Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sorry Mike, You Are Doing it Wrong

Mmmm, nice PC centered-campaigns thanks to prestige classes. Geee, can't wait. Let me contain my excitement. Mike seems like a nice enough guy, but just to be clear, you are doing it wrong!

http://wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20121217

10 comments:

  1. How? I admit, I dislike prestige classes heavily.

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  2. If you read the article he suggests tying prestige classes into campaigns and thus basing campaigns on players not the worlds and dungeons built by DMs. DMs facilitate games and thus the latter should always come first.

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    1. Totally agree with you on this one.

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    2. I disagree. I took his suggestion as tying in prestige classes into the campaign world itself, not dependent on the PCs. Granted, most prestige classes I find stupid, hell the notion itself sets my teeth on edge sometimes. Yet, once and again, I think that there would be a mantle or title that could come with more than just land for the fighter to build a stronghold or a cleric a temple.
      At least that was my take away from it.

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  3. A geocentric thought process is "old-school." /snark

    ;]

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  4. It seems to me, it entirely depends on the games you run as to what kind of prestige classes work.

    Mike implied that, in fact, there were two kind of prestige classes, and I'll name them here: There are Organizational Prestige Classes (OPC), where you are taught interesting skill sets, spell, etc. from your membership in a certain group, and there are Specialization Prestige Classes (SPC), where your character gains different skills based on focus in a certain discpline.

    The OPCs are, indeed, difficult if you are intending your PCs to be active dungeoncrawlers. Your mage will not be able to attend meeting in the Arcane Order when he's fighting in the middle of a dungeon. Most adventuring parties are travelers afterall, and would be hard presses to find one place their home for very long. Even when roleplaying is emphasized, dungeon-centric adventuring can make it hard to be part of the club, and its the club that holds the key to your characters advancement.

    Where OPCs are useful though, are in campaigns where the PCs are involved with intrigues or politcally motivated adventures. Plots such as "The PCs are hired by the local king as a 'strike team' to cripple a rouge nobles rise to power" could easily see a need to become specialized, and very interesting political potentials come in with OPCs. Say a Order of the Wyvern wizard is hired into this strike team: the Order could say the local king owe them a favor, like that graveyard full of old warriors, which makes the king wary of this Wyvern Wizard. If you run those kind of adventures, OPCs provide a ton of new NPCs to add to the mix.

    On the other hand, SPCs are merely manifestations of a PC's personal desire to get better at doing something or connect with a different source of power. Ravagers, Dread Pirates, etc, don't need no damn organization, and probably don't have one really. These prestige classes are easy to integrate into dungeon crawls and quests, becuase you take the tools to advance yourself with you.

    That being, said, if you do have a intrigue based plot, these SPCs will work great too. However, that PC won't be part of a "pretisgeous" club, and therefore wont have those contacts and other NPCs to lean on. Not bad at all, especially if your plot is more like "The PCs are a band of sherrifs coming to clean up this evil town..." kind of story.

    As a note, OPCs work great for NPCs, especially antagonists, becuase it adds flavor, complexity, and contacts to the bad guys. Nothing like making a Arcane Order mage a bad guy, and watching as the PC's bust down the doors on their next budget meeting.

    Thus and therefore, I think there should be more of these specialist type prestige classes than organization-based ones, since the specialization can be used anywhere. But, OPCS are useful for intrigues, politics, and antagonists, in my opinion.

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  5. Here's my plot: Loot the old and don't die.

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    1. Loot the "old"... I like it! Dragons are old and try to make you die.

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  6. lol loot the old made me laugh. I thought you meant grave robbing, they're really old.

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