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How long would the BG saga take in PnP 2E?

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  • StormvesselStormvessel Member Posts: 654
    edited August 2015
    Decado, I don't have a ton of experience on the subject, but I thought I would mention Pathfinder. It's backwards compatible with all your 3E modules and from what I've heard from tons of people, it puts AD&D and 4E to shame. Have you tried it?

    the_spyder
  • TuthTuth Member Posts: 233
    I actually tried playing Baldur's Gate as a tabletop around a year ago. I was the DM and I found that the world of the first BG would be great for PnP. Everything was going quite well, though I had to adjust some of the story to fit for the group, rather than just one character. None of the players finished Baldur's Gate and some of them barely could remember the story of it.

    Unfortunately, the group lasted only a few sessions, before one friend started his studies far from my town. I enjoyed playing in the world of BG as a tabletop, the story was less important than the freedom of exploration. It would be awesome to try it again.

    Since then I begun creating my own world/setting, obviously inspired by Baldur's Gate among others, but with a completely different story. Now I'm playing with a new group of players that haven't played tabletop before. The similar idea of an open world works really well so far. We're playing AD&D 2nd edition with my own modifications (e.g. group initiative, no THAC0 etc.).

    StormvesselJuliusBorisov
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    @the_spyder Levelling and classes are remaining 2e along with available multiclass options etc. WP and NWP remain 2e. BAB, AB are replacing THAC0, 3e stats replace 2e stats (the characters get a +1 to a stat of their choice every four levels. Armour system and saves are also 3e as are spells per day and stat based bonus spells.

    Basically the premise will always be to roll high and numbers always scale upwards. We've experimented before and it was fairly successful. This will take it a couple of notches further.

    @Stormvessel I've never actually played any form of tabletop 3e, only years of 2e. However I've played 3e in various electronic forms and like the system. Not so keen on the spurious and ridiculous class system though.

    If anyone is in Essex in the UK on the weekend of the 13th September I'm sure I can convince the group for an extra ;)

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    @decado - sounds like you are well prepared. Let us know how it plays out.

    I'd also second the recommendation for Pathfinder. Although I've never played it, every Tabletop RPGer that I know who has swears that D&D lost the mission and Pathfinder found it again. But that is again from the perspective that I've never played it before. It was Massively popular in Gen CON this year though.

  • StormvesselStormvessel Member Posts: 654
    edited August 2015
    Here is how it would go down in my group:

    DM: Okay, picking up where you left off last week. You are in Baldur's Gate and trying to find a way to cure yourselves of poison.

    Player 1: I am immune to poison, remember? Racial.

    DM: No, it's a special kind of poison.

    Player 1: Where does it say that in the PH??? A special kind of poison? Page number?

    DM: No, this is actually a custom campaign. It's a "special kind" of poison.

    Player 2: Are we all poisoned?

    DM: Yes. Remember? The party was poisoned by Marek.

    Player 2: I wasn't here last week. So what can we do about it? Can *player 4* cast neutralize poison on me?

    Player 4: No, we have to complete this guys quest. We have ten days. It's a special kind of poison.

    DM: Thank you.

    Player 3: Can I roll a constitution check to see if I can be unpoisoned?

    Player 5: Yea, me too.

    DM: NO! You are all poisoned. Do the freaking quest.

    Player 2: Hey, I wasn't here last week so I didn't get a save. Can I roll my save against poison now?

    DM: That's it. I'm taking a break. *walks away*

    Player 5: Okay guys, we are back at in the arena. Let's pick up where we left off (fighting random mobs just for fun).



    ----


    That's very likely how it would play out in my group, sadly.

    NecomancerJuliusBorisovDJKajuru
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    I've never had a lot of time for rule lawyers, so I wouldn't get along very well with your group. What the DM says, goes in my book.

    atcDave
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited August 2015

    One thing that would help, I bet a PnP game would probably stick a lot closer to the main quest line. There would still be some stomping around in the woods, but I bet the players would be less interested in the industrial exploration (particularly in BG1) of it all and more interested in getting to 'The Gate' and confronting the baddie. Just my opinion.

    Quite. Thoroughly quatering the countryside in search of random stuff hidden under rocks isn't something that happens in PnP (or RL).

    "We leave the Friendly Arm Inn and head for Beragost."

    [DM rolls for random encounters]

    "You march south along a well paved road. If there are any bandits in the woods on either side, they have decided to avoid your party for today. After two days, you pass a couple of outlying farms and enter a small town. A signboard displays the coat-of-arms of Beragost."

    GreenWarlockscriver
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited August 2015

    Here is how it would go down in my group:

    DM: Okay, picking up where you left off last week. You are in Baldur's Gate and trying to find a way to cure yourselves of poison.

    Player 1: I am immune to poison, remember? Racial.

    DM: No, it's a special kind of poison.

    Player 1: Where does it say that in the PH??? A special kind of poison? Page number?

    DM: No, this is actually a custom campaign. It's a "special kind" of poison.

    Player 2: Are we all poisoned?

    DM: Yes. Remember? The party was poisoned by Marek.

    Player 2: I wasn't here last week. So what can we do about it? Can *player 4* cast neutralize poison on me?

    Player 4: No, we have to complete this guys quest. We have ten days. It's a special kind of poison.

    DM: Thank you.

    Player 3: Can I roll a constitution check to see if I can be unpoisoned?

    Player 5: Yea, me too.

    DM: NO! You are all poisoned. Do the freaking quest.

    Player 2: Hey, I wasn't here last week so I didn't get a save. Can I roll my save against poison now?

    DM: That's it. I'm taking a break. *walks away*

    Player 5: Okay guys, we are back at in the arena. Let's pick up where we left off (fighting random mobs just for fun).



    ----


    That's very likely how it would play out in my group, sadly.

    I would play that quest rather differently. I hate arbitary railroading, so I would have given the players the oportunity to avoid being poisoned in the first place. It really only needs one party member to be poisoned anyway, and if no one is, then the sidequest doesn't happen.

    I wouldn't have anything like as many pre-planned sidequests in a PnP game, but would creat stuff on the fly depending on what the players did.

    scriverGreenWarlockNecomancerGotural
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Fardragon said:


    I would play that quest rather differently. I hate arbitary railroading, so I would have given the players the oportunity to avoid being poisoned in the first place. It really only needs one party member to be poisoned anyway, and if no one is, then the sidequest doesn't happen.

    So much this! There is nothing worse for a PC investing in a skill or ability than for the DM to render void at the stroke of a pen. It breaks your investment in the character and game, as you know that arbitrarily, anything you do will be lost if it happens to be inconvenient - why invest in or plan for anything?

    If this 'poison' plot is critical, and you know you have party members immune to poison, make it a curse instead? Party cleric specializes in removing curses? Presto, it is a Geas or something else. Preferably though, roll with it. The party happened to be well prepared for this incident. Bravo. Hope they are just as well prepared for the thieves guild stalking those careless adventures full of shiny kit, just waiting to be backstabbed down an alley, or that mage foolishly experimenting with demon summoning in his cellar, or ...

    The party cannot be well prepared for everything, and should be allowed its moments of victory when things do go according to their plan. Let them live to die another day...

    Gotural
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 2,068
    Fardragon said:

    One thing that would help, I bet a PnP game would probably stick a lot closer to the main quest line. There would still be some stomping around in the woods, but I bet the players would be less interested in the industrial exploration (particularly in BG1) of it all and more interested in getting to 'The Gate' and confronting the baddie. Just my opinion.

    Quite. Thoroughly quatering the countryside in search of random stuff hidden under rocks isn't something that happens in PnP (or RL).

    "We leave the Friendly Arm Inn and head for Beragost."

    [DM rolls for random encounters]

    "You march south along a well paved road. If there are any bandits in the woods on either side, they have decided to avoid your party for today. After two days, you pass a couple of outlying farms and enter a small town. A signboard displays the coat-of-arms of Beragost."
    I could totally see the Belt Fetish Ogre being a planned encounter/sidequest, though ;)

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    Tabletop/PnP is very different to a computer RPG, and has different goals and rewards.

    The key difference is that you are not playing a pre-rolled scenario where all of your options have been determined in advance. You are playing in a genuinely creative environment, make the most of it and see how your craziest ideas play out (and be prepared to have fun crashing and burning along the way!)

    A second difference is no save-scumming. How long would BG have been as a PnP campaign if the entire party dies before making it to Beregost or the FAI? Everyone dead, time to start a new campaign, who wants to run this one? ...

    And of course, the real difference is that you are now playing as a group of players with real people who all want a share of the action, rather than everything revolving around Me Me Me as I direct my computer avatars to do my bidding.

    For me, successful tabletop sessions revolve around the things that the computer does badly, and always have done, even prior to the successful CRPG era. Roleplaying, interacting with other players and characters and telling your story together. Creative, out-of-the-box, thinking and crazy plans. Doing things because they are fun, rather than because that is the optimal strategy to play the stats.

    Don't get me wrong, I still love a good combat, collecting loot and powering up, but a good session is often counted by how few dice were rolled, rather than how many.

    From another perspective, I might say there are two kinds of DMs (real world is much more subtle, but it makes the point). Type A sets up the problems and determines exactly how they can be solved. Every time the players try something not in the script, they find ways to shut them down and explain why their plans did not work. Type B setup up the problem, and plans every counter they can imagine for what the players will do - then sits back to see how they will surprise and beat the encounter in an unexpected way instead. CRPGs can only simulate the Type A GM, while I prefer playing with type B. Type A will often place an emphasis on rules, combat and plot-devices, where type B greatly encourages creative thinking, and trying to stay one step ahead (remember, your crazy original idea last time is now something that can be planned for and foiled the next!)

    The curse of tabletop was getting folks on topic and engaged when this is your once/week social get together. You know you came together to game, but first and foremost you are a group of friends and you can lose so much time simply catching up on each others' news, the latest TV shows etc. that is was not unusual to lose a couple of hours before the game would start, which is often a sizable chunk of available time once you are out of college.

    As for how long the BG campaign would take run as tabletop, I imagine we might now be facing down Jon Irenicus for the hopefully final time about now, if we had started playing when the original game launched - on the assumption of 1 session/week for most of the intervening time, and probably a couple of campaign switches as we hit natural break points such as the end of BG1

    BelgarathMTHdunbar
  • NecomancerNecomancer Member Posts: 622

    Here is how it would go down in my group:

    DM: Okay, picking up where you left off last week. You are in Baldur's Gate and trying to find a way to cure yourselves of poison.

    Player 1: I am immune to poison, remember? Racial.

    DM: No, it's a special kind of poison.

    Player 1: Where does it say that in the PH??? A special kind of poison? Page number?

    DM: No, this is actually a custom campaign. It's a "special kind" of poison.

    Player 2: Are we all poisoned?

    DM: Yes. Remember? The party was poisoned by Marek.

    Player 2: I wasn't here last week. So what can we do about it? Can *player 4* cast neutralize poison on me?

    Player 4: No, we have to complete this guys quest. We have ten days. It's a special kind of poison.

    DM: Thank you.

    Player 3: Can I roll a constitution check to see if I can be unpoisoned?

    Player 5: Yea, me too.

    DM: NO! You are all poisoned. Do the freaking quest.

    Player 2: Hey, I wasn't here last week so I didn't get a save. Can I roll my save against poison now?

    DM: That's it. I'm taking a break. *walks away*

    Player 5: Okay guys, we are back at in the arena. Let's pick up where we left off (fighting random mobs just for fun).



    ----


    That's very likely how it would play out in my group, sadly.

    Been doing that thinking thing. Scenarios like this arn't that hard for a creative DM. Basically you let your poison immune guy be immune, then ask everyone else for a nearly impossible fort save. Be sure to mention penalties for 2nd edition but don't mention how bad they are. Its easier in third edition where you don't even have to mention the DC. Have anyone who rolls less then a 20 fail, unless its a really small group or everyone is insanely lucky there should be no problem and even if someone isn't poisoned it won't change the fact someone else is and must do this. Generally parties won't just abandoned someone else like that if its a good party and a good group of players. If they do then you have a bigger problem on your hands.

    Blame the players if you want but remember its a DM's job to make sure everyone at the table has fun, including himself. This involves making sure the players get to feel like their class choices and rolls can matter. Do things like this too many times and it can really frustrate some people, and unfortunately some DMs do get into the habit of doing the same tricks over and over.

    /end pretentious DM rant.

    Oh, also something to keep in mind on topic. Tabletop games don't have many side quests. Regular Computer Games are saturated with side quests to increase play time. So when you're asking how long BG would take don't consider that many side quests, just the main story.

    meaglothatcDavescriver
  • moody_magemoody_mage Member Posts: 2,054
    edited September 2015
    My hybrid 3e/2e mentioned game above went very well. There were a few issues/incompatibilities in game but nothing which couldn't be resolved quickly and easily. Now the group is familiar with most of the 3e concept my next step will be to migrate to Pathfinder. I've even gone ahead and bought the Core Rule Book off of ebay....

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    DM: So you have submitted this character, uh.... Mazzy. Let's see, a Fighter and a... Halfling?

    Mazzy Player: What's wrong?

    DM: W...well, you have her set for level 9, also your dice rolled stats almost seem very lucky.

    Player: Yea, I got kinda lucky on my rolls. I wanted to try something different.

    DM: Okay, great, but halflings have a level limit of... 4 for fighters.

    Player: four?!

    DM: Well, if you maxed her strength at... no wait, female characters have lower max strength so you DID max her strength. Otherwise you'd have been able to get all the way to 6.

    Player: FOUR?!

    DM: You have good constitution though.

    Player: F... FOOOOOOUUUUR?!

    DM: Is there something wrong?

    Player: No... nothing...

    JuliusBorisov
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @Dazzu Only 1e had stat maximums like that. :) In 2e, Halflings could have up to an 18 strength (Just not exceptional strength, i.e. 18/whatever(

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,280
    It would involve a lot less world exploring :
    You'd go from Candlekeep to Friendly Arm, from Friendly Arm to Beregost and Nashkel/Mines .
    From Nashkel Mines you'd head north but maybe face the gnoll stronghold and Bassilus , and from the bandit camp to Cloakwood and Baldur's Gate.

    It would be a lot of sessions, and the level pace would be slower- but I'm sure players would have a lot of fun!

    atcDave
  • Sorvan76Sorvan76 Member Posts: 76
    Sorry to butt in folks - I've not followed the thread, only read the OP. In answer to the OP and his question - how long would the BG saga take in P&P AD&D 2nd Ed.?

    A very, very long time. Over a couple of years I reckon, at least with my D&D crew.

    Role-play is heavy in our group, we try to have conversations in-character, etc. And we argue frequently, lol.

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    LadyRhian said:

    @Dazzu Only 1e had stat maximums like that. :) In 2e, Halflings could have up to an 18 strength (Just not exceptional strength, i.e. 18/whatever(

    You sure? I'm looking through Unlimited Adventures and my handbook for my Goldbox games. They're showing racial AND female stat maxes.

    Also, I goofed, female max strength is 14 for halflings... great!

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Gold box started as 1E. It was retrofitted to 2E, but is sort of a composite.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,280
    Once I did start an Icewind Dale pnp session . A
    Remember the part at the Temple of Tempus, when Everard says "Jerrod sacrificed himself but I don't agree with that"?

    Turns out that the players came up with "but his sacrifice may have prevented other deaths!" , pretty much like the game dialogue option, what a surprise!

  • DazzuDazzu Member Posts: 946
    atcDave said:

    Gold box started as 1E. It was retrofitted to 2E, but is sort of a composite.

    Doesn't change the fact that racial level maximums exist.

  • atcDaveatcDave Member Posts: 1,933
    Right?? I just said why.

  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 2,068
  • FrdNwsmFrdNwsm Member Posts: 1,069
    edited October 2015
    Any DM worth his salt will modify his gaming technique to best accommodate the player base he has. I went into PnP in a big way; I hand painted around 200 figurines of all sorts, and made cardboard cut outs illustrating the coverage of various AOE spells. I then created cardboard layouts for standard room floorplans. Everything was approximately to the same scale as the figurines.

    This sounds tedious as far as preparation, but I only had to do it once. And once it was done, it sped up things a lot. There was no more argument about who was standing where, or how many foes were caught in that fireball, etc. We had the visual representation right in front of us.

    I didn't adhere slavishly to any particular set of rules; I picked and chose the ones I liked, and modified them as needed.

    And I made sure to keep things interesting, and player progression at a fairly decent pace. It must have worked, our group played for a good 10 years. It was a social occasion as well; we met every Saturday and the sessions could easily run a good 8 hours, fueled by beer and pizza, of course.

    DJKajuru
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @FrdNwsm Of course. :) In one of my early games, I didn't have any minis of the creatures they were fighting, so we used Fritos instead. The person who killed the monster got to eat the frito. :) Happiest combat ever! :D

    atcDave
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