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Old 10-29-2012, 05:00 AM   #1
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Dungeon Fantasy party compositions

As I am preparing for my Dungeon Fantasy one-shot, I am beginning to suspect that the party will end up as a freak show. Not all have settled on a character concept, but so far I have:

- A pixie wizard
- A half-ogre ninja

So now I am wondering - if you are running or playing in a Dungeon Fantasy campaign, what kinds of characters does your party have? And how well do they work together as a team? Were there any noteworthy holes in their lineup that harmed the party during adventures?
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:18 AM   #2
Aneirin
 
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Well in my latest group we had:-

A self obsessed and rather loud gnome-titan knight who is a little misguided (breaks a mages staff who tries to surrender...he kills him as he only made his magic stick pointy, twice as deadly and so needs to die twice as quick!)
A half-elf druid (the most normal one) who had to flee his job as a teacher due to one of the parents taking exception to how much the kids liked him (I kid you not, his backstory is that when he teaches his charisma shines through...)
A noble lord with an irrevocably insane horse who worships the god of magic (making him a cleric and a mage)
A half ogre brute who smashes things with his stick and wants a friend and to stop being called ugly (in fact, this seems the most normal one)

They are a quirky group of murder hobo's. Luckily they are hilarious murder hobos!

The group seems to work well together, aside from the lord, but that is more a problem with the player than the character. (the player gets an image of how he see things and if they don't go that way he can become a bit destructive until he is told, stop pouting! His characters also always seem to be set aainst the party being snarky and provocatry)

We are missing a theif though...and the second it gets to traps I can see the gnome titan going, "Baaah, a hero as great as me doesn't tip toe around like a scaredy cat!" *boots door open and gets trapped in the face!*

Last edited by Aneirin; 10-29-2012 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:26 AM   #3
Jürgen Hubert
 
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy party compositions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aneirin View Post
Well in my latest group we had:-

A self obsessed and rather loud gnome-titan knight who is a little misguided (breaks a mages staff who tries to surrender...he kills him as he only made his magic stick pointy, twice as deadly and so needs to die twice as quick!)
That's from Hackmaster, right? How did you work out the gnome-titan template?
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:27 AM   #4
Ji ji
 
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy party compositions

Recently we decided to "come back to origins" for an adventure and we take The Temple of Elemental Evil, playing with D&D.
The party is made of two members. A halfelf/halfminotaur cleric and a draconic tiefling rogue. When we created there characters, we simply thought "in a world where it's common that two guys travelling from a village to another can encounter a fliyng Yeth hound or a fire salamander (more similar to a lamia than to a salamander), how could be freakish a similar party?"

DF is D&D flavour stuff. A lot of player in the world enjoy this kind of fantasy settings. Having dozens or hundreds of sentient races living in a similar melting pot can obviously bring to odd parties. But are they odd in the game world?
In a classical fantasy setting (thinking of '70es an '80es) playable races are usually little. Other, more exotic races are ususally forbidden by BG reasons: an half-ogre cannot go in a city, village, nor stay near them, because he would be attacked as soon as seen. In modern mainstream fantasy, it is often stated that there is hate between races, but in the end nobody care a lot of a lich necromancer going to shopping in central plaza with his halfmermaid/half demon friend.

A party is freakish or not only with regard to setting. The really important thing is that you and your players set in advance which degree of harmony you wish in the party. I never made a problem of a super loyal and cohesive party even if in the setting members come from enemy races. Simply settle in advance characters' life history, how they met, why they work together. An orc can be the best friend of an elf, if you settle so, or they can share a goal and be willing to forgot their reciprocal dislikes for a brief period. On the other hand, I stress that in a overly freakish game world there's no odditiy in a pixie, a minotaur, a halfhobbit/halfdwarf and a fire fiend going to restaurant together.

Last edited by Ji ji; 10-29-2012 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:25 AM   #5
Aneirin
 
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Originally Posted by Jürgen Hubert View Post
That's from Hackmaster, right? How did you work out the gnome-titan template?
If we were playing Hackmaster I would give you a point of temporal honour!

It was...difficult. We used the Hackmaster creation rules in regards to rolling for stats (we liked the let the dice fall where they may aspect of it) and if a mental disdvantage was rolled we looked for something similar in GURP's disadvantages and handwaved a lot of thing.

For instance, he also rolled the missing leg disdvantage so he had one leg with mitigator peg leg (fine quality) and technique, peg leg fighting to represent his peg leg proficiency.

Odious habit, smells of cabbage (rolled odd smell)

Compulsive gambler (he rolled compulsive gambler!)

Self obsessed (no empathy) and odious personal habit, bragging for his loud borishness.

He rolled knightmares and sound sleeper so we gave him sound sleeper and nightmares which worked out rather simply.

Being a gnome titan we gave him a racial +1 to strength and he rolled above average so gave him 13 strength (14 in D&D terms, not sure how to do a direct comparison)

His dexterity was 11 9average and so no increase) However being a gnome titan and rbed for war (in hackmaster he fights as if a level above) we gave him DX12. Average intelligence but due to a number of toughness feats on his a little above average constituation we left him with 11 HT with very fit.

SM-2 (gnomes seem smaller than drawves) which covers the penalties larger creatures have to hit him, and he also had sweep so gaver him technique, sweeping, and cricket in the pea bod (lets him get around people) we did that as technique, evasion so he can use a comitted attack for two steps to get behind someone which also covers his reduce facing talent enabling him to get around people to avoid being surrounded.

His groin stomp ability, was more difficult. Only done on prone foes I just made a modified elbow drop, refluffing it as jumping on someones crotch and let him buy the technique up for that. Usually leads to a major wound and stunning.

Due to gnome titans learing all non combat skills slower I gave him slow learner (no combat skills). Wasn't sure how to do it exactly (and can't rightly remember what disadvantage I used, he doesn't use non combat skills so it hasn't come up!)

I didn't do that half XP thing, however, I did have him have to take less HP (only 10 despite his strength) as gnomes in hackmaster have less hits.

Gave him some combat skills. Night vision 3 for his infravision (probably should have given him something else for that), and some skill in stealth to represent those feats.

An expert skill (mining travel) for detecting slopes, unsafe walls and absolute direction (and depth) with accesibility underground and unreliable so he can sense direction underground sometimes. And danger sense accesibility, ambushes only to respresent his detect ambush zones skill.

What was difficult, was the knights errant apology skill. When he does something wrong or against his alignment or something that will make people want to kill him, he can apologize and if they fail their apology saving throw they have to accept it! (and if they do badly, they look like the bad guy)

At the moment I have just been having him roleplaying it and if he apologizes, others make a save will at -3 (it is at -4 in Hackmaster), wasn't sure how to price it and jsut made a new advantage, apology, and prced it at 25 points.

He also truend out quite charimsartic despite his habits and so gave him a few levels of charisma! And he also got some temporary reputation bonuses (necked a tankard of rot gut without falling unconscious or passing out)

Oh, and ofcourse, combat reflexes.

As for honour...that is something I did quite like in hackmaster, and have just outright used the honour rules from hackmaster for GURPs. (great honour giving a flat +1 and not +1 per die)

Last edited by Aneirin; 10-29-2012 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aneirin View Post
(the player gets an image of how he see things and if they don't go that way he can become a bit destructive until he is told, stop pouting! His characters also always seem to be set aainst the party being snarky and provocatry)
This sounds familiar.. I have a player who does the exact same thing. The problem is he wants everything to be very explicitly told ( Ex.: You enter a room. Its triangular and the walls are yellow. There are 3 paintings, a bed, a desk with a pen, piece of paper, some drawers, ther is a chest in the corner, etc., where my and the rest of the groups idea is that the story is formed by both the players as the GM.)
Also he doesnt invest time in finding out what his skills and advantages actually do in the game, but rather has an image in his midn what they can do and when this doesnt work he freezes the game by putting his feet in the sand until we give him some sort of compromise.. How do you deal with this sort of player?

(Sorry to go completely offtopic here!)


But to be ontopic:
I've noticed that a party needs to be a bit heterogenous. Minimize overlap of strengths/weaknesses. This not only makes the party less vulnerable to deal with what you throw at them, it also makes them more creative and gives you more to work with as the GM. I tend to prefer the following spectrums be represented in a party:

Brain vs Brawn - This helps in establishing hierarchy in the party, divides the two major skill groups, and often provides comic relief.

Melee vs Ranged - Self-explanatory in fantasy combat situations

Tank vs Glass cannon - Someone needs to take the hits, someone needs to steer clear of hits.

This also helps:

Healers - Make sure u always have some way of healing in your party! I'd say 1 in a party of 3, 2 in a party of 5, etc.

Religist, Occultis, Thaumaturgist, Druid etc. - It helps to have someone in the party that you can easily feed plot information without it being obvious.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy party compositions

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Originally Posted by Sutibu View Post
I have a player who does the exact same thing. The problem is he wants everything to be very explicitly told ( Ex.: You enter a room. Its triangular and the walls are yellow. There are 3 paintings, a bed, a desk with a pen, piece of paper, some drawers, ther is a chest in the corner, etc., where my and the rest of the groups idea is that the story is formed by both the players as the GM.)
Also he doesnt invest time in finding out what his skills and advantages actually do in the game, but rather has an image in his midn what they can do and when this doesnt work he freezes the game by putting his feet in the sand until we give him some sort of compromise.. How do you deal with this sort of player?
The desire for detailed descriptions isn't a big deal, but for the other—I don't know for sure, as my players don't act that way, but I think I might call it grounds for termination.

Or, if you really want him in a future campaign, you might require him to set aside 10 or 20 character points to be used in buying skills that his character ought to have but that he didn't think of buying.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy party compositions

Our group consists of:

- knight
- dwarf knight
- wizard
- cleric
- two scouts
- barbarian

They usually have an NPC barbarian with them.

Originally they included a different wizard (but he was killed), and a thief (ditto). Composition of the group varies based on attendance, so we rarely have a full crew and usually have only 3-4 PCs. Last session was the cleric, the knight, the wizard, and one of the two scouts.

So my group is a bit less freak show than a lot of games seem to be, but that was partly deliberate on my part. I put out a more limited race list, and crossed off some of the more unusual choices, just to avoid that freak show effect.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:13 AM   #9
Aneirin
 
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Originally Posted by Sutibu View Post
Also he doesnt invest time in finding out what his skills and advantages actually do in the game, but rather has an image in his midn what they can do and when this doesnt work he freezes the game by putting his feet in the sand until we give him some sort of compromise.. How do you deal with this sort of player?
Are we playing with the same player ^_^

He does exactly that. "Oh, I don't have time to look over all the rules!" I mean, he bought a horse, but didn't take the riding skill. We were like, "You can ride a horse normally...(with the +4 bonus) but if anything spooks your insane horse, you try to attack from it or do anything difficult with it...you will have problems" and then came the, "Well i didn't read the rules, there are so many skills! How was I supposed to know you needed the riding skill to do all that!" (and yeah, I did go through character creation with him, abit complicated as we made the characters in hackmaster and the trnasferred them! He didn't go for riding in Hackmaster and so it didn't get put on his sheet, I thought he just wanted it for transporttaion and status, unfortunately he had an image of himself using the horse to ride people down to compensate for him not being able to fight that he didn't tell me about)

A lot of times he wants to do something he doesn't have the skills for and goes, "Oh, but my character would know how to do this! Oh, but he was a noble he would have appreciated gems at some point!" and so on and so forth.

We have found only one way to deal with it. Bop him on the nose with a newspaper, tell him not to pout and to have fun and failing to do things he wants to (as it isn't a serious campaign in any event)

Last edited by Aneirin; 10-29-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: Dungeon Fantasy party compositions

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Originally Posted by Aneirin View Post
We have found only one way to deal with it. Bop him on the nose with a newspaper, tell him not to pout and to have fun and failing to do things he wants to (as it isn't a serious campaign in any event)

I have a policy for this kind of thing - my DMG rule. I hit players like this on the head with my 1st edition AD&D DMG.

Really, you need to say something like, "Look dude, stop being a bad player. Either learn the rules and quit whining, or just quit whining." Really, it's just bad manners, bad playing, and bad sportsmanship. You need to make it clear that given the choice between play a fun game, or play a less fun game with a whiny, complaining player, you're going to choose to play without him.
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