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mostly based on which deity the player character worships and which spells are appropriate to be granted by that deity. And of course how well that player is living up to the tenets of that religion.
Yeah, this how I handle it most of the time, as players (in general) tend not to stray to far from their character' religion. So where I will set an absolute on which spells a cleric cannot cast would be a good aligned cleric wishing to cast spells such as Cause Light Wounds for example.
I like Gygax' idea of having the character some how "earn" the spell, rather than it just being a flat reward for leveling up.
Yeah, spells weren't a "given" in the earlier editions (at least by the RAW). Magic-users needed to find new spells, even upon attaining a new class level, the magic-user still had to find new spells - nothing was free (the DM even chose what spells the newly made Magic-user received upon the character's creation). Clerics were held to the tenets of their faith, so those clerics not acting in accordance of their god, could have spells withheld from them until their god is satisfied the cleric has properly atoned.
I personally like (and continue to use) these rules regarding spells.
Of course there are those that ignored all of this and just gave whatever spells the player desired...
Saying Trump is unqualified to be president, is a little silly IMO. Sure he does not come from a political background, but that does not matter. The Constitution is set up in a way that any natural born citizen can aspire to and become president.
One can make the claim that modern politics makes it more difficult for a "political outsider" to become president, but as long as that person meets the requirements set up in Article II, Section 1 of the US Constitution, like it or not, that person is 100% qualified.
The US Constitution, Article II, Section 1 wrote:
I'd like to make sure he's done "reading my mind" though.
While I obviously can't speak for GWL, don't you think it's possible (if not highly probable) that GWL was speaking with a broad brush concerning WotC's marketing of 4th and 5th edition?
I mean not to be snarky, but just because YOU personally were not effected or influenced by WotC's marketing strategy concerning those editions, well, there are pages and pages of evidence on these very message boards that many gamers were.
There are times when using a broad brush to paint something is appropriate.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think OS/NS is a distinction in playstyle, not a trait of a rule set.
I agree with that up to a point. I mean, yes, one can run a PF game in the same style as one would run, say, a 1st edition game, and so too one can run a 1st edition game in the style they would normally run a PF game.
The rules of both new and old school editions are written with a certain "style" in mind; with the whole player vs. character point of view being the most obvious.
Steve Geddes wrote:
new-fangled 2E - which still isn't on my radar when I think "old school". :)
2nd Edition "New Fangled"? That's funny, because unless you ignored everything past Unearthed Arcana, 2nd edition added very little in terms of new rules to the game...
Proficiencies? Nope, sorry, proficiencies are a 1st edition concept, introduced first in Oriental Adventures and a bit later in Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (as well as Wilderness Survival Guide).
THAC0? Oh, again, sorry, but that too is a 1st edition concept, going all the way back to the 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide, and introduced as an actual usable game mechanic first through the pages of White Dwarf Magazine in the UK and then in the module UK2 Sentinel (as well as every additional module in the UK line), and then finally in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (and again in Wilderness Survival Guide).
Even Specialist Wizards were introduced in 1st edition in the Forgotten Realms supplement FR6 Dreams of the Red Wizards
Pathfinder can be run and played with an extremely similar style and feel to AD&D.
I tend to lump PF in the 3.x category, so when I refer to D&D as a whole (i.e. all editions), I include PF in that... However, my "question" was really just me "thinking out loud" more than anything else. I just quoted your post as it was the most resent.
But I agree that one can play PF in a style similar to that of AD&D... Back when I was playing 3.x, I ran my games as I do (and did) AD&D (both 1e and 2e).
attempting to reduce roleplaying to two categories of games is overly simplistic.
There are a few here, like yourself, that when others speak of "new school vs. old school" bring up games systems other than D&D.
I wonder however, if when people bring up new vs. old, if they aren't talking about D&D specifically... For myself, that is precisely what I mean whenever I speak of old school vs. new school. I mean, I am aware that other game systems are out there, and I even play a few of them.
But D&D has always been my go-to game, and I know this to be true for many others as well, so my thoughts about gaming, tend to reflect that.
World maps impose limits on my imagination and that's a bad thing.
I was right there with you, up until this...
I can see not needing a world map as a player, but as a DM??
Without a world map, how does a DM determine what's over the next hill? Make it up? Okay, but what if the DM decides that over the next hill is a large metropolis? Yesterday it wasn't there, but poof... Today it all of a sudden is there!
...And out the window flies any semblance of realism the game world (no, not with the game's rules, just the setting the game takes place within) once had, because a city or any settlement really, has an effect upon the area that surrounds it; farming, trade, etc.
And that's just one example of why I believe that at least the DM needs a map of the game world.
Now I agree that some settings are far too small, and allow little room for everyone to co-exist in, but an infinite world (other planes of existence not withstanding) just shatters my ability to suspend my disbelief.
Verisimilitude doesn't mean consistency. Verisimilitude means appearance of realism.
It's more than that...
It's a Literary Device that allows us to suspend our disbelief in something that is other-wise far-fetched.
In Superman, the appearance of realism, is not Superman himself (obviously), but the world around him. The seemingly normal world surrounding Superman gives us a realistic context in which to identify with, and is thus the sole reason we can read about him and willingly suspend our disbelief.
That is what I mean by internal consistency, a consistency not within the rules or game mechanics, but a consistency (or realism if you prefer) within the context of the game's setting.
For example, in a world like The Forgotten Realms or World of Greyhawk, the realism is in the mundane; the flora, the fauna, the beautiful vistas... All of the little things that reflect our real world.
While realism can be found in the harsh deserts that make up a world like Dark Sun, the realism however, is much more apparent within the people that populate that world.
Despite the inhospitable world around them, the people of Dark Sun act and react in familiar ways to us. They act, well... Like real people; they act as we would expect real people to act, and that allows for a willing suspension of disbelief.
Sandbox GMs are always so proud of how different they are.
I'm not saying I'm any different. And I don't leave "flags and warning signs".
If the PCs for example ask if there are any ruins nearby, I'll have the locals say "yeah, there's a castle up yonder, but nobody goes near the place, it's haunted!". I leave any investigation about said castle up to the players; so if they just go off to it without first finding out what is supposedly haunting the place, I am not going to all of a sudden change what's haunting it because of their lack of forethought. If the castle's inhabitants (which I've already determined) are too powerful for them, so be it; they'll learn the hard way.
By that same token, if the PCs, in their wanderings, stumble upon a ruin and I know that the inhabitants are too powerful for them, if they decide to enter it, I'll let them... They either run from the place screaming with their tails tucked firmly betwixt their legs, or they die.
You don't do anything to make sure there are interesting things for PCs to do that won't kill them on sight?
I have plenty of other distractions within my campaigns other than combat to interest the PCs... Things like mysteries to be solved, political intrigues and the likes.
Verisimilitude is a trap.
All verisimilitude is, is the internal consistency within a given fiction. So of course one must first buy into that particular fiction in the first place, but not buying into the fiction does not mean it's automatically an argument over one preference or the other.
To use DC's universe as an example once again, one might prefer Batman over Superman (and thus argue the merits of one over the other), but both heroes exist within the same universe and both heroes are held to the same "laws" within that fictitious universe.
And those predictable ways involve things like "Superman always saving the day" and "Our heroes facing appropriate challenges and not being slaughtered in unpredictable ambushes like the NPCs."
My game worlds are not "level appropriate". The PCs can find themselves in over their heads if the just blunder into locals (e.g. a "dungeon") without doing a little research on it first to see what (or whom) it might contain.
Action adventure genre isn't realistic, for exactly that reason. However good the physics engine is or how accurately the weapons are described.
But that's where verisimilitude comes into play...
Superman in the real world, cannot exist, but within the DC universe, he can because the rules of his universe allow for him to exist. At the same time, his universe is still familiar to us in the real world because despite the fact that superman is "faster than s speeding bullet" and "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" the world around him works the same as our own.
And while I can't speak for other gamers, that is what I mean when I speak of "realism" in my D&D games; because despite the fact that dragons are flying around and wizards are lobbing fireballs, the world around them still acts and reacts in predicable ways.
Well, 2nd edition had two modules that fit that concept...
Both were for the Ravenloft campaign setting; the first is the "Castles Forlorn" boxed set and the second is "From the Shadows". Both involve a large extensive castle and going back in time to help the present day.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Hm, page 161 is full of wizard spells in my PHB.
There were three 2e PHBs. The original, with a yellowish-orange cover, the 1995 version with a black cover, and the WotC re-print of the 1995 version with a green cover. The page number I provided was for the 1995 and WotC versions. However, just look up the chapter on "Climbing" and the info is there.
I don't go as far as Tim (it's too loosey-goosey for me), but it's certainly very much out of the Dave Arneson/Dave Hargrave approach to the game. And that's pretty much at the roots.
I guess I took the things EGG said in the 1e DMG and in various Dragon Magazine articles about using the rules and the "dangers" of straying too far from them to heart.
But like I said in the previous post, in over 30 years of gaming, I have never felt constrained by the rules of any of the games/game systems that I have used.
But also note; I have and do add new rules to the game (where as well as when appropriate), and house-rule things (in moderation).
Here is an excerpt from an article by Gary Gygax from issue number 26 of “The Dragon” (June 1979) that I like to reference concerning how EGG felt about straying too far from the rules...
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Really? Can you provide a page number off the top of your head? I could search thru my old books
I don't know the page number for the chance to hear something off-hand, but the information on climbing can be found starting on page #161 of the 1995 and 2014 versions of the 2nd edition PHB.
I'll try and find the information on the chances of non-thieves to hear something.
Things weren't spelled out/cut-and-dry in the rules.
I don't know about original D&D or 1st edition AD&D. But in 2nd edition AD&D, most of the skills available to thieves were laid out pretty cut-and dry. Non thief characters had a chance, by the rules, to do most of the standard thief abilities, just not as good as a proper thief, and non thieves could not advance the majority of these skills like the thief class.
The chances of success for non thieves are in the books, but they are pretty spread out, and easily missed... Non-thieves have a base 15% chance to hear something, and a base 40% to climb something for example.
I'm a stickler for the rules myself. And in general, I tend to dislike seeing things like what Frog God Games did in the example above.
That said however, the example in question would be okay for me, because those things would not disrupt the game too much (if at all) if used solely for that adventure. But, and this is if I used S&W as my go-to game, if they started doing this kind of thing on a regular basis, or continued to use what they added seemingly ad-hoc to this module (I say seemingly ad-hoc, but I do not have the module in question, so I don't know how it "added" these things), I would start to question whether or not I wanted to continue to use S&W as my game of choice.
That's not to say I do not add new rules of my own or house-rule things, I just don't like seeing rules added or set aside simply because... you know... "FUN"!
In my over 30 years of experience, the rules have never gotten in the way of the telling of a good story, no matter the system I used.
The only shorthand I use are a few of the abbreviations that are already in the books, like AC for armor class for example. Other than that I personally do not like the tendency to abbreviate words, especially words that are spoken; my time is not so precious to me that I feel the need to save a second or two by shorten a word or phrase...
Heck, I play 2nd edition AD&D, and always say "to hit AC zero" instead of sounding out the acronym "THAC0".
But hey, to each their own. :-D
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Having more options gives you more options, and having less takes them away.
I have to really disagree with this.
I'm sure your experience (or perception of the game) has led you to that conclusion, but it has been my experience that in a more rules heavy system, where there is a rule for everything, the players (on both sides of the screen) tend to look solely to the character sheets for available options, and thus if an option is not written or somehow listed on the character sheet, that option is simply not available to the character. With a system open to more interpretation, the options available to the players are limited only by the player's own imagination, and not constrained by some completely arbitrary number on a sheet of paper.
In a simpler build system like AD&D or S&W, the only real cases where the minimums really apply are things like the paladin, where the 17 Cha is mandatory, but not really that useful.
In 2nd edition, those minimums were a bit more "useful" with the added sub-class of specialty priests (e.g. a specialty priest of a war god would need a good STR). Specialist wizards had higher minimums as well, but like the paladin, the score needed did not always match the requirement (the enchanter is one of those that made sense, they needed a 16 in CHR for example).
Well the group is mostly my sons, and I'm the GM so... :-)
I hope you are able to talk them into at the very least, trying another edition of the game that isn't so "rules heavy".
Who knows, maybe you'll wind up adding 2 more individuals who will embrace the older editions, to help keep that particular spark alive.
Hah. Oddly I had a PC who could boost the party thru oratory and I gave part of that speech a couple of time!
What’s he that wishes so?My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
The answer to that question would take a lot more time than I currently have to answer, and probably require you to be a psychiatrist, and me to be laying on a couch. ;-) :P
I see... Well, I hope things have improved and that you are currently in a group with a much friendlier DM/GM. :-D
Dude, the fact that you know that is amazing. I do believe that is exactly the module.
I wouldn't call it amazing. But thank you for the compliment. :-)
I agree that it was probably for the best that you didn't game with that DM again. But I have to ask: why didn't seek out another group afterward?
As the GM read the description of the trap, it became clear that the "staircase" was actually a ladder, with rungs, and I could have in fact levitated down.
Sounds like you were going through module "I10: Ravenloft II - The House on Gryphon Hill". If that's the case, then yeah, the module's text gives a chance of lighting striking the lightning rod on the mansion's roof when a character climbs on the ladder (there is however, a major storm going on during the character's time within the mansion, so the lightning doesn't just spring from nowhere).
But it does sound like your DM wanted your character to get fried.
Here is the actual text from that module:
Ravenloft II wrote:
Every round there is a 1 in 6 chance that a lightning strike on the dome will electrify the ladder (Dmg 2d8, plus Strength check or fall).
The ladder in question (again assuming that the module was Ravenloft II) climbs from the basement to the 2nd floor of the mansion.
I don't mind a little metagaming, particularly where traps and searching for things is concerned; it's hard not to in those instances. Where I don't like to see metagaming is during combat. I don't want to see a seasoned player for example, who runs a 1st level fighter who's primary weapon is the long sword, switch all of a sudden to a mace the first time that character encounters a skeleton. I want that kind of knowledge to be imparted to the character a bit more organically (e.g. through trial and error).
I agree with shifty, in that I am not expecting the player to give me an Oscar-winning performance when describing their character's actions, I would just like to see a little effort by the player put into the character's actions instead of just relying (solely) upon the die roll for a success or failure (e.g. searching for traps).
It's also pretty much a necessity when it comes to things like finding traps by describing how you're looking for them, since there's nothing other than player knowledge to rely on.
I'm willing to bet that is one of the reasons that the good Dr. of Deth (:-P) came up with the thief class in the first place...
I can understand not wanting to go back to such a way of playing, but for me, one of the major reasons I went back to an older edition was the newer edition's seemingly total reliance placed upon the numbers on a character sheet and the general attitude of "If it's not on the sheet, you cannot do it!".
My last character got killed by a trap he didn't find, so now my new character knows how to look for it.
Old school D&D, particularly Original D&D and early 1st edition, metagaming as it's referred to today, was encouraged; the player was supposed to take the knowledge that he learned from killing or being killed by that troll and using it for his next character. But this was because of three key things: one was a high player turnover at the table, two, a relatively high character mortality rate, and three, because at the time (again Original D&D and EARLY 1st edition), the concept of metagaming and it being a bad thing, was not as important as it later became.
No, of course not everyone played that way, and I did not suggest as much, I merely said that it was encouraged back then.
I've never seen anyone play a game like the supposed new school is supposed to do.
It's the difference between relying solely on a die roll to mechanically search for traps for example, and explaining exactly how your character is searching for traps without necessarily rolling a die for success (in other words, being so detailed and thorough in your explanation, that no die roll is required to succeed).
In most of our collected experiences within this thread, we've seen that in newer editions, players would rather just rely on a die roll for things like searches than provide any explanations (or give the barest of explanations along with a die roll and hoping that their bonuses to in that skill will suffice).
Trust me, I know exactly what you're saying, and that is why I said what I did. I think I would have mind-boggling amounts of fun with you as my DM. :) Probably get caught up in a sweeping narrative of epic proportions and never be able to look back.
Again, thank you for the kind words.
What is your preferred edition of D&D (if any)?
I really want to try AD&D (or Basic) style rules again - see how they fit with my memories and how they address some of the issues I have with 3.x, but I've got no interest in the whole Old School ethos thing. It wasn't how we played back then and it doesn't interest me now.
Before entirely switching back to 2nd edition, I ran a couple of one shots with my players, mainly to see if it was merely nostalgia that was drawing me away from 3rd edition and Pathfinder. But I found that it was pretty much exactly as I remembered it being.
So for me, playing 2nd edition is not about joining the OSR movement, but about embracing not only the edition of D&D I loved, but the playstyle I enjoyed along with it (i.e. the "Old School Ethos" thing you spoke of).
Elf, I want to play a game with you. I feel like it would be one of the most awesome games I've ever played in. :)
I thank you. That's kind of you to say. :-)
I'm afraid that my style of DMing would not go over very well by today's standards. I am very much a DM of the past (if you catch my meaning).
Kind of odd too. OD&D, which S&W supposedly emulates, didn't have a Druid (or a Ranger for that matter)
Druids did appear in OD&D. They were in the "Greyhawk Supplement" (1975) as NPCs, and then again in the "Eldritch Wizardry Supplement" (1976), though this time, as a proper PC class.
The Ranger was in the second issue (1975) of "The Strategic Review", which was the predecessor of "(The) Dragon Magazine".
Wow, that is pretty bad...
Here is the 1st edition list for 1st level spells:
Pretty big difference... And a lot more useful with spells like Shillelagh and Entangle.
Druids are also a lot more hardy at 1d8 HP...
So, it is interesting seeing these differences between the two systems.
I don't remember a lot of the old rules. I was surprised to see zero spells for a 1st level Cleric (without the wisdom bonus). Ouch! And especially since the Druid's 1st level spells are useless. We laughed about 'Predict Weather.'
No 1st level spells was a thing for Basic and it's various versions and clones. In 1st edition AD&D, clerics most certainly received a spell at 1st level (and of course more if their WIS score was high enough). As for the Druid's spell list, I can't speak of their list in S&W, but in 1st edition AD&D, the spell list is not that bad, considering.
And I must say, the ability to predict the weather, can be a very handy thing... For example, if the party will be traveling a mountain pass during the winter, knowing that a major snow storm or blizzard is coming could mean the difference between life or freezing to death...
Just sayin' :-)
I just wish there was an online resource for finding some of the articles. I often see references here to articles, which are of no use unless you have an attic full of back copies.
There is an online index to Dragon Magazine: HERE
It may not be as good as having an attic full of back copies, but it does list what issues each of the articles appeared in. :-)
The 1976 version appeared in issue #3; it lacked a lot of detail and substance, and it was clearly written using the Original D&D rules. In 1981, issue #49, the Samurai appeared in much greater detail as well as substance, and it was clearly written using the 1st edition rules (and it was an NPC class).
Not to mention that digital gaming makes it possible to play with people in different states and countries.
Yeah, my main weekly game has someone that lives over 3 hours away, and is about to move two states away in a couple of weeks. If it weren't for Skype, he would not be able to play in my campaigns.