The Thayan Arena

  • Storyteller [DM]

    This is going to a ramble a bit, so let me do so.

    The Thayan Arena was done because:

    1. I thought arena events were cool.
    2. I wanted to give everyone a chance to win cool loot in a high risk setting.

    Blatantly stealing the idea from EFU and modifying it to fit CoA, the Thayan Arena has been ran once a month for over a year, and it's always drawn large numbers of players. You guys, apparently, love it. It's a fun, sporting event that lets villains be villains, heroes be heroes, and basically accentuate what is important to your PC.

    Yet, there is a valid criticism that it promotes mechanics over roleplay, and that those who aren't mechanically savvy often lose in the arena and the divide between people who 'know' and those they don't only grows as mechanically strong players win powerful loot, whereas those who don't are left behind.

    I am interested in hearing the thoughts of the playerbase and on how this can be rectified. I want the Thayan Arena to cater to all players, not just those who have 200+ csw pots in their bag.

    A way to do this can be-

    1. Adjust fights to the character, not the loot (or maybe a combination of both?)
    2. Set up a 'tier' system to let players know how powerful the loot is. Go through and mark each item as 'tier 1, 2, 3' in their description. Or maybe detail what the fight will be.
    3. Other ideas...


    Basically, how do I emphasize roleplay and allow players be more awesome while maintaining a fun event?

  • Tier system works best imo. It needs to be made clear OOC (perhaps IC too) that going for stuff like the Ancient Dragon Head from last year is borderline permdeath worthy. You WILL NOT receive an easy fight.

    As an example.

    Character adjusting might be interesting, It prevents somebody like Dobby from steamrolling easy loot, but gives people like MrGeek a sporting chance without it being overbearing.

  • Please confine your responses to what we can DO, rather than suggestions like "shut it down" or "there is no way", or whatever, please. If you can't think of anything constructive to say, don't say anything.

    We're all trying hard to make fun things happen, let's all approach this in that spirit and talk about how we can make it more fun for more people.

    EDIT: Forte got in before me, my post wasn't aimed at his, more of a general request.

  • I'd do a mix.

    Like a tier system, But also modify it as needed,

    Like if someone wants a powerful weapon, Just for a powerful weapons sake it should be a challenging fight.

    If someone wants an item to use to tell a story and involve others, then while it shouldn't be a cakewalk it should be taken into account in the fight.

  • I'd like to see fights catered to PCs that might have invested into non combat things. Let's take, as purely just an example, my 5th level Bard. I'm not going to pretend that just because she has a martial weapons proficiency feat that she's a warrior capable of doing most of the arena fights. However, I have invested into persuade, bluff, perform, etc. I think a dangerous verbal jousting of sorts would be rather entertaining and can still be deadly. Maybe the fight would have more than just two foes squaring off, spouting slanderous rhymes against each other; maybe the fight could be made more interesting by making the "loser" of each round suffer damage. Either way, I think the Thayans in charge would be interested in seeing this, as long as there still is blood to be shed.

  • Never been a part of this thing, so I can't speak on the experiential aspect. That being said, every crowd loves a spectacle, and fight doesn't always have to be a straight up hack n slash. Roleplay could easily be rewarded, and catering opponents to characters would be cool to see.

    For example, a bard has to fight a giant cobra. Maybe he accepts the inevitable, or maybe he makes a desperate attempt to charm the snake by playing it a song. Or a rogue who has no chance at killing a half-fiend giant takes a lasso to climb that bitch like mt everest and stab him through the head.

    That all being said, maybe this stuff happens anyway and I don't know what I'm talking about. I've never been to one of these things, but if I ever do, stuff like this is what I'd want to see.

  • @verk said in The Thayan Arena:

    I'd do a mix.

    Like a tier system, But also modify it as needed,

    Like if someone wants a powerful weapon, Just for a powerful weapons sake it should be a challenging fight.

    If someone wants an item to use to tell a story and involve others, then while it shouldn't be a cakewalk it should be taken into account in the fight.

    I agree with Verk. +1

  • I like the combination idea. For instance when four of us Banites went into the Arena, I appreciated that we had to fight a dragon for the map, and the difficulty made it alot more fun. When I had to fight for the Fist of the Tyrant, Spiffy saw it was going down pretty easy and raised the AB (and gave it blindfight I think) and I appreciated that also. I dont think skilled mechanical players with strong builds mind the fights being dialed up on them, I don't however like the idea of a powerful item fight being lowered because the players build is not as strong or they are low level.

    I suppose easiest way of putting it is, baseline level of difficulty for certain items, if a powerful player or group of players show up then crank up the difficulty sure, but dont ever lower it past the baseline because a PC isnt a strong melee/caster class, its the Thayan arena its suppose to be scary.

    PS- I would be cool with the scary/difficulty factor for the arena getting "kicked up a notch". I.E less powerful respawns for victorious team casualties/losers (TPK) having to be raised by spectators/allies.

  • I've only fought in the Arena twice, once not even of my own free will, for the simple fact of knowing that picking any item could be a humiliating death sentence for my character.

    I agree with a combination.

    It doesn't spoil the fun massively just to get a rough idea of what's in your weight class. It means more people will be willing to try and win something because they aren't going to just assume they don't have a chance of winning.

  • The combination of Loot Tiers and dynamic adjustments based on character motivations seems like the most genuine way to structure Arena fights.

    The difficulty in implementing that system is that Spiffy and any supporting DMs will need to have a head for balancing on the fly. Spiffy has already proven that he's very adept at spur-of-the-moment balancing (all jokes aside, he really is), but this kind of modulating will likely require a helper DM for each arena. However, that helper could be as simple as a DM keeping tabs on who is fighting for what, their reasons why, and a gauge of how good they are mechanically.

  • Spiffy, I have run arena events for years. Long before there even was an EfU. We cater to all play styles here from action to light casual. Run events you enjoy and keep people having fun. I ran and entire one person event for an hour the other night that was entirely roleplayed conversation. If you want to have lethal fights once a month, have fun.

  • Never done one as my PCs are never mechanically good enough to compete, but Thayans are great so go balls deep with it.

  • @solarfall

    You don't need to be good, just bring allies who know what they're doing. Just look at my shiny staff, think I could've gotten that alone? Naaaah.

  • As Moloch says, we should cater to all kinds of play.

    In my view- It's an ARENA. That implies combat, so of course people who are better at that are going to be better at the arena. This kind of event caters to people who like this sort of thing. It is not mandatory, after will.

    However, rewards can be many things; if it's just loot, then fine; If plot resolution items and character advancement stuff and the like are offered, then those should be done away with.

    "Winning" plots (if there is such a thing) shouldn't remotely depend on your stat sheet, but creativity; Coming up with fun and inclusive ways to resolve a plot. For example, if two people are looking for the sword of destiny, one is level 1 and involving a ton of people, the other is level 10, and you offer this sword in the arena, then obviously, this is unfair to the level 1 who's involving people.

    This is not to say the level 10 CAN'T get the sword of destiny, but that shouldn't depend on his mechanical prowess; It should depend on his ability to create fun stories that other players want to invest in.

  • I agree with a lot of the above.

    Perhaps the issue isn't change the Thayan Arena, but introduce another type of event for people who are more savvy in the roleplay aspect of the server.

    What that could be is another question. Perhaps some allusive jinx Gnome who comes out once a month and puts you in some trial of deadly riddles where if you fail you get punished somehow or rewarded if you answer correctly. Maybe a guardian of the Hullack who tasks people to gather the server for a common cause once a month where persuasion, bluff, or less combat mechanical skills come into play.

    Just brainstorming. 🙂

  • @voss_ Let's be fair. None of us knew what we were doing.

    Keeping on-topic. I love the arena.

    I like the idea of tiering and tailoring it more to specific groups.

    I'd prefer high HP and AC over high AB and damage on enemies, just because you have more of a chance to roleplay and emote while fighting. But that's a personal preference. I think it allows for more showmanship, basically.

  • I agree with @EdinSumar on the point about showmanship, it also allows the DM to do more emoting and talking aswell.

    But! Let's keep the rare treasure a deadly fight with no moments for pause, that is also very exciting to watch.

  • I very much enjoyed fighting an adult gold dragon.

    The build up before it came out had me sweating, the battle itself was absolutely thrilling.

    It was a high that's pretty much exclusive to fighting dragons in this game. lol.

    I like the Thayan Arena as it is, there are easy items and there are hard items and the DMs can and have shown mercy and leniency to weaker PCs.

  • I love the idea of an RP based one, tailored challenges from the mind of a twisted Jinx.

    A riddle for a paladin, with two captives. If he's correct he'll execute a criminal sentenced to die. Guess wrong, and that sword acctually went through an elderly mother of two who says her prayers nightly and pays for upkeep on the roof of the illimatari shrine.

  • What does Royal Rumble mean?

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