Showing posts from December, 2020

Attack Cantrips Are The Worst

Stop Pretending Harry Potter Magic Doesn't Suck Attack Cantrips are, by far, one of the most ill conceived leftovers from 4e's combat focused design. Truly, there is no real need for them in Fifth Edition. Nearly everything that could be looked at as a gap in design that necessitates these free damage tossers is addressed by some other aspect of the game. Here's why attack cantrips rustle all of my jimmies... They Belittle Mundane Attackers First thing's first. Your level1 caster doesn't expend any resources at all when they use a cantrip.  Anyone who uses ranged weaponry is suddenly at a disadvantage if they're tracking ammunition.  If you aren't tracking ammunition, there are many knockdown effects that follow, as demonstrated here:  Youtube: Why Resources Matter in D&D .  What about the melee attacker who decides to throw a weapon?  Are they expected to track THAT ammunition?  Yes?  Why?  Why is it that arrows are expected to be infinite, but daggers/

Explicit vs Implicit Skills

Pictured: Me asking a player why they should know what a contraption does. One of the things I adore about the Rules Light OSR is the comfortable inclusion of implied abilities of characters that can be used at an improvisational level. Such implied abilities are often merely gaps in the code in OSR systems, or an overt detail that lacks any kind of explicit mechanical scripting. Perhaps the easiest way to represent this is through the B/X Class structure.  The system tells us directly how good a class is at attacking, what weapons they can use, what armors they can use, how spells work if they have them, how thief skills work, et cetera.  These are explicit abilities.  But it should be painfully obvious that this does not run the entire gamut of what adventurers will be doing throughout their careers.  So what happens when we approach these gaps? Put simply, we interact with the fiction of the world.  We have to ask ourselves, "what is a Fighter, where do they come from, what sho

Cha'alt Campaign Diary 3: Liberation

 Holy hell, it's been a long time since I updated. The Cha'alt game has been chugging along just as much as ever.  I fully intended to do a write-up much more frequently, but things kept on happening in such a way that getting it up to date would mean either leaving things in an odd place or possibly accidentally leaving hints for my players.  We don't want that! I'll try to break these things up into segments and recite things as best I can. Traveling the S'kbah Cha'alt, as written, admittedly didn't come with regional encounter tables for traversing the desert.  The more I look at it, the more it seems to be a very brief gazetteer regarding most of the civilizations and a very detailed funhouse dungeon.  So, I took the creatures that Venger offered as possible encounters and put them on a table.  By this point, Cha'alt: Fuchsia Malaise was released, so there were some particular encounters I was able to pull from as well.  I also made use of a desert w