Classic Dungeons and Dragons and Old School Gaming

D&D etc.

"Heir to a crumbling summit: to a sea of nettles: to an empire of rust: to rituals' footprints ankle-deep in stone."

-Mervyn Peake

"...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped."

-Sir Bedevere in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Four House Rules of the Apocalypse

Four house rules that I've been contemplating:

1.  1/2 share of GP/XP for Hirelings, even if they die. 
I've talked around this issue before.  We run through a lot of hirelings, they're fun mini-PCs and when PCs croak they get upgraded.  We currently give hirelings the half share now.  If they somehow don't make it back to town though, some gold goes to the family maybe but the PCs keep a bigger portion and the XP.  I've realized that this actually provides incentive to killing off the poor mooks.  I don't think the players actually play to that incentive but it would be nice to flip it and incentivise keeping them alive.  That might mean fewer mooks get hired but I doubt it.  Or it might mean the PCs try to enter into working relationships with NPCs which usually provides lots of opportunity for shenanigans.

2.  No negative attributes.
I use the basic D&D -3 for a 3 to +3 for an 18 modifier scale.  It's pretty common to have characters with some -1s, and I don't really mind, one of my favorite characters recently had more minuses than pluses.  He was a chickenshit backstabber, he was smart and he was fun to play.  I say was, because shortly before he made it to 3rd level he had a change of heart and tried to save the world.  He died and failed, setting a Godzilla sized fire elemental loose on the world.  The fire beast went straight towards the nearest metropolitan area and the surviving PCs went the opposite direction!  Anyway, It seems to me that negative modifiers only make it easier for 1st level characters to die and they don't need any help in that regard.  So, what if instead of the normal minuses we change what it means to have a low score , like this:
STR:  1 handed small weapons only
INT:  fewer languages, bad at speaking languages, this is pretty much Rules as Written
WIS:  Player has to make up a paranoia or dumb thing, like the PC doesn't know how to count over 10.
DEX:  takes a round to switch weapons.  (we normally go from missile to melee without loosing a round)
CON:  Save or passes out at 1, 2 or 3 HP.
CHA:  DM gets to make up an enemy NPC.

3.  It seems entirely reasonable to me for the DM to base the HD of monsters & NPCs entirely on how entertaining or enjoyable doing the NPC or Monster's Funny Voice is.

4.  Cleric's, Undead and Alignment:
Lawful Clerics: Turn Undead
Chaotic Clerics: Command Undead
Neutral Clerics: Speak with Undead

The Law and Chaos is normal, but I've never played with the Neutrals getting anything cool or unique.  I think in most versions they have to choose to be like Lawful or Chaotic Clerics.  I think it'd be fun to have a Neutral Cleric in the party and have Kurosagi's Corpse Delivery Service inspired adventures.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

OSR Christmas!

I got some folks on my list this year some things that decidedly fall  
within the OSR. Those things are:

This has gotten good reviews, and it's supposed to be not to gonzo,  
which I think the giftee will appreciate. I was also thinking  
Stonehell would be good, maybe I'll get that one for myself!

Realms of Crawling Chaos
What better gift for the D&D playing Lovecraft fan? I was also  
thinking Trail of Cthulhu but then the giftee might try to wrangle me  
into playing it...

Kefitzah Haderech
This one I'm really excited about!

And used copies of:

The 1e DMG
For the inspiration in the appendices especially.

Moldvay Basic and Cook Expert
Because it's the best.

I would have gotten Vornheim, but it's apparently out of print.  I  
hope Flame Princess prints more, bigger this time! 

Ho! Ho! Ho!