"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thool guy, new blog

I have always loved everything that Scott Driver has blogged about in the past. His old Wilderlands OD&D and World of Thool blogs were always great inspiration and even made me feel a bit jealous about his creativity. It's a shame he took them down.

Well, Scott has a new blog Mandragora. You should really check it out.

Friday, May 7, 2010

If the thief is rolling the dice he is already dead

In my 2E game, there is a player who's character is a thief. Even though this is a 2E game, and some people only see evil when they think of 2E, this player is playing his thief very old-school. Last night, the thief an 3 other members of the party were investigating a ruined pyramid that they discovered was littered with traps. As the thief successfully lead the party through the deadly maze it made me think about the thief skill of find/remove traps.

A specific example of one incident... the party came upon a room in the pyramid that was still under construction when the pyramid was abandoned. The thief quickly emptied his backpack and filled it and some large sacks with broken chunks of brick and stone. He then spent the next while dropping or throwing chunks of rock where ever he thought there may be a pressure-plate or tripwire. It was activities such as this that made me think that the find traps skill is really akin to a saving throw.

If the thief-player is using his head, the find traps ability becomes the last resort - the "holy crap I hope this saves me" - dice roll that a saving throw represents. If the player describes what precautions he is taking and how he is protecting himself, the percentage roll to find traps becomes an after-thought except in the more devious of circumstances.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Why B/X Is My Favorite #19

Page B47:
"IDENTIFYING MAGIC ITEMS: A character can only identify the exact type of item by testing it (trying on a ring, sipping the potion, etc.)."

B/X doesn't have an Identify spell (which makes a nice gap for a magic-user to research a new spell). Sure a magic-user or cleric can cast Detect Magic but that even just ups the tension and suspense. Should you try the new magical chainmail you found? What does it do? Sure it might be chainmail +3 but it also might be cursed chainmail AC9... a BIG difference!

I think that one of the reasons why magic items have lost the "magic" in recent editions is it is either too easy to identify a magic item without risk or, even worse, players are just told what a magic item does up front.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Barbarians of Greyhawk

Over on Beyond the Black Gate are a great series of posts about re-imagining Greyhawk as a sword & sorcery setting.

This has got me thinking about running a short Greyhawk campaign using Barbarians of Lemuria, which has become one of my favourite sword & sorcery rule sets.