Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bits n' Pieces

My intention was to do a quick and dirty review of Fight On #8.  I made my purchase thursday nite of the PDF, promptly downloaded it to my desktop, took a peek and went to sleep.  Yesterday (Friday) the family headed to the country for the weekend.  I figured I'd download a second copy via my mini lappy and el cheapo DSL... but Lulu has thrown me a curve ball.  I can download anything in myvaccount with the singular exception of... you guessed it, Fight On #8.  So, that review will have to wait.

In the meantime, let me point you in the direction of The Outpost on the Edge of the Far Reaches, available as a free download at Lulu.  Its a Old School adventure for 1st to 3rd level adventurers of the OSR ruleset of your choice.  Ascending and descending ACs are included to make it easy on the DM no matter the system of choice.

Haven't done more then a quick read thru, but what I've seen looks very usable, and I can always use another low level dungeon to wear down and toughen up some new PCs.  The price is definitely right... Free.

I'll give this a further read tonight as I look forward to reading my Fight On #8 tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Half a Hobbit is Better then None

Over the past few days there have been a couple of blog posts here and there dealing with the level limits demihumans in particular suffer in the various "old school" editions of D&D / AD&D.  Most, if not all of the suggestions, included giving humans an expo boost if one were to remove the level caps from the other races.  I lean in a different direction in my "solution" to the issue (assuming there is even an issue at all, as except for halflings in D&D, most races can hit a level well in the range that the vast majority of the campaigns I've played in have ended at... but that's a whole 'nother post for another day).

My way of dealing with it, if it comes up in the next game I run, will be to treat the level caps as "soft caps".  Once a character hits a "soft cap" on their level, they suffer a 50% reduction on all future expo (if they have an expo bonus due to an exceptional stat it lowers the penalty by the amount of the bonus).

Demihumans under the "soft cap" method will keep pace with their human companions for the early levels, but the advanced levels will come slower to them.  That being said, they will still have the opportunity to increase in level and power... they will not need to be retired, nor will they be forced to adventure for no experience gain.

Hmmm, unless someone plays a halfling in my next campaign it will be a while before this plays out.... assuming it even gets that far.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.  Of all the Western European / American style holidays, I think St. Pats converts the easiest as a drop in even to a campaign.  Just get the locals drinking a strangely colored beer, a band playing some weird bladder powered instruments, a nice march through town square and lots of people wearing the same color clothes as the strangely colored beer and your set.

Heck, I left out any sort of religious significance, as for the most part there is very little, at least here in the states (there are special masses, and occasional dispensation when the holiday falls on a friday and the masses want to eat their corned beef).  St. Pat drove the snakes from Ireland... what kind of miracles would a D&D "St.Pat" have performed to achieve such a status?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crit or Miss.. Why?

Critical hits and Dungeons & Dragons have a long, if largely unofficial history.  Most DMs have put together their own critical hit tables and fumble tables, or at least have borrowed from some of the many tables that have found their way into old issues of Dragon Magazine, Rolemaster or other games.

Most of those tables rely upon a to hit roll being a natural 20 (or a natural one for fumbles).  Which basically means a fighter that almost always can hit has a small percentage of crits, and a large number of his misses are fumbles.  Something about that just doesn't seem fair.

My solution, or at least, what I'll be experimenting with in my next Labyrinth Lord game, is the use of a control die.  I may us a d10, or even the lonely and rarely used d12.  Roll maximum on the control die when you score a hit with the d20 and you've scored a crit... miss when you roll a 1 on the control die and you've scored a fumble.

As for the effect of a critical hit or a fumble, choose you favorite tables or use the maximum damage for crit, attack lost next round for the fumble.  You can even make the control die open ended if you wish, adding damage or negative effects as warranted.

Any thoughts?
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