Haste! Chromecast for Gaming, Physical Puzzles, Elusive “Feel” of D&D Classes

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Episode 99 |

Announcements

No announcements this week, aside from our kick ass Baldur’s Cheer, Baldur’s Gate holiday contest we’ve got going on. Aside from that, it’s time to get on with the show! Now, back to 30(ish) minutes or less! Enjoy.

Topics 

Chromecast for Gaming

Over at Stargazers World, Sunglar discusses using Google’s Chromecast as a gaming aide, and we’ think it’s a great idea! It might not be a replacement for many things but it could surely provide lots of possibilities and may be a really cheap alternative to projector setups or having a remote player. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think!

Using Physical Puzzles

A recent reddit thread exploring the possibilities of using physical puzzles and dexterity challenges for in-game traps and puzzles is pretty thought provoking. Micah and I discuss the possibilities here and also cover some pros, cons, and frequency of using stuff like this in your games at home.

The Elusive “Feel” of D&D Classes

Mike Mearls was talking about the “Feel” of classes in 3e, 4e, and what he hopes/expects for 5e regarding class types, sublclasses and a lot more. Be sure to read the Legends & Lore article and listen to what Micah and I have to say and feel free to strike up some healthy debate! What do you think about class feel over the iterations of D&D?

Tip Corner

Use OP on your mobile device to reply to a forum post or schedule/RSVP the next session. It looks so much nicer on phones now and is a treat to use!

Question

Taylor Forbes (@Forbestay) asks: themed holiday adventures good idea or not? Should I mention real world holidays in game even if the don’t line up in game?


Music Credits | Intro: “Xmas Remix” | Outro: “Xmas Remix” | by Plastic3 |

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  1. The problem with making NPCs differently from PCs, is that once your players have killed the dual-sword-wielding magic-fireball-flinging villain, at least one of them will want to be able to do the same thing. How do you deal with that unless you build NPC statblocks using the same rules?

    For non-combat NPCs, though, I don’t create stats. If I think the PCs will be making non-combat rolls against an NPC, I’ll give them a static bonus (e.g., +5) and use that as a baseline for any roll modifiers. The captain of the guard (+5) has a bluff and sense motive conflict against the PC thief. Use +5 as his modifier. That captain later has an athletic competition against the PC warrior. In my mind, he is more physically fit than mentally fit, so I might bump up his +5 to +6.

  2. Regarding the “Physical Puzzles” part, when I was running a Star Wars game, I got sick of all the ‘roll-playing’. Like you said, it’s not exciting. So, I decided to mix things up for my players. In one adventure, they had to repair the various subsystems on a space station to keep it from plummeting into the planet below. I got the techie people who were going to work on the problem and I laid out a board with a square grid. Placed for the power core and the different subsystems on the ship. Basically, I was making them play Pipe Dream to reroute power throughout the station. To make it so their rolls and skills actually mattered, I had them roll ‘repair’ three times. Once for the number of tiles they could draw, once for the number of ‘bad’ spaces on the board, and once for time I’d give them to complete the puzzle.
    It took a bit of preparation, but a few wood squares with blue ‘power conduits’ on them were quick enough to make.
    It went over *fantastically* and it was fun just to see/hear the three of them trying to put together power lines to make everything work. Plus, they managed to not just get the station stable, but get the shields and defensive weapons up (which became their new base). Sure, a 3-minute minigame could have been done with a couple dice rolls, but it was way mroe fun.

    Another that strays from the puzzle/riddle bit was in the same game. The party was at the battle of Hoth and several members were in the small turrets wound the base. Again, they could roll for shooting AT-STs, but where’s the excitement? Instead, I put up cardboard standees on a side table for AT-STs, Snowtroopers, and Rebel troops that I’d move down the table every turn (impending doom!). They’d roll for artillery, and based on how well/poorly they rolled, I’d make them move closer/farther from the table and give them one shot from a Nerf gun. So, it takes a bit of the player skill, and a bit of the character skill. Again, it went over really well. A bit of prep went a long way.

    Short version, I whole-heartedly support the use of props/puzzles/minigames in RPGs.