Maybe it’s the English accents, but I found this pretty enjoyable to listen to. Nobody seems to be trying too hard to entertain β€” it just feels like well-spoken friends playing some D&D β€” and the DM does a good job of painting the world. The setup β€” a professional adventuring company β€” suits D&D’s inherent absurdity.

That said, this is yet another example of D&D play where the setup and hook takes up a good chunk of time: here’s who you work for, here’s some of the amusing NPCs, hey let’s spend time improving our characters, here’s the job offer, here’s us negotiating the job offer, etc. Anything resembling the romanticism of most fantasy media is totally absent. I’m not knocking this per se, but I find it interesting how recurrent and uniquely D&D this pattern is.

42 thoughts on “Maybe it’s the English accents, but I found this pretty enjoyable to listen to. Nobody seems to be trying too hard…

  1. I suppose critical ability checks aren’t canon, but they seem like a very common house rule. Seems like a fun way to celebrate those 5%-of-the-time results–what do you find so irritating about it?

  2. Sabe Jones It’s a peeve because it has never been a rule in WotC-era D&D, yet I see people do it all the time. And then, when they do, all the “crit” means is the DM describe the success more emphatically. I just find it stupid.

  3. Aww. It’s nice to be randomly prompted for more emphatic description!

    I suppose it could be cool to do something more mechanically or procedurally interesting with the house rule, though. Like, it earns instant XP or the player gets to take narrative control for that action or something.

  4. Sounds like you’re just mad that a good houserule is being poorly applied. A crit on a skill check should improve one’s fictional positioning in a measurable way. PbtA does a good job calling that kind of stuff out with +1 forwards or additional questions, etc. If you nat 20 picking that lock, maybe you get a bonus on the rest of the locks in this building, since they were probably all comissioned from the same locksmith. You nat 20 on chatting up that guard, they remember you and when they see you at the tavern later, call you over for a drink. You nat 20 on that heal check, the target gets 1d4 temp hp. There are lots of ways to spice up a crit. On the other side of that coin, you botch one of those rolls, the GM describes additional hosery.

    Even in games with no mechanical support for it, humans love describing better outcomes for bigger numbers, or bare successes for rolling just over the target. It’s natural. Even if it’s just flavor, flavor matters, because we’re all imagining stuff together.

  5. Dave Michalak No, I’m peeved that people don’t even realize they are house-ruling.

    Also, assuming better outcomes for rolling a higher number when that’s not actually supported by the rules (home or otherwise) is dumb. 100%, full stop.

  6. The only thing that bothers me about it is that if you do the 1s and 20s thing, the chance of pratfall or spectacular coolness is equal for everyone at all times, which undercuts people’s skill niches. GURPS did a thing where really high skills expanded your crit range (and maybe shortened the crit fail range?), but measuring up margin of success just doesn’t have the visceral thrill of seeing that 20 turn up.