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Have the players killed Goblin babies?
Eero, did you ever encounter a situation in some adventure that caused a notable dissonance or raised difficult to integrate issues? (I don't have anything in mind that would even qualify, but it seems like if there was something like that, it would be instructive.)
maybe there is a vast Agharta down there somewhere, a vast sinuous empire of degenerate lizard-people and all manner of Gygaxian lunacy viewed through the feverish nightmare eyeglasses of a human explorer of these alien reaches.
How did you handle this Eero? Other people?
[...] addressing the landscape as composed of beings which can be bargained with, tricked, or fought, but don't obey the rules of humanity because they are fundamentally different in nature.
I'd just say, "The villagers tell of you of the nasty gremlin folk who live in the woods and swap their children for changelings" and I'd expect the players to not necessarily trust this info and go in at least expecting the possibility of more nuance.
But what about the necessity of providing enough adventure hooks for the game to remain interesting? How close together do you place your "adventures"? Do you try to space them out "believably", or do we just assume that the characters happen to be in a weird place in the world where, by some chance, there are two haunted castles and three underground tombs infested with monsters all within 25 miles of each other? Do you spend any effort rationalizing this kind of thing, and how it has come to be?
Etymology: < Anglo-Norman and Middle French monstre, moustre, French monstre (mid 12th cent. in Old French as mostre in sense ‘prodigy, marvel’, first half of the 13th cent. in senses ‘disfigured person’ and ‘misshapen being’, c1223 in extended sense applied to a pagan, first half of the 18th cent. by antiphrasis denoting an extraordinarily attractive thing) < classical Latin mōnstrum portent, prodigy, monstrous creature, wicked person, monstrous act, atrocity < the base of monēre to warn (see moneo n.; for the formation compare perhaps lūstrum lustrum n.). Compare Italian mostro, †monstro (1282), Spanish †mostro (c1250; compare Spanish monstruo ( < a post-classical Latin variant of classical Latin mōnstrum)), Portuguese monstro (1525 as mõstro).
a. Originally: a mythical creature which is part animal and part human, or combines elements of two or more animal forms, and is frequently of great size and ferocious appearance. Later, more generally: any imaginary creature that is large, ugly, and frightening.
2) Remove the attributes entirely, and replace them with personal qualities. Two 1st level Fighters would be mechanically identical by definition, with the only exception being if one or the other would happen to have some personal qualities that would distinguish them. Feat-like things, such as "Waste-born: +2 to survival checks". I've been considering running something like this for a few years, could be interesting; I would likely have the players roll up personal qualities for their characters in a sort of Traveller-esque life tree chargen process.
I think our application of Monster has a certain technical quality in this conversation that sits outside of strict OED definitions. Although I might be wrong. Crunch, how do OED and OD&D converse here?
"what does monster mean?"Literally: An entity which is considered unnatural by humans, by virtue of its being: (a) wicked or cruel (to humans), (b) ugly, grotesque or deviant in appearance from the norm (as judged by humans), (c) of unusually great size, or some combination thereof.The dictionary definitions of this word are not only humanocentric (obviously), but some are psycho-social as well (as evidenced by the fact that a human psychopath can rightly be called a "monster"). So we really must say "by normal humans" (whatever "normal" means). Certainly this leaves in a species-ist element, whereby any species considered "ugly" or "wicked" (by normal humans) could rightfully be called a "monster" (by those normal humans).(Despite this, it seems that literally speaking, a giant could be called a monster even if it was handsome and friendly.)Etymology: from the Middle English monstre < Latin mōnstrum -- portent, unnatural event, monster, equivalent to mon ( ēre ) [to warn] + -strum [noun suffix]The etymology suggests that a monster is simply "something warned about".
What does Healing mean in this context?
Also, I get what it feels like to have HP whittled down in a single fight causing impending tension - I haven't been stabbed yet but it's clear that this enemy is closing in for a killing blow. But what about when you lose a few HP in one battle, a few in another, and you're on one or zero hit points, but it's been ages since you were under threat, and now a goblin turns up? Mechanically we know that death is on the table, but fictionally, how do we make that tally? Or is this a case of dramatic irony at work, where we know that the character, somehow is marked for death, but they might not?
- similarly, how about traps? Would you tend to use a saving throw? Or do projectiles always miss you unless they kill you?
Yep. Characters are a resource (an exceptionally valuable one) and the impact of essentially favouring the players in this way must be balanced against the scenario at hand. Dungeon Crawls are simply less fun if you're swarming down the corridors with 400 dudes - I might as well roll for treasure and magic items found and a % of casualties and we can get back to the Domain Game we're now playing.