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October 24, 1958 (60)


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Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story Saturday, 12th January, 2019 09:20 AM


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Friday, 11th January, 2019

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019

Monday, 7th January, 2019

Sunday, 6th January, 2019

Saturday, 5th January, 2019

Wednesday, 26th December, 2018

Monday, 7th January, 2019

Tuesday, 28th August, 2018

  • 05:28 PM - Kobold Boots mentioned R_Chance in post Where Do They Get Their Money? Part Two
    On inflation - Inflation doesn't happen across an entire market unless a significantly high number of the population are suddenly more wealthy than they were and that population is distributed across a wide area. One group of characters with a lot of cash may directly impact their own prices if merchants got a whiff that they were new money and dumb about it; but for it to affect everyone in an area, they'd have to be really stupid, settle down in an area for a period of time and spend all of their money there. On currency manipulation - Before I comment on this I'd want to hear what R_Chance runs in to when he or she does that in his or her game. I know what it did to mine and what I needed to do to balance it. Not a fan, but that doesn't mean I did it well. KB

Sunday, 15th July, 2018

  • 04:36 AM - pemerton mentioned R_Chance in post An Army in the Dungeon
    ...up the rule Cyclopedia (which is my "bible" when it comes to old D&D... I just can't research/master all the old editions, so it will have to do!) "When the DM calculates experience points at the end of an adventure, the total amount of experience points earned by the group is divided among the number of characters. A retainer gets one share of experience just as any player character does." daaaaaaaamn So Job the halfwit in charge of holding the torch and carrying the spare shovel gets full XP?A retainer in B/X or RC = a henchman in AD&D. They get a share of XP (which is then halved when it is added to their total). But hirelings do not get a share of XP, as they are mostly zero-level, and even if not (sages (who generally won't come on adventures in any event), mercenary officers) are unable to gain levels. Having read your later post with the quote from RC, I can only say that it seems confused compared to the clearer distinctions in AD&D and B/X. And having read R_Chance's post, the only thing I think that is wrong there is that there is no half-level limit on henchman/retainers. Gygax's DMG has various rules about henchman level relative to circumstances of recruitment, but no level cap that I could find on a quick scan. The PHB says nothing about it. Basic (p B21) says that a retainer (henchman) can't be higher level than the PC leader. In practice, I think the half XP rule (which is clearly stated in both AD&D and B/X) is going to mean that levels of henchmen/retainers don't exceed those of the PCs who retain them.

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Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 08:19 AM - Hussar quoted R_Chance in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    I agree, there is a lack of generally accepted definitions. I would argue that just about any system simulates a world / setting. The mechanic for combat could be flipping a coin or it could be an insanely detailed set of combat mechanics. Either "simulates" the results of combat. The question is where on the sliding scale / spectrum from "mostly abstract" to "close simulation" it sits. Some systems are more (or even mostly) abstract while others are on the other side with detailed mechanics. And many games treat different aspects of the game world with different levels of abstraction vs. detail. In short, we don't have definitions in common. I suspect we would mostly agree if we did. But, flipping a coin isn't a simulation at all. A simulation actually has to tell you something about what happened. It has to answer basic questions and flipping a coin answers nothing. Just because you get a result does not make something a simulation. Otherwise everything is a simulation and the term is ...
  • 03:44 AM - Hussar quoted R_Chance in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    It's all there, I didn't delete anything. Looking back at it I didn't like the tone of my comment. I never feel right about deleting something once it's posted. I figure an apology (or explanation) is more honest than a deletion. Different levels of detail and a different take on what is important (or not) is what I call that. Everything happens in a game world / setting, no matter how much or little it, or any specific aspect of it, is detailed. That's my opinion of course. I think we are operating with different definitions of "simulation". Your definition is specific and mine is broad. By that point though, I'd argue that "simulation" as a term is so broad as to lose a lot of meaning. Like I said, a simulation has to actually simulate something or it's not a simulation. That's the point of a simulation. My crumpled up piece of paper is not a simulation of a hurricane, no matter how many times I argued with my science teacher. :D For a system to be simulationist, it actually ha...

Thursday, 10th January, 2019

  • 09:23 AM - Hussar quoted R_Chance in post Worlds of Design: “Old School” in RPGs and other Games – Part 1 Failure and Story
    All games (at least RPGs and war games anyway) simulate a game world or environment. With different levels of detail in different areas. And, some of those worlds are like our own and others are different. What might be "realistic" in one world might be impossible in another. The differences between "simulationist" and "abstract / gamist" are on a sliding scale. And if you think any fantasy RPG is "realistic"... better to talk "suspension of disbelief". If you want to "narrate" every detail of something like combat in D&D you could bolt on a system that would detail the results of a hit or miss based on the "to hit" and "damage" rolls you make in D&D. It would be a pain, and burn large amounts of time (and numerous die rolls) but you could. The results would dovetail with those standard D&D rolls. Or you can leave it to the imagination and some short descriptions. Personally I can go with "imagination" and short descriptions. Ymmv. *edit* Thought I'd drop back in and apologize for being a...

Monday, 7th January, 2019

Saturday, 5th January, 2019

  • 01:38 AM - Lanefan quoted R_Chance in post Worlds of Design: When There's Too Many Magic Items
    I don't recall 1E being that... over run with magic items or swords. And most swords were +1. Maybe that's your point about "shared campaigns"?The published modules of the day did tend to give out quite a bit of magic - in part, perhaps, because the authors were expecting it to be split out among a party of maybe a dozen PCs. Also, in 1e items weren't as permanent as they seem to be now: if you failed a save vs. fireball, for instance, everything you carried also had to save (by far my preferred way of doing it - easy come, easy go).

Friday, 4th January, 2019

  • 10:51 PM - jasper quoted R_Chance in post Worlds of Design: When There's Too Many Magic Items
    I don't recall 1E being that... over run with magic items or swords. And most swords were +1. Maybe that's your point about "shared campaigns"? ....But what about joint campaigns, where several people GM in the same world? ... Joint or Shared campaigns I have seen both use to mean the same thing. So if you want to limit magic items. DON'T do Joint a campaign. Read some 1e Modules. They are magic heavy. If you have more than 1 DM in the group by the time the group runs through them twice, people will have multiple magic items. Under the Storm Giant's castle there are 9 new magic items.

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2019

  • 12:19 AM - Derren quoted R_Chance in post Worlds of Design: When There's Too Many Magic Items
    Some was commissioned, some was simply created by the artist. Any number of artists died poor with their art valued only later. But, that's taking the comparison too far. The rarity and antiquity of the art is an important part of it's value. But try to buy a one of a kind work of art and it'll be unavailable at any price. If there is enough magic available, I don't disagree with what you said btw. Magic is rare, magic is valuable. The trade in it is limited. Kings and nobles might commission magic items. I just don't see there being a regular trade in magic. Unless there is a lot of it. Then, like any other commodity, a market would exist. I also agree about D&D being at the level of the Renaissance in terms of trade and money. Industry is, well pre industrial revolution. In my own game it will stay that way. I did away with science :) *Edit* Spelling. Yes, spelling. There is one big difference between magic items and art. They are made to be used and serve an actual, often life ...

Tuesday, 1st January, 2019

  • 09:04 AM - Derren quoted R_Chance in post Worlds of Design: When There's Too Many Magic Items
    Not really. Rarity and the consequent inability to establish values for the items (in monetary terms) reduces it to the level of barter or favors granted rather like a medieval fief :) Having a market with monetary equivalent values would need a large number of items of specific, or at least similar, types. I always think of the value and rarity of magic items as more akin to fine artwork than to common goods. While money might get you some things, it certainly can't get you everything. Unless you hire a really good thief... How do you think all the fine artwork that exist got created? Because people paid money for it. And just because magic items are rare doesn't mean they are not traded. Quite the opposit. There would not be a regular trade with them aka a market stall for +1 swords, but when someone wants to get rid of a +1 sword he would easily find buyers. And people who are able to make magic items would have a steady work supplying nobles, rich folk and the occasional prestigious com...

Thursday, 27th December, 2018

  • 10:02 PM - paladinn quoted R_Chance in post Unearthed Arcana: Sidekicks
    Sounds like True 20. Green Ronin reduced all the core classes in 3.x to the basic three. There were, iirc, feats that allowed customization of the three. True20 with bounded accuracy:) I think it could work!

Monday, 10th December, 2018

Sunday, 9th December, 2018

  • 07:56 PM - dragoner quoted R_Chance in post Starter Traveller (Classic circa 1980's) is free at DTRPG
    Pretty much, although the GDW board game Imperium was the clash between the Villani (1st) Imperium, or Ziru Sirka, and the Terran Confederation. That game came out about the same time as Traveller iirc (c. 1977-78?). I'm not sure how much of that was intentional or how much of that was written back into the situation later. It does make for an interesting bit of history / universe building as the progressive campaigns show the strengthening of the Terrans leading to the (further?) decline of the Villani. I loved Imperium, bought, and played it in my school's chess club. Though I think Traveller's Imperium was only adapted, the main timeline for the Third Imperium is 2,500 years later than the events of the board game.

Friday, 7th December, 2018

  • 07:50 PM - chrisshorb quoted R_Chance in post Starter Traveller (Classic circa 1980's) is free at DTRPG
    Original Traveller didn't have a setting per se when it was first printed. The Third Imperium developed as supplements and adventures were printed. I should say it was unveiled as supplements and adventures were published. By the end of the original game it was pretty well established and a number of sets cleaned up the original game (like this one). A different company, Digest Group Productions, produced a task resolution system for GDW and advanced the game picking up the reigns (by license) from GDW. Then came Megatraveller. The rather improbable series of events lead to the Civil War that ended up destroying the Third Imperium. Then came the "Traveller the New Era" rules. a post Third Imperium setting in a collapsed empire (still in the same universe). The game system was changed in significant ways (they were bringing their various RPGs into alignment with each other). And Marc Miller was out of GDW then iirc. "Marc Miller's Traveller" (T4) after the collapse of GDW was by another company...

Tuesday, 4th December, 2018

  • 06:34 AM - dragoner quoted R_Chance in post Starter Traveller (Classic circa 1980's) is free at DTRPG
    Your opinion is noted :) But a lot of us were fine with character death in generation. You needed to consider that possibility along with character aging and decide if it was worth staying in (character generation) longer. I've seen people ignore one or both and all the characters seem to end up older and highly skilled. With either scoutships or free traders. With death and aging it's a gamble to stay in. And with the one year at a time character generation of supplements like Mercenary and High Guard character generation was a fun mini game by itself. *edit* Looking back at this post I should say I'm fine with ignoring death in character generation. We liked it, err... death before starting to play that is, but to each their own. I'm not trying to promote "one true wayism" :) If someone wants to ignore death in chargen, that's great, I was just noting that it is there. Personally I don't find it is too bad, and the time lost is minimal, as chargen is quick. It is also a good introductio...

Saturday, 1st December, 2018

  • 07:16 PM - doctorbadwolf quoted R_Chance in post Unearthed Arcana: of ships and the sea
    And they could call it "Of Ships and the Sea" :) Honestly a re-working of the environmental books with setting material (inevitably) for FR would be nice. Seas, Deserts, Jungle, Artic / Mountain, and Underworld. I enjoyed the 3.x line of books. With a simpler system like 5E the rules would be shorter giving room for some (mini) setting information. people would buy them either for the environmental crunch (like me), the character stuff, or the FR setting bits. Or some combination of those. I think this would be a better bet than pure setting books for sales, especially new settings that don't have a built in (D&D) following. They could, but one of their “things” this time is to not put out books they’ve put out before. Still, an adventure at sea, with accompanying mechanics for players and DMs, and all the types of info we're talking about, with at least some basic ideas for running it in different settings, is a distinct possibility. I’d love to see a “Seas of The Multiverse” su...

Monday, 26th November, 2018

  • 02:22 AM - Aeson quoted R_Chance in post Do you believe we are alone in the universe?
    That makes two of us. This could go on forever. Barring first contact :) I find it all fascinating. I admit I don't have the education some of these guys have. It doesn't stop me from wanting to learn more. This conversation is a learning experience. :-D

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018

  • 01:34 PM - Jay Verkuilen quoted R_Chance in post Lost Laboratory of Kwalish: A D&D Adventure For Charity
    Other than as an exotic dungeon locale that's pretty much all the ship ever was, so that's cool. Depends on how you ran with it, but you could certainly treat the ship that way, or elaborate it. I played Barrier Peaks... oh, damn, twenty years ago. Part of it involved dipping into the XCom lore a bit, with the ship being a human ship but highly influenced by alien technology. The campaign's big adversary (later proven to be a frenemy) Keraptis (yes of White Plume Mountain fame) was looking for it and there were some stranded XCom personnel looking for a way out of Oerth. At the time I hadn't played XCom so I didn't actually know the backplot, which was fun. It's hard to describe how overall crazy the scenario was, but the weapons from Barrier Peaks stayed with us for a while essentially as highly limited use magic items even after the XCom group gathered up all the Elerium to power their own ship back.

Sunday, 21st October, 2018

  • 01:47 AM - gyor quoted R_Chance in post Ravnica Table of Contents & More
    I'm glad they are expanding 5E's available settings. On the other hand I have no interest in Ravnica and only limited interest in Eberron. I'll probably pick up the Eberron book. The Ravnica book will be the first WotC 5E book I haven't bought. Which is, I guess, the problem with setting books in general. I don't run FR btw. I have my own home brew setting and have picked up every book so far to glean useful bits from (and just for reading). Now, I would have picked up a Planescape product even though I never thought about running it. A lot of the material in it was useful back in the day. And would be now. An updated setting would have interested me. A new setting probably would have. MtG doesn't interest me, I haven't played it since it first came out and have only a casual knowledge of the game now. *sigh* I was looking forward to the new books... oh well, time to quit whining. And get back to work. Grading never ends... From recycling parts of it for home brew perspective, many of the ...

Wednesday, 17th October, 2018

  • 03:44 AM - Polyhedral Columbia quoted R_Chance in post Dragon Reflections #14 - Dungeons & Dragons Divided!
    Yes. We were miniature and board game wargamers. Naturally, it's a hex map done at 30 miles / 10 leagues per hex. The world is flat of course and you can fall off the edge. The world was originally much smaller (with no edges to fall off), it was a campaign map for miniature gaming and it had to include all the usual suspects on it in an area small enough to have a map based campaign which would produce miniature battles. When I moved it to D&D I expanded it to give a reasonable amount of room for all the races / cultures I wanted in it. Needless to say there are similarities to many historical areas in the real world. It became less derivative and more complex as the years rolled on and my own knowledge base expanded. The conceit of making it a flat table early on was my own inside joke. It also follows my decision to make the world "look" as normal as possible on the ground while making it fantastic "under the hood" as it were. That is really cool. Does your flat world or campaign have a nam...

Sunday, 14th October, 2018

  • 06:25 PM - Polyhedral Columbia quoted R_Chance in post Dragon Reflections #14 - Dungeons & Dragons Divided!
    It's old and I like it, but then so am I (I turn 60 this month) :) [...] Then too, my campaign is largely an old fashioned feudal fantasy world like so may others. Not in fashion these days... but still fun. Yeah cool - regardless of whether it's an old fashioned feudal fantasy world, D&D may be around for several (or many) more generations, and there are only so many D&D campaigns still in existence which extend back to the OD&D foundation. I hope, if the stars are right, that your vintage collaborative world (a kind of social artwork) might find a public venue, for the record. Does it have its own world map?
  • 04:33 AM - GreyLord quoted R_Chance in post Dragon Reflections #14 - Dungeons & Dragons Divided!
    Between me and my brother we bought 4 original D&D boxed sets. A first printing in 1974 (long disintegrated from use, a third printing (still in very good shape oddly enough), and two white box 5th printings (1976 I believe which are thoroughly used but still serviceable) iirc. I know there was a 6th and (I believe) 7th printing. I think the last two were marked as "collectable" sets with Basic D&D and AD&D out about that time (1978-79). Not positive about the dates though. We just moved on to the AD&D books with the Monster Manual in 1977. I didn't have the rules when I started. I started later than 1974 though (Aka, I wasn't playing in 1974)...didn't even know the rules were available in 1974. I didn't have the rules to begin with at all. We had one person who knew the rules and dictated the game to the rest of us. I'm not sure when the last printing of the OD&D run with TSR was. If you kept an eye out an about you, they were still available later on. I think they got re-releases l...

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