Notes from the Keep VII

The Keep

1d12 Things the Goblins are launching from their slings.

d14 Trapped Chests

Digression: Finding and disabling traps is a goddamn dungeon staple. It’s bread and butter. And yet Perception + Disable Device is the shittiest fun way to handle it, because you’re just throwing those skills at problems like a robot. It becomes a test of the character sheet, rather than the player.

Apparently PCs are very sound

..alternatives to the “wake up in a dungeon cell” method of starting a scenario.

David Hargrave’s Critical Hit Table (Classic) V 1.0.1

OD&D Annotations: A Closer Look At A Seminal Work

Gary Gygax’s Whitebox OD&D House Rules

Straits of Anián

I deleted my Twitter account. It’s a breeding ground for thoughtlessness and contempt (via Cal Newport)

Procedures for the Liberation of Sir Uravulon Calcidius

Tower of the Stargazer

Everything Herein is Fantastic

https://www.paulsgameblog.com/2011/11/16/bx-changelist/

BX Houserules; interesting pdf

Last-Minute Keys and Locks & Last-Minute Keys and Locks Revised

Every locked door forever in my game.

Jeff Rients: On System

My advice to anyone currently fretting over which edition or retro-clone or whatever they should use is to just pick one. It doesn’t matter which one. No matter which one you pick D&D isn’t there. It’s your job to take that text and turn it into D&D. Interpret, interpolate, edit, house-rule, mangle, spindle, mutilate. Run that text into the ground. Import crap from other editions, other games. Break it and remake it in your own image. Only once you have your own version of D&D up and running does D&D in any way exist.

NYT: The Return of Paganism

I frequently conflate communion and ritual with D&D so this.

Why D&D Has Lots of Rules for Combat: A General Theory Encompassing All Editions

Basic Megadungeon Play and Procedures (via Chris Tamm)

A DECADE OF AD&D – CHRONICLES OF ETINERRA IS TEN YEARS OLD

Bone Marshes Workshop I and II

Fairy Generator

d100+ directions, higher numbers weirder

If Symbolist/Decadent Artists Ran D&D Campaigns

TFP DMG: How To Run Combat

Ten Foot Pole: Pollute the Elfen Memory Water

Room five tells us:

5. Frigid and icy. Vegetation here is dead and withered. Blocks of ice stacked against wall.

* Pink tendril worms frozen in blocks of ice.

* Some blocks have melted and pink tendril worms either wriggle slowly half frozen or plop onto the frigid ground.

Note how it moves the from the general description, as the first line, to the additional lines providing more info if the party looks closer. The wanderer table has them engaged in some activity. The rando flowers on the wall get a little rando table. The monsters have short descriptions, with goals and motivations clear and terse, the writing focused on party interactivity.

Ten Foot Pole: Life & Death

Oh, my heartstrings! A literal call to adventure, tt’s a pretext for all those players that seem to need one, and there are about a dozen different ones buried in the speech. It’s does this with a playful wink and a nudge. We’re all playing D&D tonight. Further, the guild is an interesting design choice. I’m usually not down with adventurers guild, but this one is a little different. It’s loose with requirements, gives the folks benefits, like food and lodging, provides the occasional pretext, AND DOESNT BACKSTAB THE PARTY. It also gives the DM a couple of tools, like magic portals, etc, to get the party moving across the game world and interacting with stuff.

ggnore

Iambic tetrameter flavor text of the entrance to the woods:

Beyond the mossed and tumbled walls, the air convolves with inky swirls. Beneath the moons dance shimmering wisps. But on the road, beneath the looming trees, the night is dark and clear.

Questions and Hex Describe

Questions to establish characters, via Alex Schroeder.

On Skill Deconstruction: Why Roll for Resolution? via When to roll

AD&D Study & Reading

A Set of Unified Wilderness Travel Procedures

Carapace

Procedural Dungeons

Notes from the Keep I

The Keep

First, a little wisdom

Writing and Illuminating and Lettering by Edward Johnston, via Jeff Rients

The good craftsman seeks out the commonplace and tries to master it, knowing that originality comes of necessity and not of searching.

Gamma World 1e (aka the best edition) is available in pdf and print on demand at drivethru

untitled

[Modern Book of Lairs] II: Aboleth – Secumbei’s Bath House

I come back to this often, for some reason. It’s a good scenario, but also the hand drawn to blog post, though impractical, is refreshing.

Dan’s Notebook of Unfinished Wonders & Dan’s Notebook of Unfinished Wonders, vol 2

I’ve been an inconsistent reader of Throne of Salt. I’m going to change that because wow, so many ideas!

The Door 1 by Eric Basiletti [via gorgonmilk]

BASTIONLAND: d100 Oddities for New Characters

The first photographed page from my DM notebook.

2d6 OSR games: Make monsters special

Olde House Rules ruined me some time ago. I’ll link to any good 2d6 mechanic.

Land of the free? How Trump has put America’s identity in peril

Taking it as a given that “meaningful individual agency” requires applying our brains, our experience, our memories, and requires as well making a sustained, good-faith effort to inform ourselves of our reality. This could be as profoundly simple and radical as going to the library every few weeks, checking out a couple of books on history, and reading them, as opposed to taking every post that Google and Facebook steer our way as the gospel truth. Not that books are sacrosanct by any means, but they’re quiet. They allow us the mental space to absorb, reflect, evaluate at our own pace. Learning essential stuff is as much a discipline as going to the gym or sticking to a diet, and an excellent antidote for the modern condition of being numb and dumb.

[BEYONDE] Beyond Google Plus, and Fixing the Internet

Just go read this.

Picture by Luka Rejec

Dear God,

Please show me how to draw.

A Deck of Many Things: Using AD&D’s Mixed Bag of Rules and Loving Them

Anthony, that’s so much money! No. Not really. Not really at all. To better understand the buying power of treasure and what it means as status in the world, I think of 1 SP as 1 $USD. A single GP is therefore $20 and a platinum piece is a Benjamin $100. A 6,000 GP jeweled crown is therefore worth $120,000. Whereas a real jeweled crown might be worth millions. In the ranks of millionaires and billionaires, your adventurers hauling piles of gold to town will still only classify as “wealthy”…and the money will go fast. When they divide the spoils among 5 or more party members, pay all the bills and then try to build a fortress they are going to need millions of GP to even begin to classify as “rich”. It is my opinion that magic items are too easy to come by in many campaigns while proper monetary treasure is far too difficult. Treasure stinginess bogs down progression and enhances the pain of character death. Plentiful treasure (combined with infinite demands for spending) make level-loss to undead, character death and many other things easier to swallow. Thirst for treasure is not really a silly abstraction, it is founded on the real principal that kingdoms are built out of wealth…and kingdom building is what high-level AD&D is all about. Treasure as XP is the foundation of balancing your game. The characters will literally need tons of it. So don’t be shy. Consider how quickly you could spend a million dollars if you had it. Then consider how quickly you would NEED to spend a million dollars if you wanted to rub elbows with the rich people living in your neck of the woods…or had to pay for enormous legal or medical bills. Money goes quick so make sure your hoards are worth the trouble. That’s it for now.

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