Archive for September, 2011

CHANGE PLACES!

September 28, 2011

I’m getting a bit burned out on the new game system / campaign.

1: The things I’m writing aren’t always better. In many cases they’re just different.
2: A completely huge sandbox is demoralizing for the referee because the adventurers will simply never explore all the cool things you made.
3: Wilderness adventure is a bit boring. The players wander around looking for cool stuff – and that cool stuff is typically a dungeon or town.

So we’re switiching it up to a smaller sandbox. It’s a mountain valley with a ruined city, four rebuilt villages within it, and four dungeons in the surrounding wilderness. You can get across town from one village to the next in 10 minutes. You can get from the village to the nearest dungeon in a day, or a half day on horseback.

And to give me a break from writing rules (I’ve been working on the current set for 2 years, and it’s just the latest iteration of serious game-writing work of the past 6 years) we’re doing 1E AD&D. PHB, DMG, MM.

Of course I’m adding a few things. For one, we aren’t using the surprise / weapon speed rules from the DMG, because I don’t like the fact that the PCs could get ambushed and lose 2-4 rounds depending on the monster and get a TPK based on a single d6 roll. There’s a fairly good chance for the PCs to lose 2 rounds, which really sucks. I’m adding carousing like Jeff Rients. I’m also taking away the racial level limits (retaining class and multiclass restrictions) and replacing them with a +25% Human XP bonus.

To get a new M-U spell in your book you need to burn a scroll to copy it in. The only way for you to steal spells from someone’s spellbook is by seizing it and memorizing from it directly. The only way for you to share a spell with a friend is by creating a scroll. You also gain a new spell of your choice that you can use at the new level when you gain a level.

Training and upkeep costs are in. You need to spend the week doing training. I will be using the training montage tables I made.

Some things leap out at me on a detailed reading of the rules. Multiclass characters gain the better of their classes’ weapon and armor restrictions, except for Thieves. That is, a Cleric/Fighter can use edged weapons. A M-U/Fighter can wear armor and cast M-U spells at the same time. But a Fighter/Thief who wears heavy armor can’t use his Thief skills. This makes demihuman multiclasses powerful indeed!

Dang now I’m speaking vaguely Gygaxian.

I think park of this is because I’m burned out on the current game and have a further-refined idea of how best to prepare and run a game. It’s also partly a nostalgia – I want to try playing the edition I first learned to play on its own terms with all its quirks. Third, I want my players to experience this game because most of them haven’t played anything but the one I’m working on!

I’m not especially against the idea of completely scrapping demihuman class limitations. Heck, why not let anyone multiclass with anything? Is there really some game balance issue with a Human Fighter / Ranger / Paladin? Or an Elf Ranger / Cleric / Illusionist / Monk? But that kind of game feels an awful lot different from AD&D as presented in the computer games of the day.

There are some fun things coming next Sunday in the Valley of Kurland.