Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fragility and uncertainty: pillars of invention

I feel like the grim and gritty healing rule from the DMG that moves a short rest to 8 hours, a long rest to a week is the right way to make players feel the consequences of the action. Why? The purpose of taking 7-8 hours rest in the dungeon is so that the DM can roll random encounter checks that serve to underline the point that it is risky to overnight in a dungeon!

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.

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