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Saturday, August 20, 2011
The local game store has a pick-up, combat-only D&D game every Tuesday night. It's for old players who want a unique challenge and new players who want to learn more about the system. I go because it's fun, and because a couple of my friends design and run the games.
Anyway, we usually play at low levels because we don't want new players to be overwhelmed. But over the summer they decided to go up to level 21, which is considered "epic tier" in the current system. The previous week we fought an enormous red dragon that was nearly a foot tall (about 50' in game terms). And this past Tuesday, after we placed our characters, the DM plopped down this:
Yep, that's Cthulhu.
The reaction at the table was priceless. And if we weren't sufficiently cowed, it immediately blasted us with a massive psychic attack before we could even do anything. It only got worse from there.
Five hours later, after three of our seven characters had been killed outright, we did manage to beat its armless, headless body into submission long enough to escape. And we knew it was good because the players who had died hours ago were still there watching the last few rounds of action.
This, I think, is one of the strongest parts of the current D&D rule set. If you want to have a game about fighting anything, you can do it. I'll eventually roll around to writing the second half of my post on reskinning player characters, but everything I've said goes doubly for monsters - a monster in D&D can do anything; be anything.
And that's awesome.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
It's funny how many misconceptions gamers themselves have about RPGs. Here are a few pieces of general wisdom about RPGs that I've found are at least partly - and often totally - untrue.