Did I screw my character by volunteering to judge?

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So I'm new to the RPGA; I've been playing for about a month, and I've decided to judge my first adventure on Monday (won't say which one to avoid spoilers.)  I was prepping my material, flipping through the end of the adventure, when I came across one of the story rewards: step one of a Major Quest.

Having judged this adventure, I'm not clear whether I'm allowed to play through it later; even if I were allowed to, I'm not sure how fair it would be to the other players.  So does this mean that by volunteering to DM, I've entirely missed out on a long-term quest?  Or will future adventures also contain lead-ins to the same quest thread?

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Replaying is completely legal for players and judges.  You haven't missed out on anything!  

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

You are definitely allowed to play mods that you GM. And that you've played before on other characters.

But a note if you're new to playing after GMing a mod ... I personally let other players take the lead in making important decisions that I know the exact "right" answer for after GMing the particular mod. That's not to say I won't roleplay my character but it can ruin some surprises for the other folks if I say "and here is where the ambush comes up so everyone draw your weapons ... oh wait, did I say that out loud?"

What would be your thoughts on this hypothetical rule:

"After party completes an adventure, the judge can choose one of his own characters to gain experience, items, and story rewards as if that character were in the party. "
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It has been suggested a number of times (see the CCG suggestions thread in the RPGA General forum). I personally don't see it happening, but I don't think I would mind it if it were implemented.
This has been discussed in many previous threads.  The short answer is "no."

The core reason for this is that the judge would have a conflict of interest - reward for PC success, pointing the PCs towards story outcomes, etc. 

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

What would be your thoughts on this hypothetical rule:

"After party completes an adventure, the judge can choose one of his own characters to gain experience, items, and story rewards as if that character were in the party. "



Really, the only reason you see other campaigns do this is because most of the other campaigns don't allow judges to play the adventure if they've already run it.

In LFR that's not a problem. Judges can play any adventure regardless of whether or not they've run it. The only restriction is one play through per character.

If you want to reward a judge for volunteering his or her time, I'd suggest that the reward NOT be for one of their characters, but instead something tangible for the judge personally.

Which is what is already being done somewhat, that's what the RPGA Judge Reward Program is for.



-karma
LFR Characters: Lady Tiana Elinden Kobori Silverwane - Drow Control Wizard Kro'tak Warscream - Orc Bard Fulcrum of Gond - Warforged Laser Cleric
It has been suggested a number of times (see the CCG suggestions thread in the RPGA General forum). I personally don't see it happening, but I don't think I would mind it if it were implemented.

I think there's a general "if it's not broke, don't fix it" sense about these sort of judge rewards.  My concern would be that, paradoxically, adding these sort of rewards would lead to fewer DMs.

In the status quo, one of the primary reasons for DMing is a sense of fairness, that it's a shared burden that everyone should take a turn at, so that one person doesn't fall behind the rest.

If a DM receives the same rewards for DMing as playing, it becomes easy to say, "Eh, he's not missing out on anything, and he does a better job than I would any way, so there's no need for me to volunteer."  That's a bit of a problem if, as I would expect is usually the case, the DM enjoys and would actually prefer to play on a regular basis.

There's also a lesser issue of high level PCs who are only rarely (or perhaps never) actually played.  Beyond the fact that this leads to players who have difficulty figuring out what their PCs can do, this also allows for creation of characters that are broken at high level but not fun to play at low.  While retraining limits those cases, there are still a meaningful number of race/class combos that are pretty sub-par until a particular paragon feat or paragon path kicks in, and allowing for players to create those characters without having to suffer through heroic doesn't strike me as a good thing.
Re: the conflict of interest: Is there a conflict of interest in how the group you are GMing for does if you are getting XP/GP/Treasure for the mod? Perhaps, but I suspect that you can easily make it so that the conflict doesn't matter or if it does matter, no one cares.

bgibbons: I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that rewarding judges in any particular way would result in them doing -less- of it. If anything, the cynical side of me would say that more would judge for precisely the suggestion you make, which is that they wouldn't have to play a PC through those "difficult" levels. Just judge 6-9 Level 1-4 mods and your PC is now level 4 and can start in on the H2 mods without ever playing in the hard to survive* lower levels.

I think that those that don't volunteer already have plenty of excuses for not volunteering to GM and the only way to fix that is for those that do GM ... to just not do it and actually tell folks "Look guys, I need a break why doesn't someone else judge". Then it doesn't matter what the excuse is, if the regular GM isn't going to do it, there's only two choices: someone else GM's or there's no game.

* in their own opinions perhaps
Giving judges other rewards doesn't deal with one of the main issues of the home LFR game: My PC is 3rd level and the rest of the party is 5th.  A better way of dealing with that than "cheat" or "lie to your spouce to get to a public game day" would be nice.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

No, kilpatds, the only real way to deal with that problem is my suggestion. Stop GMing. Make someone else do it. And before everyone levels out of a given band.
I do, that's why I'm 3rd level.

Snarky reply: There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.

Non-snarky reply: the quality of the DMs of the group ... varies.  There's a reason why some of us DM more than others.  And it would be nice to have some alternate solutions.  Nice, not required.  But it would be nice.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

Giving judges other rewards doesn't deal with one of the main issues of the home LFR game: My PC is 3rd level and the rest of the party is 5th.  A better way of dealing with that than "cheat" or "lie to your spouce to get to a public game day" would be nice.



They leveled-out without you? Shame on them!  ;)

Seriously though - you're only a couple mods away from 4th, so have them make new level-1 characters and play with your 3rd level character until you can all play H2. (Refuse to judge H2 until they do this.)

Looking forward, schedule your judging duties so you don't get left behind again. 

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

All right, I guess I'm convinced that character rewards for judges could be problematic.

Unfotunately, I'm not going to get to go through this adventure again; the LFR group local to me (Boston) tends not to repeat adventures very often.  But I can live without the major quest.

Mostly, I just wanted my paladin to get his +2 weapon :-) 
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Well, here are some options:

(1) There are a few H1 mods that offer +2 weapons.  They usually see frequent play time since many players like picking these up early for their secondary/tertiary/. . ./dodecedary characters.  There are plenty of spoiler lists that can provide you with that information, so you can request an appropriate mod if your main goal is to get a +2 weapon early on.

(2) There are more major quests out there than one can complete with one character.  Since quest parts are spread over several tiers, it would be a long time before completing this particular quest becomes an issue.  (Unlike a small group that might make efforts to schedule story-line adventures.)

(3) The Boston group is very good with judge support.  Frequently, judges can request/swap mods (and assure seating).  So, if you really want to play AGLA1-1 (or any other mod), just post on their yahoo group and offer to judge something in return.  (i.e. Since I have a character who really wants to play CORM1-2, you could judge that for me one week, and I'll judge AGLA1-1 [or another mod of your choice] for you the next week.) I've frequently posted " Hey, I want to play Mod X.  If anyone is willing to judge it for me, I'll run a mod of your choice in return."

Dan Anderson @EpicUthrac
Total Confusion www.totalcon.com
LFR Calimshan Writing Director
LFR Epic Writing Director

LFR Myth Drannor Writing Director

Not sure it applies here since it is not about level boosts, but:
community.wizards.com/lfr/blog/2010/05/0...

Please discuss that particular blog at the link provided in the blog and not here ;)