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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:27 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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So basically what it says on the tin, combat and positioning can be tricky in regular games, but in this one (in funnels at least) there can be over a dozen (to say nothing of the seventy-something clay soldiers in the first map), how do you handle this?

Now, ordinarily I can go either way on whether positioning characters is important (vs. just abstracting it) but in the included adventure positioning can be pretty important (for example, in the room with the fire-breathing statue).


So.. How do you guys handle it? Do you have a map with so many characters when, at times, their position is important.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Tactical map or no?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:28 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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So I made a longer post that must have been eaten, so I'll just get to the point:

This game seems to, at times, encourage a more abstract battle scene (due to having so many characters, particularly in funnel games).

On the other hand, at times it seems to encourage tracking position closely, due to traps (such as the statue trap in the Portal under the Stars) which are extremely location specific.

So I'm curious what people typically do, do you abstract position, do you use a battle map or other similar thing, or something in between?

Thanks,

-MB


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 Post subject: Re: Tactical map or no?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:53 am 
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[Mod voice]
I should point out that the reason the other post was "eaten" might be that new posters have to have things approved by a mod (such as myself) the first couple of times. Then I know you aren't trying to SPAM us and you get the freedom to do your own thing. I approved two posts for you this AM, and the other one might have been the "lost" one. 8)
[/Mod voice]


Now, onto the discussion....

In general, I hate counting squares in combat. However, I realize that some situations won't work well in the total abstract because the positions, etc, affect player decisions so I will often sketch out a quick map of the room or area on notebook paper and allow players to place their minis in approximate locations that represent where their characters are located. Sometimes I'll go so far as to actually get out my Chessex battlegrid map and draw something out to scale but only if I think that nit-picking exact location may be important to the game, since that kind of thing tends to slow down combat a lot.

This summer I played a little FFG Star Wars, a game system that abstracts locations into melee, close, medium, and far. So, for example, a character's move might allow him to change from medium range to close range. Took a bit to get used to this, but it was kind of neat once we did.

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:57 am 
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As I noted in the other thread, for me the way I run a game is very situational.

I try to abstract things as much as possible with verbal details instead of a map. If things get a little sticky, I'll try to move onto a simple sketch so the players can see specifics. In some cases the details become really important and I'll use my Chessex battlemap and a marker to draw out those details.

I try to avoid counting squares if at all possible.

[Mod voice again]
I merged the two threads.
[/Mod voice again]

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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:49 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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Yea, thanks for that, I noticed after I posted the second that it needed mod approval but by then it was too late :) Apologies.

Thanks also for the responses, very helpful, looking forward to running my first DCC game next week.

I agree that, in general, I don't like counting squares in games as it just slows things down to a crawl. However when I was reading through Portal's description it noted that positioning for some of the traps was extremely important, particularly the giantstatue one, as I noted. I can't all of a sudden demand specific placement in one room without giving away that something is "up" in said room, and wouldn't want to use grid placement in every room.

The other issue was that difference classes/races have different moving rates, which seems like it implies you should be moving on a grid (or using rulers or something).

Sounds like your solution is best, get a sketch of each room and just have the players put their pawns where they'd like to be, seems like (at least in the two scenarios I looked at) that movement within small, cramped, dungeons shouldn't be an issue, short or traps.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:38 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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FLGS: High Tide Games
Mickey Blue wrote:
I can't all of a sudden demand specific placement in one room without giving away that something is "up" in said room, and wouldn't want to use grid placement in every room.


I have the same problem with non-DCC as well (running my first DCC funnel next weekend).

DM: You walk into an empty room with an exit on the far side.
Players: We move to the exit on the other side.
DM: Let me draw the room and get placement.
Players:
Oooh...
I do a perception check...
I do a investigation check...
I do a stone work check...
I cast my mage armor...
I ready to shoot anything that moves...
I hide ...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:06 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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Exactly, though having a rough placement in every room, not to the point of drawing up a grid but just general placement, may solve that (or at least be a reasonable combination).

If you don't mind letting me know (in this thread or PM) how things went, particularly movement both in combat if it applies and in general (possibly more important) I'd appreciate it. I'm probably not going to do my game until next weekend at the earliest so it may be helpful.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:12 am 
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Since Portal is only composed of a dozen rooms/areas or so, I made an enlarged copy of the map and then cut it apart, laminating each area as I did (some as small as 2" x 2", others as big as a quarter page). Running it I'd just lay the next area out for all to see and if necessary have them mark on it where their zeroes were going.

Also, I had each player arrange their character sheets (originally on index cards, but now on the cut-up 4x4 Purple Sorcerer zero level sheets) in front of them in marching order, so it was obvious who amongst their zeroes was currently was in front, bringing up the rear, or hanging about in the middle.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:26 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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FLGS: High Tide Games
For the record, I'm running #67 Sailors. Character sheet placement is a good tip. I read that in first pass of rule book. I need to write it down in play notes so that I remember it.

I'll look into possibility of making full scale maps. I've done that in the past for some adventures but it became unwieldy to do on a weekly basis. Most of my players seem to enjoy it though.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:14 am 
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Good idea, I'm deciding on which I am going to run, Portal or Sailors (the former seems more straight forward, the latter seems more interesting) and cutting out sections does sound like a good idea, at least for Portal for sure, then just get a few chips to use as players (pennies or what have you) and I do like the idea of marching order (which I know was mentioned in the book but I appreciate fleshing it out) so if people are clustered you know who is where, generally, in a quick and easy way. Sailors, at least from my initial read-through, is a bit less regimented, though I think that it will work.

One thing I appreciate about this game (at least in theory) is it seems pretty easy to put together and run, which is good cause we are all adults with jobs and things that take up time. Plus I'm trying to draw my wife into the hobby, so far it's been at best "meh" to her, but I'm hoping the more straight forward "hack and slash" game will be a better experience*, plus I think she'll like the magic system.

I also love the idea of level zero 'funnel' characters - not only is it kind of a neat way to say "yes, people will die, get used to it" but it also allows people to learn the basic rules before they have to think about more-complex class-specific rules like magic, etc. I'm debating tossing in a few one-use magic scrolls so people can get a taste of the magic systems too, to make it easier for them to pick a class.


*I think a lot of times I forget how easy it is to play these games that require more of the players cause I have played games like this for a long time, either tabletop games or similar video games. She hasn't, so a lot of the stuff I take as obvious is less so to her.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:22 am 
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FLGS: Bizarro World
No one has brought up Luck.

Lean heavily on Luck.

"Are you in range of the statue's death ray or not? — Who has a Luck lower than 10 and was more or less sticking with Mordon the Wheat Farmer?"

"Subtract your Luck from 15 — that's how many clay golems are attacking you right now, up to a max of 5."

"The bear doesn't exeunt and instead turns on the Party — Who's got the lowest Luck? Raarrrrrgh!"

Luck is very important for running Funnels.

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Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


Last edited by GnomeBoy on Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:18 am 
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I like to use miniatures sometimes and not others.

When I do use miniatures I don't use a battle map and so obviously don't count squares. Instead we use a ruler and odd ruler like things that my players have pre-measured(like pencils) but honestly most of the time we just kind of eyeball it.

I have no clue why this works so much better for us than a battlemat.We used one for years and thought it was fine but one day we watched a live play podcast where they used this method and we never used a battle mat again.

What's cool is once we made the change we started using everything around us for game props. Coke cans, box's, books and Lego's (Lego's suddenly became huge!).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:32 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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FLGS: High Tide Games
Luck. Good point. As a new DCC DM/Player, I probably wouldn't have thought of that.

No battle mat sounds interesting. Would definitely get rid of those annoying power gamer moves using diagonal square counting to their advantage.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:33 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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I have a couple principles that I generally follow:
1. I use theatre of the mind whenever possible. This means trying to ask specific questions the answers to which should help determine generally where a character is. (i.e. "which characters want to examine the contents of the chest?") If there is ever a problem where the player(s) did not understand the situation I was trying to describe, I try to go with how the player(s) understood the situation.
2.I use the arrangement of the character sheets to show the general marching order of the characters (i.e. characters whose sheets are closer to the table center are closer towards the front of the marching order).
3. I use luck quite a bit to determine who gets attacked by creatures or happens to be in the area of effect of a trap when number one and two do not completely resolve the issue.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:11 am 
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FLGS: Bizarro World
Gameogre wrote:
What's cool is once we made the change we started using everything around us for game props. Coke cans, box's, books and Lego's (Lego's suddenly became huge!).

There's a fairly famous picture of J. Eric Holmes (writer of the first 'Basic' version of D&D) playing at a table that is a chalkboard, so there's halls and rooms and stuff drawn all over it... ~want~ 8)

cas206 wrote:
No battle mat sounds interesting. Would definitely get rid of those annoying power gamer moves using diagonal square counting to their advantage.

...now I'm curious what diagonal movement has to do with power-gaming...

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 6:13 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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FLGS: High Tide Games
GnomeBoy wrote:
cas206 wrote:
No battle mat sounds interesting. Would definitely get rid of those annoying power gamer moves using diagonal square counting to their advantage.

...now I'm curious what diagonal movement has to do with power-gaming...


Well I've recently seen in some other forums that the term "power gamer" means different things to different people. So that may have been a poor choice of words. My example would be a spell with a radius of effect. The game rules that I'm most familiar with counts diagonal squares the same as horizontal/vertical squares. So the "circle" of effect becomes a box. Some of my players use that to their advantage to get that extra reach along the diagonal. I like the idea of using no grid and measuring things out which I think is how some of the space miniatures games are done.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:23 am 
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FLGS: Bizarro World
cas206 wrote:
...The game rules that I'm most familiar with counts diagonal squares the same as horizontal/vertical squares. So the "circle" of effect becomes a box....

Ah, okay, got it. When it's been a thing, diagonals have counted as 1.5 spaces in games I've played.

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:05 am 
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cas206 wrote:
Mickey Blue wrote:
I can't all of a sudden demand specific placement in one room without giving away that something is "up" in said room, and wouldn't want to use grid placement in every room.
I have the same problem with non-DCC as well (running my first DCC funnel next weekend).

DM: You walk into an empty room with an exit on the far side.
Players: We move to the exit on the other side.
DM: Let me draw the room and get placement.
Players:
Oooh...
I do a perception check...
I do a investigation check...
I do a stone work check...
I cast my mage armor...
I ready to shoot anything that moves...
I hide ...
Well said. This happens for my group a lot. I try to keep things vague and abstract a la "old school" play, but then suddenly we get hit by questions that beg for exact answers. I was running a 5E game last night and we ran into the "which characters are within 10 feet of the paladin" problem. Totally killed the encounter.

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:07 am 
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cas206 wrote:
No battle mat sounds interesting. Would definitely get rid of those annoying power gamer moves using diagonal square counting to their advantage.
WHen I use a battle mat I like to count diagonals as 1.5 squares. Technically it should be 1.414 (square root of 2) but 1.5 seems to be close enough. I'm not sure that diagonal-counter players are "power gamers" but they certainly seem to be types who want to work the system to their advantage. They tend to be the same folks as the "I stand 51 feet away from the object" people.

Or, one of the battle mats I have uses hexagons. That also removes the diagonal issue. Of course, it's harder to fit rectangular rooms in hexagonal spaces. :lol:

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
Image
DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:55 am 
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instead of the move stat i use mobility die modified by agility. it is like deed die for movment. can i get across the room through orcs to hit the shaman? roll mobility die.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:58 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:43 am
Posts: 6
FLGS: High Tide Games
One of my players went through Sailors on RollD20 without realizing that I was going to run it for my weekend game. So I ended up doing Sunken City instead. I convinced the group to do Theater of the Mind since we had 6 players and 18 characters. I relied heavily on character sheet ranking and using Luck score to determine who was attacked. This worked out well.

I had planned this as a one shot to try out the DCC system and the Funnel concept. However, most of the group was asking for more, at the end of the session. So I will probably set up a monthly game.


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