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[ERROR] No.42801947 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

How much screentime do you guys like to give the big bad in your campaigns? How much is the right amount?

>> No.42804132

>how much


The kinds of things his "Finders" fetch to his mountain base are all that is known about Mofkin Bastidge. The mountain, his only known base, has never been a flashy or what you'd call a LOUD place. But his "people" are known to procure certain ... products and services - and will travel just about anywhere to get them.

>> No.42807336

It's tricky because it's not like a movie where you can cut away to a villain scene. My brother broke someone's campaign once by capturing the villain, interrogating him, and brainwashing his dragon after a series of ridiculous rolls. The DM had to think up how he would rewrite half his campaign right on the spot. If I have my villain show up before the climax is like to avoid a situation like that without policing the PCs.

>> No.42809152

>it's tricky

No. No, it's not.

Your example is that of a beta GM wholly surrendering immersion and flow to cold, uncaring plastic game accessories in order to please metagaming munchkins like your brother.

>ridic rolls broke the campaign

Shit GM confirmed.

>> No.42809408


"Come to think of it, we've never actually met the BBEG."

"I'm not even sure this campaign has one. Oh, what, him? He's just the bartender."

>> No.42810903

I had 2. The classic untouchable BBEG that the players don't meet till the end, and the nemesis assassin that practically taunted the party with how good he was

The latter was my favorite. He was introduced by sneaking into a command center, pushing the party out of the way, and cutting the leader of the rebellion in half as she was talking. He then dropped a flashbang and literally backflipped out of there

>> No.42811002

Very little, but their presence should always be felt

>> No.42811037

>bartender reveals himself to be the BBEG
>party fights him in an epic battle and defeats him

>turns out he wasn't the BBEG, he just wanted attention and was tired of his life as a bartender

>> No.42811070

I only introduce a major villain a decent way into a campaign (a few levels at least) and then only gradually to make it seem like this person/entity/etc. that the PCs are hearing about in potential connection to whatever is going on is just another red herring. I then have the players hunt down leads which eventually leads them to hunting down the big bad. The PCs, not knowing they are coming for the big bad think it is another mook hunt for info and either encounter the big bad indirectly (as unseen observers or at a distance) or they have a near miss. Still only partly aware of the big bad's deal, they now know that he is serious business. The PCs only actually meet the big bad face to face in the finale. Sometimes I give people a chance to meet the big bad earlier in a context where combat is impossible, illogical, or suicidal but usually people are scared of the mysterious villain by that point and turn down the option.

>> No.42811108

basically what it all comes down to is building up the villain as a plausible threat instead of having him hanging around eating skulls all over the place or never really doing anything bad. Either other result opens the potential for "in character" gameyness; things like "well that guy Orcus looks like a pretty scary dude and my warlock is a coward according to my character bio so by guys" or "I am a neutral dick-ass bard/rogue, I am more evil than the villain because I essentially mug hardworking orcs and gnolls for food"

>> No.42811710

>my super awesome epic cool assassin BBEGPC was my favorite and he had flashbangs and he backflipped and shat all over the player characters and cut important npcs in half and they couldn't do anything about it and he taunted them about how fucking rad he was in comparison

God you're disgusting.

>> No.42811725

I started each session with a brief scene that cut to the BBEG's lair and what he was doing. The party each had minor minion characters that they played for these scenes to keep them involved. It gave everyone a view into how big of a threat the BBEG was without having them just sit there and listen to me roleplay with myself for half an hour.

>> No.42811745

A lot of the campaigns in the group of players I usually roll with seem to introduce their BBEGs real late into the game. Maybe there's some appeal for GMs running games like that, but as a player, I really hate wandering aimlessly in non-sandbox campaigns.

>> No.42811772

I'm firmly of the opinion that "less is more." Nothing ruins a villain like overexposure. They need a mystique, they need to seem mysterious and unapproachable until it's time for the climactic showdown. Otherwise you get sick of them.

>> No.42811783

>fuck the dice, I'll do what I originally planned for!
If you're going to cheat, why not just do so directly? If the player's choices and their stats and rolls don't actually affect the outcome, don't lie and pretend it does.

>> No.42811805

This is why BBEGs should have underlings. They need a dragon who can continuously harass the party without putting the BBEG in danger. They need subbosses that can convey how threatening the BBEG is, yet be overcome when the game needs a sense of progression.

Star Wars wasn't three movies of the Emperor personally taunting Luke. He had Vader, who only has a handful of scenes in the first movie, and he had people like Tarkin and Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt and so on, who were each taken down in turn so we could see how the heroes were getting stronger without having to actually weaken the BBEG until the time for the climactic finale.

yes I know Jabba didn't work for the Emperor, that's not the point.

>> No.42811817

If I'm going to introduce the BBEG at all before the party's ready to fight them, I need good reasons for them to not straight-up massacre the party.

Because the BBEG is the BBEG for a reason, and most of my games start low-level, that's not for a long-ass time. And I need to build him up all through that time as a credible threat and someone who generally has his shit worked out (the BBEG is nothing if not a proper, credibly intelligent bad guy with something vaguely resembling a plan).

So, I often find myself needing ways to make him seem dangerous without looking like I'm masturbating to how awesome he is. Fine line to tread.

>> No.42811823

God forbid a player try something that deviates from the path the GM originally intended. And god forbid a GM should have to change his precious plot in order to accommodate players making unexpected choices. Why, if we allow that, the plebs- I mean the players, will start to think they have "agency"!

There's a word we use around here for GMs who make sure the plot always go how they originally planned it regardless of what the players try to do.

>> No.42811825

It amuses me to think they just played servants and janitors and shit, but to keep them involved you still had them rolling.
>Roll to not drop that tray of drinks.
>Roll to cut the meat.
>Roll to mop.
>Roll to see if you can even hear the BBEG's speech from where you're sitting.
"Why am I sitting so far away?"
>Because you did a shit job this week. If you want to sit closer, do a better job next time.
"I don't even play this character tho-"
>Shut the fuck up, Carl.

>> No.42811829

A big problem I have as a GM is cutting things short. I had this one campaign where I introduced a villain planned as the underling to a BBEG, and had about three more planned. The party didn't get to down the first one for about 2 months. By that point I was out of ideas and a bit tired of the game, so I just called the campaign there, with my players none the wiser.

Pacing is a serious issue, don't know how more experienced GMs deal with it.

>> No.42811830

>Letting arbitrary rolls decide the fates of men
No. The GM is god and his whims are law.

>> No.42811835

Maybe the BBEG is growing too. Or maybe the GM has some subordinates that can hassle the party in the BBEG's stead. This is pretty common.

>No. The GM is god and his whims are law.
You're almost literally quoting that episode.

It doesn't end well for Dexter.

>> No.42811843

So do you play a diceless system?

Implicit in the use of a dice roll is agreement to accept the result of that dice roll (minus any modification mechanic, such as fate points, but that's besides the point). If you, as a GM, are not willing to accept every possible outcome of a roll, don't allow the action at all.

Players shouldn't have to sit through a shitty railroading GM who expects you to sit there and listen patiently to his villain sue taunt them to their faces without once asking basic questions like "Why don't we just kick this guy's ass now?"

>> No.42811851

>The GM is god and his whims are law.

>> No.42811858

You should give little to none.

Consider Star Wars. Darth Vader shows up on screen for 11 minutes. People think he is the coolest ever.

Boba Fett shows up for 10 minutes across two films. Cool.

>> No.42811862

>Or maybe the GM Has some subordinates that can hassle the party in the BBEG's stead.

I'm used to doing that. The idea is having the BBEG at least make token appearances on occasion and demonstrating he's not to be fucked with. Again, he's the BBEG for a reason.

If my BBEG is the head of any kind of organization (and he usually is) I usually spend a lot of time sorting out their order of battle, modus operandi, assets, and any common equipment, training methods, recruitment methods, ranking systems, and tactics, just to see who would reasonably be encountered when and where. Then I develop a number of competent field commanders and their immediate superiors the party can encounter at any given time throughout the campaign.

>> No.42811864

This is literally what happened. For the scenes that took place in the BBEG's lair, the party was
>Goblin butler
>Goblin cupbearer
>Skeleton organ player
>Kobold treasurer

The second to last session of the game, the party had finally reached the BBEG's lair and had just blown in the gates. They all assumed the final session would pick up where we left off.

So imagine the looks on their faces as I handed them their character sheets for the servants and continued the tradition of "MEANWHILE, AT THE LAIR OF DREADED ANGORRIG" followed immediately by the door being kicked in. They practically shit all over the floor as I npc'd the characters wrecking the shit out of the inconsequential guards.

There was panic. Chaos. Devastation in all directions. The skeleton organ player played on.

>> No.42811868

How can you call your GM the game master if you do not acknowledge him as master of the game? The rules are his to take or leave, nothing that is written is not so unless he deems it.

>> No.42811870

Then maybe introduce him in some context where violence is inappropriate? For instance, the head of the wizard's guild might be an evil necromancer, but if you meet him at a ball honoring the young prince's marriage, you're not going to draw swords and attack right in front of the royal family.

You know, stuff like that.

>> No.42811880

It's odd, you use words but you seem to have failed to actually answer anything I said in my post at all. Which seems to be a pattern of yours.

To answer your retarded question, no, being the GM doesn't mean cheating and railroad is good GMing. Is it not cheating to ignore or override the results of rolls you don't like? How is that any different from tipping a die over to get a 20?

>> No.42811885

Sure, but a GM who railroads too much is a shitty GM that I wouldn't play with.

>> No.42811892

Done that a few times, but never particularly well. I need to work on that. At some point, there's gonna be a confrontation with the bad guy where no one actually dies, of course. It's practically a written rule somewhere.

>> No.42811895

>the game master can cheat
You don't seem to understand what a gm, or a master of any kind, is. If a gm rolls a die behind his screen, the number on that die is whatever the gm wishes it to be. He rolls the die solely for those infants at the table who require the illusion that chance determines the outcome, and not divine mandate.

>> No.42811903

what he wants is beyond a little railroading. Every GM occasionally needs to ensure the basic tenets of his plot still work and sometimes that means not all options are viable. I get that. But he's quite literally saying dice rolls shouldn't matter if they contradict what the GM wants, and I fail to see how that's literally any different from just nudging dice over to give you the result you want.

Why play an RPG if you have no player agency? Just write a book. NaNoWriMo is 31 days away.

>> No.42811917

Honestly, I think the illusion of having dice rolls matter is a lot better than just not prompting your players to roll ever.

I don't really advocate either, but I've had campaigns where I rolled once or twice in a session, and it seriously feels like I made no impact whatsoever. I had another campaign where the GM set ridiculously stupid high DCs and my character kept failing rolls, but at least it felt like I was part of the plot.

>> No.42811920

>It's not cheating when I do it!
Then why do you roll a dice?

If you honestly, truly believed the outcome should be whatever you say it should be, why roll at all? Why not just say what result you want?
>because "infants" would leave the game
And this is problematic for you?
>Yes, because I want to play with them
You want to play with infants?
>Well I don't want them to be infants-
So instead of simply telling them straight up that you have no element of chance, or for that matter, playing a diceless system, you instead blatantly lie to your players?
>Yes, but it's okay when I do it-
If your players thought so, then you wouldn't need to lie, now would you?

Let me fast forward this bit of strawmanning here and get to the point: You care about your fun, not the whole table's, and that's why you're a shit GM.

>> No.42811929

You must have a high tolerance for that shit, then. I'd leave a game if my character kept failing every roll because of "ridiculously stupid high DCs."

If I'm not contributing to the game in a meaningful way you can just write my character for me. I prefer to PLAY a ROLE in these role-playing games, but some people seem to think it's weird when I want that role to matter.

>> No.42811932

It WAS an eight-foot tall super powerful alien

You think I would do that without the PCs killing him in an equally stylish manner?

They turned a supply drop into an orbital bombardment by jury rigging a triangulated targeter, and pointed the dot right on his fucking forehead

>> No.42811941

I don't think YOU know what a GM is. Why do you even want players? Just roleplay with yourself. You clearly don't want to cede even the slightest possible control over the game, god forbid players have any agency of their own, so why not just play with yourself instead of making players suffer through your retarded teenage power trip?

>> No.42811953

Like I said, not advocating it, but I see where he's coming from.

One of the biggest regrets was a mistake I made in one of the first campaigns I GM'd, where I fudged an enemy's crit roll that would have otherwise straight up killed one of my players. I always wonder how that would have played out if it had gone through, because the group I play with hasn't ever had to deal with PC death before.

>> No.42811979


>>42811817 >>42811862 >>42811892
<-- This anon here.

I tend to just let the dice fall where they may. The players shouldn't be immune to the consequences of bad luck or bad planning.

Don't fuck them deliberately, but if something would reasonably happen, sometimes it's gotta happen. For better or for worse.

>> No.42812606

>implying the bbeg isn't one of the player characters in the group who is a plant

You don't think very much of me, do you?

>> No.42812623

>Get players
>have them assemble characters in whatever system
>it is actually a diceless system
>they do not know that
>I have them roll dice at important junctures, tell them what I feel like should happen
>they fucking eat it up
>I never return to that group and abandon them entirely, feeling unsure about what I've done

>> No.42812632

that animu looks cute. is there a source?

>> No.42812638

His Minions: a bit. 4% or so of game time

Himself: only once they make it to the final dungeon.

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