4th Ed D&D In London
Use this page for all sorts of general discussion about the game – problems with attendance, reflections on sessions etc. Pretty much whatever you can think of that doesn't go anywhere else.
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18th Dec: Loyhargil: Charles, I’m sure we’ll all be picturing Aran bouncing around like Yoda from now on. Will it help if we all make ‘boing’ noises while you do it? Even if it wouldn’t, can we make them anyway?
I’m in agreement with you about alignment in D&D. One of the alterations in 4E is making alignment optional, which makes the game more generic in my opinion. People can accept that gods and magic are real, but not that good and evil are discrete, quantifiable forces?
The drive of my comment, however, was more than a question of mechanics. The reason Des’s speech was altered was that my light-hearted tone didn’t suit the author’s (Joe’s?) version of what’s “really happening” in his game world, so he modified it so it was more in keeping with the tone he wanted to bring out in the retelling.
So if D&D was a film or a book, which would it be? In my case, for instance, DVC’s D&D is very Terry Pratchett, and Matt’s, as I say, is more Holy Grail. The whole “look” of D&D to me is like a Roger Dean or Chris Achilleos illustration.
Matt, I have seen that scene from The Matrix and I’m afraid I found it distasteful. In many ways, it epitomises what I dislike about Hollywood and why I tend to eschew most mainstream films. I realise you were only using it as an example, of course, so I’ll suggest some that you’re doubtless familiar with – the Hong Kong movies of Jackie Chan, or, even better, Chinese Ghost Story.
18th Dec: Charles:
I imagine Aran's fighting style to be similar to the Yoda's in the clone war film, note the fine use of mobility, acrobatics and small size."clip here":http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lig40TzCZJQ Write ups can be hard as you can only really write stuff from your perspective, hence why i do mine in the form of a journal or the character telling a story. As for the game versions, i am finding 4th more balanced and smoother but lacking some of the depth and versitility of 3rd. Personally what i like about d&d is having the group work together, many diferant cogs in one engine heading on for a destingation. I remember playing it in uni with a group that had a few people that liked playing evilily(even when there characters were not) i didnt find that enjoyable at all.
18th December: Matt: Wow, a post on our General Discussion Page! :) I think I'll let Joe take up any thoughts about how he portrays characters in the write-ups, but I know in my case with the Swordlands game I take a certain amount of creative license. I would, of course, welcome anyone to challenge something I had their character say! In terms of the "feel" of D&D or the "flavour", I think I'd have to largely agree with JC. It largely has a bombastic feel to it – I think I'm always subconsciously thinking that Queen would be writing the soundtrack. As noted in the Swordlands game on Monday, I tend to think very cinematically in terms of visuals, so my mental image includes Matrix-style slow motion, stirring strings on the soundtrack at key moments and swooping cameras as battle starts. I wish I could describe it better, sometimes! If you remember the Government Lobby sequence in the Matrix – where Neo and Trinity march into a building and have a massive firefight with about 15 guards, bouncing off walls, flipping upside down and fighting hand-to-hand and with shotguns, pistols and all sorts of stuff – that's how I imagine D&D, only with flashy magical spells.
18th December: Loyhargil chats about flavour…
"More playing and less analysis" was what I agreed with Lucy during the last session. Sage advice… so that'll be one of my New Year Resolutions, and here's the equivalent of me finishing off my last packet of fags.
Anyway, I've been reading the write-ups that you dedicated folks post here. Thanks and well done! I've never written up any games I've played in and even do an extremely poor job when I'm running the game. On the one hand, the story becomes a transient moment of shared enjoyment, a true "you had to be there" experience. The downside comes with tales such as the unrecorded but wonderful Sorcerer's Crusade campaign that's just finished and which I may have mentioned in passing to you once, twice or 50, 000 times. So I can see the benefits of writing up. One thing that struck me as odd – and became a small pebble of idle thought that has ricocheted from rock to boulder and caused a landslide of musings (doubtless obstructive) – is the extraordinarily circumloquacious and parenthetical manner in which Des's speech is characterised in some of the re-tellings. Not like my own at all (irony).
So what? Well, I always imagine that what the players say around the table is what the characters are actually saying. Elwannen, to me, often really does howl like Michael Jackson before a kill, and Des's wry cynicism and pessimistic wit actually sum up his approach. As I mentioned before, most of my characters are created on a scale with Vila from Blake's 7 at one end and Woody Allen or Janeane Garofalo at the other, and Des is no exception!
The written summaries of the sessions have eschewed that approach and taken another route to express Des's intellect and studiousness. I jokingly referred to it as "speaking in HTML". Realise please that I'm not complaining! So, what of it?
Well, it indicates that other people – not just in our group, of course – see the game world very differently from each other. There are nine versions of Matt's game, which exist only in each of our heads. There's a common version created where these intersect (like a puppet being worked by many operators), and that's the magic synthesis which makes this such an exciting and stimulating hobby. The people who do the write-ups give everyone else clues as to how they see the flavour of the story. Their text is like a window to an alternative universe, where a favourite film uses a different director and different actors. I'm approaching my point (slowly, I'll admit). What's the flavour of your game?
For me, D&D looks like a prog rock cover and unfolds like "Monty Python & The Holy Grail". I only saw "Lord Of The Rings" a few months ago – a couple of friends invited me to watch all three extended films back-to-back – and although I enjoyed it, the "look" I'd always had in my head for LOTR is still rooted in White Dwarf illustrations and, I realised afterwards, the 1978 animation, which really does look like a prog rock cover. (Of course, I still haven't read LOTR or The Hobbit or anything.)
But fair play to them for having a look of their own for the film. And that ties up with the point I was making. I think. Another experience I had watching it was sheer delight at the frequency that the main musical theme is used. I only knew it from the fabulous "They're Taking The Hobbits To Isengard" YouTube clip, and so I associated it only with a bouncy techno rendition, not realising it's used throughout the film to indicate melancholia, tranquility, tension etc. It's as if every time someone wanted to be romantic the orchestra struck up a lush string-based version of "No Limits".
Er. I seem to have digressed.
Anyway, I was wondering: what flavour does D&D have for the rest of the group? How has the flavour changed over the various editions?
11 July: Matt: All items now tagged and cleaned up, magic item pages added and a new adventure log posted. Phew. I also have plenty of ideas for Mondays impromptu 11th level game, and I'm looking forward to it.
10 July: Charles: I had problems when trying to create pages, then found that it didnt like ' ie Arans works but Aran's doesnt.
I've done a big update to the wiki this morning after last night's session, but I've rather foolishly left all my module information at home so it's a little sketchy in places. I'll fill in the names of a few more NPC's when I get the chance. In the meantime, I'd be very happy if you'd look around the wiki and fill out some more information about your character, or indeed add any other information you think is relevant, such as the deity your character worships or any further background you'd like to add.
As a reminder, the next game is on the 23rd of June, with Joe's game starting the week after that.
12 June: Matt:
I've been reading the DMG and there is quite a lot of information on Fallcrest in there, including a map of the surrounding area which I'd like to use. I'll have a photocopy of it ready for the next game session so you get an idea of where you're going.
Also updated the Adventure Log today to include the names of the Stasi family, and I'm making further changes as we go along.
I'd really like it if any players would find time to log in and give their impressions of areas, characters or anything so far – especially the names of NPC's that gave you the Winterhaven quests! I'll be adding them in either tomorrow or next week.
16th June: Matt:
Added a bunch more information to the wiki today. I'm also planning on updating the Deities page more fully tonight, and getting on with sorting out some Power Cards for everyone.
19th June: Matt
More updates all over the place, including a further revision of the Knowledge pages, some more artifacts added and bits and pieces tidied up. Added Racial Knowledge to each PC, where appropriate.
26th June: Matt
Updated Warforged knowledge and Tiefling Knowledge pages after free content from Wizards, and added details of the Wizard Illusion spells. Also added write-up of Monday's session.