Friday, October 30, 2020

Random Links for 10/30/2020

Over at Lich Van Winkle, the whole issue of sexual material in gaming comes up. When I was a kid, what I liked about Basic D&D was that it treated you like an adult . . . and what my mom probably appreciated that it didn't have a bunch of adult-aimed sexual material. The DMG, less so. As a teacher who used RPGs for ESL, being able to put something in your student's hands knowing there isn't a shred of anything off-color in the material was critical. It was simply a bar to usefulness in the classroom if it was there. So I get it - and it's helpful to have material that isn't "kiddie" without being "adult."

Are OSR authors against kids playing their games?

- You can't go wrong in Twilight: 2000 by shooting from a skyscraper, unless there is a taller one nearby:

Metropolis: Circling the Wagons

- Negotiations are fun in Gamma Terra. And yes, we go have a person with Diplomacy. It also helps to be dealing with generally more reasonably diplomacy targets in Gamma Terra - other intelligent beings who want to make a deal.

"So when he talks about Tomorrow Men “territory” he’s probably imagining an area of Midden controlled by thousands of pure-strain human soldiers with a functional bunker. Would his demeanor and negotiations been different if he’d known he was dealing with a small group of soldiers with a swindling ammo supply?"

Me, I suspect he might have driven a harder bargain, but otherwise? He's giving up a moderate amount to gain a lot, at best. And he only had to give up things he didn't have yet, in return for certainty in getting those things. It was a good deal all around. And staying out of territory he didn't even want to be in? He probably felt it was a gimme, like a snowman agreeing to stay out of the furnace room.

- Ah, yes, Dragonlance, where dragons are finally front-and-center but pretty much die constantly and easily: "The ensuing battle must have involved about 50 dragons--black, blue, white, red, and green--but as I've already covered, dragons are nothing to this party. I could kill eight at a time with "Delayed Blast Fireball" and at least another five or six with melee attacks. That's without even bothering to buff and "Haste." Plus, we had a bunch of gnome allies during the battle. Not only were we victorious, I'm not sure we even took any damage."


  1. One thing I’d love to see is a version of the Dragonlance modules without the really annoying stuff: the obscure death rule, the assumption that the players would play the Innfellows, and the more obnoxious railroading. There are parts that would make a good hexcrawl, with a war happening at the same time.

    1. That's X10 Red Arrow, Black Shield in a nutshell. It's a hexcrawl with the PCs tasked with mobilizing the states surrounding an invaded country . . . with plenty of opportunities to complete adventures as a way to influence those countries. I'd love to play it out, so much so that it's tempting to run a future D&D-centered game on Mystara just to be able to pull that one out to play.

    2. I find I can turn pretty much any mess of a railroad into a decent site based adventure as long as it has a decent area map, maps of any locations where players *might* want to pick a fight, and you are able to figure out from the module the physical locations of the various encounters. I just place the NPCs and monsters in their locations, and the PCs do things in pretty much any order, with the exception that some monsters might not be at some locations until certain things happen. I have even done this with two modules at a time, with the players having to figure out which elements were connected to which dungeon.

      I don't know Dragonlance well, but I think they have area maps so that should be possible. It may take a little ad libbing if the PCs encounter (read, "kill") things out of order.

    3. It would be tough to sandbox them without significant additions from later materials about Krynn. They're railroady and episodic, and don't always connect easily physically. Time passes and travel happens between them. It might be doable, but it would be tough. I did a review series about taking useful bits from them a while back - check the bottom of my reviews page.

  2. The Mystara Asteroid of 1006AC/wrath of the Immortals would have obliterated the Known World and left Thyatian Empire, Sind, Northern Reaches very damaged. You might simply flip all the mountain hexes within 500 miles to broken lands, all within 670 miles of the crater to devoid of life, green hexes out to a eight hundred miles to damaged by maximum level cyclonic winds, and subside all land above the subterranean realms, drain lake amsorak.

    Then have thyatis invade the ruination. Armies and mercenaries looking to secure territory.

  3. WoTC just recently got sued by the authors of the Dragonlance Novels for breach of contract, should be interesting to see how it pans out.

    1. Yeah, I saw. I hope it ends with publication for the fans of the series and for the authors, both.


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