Thursday, March 5, 2015

Random Red Shirt Thoughts Disrupted by "Emergency" Meeting

So, I was reading more Hawk & Moor today (bathroom Kindle reading if I must confess) and I was reading about the use of men at arms - "red shirts" in Star Trek parlance - and it was noted that the use of men at arms had lapsed in later play of D&D.

This lead to some random thoughts about abstracting the use of men at arms as some sort of ablative armor.

I was still technically on lunch, about to type out this amazing post (I suspect it was amazing although I have no proof of such) when I received a call from my boss about an emergency meeting to address complaints that my unit had received from the outside agency we are the liaison for.

Needless to say, my thoughts fled faster than peasants before an ancient red dragon.

One hour and fifty five minutes later of emergency meeting time and we supplied effective and accurate answers to every complaint, but my creative juices were spent.

Dinner and pints at the pub didn't do much to renew them. I just wish I knew the details that I've lost, as it seemed like a really cool idea to abstract men at arms and the like.

Eh, maybe if I sleep on it...


  1. Carry a notepad junior. Or hell, you HAD A KINDLE IN YOUR HAND. Get a note taking app. Voice Recorder.

    Dude you could have had the greatest idea in gaming EVER.

    Or it could have just been crap.

    From both ends. ;-)

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  3. redshirt rule, once per round a PC can sacrifice a 0-level man man-at-arms if any are within 30' if a succesful morale check is made. They can also be made to attend meetings or go shopping in a city (no haggling allowed).

  4. JD's got it. I tried a similar thing in a game around the time the "Shields will be splintered" rule was introduced (I think on Trollsmyth's blog?), but I didn't think to make it a morale check, which is perfect. I just left a henchman take the hit from traps or missile weapons. It was critical hits are downgraded to hits if you have a helmet to sacrifice, melee hits can be disregarded if you sacrifice a shield, and missiles or traps if you sacrifice a henchman. That was the idea, anyway.

  5. I dunno. I prefer men-at-arms to be fully realized characters (played by me) who complain, drag their heels, and refuse to take undue risks. If I'm feeling especially energetic, they'll also have annoying personality traits. About all they're good for is carrying equipment (until they get tired and dump it without telling the PCs) and loot (assuming the PCs don't mind them stealing some of it).

  6. Funny how those "emergency" meetings are usually about something dumb, while the real "emergencies" get ignored... or pushed to the background.


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