Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Peg-legged Paladin, and Other Stories

In our last session we had our first taste of the new application of the lingering wounds rule.  The adventure log says, mildly, "Rokdig gets two fingers gored off."  But I think the precedent we set just moved the end game way up.  In the process, we also get a possibly interesting answer to the question that plagues ACKS, B/X, and 1E:  In a world where there's dungeon enough to take a party up to demigod-challenging epic levels, why would the party want to switch to domain play when they hit name level?  Why not keep taking the fast road to wealth and power?

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,

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