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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Learning Something New About my OSR Game: Strap-Hangers

 

Learning Something New About my OSR Game: Strap-Hangers
With one notable exception, in all my infrequent years of playing and/or GMing I have never really had to deal with any manner of PC strap-hangers that would be classified as henchmen, followers, mercenaries, or Protégés. Actually HackMaster (4th Edition) had a pretty cool Protégé system we used so if your main PC kicked the bucket you didn't have to start off with a zero-XP 1st level nobody.

In my bi-weekly game we decided to pick up some.......henchmen? I know I should probably pick up a DMG or some such and familiarize myself with the concepts, but what's the fun in that?

Seriously? What is the fun in that.......bear with me a second here.

Like probably a good many of the readers here at the Tavern I've been playing and/or running various RPGs for decades now......yes, off and on, but still. The Out of Character (OOC) knowledge base is HUGE and if I play stupid about something at the game table, it's literally me playing stupid. "Oh gee, my 1st level nobody on his very 1st adventure I didn't know that Holy Water can do damage to Undead" *wink* *wink*

Actually it should be more like "HOLY FUCKING SHIT ZOMBIES ARE REAL AND NOT SOMETHING MY MOTHER MADE UP TO SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF US AS KIDS! RUN MOTHER-FUCKER, RUN!!!"

Aside from the occasional GM change-up, "Oh, you run this spell that way? Cool...." there aren't a lot of in-game, at the table surprises in most games. Sure, some systems.....I'm looking at you DCC, have some interesting mechanics that are all about surprise through random weirdness (in a good way, really), but your regular OSR game......not so much. Discovering something new about a game you've played for a long while is a refreshing surprise.

Now my GM may have thought I was bored, or looked bored over Zoom, but I really enjoyed the idea of bringing on a strap-hanger for the adventure and figuring a couple things out. Sweetening the deal with a magic item, sure.....here's a +1 Dagger or two I'm not using. Do I try to get the fighter to follow me or do I play it safe with a PC who won't out-level me......I'm assuming that if they get to be a higher level than I am the dynamic will change and I become their follower, hench....strap-hanger.

I ended up "hiring"....well I'm not technically paying outright for services.....so whatever flavor of strap-hanger that is,  new Lawful Cleric that sounds like she'll fill a need for the party, and evidently her Morale is pretty high....

I have absolutely no fricken clue where this strap-hanger thing is going to end up, and I'm looking forward to trying out this new/old aspect of OSR gaming.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the conversation back in the day was that, in the original game, henchmen were basically your party's "powers." So, having a linkboy represented the power of "light" for the party. Having the guard meant your horses would still be there when you got back, etc. That's the simplest way to handle them: name, brief flavor description, and one power they bring to the party. And maybe a rating, though I'm not sure how a linkboy "levels up"...

    ReplyDelete

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