Playing an Adventure Multiple Times

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I see the positives, I really do:

•*No more 4-man tables because people have already played a mod; and no more tables dissolving when that same 4-man table's rogue finds the AR meaning he's already played.

•*No more 'missing out' when you find the item your paladin really wanted was in a mod played with your wizard.

But no matter what, people will use their prior knowledge in-game. "I really don't want to go down that tunnel." and "I'm gonna look for traps here... oh, I'm gonna look again... I failed? I'll give it one more try! Oh look there IS one."

Plain and simple, they'll have that knowledge and (if they're a good person) sub-consciously they'll act differently. Cheaters, of course, will have a field day.

This completely (for me) invalidates the idea of LFR, and even D&D 4e being a "role-playing" game... and instead just being a series of miniature battles, able to be played again and again and again.

Very disappointing.
I have to say I agree. It's a little disappointing, but I still have faith in the campaign regardless of this speed bump.

What makes it digestible for me is the fact that you can choose not to replay adventures if you'd like. This rule puts the option in the hands of the players. This way, if you play a mod you really like, you can say "I'd really love to play this with my friends" and play it again. Alternatively, you could opt out of doing so for the reasons described above.

I think there just has to be firm control over people on an iterative run so that they don't ruin the adventure for the first-timers.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
The different trap rules probably mean it's less easily disabled with a single roll.

But really, it just makes it legal (and encouraged) for people to play through a mod a second time in a combat-only capacity. For a reward.
I've seen a few times where the 4-man table falls apart and we play anything with the 4th person just being quiet. Same thing, only now he can get some xp and treasure (and risk death again).

I imagine a "no spoilers" house rule and glares from party members would keep some of the OOC knowledge to a minimum, but it does help if the party hits a brick wall.

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But no matter what, people will use their prior knowledge in-game. "I really don't want to go down that tunnel." and "I'm gonna look for traps here... oh, I'm gonna look again... I failed? I'll give it one more try! Oh look there IS one."

Plain and simple, they'll have that knowledge and (if they're a good person) sub-consciously they'll act differently. Cheaters, of course, will have a field day.

But ultimately, basically there's no benefit to cheating. So you didn't trigger the trap in the tunnel - if no one died at the end of the mod, you come out equivalent to the person who didn't cheat.

That's really different than LG, where I've known quite a few people to go AR hunting and ask all kinds of leading questions. Those people, assuming someone eventually told them what mod to play, did benefit from cheating.
Remember that part of the "play again" rule is that you HAVE to notify the GM that you have played the adventure before, but with a different character.

I would imagine that the GM would have an ugly stick available to handle that player, if necessary. Up to, and including, using the RPGA rules to handle the situation; since they do have rules (and penalties) on cheating and such...
I have to say that I find this disappointing. I suppose that I can see where it'll help with some situations, but I think it tremendously takes away from the role-playing aspect of playing an adventure. I'd be very curious to hear from anyone who was involved in writing this rule, as to why they made this very significant change.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
I too see Problems coming from this .... but of all the bonus's so far the one thats missing is this

DM's will no longer have to Burn mods

I'll be honest I cant tell you how many times in our home group you'd hear one of the 3 DM's Say "Man I wish I was playing this but oh well"

or after Red Hand of Doom one player was behind 4 -5 Levels on the rest of the Group Making it Nearly impossible to catch up to the Rest of the players

or a Personal Story Rolling my Truck at 65 mph on the Freeway Loosing 3/4ths of one chars AR Stack and wasting those Adventures

now as for the Traps Comment ... We don't know Just how Modular these Mods will be .... they experimented with "Encounter Modulation" Recently in a LG COR Mod (for those of you who have Run it you know which one I'm talking about) I Imagine the Rewards will be more static

another reason I see for doing this is Con's .... I have been to 3 Cons in my career (yes I know its not a lot) but each time I hear the Same Complaint "We Need more DM's for X and Y" imagine how this will help Con Coordinators
I think it tremendously takes away from the role-playing aspect of playing an adventure.

I am not involved in creating this rule but I do agree with it. As far as taking away from the roleplaying aspect of the game, I think it challenges roleplayers to play their character to the conditions of the adventure and not just walk down a familiar path the player already knows about.

How many times have you or others you know played adventures out of sequence. You wouldn't care for it to be spoiled then and that should be the motivation now. Enjoy playing with a character that sees things from a different set of eyes.

Meta-game cheating may happen, but for those that enjoy role playing, you will have many more opportunities to do so.

Lenny
How about this:

I play fairly regularly. Average, about a mod a week (well, two mods every other week, but it comes out the same).

We're gonna have, what 60+ mods a year? And there are 52 weeks in a year. If I start playing some mods twice, then I'll probably miss other mods entirely.

If there are people out there who could seriously play enough that they can start playing every mod mulitple times, then go right ahead.

Big Mike
Calgary AB
Remember that part of the "play again" rule is that you HAVE to notify the GM that you have played the adventure before, but with a different character.

I would imagine that the GM would have an ugly stick available to handle that player, if necessary. Up to, and including, using the RPGA rules to handle the situation; since they do have rules (and penalties) on cheating and such...

LOL

If you knew how bloody IMPOSSIBLE it was to get the higher-ups in the RPGA to deal with blatant cheaters during LG, you'd rethink this statement.

We had one player who blatantly made false game days, cheated on die rolls in front of Triads, changed ability scores and printed out his own ARs and it took THREE YEARS for them to act on those rules and penalties.

We had another player who regularly promised to run modules out of region, printed up his own fake certs, and would regularly show up at conventions with blank ARs and pass them out to his cronies. Nothing was done with this guy because he switched regions.

I won't even go into the message board with AR rewards in full detail or with the guy spamming all the lists for regional modules.

Please pardon me while I laugh out loud again.

LOL
The way I see it, it removes alot of obstacles that were hindering the number of tables being played and can be largely avoided by the players who don't like the change with a bit of effort.

I imagine there will be some effort made to muster first-timers and re-players into different groups so as to remove plot spoilage and since we members can compose our own home tables people re-playing can just be left off the inivite list.

If people are cheating up their character advancement on the other side of the campaign it annoys me a but, really isn't going to ruin my fun around the table I am at.
I think that this just shows that if someone wishes to cheat, there is nothing stopping them from cheating. Heck, white out and a copier will allow you to apply just about any AR to any character as it stands now.

Putting this rule into effect just allows those of us who don't wish to cheat to be able to help out others in need. Personally, I'd rather not play a mod I already ran because it spoils the fun. But if my FLGS needs an extra guy at the table, I'd be willing to help out.
At Origins some of my friends and I were talking about LFR and if we were going to play, judge, etc.. and I think it was a former triad member who said, Train wreck waiting to happen."


I think the first car has jumped the track.
I don't see a big probem with this. Really. Maybe it's because, personally, i know some people who, back in the day, sat through a table of a mod they already played so there was a legal table. They just kept their mouth shut on any of the decision making.

Granted, they were more mature players. I believe in most cases if someone were to sit down at a table to a mod they played before with other people who were first-timers and tried to "run the mod" by side-stepping everythign in their path and annoucing upcoming elements using their prior knowledge, the other players at the table would probably tell him/her/it to shut the heck up so it wasn't ruined for them. Mostly likely with wild variations of politeness. :D
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I'm not extremely in favor of this change and can't see myself taking advantage of it, but it does make sense to me.

Over time, the RPGA has made rule changes to lessen administrative headaches and eliminate kinds of cheating.

One example: In LG, it wasn't legal to change your build whenever you wanted. You couldn't, for example, suddenly swap in a bunch of levels of Eldritch Knight on your gish once it became available.

You know what? People did it anyway.

As a campaign staff, how do you catch/police/enforce that? It's a pain in the ass. It's too hard to keep track of what everyone was, and too easy for the cheater to have multiple character sheets, etc. ready to cover their ass.

You look at later campaigns like LGR that basically said: just rebuild whatever you want whenever you want.

Sure, you can do ridiculous things with that freedom that ultimately violate all continuity, story, or RP for your character... but mostly, it just lets honest players do what people who want to cheat already were doing and very able to get away with.

Replaying mods is about in that boat for me. Sure, someone willing to do a comprehensive enough audit could catch it if the player actually recorded it, but how often did that actually happen, and who would want to spend their time doing such a thing? I'm sure the campaign administrators would rather spend their contributing time on just about anything else.
I have to say that I find this disappointing. I suppose that I can see where it'll help with some situations, but I think it tremendously takes away from the role-playing aspect of playing an adventure. I'd be very curious to hear from anyone who was involved in writing this rule, as to why they made this very significant change.

I have a laundry list of reasons why this was changed, and I'll be more than happy to share them with you at Gen Con or anywhere else you can wrangle me. I will most likely be writing an article when I have the chance to discuss this change.

Chris Tulach

D&D Program Manager

Wizards of the Coast  

Chris on Twitter

 

Greetings...

I'm happy to talk about this decision, why it was taken, and what we hope to accomplish by allowing people to play adventures multiple times. I recognize that some folks will probably never get on board with this idea, but I think for the vast majority of players this causes little to no harm and it does a great deal of good.

First of all, let me tell you my philosophy on "cheating." I am not going to sit here and say that nobody cheats. Of course some people cheat. However, I don't think there is any value in trying to stop them. No matter what rules or systems you come up with, someone who is determined to cheat can easily get around those rules and systems. Most of the time, those things just make it even harder for honest players to play the game and have fun. For example, we could certainly make a rule that the DM is required to check every single character and confirm that the math is correct and the character has legitimately gained every XP and gold piece that the player claims. No doubt that this system would occasionally catch a cheater (and it would also find a lot of honest math errors). Of course, it would take an hour out of every single session while the DM laboriously audited each and every player character, and I am pretty sure that we would lose far more players because of the boredom and annoyance than we would gain from the subset of players who might appreciate the fact that nobody else at the table was cheating on their character sheet.

The simple truth is that this is not a competition. The RPGA has to get away from the old "tournament" mentality or it will never appeal to the casual gamer. The D&D Championship is there if you want to compete. Living Forgotten Realms should just be about having cool adventures with fun people and enjoying the game of D&D. Therefore, if we have a choice between allowing something that will be a big benefit to the majority of players but at the same time it opens up an avenue by which someone could cheat to gain an unfair advantage, we're probably going to come down on the side of being open. In a team-oriented tabletop roleplaying game it's pretty hard to see how people who cheat are really cheating anybody but themselves anyway.

I see allowing replay of adventures as being one of those things with a lot of potential win and very little potential lose. Yes I suppose there is some risk that a player will ruin everybody else's fun by shouting out all the secrets. But I really don't think that is going to happen much, if it happens at all. Someone who wanted to do that before LFR could simply order a home game with the same adventure or download it online (I'm sure all the RPGA adventures that have ever been published are available somewhere on the Internet) and read it before coming to the game. If you want to cheat and ruin everybody else's fun, you don't need a "replay rule" to enable that. It's quite easy to do. So I think this idea that allowing people to play adventures more than once is going to somehow unleash a horde of problem players who have been invisible up until now is a bit overblown.

I have personally met literally thousands of different people during my time in the RPGA and I can count on one hand the number of people I have met at RPGA events who were just pure jerks. 99.99% of all the other people I have gamed with were nice folks who were there to have some fun. I think if anything people will go out of their way to avoid spoiling things for the people who haven't yet played an adventure. But if someone is a problem, the DM has tools to deal with that. We have made it very clear in the adventure boilerplate that the DM is empowered to do what she needs to do in order to help everybody have fun in LFR. If that means changing a few details then change a few details. The RPGA also has sanctioning mechanisms in place for people who are disruptive. A table DM with a problem player who is not playing well with others should be able to turn to the Senior DM just the same way she would if that player was kicking and screaming because his character just died to a critical hit from an orc with a greataxe.

I also don't expect that replay of adventures will really be all that common. As someone already pointed out upthread, we will be releasing some 60-odd adventures a year. If you have time to play them all twice then more power to you but I suspect most people do not enjoy that luxury. It's going to be tough to keep up with playing everything once, much less multiple times. I think the situation where people will end up replaying an adventure will be those situations that already exist in the RPGA.

- You have a couple of new players who show up at a convention to give the campaign a try but there isn't anybody who hasn't already played everything and nobody wants to make a new 1st-level character anyway because that means they wouldn't be able to play that adventure later with their primary character. No problem now because you can replay it. I think most people are perfectly willing to sit in and "play dumb" on a module if it will get some new players a chance to experience the RPGA, especially if they don't have anything going on in that slot anyway, but before now, you had to be willing to break the rules to do that (even if you didn't take an AR).
- You have a new adventure that nobody wants to DM because they won't get any rewards for their character and will fall behind their regular group. No problem now because you can replay it. Or you come to a convention and for whatever reason they were not able to get you into a slot zero. Before now you just had to grit your teeth and burn the mod. Now you can replay it.
- You have one of those bummer game day situations where only 5 people show up. You need 4 players and a DM. But there is no adventure that everybody has in common that they haven't played so instead you have no game and everybody has to go home. (Or you break out Three-Dragon Ante, which by the way I am not slamming as it is great fun, but when I show up to play D&D, I would prefer to play D&D.)
- You have a bad experience with a DM who stayed up all night playing midnight madness and the adventure ends in 2 hours because the DM rushes through everything so fast you have no idea what was going on. Now you can replay it and get the proper experience. Or you have a TPK because everybody's dice went cold in the first combat encounter and you never got to find out what happened after that encounter. You can't replay it with the same character, but at least you can replay it.
- You have two groups of friends who you like to play with but one group has high-level characters and the other group has low-level characters. You have multiple characters, so you can play with either group, but you have to be super careful about which adventures you play with which group of friends so that you don't miss part of a series with a character who played another part already. Now you don't have to worry about it.

The list goes on and on. My point is not that replaying adventures is going to be as much fun as playing them the first time. Of course it is not as much fun when you already know the plot twists. But a good DM might be able to tweak a few things and throw you a curveball (I know I never run the same adventure quite the same way twice). Plus a great deal of the fun comes from the other people at the table and the roleplaying interactions between characters. That is going to be just as much fun whether you are going through the scenario for the 1st time or the 5th time.

For me the clincher is simply this: if you feel that playing an adventure more than once is somehow contrary to the spirit of the game, you don't have to do it. I totally support anybody who makes the decision for themselves that they personally do not intend to ever replay an adventure and we tried to make sure that nobody would be punished in any way by the campaign rules for making that choice. You will not lose out on anything that anybody else can get because we do prohibit people from playing the same adventure with the same character. So if you play all 60 adventures one time each with your one character and I play all 60 adventures ten times each with my ten characters, then sure, I obviously have more total character levels than you at my disposal, but my highest-level character by definition cannot be any higher level or have any more stuff than your highest-level character so we are still on a level playing field.

Anyway, that's probably enough for one post. I am happy to take any follow-up questions that folks might have or talk about this issue in more detail. I don't expect to be able to change everybody's mind, but I just ask that you give the idea some thought. When I first heard about this idea (quite some months ago) I had the same initial reaction -- it seemed wrong on some fundamental level because playing the same adventure twice has never been allowed. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this really does solve a ton of problems. They are corner cases, but when they happen, they are really frustrating and they serve as a reason for people not to participate in organized play. Basically all this change really does (in my opinion) is helps honest people avoid being put into bad situations where they have to choose between multiple bad options (eat an adventure or cheat, play dumb to make a table and cheat or turn away new players, etc.) and it doesn't really enable any kind of cheating that people couldn't already do if they were so inclined. So to me it is a great change. I also think that most people will probably have little or no reason to actually take advantage of the replay rule, but now it is there if you need it.

Talk to you later --

Sean
----
M. Sean Molley
LFR Global Administrator, Western Hemisphere - South
Talk to you later -- Sean ---- M. Sean Molley | sean [at] basementsoftware [dot] com LFR Global Administrator
For what it's worth (which may be nothing), I think that this has officially made my decision that I will be switching my bi-weekly home game from a regular Forgotten Realms game to a Living Realms game as soon as the current story arc is over. The idea that I had been toying around with for a while was that since basically everyone in our group can DM, we could each pick a region and then rotate DMs, and that way one player only had to eat mods from his region and that was it. Now that he doesn't even have to do that, I think it makes it even better. Now I won't have to worry about being the guy playing the wizard who just ran the mod that gave me that orb that I've been wanting for the last 3 levels, because I can play the mod myself and get it. It basically solves all the issues (except for the unavoidable issue where my players hate paperwork) that kind of stood in my way.

I also love the Genasi and the Swordmage, so this has been a good day for me!
I have been playing D&D for 34 years. During that time, I have witnessed many times where a player ended up playing an adventure more than once. Sometimes its because a DM wants to run his favorite adventure again in a new campaign. Sometimes its because people belong to multiple playgroups and they all want to run a particular store bought adventure. Sometime they bought the mod with the intent to run it, but one of the other DMs in their group decided he wanted to. Everytime I've seen this happen the player with the inside knowledge usually deliberatly takes a passive role in the adventure, letting the other players take the spotlight and make the decisions. They do this to avoid spoiling everyone else's fun, either because they a nice enough to care that everyone else has fun, or they are smart enough to know what will happen to them when they ruin the fun for everyone else. Not once in the many times I have seen people play an adventure again, have I ever seen anyone use that knowledge to ruin anyone else's fun.

So I am not in the least worried that this is going to change any now that LFR has a rule most people have been using for homeplay anyway.
Writing Director - Returned Abeir
This completely (for me) invalidates the idea of LFR, and even D&D 4e being a "role-playing" game... and instead just being a series of miniature battles, able to be played again and again and again.

Sorry, Mike, but I have to disagree. Role-playing centers on the character, not the player. Otherwise no one should be allowed to have more than one character at any given time.
Writing Director - Returned Abeir
Thanks for the insight, Sean.

I am not optimistic about how this will work in practice. In order to make this work, I think you and the other global admins have to foster a culture in which replaying a scenario is rare and discouraged, if legal.

Otherwise, I can see the campaign shifting into a mode where many of us play the same scenario twice. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. But it's hardly unlikely.

If it's common for half the table to have played the game already, several kinds of stories become impossible (or seriously compromised). No plot
twists, no murder mysteries, no significant unknowns to discover, and
a story that pretends to do any of this can't be taken seriously.

I agree that judges eating modules has been a problem. I haven't seen much in the way of tables failing to form, though. (My experience is mostly in southern California, but I travel a lot.) I suspect that the role-playing element of the RPGA is taking a potential big hit for the sake of a modest mechanical problem.

But, I also think some top-down guidance can minimize this.
Sean, thanks for the thorough reply.

I have to confess that I'm skeptical that it'll work as well as you hope, but we shall see. I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong.
"Of course [Richard] has a knife. He always has a knife. We all have knives. It's 1183, and we're barbarians!" - Eleanor of Aquitaine, "The Lion in Winter"
for the judges burning mods the only alternate Solution that I ever came up with was to give judges AR's for the mods as if they had played them
The way I see it is we are getting more freedom and less bureaucracy, and that is a win. If you want to "farm" a mod for a certain item, why not?

I am in favor of less bureaucracy and less being under the control of a group of administrators that conveniently release and control a region's modules and storyline around their convention that they run.

Less is more, and I think this is going to end up being great for everyone involved.

The more I think about being able to play modules multiple times, the more I like it. If you really like a module or the module is just too big for you to do everything, you can really sink into it and play it multiple times and explore it in depth. Also, many mods play much differently with a 2nd level character and a high level character. This gives you a chance to explore the west wing of that drow citadel you missed the first time through.

Also, we may see mods being written especially for replay-ability and this is a great paradigm shift. Someone mentioned the train coming off the tracks earlier-and thats a good thing, because getting railroaded in a mod is getting old.

I can think of two or three modules right away that the author put so much work and depth into that it could have easily been a two rounder or played twice. Now you won't need to rush through mods-you can play it twice, or whatever you feel like doing-you have the freedom, you have the power. A couple of guys constantly complaining about needy players do not control your play experience. The mods could feature alternate goals, the mods can become more setting based. Its going to be alot more Keep on the Borderlands (finish that in 4 hours) more Lost Tomb of Martek, and Against the Giants, and a lot less of our current "Railroad, 3 encounters, ambushed outside the tavern, evil wizard with +20 init and quickened fireballs." I have played those and played them alot.

I think the writers are going to step up and these mods are going to be amazing. Its a stroke of genius.
No one is going to care about cheaters when this thing gets moving, your going to be too busy having fun. Your going to be too busy with great mods that DMs want to run twice or three times, the journey has just gotten better. Your airplane ticket has just been changed from "Houston Texas to New York" to "any city to any city, you choose because your the customer."

The people are still good, the people still want to do good. This will be amazing.

Who cares about people cheating? We may even see multiple ARs in the future.
I think it was a good decision. If con organizers strive to allow first time players to play mods with as few re-players as possible, I think we can be insulated from some of the more key downsides.
Thank you, Sean Molley, for explaining the reasons behind being able to play an adventure multiple times. I was unhappy when I first read about this, but after reading your explanation, I am much more satisfied. Again, thank you. I guess all that I needed was an explanation.
I am not optimistic about how this will work in practice. In order to make this work, I think you and the other global admins have to foster a culture in which replaying a scenario is rare and discouraged, if legal.

Otherwise, I can see the campaign shifting into a mode where many of us play the same scenario twice. Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. But it's hardly unlikely.

12 regions with 4-5 mods each = 48-60 regionals a year
Cores and Adapables = say 20+ rounds a year.

You're looking at up to 80+ rounds a year of content without needing to travel.

Anyone wanting to play a mod more than once would actually be doing themselves a disservice.

The only people I can actually see replaying mods would be at cons and game days so tables go off or if someone really, really wants something that is found in a mod that is perfect for one of their other characters.

With the open access of PHB items, I don't really see either being all that common, nor will that playstyle be preferred over playing new mods.

I was shocked and a little upset about this ruling when I first saw it. But now that I've calmed down, looked at the numbers involved, and thought about who I actually play with, I'm no longer concerned that this is going to be an issue.

The change does help con coordinators a lot. As someone who has helped organize several cons and game days, that's something that I can really appreciate.
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Everytime I've seen this happen the player with the inside knowledge usually deliberatly takes a passive role in the adventure, letting the other players take the spotlight and make the decisions. They do this to avoid spoiling everyone else's fun

I think that we can agree that this is the best case, and that more often than not that it should occur. Now I'm sure that while we've encountered situations at tables where things are less than optimal, for the most part the players are really good people.

However, how good is this best case?

In essence you have a person that's barely playing the mod.. taking up a space so to speak. We've all encountered this at cons (and after a few nights of midnight madness it might have been us doing it) where a player doesn't seem to get into the mod that they are playing. This is unfortunate, but it happens.

It seems that this system is basically insuring that this is going to occur.. at best.

So even with players being responsible and mature about things, the play does suffer. Worse than when the table next to you is playing the same mod and is about 1-2 minutes ahead of yours...

But in the end, what does it accomplish for the betterment of the players?

Does it avoid slot 0ing problems and eating modules? Perhaps, but there are other ways that this could be done. If it's simply a question about rewards, then have a judges reward pack for eating a module. It would make this issue even more simpler than allowing them to play it later (which would basically amount to a local group getting coerced into playing many modules multiple times which seems down right silly).

Does it make mustering easier? It some ways, and makes it harder in others. I know people are going to feel strongly about having other players at the table that have already played (or ran) the adventure that they're looking to play.

Can it undue a 'bad DM' experience? Not really. Better to just avoid the DM in the future and play a new mod than one that has already been 'spoiled'.

Does it handle lack of play opportunities? With being able to play the equivalent of what 7 regions worth of LG modules per year.. is this going to be a problem? I know that there are people who traveled to more regions than that in LG (and I was one of them for awhile), but for most people it shouldn't be an issue.

And lastly, the last thing I'd want to introduce new people to the RPGA with is a table where half the players have played the module already. They won't realize it at first and wonder why no one is 'pulling their weight' in terms of decision making.. and when they do I know if I were in their place it would turn me off to the whole thing.

-James
How does this affect the player award points you earn for playing an event? Before if you played the same mod twice, the second time was invalided. If I replay a mod, do I get points again for that? Or if three other people at the table are replaying, that would normally invalidate the whole table thus punishing the three players who had not played the mod.
And lastly, the last thing I'd want to introduce new people to the RPGA with is a table where half the players have played the module already. They won't realize it at first and wonder why no one is 'pulling their weight' in terms of decision making.. and when they do I know if I were in their place it would turn me off to the whole thing.

This is unlikely. The re-players have to tell the DM that they have played before. Unless they huddle with the DM and whisper it to him, it shouldn't be a surprise. Most gamers I have met are very courteous, and at Cons I would expect them when forming tables to tell their group they are replaying.
Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf
It seems that this system is basically insuring that this is going to occur.. at best.

The problem I have with almost all of the counter arguments, especially if people start coming up with 'what if scenarios,' is that no one seems to be looking at the likelyhood of it actually happening. We are not encouraging people to do this, only allowing it. My experience with both home games and the RPGA tells me that most people will use this option only sparingly, i.e. to cover the issues it was meant to resolve. Which means that people are not going to find themselves in such situations very often. Add the odds of the situation actually causing the predicted 'bad experience' and the odds of such an experience actually occuring become near negligable.

If it's simply a question about rewards, then have a judges reward pack for eating a module.

That is a very, very bad idea. In a volunteer based organization, rewards make people feel better about their sacrifices. While it might seem logical that the more your reward them the better they feel, it doesn't actually work out that way. What it does is essentially turn them from volunteers willing to help out the community into product paid employees only in it for the merchandise. Not only is that bad for the community but there are much better things for the RPGA to spend its limited budget on than bribing people to do community work. Not to mention such a plan is hardly as simple as this change in the rules.

It would make this issue even more simpler than allowing them to play it later (which would basically amount to a local group getting coerced into playing many modules multiple times which seems down right silly).

I am afraid I don't understand how it would cause the scenario you are suggesting.

Does it make mustering easier? It some ways, and makes it harder in others. I know people are going to feel strongly about having other players at the table that have already played (or ran) the adventure that they're looking to play.

I recall a lot of people saying how strongly they felt about the introduction of Kobolds as a playable race in LG. I worked one up to 6th-level and don't recall it spoiling anyone else's fun. In fact, I remember several instances of people being disappointed when I chose to play a character other than the kobold. I remember lots of people saying kobold PCs would ruin their play experience, yet I never heard a single person actually say that it did.

I have also played many a home game where at least one player was already familiar with the adventure we were playing, yet no one objected and everyone had fun.

So you will forgive me if I take such statementss with a grain of salt.

Can it undue a 'bad DM' experience? Not really. Better to just avoid the DM in the future and play a new mod than one that has already been 'spoiled'.

As a Triad, I have been asked to void a table or allow a replay of an adventure by players because of a bad DMing experience. And I agree, I don't think replaying will change the experience that much. But now the players can at least find that out for themselves.

Does it handle lack of play opportunities? With being able to play the equivalent of what 7 regions worth of LG modules per year.. is this going to be a problem? I know that there are people who traveled to more regions than that in LG (and I was one of them for awhile), but for most people it shouldn't be an issue.

Personally, I don't think lack of play opportunities factored very heavily into the decision. In fact, I would say just the opposite. The fact that LFR has so many play opportunities actually minimizes the likelyhood of abuse of this rule.

And lastly, the last thing I'd want to introduce new people to the RPGA with is a table where half the players have played the module already. They won't realize it at first and wonder why no one is 'pulling their weight' in terms of decision making.. and when they do I know if I were in their place it would turn me off to the whole thing.

That one's already been answered.
Writing Director - Returned Abeir
There is a third option beyond using prior knowlege and sitting back. You could step deeper into your character and roleplay what that character would do. Throughout my roleplaying career, I have found situations where I have had to ignore prior knowlege actually help me better understand my characters.
The problem I have with almost all of the counter arguments, especially if people start coming up with 'what if scenarios,' is that no one seems to be looking at the likelyhood of it actually happening. We are not encouraging people to do this, only allowing it.

So what does it help, exactly?

If easing the reluctance of eating mods is the key, then giving the rewards for playing it seems far more straightforward than asking a person to 'play dumb' through a mod where they know what's behind every door.

Worse, it does detract from the table as much as getting someone who sleeps through a mod (and to some extent we can all be guilty of that). And for what real gain?

I don't see the upside, only the loss. That you're saying it's not that bad of a loss just doesn't seem comforting.

-James

PS: Oh and what I was saying before: imagine an isolated group of 6 which tries to benefit from this rule so that none of them 'loses' out on a module. How do they do it? They need to play it then turn around and play it a second time with everyone already knowing the mod.

Have you been at tables where most of the table wasn't interesting in a mod? How much more likely will that be if a majority of players have already played the mod??
I don't see the upside, only the loss. That you're saying it's not that bad of a loss just doesn't seem comforting.

I am saying the benefits far out weigh the deficits. Sean explained several of those benefits well in his post. I doubt I could do a better job explaining them than he did.

Have you been at tables where most of the table wasn't interesting in a mod? How much more likely will that be if a majority of players have already played the mod??

The players in your hypothetical group all have the choice of doing it that way or not. In the old rules, they didn't have that choice. So either they all decide that they don't like doing it, which loses them nothing over the old rules. Or they decide they don't mind doing it, and they gain. So the new rule loses them nothing over the old rule and now gives them another option that they have the choice to take.
Writing Director - Returned Abeir
I am saying the benefits far out weigh the deficits. Sean explained several of those benefits well in his post. I doubt I could do a better job explaining them than he did.

So he listed the following:

1. Introducing new players to the campaign.

Response: I think this would be a 'bad' introduction to the campaign for them to be playing with a group of players that had all played the mod beforehand. Besides this is presupposing that people have played *all* the mods available.. that's quite a large number, right? We're not talking LG's 8 regional mods per year here.

2. DM rewards for eating a mod within a small regular group.

This doesn't solve that problem at ALL. If you want to solve it then you need to give a reward to the judge for eating the mod.. and the same reward as if having played it handles that alot easier than asking that judge to then find a group willing for him to sit through a mod that he knows all about. In a small regular group that's asking them to turn around and play it twice. Do you picture this as fun? Sounds less of a roleplaying game and more like a table top strategy game at that point. Imagine how a table where everyone has played or judged the module before is going to be like. Worse could you imagine being the only person who hadn't sitting at such a table??

3. Lack of play opportunities.

A repetition of a prior point, and again something that isn't likely to occur, right? I mean how many mods are there supposed to be coming out per year? And one character can play how many of those mods? So without this rule how many 'maxed' characters are we talking here and what play frequency are we talking? I was guessing like 7-8 LG regions worth of play.. but that was a random guess. What kind of numbers are we talking here? Is it going to be a problem (and thus will people that want to play a reasonable amount of mods NEED to replay some)?

4. Bad DM 'ruining' a mod.

Sorry it's still ruined. With the exception that the table gets up and leaves half way through and wants that exact mod back. Still a lot will have been spoiled for them up to that point. Seems better to just start figuring out what judges to avoid and working on improving judges than making a system to handle. If it happens with any frequency then this is a band aid for a major wound... Sounds as if letting them succeed at a petition to replay it as a table would be better than 'polluting' things by asking them to play it again with others.

5. Playing with different groups and coordinating.

Sure you need to watch what you play. But you still do. Cause while it's fun to play with friends, it's not fun to replay mod after mod.. is it? Also it doesn't fully solve this as there's still the restriction on playing the mod more than once with the same character.


These are all the reasons he's listed. I don't see the great thing it's solving, whereas the headache it's likely to cause.

So how can we handle a 'I don't want to play with people who've already played the mod' requests? Get a warhorn option? Just walk from tables or pressure others not to play (i.e. replay) at them? Doesn't sound fun.

I mean honestly if we're going to talk about mustering problems then lets start with 7 person tables. That's caused more headaches than anything. Either you break the rule and have an unwieldy sized table, or you ask someone to sit out and not play. Sounds like more of a problem than wanting to play a mod over and over again.

-James
James, I entered this conversation to help explain the reasons for this decision. You obviously don't agree with them, and that is your right. I only ask that you give the rule a chance before you condemn it.

Game on!
Writing Director - Returned Abeir
I was shocked when I read about this change, but I've thought about it a bit and I think it makes a ton of sense. I'm used to playing or DMing for players who have played part of or all of a module before and it's never been a problem. There are certain penalties, it is true, but there are also certain benefits for roleplaying and storytelling under that situation.

Eating modules, inability to play certain modules because some people go to cons and others don't, or somebody was sick the day we ran a certain one, etc - those all happened. Those are real problems that this helps solve, balanced by a "cost" that is of neutral weight (some bad, some good).

From an organization standpoint, I think this will make it immensely easier for conventions. That's really important.
Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director
So what does it help, exactly?

Let me start by saying that my knee-jerk reaction to hearing of this change was the same as yours, until I really thought about it.

Here's one example scenario for you that I've typically seen about once per convention, occuring more often at smaller conventions:

Everyone has mustered out to play, except for the last 5-6 players. Of the mods the convention has available, 3 of the players have played everything except module A, and 3 of the players have played everything except module B.

Even if an extra judge is found, 3 players aren't a legal table, so no one gets to do anything that slot. This change would fix that.

I can come up with some other examples, but that's all I have time for at the moment. I'll check back later and throw out some more if you're still not convinced.
There's the following other classics:
You're at a 4 person table, the mod has started, and one of the players sheepishly looks up and announces they've already played the mod.

You're trying to make a table, but you've got one person who simply has to play mod X with character Y because they've played the rest of the mods in that series. They don't have to play mod X only with character Y, just character Y has to play it.

A DM called in sick to the convention at the last possible moment. There's a shortage of DMs across the convention and there are two DMs and 16 players. The organizer needs to have one player eat the mod, there are two tables of eight, or four people don't get to play.

"Well, I dunno if I can play that mod or not. You wouldn't happen to know if there was a 46.8K magic item on that AR at a higher APL, would you?"

The classic 7 player table - you form a table of 6 and have one player act as assistant DM. The assistant DM can play the mod later on anyway.

You're at a game day where there is no mod that fits across all the possible APLs that the players want to play, yet there is a 6 player table that can be formed of a mod previously played by 1 or 2 of the players. The options are not playing at all or doing that.
I for one like the new rule. I'm looking at running a local game, and my biggest concern is what to do with judges I don't need. Now, I can have four judges (who slot 0 the mod), and if I don't need them they can play the mod again.

Makes it a little easier to keep judges happy.
First, Sean Molley expertly summed up everything here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=16384054&postcount=17

I want to add that when this rule was proposed, I had the same knee-jerk reaction: there was no way this was going to be good. Then instead of trying to do the infamous Internet forum thing and search for arguments to support my opinion, I actually took a few days to think about it. I made lists of pros and cons, looking at the issue as a player, a DM, a con coordinator, etc.

I began to realize that all of my objections to the rule came down to three things. The first was that it was so different than everything I had been told before, that there was an instant barrier. When I eliminated this reactionary tendency in myself, I could see things much clearer. The next was that many of my resistance was based on the idea that replaying players would not be able to control themselves and balance contributing to the game without dominating. When I thought about all my experiences across many years, campaigns, and events, I realized that most RPGA players will be able to handle it. The final resistance I had was based on an assumption that DMs would not be able to handle their tables. Again, thinking back, this assumption was unfounded. Most RPGA DMs will be able to keep control of the table and handle replayers.

Then I looked at all of the issues that replaying could solve in one simple step, thinking back to all the times where tables did not go off and people were disappointed, and I realized that this rule is a great answer.

I understand that some people will not be able to overcome their initial reactions, for whatever reasons. I understand that immature gamers can ruin experiences for others because of this rule, but then again immature gamers can ruin the fun of others already, irregardless of rules. People who can handle themselves well can help any table be enjoyable, and people who cannot will make tables miserable for myriad reasons. But I cannot let what is good for the campaign be held hostage by a stereotype that all gamers (or even a signficant minority) are inconsiderate tools.

The regional and global admins plan to keep an eye on how this rule affects play in their various domains. Opinions and feedback are always welcome. And feedback and opinions based on actual experiences once the campaign starts rather than supposition are more welcome!

Thanks,

Shawn
LFR Global Admin - Western Hemisphere (North)
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