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Topics - cranebump

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1
Well, not really, but...

I finally made it to the closest game store near where I now live (a store in Grand Junction, which is some distance away). I was mainly just tooling around, but saw that they had a TON of old D&D stuff, mostly 2E--stuff you'd see fairly regularly at a Half Price Books (which I haven't found anywhere out here yet, on the Western Slope--then again, I haven't checked for them).:-)  

Anyhoo...there was a ton of Bithright stuff. Like, more Birthright stuff in one location than I've seen since Birthright was first being published. I commented on it, found out that the dude who brought it in and sold it to the store had inherited it from his Uncle. No one else in the fam was a gamer (or rather that kind of gamer--maybe the play board games, I dunno).

Anyhoo, it was quite the impressive collection--a Starfleet battles boxed set mixed in there set, as well as some Star Trek RPG books from the late 90s. And quite a bit of Bithright stuff--I'd say at least 10 various modules and such, which, again, is more than I've seen from that particular D&D offshoot, well, to be honest, ever.  The clerk said they had even more a week or two before, but they got raided by some old farts, I guess.

Long story short, reminded me of the thread here about what to do with someone's old stuff when they die.  I've passed off almost every book and supplement I've ever had. Given away dice, a huge pog collection, battle mats. I don't really need much more these days than a few sets of dice, a pdf of a light system, and some way to scribble down stuff (to include my awful lines when I attempt to draw on our vinyl mat.  Now,  assume I've got a long time left--I ain't that old. But, if lightning strikes tomorrow, I like that my old stuff is being used, or may be used, by people that know what to do with it.

I hope someone goes by and gives that collection a good home. It deserves it.

2
Although I'm not 100% sure what I'll run (currently leaning toward my own "kitchen sink HACK" that skews OS--or the Black Hack). Planning on a jungle/swamp region and you've got some true nastiness awaiting.  Given that, here are some things I'd like to throw in there:

The Arachnil: Spider Cult, like something out of Yezud (or perhaps a snake cult):
Lizard Folk and Gator Men, at odds in the "wilderness."
Militant halflings, at home in the wild.
Perhaps some lost cities and such, teeming with "riches?"
Challenges/terrors associated with travel, the environment.
Stuff from the Mystara MM's (been reading AC9 Creature Catalogue, which contains some great, weird shit).

Specially, I'd be appreciative of your own experiences/creativity in helping me generate the "lay of the land," as follows:

PLACES TO BE:
(1) A business, tavern, guild, trading post, group or individual, etc., operating in this area.
(2) Their agenda (perceived and/or actual)

STUFF TO DO:
(1) A adventure rumor/hook.
(2) The reality, once investigated.

Horrible twists and turns of fate are appreciated.:-)

3
Hey, all. I am moving from Tejas to Colorado pretty damn soon, and was considering bringing my old group with, via online gaming. I was wondering what your experiences are, and if you had any advice regards to platform, means, pitfalls, etc. Thanks in advance!

4
So, we crank up this 5E thing, and I dismiss Wizard (Diviner) as a playable archetype, partly because one of the players says that the Diviner has an OP special ability at lower levels. While we're running session #1, I get asked, "so, was that just diviners, or all divination spells?"

Thinking about the current campaign, wherein various "chaos spouts" (called "kataria") have opened in order to keep the Gods of Law at bay (thus screening ALL gods from exerting influence, therefore no divine magic), I figure, "well, maybe divination magic is screwed up, too, as the "weave" is constantly in flux (which would really mess with ALL magic, but never mind that), and I say, "Nope--no divination spells. They just don't work."

Oh, my, my...boy are there a lot of useful tools now GONE. Yet, I find this intriguing.

So, my question, has anyone ever done this sort of thing, no divination spells? (abilities like Paladin sense still work, though).

5
The wife and I are finally making the move out of state in a few months. Group requested I run them through the new "Tomb of Horrors" before I say sayonara. I haven't previewed the new version yet, but I wonder if it's shudder-worthy (I'll know Monday, when our 5E player hands me the Tome).

Anybody got their copy already? How does everything look? Got that "forged in fire" feel? (eet can keel...)

6
In response to a prickly letter about the "intent" of AD&D (and what the reader considered Lord G's sanctimonious attitude), Mr. Gygax responded with:

"Eric,
You seem to have D&D confused with AD&D. The former promotes alteration and free-wheeling adaptation. The latter absolutely decries it, for the obvious reason that Advanced D&D is a structured and complete game system aimed at uniformity of play world-wide. Either you play AD&D, or you play something else!"

I remember reading that this, indeed, was the original intent behind the advanced edition, to standardize play (for tournaments, was it?). But this is the first time I've seen it in print (because I haven't read enough, obviously).  However, in reading various accounts of EGG's home play, it certainly seemed pretty freewheeling. So, my question to the more knowledgeable among us is, was Mr. Gygax often "playing something else?" Or did he stick to the rules, once said rules came out?

P.S. Semi-related note: In the same issue, there is mention of 1980 convention play, to include an award for Outstanding Dungeon Master for Frank Mentzer, in which Mr. Mentzer says he played "by the book."  For the curious (and otherwise), the issue in question can be found here.

7
I owned HQ, back in the day, and it was very casual, very cool. But I did not know 'til yesterday there was an advanced version, with which you could actually run a pretty standard campaign. Don't know that I'll ever actually run the thing (which would require a LOT of printing cards and counters and stuff), but it looks like it might be sorta fun.

So, ye grand and knowledgeable gamers here...anybody with experience with it? Opinions? Bon mots?...Personal transgressions?...Pie?

8
Okay, so I generated a couple of adventures using ASSH's random generator. As I got one that contained a clue to the second adventure, I thought I'd post these to see what sort of creative things folks could come up with. Here's the data, you provide the skinny:

Title: “The Shadow of Sorrow”
Mission: Watch Noble/Mountain/Lens
How acquired: Blackmailed
Antagonist: Pirate Captain
Ally: Charismatic Leader of Slave Revolt
Complication: Rebels plotting to overthrow the government
Obstacle: Concealment, Deception or Secrecy
Twist: Original mission is a trap; actual mission is to survive and escape
Reward: Clue to another adventure (maybe the one below?); exotic spices or lotus; 2 loyal henchmen; Some magic item


Title: “A Sign of Sorcery”
Mission: Kill Harlot/Island/Idol
How acquired: Made a wager
Antagonist: Sinister revenant
Ally: Unworldly scholar with vital info
Complication: Local festival creates atmosphere of riot and license
Obstacle: Lack of supplies
Twist: Apparently supernatural is actually mundane
Reward: Gain favor of powerful NPC

9
Story time: remember that time an exchange became a campaign staple. My story:

Group of new players in a fantasy campaign, confronting a local antagonist. Antagonist spews some sort of veiled threat. One of the players:"Okay, so I step right up and say something in character." So, I describe the scene: "All right. You stride forward, your weapons bristling from your back and belt. You take a firm stance, place your hands on your hips and bark, "SOMETHING. IN. CHARACTER!"

And that became a staple.

Second thing: Adventure starts in a cell. Same player, above, grabs dice, unprompted, says "I search the CELL!" Rolls. Gets a crit. Well, there's nothing there, so my response was, "You search the shit out of that cell. You crawl across the floor. You feel the bars. You bend down and jam our face into the cracks between the walls. That cell is empty as fuck. It's the emptiest cell you've ever seen. Other than you and your partners, there is nothing but a yawning void of complete emptiness. So much so, that it depresses you."

I almost applied psychic damage just because.

I get reminded of these moments by witnesses to this day.

P.S. There were also plenty of times they gave me back in kind, but I have shoved those down in the vault of GM repression.:-)

Your stories?

10
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / One little town...
« on: October 21, 2016, 08:20:59 PM »
Having shifted gears toward the sandbox mode, using Dungeon World, which seems to support this thing pretty well, I am pleasantly astounded at how much my current players have going on in their base town, which is now the seat of every major thread in the campaign. The focus, as well as almost all the hooks, have grown organically from player decisions. Now, I suppose a different set of players might not toss in so many different things to run with, but my party of four does this, in spades. We've spent several sessions in and around our starting point, as the focus is on their party basically trying to mold the environment into a place they'd like to live.

So, intrigue is cranked up. Behind the scenes is engrossing, from a GM standpoint. We've had a couple of sessions where dice rolling was *relatively* rare, and it's been, as they say, a blast. My question is  about your similar experiences. Any of your own games generate a great deal of depth in a geographically small space? (I'm betting there's many, and look forward to any details I might steal).:-)

11
The "Pathfinder as OSR?" object got me to thinking -- the discussions at this site that revolve around definitions. It's like we have the First Council of Nicaea once a month, without the resulting consensus (though I think we have the definition of "retroclone" pegged).

So, in the spirit of metaphor, what exactly IS the church of D&D, historically (using the Christian church as our metaphor)? Moreover:

What represents orthodoxy?
Was 0e the "Catholic Church?"
Who's the Martin Luther?
Is there a Holy Trinity, and, if so, what is it's nature?
What are the "10 commandments"?
Where is Mt. Sinai?


Most importantly:
Who are the apostates? (and where are they, because I'll be they have the best parties.):-)

12
So, thinking of running a PbP with some far flung friends, using Barbarians of the Aftermath. Your task: provide the narrative for the table results I rolled, below. (just some ideas would be cool, as well). Thanks in advance.

When did the apocalypse occur? Within the next 10 years. So, current, more or less.

How did it happen? "Things fall apart." Specifically, "Biological Shift." Mother Nature rebels, something of that nature.

How long since it happened? Four centuries. Folks don't remember a great deal about the old world. (or DO they?)

How's the resource outlook? "It don't come easy" (struggles due to rarity).

What's the highest tech level? Iron Age stuff (standard BoL). Clang, clang, yo.

What's the pinnacle of civilized society? City States (max 3d6x1000 inhabitants), with scattered villages within 3d6X10 miles. Armies might total as much as 30% of the population.

Any weird shit? "Hokum and Fairy Tales" Nothing resembling magic exists (though certain tech might appear to be magic). Doesn't mean people don't believe in stories, etc.

Who lives here? Humans and two other sentient species

Ideas, anyone?

13
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Enjoy the holiday season...
« on: December 18, 2015, 07:44:20 PM »
...you buncha grumpy bastards...:)

14
Played the system, getting ready to switch home campaign over. All characters are level 5, close to level 6 (2 fighters, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric and Monk [and an NPC fighter]).

Here's my issues:

*Not a fan of 18 skills. Have set up to use ability rolls instead, using DMG optional rule. Some of the ratings still seem rather low, especially as a Moderate check (DC15) is still pretty tough at mid-levels, even if you have at 18 in the stat (for +7 ability check).

*Have see in the "warts" thread (and in play) that saves can be pretty tough, even as you level. Not sure I'm a fan of THAT.

SO, here's my question:

*Since I want to use Abilities over Skills, and since I think characters SHOULD get better at saves as they level, would it be unreasonable for me to simply add the Proficiency bonus to all abilities, killing two birds with one stone?

15
Played the system, getting ready to switch home campaign over. All characters are level 5, close to level 6 (2 fighters, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric and Monk [and an NPC fighter]).

Here's my issues:

*Not a fan of 18 skills. Have set up to use ability rolls instead, using DMG optional rule. Some of the ratings still seem rather low, especially as a Moderate check (DC15) is still pretty tough at mid-levels, even if you have at 18 in the stat (for +7 ability check).

*Have see in the "warts" thread (and in play) that saves can be pretty tough, even as you level. Not sure I'm a fan of THAT.

SO, here's my question:

*Since I want to use Abilities over Skills, and since I think characters SHOULD get better at saves as they level, would it be unreasonable for me to simply add the Proficiency bonus to all abilities, killing two birds with one stone?

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