/osrg/ - can't be assed to make a new thread edition
Useful links now here:
Link for the Trove:
Has anyone run Scarlet Heroes? I'm thinking of picking it up and wondering if it converts well with other OSR, if there are specifically cool parts of it, or criticisms. Is it alright for a new player? Going to be spending a lot of time with my partner, and we're stocking up on games.
Not exactly for each school of magic, but I feel pretty damn sure that one of the more obscure gothic-style clones has several separate types of magic-user class, by extrapolating from the Illusionist. I don't remember any details, though.
I want to practice OSR adventure writing by reworking adventures that other people have written (changing the map, changing monsters and traps and tricks, adding other sections, etc.). I've started on reworking Keep on the Borderlands.
Other ones on my list are In Search of the Unknown and (eventually) The Caverns of Thracia, but I'm looking for suggestions of other adventures to rewrite, particularly newer ones that I may not be aware of, and particularly ones that are on the smaller side. I'd especially like ones that you think have a glaring flaw.
A rewrite of palace of the silver princess would be cool. It has some excellent ideas and a good premise but is hampered by poor design and going super standard with the encounters when they could have gone more whimsical.
Agreed; a PotSP where the map/dungeon is actually a palace would be great, for instance.
Same goes for Castle Amber. I'd love to see that dungeon refactored into something resembling a real castle.
The good bits can be lifted and applied to any OSR game. I'm using the traits in a multiplayer game so the players can feel more like special snowflakes, for example, and I use the adventure generators with Into the Odd.
What are some actual good and fun adventures?
Most of the adventures are actually not that good, just "classic", which is not the same as good.
Tomb of Horrors is a classic one that is horrible to play. Easy to simple brick wall (not knowing what do to or to go), weird to interact sessions of the dungeon, too much traps and uninteresting fights, etc.
This guy knows what I talking about http://tenfootpole.org/ironspike/?page_id=844
While I am willing to take feedback 'like a man' I only have a problem about feedback is the type that rejects something because its different. I know half the responses will be 'this is bad cuz its not the system the game was designed for!' which is a useless form of feedback.
But anyway, I don't really have any strong math or numbers to plug in their yet, but I would probably do something like a reserved mana system. Keep the spell categories simple; Hexes for combat, Charms for utility magic and then Rituals for more powerful and mysterious stuff. You can cast Hexes and Charms without cost but you can use mana to boost the effects, and as you increase in level you'll get a lot more of it.
>Most of the adventures are actually not that good, just "classic", which is not the same as good.
>What are some actual good and fun adventures?
For TSR specifically, I think B4, G1, I6 and S3 are the best loved modules, although S3 used to be amazingly controversial (in the OSR it's pretty much not, though).
For OSR products, you've already got the link. I don't know what we can do for you that it can't. Recommend Yoon-Suin, maybe? Not really an adventure, but it generates assloads of 'em.
>I know half the responses will be 'this is bad cuz its not the system the game was designed for!' which is a useless form of feedback.
I don't think that's really either fair or accurate. When the last wand guy showed up a lot of the answers he got were along the lines of "that's a 3E mechanic and that's bad", yeah, but most of those responses explained at least partially *why* in an OSR system it would create problems, and/or gave suggestions for what he could do instead. A couple people suggested whole alternate mechanics to do basically the stuff he wanted in a more suitable (by their standards) way, and there were few or no shouts about badwrongfun.
>You can cast Hexes and Charms without cost but you can use mana to boost the effects, and as you increase in level you'll get a lot more of it.
This sounds like the 5e spell overdrive stuff. I think that would be a fuckload of hard work to implement, but I'd like to see it done (if the basic principles sounded solid to me, anyway).
Some of my favorite adventures of all time were Dungeon Magazine adventures written by Ted James Thomas Zuvich. Specifically:
Old Man Katan and the Incredible, Edible, Dancing Mushroom Band (#41)
>It's about swamps and mushrooms and a lost cat. Silly but still potentially dangerous. Everyone should read this one, even if they have no intention of ever playing it.
A Hot Day In L'Trel (#44)
>An alchemist's store of greek fire ignites in the midsts of a hot summer drought, the explosion wiping out part of the city and causing fires that severely damage much of the rest. Martial law is declared and the PCs are drafted into the town guard to keep order in the aftermath. A great low-level several-session sandbox.
Courier Service (#27)
>The PCs are hired to deliver a merchant's taxes to the capital. They are faced with choices like deciding between the quicker but potentially more dangerous path or the safer but slower one. The clock is ticking, and late fees will start piling up after a time. The PCs get to keep any excess payment after the taxes and any potential late fees are paid.
I'm also really fond of Dragon Mountain, if not for the premise, then at least for the presentation (boxed set, big colorful maps) and the sheer scale. One of the last great TSR super-adventures.
so I'm running Ravenloft for my 5e game and I know this is OSR but I'm just trying to make sure I get the feel of this place right. We've had 4 sessions already and they've just entered K56 before we had to stop. It's the room with the 7 witches who do a crap ton of spells and have 3 familiars. I already had one of them cast silence within in the room on the party before we cut to ending the session, and I was coming up with some ideas to make the game seem less of a mega-dungeon and with some more drama. I have the Fortune as Strahd looking for the Black Opal, but the module doesn't explain why or what it's for. One of the players love interests is the woman strahd is after, but other than that I have no ideas. I was thinking, because one of the encounters was a group of villagers who are angry and want to burn down the castle as a good way to introduce some interesting plot elements (because I started the session with them already trapped within the gates of the castle, skipped the whole Barovia thing because it didn't mesh with the campaign), and I just need some ideas for some motivations or social drama between these people. I was thinking that the witches they are about to encounter have snatched the children and are going to sacrifice or eat them. I figured I'd ask because it's an OSR module despite it being run in a new edition.
Thanks, I appreciate it.
Personally the idea is short combat and utility spells with simple rules and usages, with powers that can boost them. I'm not entirely sure what all the boosted spells should do but that's the basic idea.
>Wands do d4, Staves d6
>Stunning Hex; Roll magic weapon damage. If it beats enemy's max HD the enemy is stunned.
>Boosted; +1 to hit and power OR hit an extra enemy
>Deal damage equal to wand/staff power to enemy
>Boosted; +1 to hit and damage
>Roll magic power and subtract 1/2 from enemy's AC
>Boosted; +1 to hit and power
>Levitates a small object, equal or less then minimal for concentration
>Boosted; +1 to load the object can levitate
>Make a stationary object or creature blend in with the background, harder to see.
>Boosted; Allow the target to move OR true invisibility.
These are some really simple and easy spells, and I think Wizard players would enjoy this kind of buffing and cursing gameplay?
The thing with Harry Potter is that it's a magic on magic only setting where martials really can't do much beyond meatshield for the magic guys. You CAN solve this with some shitty mana system which won't really do anything much to alleviate that. You'd be better off just making a system that is made for only magicians as PCs with meatshields being hirelings. That way magic can be constant and exciting, with contests between wizards being the main draw.
I disagree. Wizards in DnD, even low leveled ones, are considerably stronger then Wizards in harry potter. (ignoring the bullshit OP spells of course like instant death or teleportation for free; I'm more talking about the early books spells and powers). Sure, the wizard could fire a stunning beam at you but you could resist and charge him down, or with numbers you'd rekt them anyway, as numbers tends to help a lot.
Tomb of horrors was that way on purpose, as a convention game for powergamers who would blaze through normal modules, or people that wanted to challenge themselves by surviving as far as they could. And it's good at that.
As for your question, I've always liked Keep on the Borderlands.
Resposting my intuitive saving throw tied to stats table.
1. I cannot wait for Mutant Crawl Classics
2. Can I get a good OSR for something gonzo as fuck (aside form DCC)
How do you feel about True Scientific Realism?
So I'm currently working on a method to make spells stronger as Wizards learn them. Something simple and easy to keep track of.
Anyone have any ideas?
Currently my idea is each time X happens, it grants a mark to your spell and whenever you study or have downtime you try to roll under that number plus a modifier. If you succeed you get to enhance the spell in some way.
But how should these spells get better? And also what should trigger the 'point' you get? Whenever a spell succeeds or fails? Using it in a unique method? Gathering a fetish relating to the spell?
I can't help but feeling like everything except character abilities (strength, intelligence etc) are handled pretty well in B/x. I've been rolling some characters just to get pretty fluent with it when players start doing it, but whenever I roll high on intelligence or wisdom I'm just going "eh". It doesn't really seem to impact anything?
I had an idea of letting magic users start with +INT spells in their spell book but they can only memorize one, but that seems like a bad solution.
Why even have INT as a score when it only affects the number of languages you know? I'm mostly going by the "if you want to do something describe it" and less "roll against your ability scores" so that why it sort of stands out like a sore thumb.
I find the stunning hex problematic, it will be very strong in the lower levels and pretty much useless at higher levels. Maybe made it a function of remaining hp? Like, the enemy is stunned if his current hp are equal or less than diceroll*mana points expended?
Assuming the wizards lose the standard spells to gain these, it may work.
Can I have some help with movement in AD&D 2E? How is it supposed to work? I'm using a 1 inch grid map. Let's say a human has 9 movement rate does that mean he can move 90 feet in one round according to the book?
Sorry, that was a part of the design, but let me explain.
I don't think being able to stun a single enemy is useless personally, you're trading your turn to stun a low HD enemy; which if you get a bad roll you may not even stun something stronger. Secondly, and more importantly, I would make the current HP as a measure for a knockout or sleep spell. So instead of sleep, Wizards can just stun with a chance to sleep on a single enemy. However as mentioned above, boosting the spell would allow you to hit multiple targets. So a strong ass Wizard that spends 5 mana could hit 5 enemies and stun/sleep them all instantly, as strong as a sleep spell but takes more time to develop.
Personally I just don't see the one stun a round as very good at all honesty, especially since you could be doing an attack with killing damage instead! You still have to make a hit roll to hit with your wand's spell, I should mention.
The stunning hex doesn't look that bad, really - all it is is a weaker, non-lethal, all-or-nothing, at-will magic missile.
It's probably worse than just doing damage to them most of the time, I reckon, since it's already got a sub-50% chance of stunning a 1HD enemy. If you could stun them you could one-hit them with a damaging shot.
>Why even have INT as a score when it only affects the number of languages you know?
That's still a fairly important thing, you know, although it's definitely situational.
Charisma might give you a bonus to reaction rolls, but it won't do you much good if you run into a Gnoll who doesn't know Common and you can't speak Gnollish. Similarly, if you have a buddy who DOES know Gnollish but he doesn't have high Charisma, the encounter might go quite poorly!
Imagine the difference between running B2 with a party that can speak Goblin and running it with a party that can't, for instance.
OD&D's Supplement 1: Greyhawk added some more things to Intelligence in the way of maximum/minimum spells known per level. That's still more than Wisdom got, though, which got stuck as just being the thing that Clerics used as a Prime Requisite and the thing that M-Us and Fighters had as secondary/tertiary requisites. (Intelligence is the Fighter's secondary requisite and the Thief's kinda-tertiary requisite.)
Note that in the original booklets the only stats that actually have any mechanical effect beyond XP bonuses are Con, Dex and Cha. They're mostly fluff until Greyhawk, which helps explain their appearance in B/X.
Yeah but just gaining one or two languages when you are likely to encounter a lot of different monsters who all for some reason speak their own language it's just such a whatever in comparison to getting bonus's in strength or constitution.
There's just from what I can see any reason why a new player who haven't played B/x would look at the incentives of high wis or int and go for the respective classes without some a priori knowledge that you're just supposed to be a magic user if you have high int. It's nonsense, why not just roll your HP bonus, To-Hit bonus, XP bonus and Reaction Roll Bonus and be done with it? Why even stats?
B/X is very adhoc. It was created when people really didn't know what they were doing when it came to tabletop games vs war games, so its rules were basically "Well lets have a stat for how smart someone is". And that was that.
There is an optional rule used in OSR that may make INT more worth it for your games.
The "Roll under d20" rule. Basically A character can roll a d20, and if he rolls equal or lower to his intelligence [with a -4 to +4 mod if its very hard or very easy] and on a success he gets a hint or factoid about the monster he's currently facing.
So if you run into the obscure Goglofrax from Monster Manual 3 of AD&D [or whatever I'm making shit up], your scholar can be all "Nigga I have 17 INT I know all about Goglofraxes"
Basically its knowledge skills without the skills.
>I reckon, since it's already got a sub-50% chance of stunning a 1HD enemy.
Where are you getting your math from?
Even a wand does d4, staff d6. You just got to roll over 1 to stun a 1 HD enemy.
Oh, I figured that it was a "roll over their maximum hit points" thing given the
>If it beats enemy's max HD
Mostly because "Max HD" didn't really make sense to me when read as anything else.
Yeah, if it lets you indefinitely stunlock guys in such large level ranges then it's just straight-up broken and lets them hit waaaay above their level.
Depends on the game, really. B/X is tricky since you'll need to write a new class for it, but if you're playing something more akin to OD&D then all you need to do is decide maximum class levels and whatever extra abilities they're supposed to get.
>Other Character Types: There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top, i.e., a player wishing to be a Balrog would have to begin as let us say a "young" one and progress upwards in the usual manner, steps being predetermined by the campaign referee.
It's all up to your DM, though, and some OSR games can be quite different in how they handle races.
>Yeah, if it lets you indefinitely stunlock guys in such large level ranges then it's just straight-up broken and lets them hit waaaay above their level.
What's an alternate method you recommend then? You still have to hit with an attack roll; maybe it could be something like you roll 2d4 and subtract them, that could make it go closer to a neutral or zero modifier?
>Depends on the game, really. B/X is tricky since you'll need to write a new class for it
You shouldn't overstate how hard this is. Really for most cases it's enough to grab the Fighter or Thief, then throw on those extra abilities and a 10%-20% increase in XP cost per level depending on how good the abilities are. Admittedly, figuring out exactly how much that is can be a bit tricky, but as long as his players aren't shitbitches increasing the XP cost as you go works fine. Just tell them that since it's experimental they can expect it to be adjusted in play. And eventually you get a feel for power levels; the rule of thumb I suggest is setting the XP cost to where you go "hm, I'm not sure whether this is a good pick" yourself.
Here's Gary's house rules on ability modifiers:
For a score of 15 or over:
STR: +1 to hit and +1 to damage if a Fighter
INT: +1 1st level m-u spell
WIS: +1 1st level cleric spell
DEX: +1 to AC, and +1 to move silently
CON: +1 HP per HD (same as a Fighter class gets, +2 if a Fighter)
CHA: +1 (positive) on reaction checks
I adore B/X and race-as-class, but if you want a race with some special thing you really can just use an existing class and throw on a bonus. It's not that big a deal.
There's supplemental stuff? I think it's all on SJR's site, but all I'm aware of is the text adventure.
I agree that the mental attributes are underpowered (with the possible exception of Charisma, if you like to do the whole group of retainers thing, which I personally don't). There are a number of different ways to address this. You can subsume Wis into Int, and more or less drop Cha (basing reaction rolls solely on situation, and character background and concept). You can also add some feature which balances things out. If you look at the pic, for instance, Int gives you bonus talent points (added onto a base of 3 or 4), which you can spend to get the better of two rolls on a d20 roll, or to reroll a failed d20 roll (this takes two points instead of one). Also, it gives you bonus spells if you're a magic-user or elf (in which case, it should probably *not* affect the amount of talent you have).
Regardless, Int and Wis can be pretty useful stats for knowledge rolls though.
Ugh, there's... somewhere, possibly in the DMG, a whole section on what inches mean in various contexts. And the difference between rounds and turns, but mostly it's something like inches convert to x yards outdoors and x feet indoors.
You say you're using a 1" grid map - the dungeon mapping standard at the time used 10' squares, not the 5' of most modern battlemats. Also, spears could fight three abreast, and so on.
It's not my edition, but there should be something laying it all out.
Got some monster strategies / instinct tables lying around? Stuff like
- Go for the weak
- Play dirty; Trip their legs
- Run away easily, but return in greater numbers
I think there might be on in the Esoteric Creature Generator?
Isn't this Dungeon World's whole shtick?
>Instinct: To serve dragons
> Lay a trap
> Call on dragons or draconic allies
> Retreat and regroup
Give magic-users a detect magic and read magic cantrip (lvl 0 spell) yes or no? Feels like no one's picking those spells either way, so why not just give them it anyway. I'm running B/x but seems like that's the way it's in Mentzer yeah?
I think it's a good idea but the syntax is weird and a little unclear, and I don't understand how those work as moves.
Most moves have a codified "the fiction triggers this move, this move affects the fiction" thing, but the GM ones are ordinary sentences, existing somewhere between game terms and regular fiction terms. I'd rather the monsters make player-style moves too, just in a flavorful way that suits who they are (e.g. Goblins doing Defy Danger + DEX to retreat).
I make them innate abilities myself. It just feels kind of weird if a mystic can't sense or detect magic on his own; that's his thing. He has innate senses for the supernatural. Now that doesn't necessarily mean he knows what it does and obviously some things could be magically hidden from his sense.
It also gives a MU player something more to do than just fire off a spell and hang around in the back. Weird and supernatural oddities should be their specialty. Isn't that why they're out mucking about in dungeons to begin with?
So, I've been hashing shit together for my stone-age game for a while, dropped off the face of the interwebs for a bit 'cos of personal stuff.
I've been tinkering with worldbuilding stuff, setting out tables and procedures for coming up with stuff on the fly. So here's a question for you peeps: if you were running a survival-oriented stone-age OSR game, what tools would you want as a GM? (shit like random cave maps, encounter tables and stuff like that). Throw ideas at what you think'd be useful in the GM's section and I'll feed back what I've got or see if I can hash something up.
I think this might be better if all Hexes and Charms cost 1 mana point each. Still limits the magic users powers a day.
I like the idea that Wizards get a 1d4 mana +Intellegence modifier at level one. Maybe they get 1d4 a level but that would average out to 50 points, which admittedly is a lot of points, but it might be fitting for a high level MU. How fast should they come back? Maybe 1 every hour?
The GM doesn't roll for stuff, though, so GM-sided moves are about threatening the players fictionally. This is great since I don't have to worry about the mechanics of the evil wizard's creepy spells and whether it's fairly balanced versus what the players can do. I just make it creepy and scary, and the game works regardless.
The individual monster moves are supposed to be interpreted by the GM, which gives you plenty of wiggle room to adjust things to your table's tastes, and how hard you want to hurt the players.
What's wrong with Silver Princess? IIRC the reason most of the map is not palace is because the court wizard blew the rest of it up.
Do you guys mean orange-cover B3 or green-cover B3?
Full disclosure: My first RPG ever was green-cover B3 being played in 2e.
WGR1 is a good megadungeon, and I've always had a soft spot for the comedy trio of WG7, EX1, and EX2.
A lot of modules list "one-way secret door" in their maps, but I haven't yet seen an explanation of what that means. Do most people intend this to mean a secret door that can only be opened from one side, or a door that is secret from one side and is obvious from the other?
But staves are also weapons that wizards carry to just hit people with. Half of them are already toting one around, and this is incentive for all of them to be toting one around.
There's also Ravenloft 25th Anniversary, which is late 2e, and Expedition to Castle Ravenloft for 3e.
Not sure how much HoS and R25A differ. HoS is built to actually work with the Ravenloft CS, right?
Why didn't they put out a redone version of I10?
The answer is because I10 happened massively in the past of the actual Ravenloft setting, because it requires Darkon to not yet exist.
How do you feel about
I think there could have been more detail in UA, it's not really that big a book by itself. DMGR3 (Arms & Equipment Guide) has nice pblurbs on all the things in the 2e PHB, but that only makes for 6 pages of polearms.
I'd just treat them the same way. So really your options are:
1) dagger for hitting people with and wand for zapping
2) staff for hitting people with and zapping
The staff has the advantage of being a 2-in-1 sort of thing, but has the disadvantage of being big and cumbersome. The dagger and wand combo has the advantage of being small and easily stashable, but has the disadvantage of requiring two different parts. Overall, I'd say it's a wash. Unless the staff does more damage in melee, in which case the staff is clearly better, but that's an issue with the weapon rules, themselves (and something that's never made much sense to me; I don't think it's at all clear that you'd be better off getting stuck with knife than whacked with a stick). Either way, I don't see any need to penalize the wand.
If you want to individually detail polearms, that's fine, but for the purposes of proficiency, treasure tables and so forth, they should be grouped together. But I'm honestly more into the Basic approach to weapons, where you have fewer, broader categories. Given the way treasure tables work, most everybody who can wield a sword is incentivised to do so anyway, so polearms don't tend to get much play.
If the first M-U in a party takes Read Magic in B/X, they're wasting it. If a character dies and their replacement is an M-U without Read Magic, the party is missing the hell out.
Never mind, I just went through my 1e DMG.
You get a nice interplay between Identify and RM with scrolls: Identify will tell you what's on it, but you still can't read it without RM.
>But as I mentioned the wand is gonna get a bonus to hit to help balance it out.
Ah. I missed that bit. Well, if the wand gets a to-hit bonus that adequately compensates for the lower die-size, then I guess there really isn't an issue. I mean, you could use it to balance out the added damage of the staff (if you have staves do d6 damage to daggers' d4), but you might risk folks bonking people with their staff and zapping with a wand, which comes across as a bit absurd. (And if there's an issue with staves doing more damage, the obvious solution is to change it so that they no longer do.)
That's BECMI - in BECMI the DM decides what your first few spells are (with the book suggesting Read Magic+either Sleep or Magic Missile).
This continues for the first four levels, with the M-U's mentor giving them one spell for every level - IIRC they suggest that Shield should be the second one?
All spells beyond that need to be recorded into your spellbook from either scrolls or stolen spellbooks using Read Magic.
B/X is different, of course - you only know as many spells as you can cast, and ALWAYS know as many spells as you can cast. Level one is a hard choice, yeah, but I'd stick with Sleep or Magic Missile if only because by the point you get enough scrolls to make Read Magic worthwhile you're probably level 2.
OD&D is also worth noting for the way it handled things - every time you get access to a new spell level, you get a spellbook with all the spells in that level. In other words, you always know all the spells for the levels you have available.
In addition, any M-U can create magic items at any time - scrolls are 500gp/spell level and take a week/spell level to craft, for instance. However, you need to cast Read Magic once for every two scrolls you want to cast.
Supplement 1: Greyhawk changed things around a bit, making Intelligence actually matter by giving you a minimum/maximum number of spells known for each level and a chance to randomly determine which.
Being able to record spells from scrolls wasn't a thing until AD&D, I think, which is probably where Mentzer got it from.
And yeah, Read Magic is stupidly useful if you have scrolls. If you don't then it's not really useful, but then again in an ideal session you wouldn't need to use Sleep or Magic Missile either so it's hard to say which is the best choice for a first-level M-U.
Assuming that you get the choice, that is.
IIRC B/X goes the OD&D route in requiring Read Magic to read spell scrolls but allowing anyone to read the Protection: X scrolls.
>lists of superstitions people from the stone age might have
>was for PCs to tell IC whether water is safe to drink
>things that might make water unsafe to drink
>detailed lists of flora, its appearance, and whether it is safe to eat
>list of customs for various tribes/peoples
>if your random NPC tribe generation method doesn't have a result that makes the tribe cannibals, you are doing it wrong
Stuff like that, imo, would be awesome to have on hand.
For superstitions, The Book of Humanoids has a little bit of crunch for incorporating them mechanically into a game.
I also recommend looking at Dragon #68, it has an article on Ice Age adventures.
>If you don't then it's not really useful, but then again in an ideal session you wouldn't need to use Sleep or Magic Missile either so it's hard to say which is the best choice for a first-level M-U.
Its hard for me to even imagine what sort of extreme optimism would result in a player genuinely thinking he's going to find scrolls before he gets in a fight.
It's not a question of finding scrolls before getting in a fight, it's a question of whether or not you'll find a scroll before you level up.
Scrolls are a 20% chance on the magic table - of those, it's a 28% chance that the scroll will have one or more M-U spells.
The Expert set changes this to 30% of the magic table and 26% M-U spells.
If you get enough rolls on the treasure tables you might luck out, I suppose. (Published adventures also tend to have quite a few scrolls lying around, I find.)
I wouldn't necessarily bet on it, though. You're much more likely to get a share of 2,500xp than you are to get a useful scroll, I think.
However, what I meant with
>in an ideal session you wouldn't need to use Sleep or Magic Missile either
is that while getting in a fight looks very likely, getting in a fight that you absolutely need that Sleep/Magic Missile to win is not a given. You don't even need to win the fight, usually - running away is almost always an option.
If you roll the dice you've already lost, etc.
>getting in a fight that you absolutely need that Sleep/Magic Missile to win is not a given.
While I can't imagine a probable situation where Magic Missile is necessary or even helpful for starting characters, Sleep is a borderline necessity. Combat is typically a coin flip at low levels without it.
Similarly, its EXTREME wishful thinking to think that you can detect most fights before they arrive. That's just plain impossible in a dungeon. As far as evasion, well, you can tell people *not* to play halflings, dwarves, gnomes, fighters, or clerics, because if you consider retreating to be a viable first resort tactic, you're going to hemorrhage most of those guys before level two.
I suppose a few minor monsters may let you retreat (I can't say for sure that fire beetles won't eat dropped rations, but we know ghouls and centipedes won't).
In fact the most recent OSR party kills I've been involved in was in fact caused by a lack of Sleep.
Yeah... It's more useful for people not using it for dungeon world. Shame how that happened to most of the ideas it proposed that didn't come from its roots as an apocalypse world hack.
So I had an idea to codify the 'do whatever you want' sort of rules that OSR style games have for combat maneuvers and stunts.
Whenever a character in combat wishes to do something difficult like a stunt or called shot they may attempt a Feat roll. Feat rolls under the relevant save plus modifiers for difficulty.
Struggle- Pick up an enemy over your head, shove someone off a cliff, rip off someone's arm.
Reflex- Grab an arrow in flight, disarm an enemy before they react, slide under a larger foe.
Fortitude- Push through a hoard of lesser foes, stand your ground against a great storm.
Mind- Read someone's lips, decipher the opponent's plans from sight, learn weaknesses.
Willpower- Resist pain and temptation. Give yourself the strength to get back up.
Soul- Reassemble your broken party, make a foe flee in terror from your conviction.
Does this sound like a legit system that could work? or is it adding an unnecessary system? one reason I like the idea is it automatically makes certain characters suited to certain feats; Warriors being better at the close range stuff, Rogues for the speed and agility based feats, etc.
The only other rule I wanted to implement was to add a negative for wearing armor but I felt like that was unnecessary and kind of unfair, it doesn't really fit all the categories to do it that way.
B/X has several types of scroll.
1 in 4 are scrolls of protection against either lycanthropes or undead - enemies that are surprisingly common in Basic and OD&D. Anyone can read them. Even Bob the Viking.
1 in 4 are Treasure maps - either 1d4 thousand gp of stuff or a hidden magic item. fuck yeah, and often in the current dungeon or in somewhere you've been before but didn't fully explore. It's probably guarded and the map might be cryptic, but it's there.
1 in 8 are cursed. The curse is triggered by simply looking at the writing. You may be a frog now, until someone casts remove curse (spell mentioned in Basic as something included in Expert!) or you do a quest or something. Other curses: SURPRISE WANDERING MONSTER EQUAL TO YOUR LEVEL, lost a random magic item, lose a _level_ (or die, if you're 1st level), wounds take twice as long to heal and healing spells are half as effective, or _reroll your prime requisite_. Aren't you glad wizards don't get massive bonuses for having high INT now?
1 in 3 chance of 1 to 3, 25% chance they're clerical. Bit different. The way I understand it, no-one can cast from them until they've sat down with that scroll and cast Read Magic at it, then it's... prepped? for them, and they can cast off it whenever. That's magic-user and elf scrolls though - for clerical scrolls, anyone can read them as they "are written in a common tongue, but only clerics have the spiritual contacts necessary to make the spell work." I fucking love that phrasing. "yeah, see, I know this angel, we go way back, he owes me a few."
The protection scrolls are especially neat, because they're so universal. I like to imagine them a bit like purity seals fighters can attach to their armour, then yell out the words from in a heated battle, but them I'm a huge dork.
Now, Expert has more stuff. Mostly scrolls with more spells, protection scrolls against elementals and magic, and an expanded selection of treasure maps. Nothing too much beyond that.
A scroll of protection against magic creates a 10' radius circle. No spells or spell effects can enter or leave it, it lasts 1d4 turns, moves with the reader, and the only thing that can break it is wish. Hooray!
You can also cast Remove Curse now, so that's less awful.
protection scrolls are frikkin cools, we never seem to find AND remember we have them when the right enemy shows up.
Protection from Magic scrolls in particular are basically essential to not be wiped out when enemy magic users show up, I would guess.
Can't wait to see these used sometime.
Are there any OSR games themed around survival horror? It seems to me as though it would be something they'd be suited to, since your typical survival horror game was basically just a dungeon crawl with a focus on supply management.
Could be exciting. The random encounters and random treasure in OSRs sound especially useful. Could be cool to have guns be relatively overpowered, but ammo is a thing you find and using one prompts a random encounter check in some cases, for example.
>IIRC the reason most of the map is not palace is because the court wizard blew the rest of it up.
That's true, but it's also no more than an excuse for having the map be mostly underground. I think that's a shame; it was clearly done to avoid stuff like players climbing up to a high window and bypassing large chunks of dungeon -- thus simplifying for the new DM expected to run it, which is definitely legit -- but personally I like it when there are a lot of ways to get around in a dungeon, and at this point I'm not sure newbies are the main thing to take into account when designing an alternate map, of all things.
Of course, IIRC the palace is also surrounded by some kind of force field that blocks entering and leaving, isn't it? In that case a DM who doesn't want players scaling walls, throwing grappling hooks and levitating could just use that to block off turret windows and the like.
It's to model the difference being knowing things and applying knowledge.
The alternative of collapsing both into one stat can be equally messy.
With Int and Wis you can differentiate smart but unaware wizards and clever but duped shamen. With a single IQ stat you're forced to make all magic-users into brainiacs.
why does magic always come of Int, though?
If a spellcaster gets their magic from studying arcane lore, the totally will be a brainiac if they're good. On the other hand I can see charisma (pacts with otherworldly beings) and constitution (innate gifts) being just as important to different styles of magic.
Er, casting isn't too heavily affected by intelligence. Constitution is its own reward. As is Charisma.
WotC editions basically threw the follower/henchmen/domain/etc. minigame in the trash, and that's why Charisma based chars aren't unusual in it -- Cha barely matters, so might as well make it a primary stat.
Also we have int and wis casters.
>Because the game is an abstraction and based on swords and sorcery stereotypes
And 'horrible pacts with ancient beings that give you horrible powers' is a staple of the genre. Plus look at how many magicians in (say) conan are cult leaders or similar; many are closer to clerics than MUs.
>Why is Wis important for a Cleric?
No clue. I always figured it should be charisma.
The boring but true mechanical answer is that originally (before thieves), Str, Int and Wis were just the respective prime requisites for Fighting Men, Magic-Users and Clerics respectively and did nothing else. They had one stat each because they were different classes. The other three stats were kinda the "bonus" stats and had mechanical effects instead.
On the other hand, the fluff answer I think would be that Int is learning aptitude, calculation, sharp wits, that kind of thing, whereas Wis is intuition, common sense, and you know, wisdom. I mean, I can easily imagine a Zen master who's not very clever, maybe even stupid-seeming, but deep as a well. (Of course the opposite's even easier: a wizard who manages to figure out how to summon satanic beasts from beyond the cosmic veil, but never once stops to consider whether he should.)
>constitution (innate gifts)
Well, they're wouldn't technically be anything wrong with that but then you'd turn mages into tanks.
>Why is Wis important for a Cleric?
Because Gygax said so. A lot of the weirdness inherent in all D&D iterations is because Gygax and/or Arneson just pulled things out of their asses and instead of re-evaluating those things they got grandfathered in to the franchise.
>The boring but true mechanical answer is that originally (before thieves), Str, Int and Wis were just the respective prime requisites for Fighting Men, Magic-Users and Clerics respectively and did nothing else.
Which is also why SIWDCR was the original order they were in.
D&D is a game, and probably 90% of the fluff comes as justification for mechanics, not the other way around. If people don't want to accept that and ask inane questions like "why can't I play a charisma fighter!?" then they should just go play more DW instead of bothering people who want to play OSR games. It's not a competition about who has the "best game."
New update of my homebrew here.
>New saving throws
>Different durability system
Next up I need to update or change races as needed, and add in a magic system. After that I think it will be about nearing completion.
>instead of re-evaluating those things
That's doing a disservice to both of them. They playtested like crazy, and second-guessed themselves on things all the time. But Gygax's general rule was "I'd rather have a good rule now than a perfect rule in years."
>instead of re-evaluating those things they got grandfathered in to the franchise.
This is crap. Everything was re-evaluated tons of times, which resulted in "the entire rest of the roleplaying hobby". And if you like that shit you can go get amorous with a GURP, or several GURPS if you like. But most people didn't, and they still don't; the reason that sort of stuff was never added into D&D was that it couldn't defend itself in all these other games. Look at 3E, that took in a fuckload of influence from what were seen as successful elements in other games - and even then, for the most part they were totally fucking wrong and only scored an indisputable hit with ascending AC.
>Everything was re-evaluated tons of times, which resulted in "the entire rest of the roleplaying hobby".
Hear hear. I've heard such a ridiculous variety of simple obvious fixes over the years.
How does that excuse every D&D author after Gygax keeping what were good rules then instead of making better rules now?
>But most people didn't, and they still don't
So Pathfinder is a good system because lots of people play it?
D&D isn't popular because it's good, it's popular because it's the most well-known.
>How does that excuse every D&D author after Gygax keeping what were good rules then instead of making better rules now?
Because the rules worked really well at the table, and then he was pushed out almost immediately by the Blumes.
Also, putting out better rules turned out to be a LOT harder than most people think, as WotC's run with D&D so amply showed. Six months after OD&D's publication, Gygax said he wished he could have come up with a mana point system for magic instead of the pseudo-Vancian one they used, but despite dozens of attempts by various people that resulted in overpowered, underpowered, and/or horridly complicated solutions, nobody came up with a halfway playable point-based magic system for D&D until 3E's Psionics book, and even that's still pretty damn fiddly IMO.
>How does that excuse every D&D author after Gygax keeping what were good rules then instead of making better rules now?
As has been noted, about 99% of the RPG industry exists BECAUSE people thought they are making "better rules now." Pathfinder is probably the most obvious example.
>D&D isn't popular because it's good, it's popular because it's the most well-known.
In other words, "D&D's popular because its popular." Nice try. Why did you come here to shitpost, incidentally?
You will notice that D&D is held to a VASTLY higher standard than other RPGs, things that would be completely ignored in other RPGs are harped about ad infinitum, etcetera.
In some respects its a matter of taste, but D&D's more rigorously playtested, examined, and dissected than anything else, so there's just plain more man hours put into figuring out what works and what doesn't (hence: the OSR movement etc) in an RPG as far as D&D is concerned and it is easily one of the best RPGs out there.
There's certainly room for improvement, of course. Mostly, this is about taste.
>things that would be completely ignored in other RPGs are harped about ad infinitum, etcetera.
Give me some examples.
>it is easily one of the best RPGs out there.
Name five characteristics that make it better than most RPGs.
>Give me some examples.
There's 101 examples but caster vs muggle imbalance is the #1 example and the one harped on the most. I've never even seen someone but me raise the point in, say, RuneQuest, even though its blatantly true and a hundred times as bad.
>Name five characteristics that make it better than most RPGs.
I'm not sure I should devote more energy to appease a guy who is strictly here to shit on D&D/OSR than he is willing to spend, nice try though.
thulsa doom op, pls nerf
LBB OD&D is quite possibly the most intensively playtested roleplaying game in history. It's certainly the best-playtested edition of D&D.
Things... kinda broke down after that.
have a pdf for Wolfpacks &Winter Snow (revised edition)
>layout and typography played with
>some tweaks to rules for light, breaking equipment, making magic items, combat manoeuvres, a couple of spells, magical backlash and a few others
>Added rulings for taming animals, warfare, camping
>and a BRAND NEW GM'S SECTION (woop woop)
GM's section includes
>basic notes on running the game
>Tips on running expeditions into caves, including discussions of spores, gasses, slimes, water hazards, traps and examples thereof, and a system to create procedurally-generated neat-ass cave complexes on the fly.
>tips on running wilderness exploration, a system to generate a random hex map in a panic before the game begins, and stuff to flesh out different hexes as players explore them.
>Stats for various wild animals and fantastical monsters, and extensive customization options
>Statblocks for basic NPCs, a system to generate tribes (including their demographics, traditions and trading habits) on the fly, and a quick NPC generator
>Rules for turning into the undead, with customizable options for both mindless zombies and intelligent ressurected undeadies.
>new silhuette artwork I found on the internet!
Have at it, y'all. This isn't the finished product, I'm going to be sticking the next few revisions up in quick succession as I get feedback and improve shit. If you throw your comments at me in the thread, that'd be awesome.
originally I was going to put in separate player and GM books, but I couldn't be bothered to work out what should go where so it's all in one volume now.
Have a character sheet.
S&W comes closest, but honestly I'd go with Labyrinth Lord if you want a more modern version. There's an expansion (Original Edition Characters) that makes it a bit more OD&D.
It's worth trying OD&D by the book some time, though, it's a neat game. Skip the suggestion to use Chainmail and use the "alternate combat system" provided though.
Do use the Outdoor Survival map.
If you want to give the real OD&D a try, this is a good way to do it.
I ask because I had the idea to make a kind of over world dungeon thing about a small slave revolt on a river, with both guards, slaves, and others scattered around the area, the party being a few hours behind the event at most.
This sound like an interesting set up?
Actually, I think I'm devoting marginally more effort than I need to, but whatever. I was investigating how much work it takes to just produce a campaign hex map, on the scale of the smallest tier, the 200 yard hexes. After examining pic related it seems that you're not supposed to do that, I think -- I think the intent is that you do a small detail, 200 yard/hex, accounting of the stronghold's 1 mile hex, and of the six surrounding hexes, and then you just do a relatively zoomed out, 1 mile/hex, accounting of the rest of the hexes in the 30 mile area (one campaign hex).
Oh nah, pointcrawl's not relevant to this.
A campaign with the Classic DnD Alignment of Law/Neutral/Chaos but based on the philosophies and style of Shin Megami Tensei should work right?
Someone probably already did this, it's a no-brainer.
SMT explores the downsides and advantages of Law/Neutral/Chaos and makes it personally hard for me to choose between the three since I can see all of them working out to some extent.
In comparison, single axis alignment is not that compelling to me in D&D. Chaos is not portrayed in a good light.
Plus I like my Neutral cosmic philosophy to be "Fuck the cosmic order and its games" rather than a careful balance between Law and Chaos where you have to even out the number of good and evil acts in the universe or some shit.
BECMI neutrality never struck me as balance number of law vs chaotic, while there are plenty of explicitly good/benevolent chaotic beings. Chaos tends to be bad, but so fucking what? You need antagonists.
Nothing stops Chaotic PCs from being 'good'ish and the Nightmare Dimension is a place where its Chaos that usually is benevolent and Law is malevolent.
How does its Chaos differ?
Because that is how it is in SMT and that's part of the reason why I prefer it. I also prefer SMT's constant and explicit focus on Chaos as individualism and power and Law as society and security because it's easier to make ambiguous choices and situations because of that.
Neutral there is really just refusing to take a stand and killing anything that can stop you from making that choice which carries its own problems. I find this built in tension and conflict interesting.
It's not a question of incompatibility for me but a matter of presentation and style. I suspect BECMI doesn't take the alignments to the extremes of SMT though. Every alignment has an equal possibility to be dystopian and the games have shown plenty of examples of how and why. Which is what I believe to be the primary difference between the two. Lawful clerics should inspire equal terror comapred with chaotic clerics.
To be honest no one in the thread told me why it'd matter. Especially not from a mechanical stand point. You roll for your Wis and that's fucking it that stat has now done its part.
>Yes, I am a shitposter!
>Obey my demands!
Can we all agree not to feed virtualoptim next time he shows up?
>Anyone here read or play Castle Gargantua by Kabuki Kaiser?
I haven't. I want to get both that and Kwantoom, but last I checked Lulu wouldn't print them outside the US for some reason so the prices were retarded.
I know, I know, but they seem good enough to be worth paying for and I want hardcopies for the table.
Depends if you are OK with a randomly generated, but evocative, megadungeon set up. If you're familiar with their previous games, this too can be played as a one player game.
In my opinion though, Kwantoom is more interesting, but Gargantua is good too. Under city and Kwantoom is in the trove if you want a preview.
Yesterday I received copies of two wargames - Dragon Rampant, and Book of War. I might write something about them tonight after work.
Dragon Rampant isn't OSR, but Book of War is a game designed based on ridiculous levels of study of OD&D, which gives you a quick-play, light system that gives effectively the same results as playing the battle out using the full rules.
It's at a figure scale of 1:10, looks pretty decent overall. The morale seems like the clunkiest thing, and that's only because you modify a roll by (remaining figures in unit)/(figures lost this turn) or something like that.
deltasdnd at blog spot 2011/09/book-of-war-core-rules.html
The basic rules cover men with pikes and shit, the advanced rules cover elves and orcs and so on, then there are heroes and wizards and monsters. Classed characters under 10th level are abstracted into regular units - after all, a unit of 300 men will be lead by (etc) and have (x) (yth level) sergeants, according to the encounter tables.
There is a points system. Amusingly, 1 point = 10gp per week to hire the ten soldiers represented by a figure. (nothing costs just 1 point, but that's the ratio)
The blog has like a million words about the system and why it works the way it does. It's a neat bit of gaming nerdery, if nothing else - I'll try to get a game in this weekend. Possibly with a Rank 2 (11th level) magic-user, so they can cast a spell and drive a hill covered in troops into the middle of enemy lines.
Gargantua was a bit disappointing. It's still pretty good, but a lot of the cool stuff was in the setting synopsis - massive dungeon made for or by giants, grid square is actually 60', non-giants have moved into parts and things are weird and confusing.
It's good, just nothing amazing.
Hey, I've got a question for the OSR thread as someone who just recently got his hands on all the core AD&D 2nd Edition core books.
Is there a table/method for calculating encounter difficulty by taking into account party size, collective monster XP, etc?
I doubt it. Troveguy hasn't been around to add stuff lately due to IRL troubles. Here's hoping things get better for him.
In the meantime, I posted Kwantoom a couple of months back:
anonfiles com /file/6b5639e23f28531546019fce9bcd5eb3
>Is there a table/method for calculating encounter difficulty by taking into account party size, collective monster XP, etc?
Not really. Even in 2E encounter balance hadn't developed into a priority. Eventually you get a feel for how hard any given fight is, though.
(You can use monster HD = player HD as a rule of thumb for an equal-odds fight, but even that's not very good because many monsters, like trolls, punch significantly above their weight in HD.)
See, I don't like that at all, and I generally favor Chaos in general -- its ridiculous to think that Chaos is on average as good as Law, because if being a fukkin individual was every bit as good as working for the good of the group, then we'd never have advanced towards societies and groups to begin with.
Of course someone focused on individuality is going to in general be drastically more likely to be a bad guy than a Lawful type. If Law and Chaos were equally as likely to be good or bad, we'd never advance towards Lawful societies in general.
Chaotic sympathetic types and Lawful antagonistic types are fine as subversions, but there's no need to dilute the Moorcockian/Andersonian flavor of D&D in such a fashion. The whole reason a sympathetic Chaotic type is interesting is because they're a subversion, not the norm.
that sounds extremely interesting and relevant to my interests, as I'm trying to make an OSR inspired RPG with similar probabilities to AD&D but a lot jazzier.
So here's my question -- does Book of War have rules for progressing characters within it?
I know for a total fact that both BECMI and 1e AD&D have encounter difficulty calculation systems. I don't recall how the BECMI one works, but the 1e one actually modifies net XP from encounters -- largely irrelevantly due to GP=XP, but at mid to high levels monster XP, the XP awards start becoming actually worthwhile (a vampire is 8k-10k or so XP, which is much better than 2e's 2k xp vampires, since getting hit by a vampire once blows away that much).
No, it's effectively a standalone wargame that happens to be an OD&D supplement. XP is beyond its scope. It literally doesn't track characters who aren't name level, and even those are pretty simply managed - wizards, for example? a rank 1 wizard is a 10th level wizard, and has no Book of War spells. Their stats take into account that they've got buffs and other lower-level spells going, and they're assumed to have a wand of fireball or lightning bolt, but you have to be 11th level to cast a spell that's meaningfully distinct from the low-level casters abstractly present within units.
deltasdnd blog spot /2011/11/book-of-war-heroes.html
are the first two articles worth reading, I guess, and the core rules one linked, and generally a million words in a thousand blog posts.
>Now, I have long assumed that this section would be the most contentious part of the Book of War rules. The reason is simple: Many players expect that mid-level PCs (say: 4th-8th level or so) can appear on the tabletop as solo figures, and to fight at an advantage against many normal figures. But that's not the case when "normal" figures are at 1:10 scale. Simply put: if a standard figure represents 10 Hit Dice of men, then a Hero must have 10 Hit Dice minimum before they have the equivalent staying power of even 1 "hit" of damage.
>Or actually, it should be even worse than that: we've seen that higher Hit Dice are actually devalued in terms of real hits taken (proof one, proof two). Looking at those prior statistics, if we were being completely honest, then it should take a hero of at least 15 Hit Dice to have the equivalent staying power of 10 separate, normal men (i.e., a standard figure with 1 hit). But let's be generous to a fault towards our Heroes, and also for simplicity, we'll just divide D&D hits by 10 and round down. I don't think that many people will complain about giving them this benefit-of-the-doubt.
Not sure how you'd even do progress
Well reason I asked, is because this sounds similar to 1e Battlesystem, which is a lot more free and flexible than 2e Battlesystem -- you can make an adventuring party into a stand for example there. But more relevantly, 1e Battlesystem has extensive guidelines as to who gets XP from these actions and how much.
So I'm not so much asking because I think PCs shouldn't be usually averaged in, but because it'd be cool to advance semi normal PCs this way.
Course I should just ask him...
The Heroes post goes into a bit of detail on his philosophy, which is summed up as "battlesystem artificially inflates PCs beyond what the rules justify." OD&D, you know?
There's nothing about gaining XP. There are notes on converting OD&D characters and monsters into units, but the suggestion is that if a hero fights another hero on the board, you may want to run the combat using the full OD&D rules at a 3:1 turn ratio - three OD&D turns per battle turn, I think.
>but the suggestion is that if a hero fights another hero on the board, you may want to run the combat using the full OD&D rules at a 3:1 turn ratio - three OD&D turns per battle turn, I think.
That in particular is like Battlesystem too.
>which is summed up as "battlesystem artificially inflates PCs beyond what the rules justify." OD&D, you know?
Fair enough, though I did notice that in 1e Battlesystem, at any rate, level 0-1 units had no difficulty making utter mincement out of level 6 units (I compared, specifically, elves vs trolls).
I was iffy on Charisma defending against fear for quite some time, until I realized that to some degree, Charisma does shield your followers from morale failure, so it could be said to already defend against fear.
In a roundabout way, a Charismatic NPC leader is more protected from fear, since he can be caused to retreat from his own disloyal flunkies retreating already. Its also similar to how in Warhammer, leadership is even used for solo types to avoid running away.
This is interesting considering that OD&D explicitly derives itself from Chainmail, where a Hero can appear as a solo unit (and the standard scale is also 1:10 if I recall rightly), yet an OD&D Hero's level 4.
Yeah, the level system, up to 1e AD&D, was born basically as an attempt to extrapolate level 4 fighter = hero = strength of/counts-as 80 men, level 8 fighter = superhero = strength of/counts-as 160 men.
He goes into that in one of his posts. Cites Gygax on some stuff. Mostly, I think, it's a combination of encounter tables dictating that large bands of ordinary men will have fighting men of that level or higher as standard, so calling out some level 5 random as special is silly when there may well be one in any given figure, and that at some points Gary said something about how chainmail is closer to 1:1 than higher ratios. No citations, am on phone.
At the end of the day, Book of War looks to be a fun game and a fascinating semi-academic pseudostudy of LBB D&D. If recommend people give it a look, or at least someone buy the PDF and share it. Or read the blog.
I don't have the PDF, because Lulu.
Not the guy who asked here. I fail to see why party size should be assumed in edition x but not edition y, and I fail to see any compelling reason why fighters shouldn't get the same basic crowd control they have in Chainmail and 1e.
I did in order to switch it up and makes classes more interesting.
Only having 4 classes feels extremely simplified and means your party will be complete with only 4 players. If you have more classes, that means smaller parties will be forced to specialize more and bigger ones will have the natural problems of that, such as needing more supplies and stuff. Four person deathsquads seem a bit cheap, might prefer a few more to make it seem like a bigger operation.
That's true. Also kind of why I wanted to add in a new semi-fighter class, the Saboteur, as to make the fighter redundancy less important.
I kind of like the idea that, at least in old school DnD, fighters made up the most of a party but I feel like these fighters should have some kind of mechanical difference between each other to make them more interesting and less boring/samey.
What do you think about the idea of giving players a retainer for each plus modifier in their charisma during the start of the game? The idea of those characters being leaders of a very small following.
Whenever I do something like this, I tend to kind of create a semi-format for it.
Typically I like to include options for each character type and class, as well as violent and nonviolent options. So;
"You run into a group of gorilla-like men in the forest."
>Band of powerful, armored warriors. They are looking to win in battle to prove themselves for their tribe. They will demand any trophies of your kills, or fight you if you have none or refuse.
>Tribal shaman meditating with the spirits of the forest. He holds pearls which are quite valuable- but if killed or interrupted the spirits will know and curse the party.
>Young acoylate gorilla who can seemingly fit into any role. Being attacked by an owlbear. (If saved, can be a useful replacement character)
>Fat merchant gorillas selling wares, the most common items are the most marked up at ridiculous prices. If questioned, the merchant will angrily respond 'I'm trying to get you to pick them up yourselves, idiot! What fool pays for bananas under a banana tree?'
Something like that, though obviously this was a shitty example.
You may wish to consider giving them all the same number, with charisma being both the limit and determining the morale factor. Having one PC have 0 retainers and another having 2 could be excessive.
If you use the rule some editions have of encounter sizes being partly determined by party size its relatively easy. I would put instant death/level drain/+x to hit monsters in the most very rare categories, monsters with extremely high chances to surprise the PCs in the rare frequencies, and monsters that come in freakishly large groups or pose other issues in the uncommon frequencies. The common frequencies I would put the relatively easy monsters in.
One of the few issues with B/X.
It might be worth importing part of BECMI's weapon mastery for them if you don't just roll up a sweet magic sword.
Magic swords are a class ability.
Has anyone read Steel and Fury?
I'm debating whether to use Weapon Mastery or use this for my Fighters. The goal is to put the spotlight on the Fighter whenever there's fighting.
The cool part of Gargantua to me is how you can repurpose the random megadungeon generation bits, the snake and ladders bits, and the keyword system for your own use.
Kinda like the playing card and dice generation method in Scenic Dunnsmouth and to use a non osr example, the playset generation from Tremulus.
The "less than one hit die" thing has always seemed really weird to me. Then again, I detest the idea of minute-long combat rounds. I'm okay with the idea that an overall fight takes significantly longer than the rounds that were actually played out, which maybe amounts to the same thing as minute-long rounds when you're looking back on things (since you're sort of inserting phantom time into the nooks and crannies of the combat that took place, stretching things out), but it doesn't confront you as directly with absurdities (as you wouldn't retroactively insert phantom time into moments when it wouldn't make sense). Besides, memories of combat can a bit more malleable than your perception of combat that's happening in the here and now.
Anyway, to get back to the point, getting ten attacks in a six-to-ten second round starts to get a little ridiculous. So this particular superpower works better with minute-long rounds, which encourages an abstraction of action that I really don't care for. Besides, why should you get ten attacks vs. goblins, but only a single one vs. hobgoblins? It seems like a rather abrupt cutoff point. I much prefer just giving fighters additional attacks in general, like in AD&D.
>Let's talk about some specific hazards involved in exploring old mines. First let me parade my credentials: I have been doing this since about 1972. I have a degree in Geological Engineering and took every Mining Engineering course I was able to at the University of Arizona. I have been in more old mines than I can even remember or count. I have spent entire days and nights underground in large mines. Here is a list of what I consider to be the most serious dangers, and I have tried to place the most serious dangers first, just to give people something to argue about:
>Falling into a deep hole.
>Having something fall on you.
>Bad air and gases.
>Being attacked by animals.
>Being buried alive.
>Here is my first and best safety tip: Not every mine, and not every part of every mine needs to be explored! Knowing when to say, "we shouldn't be doing this" and being able to say no to yourself is an essential part of safety in any risk sport.
>Far and away, the greatest danger in old mines is falling down some nasty deep hole and killing yourself. You may find yourself climbing up and down old ladders above cavities of unknown size. Here are a couple of pieces of advice: Not every mine is worth exploring. Not every part of every mine is worth exploring. If you don't feel good about it, don't do it.
>Never do this kind of thing with people who will make you feel the least bit bad about saying, "No, I don't think we should do this." Also, don't think of doing this alone.
>One of the most exciting things in the mine exploring business is a shaft or adit with a healthy flow of air moving in or out of it. A good flow of air is an encouraging sign, indicating a lot of underground volume (cavers know this). Bad air is always a concern in any mine (or any enclosed space for that matter).
>The places where I have encountered bad air has been in remote parts of mines, and it is usually becoming increasingly obvious that the air is getting bad the further you go. If things are getting increasingly stuffy and you are beginning to feel dizzy or to stumble along feeling oddly low in energy, it is time to get the heck out of there (if you can!).
> We had descended a vertical shaft about 400 feet to a place where the ladder simply ended. We then tied a rope to a sturdy anchor, and rappeled about 50 feet to a level we could see below us. After exploring this level we decided to descend the shaft further (the ladder had now resumed and was in good shape), but as soon as my eyes reached the floor level, I could take only a partial breath as the air was such as to make you choke. I came up out of there in a hurry! Although there was no visible sign of this whatsoever, the shaft below this point was filled with carbon dioxide. It looked just fine (carbon dioxide is as clear as good air). The level we were on led to an adit, so that the shaft we entered along with the adit kept the upper part of the mine reasonably well ventilated, but below this was not accessible to mankind without some kind of life support gear (too bad!). The transition from good air to deadly took place in the space of inches. We felt very fortunate that we had not rappeled into this pool of bad air, because if we had, I very much doubt that you would be reading this account. On a ladder, it would be quite easy to quickly reverse direction, but on rappel, I don't think there is any way it could be done.
>The last story is from long ago in a silver mine in the California desert. We had been underground for many hours, and were deep in the mine, below the 800 or 900 foot level and far from the shaft we had descended. My partner and I stepped over a wooden barrier and ducked our head below another and then descended a gentle slope into a fair sized stope. We had been feeling "low energy" for some time (the air was marginal) and we were using carbide lamps. I looked up at my friend and was amazed to see an extremely long blue flame coming from his lamp. I said, "we need to get out of here" and immediately began moving, my mind having jumped to the conclusion that the air was seriously deficient in oxygen, insomuch that the acetylene gas could not burn normally. My partner reported that my lamp was behaving the same way, and we consider ourselves fortunate not to have collapsed in this remote part of this mine. I seriously doubt that our bodies would ever have been found. Since this time, I have always valued the flame of a carbide lamp as an informal test of air quality.
>I was recently told about a situation that I was unaware of (and have little experience in since I usually am poking around in fairly dry mines in desert places). What look like inviting mines up the the mountains with a nice flow of water running out of them can have air depleted of oxygen due to the water running out of them. The water gets depleted of oxygen while trickling through the rocks before arriving at the mine workings. The oxygen depleted water then pulls oxygen out of the air as it flow through the mine workings, and this can very definitely lead to such low levels of oxygen as to be fatal, even fairly close to the mine entrance. This could have been a factor in the Virginia City story just above.
>This story is from sometime in 2004 or so. A partner and I had invested a huge amount of effort in accessing and descending perhaps 700 feet down a vertical shaft and were eagerly hoping to find a connection into a larger mine nearby. On one level we had roamed around and found a ladder descending into what looked like a series of stopes, and I grabbed the ladder and gave it a shake, more concerned with how well it was attached than anything else, but it registered in some corner of my mind that the ladder seemed oddly "rubbery" and I hesitated just as I was in the midst of swinging my weight onto it. The wood was a bit grey in color (not entirely unusual), but I found that I could dig my fingernails into the wood and tear it apart. What had once been strong pine, was now something much like balsa wood because of fungus and rot with just a bit of dampness underground.
>Long ago, and in a silver mine far away in the California desert, 3 of us were descending a deep vertical shaft...his shaft had levels every 100 feet (as usual) and below one level there was a jam of timbers partially blocking the shaft, but that we were able to squeeze past and keep descending. Below this the ladder deteriorated markedly in quality. I was in the lead (at the bottom) and took a look below me to see the ladder dangling in space and ending and the bare shaft continuing to unknown depths below. It would seem that what had happened here is that water had risen in this shaft, floating this rubbish that we had scrambled past, and causing the deterioration of the ladder. Now that the water had withdrawn, the lower part of the ladder (and shaft timber) had simply fallen away. It is our good fortune that with the weight of several of us on this questionable ladder, it had not fallen away also with us on it.
This one is recent, circa 2007. My partner and I were descending a slowly deteriorating metal ladder in a vertical shaft. As a short side note, I recently read that over 80 percent of accidents in working mines take place in or near shafts. We had just explored the 600 foot level and our information told us that there was just one more level below, the 700 foot level. My partner remained at the 600 level and I descended the ladder to the 700. We had found this to be a good method since it was easy to yell up the 100 feet between levels and having only one of us on the ladder avoided knocking loose rocks and junk on the guy below. I yelled up to announce my arrival and took two steps out onto the station platform and it suddenly collapsed under my weight. I almost fell through the resulting hole (my leg hit mid-thigh on the edge of the hole), but luckily sprawled sideways and caught myself. If I had fallen through I would have dropped 12 feet or so onto a sloping section of rock, and would almost certainly have slid into the shaft (a drop of maybe 40 feet into the water I could see below). This station platform looked like every one we had seen above and walked on, but with the humidity close to the water in the bottom of the shaft, the timber was completely rotten and worthless. The timbers that broke were once 4 x 12 inch planks. My partner said that the noise from the collapsing timber falling down the shaft sounded like someone had driven a truck down the shaft. (Oh, and by the way, two of the rusted tubular metal rungs on that ladder broke under body weight near that station -- another good reason to only have one man on the ladder at a time -- and even that was one too many.) That particular 700 level remains unexplored.
Man, shit like this scares the ever-loving piss outta me. More power to the people that can do this kinda shit, but I can immediately tell I'm not one of those people.
Absolutely great stuff to throw at players, though.
This is a hell of an idea, and if there's another 'zine issue, I would definitely be interested in reading an article on this. Just something to consider.
Something I've personally been considering for my own homebrew is taking the cleric turning tables and modifying them for dispelling/counterspelling magic. I will say I use the "Fist Full of Magic" system, which replaces spell slots with dice and requires casting rolls.
The concept is, when an enemy caster is casting a spell (and the players' team has initiative, which will let them know what the enemies are doing first), a spellcaster can burn a spellcasting die (or spell slot for Vancian casters) and make a counterspell check. I haven't quite figured out exactly how I want to space out the table, but I'm thinking of something along the lines of comparing caster levels (or equivalent Hit Dice). May or may not add the level of the spell (or equivalent) being used, though that might be too fiddly.
As I'm conceptualizing it now, the counterspelling wizard's level (plus spell slot burned?) would be used in place of the cleric's level, and the spell attempted to be countered would be the undead to be turned, starting from Wight. This would mean that 1st level spellcasters cannot counterspell, and even 2nd levels would only be able to counter a 1st level spell on an 11+.
Obviously, this is completely untested, as my days off of work aren't conducive to doing pretty much any sort of gaming. However, homebrewing is something I can do in preparation for getting a game together in the future, and something as simple as tweaking already existing rules for something new and neat (IMO) is easy enough.
>This is a hell of an idea, I would definitely be interested in reading an article on this.
Do you mean the style or the actual random encounter table with the gorillas?
I'm currently writing up a different request from above if you like the style, almost finished here.
>>Falling into a deep hole.
>>Having something fall on you.
>>Bad air and gases.
>>Being attacked by animals.
>>Being buried alive.
Spooky shit man. I'll have to incorporate this into a dungeon crawl one day.
There is one major problem I have with that guy. From his house rules post:
>Sometime around mid-2008 I had an epiphany and realized that I had to discard Clerics from my game. That was an admittedly radical step, but the amount of relief that I immediately felt was intense, and I haven't looked back since. D&D finally "felt right" to me. Now, I treat Thieves (from Sup-I) as a "replacement" for the 3rd core OD&D class slot.
Some of his reasons are decent, and he makes healing available anyway, but... dude. No Cleric, Yes Thief? I can understand not wanting Clerics but ugh, thieves...
Conceptually, thieves are way cooler than clerics (to the point where nobody in my group will even consider playing a cleric). Functionally? Well, I definitely see how thieves can effectively limit the capabilities of other characters, and old school D&D doesn't really execute them well. So clerics are more solid, but... just... blech.
Thanks! Here's something you might enjoy.
Here you go my man; hope you enjoy it and hope it can be useful to anyone.
Note; I put in some wandering monsters here at the end, though obviously you can adjust the stats to your liking since I'm not that good at the whole stating monster things... But to make up for it I also added 1d4 rival adventuring parties. These groups can be neutral, enemies or allies, treated as wandering monsters or as part of a quest. Just thought this would be a neat edition.
That's my issue. Thief class is bad.
OTOH one of the comments to the post I was reading was talking about how amazingly 70s it is to have a fighter, a thief, a wizard, van helsing, and a kung fu monk in the same room, so if I had to remove the cleric I'd probably replace it with a monk. Or some homebrew psionic class with crystals and shit. Or a wookie.
I'm looking for them online specifically because I don't know about them enough to know if I want to buy one. The same guy who made also made Adventures of the Space Princess, which is a cool game but in retrospect, not one I'd have paid for. Now, these microgames cost very little but they are also very short. They better be really awesome for me to consider it worthwhile to pay for them.
Blood & Treasure, his Epic Fantasy Heartbreaker, is in the trove. I'm not too impressed. He's selling some cut-down, more focused versions of it, which may be neat, but his microgames are a different system. Still... it's hard for me to expect good game design from someone whose masterpiece advertises "All the information you need to create fantasy characters from one of seven fantasy races and one of thirteen fantasy classes - Over 600 magic spells - Rules for building strongholds and running a domain - helpful guides to creating dungeons, wilderness, cities and other dimensions for your adventures - over 400 monsters and scads of magic items."
Also, here's 100 magic items divided into d20 categories.
>(18) Wizard robes and several arcane instruments
laid up against or hanging from a tree, as if doing
laundry. Nearby is a small collection of notes
about the dark Wizard ruling the forest; it is by far
the best information the party will find on the
Wizard and his weaknesses. The owner of the
diary is nowhere to be found. He is delirious, but
can cast Color Spray.
>The owner of the
diary is nowhere to be found. He is delirious, but
can cast Color Spray.
If the owner of the diary is nowhere to be found, why have info on what he can cast?
>Why have info on what he can cast
Well, looks like I fucked up the text there. that is supposed to be a short description of what happens- he's supposed to be able to be found as one of the Satyrs and 'he is delirious, but can still cast Color Spray'.
Sorry, I'll edit that for later.
Fighter, Wizard and Thief makes much more sense to me as a class trinity than Fighter, Mage, Cleric based on the source material, t b h. I think most people here agree that there are problems with the Thief implementation, but the Cleric's both obviously and provably (check out Playing at the World) a gameplay innovation for and of D&D in particular. Of course, as a lot of people pointed out, OD&D was built to work in play, and not to embody some particular story, so that makes perfect sense. But it's pretty obvious both why the Thief was the first major addition, why it's become the strongest (in terms of staying power anyway), and why a lot of people think the Cleric's a bit off.
>What's wrong with having 4?
but the fourth class should be Elf
I just meant that I think for most people the thief would intuitively feel much more fundamental as a fantasy archetype. The fact that it turns out to not work real well mechanically whereas Jesus Van Helsing does, doesn't change that.
While I do think having a Divine spell list that is separate is somewhat dumb, I really like the concept of a holy character. When it comes to worldbuilding and fun characters, nothing is more interesting and fun then making up religions- the symbols and rituals are really cool.
In order to make these clerics more interesting and more unique from the MU; I took away their spellcasting powers and gave them the ability to pray for miracles. So essentially they get really open and creative spells, just pray to God to fix something, but obviously they are limited to their usage and the God will only fulfill requests closely aligned to it.
What is the mechanical failure of the thief? Is it that the thief skills being a second check (not a replacement for the DEX check) for doing thief-y things wasn't explained until Skills and Powers in 2e?
It adds mechanical rules for doing a bunch of things that previously were relatively accessible to any character, and then nerfs that shit into the ground with shit percentage chances, so if the _thief_ sucks at it, imagine how useless your fighting man would be.
And then later editions made things worse - B/X to BECMI is a notable example, where they expanded it from 14 levels to 36 by nerfing the B/X 14th-level thief's scores into the ground.
But any character can still try, they just use a DEX roll, whereas the thief gets a DEX roll and their percentage roll.
There's a screencap somewhere of one of the guys who used to play with Gygax and co. explaining how the thief was supposed to work.
I'll see if I can find the official thing from S&P.
Here we go. I though it said someting more, but I guess I was mistaken:
A note should be made regarding ability checks that mirror the class abilities of rogues. Characters with
high Balance scores may, by the
numbers, seem to be better at thieving skills than some
rogues, especially low-level ones. DMs should take care
not to let nonrogue characters steal the spotlight away
from the real rogues. The climb walls ability is a good
example. Most characters with above average Balance
scores would have a relatively simple time climbing a
craggy rock face or cliff, but only thieves can climb brick
walls or sheer surfaces.
DMs who wish to grant characters with high ability
scores some chance of success at feats similar to thieving
abilities could require multiple successes for such characters
In practice, though, no-one did that. Because it was badly-written, and the game was presenting a straightforward chart that said you had X chance to move silently.
It's partly a very common DM/player failure, partly bad writing, partly bad design, mostly D&D being consistently terrible at explaining to people how to play it.
So basically, if you have a really high stat you can make multiple hard rolls to do something a thief can do, but not as well. Also thieves are not actually likely to make their rolls at a lot of things, so...
High balance actually gives you a bonus to CW in S&P.
It's related to the ability check rule from earlier on the page that lets you roll 3 times if your ability score is 15 or more, while you can only roll once if it's below.
>High balance actually gives you a bonus to CW in S&P.
Think the issue is you're coming at it from an AD&D 2e perspective, whereas I'm talking about OD&D/BD&D. The thief was well-established by the time S&P came out, that's for sure.
>I really like the concept of a holy character. When it comes to worldbuilding and fun characters, nothing is more interesting and fun then making up religions- the symbols and rituals are really cool.
Agreed that -- entirely according to expectation -- clerics work in practice and are a lot of fun. You just don't see a lot of it in the source fiction.
Again, this is a huge strength of old D&D: the fact that it was built from, during and for play. It's tight as a fuckin' drum as a result, even if you can't say the same for Gygax's explanations in OD&D.
The mechanical failure of the thief is technically that it was astonishingly badly explained so nobody played it as intended, yes. Since everybody misread it the same way, though, we might as well say that "the thief (as written) doesn't work well".
But, even given the Mornard-type use of thief skills, there's a sort of repressive effect of only one guy having explicit Sneak and Climb skills with values; other players just won't try that as spontaneously, and it's kind of a shame.
Oh, and don't mix Skills and Powers into this, you're just muddling the issue. Those guys weren't writing a clarification based on original Greyhawk players' memories of how things were meant to work, they were defending gaps in their own design that were so obvious they had to paper them over before publication.
I would warn against this nearly religious fanaticism to how the rules were as written. Just because they were written by the rules during play several decades ago doesn't mean those same rules are going to hold up to completely different players in a completely different setting decades later.
Don't hijack my post man, the entire point I was making was to defend the idea of clerics but NOT the oldschool way it was done. I'm not saying the old way doesn't work or is bad or anything, but adhering to it blindly is literally dogma.
My reaction too
You're overacting. He's just saying that if you play the game as intended the way it was originally played by the folks that made the game then it plays damn well, cos, you know, that's what it was tuned for.
You want to play it your way that goes against how it was meant to be played, that's cool, but don't complain that it doesn't hold up well or whatever. Of course it doesn't, it wasn't made for that. Sure, it could do all sorts of other things, as history has shown, but what it does best is what is was designed and tune for. Obviously.
Well, I don't know myself, but I recalled seeing this a few months back, where deltasdnd went over the history of counterspells in D&D and the difficulty that's been encountered with trying to make them work:
deltasdnd bl*gsp*t com /2014/07/contra-counterspells html
The link will need some assembly as the filter is being an ass today.
I don't know, man. You combine the size and strength of the bear, which is dangerous even though bears are not especially aggressive and will often just walk off if they see a human, with the sheer murderous assholishness of the owl, an ambush predator that considers anything smaller than it to be food.
The bear is content to catch fish and eat berries, and maybe consume other stuff if it's available, but the owl is 100% vicious carnivore and laser focused on surprising edible things and unleashing sudden death upon them.
It's a scary combo.
Another old school creature that's more terrifying than you might think at first glance is the giant shrew. If you don't believe me, go look up "shrew attacks" on youtube and look at what a tiny version is like. (This came up on Old School Adventures recently, and D&D stats for these things are pretty on point)
I feel like that something like WoW's Wildkin could be a nasty surprise to spring on players who've learned to deal with Owlbears.
>"A mission to kill owlbears? Sounds easy."
>And then the party gets outflanked and ambushed by a trib of Wildkin.
From my perspective, characters with Godpowerz/etc completely suck any of the life or mystique out of religion in a setting. It turns the mystery of faith into bland actualization.
"So how do you know God really cares about you?"
>blows up some ogres and resurrects somebody
At which point the party Magic-User starts getting ideas.
I've always gone with a slightly more detached version of divine spell provision, a bit closer to the 4e model. It's not ideal for everything, but there's something to be said for a system where a god can grant powers but can't trivially revoke them if their cleric turns out to be a dick, because gods aren't omnipotent, especially in the mortal realms.
I grabbed the Shadow Elves Gazetteer out of the Trove earlier. It's one of the setting supplement for BD&D, focusing on... well, they're dark elves who live underground, but they're not drow, because drow are a different setting thing. Not sure if this was published before or after the modern drow showed up, though.
Anyway, they're pretty cool. Just getting into the DM's section and
they're a lot like eldar, complete with spirit stones, and also linked to the nuclear reactor of the crashed spaceship that devastated the world and then became imbued with magic. and radiation. their god helps protect them from that.Luxuries include curdled slug milk, fungus bread, and tobacco made from fungi. "If you like being sick, light-headed, coughing up multicolor lung fragments, and smelling like singed rat, [the Tobacconist] is the place for you."
I also had a look at the Five Shires book, which is the hobbit land. They get the power to say "NO" when you cast spells at them in the Shires. They're also terrifyingly seriously when their homes are threatened, and as well as being able to call up large militias quickly and having established, well-trained garrison units, they have raiding bands of psychopaths who are officially outlaws (if upset foreign diplomats ask the Shires to stop them raiding shit) but in practice are just there to kill orcs and raid people who aren't close allies.
Oh, and "if there were no [halfling] pirates, the navy would be too small to maintain the halfling claim to the Shirecoast waters." Of course they're pirates. "Widely feared pirates," "adept at ramming, sailing in tough seas and rocky waters, and leaping from rail or rigging safely onto another ship." They also catapult dead orcs onto enemy ships. The pirates are, of course, all devious foreign raiders invading the Shires' waters, and any halfling ship is clearly an honest merchantman, according to the authorities.
4e definitely curbs it a bit, but I am almost certain I will live my whole life and die before I find a setting's religion to be interesting when cleric type figures are diamond dozen instead of nearly one of a kind Jesus type figures.
>well, they're dark elves who live underground, but they're not drow, because drow are a different setting thing.
Don't forget how they're pretty much albino elves! Not that they told the cover artist that.
Seriously, that makes so much more sense for cave-dwellers than Drow do.
Also, fun fact: Five Shires was written by Ed Greenwood. He also wrote the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting the year before - you might have heard of it.
Is there anywhere similar to koboldfightclub for OSR systems? I am lazy, and dislike having to flick back and forth in books for statblocks. Ascending AC preferred, if there's an option available there.
Shadow elves strike me as more interesting just from the bit about them not being infected with RA Salvatore's Flanderization.
Are there significant mechanical differences?