Thursday, July 25, 2013

The two most important concepts in the D&D game

Jeff Rients posted this quotation on G+:

Q: What are the two most important concepts in the D&D game?
A: The most important concept in the game is player choice.  In order to give players the most fun in the game, they must be able to make choices that will make a definite difference in the fates of their characters.
     The second most important concept is that actions have consequences.  Player decisions will lead to further campaign developments.

--Jon Pickens et al., "Dispel Confusion" column, Polyhedron #13

A referee writing an adventure might do well to start by designing the central choice the players must make and its stakes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New LotFP rules hardcover

The Lamentations of the Flame Princess new Rules & Magic hardcover is available.

This is the best edition yet, although the changes are mostly cosmetic. The difficult to read font from the Grindhouse edition is gone. The hardcover has some new art, and a few of the old pieces have been redrawn. The text is substantially the same, with the addition of half a dozen pages of firearms rules.

I ordered the print and PDF combo, but of course the print book won't arrive for a few weeks. If you're reading the PDF, and your display has enough pixels, I recommend viewing two pages side-by-side, as the layout uses lots of page spreads.

The spreads can be mildly problematic for single page reading, because the text of some sections begins on the left (verso) page with the heading on the right (recto) page. If you're reading one page at a time, it may not be immediately clear when a new section begins.

But that's nit picking. The new Rules & Magic delivers, and I'm looking forward to the companion referee book.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

By looking at things

From Gus L's review of C1 Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan:

"Yeah this whose place feels realish, there's an ancient culture behind this fun house, and the player and GM can get a feel for that.  There are a lot of things to discover that show the why and how of the place without really impacting play (except as delays for the dumb 1D6 turn poison gas mechanic). The best party of old style games is that they encourage exploration instead of combat, and by looking at things, interacting with stuff and pawing about the players (ideally) get a novelistic or even cinematographic sense of place and scene from their being some visual and environmental cues to hang thier imaginations on."

Emphasis added for something to which we should aspire when writting any adventure.

Monday, July 1, 2013


James Young posted an idea that makes familiars kind of fun:

  • A magic user can get a familiar for free if they want.
  • You can make it run around and stuff and I guess it can tell you things that it sees.
  • It can hold an extra spell for you and cast it like normal.
  • It can't die but you can interrupt its spell casting.
  • When you die, it erupts as a Summon spell with HD equal to your level.