Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Creating Heroics In Roleplaying. What's your take?

"...I still remember when my dwarf ranger carved a hole THROUGH  a dragon by getting multiple critical hits in one turn. It was @#$@#% epic.  You wanted  heroics?  I can think of few things MORE heroic than to knock the bad guy about to destroy the world into the fires of Mount Doom." -Quote from a player/gm

I play every Monday Night I'm Maryland. We have revolving DM's. Each DM has a campaign or game system he liked to run. They tend not to cross over. Thats ok.

The last 2 games that took place were:

1) DND 1e home brew, that turned into Pathfinder. This ran over a year and consisted mostly of Dungeon crawls, which got slower and slower. This DM was into Combat SLOGGING. Long, DICE ROLL FESTS, that went on for 1.5 to 2 hours. LONG LONG games. We play 2.5 to 3 hours.   He replaced this DND 1e game with Pathfinder which was a LONG LONG nights of rules references, fights that took 45 minutes that took 2 combat rounds and usually ended up with me taking 1 or 2 actions because the #$%^& RANGER always: a) had the best Initiative, b)  had the best perception c) had a wolf to help him and d) did the most damage.  The creature was dead before I got a solid second hit.

2) The second game was a 4th edition game. The GM ran a grand game.   The second game, was a dungeon slog of Undermountain.   If you are time constrained, and are playing at the end of a work day, DONT PLAY THIS DUNGEON.  The writer was a sadistic jerk. :)

The 2 GMS are GREAT GM's when the don't get lazy.  In their minds the player is *completed* by acting heroically in combat.  

I came up with a paradigm on how to judge how heroic your character has been. List your acts of heroism in a resume. This will tell you if you are a Wargaming GM/Player or a Story/Roleplaying GM/Player.

Performed healing strikes all night; this saving the players. (wargamer)
Rescued 3 prisoners.  (roleplayer)
Performed Incontinent Burning Resonance. (wargamer)
Restored the dragon back in his orb.  (roleplayer)
Killed the leader, this preventing him from raising an army... (roleplayer)
Carved a hole THROUGH  a dragon by getting multiple critical hits in one turn (Wargaming bent roleplayer)

If you were a king, and you need to hire a few good men, would you look at the maneuvers they can accomplish (Burning Incontenent Resonance, Brilliant misfiring healing strike), or would you hire the guy that saved 3 guys, and killed the leader.

In any cases, its up to the DM to help the players feel heroic, even in a gritty game. And, Helping Make a player feel heroic, or giving the player opportunites to be heroic has nothing to do with what maneuver a player does on his sheet.

Tell me how do you DEFINE heroics in roleplaying?
1) By doing maneuvers on the sheet?
2) By accomplishing the deed.
3) By exploring and finding treasure?
4) Something Else?

And then, How do you help the players look more heroic?

Edit: Afterthought:
(page Microlite74  Swords & Sorcery Edition, read page 29-32, its really interesting and 
addresses some of these issues.;sa=view;down=9 )