Thursday, November 15, 2012

Random Thoughts VII

Just some musings in a brief break.

- This kind of thing is why I left D&D for Rolemaster and then GURPS (via Man-to-Man). Not that D&D is bad, it's a lot of fun and I loved it. But we could never deal with the issue of "how many swings" and "what does melee mean" and "why doesn't that mean I shoot lots of arrows?" and all of that and I sure don't miss the arguments. I ultimately went to a system that really did pare it down to one blow being one blow, an arrow shot is an arrow shot. It's not free from abstraction, of course. But the bottom-up design - it started life as one man, one blow, one second instead of a mass combat system - is for single person combat and it shows.

- I like stocking treasure randomly, but GURPS DF 8 sure requires a lot of rolls and page-flipping and calculating value. I'm hoping someone else automates it. Still, DF 8 does have some cool stuff in it, I just find myself rolling up valuable clothing for aquatic encounters and weapons for rust monsters, that kind of stuff, and needing to re-roll or just decide for myself.

- I've been drawing a few more levels of my megadungeon, and editing a bit on the ones not yet reached. I'll post another megadungeon lessons post once I'm sure I know what I've learned from it.

- I was reminded of Rolemaster recently several times. Especially the herbs. I think my DF game needs more off-the-shelf edibles like the Rolemaster herbs. So I'm starting to write some up.

- I really want to draw your attention to this cool news: the re-release of the Slaver Series!
I loved the A1-4 series. I ran the combo supermodule once in AD&D and once in GURPS, and ran the separate modules at least one other time in AD&D and was run through A1 solo once as well. A bit railroad-y, like most early (very linear) tournament modules, but full of cool stuff.

I'll get this, if I can, just to see the new adventure. I already have good copies of all four of A1-A4.


  1. I'm sad that we haven't yet heard anything about GDQ being reprinted by WotC, though the A and S series are good enough, I suppose.

    Also, I'm still holding out hope that 2014 will see a 40th anniversary edition of the White Box (and the four supplements).

    I wonder if there'd be any demand for an herbalism supplement for the DF series, perhaps with some new alchemy to fill it out.

    1. I'd get behind either of those reprints. A U1-3 wrapup would be cool - those were really good modules, and I ran them repeatedly.

      I don't think I could fill - or sell enough of - an herbalism supplement. I'll do some for my game and see if it's popular, though.

    2. Holy cats yes the U series!

      Also, I don't want to minimize the fact that there is going to be a brand new 1E adventure in the A series reprint. I am almost making an undignified *squee* sound. Almost.

      Hm. There would have to be more than just herbalism and alchemy, I suppose. What else would thematically complement those? More magic items, perhaps? Alternate minor magic systems for DF (now I'm thinking of the computer game Darklands, which had alchemy and praying to saints)? Just brainstorming, really, to see if there is some way to make it work.

  2. I think classic D&D gets into a bad middle place on combat resulution. Either go crunchy with a GURPS-like system, or stay solidly narrative with a FATE-like system.

    I could easily automate the process of DF8 treasure rolling, but what would be the position on rights? I'd assume I couldn't make it freely available...

    I still have good memories of Rolemaster - particularly the flavour of the spell lists. In fact I'm faintly tempted to find a way to graft those into GURPS, which otherwise handles things much more to my modern taste.

    1. Well, there is a gemstone and a spice generator online. A free DF8 horde generator might be okay, but you'd probably need to run the idea past the SJG folks. Maybe if it just spits out results, but not descriptions of stuff that's in DF8, it would be okay. Or maybe they'd sell it as a software tool. I'd ask Steven Marsh about that.

      My personal favorite Rolemaster spell was "Undoor." Heh.

  3. Like you, I came to GURPS via Man-to-Man and my friends and I played several campaigns with it. Would I sit at a table that played GURPS? Absolutely. Would I miss D&D? You bet. Would I ever run a GURPS game? No way.

    I definitely appreciate your POV, especially as a war gamer. GURPS is a great skirmish level combat system that is able to deal with just about any situation you want to throw at it; however, I prefer the abstraction of D&D for my RPGs. It allows for much more freedom both as a player and a Referee to do more and be more creative. Plus, unlike you, I actually like those discussions/arguments about D&D combat — it is a feature, not a bug ;)

    1. Those arguments occasionally acrimoniously ended games, so I sure don't miss them.

      I find the attempts to square the circle pretty interesting, but I'm glad I can skip them now during my games!

      I'd play D&D, but I wouldn't run it again. I might run a game of LL sometime, perhaps, but I don't think my players would like 1 minute melee rounds again.


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