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 Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:33 am

D&D has pretty much stopped the death spiral with regards to individuals being "hit" doesn't impair one sufficiently to create that hopeless-state of inevitability. But with regards to the team? it hasn't really been addressed. In a group where team work makes you more potent a definite feature of 4e perhaps even more than in earlier editions, is that losing a party member go down or having one significantly disabled has a huge impact on the party strength and can create  such a death spiral effect.

4e has very little character disablement that lasts more than a turn in part because its really not very fun to be forced into watch mode and part because of that death spiral.

My solution might be called the Downed Comrade Trope. In fiction particularly movies you see when a hero goes down, you see the group redoubling effort inspired by their fallen ally each in turn might get a spot-light flash back emphasizing their fallen allies connection to the them personally, and the group in general and often a burst of energy or clarity which allows them to charge across the battle safely or drop into a potent frenzy or various other enhancements which offset the loss temporarily and perhaps long enough to stave off what might have become the most likely scenario end result.

So how can we make use of that and keep the player involved?

This idea is to have the player when their character is down / disabled operate in a fashion act like a defacto LazyLord creating various support effects and maintaining the action economy of the fight.  
To implement this you might need a set of support powers which are only useable when you are downed... these powers might need to be a category of their own, and since they would only be used rarely - stay fairly simple. In function they might be nothing much more fancy than a couple warlord at-wills. Perhaps you might define a special relation ship with another pc so that this effect can be triggered under other lesser conditions.

I don't generally like powers that are so conditional.... usually because the selection is at odds with other which aren't so maybe it wouldn't be a problem in this case.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.


Last edited by Garthanos on Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:15 am

4e largely removed longer disablement of characters (even 4 rounds would be quite long) one of the elements of this idea is that somewhat longer disablement could become more acceptable if the player wasn't themselves disabled just because their character is.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:26 pm

I find that the worst disablements are those that mess with the action economy of the game. Daze and stun are the worst. Defender, especially, and leaders need to be able to user their actions to do what they do.
What you are talking about is giving them a different set of things to do when they can necessarily do what they really want.
Inspire Other? I wouldn't go as far as attack granting, but maybe when a no actions are available, or if they want to give up what the have, they can provide a +1 to someone else's attack, move, or skill check; or maybe allow another character to use one of the disable characters at-wills on their next turn? They are not really doing anything in particular, but offering some flexibility to rest of the party.

What it really comes down to is keeping the players engage, feeling like they are involved, right?
Putting some kind of minor mechanic in so that no one is sitting on their hands seems like something to do, but I think that the DM can do things to keep everyone involve and not intentional try to disable characters. You don't intensionally use monsters to counter PC abilities. You pull some punches when needed - provoke OAs, lower damage or attack modifiers, lower hp, don't recharge...
Reminds me of one of the worst DM's I every played with: Encounters, public play, character varied in level. Had a couple of new people that came in with level 1's. DM always rolled behind a screen. He always won initiative. And of course the most powerful enemy was first. It had 2 attacks. He targeted one of the level ones, a dragonborn fighter, with both attacks. Rolled behind the screeen. "Ha-ha, two crits!" No one said anything, as the character went from full to negative bloodied in the first attack of the encounter. You could have heard a pin drop. Now a good player and genuinely nice guy had to sit a watch while the rest of us played. He couldn't leave because he came with his sister-in-law and had to drive her home after. I really wanted to give that DM a piece of my mind after - he had a creature with reach, could have targeted any one of 6 with reach, didn't need to call crit (behind screen, I think he lied anyway, and lied about initiative too...), but he wouldn't have listened. He thought the game was the DM against the players and was upset week after week that he didn't get a TPK. I get mad just thinking about it.
TjD
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:45 pm

Durriken wrote:
I find that the worst disablements are those that mess with the action economy of the game.  Daze and stun are the worst.  Defender, especially, and leaders need to be able to user their actions to do what they do.  
What you are talking about is giving them a different set of things to do when they can necessarily do what they really want.  
Inspire Other? I wouldn't go as far as attack granting
An ally going all frenzy is exactly that!! though and without that kind of thing you probably aren't getting the action economy impact, and  by disabling I mean things which affect that action economy ranging from unconsciousness to daze and stun.
Quote :

, but maybe when a no actions are available, or if they want to give up what the have, they can provide a +1 to someone else's attack, move, or skill check; or maybe allow another character to use one of the disable characters at-wills on their next turn?  They are not really doing anything in particular, but offering some flexibility to rest of the party.

What it really comes down to is keeping the players engage, feeling like they are involved, right?
That's a central element not sitting on their hands AND party potency not collapsing due to action economy and team synergy failure.  One thing I have considered is making all durations save based... so when fully disabled, exerting obviously/blatantly to overcome condition could be one choice... or you can trade that and become inspiration for an ally.   (in effect adds tactical choice do I shorten my disablement or keep the party functioning)

Quote :

Putting some kind of minor mechanic in so that no one is sitting on their hands seems like something to do, but I think that the DM can do things to keep everyone involve and not intentional try to disable characters.
Yeh bad dm = bad dm...even so a part of me wants character disabled to be a bit more ok than the current status leaves it.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:31 am

Garthanos wrote:
My solution might be called the Downed Comrade Trope. In fiction particularly movies you see when a hero goes down, you see the group redoubling effort inspired by their fallen ally each in turn might get a spot-light flash back emphasizing their fallen allies connection to the them personally, and the group in general and often a burst of energy or clarity which allows them to charge across the battle safely or drop into a potent frenzy or various other enhancements which offset the loss temporarily and perhaps long enough to stave off what might have become the most likely scenario end result.

So how can we make use of that and keep the player involved?

This idea is to have the player when their character is down / disabled operate in a fashion act like a defacto LazyLord creating various support effects and maintaining the action economy of the fight.
You may want to consider these for ideas:

  • 13th Age Fighting in Spirit
  • Dungeon World Moves, specifically Last Breath special move, so instead of waiting for four failed death saves, you reduce it to just one (that only fails on a natural 1), which hastens the whole thing and lets you get back into the action ASAP.


Currently sifting through the WotC archives for that one article I've read before about allowing players to continue playing as ghosts/specters (it had a bunch of AEDU powers specifically for those ghost PCs).
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:46 am

Fighting in spirit? intriguing - better title than I have so far, sounds like a similar concept though it looks like they are talking really subtle impact.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:00 am

Actually, given how 13th Age makes it an absolute pain to get even a consistent +1 to hit -- the Ranger needs to spend a class talent for dual wielding +1 to hit, the Sorcerer has to lose an eye and a hand as part of getting that +1 to hit -- and even Bless hardly gives anything close to a +3 to attack rolls to the entire party (at most it'd benefit up to 3 party members including the cleric), I'd say it's already a huge thing to allow the +2 to all party members in one round, +1 to another round, then you give the player the option of giving another +2 to all party members in the next round provided that he has another means of inspiring the party. Plus, the system has the Escalation Die, which means boosts aren't as important as in 4E.

Given that context, it's easier to adjust the variables involved so that the players would have a greater impact even when dying or dead Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:06 am

The WotC website has some articles.  Here is one:

http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2877566

Another option is to convert the Terrifying Haunt template for monsters in DM Guide 2 (page 130) into a PC template.  That way you can just post it on the character and make whatever adjustments you feel are necessary for your game.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:19 am

I don't think this can be blamed all on bad DMing, as circumstances can arrive that A) it would be equally bad DMing to avoid disabling or killing off PCs when they put themselves in a predicament that makes disabling or killing them off the most logical conclusion within the story, and B) some characters will inevitably not make sense being in a given scenario, unless you play D&D (any edition) like it's a SWAT operation where *everybody must stick to the plan!* or something to that degree.

After all, narrative may be one of the core experiences of D&D, but so is challenge, and sometimes that challenge involves dealing with the fact that not everyone has the stats to tackle certain types of enemies.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:54 am

chaosfang wrote:
Actually, given how 13th Age makes it an absolute pain to get even a consistent +1 to hit -- the Ranger needs to spend a class talent for dual wielding +1 to hit, the Sorcerer has to lose an eye and a hand as part of getting that +1 to hit -- and even Bless hardly gives anything close to a +3 to attack rolls to the entire party (at most it'd benefit up to 3 party members including the cleric), I'd say it's already a huge thing to allow the +2 to all party members in one round, +1 to another round, then you give the player the option of giving another +2 to all party members in the next round provided that he has another means of inspiring the party. Plus, the system has the Escalation Die, which means boosts aren't as important as in 4E.

Given that context, it's easier to adjust the variables involved so that the players would have a greater impact even when dying or dead Smile
Hmmm a +2 party wide bonus with 4 men standing is if chances are in the 50 percent range very close to having that 5th man there... those kind of boosts being less important actually undermines the effect desired (which is to offset the loss of man power). The effect I think needs to offer the player choices so as to keep involvement up as well so a generic bonus of that sort is not so good either.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:17 am

The bonuses could be in the form of to-hit or defenses to keep things simple (and the more relevant facet is that the downed player is also contributing by enhancing the story, as the bonuses are based on him relaying stories that inspire his allies to stand strong or to fight harder, so it's essentially a story-based party-level Aid Another).

Dang, I couldn't find that article I was referring to; I may have skipped it as I perused through 125 pages of WotC archived articles >.< Might as well just refer to the houserules I wrote (that almost copy-pastes the article mentioned before):

Quote :
• PC Death: In the event of a PC death, the DM might allow the player to continue participating as a ghost. While you are a ghost, as a standard action you can attempt telekinesis at-will [move a single object five feet or 1 square], possess a creature once per encounter [a successful attempt allows you to make the creature attack, say something or leave him in a catatonic state until he recovers (stunned save ends in D&D 4E)], or whisper at a single creature for five minutes once per day [allowing you to communicate with the creature as if you were alive, although they would perceive it as whispers in their head, potentially causing disorientation until they recover from it (dazed save ends in D&D 4E)], and you can see other spirits and ghosts unless you don't want to (using your character's statistics when interacting with them).
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:24 am

chaosfang wrote:
The bonuses could be in the form of to-hit or defenses to keep things simple (and the more relevant facet is that the downed player is also contributing by enhancing the story, as the bonuses are based on him relaying stories that inspire his allies to stand strong or to fight harder, so it's essentially a story-based party-level Aid Another).
It's certainly very close both in flavor and function, I will say that. I was thinking a more focused benefit with a camera pan to a new ally each round, but...

You may convince me about 13th age yet.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:55 am

Garthanos wrote:
chaosfang wrote:
The bonuses could be in the form of to-hit or defenses to keep things simple (and the more relevant facet is that the downed player is also contributing by enhancing the story, as the bonuses are based on him relaying stories that inspire his allies to stand strong or to fight harder, so it's essentially a story-based party-level Aid Another).
It's certainly very close both in flavor and function, I will say that.  I was thinking a more focused benefit with a camera pan to a new ally each round, but...

You may convince me about 13th age yet.
Wasn't the intent, but I'm glad you're considering it Smile I think Dungeon World could give ideas on the more personal version of Fighting in Spirit through a combination of the Aid or Interfere move combined with the concept of bonds. Converting it to D&D 4E, a player might explain how his PC's ties with a specific ally could grant an even better bonus (perhaps a +3 to one attack instead of +2 to all), but that might need more playtesting first, as it feels a little gamist and may leave out others, or lead to favoritism (or as I've seen in the last Pathfinder game with this Barbarian/Wizard character who took the Aid Another spamming familiar, a bit of metagaming going on where the dead guy becomes a permanent -- or at least consistent -- source of bonus to-hit for that one player).

EDIT: I suppose the "panning camera" helps, but my concern with that is not only are you going to run out of things to say to inspire your allies fairly quickly, but if the fight ends before everyone gets to experience the benefits, unless people drop a lot, you'll have people missing out on the benefits of the feature.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:14 am

chaosfang wrote:

EDIT: I suppose the "panning camera" helps, but my concern with that is not only are you going to run out of things to say to inspire your allies fairly quickly, but if the fight ends before everyone gets to experience the benefits, unless people drop a lot, you'll have people missing out on the benefits of the feature.
The likelihood is somebody will be downed later in the fight rather than earlier, I am wondering if the frequency of it happening would be so high that some of those concerns would actually be an issue.  Do you always have your Warlord target the same ally?

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:19 pm

One thing I am thinking might be encouraged I call the "rush to the fallen"
Its almost instinctual response irl and featured in movies a lot. It could perhaps be a natural effect of having your defenses boosted in a focused way and the standard need to aide the downed ally... but here is where you want to fix action economy if the rush can be a granted action or even not triggering opportunity attacks was an element. that would be nice. -- It might not be practical "normally" but inspiration makes it so.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:17 pm

Durriken wrote:

Inspire Other?
That reminds me another element.. in 4e emotive triggers (the less focused kind) often seem to generate temporary hit points.

Perhaps the ally going down could inspire.. ummm a vigorous response. It would be a way to improve defenses and if your ally is a battlerager might enhance there offense a touch ;p

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:44 pm

Garthanos wrote:
Do you always have your Warlord target the same ally?
All. The. Time.

Being LFR, prior to me being their DM this one group already set up their group to synchronize in a given manner: Wizard to control, Bard for tempHP + control + healing, Fighter for striker damage output + defense, then Swordmage for tanking and free attacks on a miss. When their DM became scarce and had to merge with my own group, the Wizard switched to Warlord and always had the Fighter attack. And when one of my own players went Warlord, he too made the Fighter always attack (though not as often because the former Warlord was a LazyLord, while the latter Warlord was more of an Inspiring Warlord.

It's something I eventually took full advantage of -- and still take advantage of -- in the Epic LFR campaign we're playing, as all the monsters that can dominate? Well, who better to dominate than the guy dishing out insane amounts of damage to the monsters especially (on a crit) who also happens to be the guy assigned to keep them away from the casters and leaders?

So yeah...
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:55 am

chaosfang wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
Do you always have your Warlord target the same ally?
All. The. Time.

Being LFR, prior to me being their DM this one group already set up their group to synchronize in a given manner: Wizard to control, Bard for tempHP + control + healing, Fighter for striker damage output + defense, then Swordmage for tanking and free attacks on a miss. When their DM became scarce and had to merge with my own group, the Wizard switched to Warlord and always had the Fighter attack.  And when one of my own players went Warlord, he too made the Fighter always attack (though not as often because the former Warlord was a LazyLord, while the latter Warlord was more of an Inspiring Warlord.

It's something I eventually took full advantage of -- and still take advantage of -- in the Epic LFR campaign we're playing, as all the monsters that can dominate? Well, who better to dominate than the guy dishing out insane amounts of damage to the monsters especially (on a crit) who also happens to be the guy assigned to keep them away from the casters and leaders?

So yeah...
My initial thought is well bummer. A striker style fighter is so incredibly tempting though I do understand it. Play is much more interesting if we can figure out ways to make elements like that so they are situational choices.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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seti
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:41 am

My Dragon/Dungeon info is spotty lately...As I have to rely on it second hand...But, the ghost thing caught my eye....
If you want to turn into a ghost, I'd to it like this:

You basically stay the same. Aside from this off the top of my head list:

You gain resistance: Insubstantial (with all that comes with; your HP are capped at your bloodied value, you cannot benefit from temporary HP, you cannot be harmed by mundane weapons, etc. Movement stays the same, but you can move through non-magical barriers, but if you end your turn inside an object, you do not have line of sight or line of effect, etc.) Oh, you also get to ignore mundane difficult terrain.

You also have 1/2 your normal healing surges. You can only gain more healing surges (up to your max when alive) by either friendly PCs/NPCs granting them, or gaining one by killing a living foe. You also don't need rest. You recover your powers as normal; but dailies recover every 18-24 hours in game, or as your DM says.

You do force and/or necrotic damage with all powers. Again, your choice, or DM's choice...

You are treated as 'obscured' until you act.

You are vulnerable 5/10/20 (per tier) radiant; and resist 5/10/20 necrotic. Any other vulnerabilities/resistances you had while living are gone. Even if granted by items.

You can 'un-ghost' through whatever your DM and group decides, and return as your normal PC...Keeping any XP gained, level(s) gained, etc.

You cannot carry, or hold physical objects, unless you use a new ghost at-will you gain. Which is identical to the wizard cantrip 'mage hand'.

There are no ghost feats. This should be a temporary situation; unless the campaign is all about something really different. Then (obviously) the DM and players need to work together to make up tons of cool stuff for it.

All of your carried and worn items are 'ghosted' with you. ie: If you've been swinging a fullblade +4, you still have that. But now, of course, it does force and/or necrotic damage.

You cannot use ANY new items unless they are also 'ghost' (ie: insubstantial, and necrotic/force damage) items...There's something for you and your DM to work on, if you plan to be a ghost for a while....

Or, do what Gathanos says in the OP...Cool ideas there.farao 
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CHIA
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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:37 pm

Garthanos wrote:
D&D has pretty much stopped the death spiral with regards to individuals being "hit" doesn't impair one sufficiently to create that hopeless-state of inevitability. But with regards to the team? it hasn't really been addressed. In a group where team work makes you more potent a definite feature of 4e perhaps even more than in earlier editions, is that losing a party member go down or having one significantly disabled has a huge impact on the party strength and can create  such a death spiral effect.

4e has very little character disablement that lasts more than a turn in part because its really not very fun to be forced into watch mode and part because of that death spiral.

My solution might be called the Downed Comrade Trope. In fiction particularly movies you see when a hero goes down, you see the group redoubling effort inspired by their fallen ally each in turn might get a spot-light flash back emphasizing their fallen allies connection to the them personally, and the group in general and often a burst of energy or clarity which allows them to charge across the battle safely or drop into a potent frenzy or various other enhancements which offset the loss temporarily and perhaps long enough to stave off what might have become the most likely scenario end result.

So how can we make use of that and keep the player involved?


Obviously you shouldn't overuse this, but I'm kind of fond of sending the player to the afterlife and letting them choose 3 challenges to overcome, with the prize being a return to life. Course, the challenges are never quite what the player expects. It's tropey and cliché, but I think clichés and tropes are perfect for RPGs-the whole point of an RPG, to many, is to act out what could be a TV episode or action movie.

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PostSubject: Re: Character Disabled and Party not collapsing - Player Still Contributing.   Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:05 pm

CHIA wrote:
Garthanos wrote:
D&D has pretty much stopped the death spiral with regards to individuals being "hit" doesn't impair one sufficiently to create that hopeless-state of inevitability. But with regards to the team? it hasn't really been addressed. In a group where team work makes you more potent a definite feature of 4e perhaps even more than in earlier editions, is that losing a party member go down or having one significantly disabled has a huge impact on the party strength and can create  such a death spiral effect.

4e has very little character disablement that lasts more than a turn in part because its really not very fun to be forced into watch mode and part because of that death spiral.

My solution might be called the Downed Comrade Trope. In fiction particularly movies you see when a hero goes down, you see the group redoubling effort inspired by their fallen ally each in turn might get a spot-light flash back emphasizing their fallen allies connection to the them personally, and the group in general and often a burst of energy or clarity which allows them to charge across the battle safely or drop into a potent frenzy or various other enhancements which offset the loss temporarily and perhaps long enough to stave off what might have become the most likely scenario end result.

So how can we make use of that and keep the player involved?

Obviously you shouldn't overuse this, but I'm kind of fond of sending the player to the afterlife and letting them choose 3 challenges to overcome, with the prize being a return to life. Course, the challenges are never quite what the player expects. It's tropey and cliché, but I think clichés and tropes are perfect for RPGs-the whole point of an RPG, to many, is to act out what could be a TV episode or action movie.

To me resurrection stories are a slightly different kettle.... resurrection can require the team travelling to the other world possibly passing through the cauldron of life (holy grail by any other name), to rescue their lost ally while the ally battles finding his way out but most of the battle is as they find him with symbolic places and transitions bizzare escher like explorations so when things get heated its a full team once more.
Fantasy is very much seated in Tropes and Traditions. One of my ideas is to walk through tvtropes.org and select the valuable ones... and maybe even make up ones that describe cinematic fantasy combat more completely than have been identified... and use that as the direct inspiration of for rpg design.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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