Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Some grains of salt might be called for, since I also think that if you heed the implicit warning of dungeon and wilderness encounter rolls by going back to town to safety, then you should find that affects only the table on which said random encounters are rolled! Once you're a player you're in the shit and safe is a waste of table time.
Talk and sneak are more appealing than blast and slice if and only if blast and slice seem like a bad bet. I know all the mechanics of the game seem to point toward fighting and magicking your way out of trouble, but the thing people really latch on to about the Old School, is that even though there was really minimal rule support for anything other than those two spell-slinging murderhobo activities, the best way to play was to avoid as much as possible of the adventure-as-written between the opening scene and the final boss room that held the goal of the adventure.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
The new rule says that every time we hit 0 points or take a critical hit, we roll on a gussied-up save-versus-maiming table. I figure that means that every few fights has a reasonable chance of a hero losing an eye, some fingers, even an arm or a leg. By the time a character hits middle levels, they will likely have rolled on the table a couple of times. Since the experience chart means progress in the game slows down once you hit middle levels, every few levels likely come with another roll or two. Absent cheesy gimme's like easy access to regeneration magic, at some point, our hero's special abilities may be very impressive indeed, but the accumulated weight of disability make adventuring impractical.
At that point, one had better have some capable henchmen and a place in the local economy, or risk not being able to keep up lifestyle expenses, which has it's own consequences.
Some fun NPCs suggest themselves: the one-eyed, one-handed veteran fighter who's willing to hire a party of novice adventurers to accompany him in retrieving some object or other from a local dungeon; a blind druid who makes a living making and selling healing potions; and wretched former adventurers with gruesome disfigurements begging for coins at the street corner, actual murder- hobos ready to waylay the unwary drunk,
Friday, January 9, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Monday, December 29, 2014
In the current campaign, we recently relocated from a setting where the dungeon was an hour or so outside of town and we usually could expect to just walk the day's loot out, no major fuss involved. Now we're 160 miles away, with our return rides, some hirelings, and the food for the way back camped a short ride outside of monster town, where their existence might be reasonably deduced by some likely future hostiles we've encountered.
At the moment the adventure balance is sort of Warcraft-like. Town is safe, most encounters are site-based. You really have to pick your loot when you have to carry it back for a week's uncertain caravan back to safety or trade with a troll for crude-but-portable swag.
The distance-from-safety involved in the campaign's move poses some interesting role-playing challenges. And I think it's pretty clear that having an unquestionably safe place a trivial distance away removes food and water tracking as a game element, and lessens the importance of planning ahead for gear. I like obsessing over gear, but living out of a backpack is pretty mundane adventure.
There is a lot of adventure potential in having danger on your doorstep, if the danger occasionally crosses the threshold. Then your safe place may not be so safe. Of course, there might be hostile factions in town that shift the focus of play away from the dungeon, but it's a different sort of thing when an evil thing is tearing up Moe's Tavern and you're listening at the doors of the inn. At that point, the dungeon/town dichotomy breaks down.
But then, so does the stability of the game world, so maybe that's why more DM's don't do that. Not everyone wants to play Warhammer or Cthulhu when they play D&D.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I concluded that the AD&D version of the "weapon vs. AC" table was interwoven with the variable weapon damage - some weapons have apparently sub-optimal damage dice, but when used with the "vs. AC" table are a better choice for doing damage to a heavily armored character. If you don't use those tables, there's no mechanical reason to use those weapons. I don't have the tables to hand, but I recall it being an issue with piercing weapons such as war hammers, military picks, and stabby polearms. Probably crossbows, too.
FWIW, TSR fixes this ;)
Having returned to D&D after many years, I've come to realize how the rules I previously ignored changed the flavor of the game. For example, as a kids we hand-waved encumbrance, food, light source tracking, etc. It just didn't seem important or fun. Now I realize I missed a significant aspect of the game by ignoring those rules. I've come around to the opinion that it's not really D&D without the resource management.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I think the trick is not having a certain "magic bullet" that's the only way to kill the monster, but rather being open to unorthodox wacko crap that desperate players come up with when their pointy sticks aren't working.
It's the players' job to be clever, the GM's job is to give them something to be clever about and to inflict the ramifications of that cleverness in an even handed manner.