ones who lead the party..." That brings up a neat new topic for discussion here - marching order.

I like the figher and ranger leading the group - keeping the Palidin a little safer due to the value of his innate abilities. Anyone have comments on this tid-bit?

Gary
Gary aka: Grimwood, Cleric of the Western Woods CLERIC for life - I have the character card to prove it! Former owner of a Ring of Three Wishes and Jeff's finger!

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #6

Tokens.

If you purchase tokens, be sure you remember what they are and keep them handy. That's what they're there for! :!:

On more than several occassions I saw party members who had forgotten they had a particular token until called upon to look. Not only can this waste precious time, but on one occassion I witnessed a party lose members because they did not remember in time that they had a token they could have used to aid them.

I'm a firm believer that it is better to use items early to help you along the way than not and not make it as far.
Cheers, Stuart O.  + Thats the short haired, short statured, no beard, Indy Stu ...+ "Nemo saltat sobrius"

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #7

On the issue of healing, I think you basically need to look at a typical worst case scenario for the amount of damage that a person is expected to receive. For example, for a given room, fighters could lose 10hps from combat, thief 8hps from traps, and so on. It is a subjective approximation but humor me. This is basically the "red zone" for a character meaning that when they are in the "red zone" for HPs (i.e. they are below that number), they could likely die in the next room. Of course this red zone is different (slightly) for each character because there are different risks for each character. I think the goal should be that you keep everyone out of their "red zone" but JUST outside of it.

Say the thief gets hurt early, you dont want to use healing to bring him back to full HPs because he may never get hurt again and if you run out of healing, and someone else needs the healing to get out their "red zone" then it was a waste to use it on the thief.

Of course, anyone can "instantly" die (e.g. falling off the bridge) but intelligent caution can prevent this and you always want the cleric to proceed cautiously (until he can't heal anymore). :)

Well, those are my thoughts anyway. Say, I could be the Cleric! Sounds like fun.

Enjoy,
Douglas
TD Cleric
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #8

  • Gary Aswegan
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AWESOME The Dequils RED ZONE!

I love it - this is exactly the thing I wanted to get out for players.

So, could we start a debate to try and set-up the red zone for each CHAR and post it here?

I agree that in any given room fighter types are facing about 10 points of damage - however perhaps 8 is more like it - don't forget those in combat about to die can "run away" and let someone else step in.

So let's see what others think are reasonable red zones.

Fighter types: 8-10 points
Cleric/thief: 6-8 points
Mages types: 6 points???

Gary
Gary aka: Grimwood, Cleric of the Western Woods CLERIC for life - I have the character card to prove it! Former owner of a Ring of Three Wishes and Jeff's finger!

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #9

LOL! Too funny. Ok, ok. But there are a number of factors that can change the "Red Zone" for each character.

1) Playstyle - A reckless and foolhearty character will have a much larger "Red Zone". That is, they could be subject to more damage in any given room which could kill them.

2) Accepted Responsibility - The person who is responsible for flipping over a card, opening a door, reaching in a dark hole could be subjected to more risk.

3) The room itself - Some rooms are deadlier than others so everyones deadzone expands.

4) The lethalness of the dungeon - It has been discussed that the leathalness of the dungeon may be changed which would affect everyone.

So where does that leave us? Ranges for each class might be something like

Fighter 8-10
Cleric 5-8
Mage 4-7
Thief 4-8
Paladin 7-10
Ranger 6-9
Bard 5-7

But these are purely guesses. Just having a little fun on a work break. ;^)

-Douglas
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #10

  • Gary Aswegan
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LOL! Too funny. Ok, ok. But there are a number of factors that can change the "Red Zone" for each character.


Agreed - many factors, thanks for starting a list - and I am glad my humor is on today.

1) Playstyle - 2) Accepted Responsibility - 3) The room itself - 4) The lethalness of the dungeon -


Agreed - so part of the planning is for the group to assign or assess these factors - I would say anyone acting kind of fool-hearty or care free is given the risky card turner or "charge into that room and see what happens" role. A group would save time and perhaps hit points if these roles were discovered and assigned.

So where does that leave us? Ranges for each class might be something like Fighter 8-10 Cleric 5-8 Mage 4-7 Thief 4-8 Paladin 7-10 Ranger 6-9 Bard 5-7 But these are purely guesses. Just having a little fun on a work break. ;^)


I like that DRZ breakdown - any others like/dislike it?

With that in hand for starters - would it be fair to say that the room could dictate that those chars not in the DRZ take on the risks - I think so. So a party could set some of these guidelines like "hey, if all us fighter types are beat up then it is up to the Cleric and Mage to flip cards or open boxes etc."

Of course the flip side of all this planning is just go out and keep it simple - but when bored at work the over thinker in me comes out.

Keep up the good chat, lets see some new posters - there are no wrong answers here. ;)

Gary
Gary aka: Grimwood, Cleric of the Western Woods CLERIC for life - I have the character card to prove it! Former owner of a Ring of Three Wishes and Jeff's finger!

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #11

As a DM I can tell you, when it comes to healing, DO IT NOW. Most of the kills that I had were because of running out of time and a party takes 4-6 points of damage as they are pushed to the next room. If you take damage in combat and are low on time, it will get you. ;)
Baldamir<br /><br />IF YOU WANT THAT HEALED, YOU'LL DROP THAT ATTITUDE.

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Tips for play - open forum 14 years 7 months ago #12

These are some great tips. I love the "red zone" concept and all the thoughts on healing.

In SoCal the biggest problem our party experienced, consisted in the simple fact that we met as a random group and chose character classes almost by lottery. We didn't have the time to really become familiar with one another as players, knowing one anothers strengths and experience in playing the game, etc. I think everyone had some experience with D&D, but none of us had been in a True Dungeon before, and in ways we were like deer staring into the headlights. (Wow this is cool, but what do you mean I just took 10 point of damage type of thing).

My wife and I plan to be at Indy, and we are preparing now by refamiliarizing ourselves with different character classes, spells, abilities, etc. in case we are called on to play the role of somthing we don't usually play. When we get to Indy, we'll look for others to form a group, so we can spend some productive time in the tavern actually planning battle strategy, healing, problem solving, etc.

I guess like any first level player, you learn a lot--but never again will the fighter carry the torch, fall into the chasm, and leave us in total darkness for the rest dungoen. Surprisingly 3 of us made it to the final room and I survived by the only attribute left to me at that point--LUCK. With no light it was awfully difficult to read the writing around the altar.

Overall I appreciate all the tips, but for me, I think planning in the tavern or town before entering that first door, as I imagine a dungeon party would, will be a major part of our quest, AND in a lot of ways, I think that will be some of the best fun.


Widseth
Author of The Brazen Serpent Chronicles--Talon of Light
and The Brazen Serpent Chronicles--The Caduceus
and The Brazen Serpent Cronicles--Dragon Kiln
and The Brazen Serpent Chronicles--Cenote Gate (in process)

www.brazenserpentchronicles.com

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