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TOPIC: my experience... not good

Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #181

  • bpsymington
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Kirk Bauer wrote:

bpsymington wrote:

eldrad12000 wrote: All this stuff with some Dm's allowing things and some not allowing it is most likely the main reason I would not wanna volunteer to DM a room. I am great with math and remembering rules. But I am too much about people having fun. If a party did something wonky or used some crazy item combo to do something to bypass a room. I would be more interested in letting them do it so they had fun then telling them no they are wasting their time. But I sadly can't really do that cause other groups who tried later if they heard about it would be told no etc, and then other groups would try etc etc etc. I really wish DM's were given the general outline of the room and then given the power of a DM to do what they wanted as long as they did not cross certain rules or something along those lines. Just post up a big sign at each dungeon telling people their run experience might change from run to run.

I know there are probably a ton of reasons were people will be like. Nooooooo that would cause problems etc etc. But that's what the big sign is for. Ever run might be different in various aspects.


One of the most common complaints we hear after GC is about DMs being inconsistent. We try to reduce that with the training the DMs get and with the modules describing the rooms. A big sign indicating people might have different experiences would be a problem for many players.


I know this is easier said than done, and I missed some training because I was on the GT run, but I would have liked more interaction and brainstorming with my peer DMs before GenCon. For example, the first time somebody wanted to use their item that made them immune to arachnids I hadn't realized that the spider wasn't a natural one. Or the first time the Druid wanted to talk to the spider I didn't realize they couldn't, and if they could I didn't know what to say.

Obviously we can't think of everything, but we could have thought of a lot more than we did on the forums. Perhaps just getting the DMs together for an hour before training started so we could brainstorm.


That's a great idea if time allows. We can try encourage more DM participation and feedback in the room description area of the forum. In addition, DMs and NPCs did meet in their rooms before the GT run to discuss how to run the room, and ACs went from room to room to speak with them.

We are limited in several ways with this - not all DMs can make it that night, some are on the GT run, some DMs run multiple rooms, so they can't make it to each room in which they will work, etc.
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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #182

To an extent, and I'm sure it's not intentional, different DMs are making the room experience a little different. That's part of why I have no problem doing multiple runs. I can do the same run twice and it can feel different based on the DMs.

I just think it's too bad that so many people are obsessed with every rule being followed to the letter. I totally agree with the comment about RPGs and a good DM will adjust the experience based on the group. True Dungeon and RPGs are not, nor should be, a competition. It's about immersing yourself into a role and fantasy world and then have fun with it. Good DMs can help make the room challenging without going out of their way to start killing adventurers. Give them some latitude to do so. Anyway, just my unsolicited two cents.

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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #183

Consistency is the key. TD strives to give the same great experience to everyone. When we had DMs "Allowed" to go off the rails and do whatever your experience was radically different. Instead of only hearing about complaints about a "poorly designed" room you got complaints about bad DMs.
Yes you can and did get good DMs too but those don't typically drive people to the boards.

So the constraints put in place have limited the use of tokens and restrains the creativity of adventure groups, this is a side effect of forcing the DMs to be consistent and the inability to predict every token usage/interaction and party creativeness.

Possible solutions: more beta/play testing, lengthier room write ups to allow for more token interactions.


My personal sway is let people solve puzzles with tokens. Why not.
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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #184

If treasure chips become automatic, then rooms 1-6 become "solvable" with a fistful of healing tokens. That's boring. So you might as well let people solve them with non-healing tokens, too.

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #185

valetutto wrote: Consistency is the key. TD strives to give the same great experience to everyone. When we had DMs "Allowed" to go off the rails and do whatever your experience was radically different. Instead of only hearing about complaints about a "poorly designed" room you got complaints about bad DMs.
Yes you can and did get good DMs too but those don't typically drive people to the boards.

So the constraints put in place have limited the use of tokens and restrains the creativity of adventure groups, this is a side effect of forcing the DMs to be consistent and the inability to predict every token usage/interaction and party creativeness.

Possible solutions: more beta/play testing, lengthier room write ups to allow for more token interactions.


My personal sway is let people solve puzzles with tokens. Why not.


In D&D one of the great benefits of a creative mind was to figure out a way to make it with what you had. To me TD has to be the same way. If all those tokens don't do any good in the hands of a creative mind it will greatly dampen the fun and make me very much less interested in playing. If tokens become good only for a one or two year time frame, then why keep any. Having the magic hand, that hadn't been around for a while, in order to get the football out of the tree was great. Stop the ability to do that and the game becomes a dud for me.

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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #186

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Donald Rients wrote:

valetutto wrote: Consistency is the key. TD strives to give the same great experience to everyone. When we had DMs "Allowed" to go off the rails and do whatever your experience was radically different. Instead of only hearing about complaints about a "poorly designed" room you got complaints about bad DMs.
Yes you can and did get good DMs too but those don't typically drive people to the boards.

So the constraints put in place have limited the use of tokens and restrains the creativity of adventure groups, this is a side effect of forcing the DMs to be consistent and the inability to predict every token usage/interaction and party creativeness.

Possible solutions: more beta/play testing, lengthier room write ups to allow for more token interactions.


My personal sway is let people solve puzzles with tokens. Why not.


In D&D one of the great benefits of a creative mind was to figure out a way to make it with what you had. To me TD has to be the same way. If all those tokens don't do any good in the hands of a creative mind it will greatly dampen the fun and make me very much less interested in playing. If tokens become good only for a one or two year time frame, then why keep any. Having the magic hand, that hadn't been around for a while, in order to get the football out of the tree was great. Stop the ability to do that and the game becomes a dud for me.

To the point that has been made repeatedly - consistency - I get that and we need it for sure! (Now please pardon the length - but I've got a lot that I want to think out loud about.
So - I think you simply cannot on one hand say that TD encourages creative problem solving and yet strips out a large chunk of people's ability to be creative. And I think the issue might better be stated in terms of consistency (which is a must for ensuring quality and is healthy) vs. conformity (which is detrimental and not so healthy) and their interaction with creativity (certainly an option, but a key element of many a fun adventure and eminently crucial to the overall health of the game). IMO, and my experience, it comes down to this:
  • Conformity is an exceptionally straightforward way to get to consistency. Seriously - if all rules and gameplay are carefully laid out so as to ensure that only the approved and vetted plans, interactions and outcomes happen - you arrive at consistency - quickly. This means cutting out any approach that is deemed for whatever reason - invalid or unacceptable (e.g. opening a lock with a scroll of knock, avoiding poison penalties with the medallion of greyhawk. I can certainly see the appeal to this. But bear in mind it will quickly and utterly shut down the quick and clever minds that pull these tricks out and try them.
  • Creativity, on the other hand may be seen as the antithesis of consistency. It is most certainly not something that DM training stresses. DM training and Coach training both stress consistency. However the players have through the years been repeatedly challenged to be creative. Well I hate to say it, but a creative (free thinking, loose cannon, wild and unfettered) player or heaven forbid - entire group of them...) is an outright challenge to consistency. Yes if the "Greyhawk Beer Barrel Syndrome" should appear again and be allowed to run unchecked... YES - others will copycat and lame through without savoring the full challenge. As they would if the dungeon were - well in fact a True dungeon. It is not perfect. It is not an approach that will appeal to the purist. But if the game is to be allowed to live and breathe like its name implies... some of this must not only be accepted, but embraced. Think of it as a diversity thing. If you disallow the creative thinker his or her nifty, albeit cheat-like and often truly clever workaround... it is not very different from saying "no - sorry - that though process does not conform to our expectation of how this should be accomplished... diverse and creative though it may be - we don't like it and shant allow it".
  • Now to consistency - I will argue that both approaches (conformity AND creativity) can achieve the outcome of consistency. On the one hand - conformity will ensure that no unexpected hiccup mars the consistent flow of the game as-designed however, it will also consistently negate some potentially creative (regardless of how lame or brute force) ideas and solutions. So you could find yourself consistently hamstringing creativity. (to which I might add garnering the inconsistency of players who say "Gosh I tried an out-of-the-box solution 2 years ago, and it was COOL, we got through the room in a cool clever way, not the mainstream... but we tried it this year and, well, they said nah, sorry, but it doesn't work. I guess we won't be doing anything cool/fun/off-the-wall anymore On the other hand... by allowing a more varied and diverse approach even with the inconsistencies in the group-to-group experience, you'll see a greater consistency in the people who share stories of the unconventional things they tried in the game that worked, and I daresay, I think you've a real chance at seeing a more consistently charged-up, satisfied, and overall more enthralled fanbase...

  • But - again - one person's opinion/interpretation... take it as such! :)
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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #187

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Aaron Hydrick wrote: Creativity, on the other hand may be seen as the antithesis of consistency. It is most certainly not something that DM training stresses. DM training and Coach training both stress consistency. However the players have through the years been repeatedly challenged to be creative.


I disagree with this.

Creativity is not the antithesis of consistency.*
Creativity is a way of looking at the world... a curiosity about how things work, and - frequently - an exploration of how we can affect the world around us. Some creative people may consistently try similar approaches. Some may try some truly off-the-wall things.

But how the DM responds to these approaches, that is where consistency comes in.

Does the DM consistently let players try different ways to solve a puzzle? Does a DM consistently allow a cool approach to work, and then communicate to the AC and other DMs that he has allowed it, so they can also consistently allow it to work?

---
Here's an example: In the SpiderWeb Word puzzle, some players tried a creative idea: they used Speak with Dead on the corpse in the center. The DM allowed it. That was rewarding Creativity.

If the DM was also Consistent s/he would have allowed the same creative idea to work for the next party that tried it. And the next. And the DM should have shared this information with the AC & other DMs, so they would also allow it.
---

Ideally, DMs would brainstorm various "creative solutions" to their room well before players tried anything, and have a short list of creative ideas / token uses which everyone would respond to in the same way. Of course players are going to come up with something else that no one's ever thought of (they always do) but there should be a way to communicate that quickly. Headsets are perfect for this! (But only if the DMs use them!)

Well I hate to say it, but a creative (free thinking, loose cannon, wild and unfettered) player or heaven forbid - entire group of them...) is an outright challenge to consistency.


A challenge, yes. But not an affront to, or an enemy of, consistency.

If you've got a bunch of players who want to use a giant stack of 10-foot poles and rope to construct a bridge over the lava river... that's going to be a challenge. But if dungeon design includes questions such as "How will we respond if players try to bypass the puzzle completely through some crazy token strategy?" and you've got answers like, "Ask the whole party if they're all cool with this. Warn them if they're risking their treasure by doing so. Offer to let them succeed/get the stamp, and then attempt to solve it the normal way so they're not bored or the next 10 minutes." Then you've got the groundwork for consistency, right there.


The real trick, in that case, is getting ALL the DMs to read their room descriptions and implement them appropriately. Sometimes certain solutions can be spelled out in the module, and DMs overlook them, or forget them, or alter them on the fly... and it pisses a lot of people off.
That is why TD focuses so much on the need for consistency.



* Okay, you didn't actually say Creativity was the antithesis of Consistency, but that it may be seen as such. And I'll grant you that: many people see them as polar opposites. If this is what you were trying to point out, and I'm arguing against you for the wrong reason, then my bad.
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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #188

I don't usually read post that have too many words in them, because I'm lazy. But that was well said, Raven.

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe" - Magritte

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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #189

Raven wrote:

Aaron Hydrick wrote: Creativity, on the other hand may be seen as the antithesis of consistency. It is most certainly not something that DM training stresses. DM training and Coach training both stress consistency. However the players have through the years been repeatedly challenged to be creative.



Does the DM consistently let players try different ways to solve a puzzle? Does a DM consistently allow a cool approach to work, and then communicate to the AC and other DMs that he has allowed it, so they can also consistently allow it to work?


This is what I understood the process was, it had sounded like it had changed for 2015.

I am going to turn the "Consistency" argument on its head. Consistency is accomplished through following the effects of the tokens. To not allow tokens to do what they say they can do is inconsistency.

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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #190

Donald Rients wrote:

Raven wrote:

Aaron Hydrick wrote: Creativity, on the other hand may be seen as the antithesis of consistency. It is most certainly not something that DM training stresses. DM training and Coach training both stress consistency. However the players have through the years been repeatedly challenged to be creative.



Does the DM consistently let players try different ways to solve a puzzle? Does a DM consistently allow a cool approach to work, and then communicate to the AC and other DMs that he has allowed it, so they can also consistently allow it to work?


This is what I understood the process was, it had sounded like it had changed for 2015.

I am going to turn the "Consistency" argument on its head. Consistency is accomplished through following the effects of the tokens. To not allow tokens to do what they say they can do is inconsistency.


Errata aside, I tend to agree with you. Tokens should do what they say and should not be specifically overridden with some lame excuse. "oh sorry its "extra special" lightning damage.
Sweet a combat room, we won't take damage!

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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #191

Raven wrote: Ideally, DMs would brainstorm various "creative solutions" to their room well before players tried anything, and have a short list of creative ideas / token uses which everyone would respond to in the same way. Of course players are going to come up with something else that no one's ever thought of (they always do) but there should be a way to communicate that quickly. Headsets are perfect for this! (But only if the DMs use them!)

If you've got a bunch of players who want to use a giant stack of 10-foot poles and rope to construct a bridge over the lava river... that's going to be a challenge. But if dungeon design includes questions such as "How will we respond if players try to bypass the puzzle completely through some crazy token strategy?" and you've got answers like, "Ask the whole party if they're all cool with this. Warn them if they're risking their treasure by doing so. Offer to let them succeed/get the stamp, and then attempt to solve it the normal way so they're not bored or the next 10 minutes." Then you've got the groundwork for consistency, right there.


This. This is what I've always said should be the approach. There is nothing stopping people from doing the puzzle the "right" way once they've solved it with out of the box thinking. And anyone who does TD is going to want to actually play through the puzzles even if they've already solved it through a token trick or other neat idea. It's win-win.

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Re: my experience... not good 8 years 10 months ago #192

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Raven wrote:

Aaron Hydrick wrote: Creativity, on the other hand may be seen as the antithesis of consistency. It is most certainly not something that DM training stresses. DM training and Coach training both stress consistency. However the players have through the years been repeatedly challenged to be creative.


I disagree with this.

Creativity is not the antithesis of consistency.*
Creativity is a way of looking at the world... a curiosity about how things work, and - frequently - an exploration of how we can affect the world around us. Some creative people may consistently try similar approaches. Some may try some truly off-the-wall things.

But how the DM responds to these approaches, that is where consistency comes in.

Does the DM consistently let players try different ways to solve a puzzle? Does a DM consistently allow a cool approach to work, and then communicate to the AC and other DMs that he has allowed it, so they can also consistently allow it to work?

---
Here's an example: In the SpiderWeb Word puzzle, some players tried a creative idea: they used Speak with Dead on the corpse in the center. The DM allowed it. That was rewarding Creativity.

If the DM was also Consistent s/he would have allowed the same creative idea to work for the next party that tried it. And the next. And the DM should have shared this information with the AC & other DMs, so they would also allow it.
---

Ideally, DMs would brainstorm various "creative solutions" to their room well before players tried anything, and have a short list of creative ideas / token uses which everyone would respond to in the same way. Of course players are going to come up with something else that no one's ever thought of (they always do) but there should be a way to communicate that quickly. Headsets are perfect for this! (But only if the DMs use them!)

Well I hate to say it, but a creative (free thinking, loose cannon, wild and unfettered) player or heaven forbid - entire group of them...) is an outright challenge to consistency.


A challenge, yes. But not an affront to, or an enemy of, consistency.

If you've got a bunch of players who want to use a giant stack of 10-foot poles and rope to construct a bridge over the lava river... that's going to be a challenge. But if dungeon design includes questions such as "How will we respond if players try to bypass the puzzle completely through some crazy token strategy?" and you've got answers like, "Ask the whole party if they're all cool with this. Warn them if they're risking their treasure by doing so. Offer to let them succeed/get the stamp, and then attempt to solve it the normal way so they're not bored or the next 10 minutes." Then you've got the groundwork for consistency, right there.


The real trick, in that case, is getting ALL the DMs to read their room descriptions and implement them appropriately. Sometimes certain solutions can be spelled out in the module, and DMs overlook them, or forget them, or alter them on the fly... and it pisses a lot of people off.
That is why TD focuses so much on the need for consistency.



* Okay, you didn't actually say Creativity was the antithesis of Consistency, but that it may be seen as such. And I'll grant you that: many people see them as polar opposites. If this is what you were trying to point out, and I'm arguing against you for the wrong reason, then my bad.


Yeah, sorry, I took a sideways approach hoping to prompt some creative thinking. It may not have been too clear. And for the record, as you should well know, I pretty much agree with everything you said Raven. (Problem with long posts, is that the actual message can get a little lost). In a nutshell - what I was trying to say, is that creative players, combined with well-trained coaches allow for not just great, but CONSISTENTLY great experiences. Yeah really my intent was to warn that thinking of creativity as antithesis to consitency is bad thinking... But I made it a little bit hard to get there. Sorry for the failed attempt, but what you wrote sums up pretty perfectly how I feel about the whole thing!
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