Comments on 2007-05-13 Harold und Gethrame

I guess these comments are for my fragmented roleplaying conversation with GreyWulf. At least two of my players have already asked about you. :)

Ordinary movement of a party including a dwarf is 2 miles per hour. Through trackless forest, this is reduced to 1 mile per hour. The ranger is an elf and can move through trackless forest at half his speed of 3 miles per hour, ie. at 1½ miles per hour. Tracking also reduces your movement rate to half your movement speed. Is this cumulative? Rereading the rules it would seem that these two are independent of each other: Thus the party moves at one mile per hour because of the dwarf, and not at ¾ miles per hour due to the tracking elf.

I’m still not sure whether I should do {XP Experience Points} “by the book”. The {DMG Dungeon Master’s Guide} says that you should not hand out both XP for defeating monsters & traps and story awards. In fact, if you give out story awards, the DMG recommends you hand out less XP for defeating monsters & traps.

Being stingy:

Divorcing XP from defeating:

I’m not sure I played stirges correctly. Here’s what I did.

  1. Stirge moves into target’s square, provoking an attack of opportunity.
  2. They attack with their melee +7 touch attack. If they hit, they attach.
  3. Later, the victim can try to do an opposed grapple check to get rid of the stirge. The stirge has a grapple attack of +1.
  4. Others can try to hit the stirge (AC 12 since they loose their DEX bonus) with a weapon at -4. I think that this -4 was the wrong thing to do. There’s no penalty for using melee weapons against grappling foes. They loose their DEX bonus and that’s it. It’s not the same thing as firing a ranged weapon into melee.
  5. Next round, if the stirges are still attached, they will drain 1d4 CON. If they haven’t drained 4 CON, they remain attached until they have.
  6. Next round they will do a retreat.

– AlexSchroeder 2007-05-13 23:56 UTC

Remember that when you have a difference of opinion with the DMG, you’re right, not the book :) I tend to disagree with the DMG a lot; the advice that is gives is a good low-baseline for inexperienced DMs, but they learn pretty quickly that some of that advice is meant to be broken as soon as you get a real feel for the game.

I’d suggest that elves don’t half their movement through forests. It just doesn’t match my concept of elves at all - if there’s any race which can move without hindrance through forests, it’s them. They’d just take the ½ speed penalty for tracking. So, they’d move at 1.5mph. As parties move at the speed of the slowest member (the dwarf), that’s 1mph. And the elf would grumble all the way :)

I’ve always given story awards, awards for good-roleplaying and XP for defeating monsters. While it’s not clear in the DMG, the numbers are all based upon 9 encounters being needed to reach each level. More if easy encounters, fewer if harder. Why they didn’t just make it a round 10, I’ll never know :)

So, I work on the ideas that it is ten, and make sure that the players get 2 or 3 encounter awards per session. For example, if they’re all 2nd level, they need another 2,000 XP to reach 3rd. That’s 10 lots of 200 XP. So long at they get between 400 and 600 XP in a session, the numbers work out jut fine. I don’t use the chart from the DMG at all - it’s a nasty throwback to the chart-heavy cross-referencing days of AD&D, and shouldn’t be there at all. If the players kill a couple of kobolds in a terrific, memorable battle I’ll award more than if they slaughter an ogre in a single round. The important thing about Experience Points is the Experience part. If it’s a memorable experience, they get more. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a battle or a role-played conversation at all :)

If you go “by the book”, killing critters accounts for 80-90% of the XP. That’s right as per the rules, but wrong in my mind. But hey, that’s just me :)

Oh, and stirges are nasty. You’re right about not needing that -4 for attacking in melee, but it’s not needed - a flock of stirges can surprise (therefore, no attack of opporunity) a party, latch on and cause no end of panic - which attracts more monsters. I had an evil Druid in one adventurer who had an Awakened Stirge Rogue as a friend; that caused more trouble than the Druid himself! Sneak attack + CON drain is just plain evil.

greywulf 2007-05-14 10:45 UTC

I guess I still feel like I’m learning the game as it was written. Once I’m past that stage, I’ll convert all my games over to subjective Fudge. >D

My poor players, harr harr.

– AlexSchroeder 2007-05-14 13:30 UTC

See Info for markup rules.

To save this page you must answer this question:

Please say HELLO.