Friday, November 25, 2011

Polls of the People


I had a bunch of completed polls queuing up.  Sit back and enjoy the collective opinions of those opinionated readers that choose to reply.  (There was a recent AD&D rules poll, too, but those results warrant their own post).

HAVE YOU DRAWN A CARD FROM THE DECK OF MANY THINGS?

Hell yeah! I'd draw a card right now!  (58%), Only as a last resort. (10%) I would not, could not draw a card.  (3%)   It's never come up in a game.(27%)

Let's ignore the poor 27% of disadvantaged gamers that never encountered The Deck.  Here's some advice - go chastise your DM's for depriving you.  Of the remainder, 82% of you would draw a card - gamers like to gamble!  Then again, I have one of those 3% percent folks that would never draw a card, sitting in my home game.

DO YOU NERF TURN UNDEAD IN YOUR GAME?

We use it as is; clerics are awesome(40%).  We use mixed groups of high and low undead(24%).  I limit its daily use (like LOTFP)(21%).  We don't use clerics(7%).  House rules - see comments(6%).

The cleric is the best class in D&D, and Turn Undead puts it over the top.  I like the LOTFP approach - converting it into a 1st level spell -  but in the current game we're running mostly AD&D style and clerics get to be totally awesome and dominant.  The AD&D optional rule of mixing undead levels is a good way around the high level clerics.

HOW DO USE LEVEL DRAIN IN YOUR D&D GAME?

We use energy drain as written (44%).  We use it, but undead are rare (4%).  We use alternate abilities instead of energy drain(20%).  We've applied a house rule(22%).  We've made Restoration easier to get(4%).  Something else (see comments)(6%) .

Considering how many folks complain about energy drain, it's interesting to see 44% use it as written.  Blog readers seem heavily skewed towards DMs.  I'm in the group that's applied a House Rule (characters can "heal" drained levels with sufficient rest) but it's actually not a great rule for players, so I'll give them a vote to remove it.

WHAT LEVEL CAN NEW PLAYERS JOIN THE GAME?

Always as first level.  (16%).  A few levels below the other guys.  (8%)  One level below the lowest party member.  (41%)  At the average party level.  (25%)  Same as the highest level guys.  (0%)  Something different.  (8%)

I'm firmly in the "majority", such as it is - the 41% that start folks a level below everyone else.  Areas like this, where the DMG doesn't give a hard and fast rule, tend to have the most spread in the results as folks figure out what works for their table.  A more nuanced approach is something like "during levels 1-3, new guys always start at 1st level, but once the lowest group member is level 4, new guys start a level below the lowest party member".