13 December, 2010

Happy Yuletide. I guess.

The holiday season, much like a plague from Nurgle, has hit many blogs recently. I resisted infection for a time, but I will soon be succumbing to its nefarious influence. I must remember next year to burn others old posts, rather than piling them like cordwood in the town square.

08 December, 2010

The Elven Experience

Page 5 of Supplement 1, Greyhawk, arguably changed elves in DnD forever.

Elven thieves work in all three categories at once (fighter, magic-user, and thief) unless they opt to never be anything other than in the thief category. Thus, experience is always distributed proportionately in the three categories even when the elf can no longer gain additional levels in a given category.
With the words 'work in all three categories at once' the elf no longer had to choose what class he would be during an adventure. I have to admit I sort of missed it. Not only because it kept the elf from being two characters at once, but also because it was interesting and unique. A lot of players thought it was odd or inconvenient, or simply just wanted to squeeze as much 'high performance' out of their character as they could at every turn, like it was some sort of ridiculous racing car. They liked the change.

In my Greyhawk PbP game, we've just recently added the Greyhawk supplement, including the revised elf. I miss the old elf, but I also understand it's sometimes hard for a DM to explain. The way I ran it before, the player had to choose between operating as a fighter or a magic-user at the start of an adventure, and remained as chosen until the next safe point was reached, which is also when I awarded experience. From safe point to safe point they were locked in to their choice, whether it was the next day or several days later when they made it back to town.

My question to those reading this: how would you explain it? Suggest a reason why an elf might be forced to make this choice, and then abide by it until next he found himself safe.

Wine and Wyverns

"But you are a noble lady, an Imperial Knight of Morvalia. What ill reason could you possibly bear me?"

Gren smiled slightly, her eyes dropping. "There are many who believe the wyvern a noble and thoughtful monster, when they see it sit and look skyward after it's mealed on some errant knight. Surely it ponders the life such a warrior may have led, if it's hunger he hadn't fed." She rose from the table and quaffed the last of her wine. "In truth, it waits 'til the struggles of the knight have stilled within its gut, so that it might fly more surely."

03 December, 2010

Tekumel 4

You quickly reach out and snatch away the cloth, ready for anything.
I usually won't label rolls, but I think it's interesting to do so this time :)
male/female 45
familiarity 27
helpful/hostile 79
You reveal a man whom part of you dimly recognises. This man was you, one of you still submerged below the surface of consciousness. He is pale, but the backs of his arms and legs are dark with pooled blood. His angry eyes are entirely white.

He (it?) takes a quick step toward you, lashing out with fists!
You strike him with your metal staff before he can get inside your defenses. The sensation as your attacks slam into yielding flesh and bone is disturbing, but reassuring at the same time. He's staggered momentarily, but presses on.
His punches barely connect, and you're able to put some distance between the two of you again.

Will you destroy him if you can?

02 December, 2010

The Evil That Men Don't

In some published game settings, mostly those which are relatively newer, it's been quite popular to say that not all members of the traditionally evil humanoid races are evil. In some cases, a majority are even shown to be quite the opposite. I'm generally of the opinion that such things occur for mostly two reasons. Either the author is desperate to be different, or it's a reflection of Western European apologism.

Be that as it may, I'm curious what the other DMs out there do in their own games. Are all your orcs, goblins and kobolds evil?