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Old 07-09-2019, 11:20 AM   #21
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

Ultimately whether you're travelling down a corridor from room 1 to room 2, or walking along a trail form clearing 1 to clearing 2 or sailing on a ship from island 1 to island 2, it's all just window dressing in a hack-and-slash game. There's no great emphasis on environment or resource use or exposure or geographic boundaries. The dungeon format is popular because it works. Players are on a highly constrained path with an immutable environment and predictable environmental features like doors and stairs that they can prepare for. It can be just as realistic or unrealistic as any other location. If you don't like monsters mingling put barriers between areas of the dungeon. Use areas of undead that are programmed to guard certain places as separations. Have destroyed underground bridges that keep the knolls from battling or teaming up with the troll.

My greater concern is about "realistic". I've seen you grappling with D&D world construction and common sense in a lot of your posts. Ultimately if you want to get away from logical inconsistencies in a dungeon world you have to get away from a world where things are built into the game world so that they can be in the game world. Build your own game world starting from a place that makes sense to you.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:04 PM   #22
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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Ultimately whether you're travelling down a corridor from room 1 to room 2, or walking along a trail form clearing 1 to clearing 2 or sailing on a ship from island 1 to island 2, it's all just window dressing in a hack-and-slash game. There's no great emphasis on environment or resource use or exposure or geographic boundaries.
The main difference between the standard dungeon style and a forest with clearings or a boat sailing between islands is that very rarely will the party be able to pass through the walls of a dungeon. But in a forest it is just as likely the party will break away from the given path to hunt, look for shortcuts or do whatever. And with a ship going from island to island the islands themselves are often expected to be more substantial encounters than a room in a dungeon, it is also possible to set a wrong course and end up somewhere entirely unexpected.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:24 AM   #23
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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The main difference between the standard dungeon style and a forest with clearings or a boat sailing between islands is that very rarely will the party be able to pass through the walls of a dungeon. But in a forest it is just as likely the party will break away from the given path to hunt, look for shortcuts or do whatever. And with a ship going from island to island the islands themselves are often expected to be more substantial encounters than a room in a dungeon, it is also possible to set a wrong course and end up somewhere entirely unexpected.
In the grand sense, if you look at the Dungeons and Donuts dungeon as a flow chart, it's all rooms and wandering monsters. Most games of this genre don't really have navigational skills or abilities so there's no degree of agency regardless of the setting of the "Dungeon". You can "explore" or "get lost" in this genre but ultimately you'll have an encounter on your way and you'll end up in a "room".

The where matters when characters have an opinion about the geography, when it impacts the psychology of the character to be outside or underground or rolling on the waves, when characters have the knowledge to make a difference on the ship or actually navigate the woods or, find ways to camp comfortably in the dungeons.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:06 AM   #24
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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In the grand sense, if you look at the Dungeons and Donuts dungeon as a flow chart, it's all rooms and wandering monsters. Most games of this genre don't really have navigational skills or abilities so there's no degree of agency regardless of the setting of the "Dungeon". You can "explore" or "get lost" in this genre but ultimately you'll have an encounter on your way and you'll end up in a "room".

The where matters when characters have an opinion about the geography, when it impacts the psychology of the character to be outside or underground or rolling on the waves, when characters have the knowledge to make a difference on the ship or actually navigate the woods or, find ways to camp comfortably in the dungeons.
You're being too reductionistic here. Might as well claim the no-combat campaign is similar to a dungeon, since there'll be discrete encounters divided by stretches of non-interaction in that type of campaign as well.

Whether a system has actual rules or skills for navigating through a forest or across open waters is immaterial. Unless the foliage of the forest is so dense that no deviation is possible, there is always at the very least the illusion of an option to not stick to the path. Open waters offer a similar scenario where there's no guarantee (other than GM fiat) that the party ends up where the plot wants even if the crew has the apropriate skills.

Unless you're familiar with your players, you should always expect them to try to explore outside easily breached boundaries. A traditional dungeon has well defined boundaries that a party that without special abilities will not be able to breach. And the setting itself paints a mental image of a fixed path with cave walls or masonry, opposed to the other two scenarios which both have an unwritten invitation to deviate from the path presented by the GM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:21 AM   #25
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan View Post
The dungeon format is popular because it works. Players are on a highly constrained path with an immutable environment and predictable environmental features like doors and stairs that they can prepare for.
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Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
A traditional dungeon has well defined boundaries that a party that without special abilities will not be able to breach.
Heh. Immutable? At least for a party without special abilities? I take it you guys have never had a group of PCs ask if they can take a pickaxe to a dungeon wall.

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Originally Posted by Black Leviathan
My greater concern is about "realistic". I've seen you grappling with D&D world construction and common sense in a lot of your posts. Ultimately if you want to get away from logical inconsistencies in a dungeon world you have to get away from a world where things are built into the game world so that they can be in the game world. Build your own game world starting from a place that makes sense to you.
"Pick a starting point and extrapolate forward from there" is a tempting, but I'm not sure it's always the best approach. I remember reading in an old GURPS alternate earths book that designing alternate earths often seems like it's about picking a point of divergence and extrapolating forward, but it often makes for a better game if you first decide what you want the world's "present" to be like and then go figure out a point of divergence that will give you that.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:35 AM   #26
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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Heh. Immutable? At least for a party without special abilities? I take it you guys have never had a group of PCs ask if they can take a pickaxe to a dungeon wall.
Yeah, but tunnelling at feet per day is far less of a problem than when they use magic. The old dungeon standard of the magically locked door, for example, or the secret door that closes behind them from the other side, becomes a lot less of a challenge when they can simply blast it out of the way. Slowly chipping away as the noise brings the entire dungeon down on them is easily discouraged...
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:43 AM   #27
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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Yeah, but tunnelling at feet per day is far less of a problem than when they use magic. The old dungeon standard of the magically locked door, for example, or the secret door that closes behind them from the other side, becomes a lot less of a challenge when they can simply blast it out of the way. Slowly chipping away as the noise brings the entire dungeon down on them is easily discouraged...
3.x brought the wonder of adamantine weapons. Jaik of the Clan Lam Otta had an adamantine Great-axe named "Lock-pick". It didn't take long at all to go through doors and walls probably wouldn't have taken much longer. By the time Jaik got his axe makign noise tended to cause hearers to go the other way.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:13 PM   #28
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

When I first heard the notion of hexcrawls, I was hesitant to embrace them, because it seemed like venturing into parts unknown should involve a level of uncertainty and inaccurate maps incompatible with nice hex grids. Then it occurred to me that there's no reason to let the players see your big fat wilderness hex map.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:35 AM   #29
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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3.x brought the wonder of adamantine weapons. Jaik of the Clan Lam Otta had an adamantine Great-axe named "Lock-pick". It didn't take long at all to go through doors and walls probably wouldn't have taken much longer. By the time Jaik got his axe makign noise tended to cause hearers to go the other way.
No matter how hard your axe, digging out stone with it should still take "the contagious". There are things that the D&D powercurve necessarily breaks (like, ironically, both dungeons and dragons) but manual tunnelling should not be part of that. Breaking through a couple of feet of stone or a brick wall should probably be feasible, but if you charge them less than a week or so for tunnelling through one of those blacked out 10'x10' squares, you only have yourself to blame as a DM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #30
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Pros and cons of dungeons for hack and slash roleplaying

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tunnelling through one of those blacked out 10'x10' squares, you only have yourself to blame as a DM.
I was Jaik's player and not his DM. :)

The other player who _always_ had Shape Stone prepared would probably have beaten Jaik to it.

Just an example of how you're not supposed to be able to annoy mid-level and up D&D characters with mundane physical obstacles.
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