Page 130 - Level Up Montage

5th Jun 2012, 6:00 AM in Dragonshy
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Level Up Montage
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th Jun 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
It's usually important for the players to at least be aware of what the other PCs can do. As a team, the combined abilities of the party can accomplish great things. Apart, you just have some assorted people taking turns doing their own thing.

I've only come to appreciate this because my previous DM actually put us through a body-swap session to force us to become familiar with each other. And I had to grudgingly admit - we worked a little more as a team after that game.


Zuche 5th Jun 2012, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
You made excellent use of this montage, Newbiespud.

Thank you also for the commentary's insights.
Digo 5th Jun 2012, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
"For the love of-"

For the love of Luna's left hoof? :D
I swear I actually said that last night when my daughter tried to con me out of brushing her teeth before bed. Four years old and she's already putting ranks into Bluff.

As for knowing what other PCs do, the majority of my group seldom opens up to each other about their abilities. I hate it because it fosters the OPPOSITE of teamwork. 9_9
Its like... certain players feel that having secret abilities give them some edge against other players or something. I tried sitting down with the troubled ones and explain what "Teamwork" stands for.

It doesn't stand for "Leaving the party behind because you can't wait the 54 seconds to form a plan of action when you very well know Count Strahd is only two rooms away waiting for you to make a bone-headed move like wandering Castle Ravenloft alone."

I should do the bodyswap idea...
MirrorImage 5th Jun 2012, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Damn bodysw-... no, let's not do that again <_<

A bodyswap session does sound interesting and I may give it a shot part way through my playtest session of 5e. The only issue I would have with those is it can just as much foster teamwork as it does frustration as people try to learn the mechanics of a class that they may have passed over. Though I guess that is the point, isn't it?
Digo 5th Jun 2012, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
I guess that is the point.
Forced "Out of box" thinking. Makes for possibly good RPing and usually lame Made for TV movies. ;)
Dragonfodder 5th Jun 2012, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
My groups tend to be very open about their abilities, but usually only for "Look what I can do that you can't" contests. The things they hold in reserve are the things they want to do at least one time before the DM says that you can't do it anymore.

The DM has not let me do my move-fly->thunder summons, bringing enemies up 8 squares, next to me->master of moments extra minor action to get an extra move to fly back down again. Its 3 enemies who get hit by a sorcerer power and THEN take fall damage, no way to save if it hits.
Bronymous 5th Jun 2012, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
I'm actually very guilty of this. When I found out about the Tactical feats for my Hexblade, I wanted to surprise everyone with the awesome things I could now do that they had never heard of.

Except I never actually got the chance to use any of them. Turns out at level 16 the party was quite proficient at killing just about anything without my help.

Oh well, more loot and less work for me.
DanielLC 5th Jun 2012, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
"For the love of Luna's left hoof?"

You mean Fenrir?
Crimson Doom 6th Jun 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
Crimson Doom
Well, my most recent campaign *started* as an open-ability campaign... then it turned out that the two evil characters started playing their alignments and the neutral jumped on the bandwagon. I guess it's an evil campaign now? Because then the secrecy would be justified.
TrenWolfman 5th Jun 2012, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
An emergency party... in an RPG context, this would sound like a team of back-up characters. Of course, as inexperienced as I am to tabletop RPGs, for all I know random parties while trekking may be a regular occurrence or something. ;)
Digo 5th Jun 2012, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
Years back, on the first session of a Super Hero campaign I began, I asked for everyone to turn in their characters to me. I then laid them aside and handed out everyone a completely different character sheet at random from a group I created.
The PCs were thus asked to RP as these completely different characters for the first 1/3rd of the session-- a team of Super Heroes that had to break into a top secret laboratory and stop a sinister genetic experiment. They succeeded, but not without some interesting wounds.

After that exercise, the PCs got their characters back and we began as they expected. Those temporary heroes were never spoken of again and the players generally forgot them.

About 3 months later, the PCs were on a mission to investigate an outbreak of unusual mutant sightings when they were surprised by meeting that super team again-- old and retired. :D
The wounds suffered were now interesting scars on them and they would foldly recall their old "glory days", even mentioning old tricks they had, which were tricks the PCs used when they played as them.

The mutant outbreak was that same old genetic lab back up and running under new management. It was a nice tie-in to the campaign.
Oblivious 5th Jun 2012, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Ahh,yes, leveling up, the part that takes the longest for our parties ('least in my experience). I swear we have some of the most indecisive players; we not only have trouble deciding on feat and new abilities, but there's always someone who decides they want the DM to houserule something ridiculous, or heaven forbid, someone wants to multiclass. The rule always has been that you have to always mention, in-character and well ahead of time, what your multiclass is and the character motivation as to why you are doing it... never ends well. :/
Digo 5th Jun 2012, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
One of my players is never happy unless his character has AT LEAST 3 classes and the "Improved Unarmed Strike" feat. Serious, he has done this with all his characters except his two druids-

-both of which have died pretty quickly for dumb reasons (i.e. trying to do something his class isn't designed to do). :)
darkwulf23 5th Jun 2012, 8:46 AM edit delete reply
I usually multi class for one character simply for the extra power and the additional skill, though I try to make sense in character how I learned how to do it. A ranger I'm using had an ex girlfried rogue so he multiclassed rogue and is skilled in thievery. My mage is a stage performer so he multiclassed bard and learned bluff. However ultimately for me, it's just another feet.
terrycloth 5th Jun 2012, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Wait -- there's something that the druid isn't designed to do? I've seen them be successful as healers, buffers, artillery, scrappers, and tanks. In 3.5 at least.
Digo 5th Jun 2012, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
My aforementioned friend is really good at finding things Druids aren't good at. I think he's a statistical anomaly.
xuincherguixe 5th Jun 2012, 3:40 PM edit delete reply
In the original build for my character, it was going to have about 9 classes. It's down to a much more reasonable six now.
Destrustor 21st Jun 2012, 4:24 AM edit delete reply
I usually play mages, so almost everyone is always waiting for me to pick my spells avery time we level up.
And then there's my brother, who's so indecisive that it has become a running gag to say that if he were Mario standing before a captured princess Peach, someone would have to TELL him to untie her.
"Save the princess, Mario!" is now our way of telling him to hurry up his decisions.
Oblivious 5th Jun 2012, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
The particular reason I mentioned the multiclass predicament was that recently we had a problem with one of our players in our Star Wars campaign trying to convince the GM to let him multiclass noble. The problem wasn't the multiclassing so much as the only reason we wanted to do it was to get the wealth talent, which gives him 5000 credits per character level when he gains a new level. Took us nearly an hour to explain to him there's no plausible way to justify what was essentially "BAMF I'm royalty now! I has monies!" especially with the background he laid out.
Chakat Firepaw 6th Jun 2012, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
I can think of a number of ways to justify something like that, including the classic "whatya mean I just inherited a duchy?" There is also reward, marriage, winning it in a poker game, etc. You see a greedy player, I see plot hooks and complications to have fun with.

Mind you, if a player wanted to do that in a campaign I was running it would require a 'background bribe'[1]. You want to inherit a title out of nowhere? Fine, write up a setting description for your duchy and make sure there are plenty of hooks for me to play with.

[1] As a GM, I am always open to such bribes. Players willing to do the work of worldbuilding should be rewarded.
Oblivious 7th Jun 2012, 1:24 AM edit delete reply
I'm all for world-building; all the players should contribute something at some point. Problem was, I know this guy too well, and he just wanted money to rain from the the Aether when he leveled up. The argument ended with the DM stating, "Look you can multiclass however you please, as long as you have the content to back it up," and he didn't say anything after that. I'm hoping he'll surprise me and come up with something good, as I'm all for eating my own words in name of great game sessions; so far though, he's having trouble with his standard background, so I'm not holding my breath.
Raxon 22nd Jun 2012, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
Proper party supplies include plenty of glass clubs and greatclubs, in case you find a jar of jellies for delicious sammiches!
Limitless Zero 5th Jun 2012, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
Limitless Zero
Poor Fluttershy, I've been there. In one of my groups 4e campaigns, I've had to rebuild my gnome wizard SO many times.
Guest 5th Jun 2012, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Umiyuri Papaeyra 5th Jun 2012, 6:47 AM edit delete reply
Umiyuri Papaeyra
Apparently Rarity being nice is like you being chirpy.

All it inspires is heavy exclamations of 'WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY FUZZY'.
GreyDuck 5th Jun 2012, 11:27 AM edit delete reply
Of all the adjectives I've ever considered applying to Spud, "chirpy" has never crossed my mind.

BRB, must go chortle for a while. Heh.
Umiyuri Papaeyra 6th Jun 2012, 4:06 AM edit delete reply
Umiyuri Papaeyra
Oh trust me, 'chirpy' has happened. 'Chirpy' has honestly happened.

'Clueless git' has also happened, but trust me - him using a tilde is far, far scarier.
EspyLacopa 5th Jun 2012, 7:17 AM Glimps the Future? edit delete reply
Ahhh, so the first hint of Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense. Twitchie twitch!
Zuche 5th Jun 2012, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Piedar sense, tingling!
Colin 5th Jun 2012, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
I'm Irish and I still say "Oy vey". It's too useful not to. Same goes for Jack of all Trades. :D
Colin 5th Jun 2012, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
I went looking for Twi's powers and couldn't find Empathic Read anywhere. At least, in the Wizard skillset - it's a level 6 Seeker power. Class feature of Unicorn? Or special ability of hers?
Newbiespud 5th Jun 2012, 12:01 PM edit delete reply
It's also(?) a level 6 Skill Utility power, specifically Insight. Lets an ally reroll a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check. Twilight can get it because she's trained in Insight.
Colin 5th Jun 2012, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
Lyntermas 5th Jun 2012, 8:22 AM edit delete reply
"Glimpse the Future". THAT'S not gonna be broken as all hell.

It's okay, Fluttershy. We love you and your character just the way you are. Though I wonder what her beef with dragons is. Is it just that she doesn't think she can handle it?
Digo 5th Jun 2012, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
Maybe read one too many internet horror stories about dragons?
Zuche 5th Jun 2012, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
I like to refer to refer to such powers as, "Call the Future".

And I tend to think of the Future as a group of eldritch horrors that do not appreciate being woken by the phone before they were due to wake for their own day.

Especially by someone calling collect.
Colin 5th Jun 2012, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
She's playing a somewhat timid character, one she's invested a lot of effort into, in a fighty party. She probably sees a TPK in her PC's future.
deeman45 5th Jun 2012, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
I notice how the emphasis on Rarity's alignment change let her weasel out of telling her allies and the DM her new abilities.

Keeping some tricks up her sleeve...clever girl...
XandZero2 5th Jun 2012, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
The thing that I can relate to the most as a GM is Twilight's section:

Twi: "I got the feats Far Spell, Disciple of Lore, and - blah blah, yap yap, dribble, dribble, dribble..."

I've found that in most RPG systems the most difficult thing for a GM to do is memorize all the spells and abilities a mage can get.

It makes my brain hurt sometimes.
Zeeth 5th Jun 2012, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
One of the habits that has made some happy players around me have been making up ability tokens using note cards or other writeable objects. So if I use (for example) an ability that gives someone an extra skill roll during the next five turns, I can hand them a token for it, with instructions on what it is and how/when to use it.

I also use note cards to organize my spells and certain other abilities, which means if someone wants to sub one of my characters, I can just hand them a stack of spell cards to select from, instead of having them hog a player's manual all game session.
ADemonicPresence 5th Jun 2012, 6:05 PM edit delete reply
zeeth, that is brilliant and i must implement it.
Zeeth 6th Jun 2012, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
Cool. I recommend note cards for your spell cards, because they come in large packs for cheap, and are large enough to hold the details of almost any spell or ability on one side (if you abbreviate a little). And for tokens, I used a fine-point Sharpie on the backs of white Magic card-protectors (since they're sold for relatively cheap -- cheaper than the other colors or protector even, are different enough to easily grab from my box when I need a new token and not a note card, and I don't need more than a dozen or so most of the time).
Mr. Brony 5th Jun 2012, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
For some reason, we've always had problems with group cohesion in games I play or run. I don't know if it's just a combination of personality conflicts and vastly different levels of experience in playing, but I know exactly what you mean by a group of people all doing their own thing.
Bronymous 5th Jun 2012, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
Lol at Heavy Armor. You think she might actually get bonuses to swim checks in that?

Starting to see why RD is so adamant about fighting the dragon. If I built a character that did nothing but kill things, I'd want to do nothing but kill things as well.

And as fro memorizing what powers and feats do, I can't even handle that for my own character. I can't imagine trying to keep it all straight for the whole party.
Digo 5th Jun 2012, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
As a long time DM for 16 years, I can say for a fact I've yet to memorize much on any given system I've run, let alone seen players that could even remember their basic inventory. :D

I try to keep it simple-- "You don't have to memorize your character's abilities, but PLEASE for the love of Luna's left hoof could you write down the page numbers your abilities can be found?"
It'll go a long way to speeding up research:

DM: "And finally, you find a +1 Ring of Incognito."
PC1: "What does that do?"
DM: "Magic book, page 120."
PC2: **Looks it up in only 7 seconds**
PC1: "Oh, that was quick."
PC2: "That's what she said?"
DM: **Face palm**
Guest 5th Jun 2012, 4:53 PM edit delete reply
I'm pretty much at the other end of the spectrum. I'm able to memorize large chunks of multiple game systems and I'm generally voted as the rules guru in whatever group I'm in. Even years after not using anything from Cthulhu d20 and d20 Modern I still remember a decent chunk of the rules considering I don't even have books or PDFs to reference (used to have the SRD for d20 Modern but that computer is long dead and the SRD is no longer hosted on the site; whereas the book for Cthulhu d20 that I had I was forced by my father to pawn off along with a good chunk of my D&D 3E books).
Bronymous 6th Jun 2012, 8:14 PM edit delete reply
Page numbers actually tend to be less than helpful when the only books we have are on a hard drive, and it takes 10 minutes to find, load and look it up anyway.
Raxon 22nd Jun 2012, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
I tend to have no problem recounting large amounts of information that I have invested in, both timewise, and emotionally. I probably wouldn't have very much trouble being able to memorize the full timeline of my character's 20+ page backstory, probably my carefully selected equipment, and possibly my stats. For some reason, I believe that statting my character would be the quickest and least time consuming part of this process, due to me considering it the least important part of the character. Not good with remembering numbers, but a good story sticks with me.
Sidnoea 5th Jun 2012, 11:42 AM edit delete reply
With the way you handle these screencaps so well and rework them into a new story, I think you'd make a fairly good person to work on an abridged series. Just sayin'.
Zarhon 5th Jun 2012, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
Pinkie's face in panel #8 is a good catch. I never knew she made that one! How exactly do you find these?

Also, Rarity is obviously hiding a build designed to loot the dragon's hoard.

Or her giant magic hat.
Bronymous 6th Jun 2012, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Akouma 5th Jun 2012, 2:50 PM edit delete reply
Bodyswap session... May just ste-Imeanborrow... that.
Stairc 5th Jun 2012, 3:25 PM edit delete reply
Go for it Akouma! I love it when people like my ideas enough to use them in their own campaigns. =)

Zarhon 6th Jun 2012, 5:33 AM edit delete reply
You could also try using direct past/future manipulation...

Have the PCs glimpse into the past of an NPC by actually playing out his actions, then later reap the consequences of it (e.g. clearing out a spider cave as a random hero in the past and making it easier for the PCs, or failing and having them breed into something even nastier for the PCs to deal with).

Same can be applied for the future, for the PCs themselves. Have the wizard control the fighter in a situation far in the future, in an effort to get vital information you need for your quest (Like lore on how you defeated the big bad, or where he was located, etc...)
Stairc 5th Jun 2012, 3:21 PM Body Swap edit delete reply
*laughs* It wasn't me who did that Newbiespud, is was Astregoth the demon lord. I'm just an innocent DM.

That was a very cool adventure, it was great to watch you all figuring out all the cool things each-other could do. The fact that you hated it at first even made it into a growth experience that brought you all together.
Azureink 5th Jun 2012, 9:24 PM edit delete reply
Far Spell... Is that why she has such range on her abilities in the TV show?

I'm partial to Enlarge Spell myself.

Also Bards with Bard-of-All-Trades are the greatest. +4 to all untrained skills (due to the class feature that gives +1 to all untrained skills).
Curb 6th Jun 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
I loved it when everyone leveled up in D&D party and got their new abilities and skills. And Gear. My GM actually had to look up a weapon I had, I was running a Warrior, can't remember the specific type, with a scythe.

We had a guy who had a habit of not letting us know what he had done when leveled up, till they started audited characters and nailed him for cheating, three time!!
YeGuilt6 7th Jun 2012, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
Fluttershy in Heavy Armor. Hnnnnnnnngggg...
YeGuilt6 7th Jun 2012, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
Fluttershy in Heavy Armor. Hnnnnnnnngggg...
Carvin 13th Jan 2013, 11:00 PM edit delete reply
That's brilliant! Totally doing a body swap session some day.