“there are tons of issues that come up when how we use rules conflicts with why rules were written that way. A gamer who’s looking forward to delight but is handed an elaborate fairness engine? Boring! A GM who’s excited to share their knowledge and has to work with a bunch of inspirational-but-goofy tables? Ugh! And so on. Pick any mismatch, you’ve probably seen it play out in the world.”
“It's as weird as you would expect, full of fun stuff, but not much comedy. Which is a plus in my opinion - despite being strange and over the top, the setting takes itself more or less seriously. It is less bleak and violent than Carcosa, less humorous and raunchy than Cha'alt - and if you like this description, you'll probably like this book. It feels a bit tamer than both, but it manages to avoid the usual Lovecraft tropes, opting for something more distinctive.”
“… maybe make a double attack and if both succeed you perform the maneuver, … utilize a contested strength roll. You then give the enemy who has suffered under the technique a disadvantage – next strike gets a bonus to hit them, … they degrade their armor class. You start thinking of how to balance this, … what class restrictions lay around it, and ask how will you rectify this maneuver with weapons that aren’t blade or blade-like.
I recommend by default: don’t do this.”
50th Anniversary Blackmoor Day!
I love Dave's original character system. Looks, Brains, Sex, Guts, Health, Misc. He added a bunch of weapons and other skills in the next couple years.
It was all sorta-Chainmailish, so they'd be 2d6 roll-under.
His later Adventures in Fantasy game is mechanically complex d100, so the actual system he used is mostly lost.
The only thing that stumps me is what to call elves and dwarves in a an anthropomorphic world. Perhaps elves can be like ents, with branches growing from their heads and we can call them tree people.
Attached some elf faces that would fit, from https://campaignwiki.org/face/gallery/alex/elf
An idea I still like a lot is to use pig headed orcs, and then people can insult them as pig people. Then go anthropomorphic all the way: mindflayers are squid people, minotaurs are cow people, and best of all, humans are … monkey people! I mean, they have a standard body (two arms, two legs) and a monkey head, obviously.
@Judd's podcast episode on mono-culturalism had me write about the benefits and drawbacks of EDO Fantasy ("elves, dwarves, orcs"), and in the comments the discussion is turning towards the purpose of aliens in Science Fiction, and what for I would introduce aliens into a Traveller campaign.
"Helvéczia is built on a simple premise: what if old-school gaming was built ground-up on a different list of inspirations? … Three Musketeers and countless swashbuckling films about robbers, stagecoaches, and swordfighting scoundrels … Brothers Grimm, and the broader legendarium of Central Europe? What if Gary Gygax had set his campaigns in a fantastic Switzerland, the homeland of his ancestors, A.D. 1698? The game is an exploration of these questions."
@Sandra's recent post reminded me of something I wrote in 2011 about what I see as my best referee qualities. One of them was being a good host: "I try hard to resist changes to commitments made. … Starting an email discussion discussing alternatives risks confusing and annoying everybody.
People will learn that I am dependable. I am a rock. When I am dependable, others will be as well. Avoid uncertainty and doubt."
"April 10, was the 24th Anniversary of Wizards of the Coast purchasing TSR and of course, D&D. …
Wizards of the Coast has been publishing D&D longer than TSR.
TSR D&D 1974 to 1997, 23 years
WotC D&D 1997 to 2021 (so far), 24 years."
Deep time: "Today their culture is old, proud, hide bound, jaded and decadent. You cannot tell them anything they have not seen before. Novelty is a precious thing."
Love such posts about culture and time. I first thought about this in a game with some elves played by @oliof, if I remember correctly. They basically told us: why fight? Let's wait for 50 years and they are all dead anyway... 🧝 🧝
Today I went on a bit of a nostalgia trip through my old usenet / newsgroup posts. It was a bittersweet feeling seeing who I used to be...
...but, what's more important is that I discovered an internet fossil!
I recommended a small rpg fansite to someone on usenet in early 2003. To my surprise, the thing is still online & pretty much unchanged! https://www.byenighte.com
Love finding those *vintage* sites in the wild :)
Is there a good RPG podcast directory?
To be honest, I’m thinking of something like https://campaignwiki.org/rpg/ but for podcasts. You’d have the directory itself in the sidebar, and recent episode summary excerpts (if any) … is it worth it?
"If I'd been called on to run a D&D campaign at age 10 or 12, these are the images and plots I would have drawn on to provide the inspiration for my game. … What were your earliest childhood fantasy inspirations? What did your fantasy world look like back then?"
Something to ponder, and write a blog post about.
This "List of Heresies in the Catholic Church" begs to be turned in some random table https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_heresies_in_the_Catholic_Church #ttrpg
I suspect that the reason the D&D campaigns go on for so long are built into the system. Spell levels structure D&D gameplay: on the one hand, every new spell level attained changes the gameplay itself (suddenly you can fly, or fireball large groups of kobolds), and it also advertises that change ahead of time in the rules: if you play until you get to level so and so, you’ll be able to do this and that. And immediately, people start dreaming.
The thing I don’t get about Gamma World and Mutant Future is that everybody has hit points like a level 10 human. Combat must take ages?
This blog post is all about the various editions… @ttrpg