I second the ENboards suggestion – you’ll find me there as Pielorinho, and there’s some good stuff around there.
Of particular interest to you may be the in-character forum and the story hour forum. I follow Piratecat’s threads in both, and they’re immensely inspiring for my own game. IRL, Piratecat is Kevin Kulp, author of Of Sound Mind, a really cool low-level psionics adventure.
We get tweakers over there as well, but it’s a pretty friendly environment with some very creative people. Well worth checking out.
And once in awhile we hold recruitment drives for the Rat Bastard Club, a private messageboard for DMs who love to think up new and inventive ways to torment their masochistic players.
I had a whole city, mapped out in detail with CC2. I had plots, subplots, subterfuge, sabotage, and espionage. I had opportunities for mayhem galore. I had bad guys; hell, I even had weak bad guys. And nobody could come up with any way to start fulfilling their straightforward mission. They decided to go and look for a dungeon instead.
I’m gonna play computer games for a few months, now. I need to kill some things.
Run away from company-sponsored gaming MBs! Look at the Games Workshop one. Filled with complainers and jerks. The WotC one is even worse! People join these boards because they want to inflate their penis size and don’t want to go looking for a good board. I figure, if you have to look to find a board, it’s good. The ones that are easy to find attract the trollish unwashed 12 year olds.
I reccommend www.3rdedition.org for D&D. Very very intelligent group, with a lot of good ideas and resources. I post on the same name.
And I had a DM scheming against me today. Only it was to make me go crazy in CoC. I squeaked by permanent insanity by one point…
I’d like to second enworld.org (www.d20reviews.com got swallowed). You see the most interesting people there… Gary Gygax, the guy who designed Spycraft… well, half of AEG and Fantasy Flight games. And TSR.
And, barring some slight lack of moderation, it’s pretty darn good.
The first was Presto a one-handed lecherous magic-user. He had a permanent Bigby’s magical hand spell, except the hand was like from Dr. Strangeglove where it kept unconsciously manifesting his desires. He had a one-winged pseudodragon named Turdburd that sat on his shoulder and farted flame but wasn’t good for much more than that and lighting cigars.
Every adventure Presto would lose another piece of his anatomy. He lost an eye and inserted a “magic gem” into the socket under a patch. If he got into a tight spot he’d lift the patch, reveal the gem and threaten to burn everybody to the ground with the invincible “Eye of Agamoto” unless they did what he said.
He would also tell lies and say that he saw it happen in the magic eye.
That eye was more effective as a fake than it would have been real.
He’d lost an ear and half the hair on his head in another adventure, but my favorite part of the character was using “identify spells.”
He’d find some beaten up old blade, make a big deal about casting his “identify spell” and pronounce it “A +8 Righteous wrathblade!”
Then there was my asassin who thought he was a Paladin.
Actually, the enboards are pretty strictly moderated – they just use different rules than this MB. Socks and trolls are allowed, but politics and religion, or anything that would offend Eric’s Grandmother, is strictly verboten.
Eric founded the boards, you see. And though he doesn’t run them anymore, his grandmother’s eye is on us all.
All in all, these rules make it quite a pleasant place to hang out.
Baldur’s Gate multiplayer was a slow version of Diablo. The appeal that Neverwinter Nights holds for many people is the DM toolset that is part of the game. Yes, you can play the game singleplayer, or you can play the stock game multiplayer … or a motivated person can create their own game, with their own NPCs, with their own maps, with their own interactions, and run it for their friends. He could be a deist of a DM and say “Hey guys, the server’s up, go play whenever you want” or a more interactive sort, taking control of NPCs, reacting on the fly to what the players do … the possibilities are endless.
I can easily imagine a dedicated DM creating a game in which the players work their way through a web of intrigue and diplomacy in a royal court without every drawing a sword. The open-endedness of this just sends a shiver down my spine. Something like Lightnin’'s campaign could be well-developed inside Neverwinter Nights.
Yeah, I’m waiting for Neverwinter Nights as well. looks cool.
Most online forums tend to draw the munchkins, cause the well adjusted gamers already have a circle of friends to talk shop with.
I understand the feeling Legomancer, I just moved away from my group, and am now looking to rebuild a new group. I’m not the GM my old GM was, but I know that I am better than Kevin or Rosa (Old friends from back when I first lived in Beavercreek.) Problem here is we are going to do 3rd ed, so I am still trying to figure out how to mod the rules to tweak them in the manner I like. (Skills are nice, but I really dislike the weapon prof system they used for 3rd ed.)
That’s one of the reasons I stopped posting there. Another was the fact the mods did nothing to stop serial anti-3rd Ed. trolls or people whose sole purpose was to “follow” certain posters from thread to thread and flame them (often they were the same posters).
THis may not be a popular opinion in this thread, but there is nothing wrong with power-gaming, in and of itself. I like to play that way, and I like to run games for people who play that way. Where is gets bad is when, like everything else, it gets taken to an extreme. The group I play with like to spend the majority of the adventure fighting things and the rest of the time cracking jokes and roleplaying amusing character traits.
Any time you take yourself too seriously, either in roleplaying or powergaming, you ruin the fun of those around you.
Lego, the problem with the players that you descibe isn’t that they’re power-gamers, it’s that they seem to be anti-social meglomaniacs compenstating for their lack of anything remotely resembling a life. I’m sure you can see the difference.
BioWare Neverwinter Nights Forums
BioWare is certainly aiming to produce much more than a slower-paced Diablo. The DM tools promise to allow detailed and complex world creation, including a scripting language for all sorts of interesting NPC behaviors and world events. One person on the boards (not a BioWare employee, mind) is working on a genetic algorithm to simulate economies, politics, and other large scale cultural features. The DM will also have the ability to “possess” and directly control any NPC at any time, and so step outside the scripts. There will be an official Character Vault, where players can store their characters between games. The Vault uses a set of filters to prevent PCs from gaining too much experience or too many items too fast. Players don’t have to use the Vaults, and DMs can set up their own Vaults, with their own parameters.
Whether Neverwinter Nights is powerful enough to handle all this complexity is still an open question, but I think it’s going to be really good. I’ve already upgraded my computer in anticipation. But I’m not going to stop playing pen-and-paper games.
I confess that I have more than a little of the powergamer in me. When my pc died in my most recent campaign, I designed the tank I’d never played before. I only played the tank (at 6th level, he could theoretically dish out 200+ damage/round) for three sessions, but they sure were a fun, asskickin three sessions.
Then I got my normal PC reincarnated, and was back to my normal style of play. Both types of play can be fun.
What gets horribly annoying is people who lose sight of the fact tha it’s a game, who put huge amounts of their identity into their character’s “accomplishments”. Whether they’re powergamers or roleplayers, they make me want to stand over there.
The potentially good gamers will learn, the idjiits will get fed0up and quit.
:: powerful, pissed vamires hiding in corrugated sheet-metal garage full of vehicles ::
Player 1: I open the door…
ME: You hear hisses and dark mutterings. It sounds like a convention of angry pythons.
Player 2: I tape a stick of dynamite to an arrow…
Player 1: I walk into the garage, pike at the ready…
Me: Isn’t that arrow gonna be a bit heavy…? And won’t your pike be a bit awkward in that dark, confined space…?
Player1: Oh yeah, I set my pike down…
Player 2: I set a blasting cap and short fuse on my dynamite…
Me: You set the pike down…?!Where are you standing…?!!
Player 1: Uh, near a truck. I look under it…
Me: Are you sure???
Player 1: Yeah, I wanna see where the vamps are…
Me: It’s really dark under there… Are you really sure this is a good idea…???
Player 1: Yeah, I’m sure. Gotta find 'em to stick 'em… (forgetting that he’s dropped his pike)
Me: Ooohh - Kaayyy… :: Rollrollroll ::
OK, player 1: a hand just shot out from under the vehicle. Roll to dodge… :: Player 1 rolls :: You missed. Your ankle is grasped in a vice-like grip, crushing it, and yanking you off your feet. Roll to keep from being dragged under the truck. :: Player 1 rolls :: You missed. You’re pulled under the truck to your waist, and you feel sharp teeth and clawed hands begining to tear into your legs. It’s been nice knowing you…
Player 1: Whaa… how did… DAMMIT!
Me: Player 2, player 1 just got snatched off his feet, and is being chewed upon by by something under the truck. He’s screaming a lot. What do you do…?
Player 2: I light the fuse and shoot the arrow under the truck…
Me: Blammo. You just blew player 1 and two vampires into small pieces. You also just :: rollrollroll :: blew-up the fuel tank in the truck, destroying all the other vehicles, the gargage, and :: rollroll :: yourself.
Ahh, I feel so lucky for having a good group to play and GM with (two of us GM, depending on the game, I do Delta Green and D&D).
Even the one incidence of near-suicidal behaviour by the players was perfectly reasonable from an in-game perspective. It’s not like your average FBI agent expects to be transported into the realm of an alien god by going through an archway into a tunnel.
The 20’s vintage pornographic library they encountered earlier, featuring thousands of photographs starred by the characters themselves, should have tipped them off that something was wrong, and that the wrongness knew about them…
A friend told me what I consider the most brilliant stratagem I’ve ever heard. He was playing a cleric whose faith required a vow of poverty. The party ran into a bunch of mercenaries. Everyone else is dead. The mercenaries turn to the cleric. He holds out his hand and says “Alms for a poor leper?”. They looked at his tattered robe and left.
Forget power. I go in for weirdness.
One of these days, I wanna play a Halfling fighter-no kit, no magic equipment, nothin’. I love the idea of a 3 foot tall man trying to prove himself as a mighty warrior.
DM once let me play a doppleganger. I changed shape exactly once in that characters life. It wasn’t about playing a monster with extra powers. The idea behind the character was:Dopplegangers are totally misunderstood. An archmage created them as a slave race. Because they continue to be slaves to various powerful individuals, most people think that dopplegangers are evil. In truth, they just want to be left alone. There are villages which look normal, but are composed entirely of dops. They live like any human settlement.When such a village is uncovered, no one believes that these monsters could be innocent. So the character was trying to gain fame so that he could reveal his true identity. I didn’t want power. I had a dream where dopplegangers could live in peace. Plus, it’s fun playing a character from a race of hermaphrodites.
Currently playing serious, straightforward, Norse cleric. Though I do rectite long prayers instead of just saying “entangle” or “detect evil”
Malkavian-John Smith-He wore sneakers, a bathrobe,and a fez with TV antennas attached. John worshipped television as the one true god. He also couldn’t understand why everyone kept insisting that television programs were seperate from “reality”.
Legendary creature, one of the most deadly in the known world. Supposedly the cause of the death of a great band of dwarven warriors who had gone out to slay it. And a small group of brand-new characters decides they’re going to kill it.
Well, the elf lived. She knew better. She didn’t go with them
Only one character noticed that our “hostess” didn’t have a reflection…and he didn’t bother to let the rest of us know.
Another group I was in also kept trying to kill of the party thief by sending him in after an arumvorax (for those who don’t remember, a really bad-tempered badger made of gold with six legs) alone. My fighter was going to stand outside the arumvorax’ lair and shoot him with arrows from her bow. No, not the thief…the arumvoraz (riiiiiiiiight).
I don’t powergame, either, but understand the appeal. Fortunately, I’ve been gaming with the same group for almost 10 years now, and although all of us get itchy for some “bonk” sometimes we have deeply developed RP sessions.
Of course, there was the time our Albino 1/2 Orc priestess of the Chinese God of Death got to cast…a porcupine
The d20 system is a class system which pigeon holes characters into narrowly defined roles. It doesn’t surprise me that they’d have tips on how to maximize the effectiveness of a particular character class. The d20 system essential turns into a strategy game once combat starts. I can see how Power Play might be helpful to those who don’t play strategy games.