Volume 2 Issue 100 – The Walking Dead

Intro – 0:00.000
Roll For Initiative Website www.rfipodcast.com
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Roll For Initiative Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/RFIpodcast
OSR Gaming Forums www.osrgaming.org
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DM Vince’s Blog http://www.theevilgm.com/

Sage Advice – 29:04.222
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Via E-mail RFIStaff@gmail.com

Table Manners – Designing a Walking Dead Campaign 1:05:58.084

Game Mechanics – Adding a Fear or Horror Mechanic to the game 1:23:15.980

Creature Feature Theater – Types of Walking Dead 1:38:32.571

Dragon’s Hoard – Weapons for Stopping Zombies 1:58:29.528

Outro 2:10:14.609



4 thoughts on “Volume 2 Issue 100 – The Walking Dead

  1. Listening to your show and I remember you briefly mentioned that someone asked why dont dm’s concern themselves with the players being good but track their evil deeds. I think its simply the over arching idea of almost all campaigns is there is some evil brewing and the players must stop it… Thus the players over all are always doing good. Playing evil characters traditionally is really difficult because evil is usually selfish so evil will turn on evil.

  2. Re: The “Sweeping” Rule (on page 25 PHB); the question raised at 47:45 minutes in the pod cast:

    I just thought I’d chip in about the discussion you had about the PHB text (page 25 PHB) about Fighters being able to hit sub-one hit dice creatures multiple times in one round (I’m gonna ignore why the heck a high level character should be meeting sub-one HD creatures and just consider the possibility of these rule).

    The two options discussed were:

    Option (1) – The Fighter can hit just one sub-one HD creature as many times as the fighter has levels. For example a 7th level fighter can hit a single kobold seven times in one round.

    • or –

    Option (2) – The Fighter can dish out the same number of hits, but on a group of sub-one HD creatures. For example a 7th level fighter can hit a group of kobolds 7 times in one round, inclusive of hitting seven individual kolbolds once.

    ? The podcast DMs concluded that option (1) was the meaning of the text in the PHB.

    However, I’m not sure that interpretation makes sense.

    Why would a 7th level fighter ever need to hit a kobold 7 times, or even more mysteriously why would a 17th level Fighter need to hit a kobold 17 times in one round? One hit would only ever be needed. It can be seen that the higher the level of the fighter the less this ‘skill’ is needed. The rule under Option (1) above seems to act in vain (or as DM Will might say “this don’t make no dog-gone-sense”.)

    The only reason I can think that a 7th level fighter would bother to hit a single kobold 7 times would be as a dramatic excise. For example to scare the wits out of the rest of a gang of kobolds – if a gang of kobolds saw one of their chums chopped into 7 neat pieces in a single round they’d probably turn tail!? I guess another example would be to be absolutely certain that that kolbold is dead – say to prevent that kobold from sounding an alarm gong, but that really is a job for a thief of the same level.

    To me it seems to make more sense that a 7 level fighter would simply be able to cut down 7 measly kobolds in one round. For them it would be as simple as reaping wheat. Imagine a 7th level fighter taking on 28 kobolds under option (2) above. The greater probability would be that the Fighter’s hit would hit every time, and with say a +2 sword and strength bonus each kobold would die every time they were hit. In about 4 rounds the kobolds would be old news. To me this seems quite realistic a 7th level fighter is such an over match in skill for a measly kolbold. Also under option (1) it terms of game mechanisms, who wants to sit there for over 14 rounds as the kolbolds are minced two at a time, and all the time wasted as each kobold rolls and fails to pierce the 7th level fighters (magic) armour.

    Under the interpretation in option (2) above this would be most useful for Fighters who could use this to hold off a pack of kolbolds before these could get at the Magic Users. The more powerful the fighter, the more useful the skill (makes sense). Whereas, under option (1) this would be useful perhaps for a 2nd to 3rd level Fighter that might not hit a koldbold every time they try to chop at one. Thereafter, as the Fighter progresses, the ‘skill’ has little extra benefit.

    Personally, when it comes to low HD creatures, I’d probably save the time and just call it – “you kill the 28 Kolbolds and in the process you suffer 1D6 HP of damage” (unless the Fighter was super low on HPs then maybe it would be worth rolling the dice).

  3. RE: Players memorising the Monster Manuals (see pod cast 1.11 mins):

    When it came to new creatures that the characters had not met before (or had not researched before the adventure), I tended to make them make an intelligence roll as a ‘recognition test’. If they had diligently researched the region they were about to enter I’d give them a plus on their dice roll (e.g. +5).

    Obviously, there would be no test for very common critters like dog-gone pigs with orc’s faces.

    To take account that higher level characters would know more than lower level characters, I’d include a plus modified for those levels.

    I’d also include a modifier for the rarity of the critter (e.g. characters are more likely to know a more common creature as opposed to much rarer creatures).

    I’d also include a ‘fame’ modifier – while some creatures are rare, they are often well known. For example, I consider that the legend of a Lich or Beholder is well-known even if the critters are rare and therefore for these no roll is necessary. The rare/fame modifies can be decided very quickly just make a ‘gut’ feeling as to whether the players would be more likely to have heard or known about the critter.

    Also, while dragons are well known, not every species will be that well known to the characters. Therefore, I’d make the roll on the species type. If they pass the test and so recognise the critter, then I’d say you recognise it as a blue dragon (I might even remind them of the most obvious points, like known breath weapon if asked and they had passed the test well). However it they failed the test I’d say it is a large coloured dragon that you do not know (I’d refuse to give the actual colour as that would give the game away). Likewise with giants – I’d say it is a very large humanoid like critter not it is a hill giant.

    I’d therefore use something like:

    Roll against Intelligence: + Level bonus (level/2 rounded down) – Rarity (up to 0 to -4) + Fame (up to 0 to +4) + Research taken (up to 0 up to +5). Also any natural dice roll of 5 or lower is always a fail. A mischievous DM might even make a negative roll lead to miss information “you recognise the critter as a harmless vegetarian winged lizard, but the name of the beast escapes you …”

    I’d also only allow the group as a whole to make one initial test (therefore use the highest character stat). In a big group I might allow the best two/three characters to make the initial test. If the group as a whole took the time to made a diligent study, I’d let one character each turn make a test until each character had used their try up. Therefore, if a party of 6 characters spent 6 turns studying the critter from say behind a rocky ledge, then they could make 6 trys at recognising the critter (I roll in secret). However, mixed results might ensue!

    Therefore, if the characters failed the recognition test, I’d only describe the creature in very vague terms e.g. humanoid/mammal/reptile/insect-like; size; technical development (e.g. beast/primitive/sophisticated etc); weapon types, and so on.

    However, if the players guessed correctly despite their characters failing the test, I’d say “yes, but your characters does not know that, so put those silver arrows away … “

    In one game I DM’ed, the players met a rust monster. They failed their recognition test. So I said tht they see “a large insect-like creature” (and that’s all I’d confirm). I think some players suspected a rust monster but they were not sure. After the first round of combat the truth was out of the bag with the loss of some precious items and some muttering about the paternity of the DM!

  4. I’m in agreement with Q-Goblin about hitting multiple sub-hit die monsters. That’s how I interpret the rule. A 7th level fighter can wade into a group of kobolds and hit up to 7 of them. Otherwise, it’s a useless rule.

    Regarding Jayson’s opinion on digital art I totally disagree. I accept his perspective as a subjective opinion and I even respect a decision not to use digital art in a magazine. But his assertion that traditional art is “harder” is not accurate. ALL art can be hard to do, or easy. It’s a very subjective idea. There are techniques in art that require developing skills, such as doing intricate cross-hatching with pen-and-ink. But you can cross hatch with a pen on a Wacom tablet. It’s just a different tool. All tools were once new.

    So what Jayson is articulating, I think, is his personal preference. But any assertion that digital art is objectively inferior is simply wrong.

    Much love to Jayson. Miss him on the show!

    (Yes, I know this episode is old…I just now heard it!)

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