Tag: Fighter

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 6

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 6

When we left our adventurers they were just getting back to the mess hall after there had been a dragon attack. During the attack, Bokken had rescued Cordin and Castillia from their barracks which was being dissolved by the dragons acid breath, gotten Barrai off 

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 5

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 5

Got back to my D&D game last night. We’re far enough in that I’m only going to do a quick recap of what happened last time instead of everything. Last time they beat the other two teams to the end of their midterm. It was 

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 3

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods Session 3

We were back at it again last night with the third session of Tower of the Gods. Previously, our “heroes” Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain had gone through the test of the Tower with Steve as their fourth, unfortunately, Steve didn’t make it. Upon exiting the Tower with their new found powers, they were given a choice of schools to enroll in and get work from, they picked Strawgoh, the school of Dark Arts and Assassinations.

Upon coming there, they were informed as part of a test, that there were spies in their midst that they could get extra credit if they could figure out who they were by the end of the two years there. So, Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain immediately set out to figure that out. They determined that Dorin was a suspect and Barrai used his new found friendship with Domon, another Tiefling, to send Domon to accuse Dorin, which, they aren’t sure was successful.

In their barracks they had gotten matched up with Dorin, a Gnome Rogue who fancied himself to be the leader of their barracks no matter what Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain told him. During the time that our three main characters were talking to the other students, Dorin had gone through their stuff, but they didn’t find that out until after an introductory meal where Bokken considered breaking into a teachers office to see if there was more information on the students and who might be the spy. In the end, he didn’t break in, but had Castillia, an elf whom they trust and trusts them, start spying on Narius, a rich halfling.

Image Source: Wizards of the Coast

They returned to their barracks to find out that there things had been gone through, but Dorin not being the brightest, hadn’t trashed his own things so they quickly caught on and accused him. Thrain, as a revenge when through Dorin’s stuff, including a couple of daggers and books that were written in a language that none of them understood, possibly because none of them speak gnomish. Needless to say, Dorin was pissed off, and Barrai decided to try and restrain him when he went to bed, but that didn’t work that well, so Bokken, instead took up just watching him sleep, since Bokken, as a warforged sleeps with his eyes open, however, Bokken wasn’t a great watch and Dorin snuck out.

Dorin went to one of the teachers and the next morning the Thrain, Barrai, and Bokken were confronted about how they had been treating Dorin. They gave a half hearted apology and Dorin said he wanted to transfer to another group. Tormin, the teacher, agreed, and the group was happy enough and really wanted to get Narius into their barracks to keep a closer eye on him, so Tormin presented them with a challenge. They could pick who they wanted if they, minus Dorin, could take on another barracks and beat them, otherwise, he would decide. They went to an arena and the teachers, keeping an eye on things, and other students watching the spectacle watched as Thrain, Barrai, and Bokken took on Castillia, Narius, Adris – a human, and Cordon – a dragonborn.

Barrai gets to act first and gives Bokken some inspiration and then starts to mess with Castillia, who, swiftly puts a stop to that with a wicked arrow shot dropping Barrai. He gets floated off by the teachers. Thrain then returns the favor to Castillia and the sides are down to two, Thrain and Bokken, against three. The fighting slows down after the first volley as Cordon, with her dislike for Thrain, immediately moves in to target him. They trade attacks with Cordon even using her lightning dragons breath on Thrain, but his stead volley of eldritch blasts eventually knock her down to the ground. Bokken, meanwhile, has gone and faced off against Adris, the fighter. They trade blow after blow dealing little damage to each other with Narius, who had claimed to be a great shot, struggling to hit Bokken. His frustration mounting and Thrain joining the fight, Bokken eventually falls to the two on one attack and Thrain is left to face both Narius and Adris. But, with a bolt form his crossbow, Narius is able to drop Thrain, and the Barrai, Bokken, and Thrain await their fate as to whom will join their barracks. Tormin gives them Parrag, an elf whom they had actually not talked to before. Castillia, after the fight assumes that they had wanted her to join their barracks.

After that, the bell rings, and having missed breakfast, they need to go and start their first day of classes with courses on Court Etiquette, Second Story Work, Poisons and Antidotes, Demonology as their core courses, but then they could specialize in a few different areas. Bokken chose Assassination and Thievery, Thrain – Curses and Necromancy, and Barrai decided on Conjuring/Summoning and Curses. Bokken had a few other people going into what he was looking at with the likes of Dorin and Castillia and more. But Thrain was the only student to pick Curses for their main focus, and Barrai the only one to pick Conjuring/Summoning.

That’s where the session ended with them finding out that they have two tests in the Tower that will determine most of their grades for the school year, at which point, thematically, they’ll level up.

Image Source: Wizards

So behind the DM’s screen a little bit.

This was a fairly scripted session. I knew that most likely the players would quickly figure out that Dorin was the one who had gone through their stuff and probably rough him up or threaten him a little bit. I also had thought maybe it would come to light that they had accused him through Domon of being a spy, but that didn’t happen.

The fight that they were going to have, depending on which barracks they picked it was either going to be hard or deadly, they got hard, which was still deadly at such a low level for them, mainly because of the numbers game.

I gave Cordon her dragons breath feature to use. I probably could have just used a spell to simulate that for her, but thematically it worked and did slightly less damage than the spell.

The fight was fairly standard in that it had an end goal because they were facing off and try to knock down and out their opponents, but the story beat to it was that they were deciding who got to be in their group. And the decision that was it was Parrag was a die roll, there were 8 options so 8 sided die, and it landed on him.

Dorin slipping away while someone was just watching him, that was the one part I wasn’t sure what would happen, I knew that he’d try, though. So I gave him disadvantage on his roll for stealth and he rolled a 15 and a 20, plus two since he’s sneaky, and that was considerably better than Bokken’s 10.

What has been hitting your table? What story are you a part of?

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 2)

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 2)

Two weeks ago, I ran my first session in the Tower of the God’s campaign. We got back to it again this past Thursday where our main character, Barrai, Thrain, and Bokken have completed the trial of the tower. For more information on that part 

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 1)

Friday Night D&D – Tower of the Gods (Part 1)

So, I got back into running some Dungeons and Dragons last night on Zoom. Three/four player game that I’ve named Tower of the Gods. I think I previously did a Friday Night D&D explaining the concept, but I’m going to do that here again and 

Dungeons and Dragons: A Great Experience

Dungeons and Dragons: A Great Experience

One of the parts of Dungeons and Dragons that people really love is leveling up their characters. You get more cool things that you can do almost every level or new spells you can use or even improved stats so that you can hit harder. To level up, you need to gain experience, but how/when do you gain experience or level up?

In the Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide, there is one primary way that the game is built for you getting experience, and that’s through combat encounters (and encounters of other types), but in combat, each monster has a certain number of experience points that they give you to divide between the party. This is the standard way, then comparing your total experience to that of the level chart, when you hit a certain amount of experience you go up a level.

While this is the classic method, I’m not a huge fan of it. First, it adds to me doing more math as the Dungeon Master when building an encounter and as players then when dividing up and adding in experience. Now, it doesn’t have to be difficult math, but if someone misses a session, does their character still get experience for it? If they don’t, that causes even more of a mess because now characters will not in sync level wise and since the game tends to be more combat focused when you are using encounter/combat based experience, that means that a character might be lagging behind with that. On the other hand, this is the classic way to do it, and for video game players, it’s how almost all RPG’s work there, so it is something that they might enjoy.

Image Source: D&D Beyong

My preferred method of leveling up and experience is to actually not track experience and go with something called, event or milestone leveling. When you hit a certain point in your characters story or in the over-arching story, you get to level up. The advantages of this come from leveling up in those moments where the story becomes more epic, you become more epic with it. You also don’t need to track everything and keep count of kills and what was killed, instead it levels you at proper thematic points. The downside is that if there is a point in the game where you are grinding through a dungeon and things aren’t changing, there might not be that character milestone or story event launches you to the next level. Instead you are stuck at a lower level for a while, while you’re waiting to go up and take off into a new ability for your character. That’s something, as a Dungeon Master, when using this method, that you need to be aware of, not to let the levels sit too long and instead focus on creating those epic moments every few sessions.

But, a friend, introduced me to an interesting idea from a video he’d watched on Professor Dungeon Master Youtube Channel. This concept is that you get a few points that you are tracking for experience, if things go really well in a session, you get 3 XP or maybe 4 XP. If things go awry, you get 1 XP, if it’s just okay 2 XP. And when you hit 10 XP, you “level up”. But, instead of just getting the level up, you need to do something in game or in downtime between sessions to get your character leveled up. This could be a little mini quest, such as a paladin destroying a cults temple and building up one to their god, Professor Dungeon Master’s example, or it could be something that is more tied into the main quests of the campaign. So you’re tracking experience, but at a limited level. And then to actually gain that level, you need that epic quest/story moment for your character so that they have a reason to gain new skills.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Now, I think that is an interesting option that I’m going to want to try at some point in time. What’s interesting about it to me is that it gives the players something to track in terms of experience points, they can see how close they are getting to leveling up at the end of a session, but they and I don’t need to do a lot of math and figuring for the game. It’s just adding together single digit numbers until you hit 10, and then you start again. I also like, and this is something that’s bugged me with Dungeons and Dragons leveling, is that you could, theoretically, just because of a random encounter on a travel somewhere level up, and now the Wizard knows more spells, the fighter is better with their sword, and the Druid can change into more animals. So, while it can delay leveling a little bit, I like how a character needs to complete some sort of quest or mission for that character or the story overall. So we’ve talked about a Paladin, but a Druid planting a small grove and getting that started in an area, that could give you a level up, a fighter going and defeating some low life thug on their own to stop them from going after other people, that’s something that would work as well. But I think it gives a chance for players and the DM to be more creative in storytelling, and you can decide how much you want to spend in game on this, but you could also go between sessions as well for leveling up.

If you’re playing, do you have a preferred method? I don’t think that any of them are bad, I just don’t want to do the math, so I haven’t done the more combat focused gaining for experience. Would you try out another method other than your preferred one? Let me know in the comments below.

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Malts and Meeples – Drinking in D&D Character Creation Rush

Malts and Meeples – Drinking in D&D Character Creation Rush

Almost forgot to share this, it was a rush, but I go through nine different level 1 characters for Dungeons and Dragons. I was hoping that I could knock them out fast, but it took a little bit, but I got them done. And I 

Win with the Min in D&D

Win with the Min in D&D

Yesterday’s article was about min/maxing a character. Just a quick recap, this is where you make the ideal build for your character so that you are the best at whatever area of the game you want to be in and have the most optimized build 

D&D to the Max and the Min

D&D to the Max and the Min

If you’ve been around pen and paper RPG players or computer game RPG players, you might have heard of a term called “Min/Maxing”. This is the practice of putting together a character that is the most efficient for what you need in a given game.

An example of this would be a fighter in Dungeons and Dragons who knows that they want to tank. The two primary stats for them are going to be strength and constitution. With more strength, they’ll be able to do more damage on their attacks and be more likely to hit. But constitution for the tank is the biggest thing. Constitution helps bump up hit points and makes it harder for that character to be taken down.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Now, that’s a simple look at what Min/Maxing is in D&D, but it goes beyond that, and there are some reasons to not find it that great in your game. Most of the time it is going to be fine and good if a player does that in the group, the concern is that you have someone min/max into an area that another character is supposed to be better at. Maybe the fighter in our example also puts points into Wisdom and now they are better at perceiving than a class that naturally would want wisdom is, and the fighter is now stepping on the toes of another character. Fighter isn’t a great example for this, but classes that get expertise like Rogue and Bard can have this issue if a player min/maxes over another character specialty.

But let’s look at some of the positive things that can come from it as well. If you are smart about your min/maxing as a party, you can have character who cover all the bases that you want. You can cover attacking, social interactions, sneaking, healing, etc. and be good at all of them because you and the group have min/maxed the skills of the group. This means, you aren’t ever going to feel inadequate when trying to do something, if you are there as a whole group. And, if you are in a combat focused game, everyone can focus on doing more damage and hitting more consistently by min/maxing as well.

I will also add, that if you are min/maxing, it’s good to have the whole group doing it. Sure, one player character can be min/maxed, and that would probably be fine. But if you have four of you at the table and three of you are min/maxing and the other player isn’t because they don’t know how, I’d recommend helping them min/max, or if they don’t want to, don’t fully min/max your own character so they don’t seem like they’ve fallen behind or can’t keep up with the rest of the group. I’ll go back to the saying that I learned from The RPG Academy, “If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right”, and that means fun for the whole table.

But let’s talk about how you go about min/maxing a character, because, it can be fun to play that extra powerful character in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. When I go through this, I’m going to be using my fighter example where combat and tanking in combat is their most important thing.

The first thing to look at is what class you want to play. In this case, we know we want to be a tank and we want to hold up well enough in combat. We have a few options, we could do barbarian for their D12 hit die, but the limitations on armor puts the barbarian more into an attacking role, whereas fighter has more armor options can use a shield which will bump that armor class up even more.

With that figured out you want to think about what race you are going to want to take. In our case, we have a couple of different options. The Half-Orc has +2 to strength and +1 to constitution to start with, and that would allow us to create a good combat character. The Mountain Dwarf, however, has +2 to both strength and constitution, which is just better. However, the Half-Orc, in it’s favor, has a trait called “Relentless Endurance” where, when it gets knocked out or down to 0 hit points, once per day, it can go back up to 1 hit point and keep on fighting. That is useful, but I’d prefer the extra hit points that we’ll be getting from the Mountain Dwarf.

Now, going back to the class, we have some features to look at, at the first level. The main one being the fighting style we can get at first level. We have a lot of different option. Protection would be interesting, because we’ll have a shield, but defensive is even better for us, because it gives us a permanent boost to our armor class.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

Finally, because background doesn’t give us that much in way of bonus to this fighting min/max build that we’re doing, let’s put our stats together. We’ll use the standard array as not to make it confusing, but that gives us a 15 and a 14 to place. I would place the 15 in constitution, giving us a 17 to start with in that stat, and then a 14 in dexterity, actually, versus strength. The reason for this is that we have a 13, which will give us 15 in strength, but only would have given us a 13 in dexterity. With the 14 in dexterity, it means that our initiative is going to be a +2 instead of +1 for our die rolls, and we still have a +2 to hit, which isn’t bad. It also gives me two odd numbers, so at level four when I get to go up a level, I can take my strength to a 16 and my constitution to a 18, and improve both of those stats to a +3 and a +4 respectively.

But wait, I forgot one last thing, we get our equipment as well. Now, I could have gone shopping for this, but standard equipment works out well for us here. We get chain mail for armor, and we can get a shield that are going to make us hard to hit as well.

So let’s look at some of our key stats. At level 1, we’d have 10+3 HP, so 13 hit points isn’t bad at all, but more importantly, we have an armor class of 19. That is extremely hard to hit. So while, maybe, a lucky hit would be able to take us down, but unless the monster is rolling with a decent modifier to their attack, it’s going to be hard for them to hit us. Our fighter is set to run into the fray, take on attacks and slowly deal damage to the enemies.

And you can do this with any class or any character type that you want, whether it is for combat or not. But should you, that’s the question, I’ll be talking about why you might not want to or why I generally don’t use the most min/maxed characters out there.

How do you play in a video game RPG or D&D? Do you like min/maxing, or have you ever run into an issue with it?

Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
Message me directly on Twitter at @TheScando
Visit us on Facebook here.

Magic Economy in D&D

Magic Economy in D&D

So, I put down the word mechanics, because, magic economy could also describe the level of magic in your world and how much of a vibrant magic trade set up there is. But in Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, you have a magic economy of