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Introductions

Alvina

New member
Yo, Alvina, here in Southern Illinois. Nice to met ya'll. Not been GMing much at all. Mostly joined due to a book I'm currently working on.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Combat
Wizard of Story
Welcome, @Alvina! Never mind. What kind of book are you working on? Literature or adventure or other?

Happy Birthday, @Daralynx! How did your Chill campaign work out for you?
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Combat
Wizard of Story
Would you mind telling us about it in a post? Is there anything you would need help with?
 

Mr00000Ed

New member
Wizard of Adventure
Hello everyone,

I have been a supporter for some time and appreciate everything you do, John! I am in Central Texas (USA). In a small down called San Marcos, nestled between Austin and San Antonio.

I started GMing in 1982 with the Basic Set I found under my Christmas Tree. I had been playing AD&D for a few months and pleaded for something of my own. I ran the B2 module (which still has a special place in my heart). A few months later, I got a copy of the DMG and PH from a friend. Neither had covers (back or front), and the pages were marked up with pencil notes and crayon from a younger sibling of my friend. They became sacred tomes, and it was about a year later before I had mowed enough lawns to buy my own set including the Monster Manual. A continued to explore other RPGs like Traveller, Star Frontiers, Top Secret, Rolemaster, MERP, and Gamma World doing DM/GM and player. I went to a couple of early cons in Austin in the mid 80's and got to DM a table (DM didn't show up). Once they got my name, I kept getting calls to do more cons. I did as much as I could, but college and life crept in and my books and dice were boxed and put away. Once career, marriage and kids entered my world, I only reminisced about the good old days. Once my kids reached ages 5-8, third edition came out. I grabbed the core set and introduced my kids and their friends to this awesome game. Being a technical guy in information technology, I was in a financial position to start collecting. I have an extensive collection of classic RPG from its beginnings. With the pandemic, I started a campaign with my kids and siblings since we are all over the US. We play for 1 hour a week every week. I am living my best life and RPGs are part of it. Cheers!

d12, definitely d12.
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Story
I have been a supporter for some time and appreciate everything you do, John! I am in Central Texas (USA). In a small down called San Marcos, nestled between Austin and San Antonio.
Howdy neighbor! I have a little place between Bastrop and Lockhart for when I need to get out of Houston.
Have spent a good amount of time on or in the San Marcos (as long as its not the leech-infested parts...) and got married on the banks of the San Marcos about 25 years ago.

A lot of good memories and games in your list - and the preference for D12 is a give-away on your preferred class I think ... Welcome to the fray!
 

jasonareid

Member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Story
Hey all,

Jason from Brooklyn, NY. Been GMing and playing in all sorts of games off and on since 1989 or so. Right now I play in a 5e and a CoC campaign and I GM a game called Godbound. Coming up with fun challenges for PCs with god-powers is definitely a challenge in and of itself so I'm always looking for ideas and help!

Favorite die is a good old d6. Something about the solid, hearty cube shape just appeals to me.
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Story
Jason from Brooklyn, NY. Been GMing and playing in all sorts of games off and on since 1989 or so. Right now I play in a 5e and a CoC campaign and I GM a game called Godbound. Coming up with fun challenges for PCs with god-powers is definitely a challenge in and of itself so I'm always looking for ideas and help!
Howdy, howdy Jason! Thinking about challenges for deities, three inspirations came to mind:
* Dawn of Worlds where all of the players collaborate as deities shaping a new world through 3 ages
* Expeditious Retreat Press _A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture_ which is a worldbuilding book described from the perspective of a new deity getting started
* _Populous_ computer game by Bullfrog where you are a deity at war with another over gaining the most followers

At that level - the main aspects of play seem to be dilemmas, choices, and conflict with other equally powered beings.
Shaping worlds, shaping their life, and winning over their peoples as gameplay elements.

Kind of vague and abstract, but getting the free Dawn of Worlds PDF and watching some playthrough videos of Populous might give you some ideas.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Combat
Wizard of Story
... and I GM a game called Godbound. Coming up with fun challenges for PCs with god-powers is definitely a challenge in and of itself so I'm always looking for ideas and help!
First of all, welcome, Jason!
I do not know yet of specific content for PCs with god-like powers, and the kind of game is definitely different to just high-level PCs, but let's see how we can analyze this. Let's start with high-level PCs:

Recently, @DM Badger asked about how to challenge high-level PCs in combat here and there were several answers to it. Combat-wise the challenge can come from heavy decisions like who to save or what to loose, it can also be created by GM tactics and stratagems. In addition, as I described here, it can be evolved with situational challenges and successively escalating the situation.

Now, non-combat wise the question is whether the players want to stay on (a) the hack-and-slay adventurer level, or whether they (b) want to evolve their play to more geo-political, world and society shaping gameplay.

In case of the former, it could either be (a1) in the same world with less and less challenges, but more and more display of their might. You wouldn't present e.g. 8 orcs, but instead an ogre army. Those players may love to just cut down one ogre after the other (or several simultaneously). You will want to increase stories about them and the awe they face from peasants. Hirelings might show up and influential people might want to show to the public that they know them and present them with great gifts (magical weapons, exquisite horses or even pegasi, or castles). It becomes a game about fame.

Also, in case of (a2), you could make them travel to a distant realm with high threat potential, like the Abyss or some Netherlands or an Elemental Plane. This way, you can really up combat challenges and they can explore even more (assuming that they already explored their homeworld to such a degree that it became boring for the players). You don't need to stick to standard laws of physics, you can have them travel to flying castles over hovering rocks, you can have them dive into lava pools to find some overlord of the realm. You can clash them with demi-god like entities and make them fight these as in an underdog situation against a demi-god. In this gameplay, you will want to present them with a high level of magic, world-destroying capabilities and maybe even with the challenge to juggle several worlds and their influences on each other. You can have them earn super-powers that are NOT in the book. They will probably LOVE to find their own special powers that nobody has besides them.

In case of the latter, you would shift the game from physical combat to political and intellectual combat. The physicall prowess of the adventurers needs to be still abundantly clear and a tool for intimidation, but it is the political intrigues and to uncover who are the good guys and who to mistrust that makes this game interesting. Relationships with other cultures and countries play an even more important role in this game.

In either case, you should, no, you must talk to your players about it beforehand to make sure that this is the kind of game they want.

Now, continuing with the demi-gods and gods: I had several games before in which my players either (c) rose to god-like powers or (d) began with these powers.

For example, if they rose to power as in (c) (in our case by defeating a god and inheriting true power), it should be a drastic change from spellcasting and powerful feats to inherent magic. I loved the sessions the most where the PCs learned about their powers and how to use them and how to enhance them and the shock in their faces when they did something over the top they hadn't actually intended. Control is the key word. It is so much power that they constantly need to power-down while knowing that they have abilities that could destroy worlds. But you will also want to present them with situations (after a while) in which they can use them. E.g. an invasion by an extraterrestial HIVE, for which they need to blast all their power into the wormhole they come from. Gameplay will now include other demi-gods. Countries will ask them for help and even build temples in their honor. And yes, maybe they will discover that they become even more powerful, when there are worshippers. They could find out that they receive additional powers BY the worshipping and exactly those powers the worshippers believe they probably have. So, if they want to change what powers they have, they would want to change their image as a god-like entity, e.g. from water and dolphins to water and sea dragons as their imagery. But once they try to change to fire, they will notice that the believe in them crashes altogether and they loose their power. Names become important. Names will echo with them, when worshipped. And they will gradually also get the feeling that these powers, names and the worshipping itself becomes like chains to their existence. They evolve into stereotypes if they want to become more and more powerful. And they will find it hard to break the stereotype. The gameplay shifts to the question of who they are and who they want to be. Belief and Identity could become the pillars of the campaign. But whatever the case, the PCs are still rooted to the world they once inhabited.

On the other hand, if they had those powers to begin with as in (d), then they are entities that are not born. They shaped themselves and shape the world. They need to have some form of ambition that leads them to action. This gameplay is the least adventurous, but the most creational. You let the PCs or rather the players as there is almost no difference here now, create worlds and races, have them combat other gods and their ambitions. You usually cannot die, but you can temporarily not succeed. You will want to influence your own group of heroes to fight for your ambitions, to fight against your nemesis and you want to give them powers and luck. I would create several groups of PCs for this game and maybe let them be played by other players, so that the gods can hear about their deeds and influence their story. I would completely dump the rules system for this. I would want them to be imagining that they could do everything in their sphere of competence. WIth one player that worked out very well. But on the other hand, you could give them trademarks like a power over fire and grade it with 1 to 5 stars to find out how much power they actually have over it in relation to other gods. So, I will not determine specific spells, but rather degrees of powers just like they would do in Mage: the Ascension. I love that system. Combine that with free magic as from the Dark Eye and you have a very powerful system. Now, it should be noted that the gods do not use their powers endlessly. Thus, there should be strain. You could choose to give each PC a number of boxes for their general power and if they use a rank 2 fire power they would need to cross off 2 points of their power, which they only regenerate through worship by others. This sounds like using something like the blood pool from Vampire: the Masquerade. Alternatively, you could opt for a light side / dark side way of gaming as is fantastic in the Star Wars RPG series, where PCs may use their power but then have to flip one of the coins closing them off to use that power too much, while simultaneously giving the option to use their power to the other side, the GM or to another player.


These are just some brainstorming thoughts, but I hope this helps.
 

jasonareid

Member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Story
Kind of vague and abstract, but getting the free Dawn of Worlds PDF and watching some playthrough videos of Populous might give you some ideas.
Oh wow I haven't played Populous in forever :) That's a great reminder. I'm totally going to check out those other resources as well. I consume content pretty rabidly and if I get even 2 or 3 good ideas from a book I consider it well worth the time!


First of all, welcome, Jason!
Hi Stephan! Thanks so much for all of your thoughts! No way I could reply to them all inline here but

I loved the sessions the most where the PCs learned about their powers and how to use them and how to enhance them and the shock in their faces when they did something over the top they hadn't actually intended. Control is the key word. It is so much power that they constantly need to power-down while knowing that they have abilities that could destroy worlds.
I absolutely love this! They've just finished the first leg of their campaign and are going to be traveling to an unfamiliar region of the world to confront their first dire apocalypse. This suggestion will be perfectly on theme for what's in store.

I would completely dump the rules system for this. I would want them to be imagining that they could do everything in their sphere of competence.
Yeah this is more or less their scenario. This is a group that is simultaneously playing through Curse of Strahd and Masks of Nyarlahothep alongside this (I don't GM those though), so having the ability to actually effect change at their will has been liberating and fun to play through, and while the ruleset does come with limits, they're pretty loose and I even wave those from time to time.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Combat
Wizard of Story
Happy Birthday, @Mr00000Ed ! I hope you have a wonderful day.
In south-west Germany it is going to be a hot summer day. I wish you happy GMing!
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Combat
Wizard of Story
Welcome! If you have any question, don't hesitate to ask. I'm more than happy to answer.
Seeing your name, are you by any chance related to Jochen?
 
Welcome! If you have any question, don't hesitate to ask. I'm more than happy to answer.
Seeing your name, are you by any chance related to Jochen?
Thank you for your answer! The message was actually only for testing if everything works fine :) Because I am doing a work placement at Jochen's office, that's why I am testing things out at the moment hahaha

Und gerade habe ich gesehen, dass ich auch auf Deutsch hätte schreiben können hahaha
 
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Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Wizard of Combat
Wizard of Story
Und gerade habe ich gesehen, dass ich auch auf Deutsch hätte schreiben können hahaha
You could with me, but as of End of October last year there were 81% native English speakers and only 9% native German speakers in the forum (based on their introductions here). It could have changed since then, but I doubt it was in our favor. Thus, let's continue in English.
(I should post again a summary like I did then, what do you think?)
 
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