I am angry. I spent this evening playing DnD, half of which was spent in the dark being hot and sweating. in the grand scheme of things, tonight's encounter was not TOO bad. no retarded terrain, and only one flying enemy always being out of reach. however, tonight's encounter was the proverbial straw which broke the camel's back. I'm completely done trying to play a tank in a game that is engineered to ensure I can almost never do my job as a defender class. not only can I never do my job, I am a detriment to the party by being a low damage character.
all of them have links to non blizzard URLs and I haven't had an active WoW account in almost a year at this point. seriously people? just stop spamming my inbox, I don't care.
so yesterday I played my usual friday night DnD campaign. my least favorite DM ever is still running his campaign so of course it was ridiculous. only 4 of us showed that night, 1 of whom had any range and 1 other with a really, REALLY crappy javelin for emergencies. so the party enters a cave. the cave is full of bats and one bear. the bear was not so bad, outside of dealing ungodly amounts of damage, but at least we could attack it. the bats however all had swooping attacks that they used to attack from out of melee and still end up outside of melee range. being a paladin this meant there was nothing I could do because I could not "engage" them in order to keep a mark up, and even if I could it wouldn't matter much.
so I had a thought: wouldn't a DnD campaign that consists of a whole bunch of homages to various video games be really sweet? my thought was to set it up so that the party has to make it through various rooms of varying sizes which have magical properties or items in them to simulate or reference different games. for instance, a zelda room would look like a room from one of the zelda 1 palaces and any character with max HP in it has melee reach 5 in a straight line (up, down, left, right) only. also the whole thing is narrated by a disembodied announcer who makes various references as well as comments on the action ("oh that HAD to hurt!" type stuff when someone gets crit, etc)
does this sound cool? I wonder what level would be cool for it.
alright, so after a couple of nights playing the campaign run by my most favoritest DM EVAR I am about to get wayne brady up ins to choke a bitch. "why is that, freak?" I hear you ask, well let me tell you. this DM is determined to make things "challenging" as well as level us up freakishly fast. to him, this means enemies 4-6 levels above the party. oh and there's 13 of them. per encounter. here is what that means in context: my paladin tank taking 1/4 to 1/6 of his life per hit, with about 80+% of all attacks hitting on AC.
we are level 3. I have 22 AC. TWENTY TWO. at level THREE. and yet, the vast majority of attacks hit me. in particular the last encounter we did was terrible for this. 6 minions that dealt 7 damage each, out of my 40 max hp. 4 or more non minion enemies hitting for 12-15 on average, again 40 HP on the tank. now think about this, as the defender I am trying to focus as much fire on myself as I can, because that's my job. however in this scenario it's suicidal. the only way to survive is to spread the damage out across that party, which is what the DM does because he doesn't want to actually KILL anyone with his stupidly retarded enemies. as such, when I run out there and mark crap I generally end up getting destroyed. couple this with his love of ranged enemies that do nothing but run away or sit in hard to reach areas the whole time, and you've got a recipe for frustration.
I don't know about you, but I get a little put off when I'm almost bloodied before I get my first move in an encounter. on top of that I can tell that I would be dead if not for the DM purposefully letting me live. that isn't at all enjoyable. it's not even a contest, it's just an insult at that point. even better he is always so happy that he bloodied or dropped someone to <0 hp in encounters. WELL DUH YOU GENIUS, YOUR MONSTERS HIT LIKE MAC TRUCKS ON CRACK, YOU DO THE MATH. this is of course not to mention their defenses, which are almost always ridiculous. we're not even going to mention skill challenges.
what does all this have to do with WoW raiding? well it got me to thinking, if I wanted to make DnD hard but not feel like the DM is a gigantic dick at the same time, how would I go about it? my answer was to make it more like WoW raids. WoW has little to no missing, even in raids. instead, bosses and monsters have ungodly health pools. this is what I would do if I were to try. I would drop monster defenses by some amount, something like 2-4 across the board. then I would at least double their HP, if not more depending. what would this do? well it would mean players could hit, even if they aren't min/maxed. it means they could enjoy using all their cool powers, even ones that have lasting effects since the mobs would be living longer. I would also most likely lower monster damage as well to deal with the fact that they will last longer.
I think this would make things more challenging, since players would not be able to instantly explode enemies and both enemies and players would get more chances to use their powers. the downside of this is that encounters might feel more grindy, depending on the setup. being able to tee-off on something is fun, until you've been doing it for 5 rounds and it's not bloodied yet. that generally is annoying. I think the HP boosts and such would have to be played with to see what would work, but I also think creating monsters or mechanics that aren't run-of-the-mill would help cut that down.
maybe some day if I ever run a campaign it would be a fun experiment.