Yeah, that would really annoy me, and I am positive I would catch on before long. Given that I was going through the forest, the gorilla would have been fine. But with the precautions I was taking, if I ran into a pit just randomly placed in the wilderness, not even on any animal track, I would be calling BS (and have done just that in similar circumstances). It would particularly bother me given (a) I suspected a pit exactly where you ended up saying there was one, so it was no longer really "quantum"; and (b) I took serious precautions to avoid and detect traps, including walking only where it made no sense to place a trap and using a 10' pole. That is some serious nerfing of my actions, which I would have suspected you of doing.As the player,
If you have to ask, then you don't know.
If you don't know, then it makes no difference.
But to "unmask" the rhetoric, for curiosity sake: you would have encountered the gorilla (chance to surprise it), the pit trap (discovered easily enough), and all the footprints. I'd also have thrown in a wandering monster purely for how long the process would have taken and how much area was being combed, so you fight... *rolls die*... a giant anaconda (treasure: he swallowed a marauder carrying a satchel of dragon scales, a key, and some uncut gemstones). Also, pass a saving throw or wander into a swinging log trap I just decided to add. Meanwhile, the marauder group easily escapes pursuit - if you pursue their trail through the woods you eventually track them back out, losing them somewhere on the outskirts of the next hamlet. The trail is too cold and you have no idea where their hideout is.
The marauder leader, the one who called a retreat back to home base, is still a viable Quantum Ogre at my disposal. The party has no idea what he looks like, just that the last pillaged village described him as a towering demon-man, so he could take on whatever appearance I want. If I want him to communicate something in person, then he shows up as an interactive NPC (interrogated, changes sides, begs for life, dying words, etc.). If I want him to pass an item along to the party (key, password, magic item, will & testament, macguffin, etc.), then he can show up dead along their path, like so many others before him. If I want him to offer an interesting situation, or pose a threatening obstacle, or pull a total red herring mindfuck twist... he's tucked up my sleeve. The player's choices can limit the fields in which he can materialize, and perhaps even serve to delay or bypass an encounter with my QO, but ultimately I decide when he's out of play, not the players.
It's not like the players can't benefit too though - until a quantum ogre materializes, it is essentially formless, and therefore adaptable. Sometimes player choices can radically alter the plans that the DM had for the QO, not by throwing a wrench into them, but rather because it can give the DM time to craft a better Ogre, to dive in when it's most appropriate and tailor itself to the latest player activity.
Here's a quote from Jason Cone's free suppliment for OD&D... a giant anaconda (treasure: he swallowed a marauder carrying a satchel of dragon scales, a key, and some uncut gemstones).
Take away is that Wandering Monsters are quasi-punative for wasting time, so no-treasure is the norm.Philotomy's Musing said:I mentioned wandering monsters, earlier, in passing. In an old-school dungeon, the purpose of wandering monsters is to provide a challenge that helps encourage good play. Wandering monsters present a danger that drains resources (e.g. hit points, spells, magic items) from a party for very little or no reward (i.e. treasure). Since monsters are not worth much XP, compared to treasure, wandering monsters are something to be avoided. Smart players will try to avoid, evade, distract, or otherwise bypass wandering monsters. They don't want to spend their resources on wandering monsters, but rather on areas and encounters that will provide a larger reward. They will try to stay focused and avoid wasting time in the dungeon, since wandering monsters encountered are a function of time.
The trap was always going to be there; it was set as soon as I said "the marauders are fond of setting traps". Your nitpicking, methodical approach found the pit - congrats, you prevented an accidental fall-in. But you seem to be thinking that your characters automatically knew there was a pit there... they didn't! All you knew was that the group you were chasing uses traps, but perhaps there wasn't enough time for them to set one, or they didn't consider it in their haste, or any other excuse that would be entirely reasonable in a real-life situation. But you fanned out and picked through an entire jungle just because they might use a trap, so the outcome changed accordingly - it wasn't agency robbing (especially since you would be seeing NONE of what I am writing out), if anything it was agency in play.But with the precautions I was taking, if I ran into a pit just randomly placed in the wilderness, not even on any animal track, I would be calling BS (and have done just that in similar circumstances). It would particularly bother me given (a) I suspected a pit exactly where you ended up saying there was one, so it was no longer really "quantum"; and (b) I took serious precautions to avoid and detect traps, including walking only where it made no sense to place a trap and using a 10' pole. That is some serious nerfing of my actions, which I would have suspected you of doing.
The pit was on a trail - in squeens example, he was following that very trail when his ranger fell in.But with the precautions I was taking, if I ran into a pit just randomly placed in the wilderness, not even on any animal track, I would be calling BS
First, this should be prefaced by the fact that this guy was talking about dungeons, yet we are in wilderness. Arguments how they share a similar adventure structure aside, they are different styles of adventure. But that's not enough to dismiss the statement outright, so onward!Take away is that Wandering Monsters are quasi-punative for wasting time, so no-treasure is the norm.
My ranger is such a dumb-ass! I have been meaning to fire him for some time and get someone who actual knows woodcraft.The pit was on a trail - in squeens example, he was following that very trail when his ranger fell in.
Consider: There is a Zen Koan that says,But that's not enough to dismiss the statement outright, so onward!
"Quantum Ogre" is a defined term which was coined by Courtney Campbell. It refers specifically to a game element that occurs regardless of the players' choices. It is not "quantum" in the sense that it's existence is not known, because the DM has predetermined that it does exist. It is "quantum" in the sense that it's location is not known, because in the classic example it moves to wherever the party goes. It is perhaps poorly named, and might better have been called the "Inevitable Ogre".Quantum Ogre is basically just improvising, but taking a piece of content and deciding ad hoc to use it elsewhere.
Let's use the potion example.
The players open a chest inside a dungeon room, and they find treasure inside. You actually didn't think they'd get here this session, so you never actually figured out what was going to be in the treasure chest. So what do you do? You look at your notes and see that you had some treasure planned for deeper in the dungeon. You decide to put that treasure in this chest right now. The party gets the treasure, there was no difference on the player side between it being planned all along VS improvised on the spot.
In this case, the treasure was the Quantum Ogre.
Is that bad? Did it even make a difference?
I've read the discussion and it feels like there's some "talking past each other" going on here because a Quantum Ogre doesn't necessarily take away agency. It's just a form of improvisation.
If you think about it, random encounters are Quantum Ogres. You have no idea when they're going to happen, they just happen when it's the right time.
I'm with Beoric ---the disturbing (to me) aspect here is that the game is going in a pre-determined direction---chosen by the DM. If you called it an Inevitable Ogre, then it's pretty clear, what you've described is an IO (a.k.a. QO).All you know is that at some point while the party wanders around from room to room, you WILL have them encounter it.
Fun fact: this is an adventure writing forum, for the purposes of developing pre-written adventures.the disturbing (to me) aspect here is that the game is going in a pre-determined direction---chosen by the DM.
What a strange thing to say. Is that really how you play this game??"Pre-written" is practically synonymous with "pre-determined" - the DM is going to know ahead of time the consequences of the players choices because he has those consequences written out, sitting in his hands. That's what modules are.
What a strange thing to say. Is that really how you play this game??
There's a difference between a railroad and a guide. A module guides the play, a railroad dictates the play. You both take a hardline stance against railroads - understandable, and railroads are NOT what I'm advocating.@DP: Definitely missing the point...but that's OK. I've exhausted myself trying. Believe what you like. No hard feelings, I hope.
I don't use a lot of pre-written modules, it's true (but I do pre-write my homebrew stuff like it's a module). However, almost universally I can't say DP's statement (above) was ever true. The party decides where and how deep it wants to go.Scenario A leads to Scenario B, and though it can also lead to Scenario C or even Scenario D, the fact is that it still leads to Scenario B.
Re-reading your post, I've not sure we are on the same page about this either....the RPG social contract...
Also disagree. I would not call that a sandbox. A sandbox just has destination(s). If players go off-map---sandbox just gets bigger.A sandbox module sets a destination, regardless of player choices. If the players want to go somewhere where something interesting is happening, then they'll need to go to the destination eventually, otherwise it's all just aimless wandering.
That sounds like a nightmare, TBH.The party decides where and how deep it wants to go.
Take B2 for example---they didn't go in every cave. Pod Caverns---they never went past the 1st level. T1/Hommlet---never went towards the Temple. They generally do some "stuff" in the dungeon...and then skee-dattle when it looks like the poop has hit-the-fan. They only go back if there is something they really want there. (They also like to return bumped-up several levels and/or with allies and clean-house.)
Not B2; think more like X1 Isle of Dread, or if you prefer urban, City State of the Invincible Overlord.A "sandbox module" is a bit vaguer to me. Does B2 qualify?