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adamwb

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  • "Rulings, not rules" is not quite hardcore blorb. this is crucial—one of several issues why i have often been uncomfortable describing my practice as OSR, and one that these blorb threads have helped me make sense of a lot
  • Hmm I have been chewing on the idea of “hurting the...game state” a little and while perhaps I wouldn't use the word “hurt” this is actually a thing that I feel my game can be about: that I'm quite interested in the idea of “ending” in a few senses,…
  • The idea that the most powerful magic in the game is able to overstep the boundaries of blorb is one that gives me a lot of joy right now. Of course as the GM I don't get to use it that way—although I could imagine using it as per lumpley's example …
  • this is good make gamers communist pls But also: i think there is an alternate reality where ppls complaints could be useful in ways that are not enumerated here. The reason they aren't is because, as described, the social media entities and the pu…
  • I'm playing in an occasional Tomb of Annihilation game right now being run by a first-time game master and came to play ready to do a lot of bookkeeping that unfortunately I'm not doing. Raincatchers haven't been discussed, but even worse—at the sta…
  • this is a good chart
  • Some versions of Gygaxian Naturalism become totalizing but it does have a counterpart that is much closer to “balanced encounters”, with the caveat that they are at least partly decided by the players: Number of Wandering Monsters Appearing: If the…
  • Yeah I might have come across too strong there! Of course every part of the game should be examined in itself. I just am curious about the impulse to take out this mechanic and replace it with another mechanic. The stuff you are talking about, Eero,…
  • Rereading the first post in this thread and this stands out to me: Do you allow raise dead I think to me the question is: why wouldn't you? Eero and Adam Dray have both sort of suggested frameworks that the simple spell doesn't fit into—making quest…
  • An idea I have been toying with is this— + players don't roll their hit points in advance. when they get hit, they roll their first Hit Die. when that one is used up, they roll the next. + when you gain a new Hit Die from going up level, you have …
  • Outside AD&D's additional armour types I think that is the standard range, usually in the form 10/12/14/16+1 (or 9/7/5/3-1)
  • yeah the restriction of scrolls to those who can already use the spells is clunky as heck isn't it this is the actual result of this approach as my game does become bigger and crunchier: Advancement: like other theives, Assassins are a kind of Magi…
  • well—yes i'm not very helpful, we don't have feats in my game. and we don't have a thief class. i mean it's a stretch to call my game crunchy even if it is d&d so maybe i don't really belong in this thread!
  • The counterpoint to this—raised in the other thread—is “why are spells different” and reading it I have thought a little about my approach to this which I think has taken an alternate-direction viewpoint on this. Perhaps this is quite un-OSR of me.…
  • There's an interesting bit here at 1:33 from Adam Koebel on how playing for the stream/youtube audience specifically rewards this kind of game-frame (especially given his position as counterpoint to mercer's style in this discussion, even back on pa…
  • magic-users are very good more than most npc or monster spellcasters, they can use their magic proactively to determine the site and terms of encounters. the dm only really gets one chance to do this, when creating the dungeon, the players can spen…
  • The real solution to this is in your treasure tables: Magic Swords are why people use swords. Beyond making Magic Swords a very common and important treasure (and full seven in twelve are intelligent, aligned, and interesting), I do just two things:…
  • I posted this in another thread the other day but it's on this topic really: I made this “rumours” chart for a political struggle in my game, the election of a new pope. It's based on a couple of ideas that are quite D&D, so ymmv, but specifical…
  • Have characters moved between the two forms? PS: thanks for inspiration in the last thread, it helped me build something useful
  • Both of these ideas are a couple steps away from Vampire, but: I was very informed by this series, “Jacquaying the Dungeon” on The Alexandrian when I started working in old-school D&D. It's specifically about modifying content from trad games t…
  • AD&D actually makes those swords much more rare than OD&D, and lots of retro clones also deemphasize them comparatively (not sure about DCC specifically). In OD&D all swords have alignments, at least 50% of swords are intelligent, and fu…
  • That's brilliant. Play characters to cash them in. Much fun, will steal. Tonight I suggested a level eight magic user consider failing a Quest to have a similar effect. I mean, they declined, but I feel like we've only scratched the surface in this …
  • I spend a lot of time on these questions too—when the party got to around level 6 or so it led to quite a lot of re-architecting of my rules to set things back on the path we wanted. But—part of that new architecture is recognizing that getting to …
  • All this is, however, not applicable on these kind of roleplaying game situations. why not?
  • Here's Lew Pulsipher on his 1986 board game Britannia, which is in part informed by D&D as he notes. In describing Britannia to potential players, I often say it has a chess-like quality. You have to pay attention throughout the game, as losing …
  • Yeah the central thing is that players really do know what they are rolling against. Different variants have different schematics for this but it's pretty easy to actually make a list of them. I put this in my rules booklet for the players, even! M…
  • I don't use knowledge checks per se, but players hire sages or do independent research between weeks (and we roll against abilities for that process, so it's similar), or cast divination spells. And I rely on mountain witching in these contexts as o…
  • It's funny to me that 5e doesn't have concrete encounter distance rules, as they are pretty crucial in any variety with wandering monsters in particular. But—it is very informative which versions are missing which bits. For instance, OD&D basica…
  • For me, assembling my own rules booklets was for all the reasons in Rob's blog post but also for two others. I think I might place these higher for community-building than a possible open platform, which I think is a helpful tool but one that we hav…
  • At one point I thought that this is what OSR might have turned into but imnquite disillusioned these days by the willingness of it to collectively celebrate pretty questionable choices. And I mean rules choices as much as the rest. Too many books cr…
  • Why is player skill identified so strongly with avoiding the roll here? I mean, I mostly play OSR I and I sort of hate that meme as it is applied to that kind of game because rolling the dice is fun—I much prefer David's framework of positioning let…
  • In a game whose thematic elements come from stories where being a warrior is conflated with leadership and broader prowess (pulp fantasy, the sagas, heroic romance) it does make sense tho?
  • Very much like this old mule abides post about Hit Dice for player characters representing different aspects. Actually I kind of want to do this. I encourage players to make up titles for their characters at level up, in imitation of ye olde class-…
  • Yeah, LL seems to be closely imitating RC, both have oddly phrased versions that could be read as barring missiles from targeting those close to their foes, and thus including hand-to-hand, but don't definitively say so. It is Holmes basic that sets…
  • As a lazy referee who doesn't bother to list out the weapons smaller monsters have I find this rule to be crucial. Because a large party with bows can win any fight if they can shoot at will—they absolutely dominate wilderness encounters, especially…
  • This is the text I use to identify leadership roles. The caller is one of several here—along with a mapper, a logistics/marching-order person, and a planner who has set the overall goals; but often these roles are at least somewhat collapsed so the …
  • Choosing the leaders/callers is crucial—we do it at the start of every night, since our group shifts from week to week (we require one caller to be in charge of a party of no more than their Charisma score in size—and we often have 20+ characters co…
  • I somewhat recently watched one of the fan-edited versions of “The Hobbit” that compiles all three movies into one, and one thing that struck me is first of all that Bilbo's contract is perfect, part of the best part of the series before it goes off…
  • While great heroes who tamed the dungeon are certainly celebrated—there is a great nervousness about entering such a place, and would-be heroes are looked down upon. After all, the creatures within are slumbering in Rooms until disturbed, or worse, …
  • I'm wondering if there is perhaps a middle ground between "GM decrees a loss of agency" and "players spam their traits to get a bonus." The aforementioned Pendragon can devolve into that without careful GM adjudication of Passions. As someone with p…
  • My groups love mini-games like “how can we make this set of manacles, this book about heraldry, and this fancy ballgown outfit into a tactically useful situation that will end in us stealing the goblins' treasure”. And I don't have this problem of f…
  • Eero's suggestion of using hirelings as redshirts is good and right. Players who aren't used to this style of play don't know they are supposed to hire ppl so make sure they are visible and cheap. Then they work as a pacing mechanism—when the hireli…
  • Start the players as prisoners of some foe, with maybe just one item, and make sure there is equipment scattered around the dungeon. Easy structure (get out alive, treasure and exploration is the b plot). I've in particular used this at events that …
  • It's part of a few interlocking systems that constitute the pacing mechanism in low-level play: encumbrance and movement speed, wandering monsters, and hit points. Lighting specifically is the first part of that system that magic-users learn how to …
  • I'm surprised to look and see that OD&D doesn't give radii or durations for torches and lanterns, only a description for the spell light. But most versions have pretty explicit descriptions in the equipment lists—Labyrinth Lord is 30 feet for bo…
  • Surely it's useful to distinguish between improvising qua impro and in-the-moment prep at the very least in a technical sense? I think even adding colour or detail to prep is a third kind of extemporizing that it is good not to put in the same categ…
  • Worth noting: in OD&D, the stats are presented in a different order: Str, Int, Wis, Dex, Con, and Cha. And importantly, the first three give out almost no pluses on rolls—Str is actually just a measure of whether you get an XP bonus as a fighter…
  • It doesn't always appear as pages of backstory they want to read. In “players interact with the DM's prep” (Rails Spike Sandbox) play the Spike part is used as a framework for this Rails technique on the player side, and you tell the group about you…
  • Perhaps: for the same reason that my local sportsteam was allowed to suffer a boring and frustrating 7-0 shutout tpk in the hopeful exciting fun final series of games cathartic climax adventure module they played earlier this week. Lots of games hav…
  • Someone made a lil handy google custom search for lots of blogs and forums that i use all the time: http://osrsearch.blogspot.com (doesn't work proper on mobile bc of the format sry)