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Author Topic: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes  (Read 340600 times)

wierd

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6900 on: June 13, 2019, 10:25:23 am »

This kind of thing would be "Unrealistic as all hell" to try to simulate in a battle. 

Rather, it is for when the DM goes "The tunnel you have been following lets out into a massive underground grotto. The stone path abruptly ends where once a stone bridge had been constructed. An ancient cave-in has collapsed the bridge, and now the path terminates at an abrupt precipice, going 500 feet straight down.  In the gloom of the cavern, you cannot even make out the bottom."

Just after you collected several hundred pounds worth of really kick assed swag, but triggered the trap that shuts the main entrance you came in through down.


You can go "CRAZY DWARF TRICK BEEOTCH!" and blow several hours time to get all your shit over the precipice without any hitches, and sidestep whatever horrors the DM had INTENDED for you to encounter in trying to climb down the side of the wall (while carrying enough gold to mash you flat!), and then try to find a way back up again after trying to navigate the hazards on the cavern floor below.


Alternatively--

"Oh yeah, one of the magical items in your epic mountain of loot prevents you from using any kind of fast traveling, such as dimension door. You are totally over encumbered. How do you get this shit home now bruh?"

« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 10:29:41 am by wierd »
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Grim Portent

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6901 on: June 13, 2019, 10:31:12 am »

I think it'd be cool as a show of lavish decadence by mages. A carriage suspended by a series of immovable rods on ropes with the buttons pressed by finely dressed attendants, who may also be the source of a few mage hands so the movement isn't a literal crawl. Like some sort of upside down spider carriage slowly drifting along the street. Combine with a method for the caster to fly all the time for a 'the ground does not deserve to touch my feet' kind of thing.
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wierd

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6902 on: June 13, 2019, 10:43:31 am »

If you are going to do THAT, then go with a bizzarro flintstones mobile.

You know fred's car?



OK-- Now, imagine that the netting is tied into a continuous "Loop", like a conveyor belt.  Embedded into the net are the rods. The rods on the "bottom" are activated, and supply the support.  The net moves along over the top of the "wheels" (big stone cylinders), and the rest of the "car" is supported on the extending axles protruding from the sides of the cylinders, as shown.

After that, you just have timing of activation and deactivation of the rods as the limiting factor, with a max movement speed of 30ft per individual action.


You can of course, make it however ornate, overly greebled, and ostentatious as you so desire.  The upside:  A mechanical widget cog could be doing all the button pushing as the rods go into position, and the net is being turned along by a single mage hand cranking on an overly gear-ratioed turn handle.  Dress it in a glove for added audaciousness.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 10:48:01 am by wierd »
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Persus13

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6903 on: June 13, 2019, 10:57:16 am »

How are you dealing with the fact that it takes an action to deactivate the rod, and an action to activate it though?
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wierd

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6904 on: June 13, 2019, 10:59:40 am »

It takes an action to PURPOSEFULLY activate the rod.

Since it is activated via a simple application of pressure to the sensitive end, this is an OBVIOUS DM "gotcha".  "oops, that carefully oriented immovable rod you suspended in the air, in the path of the rampaging hell beast, so that it would act as an impromptu lance, held in place by 8000lbs of resistance?  yeah-- you had the button end facing the monster.  On impact, the button got pushed."


We are abusing this same kind of logic:

The turn crank drives a little embedded gear, who's lobes are spaced precisely to touch, and depress, the button on the end of the rod as the conveyor moves it into place.

The hand is not pressing buttons. It is turning the crank.  The mechanical action of the crank is pushing the buttons.


The DM will likely balk, but will have difficulty finding a valid reason to disqualify.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 11:01:33 am by wierd »
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scriver

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6905 on: June 13, 2019, 11:32:53 am »

"You're abusing the wording of the text to go against the intention of the writing" is always a valid reason to disqualify.
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wierd

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6906 on: June 13, 2019, 11:37:13 am »

Could also point out "item type is 'adventuring gear', not 'magic (or wondrous) item'."


Does it help any that I see this kind of thing being created by a gnome?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 11:40:33 am by wierd »
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Trekkin

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6907 on: June 13, 2019, 12:15:33 pm »

What's the point, though? Ultimately it's still just you kludging together rules as written, rules as intended, rules as assumed and real-world physics ad hoc to make something strange that "should" work, and there's infinite ways to do that on your own time but ultimately none of them make much difference; all you're going to get from this machine over an arbitrarily stronger flying carpet is the other players' eyes glazing over while you congratulate yourself for being clever and then going on with the actual game. It will not, in a very important sense, be "real" in the consensus of the game, just "that thing wierd built" that's going to run headlong into Rule 0 if you insist on taking up table time going on about it or just remain an amorphous thing that does a thing otherwise. It's similar to how rules lawyers will bend the alignment rules into knots to justify their character being a dick because of some random nugget of their backstory and so on and so forth: ultimately the only question is how long you want to spend proving to yourself that you've won an argument with yourself and how much of it you expect your audience to sit through.

Theoretical optimization is fun, but ultimately why argue about it? It works the way you want in your own head, and that's the only place it'll ever actually exist, so ... congratulations for winning?
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wierd

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6908 on: June 13, 2019, 12:18:15 pm »

Context is a thing, Trekkin.
Grim Portent noted that he could see a posh wizard using an overly elaborate conveyance like this as background color.
I countered that if you are going to go that route (eg, background color), you should do something more like the bizzarro flintstone mobile, and then described it and how it worked.



The slug-rug is an ad-hoc player invention.
{and since you mention "no fun" rule 0, I remind you that activation of the rod is a move action, and does not have a skill check. This means it does not require computation or DM time when used in the manner described outside of combat, as stated in context. So No. It's a "No, let's NOT go into the dark abyss, Let's do this instead." which only has a story time passage cost.}

Flying track car is more a GM created flavor piece (You know, setting color) that would leverage real items (that could potentially get 5 finger discounted in passing).


Because the question of activation actions was cited, I gave an obvious out to explain how it could be evaded.  I approached it from the "as player" angle, since that seemed the thrust of the question, even though it was not the intention of the description.



Also, "Congratulations for winning" sarcasm applies to ALL fantasy role play.  If you are going to go there, you dont belong in this thread, IMO.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 12:44:41 pm by wierd »
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pikachu17

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6909 on: June 13, 2019, 12:39:34 pm »

Wait, immovable rods are Uncommon? Is it just me, or all the coolest magic items Uncommon?
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wierd

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6910 on: June 13, 2019, 12:42:13 pm »

If they were common, the world would be full of insanity, and impossible to relate to.

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Cruxador

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6911 on: June 13, 2019, 12:43:12 pm »

OK-- Now, imagine that the netting is tied into a continuous "Loop", like a conveyor belt.  Embedded into the net are the rods. The rods on the "bottom" are activated, and supply the support.  The net moves along over the top of the "wheels" (big stone cylinders), and the rest of the "car" is supported on the extending axles protruding from the sides of the cylinders, as shown.
You've just invented a tank tread. Considering the amount of immovable rods you'd need would be impractical, both for cost and for the hassle of carrying them around on the off-chance that you happen to want to rig this up, I reckon a sky tank is a much more interesting direction to take this line of thought. On the other hand, once you've got flying tanks, what more do you need?
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Hanslanda

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6912 on: June 13, 2019, 12:51:20 pm »

OK-- Now, imagine that the netting is tied into a continuous "Loop", like a conveyor belt.  Embedded into the net are the rods. The rods on the "bottom" are activated, and supply the support.  The net moves along over the top of the "wheels" (big stone cylinders), and the rest of the "car" is supported on the extending axles protruding from the sides of the cylinders, as shown.
You've just invented a tank tread. Considering the amount of immovable rods you'd need would be impractical, both for cost and for the hassle of carrying them around on the off-chance that you happen to want to rig this up, I reckon a sky tank is a much more interesting direction to take this line of thought. On the other hand, once you've got flying tanks, what more do you need?

Underground attack helicopters?
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wierd

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6913 on: June 13, 2019, 12:53:47 pm »

Is context really this hard?

Ok, Big spoiler:

As grim stated, he thought seeing an overly dramatic display of impractical wealth by a wizard to travel by such a means would be cool.

This pretty much implies "The GM says some NPC prick is showing off how insanely wealthy he is."  Impracticality is kinda the point at this point. 


I said, If you are going to go there, then you should go this route-- and suggested the tread car.


BOTH would have impractical numbers of these very expensive rods, and would be shameless displays of wealth.

The former would be something more a human or high elven wizard would do.  The latter is more what a gnomish wizard would do.





Neither were intended to be done by player characters.





Slug-Rug is outlandish, but can be done realistically with just 3 rods.  You could arguably get that in a loot chest.
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Trekkin

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Re: Dungeons & Dragons / PNP games thread: The Barren Snowflake Wastes
« Reply #6914 on: June 13, 2019, 12:57:33 pm »

Also, "Congratulations for winning" sarcasm applies to ALL fantasy role play.  If you are going to go there, you dont belong in this thread, IMO.

I'd actually argue that its inapplicability is foundational to roleplaying games in general. They're multiplayer for a reason.

If you want some fancy flying carriage made of immovable rods as cool background flavor, great -- but as a DM, you can just do that; you can just put it in the game and let the players ooh and aah at it and there you go. If you want to spend a lot of time detailing to yourself how it works, that's fine too, but the thing is that unless they open the hood, that information won't enter the consensus understanding of the game, so in a functional sense it was never real, however true it is. It's the same way that you can spend ages detailing what's in the castle three kingdoms over the players are never going to visit and justifying it down to the last gold piece. If they don't ask, it's not in the shared construct of the game. It's just world-building solitaire.

Similarly, if as a player you want to build the thing, there's a question of whether the rules minutae matter. If you came to my table wanting to build it, I'd stat it as a modified carpet of flying and compute the price from that, and the details are up to whatever you think is cool. Immovable rods, enchanted swans, a boat that floats in a tiny flying ocean, whatever; it works how you want. Go nuts. If you want to be able to pull the rods out of it for other purposes, then yeah, it's going to cost as much as that many immovable rods, but ultimately whether or not the rules support the literal nuts and bolts is immaterial. Again, nobody's stopping you proving to yourself how it works, but ultimately they're not going to dispute it, either. It's a prop in the story everybody's creating together.

I'm not saying it's necessarily a waste of time to establish in detail how it works by fiat; world-building is important, after all. I'm wondering, earnestly, if there's ever a context in which it needs defending on rules grounds instead of "I made it and we're all okay with it", whether from a player or the GM.
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