Talking yesterday with Jimmy about the game. He is still a little disappointed I am going with D&D 5E, instead of Pathfinder. I told him that I thought we could do more with 5E, especially now that I am more experienced and prepared to run it. In particular I am more prepared to make this ‘my campaign’ this time.
First, I read another fascinating post the The Angry GM this week. This one about Critical Hits and charts for such. One thing I like about Angry is that he really breaks this stuff down, using hard cold math and statistics to demonstrate and prove his point. And the first thing I was struck by in this article was the point that using Critical Hits actually hurts the players more than the monsters, something I had never though of before but made perfect sense. The other was his use of the Savage Worlds idea of there being grunts among the bad guys, and then the star players, and only star players get critical hits. Although I have to point out that before Savage Worlds, 7th Seas actually used the same system.
Anyway both point will weigh heavily in my running this new campaign. Of course 5E critical hits are not nearly as epic as Pathfinder. But still I like the idea that the lone goblin will not roll that critical hit that ruins the game. So one of the twists I will use with the boys new campaign is to approach things with that kind of attitude, not letting the little monsters ruin things.
I also intend to make full use of the Advantage/Disadvantage in this game. I don’t think I let myself use it enough the first time around and that doing so will greatly improve things for the boys. Encourage them to play out things instead of just rolling dice at every turn.
I’m not saying that being high level characters loaded up with magic who can kill the big bad guy with a few blows is not fun. It is fun to be able to do that sometimes. But now that they have gotten a chance to do that, it is time to show them that there is a different way. To get away from being murder hobos. Or at least employ a little more thought than ‘I step forward and swing, <rolls dice>’. There is so much more that you can do in role playing than just roll dice.