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Party party

- Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:29:10 EST aOfcV2w0 No.28448
File: 1489764550360.jpg -(1500997B / 1.43MB, 2560x1600) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Party party
Just thinking.
I know the whole "adventure party" tradition is ripped from Lord Of The Rings, and The Fellowship Of The Ring was that size to try and sneak past the Ork armies and monsters into Mordor, but it just seems odd to have all these 5/6-strong variegated mini-gangs tromping around looking for caves and unexplored underground labyrinths. Just spontaneously forming in taverns and heading out to the nearest underground structure and just assuming it's going to be full of monsters and loot instead of fucking bats and bat shit.

I mean that size party isn't much good for anything except bodyguarding, courier work, and banditry, really.
Are there really any historical or fantasy parallels to the RPG party before Tolkien? There were Sindbad's crews, but they were pretty much expressly redshirts. I guess even within Tolkien there was the Dwarf party that Bilbo accompanied, but that wasn't exactly a "party", more a "band", like the Vikings in Eaters Of The Dead. With a Band you can get things done, especially a homogeneous one, like a pack of Arthur's kniggits, or Charlemagne's paladins. The ragtag party isn't much good for anything but exploration, and they're just lucky that every dungeon is basically unguarded, with security depending on local wildlife wandering in and eating adventurers, and the occasional trap which must have to be reset every time a cave horse or a cave elk steps on one. I guess the wildlife running into the traps is what feeds the Orc guards. Considering they never seem to just buy some goddamn food from the local town, apart from maybe raiding a farm or two. So that explains why they leave to door open and unguarded, so the things wander in. Although it would make more sense to set the traps outside.
Shit Grimspear - Sat, 18 Mar 2017 06:56:06 EST qDtEpW+y No.28450 Reply
Adventurers forming in a tavern is an easy plot hook however both 4th and 5th edition D&D encouraged you to link the party in other ways. Every character has a backstory, a reason they're adventuring, either something they're trying to accomplish or they left their life behind. It's implied they're all special and I remember in second edition that they actually gave numbers by level. Low level adventurers are uncommon people, people above level 5 or 6 are exceptional individuals. Lots of these roving bands simply die. And in current 5th edition it's a lot like medieval life in general, 1-5 is brutal and if you survive that you tend to go a lot longer but no one got attached to their kids/adventurers before 5 because most of them were one illness/one crit away from going down.

Anyway parties should have a reason to be together and often a plot which forces them to adventure. Maybe their quests are part of a single story or maybe they're just trying to survive while the main plot happens and a lot of shit is happening. I'm running a campaign where they were recruited as a "diversity" option to try to solve a series of murders, caught and killed the murderer. He was an assassin, everyone knew they succeeded, but then his boss annexed the town so they fled and now they're sort of together through momentum taking on odd jobs because they have unique skills. They fled to the next kingdom over where the government has it's own problems and isn't looking after the people, plus there's 2 warlords (related to their initial problem) who are trying to annex the whole continent stirring up trouble. So they'll put out a few local brushfires. At that point they'll have done enough stuff to further each others' goals or have profited enough that they'll stick together and will have enough of a rep that people will come to them for help. In the long term several of them want to stop one or both sides of the war and/or people that work for those factions while other members of the party have found people who trust them and just let them do what they're good at instead of living on the fringes of society.

Meanwhile monsters aren't like people. Only hobgoblins form kingdoms and stable borders and they have slaves and goblins do their menial work. Orcs just build bases, they trap their caves because they are using it as a mustering point between raids and want to weaken any nosey adventurers or militia types. Also they usually won't leave the door unguarded, yeah when you're 13 and winging it maybe that happens but half the fun is making the players bash down, pick the lock, climb the wall or find the secret side entrance, disguise themselves as orcs and get let in or whatever.

Someone else said this. Nerds have this tendency to figure out why stuff doesn't work. It's worthless for creative endeavor. What makes things work and what humans are best at creating is explanations and filling gaps. Over time the backstory and assumptions of D&D changed to explain why this shit happens. The D&D world has become more consistent over time and a DM can fill the gaps in anyway, for example local animals go nowhere near them because instinctively avoiding orcs confers a strong evolutionary advantage. I just made that up but it makes perfect sense doesn't it? But the D&D world is full of people who realise what sort of world it is so you have things like this in the monstrous manual now

>Clever monsters keep oozes around to defend passageways or consume refuse.
>Likewise, an ooze can be enticed into a pit trap, where its captors feed it often enough to prevent it from coming after them.
>Crafty creatures place torches and flaming braziers in strategic areas to dissuade an ooze from leaving a particular tunnel or room.

A lot of the sentient monsters have motives and goals so instead of just sitting in a dungeon because they have a reason that often will shape how you use them.

This isn't 2nd edition any more. There's still a lot of suspension of disbelief but hey there's an elf throwing fireballs, but there's an increased internal consistency once you take a few assumptions into account and that's how the best sci fi and fantasy works.
Jarvis Sicklestotch - Thu, 06 Jul 2017 06:55:34 EST zq12oqcU No.28580 Reply
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Nothing brings the party together than an external threat. FIGHT!

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