Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

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gibletblizzard
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Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by gibletblizzard » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:45 pm

http://gibletblizzard.blogspot.com/2013 ... nners.html

Just some thoughts on good funnel design, and some house rules to encourage the funnel run experience.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Disemvowel » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:08 am

Very inspirational reading. Love it. I am going over your blog now...thanks

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Skyscraper » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:03 am

Interesting thoughts.

I like the no demi-humans idea. I've read about this in a few places recently, and I'm about to implement it into my homebrew, because (1) I can and (2) I think it will fit the setting better and (c) it so happens that all demi-humans are dead after the funnel.

I'm neutral on the no alignment thing. I would not mind playing that way and it adds a subtle layer to the PC's creation, but your blog is somehwat suggestive that the PCs had no decision to make about alignment before Day-One where their PCs are taken to the task by the players and I think that's just wrong. "Everybody is neutral" is reductive: everyone is the same until Adventure Calls. As judge, and campaign creator, I like that everyone is not the same. The one-armed fisherman in my campaign is a chaotic SOB, and the secretive sorceress is also chaotic; the simple-minded cleric's helping hand is lawful, as is the daughter of the dying burgomaster; and the mining company's overseer is neutral. And the PCs come from that village where everyone has his own thing, however simple that peasant's or farmer's life has been up to now. So the background of this houserule doesn't jive with me, although the idea of determining alignment in play, does.

Providing opportunities (or hooks for classes to develop in-game): I agree. I like that the wizard doesn't have to invent, "hey, I didn't tell you about it yet, but I've been studying magic for years now..."
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by phg » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:52 am

Skyscraper wrote:I'm neutral on the no alignment thing.
I'm chaotic on the no alignment thing. ;)

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Flexi » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:47 pm

phg wrote:
Skyscraper wrote:I'm neutral on the no alignment thing.
I'm chaotic on the no alignment thing. ;)
I'm chaotic neutral on the whole alignment thing! :wink:

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by gibletblizzard » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:57 am

@ Deft
Skyscraper wrote:....but your blog is somehwat suggestive that the PCs had no decision to make about alignment before Day-One where their PCs are taken to the task by the players and I think that's just wrong....
It's why I included the word 'most' in "You'd have a hard time convincing me that most zeroes are anything but Neutral."

And I agree with you that some of the PCs should have Lawful or Chaotic alignments should they be fitting; certain occupations definitely imply it.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:40 am

http://ravencrowking.blogspot.ca/2012/0 ... c-rpg.html

THE NOBODY RULE: A 0-level character is nobody in the grand scheme of things, and the player need not choose an alignment for every character in a 0-level funnel. Rather, the occurrences in play should aid the player in choosing an alignment for survivors, and these characters must be aligned prior to (or at the point of) attaining 1st level.

For example, Joe the Butcher need not be aligned, but until Joe has chosen to serve Law, Neutrality, or Chaos, he cannot progress to 1st level. Joe can put off that choice until gaining 10 experience points and choosing his starting class....but no later.

----

I don't make 0-levels choose alignment, either. If they do, they might gain the benefits/drawbacks of alignment-related effects, but they do not have to.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Skyscraper » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:03 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:http://ravencrowking.blogspot.ca/2012/0 ... c-rpg.html

THE NOBODY RULE: A 0-level character is nobody in the grand scheme of things, and the player need not choose an alignment for every character in a 0-level funnel. Rather, the occurrences in play should aid the player in choosing an alignment for survivors, and these characters must be aligned prior to (or at the point of) attaining 1st level.

For example, Joe the Butcher need not be aligned, but until Joe has chosen to serve Law, Neutrality, or Chaos, he cannot progress to 1st level. Joe can put off that choice until gaining 10 experience points and choosing his starting class....but no later.

----

I don't make 0-levels choose alignment, either. If they do, they might gain the benefits/drawbacks of alignment-related effects, but they do not have to.
I think it's quite workable, and as noted above I would not mind playing with this approach. But this opens up the whole alignment can of worms. Does one choose to serve Law, Neutrality or Chaos, as you point out? Or is alignment not a result of one's actions, as suggested by gibletblizzard? In the latter case, I think that everyone should have an alignment early in their life, not just when they become adventurers. I don't mind one explanation or the other really, and a game world can certainly work with either. Introducing the "unaligned" option as you suggest here (I have not read your link) is another interesting approach, one that I have used in my latest D&D campaign. But if "unaligned" is an option for players, is it not then also for NPCs?

My personal preference, is that if we're going to play with alignment and give it an important role, as is the default assumption in the DCC RPG as far as I understand it, I'd rather we embrace it fully. To me, this means that every conscious creature is aligned and can benefit/suffer from its alignment. What is alignment? This is less important to me, to some extent. Maybe it's something that was attached to you when you were born, a fate; maybe it's a result of your actions; maybe it's something you chose somewhere early in your life; but in any event, for game purposes, all conscious creatures have an alignment, including the PCs. I could allow the players to choose alignment during the funnel since this might be more interesting for the character creation process, but doing so would be a metagaming approach. Quite doable, perhaps even desirable, but metagaming nonetheless and consequently non-representative of the creature status in the game world where all creatures all have alignments.
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:14 am

I view alignment, in the DCC/Appendix N scheme of things to require understanding and choice, in general. Most things are, effectively, Neutral, if they are natural. In books like Three Hearts and Three Lions and the Moorcock Elric saga, it seems that alignment is specifically a matter of choice, and not necessarily even of morals. Acting in your alignment increases you Luck; acting outside it decreases your Luck. In either case, though, your alignment does not dictate your actions, and your actions do not dictate your alignment.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Skyscraper » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:39 am

Raven_Crowking wrote:I view alignment, in the DCC/Appendix N scheme of things to require understanding and choice, in general. Most things are, effectively, Neutral, if they are natural. In books like Three Hearts and Three Lions and the Moorcock Elric saga, it seems that alignment is specifically a matter of choice, and not necessarily even of morals. Acting in your alignment increases you Luck; acting outside it decreases your Luck. In either case, though, your alignment does not dictate your actions, and your actions do not dictate your alignment.
Interesting.

If I understand what you're saying correctly, everyone has a default alignment, namely neutral, until they choose law or chaos, is that right? Or is everyone "unaligned" until they choose an alignment? I'm not sure I understand or reconcile your two previous posts.

If "neutral" is the default alignment, then everyone is, in reality, aligned from the get-go, correct?

If "unaligned" exists, then presumably many (most?) of the NPCs that characters encounter, are unaligned, is that correct? How do you handle spells or other effects that trigger off alignment, with regards to those that are unaligned, PCs or NPCs?

How do you see characters (PCs or NPCs) "choosing" their alignment? Do they commit to it in their heads, at one point saying "I'm going to follow Law" and from then on, they are tagged lawful and the spells, effects, magic items, etc.. react to them accordingly? What if they want to switch? Can they, similarly, simply decide "I'm switchin to Chaos" and it's done?

I admit that, at the outset, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this concept, although it probably makes as much sense as any other explanation about alignment anyway, heh.
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:50 am

"Effectively neutral" and "actually Neutral" are not quite the same thing.

Law, Neutral, and Chaos are like teams. You might play for one without knowing it, but choosing an alignment is actually deciding what team you play for. So, yeah, a lot of the world would be effectively "unaligned", even if it is nominally connected to one team or another.

Within this scheme, giant ants are "unaligned Lawful" because, although working towards order, they don't understand what they are doing, and the deer in the forest are "unaligned Neutral". PCs in this case are effectively "unaligned Neutral".
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Skyscraper » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:36 am

Okay.

So how does one get drafted by one of the teams? How do you shift from "unaligned (whatever)" to, say, Lawful?
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:09 pm

One makes a choice. If one is to gain class levels, one must make a choice.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by gibletblizzard » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:59 pm

This is a very good post and very relevant:

http://ageofruins.wordpress.com/2013/04 ... llegiance/

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:50 am

Nice article. I've added that blog to my reading list.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Skyscraper » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:22 pm

Insightful reading here, both within this thread and in that blog (and the links therein). Thanks to both of you, gibletblizzard and RC, for sharing your thoughts.

I am presently considering the alignment as allegiance system, to see if I want to include it in my DCC campaign. I really like that it's about a PC's choice, like choosing to follow a god.

What I'm unclear on, is how to implement this choice by the PC in-game. For a cleric, who choses to follow a god, this presumably happened by one of diverse options: the PC was trained by the church and underwent a sanctification ceremony of some kind, or the PC had a calling by the god or one of its immortal representatives (direct contact), but in any event the PC had to commit to the god at some point by pledging his life to that god. And the god received that pledge. This suggests a way to enforce the contract should the cleric be found to impeach: the god may then send one of his avengers to strike down the sinner.

Now, if alignment is to have a significant impact in-game, I'd like for the process of the PC choosing alignment to be meaningful. One of the links in the blog you linked to, gibletblizzard, hints to that. I.e. does the PC need to undergo some kind of initiation, or fasting period, or rite, or official pledge (before whom?), or... ?

What are your ideas on this?

RC, you seem to suggest that the players simply choose an alignment for their PCs at level 1. Is it implied that this pledge is somehow included in this choice? How do you see this happening?
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:09 pm

I assume that part of what makes 1st level PCs better than 0-levels is that, consciously or not, they have made that choice.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Skyscraper » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:39 pm

Raven_Crowking wrote:I assume that part of what makes 1st level PCs better than 0-levels is that, consciously or not, they have made that choice.
Simple solution. :)
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:41 pm

Skyscraper wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:I assume that part of what makes 1st level PCs better than 0-levels is that, consciously or not, they have made that choice.
Simple solution. :)
From a simple man. :D
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Raven_Crowking » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:41 pm

Skyscraper wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:I assume that part of what makes 1st level PCs better than 0-levels is that, consciously or not, they have made that choice.
Simple solution. :)
From a simple man. :D
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by maxinstuff » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:00 pm

Seeing as characters can consiously choose to change alignment anyway - especially at level 0 where you have little investment by way of patrons etc. - why not just roll a d3 at character generation?

1 = lawful
2 = nuetral
3 = chaotic



That way everyone wins. Players can have their character change alignment for metagaming purposes if they wish, and people who enjoy the challenges and interplay that occurs in multi-alignment parties can stick with what they rolled.

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Re: Some thoughts on Funnel Runs

Post by Hrevelax » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:22 pm

Awesome stuff! The links you provided are inspirational too! I'm excited to try some of these ideas out for my own group.

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