. . . wherein Paul Gorman plays with ideas for old-school fantasy roleplaying games
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Retro-Clone Comparison Chart
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Secret Arneson Gift Exchange
|1||One time only, turns gold to platinum|
|2||One time only, turns gold to lead|
|4||The pool speaks, and offers to grant one wish to each of the characters. The pool has an alignment: 1-2 lawful, 2-3 neutral, 4-6 chaotic. Characters who make a wish but are not of the same alignment as the pool suffer 2d6 damage. The wishes of characters of the same alignment as the pool are granted, but do not take effect for 2d12 hours.|
|5||Characters entering the pool are transported to the surface.|
|6||Characters entering the pool are transported one level down in the dungeon.|
Monday, July 26, 2010
Alignment as theme
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Monster INT is a helpful stat
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Angry Villager Rule
Whenever the referee finds that some player has committed an unforgivable outrage this rule can be invoked to harass the offender into line. Within the realm of angry villagers are thieves from the 'thieves' quarter'..."What a great urbane adventure module could be made from the material in Fritz Lang's M! (Don't read the last two paragraphs of that linked essay if you haven't seen M yet. And you should see it.)
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Do you employ hirelings?
"Charisma is a combination of appearance, personality, and so forth. Its primary function is to determine how many hirelings of unusual nature a character can attract. This is not to say that he cannot hire men-at-arms and employ mercenaries, but the charisma function will affect loyalty of even these men. Players will, in all probability, seek to hire Fighting-Men, Magic-Users, and/or Clerics in order to strengthen their roles in the campaign. A player-character can employ only as many as indicated by his charisma score"If the primary function of charisma is to determine the number and loyalty of hirelings, and charisma itself was important enough to make it one of the six attributes, then hirelings must be an important part of the game, right? On the other hand, M&M later speaks of
"acquiring a regular entourage of various character types, monsters, and an army of some form."That makes me question whether hirelings were in fact a vestigial hold-over from Chainmail, and little-used in actual D&D play. I'd love to hear anecdotal evidence one way or the other. Did you use hirelings in your games back in the day? Do you use them now?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Part 1: The Malevolent Mystery of Marshburg
On Sunday afternoon I ran my first 4e game—part of an adventure I call The Malevolent Mystery of Marshburg. The session went pretty well, particularly in light of how long it's been since I've written an adventure or DM'd, and that none of us have played 4e. My players even asked if we could continue the adventure tomorrow after work, which was a nice complement.
In five hours we gathered rumors in town, found the dungeon site, explored a half dozen rooms, and completed two major encounters. Kobolds were defeated. A trap was disarmed. One PC was reduced to zero hit points, but recovered. All but one of the Goblins were killed, and that one managed to escape by spiking a door shut between him and the PC's. (If the players can do, why not the monsters?)
I tried to run certain aspects of the game in "classic mode". The trap was disarmed through dialogue between me and the players rather than a simple role, for example.
4e feels more like a tactical miniatures game than any previous edition, but that's all I'm prepared to say until we give the game a fair run-through in a number of sessions.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Dragons can swim
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The exchange of sealed envelopes
Although it has been possible for enthusiasts to play solo games of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS by means of “Wilderness Adventures”, there has been no uniform method of dungeon exploring, for the campaign referee has heretofor been required to design dungeon levels. Through the following series of tables (and considerable dice rolling) it is now possible to adventure alone through endless series of dungeon mazes! After a time I am certain that there will be some sameness to this however, and for this reason a system of exchange of sealed envelopes for special rooms and tricks/traps is urged. These envelopes can come from any other player and contain monsters and treasure, a whole complex of rooms (unfolded a bit at a time), ancient artifacts, and so forth. All the envelope should say is for what level the contents are for and for what location, i.e. a chamber, room, 20’' wide corridor, etc. Now break out your copy of D & D, your dice, and plenty of graph paper and have fun!The idea of exchanging envelopes amuses and inspires me. Did players actually do that?