Gamer Forge Listener Email:
Name: Jason Roberts
First let me say that your doing an awesome job and my friends and I love listening to the show. We are part of the Seattle Gaming group. That use to participate in your Epic Showdown back when you where with UtahFM. It took us a while to find you again but it seems like you guys are doing amazing without the station. So congrats!!
So we have run into a problem in our game and we need help. We love our GM but we kind of feel like we have really been screwed over. Let me explain what is going on.
So we are a group of five adventurers that have been assigned a mission from the King of the realms to collect a magical artifact that will help save his kingdom from the plauge zombies that have been attacking at night. We have agreed to go retrieve this artifact.
Now this is where things kind of rotten started out. As it is our GM told us that the item was in the Tomb of some old dead guy and that it was rumored that the honored dead guarded it. Now our Cleric wasn't too keen on this idea but the greater good was at stake so he was willing to desicrate this holy place.
Well we get to the tomb fight through the undead warriors only to find a hole has been dug into the catacombs and the artifact was stolen. However we did find pools of blood that show that it was stolen recently so we went after the item going deeper into the mountain.
Big Mistake! We ran into a gaggle of goblins that were rather nasty and nearly killed our mage. We ran out of torches and our mage pretty much had to use up all his spell slots of magical light and was useless to us in fights.
We ended up finding the theives only to find that they were a small band of Duergar and those things were nasty! They killed off our Rogue, but he was brought back to life by our cleric and a lesser restoration scroll he had on him. Thus creating another problem. Because he lost a level his skill checks went down. So after killing the dwarves we came to this giant door that the dwarves were beginning to enter when we attacked. The Rouge checked for traps and foudn nothing. But of course his roll wasn't high enough because of his loss of those valuable skill points. So we pass through the door only to have our way our colapse behind us.
So now here we are level 7 characters stuck underground with no supplies for this type of adventure, no torches, a mage that is constantly burning up his spell slots to provide us with light (which is also making us a target), and no idea where this magical item is or a way back.
So we decide that they only way we can go is forward. So we continue on run into a few more nasty underdark creatures that nearly take us out (I mean most of us survived by mear single digits) to come to this vast caveren of magma and tremendous heat. And across this lake of magma is an island with a giant red dragon laying atop his horde of treasure. So we are thinking okay we are getting the "Heck" out of there when the cleric makes a percepsion check as everyone is examing their suroundings and of course the Cleric notices that the artifact we are searching for in laying in the dragon's horde.
So that was the end of our game last night. Now all of us are kind of feeling like we were just set up and we are not ready to fight a dragon especially in this terrian and were given no chance to really prepare for the this fight and we are stuck with no way out of this situtation because our only way out has been destroyed.
Can you help give us some perspective here and maybe some help?
A loyal DCR fan to the end!
Gamer Forge Response:
We talked so much about dangling carrots, now we're hungry for some stew.
DCR says about this one:
1. We've said this how many times? When you draw attention to something, players will chase after it. That's clearly what happened here. The DM/GM/Referee/Whatever got a little anxious (or lazy) and kept feeding carrots to the players. Now they are stuck between an immovable object (the blocked path) and an unstoppable force (the dragon). So, the DM/GM/Referee/Whatever should follow one the Ten Commandments and cop to it. This is exactly the kind of scenario that builds resentment towards your storyteller. There cannot be any story if there is no trust in the storyteller.
2. Players: just because you saw the carrot, doesn't mean you have to follow it. Remember your place in this; you had the choice to go further into the cave and follow the blood, or not. But now that you are in this pickle, its time to find a way out. Obviously, the dragon across the river of magma will be too much for you. There's no shame in turning around and reporting what you've found. It is better to leave this to more seasoned professionals. Unless you all agree to get yourselves killed and bludgeon straight ahead. This is a totally valid course of action, but one of many. Accept your responsibility and try to move gracefully forward. There may be a hidden side passage or a long way back out of the cavern.
3. It's totally okay to ask, "What's in it for me?" There is nothing dishonorable in weighing out the possiblity of death. Even the most noble of paladins would be remiss in their duties if they didn't. How can you continue your quest of do-goodery if you're dead? Hopefully, this group has learned a thing or two about choice and options, and next time they will think a bit more on just advancing straight ahead with force. There really should be no alignment or (healthy) mental state that should demand that you go forward without regard to safety.
*To get more from your game, remember that alignment is not a rigid thing. Its a code of conduct which your character follows. What needs to be defined is how specific it is, and how loosely you are allowed to deviate from it. No two thieves follow the same code of conduct, nor does any two explorers share the same adherence to the same code.
Gamer Forger Listener Email:
I am feeling kind of stuck in a situation that I feel emotionally obligated to. Let me tell you whats going on.
I have played in the same gaming group since I was 14. Since then many of us have moved out of state, gotten married, had kids, and so on. Every month we get together and run our game as we have since we were kids. Now for most of my friends this has not been much of an issue since they live fairly close and it is not to too much of a strain to drive a few hours across state lines. Oh yeah let me also include we all live on the east coast. so its not that bad to drive across two state lines in under 2 hours.
Now I have just been offered a job that I plan to take that will have me and my family moving to Oregon. Now it is going to be just too expensive to fly out once a month to play our game and yet this has been a huge part of my life and this group of friends has seen me through many a hard times.
How do I soften the blow and say good bye? Does it have to be good bye? Do you have suggestions that could help me out?
Gamer Forger Response:
It doesn't have to be good-bye. DCR says,
1. Fascilitate! You've got alternatives. Skype and video chat are great ways to let the good times keep rolling. Just move the camera down to show die rolls, and since its all live, you're in on all the action, as it happens. No waiting. Even better, it's inexpensive. Even more, you get to stay in touch with your friends. Even more better-er, distance is not even a factor! 2. One last blast. Let's say Skype isn't an option, and it really is time to move on. Plan one last show. Add a few extra hours to the session to give plenty of time so everyone gets a chance to do anything that they may have been meaning to do. Someone can spring for a big breakfast or dinner. Throw some beef on the barbeque and make a deal about this session. Make this day a good day. Remember to take a break every once in a while. If this is your last game together, make it a good day, make it count. 3. No cliffhangers! When this game is over, please don't leave anyone hanging. Strive to give resolution for everyone. Have one big revelation and resolve it. This can be the story that you and your friends talk about each and every time you speak again. They should all still be your friends even after the game is over, and a good game brings and keeps friends together. *To go the extra mile, think of your last game like a banquet. Give out awards for achievements like "Funniest Dialogue" or "Most Intense Battle" or "Sexiest Character"; specific titles that will last and you can laugh about for years to come.
DCR Gamer Forge Listener Email:
Comments: Okay this may sound strange coming from a woman. However in my pathfinder game that I play in I am wanting to transition my rouge character to an assassin.
The guys are giving me crap about it because they don't believe I could play that type of character because up until this point my character has mainly just been a pick pocket and show no tendacies for violence.
My DM is asking for a legit reason for the change. I am struggling here because I really want to make this leap with my character.
background on my character she is a half elf woman who's elven mother was raped and then left for dead. Some clerics found her and was able to keep her alive but barely. During child birth she passed on. I grew up under the watchful eye of the clerics and was really pushed around for because of it.
When I turned 16 one of the clerics tried to force himself upon me and in my desperate moment I stabbed him with a dagger I happened upon. The clerics sided with their brother and threw me out. I sturggled to live but found that I had a knack for pilfering things and eventually became very good at it but never stealling more than I needed or from those that had less than I.
Then there was an event that forced me into this group of adventures that I am now with. Namely I was caught stealing from a local lord and forced into servitude to this group so that I can be free of my crime. The group has come to rely upon my skills.
So can you help me justify a legitimate change? And how I can do it?
Thank you megan!
DCR Gamer Forge Response:
When taking on the unfortunate (and awesome) role of an assassin, DCR says:
1. Find and connect an emotional response. She's already given a good reason to want to kill someone, or at least a justifiable one. It's as simple as illiciting something mercurial, even primal, about wanting to kill. Tap into the very core emotions in your backstory. Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride is a classic example. He is good at killing, but for the singular purpose of revenge. Once you've got your GM/DM/Referee/Storyteller/Watcher/Whatever bought into your reason, obtaining the class of your choice is as good as done.
2. Responsibility vs. Enthusiasm. Some famous characters actually like killing. Others see it as a way to make a living. Both have this in common: they're good at it. Make sure you define this when advancing your character through the levels. This is a great roleplay opportunity for you and your group. Is it something your character sees as just a job, but feels bad about doing? Is he/she finding that killing is far more intriguing than the whole "letting people live" thing. This is character development gold.
3. This is only a definition of a talent or skill, not necessarily a chosen profession. Some people, regardless of chosen profession, possess skills in other areas. So taking a class, any class, is only a description of heightened training or talent. Characters may have ten levels of "bard", but the actual method of earning that sweet "dollah-dollah" are literally myriad. Conan the Barbarian was very good at killing people, but made money by theft. Sam and Dean Winchester are good at killing demons, but make their money by scams and pool hustling. Remember this when assigning trained skills or skill points or the like.
*To go the extra mile, watch episodes of The Equalizer. A tv series from the late 80's about a mercenary who had the tragic knack of killing lots and lots of bad people. A recurring theme of the show examines the emotional cost of killing bad guys. Also, Artemis Antreri from the Legend of Drizzt novels is excellent for examining interest in killing others for money and embracing that skill to a fault.