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Old 06-18-2019, 03:05 PM   #31
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Why adventuring parties?

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Realistically, you don't hire the noname adventurers to go clear a dungeon unless either (a) you have some reason to believe they're sufficiently competent to do so, (b) sending people to die is neither an ethical nor a political problem, or (c) you have no idea of the threat level.
So (A) you're a town councilman and you see guys in heavy armor with expensive weapons and one of them is handy with magic. Maybe that's not a written guarantee that they can clear rat men from your sewer but it's about as good as it gets in most Fantasy worlds. (B) In a world where there are dungeon's with monsters in them, sending people to die is part of the normal ethical landscape. Sending soldiers means sending fathers and mothers and children into harm's way. If you've ever heard how adventurers introduce themselves in bars you know every one of them had their parents die tragically and have no dependents that could come back to haunt them. They're clearly the safer ethical choice, (C) if you send 6 murder hobos down into the sewers and none of them come back you now the threat level is "higher". It cost you very little to find that out. And if they march out covered in ratmen blood you've saved the town thousands of copper you'd have spent on mercenaries.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:52 PM   #32
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Default Re: Why adventuring parties?

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So (A) you're a town councilman and you see guys in heavy armor with expensive weapons and one of them is handy with magic.
Looks like a reason to pay them extra...
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If you've ever heard how adventurers introduce themselves in bars you know every one of them had their parents die tragically and have no dependents that could come back to haunt them.
Still sounding like reason to give them extra pay.
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And if they march out covered in ratmen blood you've saved the town thousands of copper you'd have spent on mercenaries.
Or they can do the rational option of doing recon before committing to clearing things out. If they can do thousands of coppers worth of work, they'll want thousands of coppers worth of pay.

You do of course run into the situation of the PCs not having sufficient reputation to warrant the pay the job is worth, but that either means a try-out or it means they don't get the job at all.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:59 PM   #33
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Default Re: Why adventuring parties?

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That's something of a metagame answer, though, and this wasn't a metagame question.
This is DFRPG. The metaplay is where we handwave town (and King's and amries and etc) away at, so it is a perfectly valid answer and suggestion to make.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:22 PM   #34
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This is DFRPG. The metaplay is where we handwave town (and King's and amries and etc) away at, so it is a perfectly valid answer and suggestion to make.
It is, but the OP was asking for justification beyond "that's what the genre says".
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:47 PM   #35
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Default Re: Why adventuring parties?

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In a world where there are dungeon's with monsters in them, sending people to die is part of the normal ethical landscape. Sending soldiers means sending fathers and mothers and children into harm's way. If you've ever heard how adventurers introduce themselves in bars you know every one of them had their parents die tragically and have no dependents that could come back to haunt them. They're clearly the safer ethical choice,
The Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash light novel franchise, which is a deconstruction of dungeon/portal fantasy tropes, calls their adventurers "volunteer soldiers" and implies that they are recruited (from our world, with their memories erased) to save wear and tear on the regular military.

One additional advantage of small parties is the ability to negotiate with or avoid social monsters, like goblinoids (or Tucker's kobolds). Murder hoboes are a policing problem; resisting an invading army could potentially unite otherwise hostile factions in common cause.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:42 AM   #36
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Default Re: Why adventuring parties?

On reflection, I think what I've really been looking for this whole time is something like the Dungeon Fantasy equivalent of the list of "Campaign Types" in the GURPS Action series: the PCs can be a group of special operators, or vigilantes, or crooks who pull heists. Not everyone wants to do every campaign type, which is fine, because there are several perfectly coherent options. But Dungeon Fantasy basically assumes one campaign type, "unemployed mercenaries, who somehow only get hired for jobs that can be handled by a group of four to six". What I want is a list of alternative options, like:
  • King's Men (Ye Olde Secrete Agents, essentially). Disadvantages like Honesty and Sense of Duty (Nation) are encouraged, but it's possible to just be in it for the money.
  • Thieves' Guild: The PCs are operatives of said Guild. The Honesty disadvantage is prohibited.
  • The Epic Quest: Seeking the Holy Grail or whatever. The quest might be the Obsession of one or more PCs.
Etc. What else belongs on the list? Some more of the types in Action could be adapted for Dungeon Fantasy, though many are somewhat awkward fits (e.g. lots of fantasy governments don't have enough separate departments for a Task Force to make any sense).
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:46 AM   #37
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Default Re: Why adventuring parties?

Both the Merchants Guild and a religious order or temple would be interested in guards for travelers through dangerous regions, and in identifying trouble spots and cleaning them up. Being hired on permanently for that role also opens up things like investigating smuggling or exotic fraud (for the Merchants Guild) or evil cults and the dark sorcery black market (for the temple). Actually, either group might be interested in the black market.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:27 PM   #38
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It is, but the OP was asking for justification beyond "that's what the genre says".
But there isn't justification beyond what the genre says in a world that is genre-governed. The realistic answer is that nobody would send military field troops to fight in a dungeon. In a world where there was pervasive issues with underground monsters to the point where every town with a functioning sewer deals with ongoing monster problems there would be an industry for dungeoneering specialists.. They wouldn't resemble the trope characters in DFRPG. They would have armor and weapons optimized for fighting in dark close spaces. Their spells would be specialized to lighting and fighting and disarming issues. And they'd be adept at constructing secure grating to keep monsters out. They'd be focused on discretely resolving the issue and following a maintenance schedule to keep the problem from getting out of hand.

Dungeon Fantasy, like D&D, is not a game for probing questions. It requires a certain amount of disregard for wondering why a preacher or a shao-lin monk or one of the world's greatest academic elites would be in a sewer fighting rat-creatures.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:31 PM   #39
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Default Re: Why adventuring parties?

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And they'd be adept at constructing secure grating to keep monsters out. They'd be focused on discretely resolving the issue and following a maintenance schedule to keep the problem from getting out of hand.
Nope. Those last two things there? That's Sewer Maintenance, they come on at 7am. Union Guild rules say we delvers ain't gotta deal with that and anyway I'm on break.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:25 PM   #40
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On reflection, I think what I've really been looking for this whole time is something like the Dungeon Fantasy equivalent of the list of "Campaign Types" in the GURPS Action
Dungeon Fantasy is deliberately rather restrictive on its campaign type, expanding your concept of dungeon beyond literal holes in the ground works but it does try to not sweat the social side of things. You aren't losing too much of DF if you de-emphasize loot (Epic Quests where the quest objects happen to be at the bottom of dungeons), and it's not too hard to reflavor it as Island Fantasy (the crew of a ship exploring strange islands... with strange ruins, possibly with catacombs) or Portal Fantasy (Stargate SG1, only magic) or with a little more work as Heist Fantasy (replace dungeons and monsters with mansions and guards).
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