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Richard Penwarden

Hi all. A friend off mine asked me how many Orcs would it take to provide a "serious" challenge to a party of 5x 5th level characters? He's looking for around 50% casualties, which I think he means down to about half hit points but victory to the players. He thinks its 32 orcs for 3.5. He doesn't want to kill the party, its a one off demo so the players are relatively inexperienced with 5th (but not D&D).

I don't use the CR ratings much but looking at page 82DMG came up with 25 Orcs but then saw the x4 for over 15 foes table, so is that too many? I'm thinking its a medium encounter rather than a hard one.

Party human arcane trickster, dwarf fighter champion, tiefling wizard, half elf nature cleric, half elf bard.

Straight fight, no terrain, cover, surprise mods, etc.

Any pointers gratefully appreciated.

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#RPGaDay2016 Day 31. Best advice you've been given for RPG of choice or style of play.

If everyone is having fun, you are doing it right. If you've had to create rules on the fly or alternatively whole-scale ignore rules to achieve this but still able to treat all players fairly, you're doing it right. If all the players (including GM) are faced with some sort of challenge and the story reaches something resembling a satisfactory conclusion (whether the "bad guys" were defeated or not), you are doing it right.

Don't take my word for it, here's what the Jedi say:

"Remember, concentrate on the moment. Feel, don’t think. Trust your instincts."

#RPGaDay2016 Day 29. Ideal game room with unlimited budget.

I'm probably the wrong person to ask. Always been function over fashion, never had enough money to be anything else. I just need a table to plonk my books and dice on, maybe some shelves for additional books that probably aren't needed but you never know...

Might sound corny, but if I really had an unlimited budget I'd create game rooms in underprivileged areas across the world - parts of Africa, Asia, inner cities, etc. Something for youngsters to do and help their math, language and social skills. As well as a safe environment for them to have fun.

Like politicians, be careful of questions you ask roleplayers - it's unlikely you'll get the answer you're looking for!

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#RPGaDay2016 Day 29. Where in the world would you like to game.

Thinking a lot about this one. If I could game anywhere, where would it be? Love history and have lots of European friends; so maybe Rome or Athens and soak up some culture. Heck, I've never been to Scotland so I could check out Hadrian's Wall. On the other hand, how about somewhere in Asia or America, a rain forest, a desert, the Arctic!

Whilst there are many cool places I think I would have to go for the people rather than the location. I am blessed to have friends from all over the world (mainly thanks to this hobby). My friends have wildly different cultures, languages and cuisine not to mention political and spiritual beliefs maybe, but that's cool. We still get along.

If you have to push me for an answer I'd have to go with Australia. It's probably the most expensive place I could choose and the one I'm least likely to visit. There are some amazingly cool and laid back people there. Shout out to my Aussie friends. Love seeing your posts from the other side of the world.

You've never rolled a D20 until you've rolled an Antipodean D20!

#RPGaDay2016 Day 28. Thing your be most surprised a friend had not seen or read.

Is this RPG related? I don't know, we're all different, all got different tastes. I guess Star Wars or Lord of the Rings but it's cool if not. Don't really understand the question from an RPG perspective.

#RPGaDay2016 Most unusual location or circumstance you have gamed.

Going to have to go with the time I was visiting my sister on holiday. Her husband was in the armed forces and he knew I was a gamer. He suggested I might like to join the base's group for a one-shot. Vividly remember playing Leprechaun from the Book of Lairs, I played a Bard (as always!).

What was really great was not so much the session itself but the way these guys who were maybe 10-15 years older than me just let me join in as if we'd been playing together for years. I think I was about 16 at the time. That's one of the best things about the hobby - age is no barrier and you can meet people you wouldn't normally get a chance to talk to.

#RPGaDay2016 Day 26 Which hobbies go well with RPGs.

The lame answer is any and all, a good roleplayer can tap into anything as a source of inspiration.

Okay, so reading, films and computer games help teach a sense of drama and character development. Not to mention having a handy point of reference "the giant worms are just like the Shai Hulud from Dune but they're purple", etc.

I find listening to music gives me ideas, particularly Vangelis, Blind Guardian, Two Steps from Hell and The Prodigy.

On a practical note if you are good at painting/art/sculpture you can bring games to life with fantastic miniatures and scenery.

It goes much deeper than that. Like cookery? Great, that'll help next time you describe a meal or tavern fare. Like travel? Great, remember those exotic locations and weather for your adventure descriptions. Like natural history? You can describe animals and beasts in their natural environment and get a sense of how the balance can be affected by your adventure hooks.

The list is virtually endless. If something interests you, chances are you can enhance your game at some level with it and make it interesting for others.

RPGaDay2016 Day 25 what makes a good character?

Flaws. Faults. Something that gives a character some depth, something to overcome. If your character is perfect, why would they want to adventure with others? In fact, why would they want to adventure at all? That's why I love #5e #Dnd and the Inspiration rules.

If you are good at something, great but equally you should be poor at something else. Not perfectly balanced, but all characters should have both strengths and weaknesses to make them interesting.

Mechanically, I feel guilty if I roll up a hero with all high stats/ everything above average. Just doesn't feel right/real. Give me the challenge of a hero with -1 Wisdom our Strength, etc. I can come up with a character that I'll really be invested in.

I recently read an article about how to optimize your character - damage dealer, etc. I was horrified. It's so wrong, your character should be much more rounded. Besides, you are leaving yourself open to TPK if you specialise too far as a party. I prefer not to know what the others were rolling until the party meet for the first time: "Oh, you're a healer? Me, too" - playing a party where everyone is a healer with no fighters/rogues/wizards would be a barrel of fun and, more importantly, A CHALLENGE.

Besides, the GM will only have to make the challenge tougher if you optimise, so make it easy on them and you can all have fun.

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#RPGaDay2016 Day 24. Game you are most likely to give to others.

Cubicle 7's Lone Wolf Adventure Game, honestly so simple you can play in ten minutes plus the artwork is gorgeous. Also I love heroic fantasy rather than kill the monster, loot the treasure.

It's based on the fantastic Lone Wolf gamebooks by Joe Dever, which you may legally read for free here:
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