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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:02 pm 
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Just assigning point penalties for stopping doesn't fix anything. As ynnen pointed out, teams can just stall instead.

If there is a rule for next year (regarding opting out of a fight)...perhaps the easiest way to solve this is to make the point benefits for completing the last encounter commensurate with the risk (in other words, it should outweigh most of your party dying).

That way, groups are welcome to stop early...but they won't place above teams that made it through the last encounter (but had 3 deaths). It will still be a strategic decision whether they want to stop, since they risk a TPK...or more points.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:29 pm 
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fathead wrote:
Just assigning point penalties for stopping doesn't fix it the problem. As ynnen pointed out, teams can just stall instead.

If there is a rule for next year (regarding opting out of a fight)...perhaps the easiest way to solve this is to make the point benefits for completing the last encounter commensurate with the risk (in other words, it should outweigh most of your party dying).

That way, groups are welcome to stop early...but they won't place above teams that made it through the last encounter (but had 3 deaths). It will still be a strategic decision whether they want to stop, since they risk a TPK...or more points.

Thoughts?


I am not sure I would weigh the last monster too heavily. Because it IS possible to get to the end of an adventure and kill the bad guy... AND NOT get most of the stuff in the middle.

I would hate to see speed-DND take over where there is a total rush to the end to kill the big guy because the points are too big.

The big guys will be easier if you do not deplete your resources in earlier encounters. I honestly think that designing a point system would be a very difficult thing to do.

Do we value beating the boss at the end (while skipping the minions earlier) to be more indicative of the better team? I think everything should have a steady point progressions (like they currently have). Where if you do the early steps AND make it to the end you get more points.

Yes, beating the bad guy is a good point boost. But engaging in any combat is dangerous in DnD (with failed saving throws and/or critical hits). Do we want to overvalue the boss monster? I do not think so.

Plus as listed earlier, this is the first DCC that parties had a solid chance to make the final rooms. Will this be the case next year? Only Goodman Games know. If you cannot make the final room, it is not relevant. But if everyone is going to make the final room, you do have a choice on fighting him for the bonus points or calling it on time.

In rounds 2 and 3, we did make the final rooms and started to attack the boss monsters when time was called. But in other cases, if you have five minutes left is it WORTH attacking the boss monster and risking a death when you do not have enough time to defeat it?

This is the issue with timed tourney's. Since you are done when time is up... you do not get to finish the fight. If you have ZERO chance of defeating him, why risk the death? Take what you got and hope for the best.

This is not a wimp way of playing, but just common sense. Is it worth the penalty of a TPK with zero chance of success? So a team that did not advance to the last room could go to next round?

I honestly think the point system is very solid and it does a good job of rewarding play at ALL points during the adventure. The farther you make, the more chance you have to make AND lose points.

But to do actions with no chance of reward is just foolish in a tourney.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:36 pm 
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Yeah, I think this round 1 was a little different because once you're in the room you can't really run, the portal was off.

I am curious though, say you were in an earlier room and began a combat, then decided the creature was too hard and ran. Is there a penalty?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:57 pm 
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Hamakto wrote:
I am not sure I would weigh the last monster too heavily. Because it IS possible to get to the end of an adventure and kill the bad guy... AND NOT get most of the stuff in the middle.

I would hate to see speed-DND take over where there is a total rush to the end to kill the big guy because the points are too big.


The tournament modules tend to be fairly linear though. It's difficult to get to the end without going through the other encounters...

Besides, each encounter has quite a few points already assigned to it.


Hamakto wrote:
Plus as listed earlier, this is the first DCC that parties had a solid chance to make the final rooms. Will this be the case next year? Only Goodman Games know. If you cannot make the final room, it is not relevant. But if everyone is going to make the final room, you do have a choice on fighting him for the bonus points or calling it on time.


The downside being that most of the end encounters (particularly the 3rd round) tend to be vicious. Depending on the tournament, sometimes just defeating the end bad guy only nets enough points to cover the loss of 2 party members. So, why risk it if the reward isn't there?

As a note, Vault actually assigned 800 points for defeating the bad guy in round 3...enough to cover 3 deaths.

I have no idea how this year was scored though.

Hamakto wrote:
But in other cases, if you have five minutes left is it WORTH attacking the boss monster and risking a death when you do not have enough time to defeat it?


Nope. It makes sense to stop.

Hamakto wrote:
I honestly think the point system is very solid and it does a good job of rewarding play at ALL points during the adventure. The farther you make, the more chance you have to make AND lose points.


Oh, I completely agree. Goodman Games has done an awesome job structuring the tournamant...not an easy task.

Even if nothing changes, I'm happy with that. I was just offering up other ideas.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:59 pm 
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jfrenia wrote:
Yeah, I think this round 1 was a little different because once you're in the room you can't really run, the portal was off.

I am curious though, say you were in an earlier room and began a combat, then decided the creature was too hard and ran. Is there a penalty?


Umm... why would their be a penalty? You just do not get the points for defeating the challenge (be it monster/trap/puzzle).

So while you do not lose points, you do not gain the points either. If someone else defeats them, they they have the extra points and may finish ahead of you in the round.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:59 pm 
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fathead wrote:
Oh, I completely agree. Goodman Games has done an awesome job structuring the tournamant...not an easy task.

Even if nothing changes, I'm happy with that. I was just offering up other ideas.


I agree as well, I'm (the competitor in me) is figuring out my best points odds for next year, haha 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:05 pm 
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jfrenia wrote:
fathead wrote:
Oh, I completely agree. Goodman Games has done an awesome job structuring the tournamant...not an easy task.

Even if nothing changes, I'm happy with that. I was just offering up other ideas.


I agree as well, I'm (the competitor in me) is figuring out my best points odds for next year, haha 8)


Well...

<smack talk>
The Blood Kings will be back to defend our title!

So it does not matter what the points are... we will win next year!!!
</smack talk>

*ducks the dice thrown in his direction*

*wonders if it is too early to start the smack talk for next year... it is ONLY 11 1/4 months away.*

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:11 pm 
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Hamakto wrote:
*wonders if it is too early to start the smack talk for next year... it is ONLY 11 1/4 months away.*


Hell no...it's never too early for that. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:59 pm 
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fathead wrote:
Just assigning point penalties for stopping doesn't fix anything. As ynnen pointed out, teams can just stall instead.


We would certainly need a penalty for the "stallers" as well which is what that was originally designed for. As playtesters, we try to come up with all the devious dungeon/tourney breaking ideas that we can that people might think of (and we have thought of more than a few). My original idea for the "take 20" penalty was to have a low level poison gas that built up in your system... maybe we should revisit that. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:02 pm 
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jfrenia wrote:
I am curious though, say you were in an earlier room and began a combat, then decided the creature was too hard and ran. Is there a penalty?


There are generally points for defeating an enemy. *So far* there are no penalties for running away.


Last edited by N'Haaz-aua on Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fathead wrote:
The tournament modules tend to be fairly linear though. It's difficult to get to the end without going through the other encounters...


No one puzzled out a possible shortcut on one of the levels... there was a non linear solution.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:38 am 
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Here is one thing to think about. Technically a team could sit down to start and as soon as time starts say they quit and have 0 points. Now because of that this year they would have ranked 20th. For doing nothing at all they would beat 4 other teams that tried and tested the gamed and tried to play.

I think the quitting rule should be outlawed for the next year and if you rush in and die, life is a boner for you. You could work out a point system that maybe cuts the death penalty in precents depending on where you die. TPK in the first 5 rooms- full penalty. Make it the last boss and wipe- 25% only. Something like that.

I love playing this tourney and have a great time even though my team sucks but if you are going to have "insider" rules and stuff that isn't shared with all contestants then for shame.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:24 am 
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toad wrote:
Here is one thing to think about. Technically a team could sit down to start and as soon as time starts say they quit and have 0 points. Now because of that this year they would have ranked 20th. For doing nothing at all they would beat 4 other teams that tried and tested the gamed and tried to play.

I think the quitting rule should be outlawed for the next year and if you rush in and die, life is a boner for you. You could work out a point system that maybe cuts the death penalty in precents depending on where you die. TPK in the first 5 rooms- full penalty. Make it the last boss and wipe- 25% only. Something like that.

I love playing this tourney and have a great time even though my team sucks but if you are going to have "insider" rules and stuff that isn't shared with all contestants then for shame.


The one thing that I think that you are missing is that there is no guarantee that quitting will help or hurt you. Looking back on the tournament it is easy to say when to quit, but when you are actually playing... it is a much different story. You will probably find this out in next year's tournament.

I would; however, agree that all teams should be notified that they can quit at any time. This goes against the grain for most teams. We just learned that we could do this last year from a person in the tournament.

The group that I DM on a monthly basis, basically never quits... I am actually trying to teach them that they can't bulldog their way through EVERY single fight. This is a tough lesson to teach most D&D groups.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:54 am 
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Ok so next year we will just run in, split the group up so that we cover more rooms at once and all just run around until we are close to dead and then say we quit to get the exploration points and not the death penalty. Sounds like a plan. Will we advance probably not but since it seems like a tactic that other teams use, why not us?

Seems like a good way to get in the spirit of the game and really get a feel for the best teams. Who can go farther before quiting.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:21 am 
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toad wrote:
Ok so next year we will just run in, split the group up so that we cover more rooms at once and all just run around until we are close to dead and then say we quit to get the exploration points and not the death penalty. Sounds like a plan. Will we advance probably not but since it seems like a tactic that other teams use, why not us?

Seems like a good way to get in the spirit of the game and really get a feel for the best teams. Who can go farther before quiting.


Darn, you just figured out our tactics from this year. You are gonna be tough to beat in 2008.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:45 am 
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toad brings up several points and a valid concern.

Quote:
Technically a team could sit down to start and as soon as time starts say they quit and have 0 points. Now because of that this year they would have ranked 20th. For doing nothing at all they would beat 4 other teams that tried and tested the gamed and tried to play.


An excellent and well-said point. A team that did nothing would beat 4 other teams.
At the same time, though, the team that did nothing also has no story to tell about the tournament. They had no fun, bested or were bested by no monsters, and solved or were slain by no traps.
Even teams that are utterly massacred usually at least have some enjoyment from the experience...we certainly try to write interesting and exciting scenarios for our tournament-goers to experience.
What I'm saying is: even if they beat 4 other teams, they still lose.

Still, it is an interesting point, and it seques into your proposition nicely:

Quote:
You could work out a point system that maybe cuts the death penalty in precents depending on where you die. TPK in the first 5 rooms- full penalty. Make it the last boss and wipe- 25% only. Something like that.


This is interesting, especially if at the same time the bonuses for defeating the encounters also went up...it makes it more likely a team would try to defeat The Big Evil since the potential reward greatly outweighs the penalty.

An excellent suggestion.

Riffing off that, if there were to be a "quit" penalty, it could also scale one way or the other, either getting more severe the deeper you go (because it's harder to go back the way you came) or more severe at the start (because you didn't DO anything). Of the two, I favor the former...commit!...because quitting at the beginning has its own natural consequence, as I explained above.

Quote:
I would hate to see speed-DND take over where there is a total rush to the end to kill the big guy because the points are too big.


I agree with Hamakto's sentiment here. I can't stand many of the CCGs out there because the game is over by round 3 or 4.
EDIT: Actually I'm referring to one in particular. You know who you are.

We generally try to counter the exploration bonus and the Kill the Bad Guy bonus with points awarded for resolving plot-specific issues.

(By the way, the scoring on all previous modules is available in that module...reading one is a way to prepare for the tournament)

If plot-points were weighty, it may entice some teams to try to resolve the module.

All the above scenarios pre-assume that we're following the End Boss model, by the way. This is NOT guaranteed to be true in all rounds of future tournaments.
In fact, it's also not guaranteed that points alone will continue to be the sole criteria for advancement. If such an additional or replacement criteria were introduced, of course, it would either be part of the Player's Pack or communicated directly to the team at the round's start by the Judge.

Which brings me to something else toad mentioned.

Quote:
...but if you are going to have "insider" rules and stuff that isn't shared with all contestants then for shame.


Indeed. If we were sharing inside information with teams that would be unconscionable. This is a serious concern of mine, which is why we, among other things, vet our Judges and playtest groups.

Quitting, however, was not an insider rule. If anything, it was an easter egg, much like how to levitate with the moonlight in round 2...you had to ask. Teams with more exposure to the tournament are more likely to discover that this was a possibility through mere chance, but this is could also be said of our scoring system, which is available to anyone who examines a module from the previous year.

Experience gives a team a natural advantage. This is the #2 reason we change the module's theme and style (and the module's project manager) every year.

Quote:
Darn, you just figured out our tactics from this year. You are gonna be tough to beat in 2008.


All kidding aside, the 2008 tournament is going to something else. It's Year Five and the first 4E tournament. Fuhgeddaboutit.

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Author: DCC #55: Isle of the Sea Drake, DCC #61: Citadel of the Corruptor, more to come....


Last edited by Jengenritz on Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:47 am 
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toad wrote:
Here is one thing to think about. Technically a team could sit down to start and as soon as time starts say they quit and have 0 points. Now because of that this year they would have ranked 20th. For doing nothing at all they would beat 4 other teams that tried and tested the gamed and tried to play.


Kind of moot point, since they wouldn't advance...and it sort of undermines the purpose of "playing" D&D. ;)

toad wrote:
I think the quitting rule should be outlawed for the next year and if you rush in and die, life is a boner for you. You could work out a point system that maybe cuts the death penalty in precents depending on where you die. TPK in the first 5 rooms- full penalty. Make it the last boss and wipe- 25% only. Something like that.


Actually...that's not a bad idea. Maybe 250 points per death normally, with 150 in the final room...


toad wrote:
I love playing this tourney and have a great time even though my team sucks but if you are going to have "insider" rules and stuff that isn't shared with all contestants then for shame.


There isn't some sort of insider club (at least not that I've been invited to). Most players just get ideas as they become more experienced in the tournament. As one of the Blood Kings pointed out, anyone can pick up a tournament module and see the point scores (and know that the last encounter is generally a higher EL)...and then think of "stalling". Stopping early is really the same thing as stalling.

The tournament coordinators try to cover all the contingencies and "what if" scenarios...which include "stalling", I'm sure.

toad wrote:
Ok so next year we will just run in, split the group up so that we cover more rooms at once and all just run around until we are close to dead and then say we quit to get the exploration points and not the death penalty. Sounds like a plan. Will we advance probably not but since it seems like a tactic that other teams use, why not us?

Seems like a good way to get in the spirit of the game and really get a feel for the best teams. Who can go farther before quiting.


Well, let's take a look at the point scoring.

Well, first, you'd probably be setting off every trap in the place. You get deductions for that. So, assuming that everything is non-linear and doesn't require any keys to get into, you'll net yourself 1000 points before the deductions kick in.

I'm not sure that's the winning strategy you're looking for. ;)



In any case, Adrian (Jengenritz) is the guy who runs the tournament, and he's already weighed in (and hinted at changes to come). I believe you can expect something to be done about it (which will either be a change in points or otherwise).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:09 am 
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Which is all I ask. I like that results are posted and that those that run the games come and talk about them and take criticisms and suggestions. Can I run a better event? Not even close, but I can give a perspective from those at the bottom. Last place this year and second to last the year before. I have fun playing and it is great stories to tell (it was the DM, he screwed us over honest :o ) but I think a few things could change or be tweaked to allow for more thought out actions and playing. Rushing in will get you killed because you missed the mcguffin you needed to win, while slow playing won't advance you as far.

I don't envy you that have to figure out the scoring and judge, but I hope (and it looks like you do) that you can take suggestions.

I call this topic dead.

-Now I think I might hold the record for longest time to figure out the orbs. I was by myself since everyone else died and it took me over an hour. I am really bad at math and puzzle.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:24 am 
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toad wrote:
Which is all I ask. I like that results are posted and that those that run the games come and talk about them and take criticisms and suggestions.


They definitely listen to every suggestion. Most of the authors read and post here too.

toad wrote:
Last place this year and second to last the year before.


We've played the tournament all 4 years, so we have a few tricks that we 've discovered. It's nothing earth shattering or "insider" information, but it works for us. If you're interested in hearing a few, PM me.

toad wrote:
Rushing in will get you killed because you missed the mcguffin you needed to win, while slow playing won't advance you as far.


You know...that's the one thing that our group has to acclimate to every year...moving quickly, but cautiously. It takes a little while to adjust to tournament play. Our regular campaign is a lot of roleplaying...very little combat...you can see why it would be an adjustment for us..;)


toad wrote:
-Now I think I might hold the record for longest time to figure out the orbs. I was by myself since everyone else died and it took me over an hour. I am really bad at math and puzzle.


Were you the one whose entire party died, so you trudged forward by yourself? Awesome. Now THAT is heroic.

As for the orb puzzle...don't worry about it. We had a whole team of 4 to help us, and we spent an hour and a half in that room...and I love puzzles (which may have been part of the problem...I didn't want to ask Sezrakin for help, because I was afraid of getting point deductions for it).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:31 am 
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On another topic...is anyone else planning to play the XCrawl tournament next year?

The setting isn't normally my thing...but I've been hearing some tremendously positive feedback about it (not just the tournament, but the XCrawl modules themselves).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:36 am 
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Quote:
The setting isn't normally my thing...but I've been hearing some tremendously positive feedback about it (not just the tournament, but the XCrawl modules themselves).


With an enthusiastic GM, Xcrawl is a freaking hoot. I've played in a few homes games that were a total blast. Although I can't speak for the modules, I'd put good money they're solid...it's Brendan's work, so if you've read his DCCs or "When Kobolds Fly" from Adventure Begins, you know you're for Good TimesTM.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:44 am 
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Jengenritz wrote:
Quote:
The setting isn't normally my thing...but I've been hearing some tremendously positive feedback about it (not just the tournament, but the XCrawl modules themselves).


With an enthusiastic GM, Xcrawl is a freaking hoot. I've played in a few homes games that were a total blast. Although I can't speak for the modules, I'd put good money they're solid...it's Brendan's work, so if you've read his DCCs or "When Kobolds Fly" from Adventure Begins, you know you're for Good TimesTM.


I have the Sunless Garden, which I think he wrote (is that right?).

When I purchase modules, I typically look for something I can run for a gaming weekend. While XCrawl wouldn't be something I'd be interested in as a campaign, it sounds like a TON of fun for a couple of side games when we have a gaming get-together.

I'm on Enworld as well, and I've been hearing good things about it (usually from people who have tried it at conventions).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:46 am 
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fathead wrote:
Were you the one whose entire party died, so you trudged forward by yourself? Awesome. Now THAT is heroic.

As for the orb puzzle...don't worry about it. We had a whole team of 4 to help us, and we spent an hour and a half in that room...and I love puzzles (which may have been part of the problem...I didn't want to ask Sezrakin for help, because I was afraid of getting point deductions for it).



Yes I was. I ran from the rat after the 3rd guy died and entered the room. I solved the puzzle, killed a water elemental (thank you bad rolling DM) and looted the room. 2HP and rubbing my lucky dice didn't stop the waiting rat from killing me in 3 rounds (the first 2 he missed).


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:02 pm 
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Jengenritz wrote:
An excellent and well-said point. A team that did nothing would beat 4 other teams.
At the same time, though, the team that did nothing also has no story to tell about the tournament. They had no fun, bested or were bested by no monsters, and solved or were slain by no traps.
Even teams that are utterly massacred usually at least have some enjoyment from the experience...we certainly try to write interesting and exciting scenarios for our tournament-goers to experience.
What I'm saying is: even if they beat 4 other teams, they still lose.


I agree there, the number 1 reason I play is for the fun of the adventure. Winning is cool too, but #1 I want to be challenged and have a good time. I also wouldn't change anything if I went back, because I always feel I can best the monster (probably a bad thing), LOL. A lot of my frustration came from a room you couldn't run from and my friend in another group who said his DM said to them "Do you want to stop here, you can't hurt the bad guy anyways?" But, again, I think we beat this up enough. Bottom line is Goodman Games offers the best D&D tournament at GenCon and nothing will change that.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:45 pm 
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Location: West Suburbs of Chicago
Celtar wrote:
toad wrote:
I love playing this tourney and have a great time even though my team sucks but if you are going to have "insider" rules and stuff that isn't shared with all contestants then for shame.


The one thing that I think that you are missing is that there is no guarantee that quitting will help or hurt you. Looking back on the tournament it is easy to say when to quit, but when you are actually playing... it is a much different story. You will probably find this out in next year's tournament.

I would; however, agree that all teams should be notified that they can quit at any time. This goes against the grain for most teams. We just learned that we could do this last year from a person in the tournament.

The group that I DM on a monthly basis, basically never quits... I am actually trying to teach them that they can't bulldog their way through EVERY single fight. This is a tough lesson to teach most D&D groups.


I would like to add two things to this...

The quitting rule was not 'insider' knowledge. We heard from another team that you could do it but we had to ask the DM on HOW it worked. This was the first time we ever did it. It was not an easy decision... since we had him beat down pretty good.

But on to Celtar's comment. Yes, our DnD group prides itself on doing things the most impossible or most difficult way possible.

Case in point... We were assaulting a magical castle... we did determine that there was a horde of Orc barbarians at the front entrance. They were probably waiting for us... So we disintegrated the front wall of the castle and changed to the attack.

We could of disintegrated any other way of the castle and snuck in... but NOOOOO... we had to go through the front door and slaughter every prepared enemy. Room by room.

Ahh... sometime it is good to not be subtle...

_________________
Andy
Blood Kings
2007 & 2008 DCC Tourney Champion


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