Thursday, 3 October 2013

Musings and Meanderings

Preface:  I may need to ban myself from DrivethruRPG and RPGNow for the near future. Far too many "small" purchases that when laid out in a single group display that I may have a real problem with impulse OSR purchases.

The Current Game, Keep on the Barrowlands

Although we weren't hard-core flat 3d6ers, we rolled 4d6 for stats in order for DCC, allowing a player to swap any stat with a stat they chose before rolling (so you can chose "Warrior" as a class before rolling, knowing that you can swap your highest roll with your Str stat, if it wasn't). We ended up with a couple negative bonuses. That's good. We didn't get anyone who was "all 18's" -- that's good too!

In the old days you rolled first and chose your class second. However we're all new to this game, and I really wanted to see multiple classes in play -- specifically Elf or Wizard (the Arcane casters) and Clerics. Choosing class first made for a better distribution of classes across the group.

In DCC you have 1d4 hits at zero level, and add your class hit points at first level. With our Dwarf having a -1 Stamina penalty, and one of our Clerics having a +1 bonus, you get odd results -- the Dwarf rolled (1d4-1)+(1d10-1) for hits, and ended up with 4 hit points. Our Cleric rolled (1d4+1)+(1d8+1) and ended up with 12!

In our first encounter the Dwarf was hit twice (d6 damage both times) and was felled. After "healing" and the ACKS Mortal Wounds table, the Dwarf recovered. But 2nd level is still about 18-19 combat encounters away. I am curious, and a little doubtful, that the Dwarf will survive.

Still, with axe and shield both attacking each round, she's proven to be a whirlwind of destruction while she lasts!

A Planned Game, Beyond the Wall and Dungeon World

Beyond the Wall is an OSR game that tries to replicate "youth fiction" like the Earthsea books of Ursula K LeGuin. The characters are from the same village, each "class" playbook takes them through their early years, and fleshes out the village with contacts and locations. The village locations, starting with a single Inn in the centre, are created by player rolls and player decisions. The NPCs are parents, mentors, and childhood friends. As a background creation device I think it's fantastic.

I'd love to use it with Dungeon World -- not because I dislike the d20 mechanic, but I think there are a number of points of congruence in design and play philosophy.

Alas, re-writing at least a half-dozen playbooks to blend the two is probably a bit beyond my abilities right now. I really need some time behind the GM's screen with DW, so I'm more comfortable with it. Still, I'd like to give it a whirl.

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