Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My RPG bookshelf

James Maliszewski asks for photos of the bookshelf you most frequently use in gaming. Mine changes fairly often as books get shuffled around, but this is it at the moment:

  • Stonehell
  • Ready Ref Sheets
  • Realms of Crawling Chaos
  • AD&D Players Handbook
  • AD&D Monster Manual
  • AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide
  • Tome of Adventure Design
  • Swords & Wizardry Core
  • AD&D Fiend Folio
  • Labyrinth Lord
  • LL Advanced Edition Companion
  • Arduin Trilogy
  • Playing at the World
  • The Hobbit
  • The Lewis Chessmen (which are my reference for dwarves)
  • a few Conan collections
  • Ill Met in Lankhmar
  • The Iliad
  • The Odyssey
  • Carcosa
  • Borges Collected Fiction (I'm undecided about the new translations)
  • The Book of Imaginary Beings
  • The Arabian Nights
  • Dying Earth
  • Lem's The Cyberaid (Trurl and Klapaucius are basically Vancian wizards)
  • a Lovecraft collection
  • Vorheim
  • OD&D vI-III and Greyhawk
  • Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox
  • A Book of Surrealist Games

And, on the end, a few movies:

  • Thundarr
  • Fantastic Planet
  • La Planète Sauvage
  • Land of the Lost (complete original TV series)
  • a Ray Harryhausen collection

The shelf below this has a couple of magazine boxes full of modules and some three-ring binders, but their spines aren't particularly distinctive. The Greyhawk Folio, Holmes, Molkday, Cook, the LotFP Grindhouse box, and the Astonishing Swords & Sorcerers of Hyperborea box are down there too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tinkering LBB d6 damage

In LBB original D&D, all weapons do d6 damage. This seems to upset a lot of players who grew up with variable weapon damage. I've been satisfied enough with the "you'll be just as dead if I slit your throat with a dagger or a long sword" rationale that I've stuck with d6 damage in my Stonehell white box game.

However, I recently got pulled into another discussion on the matter, which mentioned a couple of popular d6 damage variants. These variants concern themselves with differentiating short/light weapons (daggers, darts, slings) from normal weapons (swords, spears, maces) from long/heavy weapons (two-handed swords, polearms, lances).

The first method is to roll d6 -1 for light weapons, d6 for normal weapons, and d6 +1 for heavy weapons.

The second method is to roll 2d6 and use the lesser roll for light weapons, roll 1d6 for normal weapons, and for heavy weapons to take the higher of two d6 rolls.

I wondered what sort of damage these methods would yield, so (since I don't really understand more than the most basic dice math) I wrote a little script to do some test rolls.

The mean average is easy enough to figure out. The mean of a d6 roll is 3.5, so d6 +/-1 will give a mean of 2.5 and 4.5. No surprise there, but it's reassuring to see the results I expected (within three-hundredths of a point over 100,000 rolls).

The median is somewhat more interesting. The median of 1d6 will of course be 3 or 4. The median of 2d6-take-the-highest is 5. The median of 2d6-take-the-lowest is 2.

The mode of 1d6 can be anything. The mode of 2d6-take-the-higher is 6. The mode of 2d6-take-the-lower is 1.

If I was a fighter with a two-handed sword, I'd be lobbying for the 2d6 method. It certainly proves more differentiation between the weapons types than the +/-1 method.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anomalous Subsurface Environment 2-3 released

Patrick Wetmore of Henchman Abuse just released levels 2-3 of his Anomalous Subsurface Environment dungeon. His delicious play reports always make me cackle with glee.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Clay Shirky links Delta

I was amused to see that Clay Shirky's recent essay about Udacity and online education as a Napster-like disruptive technology links to our very own Delta of Delta's D&D Hotspot. He should be see a big traffic jump.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fantastic architecture of Lebbeus Woods (RIP)

A Metafilter post about recently deceased architect Lebbeus Woods provides some nice inpiration for urban adventures. His drawings remind me a bit of Zak's Vornheim.