My First Session

  • 5 Replies
My First Session
« on: June 28, 2010, 03:42:31 PM »
Because I was so taken with the Apocalypse D&D rules and because my current 1st Ed AD&D group is so willing to let me lead them around by the nose, I switched out the AD&D system and swapped in Apocalypse D&D.

The party fluctuates in size between 6 and 8 players.  We have the whole race-class spectrum covered pretty well.  They're all between 3rd and 5th level.  We run published adventures I found for $1.50 apiece at a local bookstore.  It's silly, dumb dungeoncrawling fun with people who aren't traditionally "gamers".  So, that's the background. 

We set about converting the characters, which was pretty easy - though, to keep their expectations up, I did a few scratch conversions of things I knew they would expect - certain class and race features they'd come to enjoy and who may not have been fully represented in ApocD&D.  Mostly stuff from Unearthed Arcana. 

Generally speaking, the players loved the new rules.  They liked having choices and that failure actually meant something.  They loved the spellcasting moves.  They loved that they got to dish out and take more damage than they were used to. 

There was some attempts to "game" the rules when players found that they had to hit certain stats to level up.  A lot of requests to Parley and Defy Danger just to gain levels.  After I laid down the law ("stop that.  no, seriously, you can't parley with everyone you meet just to get points") it seemed to clear up. 

There was a little bit of worry on my part - the characters advance VERY quickly.  I think they're likely to advance too quickly for my liking.  They all gained a level in the session we played.  Combat generally means at least five or six Go Aggro rolls for anyone participating, so if you're tagged for STR you never have long to wait.

There was also some confusion (mild and small though it may be) about how a backstab works.  Is it "Making Your Move" or do you make your move, set up the backstab and then Go Aggro? 

All in all, a pretty smooth transition but I wonder how it'll hold up to campaign play.  TIME WILL TELL.

Re: My First Session
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 04:08:08 PM »
I'm so glad you're using Unearthed Arcana stuff. I'm a fan of UA, but I haven't converted any stuff from it for Apoc D&D.

On the fast levelling, I would suggest requiring more boxes to level. I used 8 at Go Play NW, and people went up VERY fast. Even 10 is pretty fast. For an ongoing game, I'd suggest 15 or even 20.

About those parlays... was there any attempt on the part of the players to make the parlay meaningful? Or did they just trying to get the monsters to talk before slaughtering them so they could gain an XP check?

Re: My First Session
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 04:18:48 PM »
Tony - for the parleys it was usually like so...

0 - Paladin has his charisma checked
1 -PCs see monsters / npcs / furniture
2 - Paladin says "I PARLEY"
3 - He tries to come up with some conversation to follow

Which made me respond with the whole to do it, do it / if you do it, do it thing from AW.

In the end, what we did was that the players just took narrative impetus.  They'd describe what they were doing and when a move kicked in, I'd stop them and get dice rolling.

Re: My First Session
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2010, 04:29:15 PM »
I've seen the quick-leveling thing before in TSOY and its descendants and Tony is right: add more boxes. Don't limit the PC's opportunities to get checks. Marking experience is fun.

Re: My First Session
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2010, 05:54:27 PM »
So, I've got two options for the next session.  I want the pacing to be similar to AD&D level gain.  Say, one level every two or three sessions?  Maybe more? 

1) Make leveling up take 20 checks?  15?  Some amount based on their level.  Level times X?  What is X? 

2) Alternate XP mode as presented by Tony - have the PCs tick off a stat every time they use it.  After using four different stats, take an advancement.  10 advancements to level.




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Re: My First Session
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 05:32:58 PM »
Why not use the XP system from AD&D - especially the part about getting XP for GP, and maybe also by spending it - and then tying it to AW advances (e.g. you get X advances per level, with one coming every 1/X of the way to next level).

I think TSR D&D's experience system is superb at avoiding players gaming  the system, because it makes the players' and character's goals so tightly aligned. Your elf wants to get rich, you want to level up, and both lead to the same behavior (especially in AD&D and post-Supplement I OD&D, where XP from combat is paltry).

The other advantage here is that it's what your players are used to. I don't have enough of a grip on AW advancement to know what it's advantages are.