Thoughts about my D&D game:

I am done with the individual xp experiment. Pretty sure I am going with static xp so we don’t have spreads of 10% or more. Which I guess kills the incentive for the players to do their IC posts, but I’ll trade that in for “no party level gap.”
I’m not really sure how to deal with some of the game’s problems… We have such a short play time, the scenario I put together for the first two sessions just took 6 or 7.
The problems I’m seeing are:
We’ve drifted from starting at 7 to starting closer to 8:30 or 9. That foreshortens the pre-game social time which tends to make it leak into game time making everyone more distractable.
The shorter sessions mean that we tend to only have one or possibly two encounters a night, which causes them to tend toward set-piece fights instead of smaller fights and social encounters, and the small number of encounters per night means that if, from a fun standpoint, if an encounter doesn’t go well, there is no real chance of fixing the session.

We are suffering from a lot of analysis paralysis as the party tries to find ways to take only actions that are optimally likely to succeed. Or even worse “this is the most likely thing to succeed, so I will do it instead of the other things that are less likely, and I will do it over and over again” because that analysis doesn’t change from round to round.

The current party mix is Debuff Bard/Rogue/Control+Tank Fighter/Combat Priest/Warlock/Barbarian (in theory)

The debuff bard means I really really have to keep track of (and include) more creatures that speak her language since outward facing language requiring abilities work less often than the inward ones.

We seldom have more than 4 players, and never the barbarian (I miss having the barbarian).

That means that the rogue is the primary damage dealer absent the barbarian. The fighter doesn’t do a lot of damage unbuffed, though he is tanking pretty well, he tends not to use his control abilities unless the situation is optimal.

I’d like to get the party moving around a bit more in combat. That probably means more active battle fields and opponents that adopt wolf pack tactics on occasion.

I’m also facing the problem that all of the grid based editions of D&D have. My party tends to try and break things into round by round grid actions, even out of combat. (Well, social is pretty good, but chases and skill challenges and such are still a problem. The answer, I think, is doing more of that sort of thing.)

Getting complaints about lack of social stuff, but a lot of that is the small number of encounters a night. The current adventure had 3 scenes.

“Get to town and stop the monsters attacking the people outside the walls.”

“Go into the keep and help save the guards outside the inner walls escape the Destrachan”

“Stop the Destrachan.”

Scene 1 was combatty with some talking and a bunch of opponents who were susceptible to the bard and the warlock’s powers.
Scene 2 was a skill challenge that had some people doing tactical things and some doing social things (going out and sneaking around and motivating groups of trapped people to get them to safety)

Scene 3 was a boss fight. 

In a single session, all of that would have been a good mix. It took 3 and a half sessions to do over 5 weeks. Didn’t feel like a mix at all.

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13 Tricks: A (potentially nomic) card game

13 Tricks

This is a Draft based trick taking game for 2 or more players.
1 deck of identically backed cards without jokers per 4 players.

Setup:

Shuffle each deck, then shuffle the decks together.

Deal 13 cards to each player.

Each player takes 1 card from their stack and passes it to the left.

This continues until everyone has 13 cards.

Play

Each player shuffles their deck and draws 5 cards from it.

Determine the first lead player (RPS works nicely, as does oldest, youngest, etc).

The lead player plays a card, which determines the suit. Play progresses to the Leader’s left.
The player who wins the trick, gets a point. (See trick rules below)

After playing a card, you must, if possible, draw a new card

After each turn the player to the left of the lead player becomes the next turn’s lead player.

At the end of the game, the player with the most tricks wins.

Trick Rules:

The Natural Order of Things

The cards are, in increasing value, A,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K

Aristotelian Opposition

Hearts oppose Clubs

Diamonds oppose Spades

The Rich Get Richer

Within the current suit, high card wins.

The Low Road:

A 2,3, or 4 of the opposition suit is called “The Low Road” and the Low Road beats a J,Q or K of the current suit, but are beaten by any other card of the active suit except an ace.

A 2 on the low road is beaten by a 3 which is beaten by a 4

Spoiler
An Ace does not beat any card, but it changes the active suit to the ace’s face. The only way an ace wins is if no one plays any cards of the ace’s suit. On the other hand, it can be played to ensure another player doesn’t win the hand.

I Want to Make You an Offer:

Table deals are encouraged.

I Was Here First:
In the case of a tie, the player closest to the Lead’s left wins the trick.

Let’s See What Happens

It is considered bad form to remind any player of the trick rules before the winner of a hand is determined.

Nom Nom Nomic? (Optional Rule)

The Winner of the hand may create a new trick rule or change an existing one (except this one.)