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GiantFriendlyTalkingSpiderman

So I'm using BoE as a D&D tool, and it's fun!

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Lately I've been wanting to try DM'ing and was feeling very nostalgic for BoE's default campaigns, (my entry point into SpiderWeb games). I had some friends overseas mention that they had interest in D&D but didn't have the time to learn how to play or attend long sessions. Knowing that my friends had never touched any SpiderWeb games before, I proposed that I use the game to organize things and replace die rolls to speed up sessions. So I stream part of the game window and some other stuff like the world map on the side.

So far it's been fun making new dialogue NPC's that I'm familiar with, and I have to admit that when a player asks to do something dumb like, "dig a big hole and fill it with holy water", I'm glad I can just tell them, "Sorry, the game wont let me do that". That said I'm always looking for quick ways to fudge the game values and have more freedom and control over the game world. I'm already messing with save data, but I would like a consistent way to spawn enemies on command, like if the players make a loud noise in a dungeon, it should attract the monsters.

 

The only big hiccups so far is that I tried directing the players to a false wall, only to realize that I miss-remembered where it was. We also can't split the party too well. I tried splitting everyone up when we entered a town but the players didn't like how the camera was jumping back and forth every two steps. Also one of our PC's has chronic disease, which is very fun to deal with, (it get's a lot of laughs). I can't delete him and re-add him with ease because I need to keep his status ailments intact; and if the party does split, they want me to do everything in town mode, and all the backtracking required to pull that off means a lot of disease proc's for this guy.

 

Another thing is that I'm fudging the numbers on player stats and starting equipment to meet player character requests. For example one PC has a special bow and an  arrow of returning due to his character backstory, I allow this but he has to take a negative trait, (he picked chronic disease, hahaha). It's making for an interesting playthrough.

There are also unique disadvantages in our party, one of our PC's can only cast 1 spell per day in exchange for the spell being extra powerful. I gave the PC Micah gloves and access to higher level spells for now, but later on I'm not sure what I'll do; spell damage isn't so easy to manipulate back in the exile games.

 

I just wanted to talk about how fun this turned out to be. It really breathed new life into an old game that I love. And it's nice getting more of my friends into SW games, even if they don't play the games normally, I can at least talk with the about the games now.

If anyone has any advice for me in this project or DM'ing in general I'd appreciate it.

Edited by GiantFriendlyTalkingSpiderman

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Well, the usual advice people throw around is "there's no wrong way to have fun." So if you and your friends are having fun playing this way, more power to you. That said, there are probably ways to have the same amount of fun with less work on your part.

 

Blades of Exile isn't designed for this kind of play, but there are games that are. RPGs with co-op multiplayer, with built-in support for a Dungeon Master to modify things on the fly; Bioware's Neverwinter Nights being one of the first big examples. Host a server and have your friends connect, while you play using the DM client. This way your friends will be able to control their own actions and you'll have an easier time modifying the game to do what you want.

 

Alternatively, you could just play D&D, or another RPG like it. It sounds like your players already want a more traditional RPG experience, with them writing character backstories and using unconventional tactics like "pit filled with holy water". An online toolset like MapTool, Fantasy Grounds, or Roll20 will take care of a lot of the rules for you and your players, making it easier to learn. There are also a lot of alternatives to D&D out there, if you find D&D to be too rule-heavy, or otherwise not a good fit. Spiderwebbers played AIMhack, a homebrew d20 system, for years (search for AIMhack on these forums to see how the system evolved over time and for actual play logs). Finally, there are decades worth of pre-written adventures out there if you don't want to make your own (which sounds like the case, since you're effectively using BoE scenarios this way).

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The main point of me doing things this is that it's actually less work for me. I'm already intimately familiar with this games inner workings and story. I'm short on free time lately and don't want to study a new campaign or learn new tools. The players also wanted a hands-free experience, (They are watching the stream on their phones). I also enjoy enemies being out of my control, it's nice to have a little bit of surprise on my end of things.

 

That said I'll be sure to look into those programs you suggested after were done this campaign.

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Playing D&D is like eating a Reeses - as long as everyone's having fun and no one gets a d20 lodged in their throat, there's really no wrong way to do it.

 

Buuuuuut, yeah, if you're really set on a digital D&D aid, there are definitely ones out there more suited/tailored to the task. Would it be worth the time and effort and learning curve? ... That's one of those Schrodinger's cat, "don't know until you look inside" type questions.

 

Neverwinter Nights (NWN) as mention is specifically built off 3.0 and there's mind boggling amounts of community content out there for it, and NWN2? ...

 

Actually, avoid NWN2.

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look, nwn2 might be a clunky toolset that has very little community support compared with nwn1, but you're able to set a bard on fire in the main campaign, and that covers a multitude of sins

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