Author Topic: Speedrunner Tactics in D&D  (Read 213 times)

PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Speedrunner Tactics in D&D
« on: June 15, 2017, 01:58:51 PM »
I'll start with a small chart with a number for each category (feel free to format this for me, and I'll update):
  Speedrunners  D&D Players or DMs
1   Yes                  Yes, both
2   Yes                  Not players, but DMs may
3   Yes                  Yes to players, but not DMs
4   No                   Not players, but DMs may
5   No                   Yes to players, but not DMs
6   No. Casuals!    No

1 Techniques Runners and D&D also uses:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A) Optimal Movement / Fast Travel. In Video games its morphing, explosions, strafing, sliding, etc. In D&D it's anything from "Okay, you walk there" or wildshape, teleport, planeshift, etc.
vs.
B) Route Planning. It's pretty much "let's figure out a close to optimal path and then follow that" in both kinds of games. More advanced games have "pathing" to help do the computation work for you, similar to Find The Path.
C) Imposed Time Limits. In video games it is usually nice enough to give you a timer on the UI. In D&D it should be ever-present to avoid "I know we are supposed to save the kidnapped princess, but I want to sleep in rope trick for the night to replenish spells. I blindly ignore the NPC warnings that the princess will be killed when the king pays the ransom by midnight."
D) Genre Saviness. "Gee, I want to manifest true sight on that maiden we just saved. Oh look, she's a succubus. Who would have known..."

2 Acceptable for Speedrunners & DMs in D&D, but more and more frowned upon when done by players
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A) Metagame Information. "I've played this before so I know the password is ..." D&D players can attempt divinations, but should expect them to fail.
B) Save Scumming. "Oh, that was a mistake. Nevermind, I don't do that. Instead I ..." It is okay for DMs to realize a mistake and ret-con something. Players are barely allowed this beyond the immediate.
C) RNG manipulation. Video Games use Number Generators based off timestamps to generate "Random" numbers. These can be manipulated to an extent in real play and quite massively in the more TO-like Tool-Assisted Speedruns. DMs might cheat with rolls but players are expected not to: "All monsters roll non-natural 20" vs "I roll in a certain way to get a 20"
D) Purposely Losing / Take Enemy Damage. Videogames take damage for temporary speed boosts based off the collision detection or sometimes even fail missions because its the fastest acceptable option. DMs often let parties win more easily than they should but players tend not to throw the game because they are playing with friends.
E) Memory Corruption. I know the game world is supposed to work that way, but it doesn't right now.

3 Things Speedruns consider acceptable and D&D Players do, but DMs don't use
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A) Out of Bounds / no clipping glitch. Video games often forget to draw what happens outside of pathable areas and allow unhindered movement there. In D&D it's "I'll borrow down to the end of the dungeon." If all alerted monsters did this, the players wouldn't be too happy...
B) Contingency Bypass. "I'll skip this boss counter attack by x, or pause to skip this cut scene, etc" In D&D isn't there an ability that makes you immune to contingent spell or other interruption effects? If so players would find it fishy if a DM used it to counter Island in Time or whatever.
C) Throw money at your problems. "I'll just buy/duplicate the most powerful items and abuse them..." which although D&D marks Mirrors of Opposition item duplication as RAW abuse, the boards does assume crafting is allowed so you can basically make anything you can afford (hopefully mundanes have access to a ye old Magic Mart to balance this). DMs are expected to not liquidate the dragon hoard with dragon-only magic items, however.
D) 1 shot abilities In videogames it sounds like "And from now on, I spam imminuty-piercing insta-death." In D&D several SoD become this way if your DM allows KoK books (now that their license is gone).

4 Things Speedrunners and D&D Players don't do but DMs may
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A) Rule Fixes In D&D it's the DM saying "No, you can't use a thought bottle after using CL boosters to manifest alter reality via default transparency in order to Haunt Shift a fusioned Ice Assassin after a Bestow Power recharge setup. I don't care that I'm allowing each book that you're using for those entries. In speed running it would be like ROM Hacking in order to make the game harder by fixing bugs rather than by making new, far harder content.

5 Things Speedrunners and DMs don't expect, but that D&D Players often do:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A) Creative Problem Solving Video games are limited philosophically because computers games are blindly following huge instruction sets. DMs shouldn't expect players to come up with a solution to a problem that the DM doesn't even know how to fix. See the 'rule of 3' on this. For players, it starts with something like "Okay, I'm going to need prestidigitation, a bag of holding, this illusion spell, and ..."
B) Plot Inversion. Although sandbox games do a better job of accounting for this, it's hard to find a 100% unchained version of this (and still beat the game). For D&D players, it's "I'm not going to beat this boss, I'm going to join him!" If a DM required joining the bad guys in order to win, players would rightfully object.

6 Things neither Speedrunners do, nor D&D players. DMs should not require these, either.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A) Infinite farm. Speedrunners don't have time to max out their gold the hard way. If they need to buy something, they'll do it as soon as possible. Even 100% runs don't max out gold. For D&D Players it would be various WBL abuses like selling salt or breaking ladders into poles. For DMs allowing this, it would look like "You just used a potion so now WBL reset soon, making the one you just drank free. You can do this infinitely." However, casual players mind take a few hours "grinding" just for fun.
Sigh. Not again. :(

PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Speedrunner Tactics in D&D
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 01:59:16 PM »
I'm not sure what to do with this. Perhaps a DM no-nos vs Player tricks?
Sigh. Not again. :(