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Old 10-11-2019, 01:08 AM   #11
namada
 
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
And that has been my biggest complaint about ISaR, it isn't written for newbies. Both the GM and the Players need to be experienced, the GM specifically with GURPS and the Players with Dungeon Fantasy play and tropes.
How can that be a complaint though? Isn't that the whole point of DFRPG? That it's written for the playstyle and tropes of corny video/tabletop-game dungeon-crawling using GURPS rules? Anyone that's played in the milieu knows that you always loot the bodies, always check for traps on chests or other obvious sources of loot, never split the party, and the other 10,000 unwritten rules that D&D has spawned since its inception in '74. Anyone looking at DFRPG has almost definitely already accepted the fact that they're getting GURPS-Does-D&D, and is probably fine with that.

Others, like myself, are only buying DFRPG because SJG has decided to put 99% of its GURPS print product out in the form of 3E and DFRPG. Since I'd rather have the latest edition of rules in some kind of print form, well, DFRPG is what's available...
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

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Originally Posted by namada View Post
How can that be a complaint though? Isn't that the whole point of DFRPG?
DFRPG is supposed to be a game, not a meta-commentary on RPGs. Munchkin (the RPG) might be a viable game, but it's not what DFRPG was advertised as.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

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Anyone that's played in the milieu knows that you always loot the bodies, always check for traps on chests or other obvious sources of loot, never split the party, and the other 10,000 unwritten rules that D&D has spawned since its inception in '74.
Not everyone. My first attempt at ISaR needed a lot of pushing and railroading, because none of my players – who've been playing rpgs, mostly DnD, for 10 years – even thought about searching Lee's cellar. They assumed it's just one encounter for quick start, I guess.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

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How can that be a complaint though? Isn't that the whole point of DFRPG? That it's written for the playstyle and tropes of corny video/tabletop-game dungeon-crawling using GURPS rules? Anyone that's played in the milieu...
It wasn't written for the old skoolers. It was explicitly written to bring new Players (and newbs) into GURPS, not only the OSR types.



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Not everyone. My first attempt at ISaR needed a lot of pushing and railroading, because none of my players – who've been playing rpgs, mostly DnD, for 10 years – even thought about searching Lee's cellar. They assumed it's just one encounter for quick start, I guess.
Because new D&D has different implicite tropes. Starting with the Five Room Dungeon nonsense concept...
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:23 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

I'm well aware that DFRPG was advertised as a beginner's box for GURPS, and my comments had nothing to do with old-school players. DFRPG is exactly what was advertised: a completely playable rpg powered by GURPS & easily accessible to beginners. But no RPG or adventure can account for all possible player actions (including deciding not to search the cellar), which is precisely why there's a GM.

Anyone that's played a computer rpg knows this stuff too - and that pretty much means everyone these days. I recall my first computer rpg back in the 90's, for example, had the whole rat-exterminator theme going for it, and assumed it was the inspiration for this adventure. All crpg's are, after all, more or less just "doing D&D on a computer" as D&D is what spawned that genre of video games & those video games, are in turn, as much a source for DFRPG as D&D's tropes are.

I've stated numerous times on these forums that I'm not a fan of Dungeon Fantasy (the genre - it's playstyle & tropes, not SJG's interpretation of it), and I'm not a fan of D&D (for playstyle/tropes, plus terrible mechanics IMO), and that's because I come into gaming from a literary background and the fantasy games I want to play are something more like high-quality fantasy novels. So I'm just saying, I don't think the complaint holds water - or - don't blame the game or the adventure, they're not at fault for not following the genre playstyle & tropes in these instances, it's the players failure of communication of expectations. And I think those expectations are quite explicitly written in the DFRPG books.
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

The best way to motivate player characters is through treasure and the promise of payment. Make it so Lee has a hint of what Merle was up to and is REALLY desperate for the Watch not to get involved (nevermind the King's Men). If they did, not only would she be heavily fined but the reputation of her family would be in tatters. So she pays them a lot of money up front and gives them support in the form of free healing, replacing broken equipment, etc. These are the training wheels if you would. Now to entice the players even more, give them hints at Merle having owned great treasures. You don't have to follow through but provide just enough that the player characters continue to soldier on even in the face of great danger. And have the players make an extra player character or two; Lee is desperate and has more groups of eager volunteers lined up in case the first one fails.

As for the rats, Lee just tells them that the Inn has been shut down for months (Merle hasn't been answering her letters) so monsters have infested the basement. Killing Merle and destroying his work is the main priority but she'll pay them extra if they exterminate the rats.
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Old 10-12-2019, 01:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

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I'm well aware that DFRPG was advertised as a beginner's box for GURPS...
Then why, when I said my biggest complaint with ISaR was that it wasn't designed for nebs, did you respond with "How can that be a complaint though? Isn't that the whole point of DFRPG? That it's written for the playstyle and tropes of corny video/tabletop-game dungeon-crawling using GURPS rules?"

So... if the box is advertised as a beginner box, should not also the dungeon presented, the very first adventure meant for newbs to play, also be designed for newbs? That was the crux or our disagreement.




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The best way to motivate player characters is through treasure and the promise of payment. Make it so Lee has a hint of what Merle was up to and is REALLY desperate for the Watch not to get involved (nevermind the King's Men).
I love all of this.

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As for the rats, Lee just tells them that the Inn has been shut down for months (Merle hasn't been answering her letters) so monsters have infested the basement. Killing Merle and destroying his work is the main priority but she'll pay them extra if they exterminate the rats.
Or, just go with what is initially presented. It smells like ferocious rats, sounds like rats (scrabbling), so... rats. So yeah, reduce the rat bounty, make it a sideline gig... or even maybe hint that she's worried the ROUSes were the work of Merle and his associates and she'd like it to be quietly cleaned up before The King's Men have to get involved and track down where the ROUS infestation came from.
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

Separate from motivation, often part of the point of an introductory adventure is that it's a tutorial. That typically means starting with a pretty simple encounter, and then gradually trickling in new mechanics.

The first fight should start with attack rolls, defense rolls, and movement, plus possibly additional things that get added part way into it, depending how fast you want to move. Thus, I might start with just giant rats (they aren't very dangerous, so probably 3-4 per PC), then toss in some sort of rat boss and some rat swarms after the fight has gone on for a while (which should hint at there being another exit).
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:20 PM   #19
namada
 
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Then why, when I said my biggest complaint with ISaR was that it wasn't designed for nebs, did you respond with "How can that be a complaint though? Isn't that the whole point of DFRPG? That it's written for the playstyle and tropes of corny video/tabletop-game dungeon-crawling using GURPS rules?"

So... if the box is advertised as a beginner box, should not also the dungeon presented, the very first adventure meant for newbs to play, also be designed for newbs? That was the crux or our disagreement.
Because I don't agree that it wasn't - it is designed for noobs.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: [Spoilers] Improving “I Smell a Rat” with Better Motivated PCs

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Because I don't agree that it wasn't - it is designed for noobs.
Except it isn't. ISaR immediately puts the PCs into close combat when most newbs won't have CC weapons or decent skills, it relies on knowledge of the tropes of the genre to even continue beyond the basement, and several of the combats past the basement need keen group coordination to defeat (or the wisdom to avoid).

The whole adventure is a great first adventure for old hands, but if you've got newbs as either PCs or the GM, its a blood bath. And with both?

It's a terrible adventure for newbs.
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