Religion and Injokes – Afterthought 4
Something’s gonna have to break. Just exactly how far off topic can we stray? For now the answer has progressed from somewhat to very. We briefly discuss the role and difficulties inherent to modeling religions in gaming, and then answer some listener questions. As always you can send us your questions or book recommendations at email@example.com, or tweet questions to us at #systemmastery.
Editor’s note: Really, any questions. Our dream is to spend half a podcast answering dumb questions about nonsense. I know that sounds sarcastic but it isn’t.
I think the mirrored attack bonus and AC thing works pretty well if you’re also using random encounters. If it’s a difference of +1 per level, and you can come across enemies that are five levels higher or lower than you, then you get to watch as the same type of monster slowly transitions from deadly threat to minor nuisance.
Taking down an ogre in one round is exciting, in part, because you can remember when it could do the same thing to you.
Mixed here. I agree that it can be fun to stomp old creatures, but on the other hand it’s not especially compelling gameplay. Last time I tried running the “big damn heroes encounter a horde of what would once have been a threat monsters” I just ran it as a skill challenge and let everyone describe their heroics, since they already knew the math would support a crushing victory, so why bear it out for several turns? Either way seems fine to me.
The thing is, if you don’t have that scaling factor in there, then you don’t know for sure that it will end up as a crushing victory. If characters mostly scale with getting more options, then the monster that’s really scary to a starting character is still pretty scary to an experienced character, since its numbers are still relevant.
You never get to the point where the math tells you that running the fight is a waste of time, so it’s harder to justify skipping the fight in favor of a skill challenge or whatever.
Also, I feel like there should have been more mention of Planescape – the setting where each religion is true, for your character, in direct proportion to how much you believe in it.
Man that is 100% accurate, I can’t believe we didn’t think of it. I’ve even run whole campaigns set around trying to stop various parts of the plane of Concordant Opposition from sliding off into various hells.
It’s funny how D&D religion is supposed to be polytheistic and yet ends up more as Roman-polytheism-filtered-heavily-through-Christianity. I would actually like to see something more explicitly in the Roman style, which (IIRC) was incredibly contractual and formulaic. For instance, their guiding principle was “do ut des”, ie “I give that you might give”.
That would be a sort of neat spin on classic D&D, a lot more contractual bargaining for power, almost like how 4e warlocks are supposed to work, but with knowable, marketable gods instead of gibbering star tentacles.
One Shot is how I found you guys. James name dropped your show while critiquing the shit out of my home brew. Now I’m binging on it while I work, and leaving many a comment!