Showing posts from April, 2022

The Epidemic Of 💩 DMs!

Finally, something worth being called a hot take. Shit Dungeon Masters are an epidemic. Why so? 1. Not reading a single Dungeon Master's Guide. Some people can get away with this, but most can't. The DMGs are there to provide context, explain the rules in a way to prevent foolish rulings, to help you expand your game into more than just a monster-fight simulator, to provide guidelines for custom content creation, to give optional rules that (should) fit well with the system, to assist in worldbuilding, etc. It's DEPRESSING to see how many Dungeon Masters complain about 5E in ways that they'd know are inaccurate if they read the DMG. Bottom line, read the damn DMG. It'll make you better. 2. Shit house rules.   Not all house rules are shit, but many are. Why? Because they are done without a comprehensive understanding of the system at large. In many cases, they're done because something "feels bad" in a particular instance. The most common s

I'm A Level1 Cleric, What Does That Mean?

ENTER THE CLERIC! Who can be a Cleric? In AD&D, the PHB tells us that "Only humans will normally  have Clericism as their sole class; thus they are the only Clerics with unlimited advancement in level." We see that among Player Characters, only Humans, Half-Elves, and Half-Orcs can be Clerics. Among NPCs, Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes are allowed Clerics as well, but anything that isn't a pure Human is severely limited in potential. Half-Elves will never get higher than 3rd level spells, Half-Orcs higher than 2nd level. Gnomes, Dwarf, and Elf NPCs will never get access to 5th level spells, meaning only Humans can Raise Dead, Plane Shift, Resurrect, cast Gate, etc.. This tells us how non-human Clerics are likely to be perceived in the world. Powerful non-human Clerics are practically unheard of, and thus, aspiring non-human Clerics would likely be taken less seriously. The use of miracles would be seen as a means to accentuate their other skills. F

Thoughts on "JeffroGaxian" Timekeeping

I've been familiar with the BROSR for a couple years now, so when Jeffro Johnson discussed his thesis on the latest episode of Inappropriate Characters, I wasn't nearly as shocked as most. Even about the "women can't play" thing. I've made it no secret that I don't agree with them on most things, but I also have made it known that they propose ideas that have value. Their emphasis on strict timekeeping, patron play, and inspirational reading is at the top of the list. However, the topic of this entry is on the nature of my disagreement on Jeffro's interpretation of Gygaxian timekeeping. He asserts that strict 1:1 timekeeping is essential to produce a superior game, so much so that he believes that if a player group is occupied for 20 days on travel, for instance, you couldn't pick up where they left off until the real-world day count has caught up. Now, first I'm going to say that there is a desirable effect that can come from this strict adher

Greyhawk Campaign Diary: From Darkshelf to Nessermouth

Last night was a pretty cool session. Over the last week, I finished my main preparations for last night's travels through the wilderness. That included plotting out all of the probable hexes they would travel through. I took one of Anna B Meyers' Greyhawk maps and hexed it out with approximately 25 mile hexes. I plotted strongholds, rolled up lairs (and tons and tons of treasure), patrols, merchant caravans, etc. It easily ate up 16 hours and to be honest, I'm still not quite done. I put in some detail for the city they wanted to visit and felt reasonably confident that I could handle whatever they threw at me that session. So, we picked up after a disastrous attempt to besiege the Guardhouse at Darkshelf Quarry. A PC and a henchmen were slain in the attempt, and though the players took the lives of many, many more slavers remained. They staged a tactical withdrawal, and one of the Magic-Users used a Scroll of Sending to deliver a message to the group's pat

I'm A Level 1 Magic-User, What Does That Mean?

I'm A Level1 Magic-User, What Does That Mean? Continuing the rabbit hole of what the AD&D 1E core books suggest or explicitly state about character classes, we're now exploring the glorious world of Magic-Users! I'm going to do my absolute best to not go into tangents on how Vance's Tales of the Dying Earth handles Magicians (as Dying Earth is clearly a primary inspiration), but there will be some addendums on that matter certainly in the future. First, unlike the Fighter, we're looking at racial restrictions. Only Humans, Elves, and Half-Elves have the propensity to become spellcasters of this variety, and only Humans can advance beyond 11th level in the class. While this is clearly Gygax's enforcement of an anthropocentric setting in action, I would like to say we can infer from this that the study of Magic is something that humanity's insatiable ambition makes possible. But I can't. Not when the Half-Elf gets cut off at 8 and the Elf