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Try this site: Anydice.com.
Use the following formula: output 4d4 + 8
Set it for "Table" and "Normal"
It will give you the odds.
I heartily recommend this site.
This means it will add the top three numbers of the 4d6 rolled, and drop the fourth.
If you use the "Roller" setting, it will let you generate numbers based on your formula.
Wow...I really want to game now!
I know what you mean. I haunt this forum and the Dragonsfoot 1e forum for a couple of hours and then I work on my campaign...
We game on Sundays. Waiting...
Note that neither I, nor I suspect Krensky, were saying those things were necessarily bad. Just examples of "1E doesn't have few simple generic rules. It has piles of complex rules with exceptions and special cases."
I apologize if I came across as adversarial. Maybe it's because I've had this sort of discussion many times in the past, and have to explain my views a lot.
I appreciate your desire for a simple game system. Having to flip through rulebooks to get through a combat is frustrating. Especially when the organization doesn't make sense, or what you're looking for is split between multiple chapters or even different books.
A lot of what we find in 3e actually existed in 1e. The modern books are better organized and aren't written in the confusing Gygaxian style (a flavor I love but have to read through two or three times to really understand.)
Neither 1st or 2nd edition had a movement system when they launched. Adding figurines and movement added a level complexity that 1st and 2nd never had to address.
Are you referring to Movement or to a grid system?
Either way, 1e has facing and movement expected to be played on hexes or squares.
And the 1e rules are written to be played with miniature figures. Many people didn't, but the rules are still there.
I never used psionics. I don't consdier any psionic system to be a plus to a fantasy game. But optional rules you don't use aren't a detriment to a game.
Different ranges based on whether you're inside or outside?
The purpose of the different scale is so you don't have to have a bigger table when you're in the outdoors. Except in extreme-range situations, most DMs I knew didn't bother with it. (That includes Gygax.)
Different spells that do essentially the same thing at different levels having completely different rules?
Isn't it wonderful when not everything is a cookie-cutting of something else?
More tables then Traveller?
Not sure how that is an issue, to be honest.
Makes a fireball something you have to actually save against, instead of ducking behind something movie-style.
Differing XP charts?
An acknowledgement in the rules that some classes are weaker than others. Refreshing, isn't it?
Each spell had specific, individual components, some that were reusable, most that weren't and you had to have all of them rather than just sweating the expensive or rare ones?
I don't see how adding flavor to the magic system is a problem.
Rounds, turns, and segments?
Hours, minutes, rounds? Converting things from a 60/60/10 system to a 6/10/10 system seems an improvement, not a problem.
Every table running initiative differently because no one could agree what the heck Gygax meant in the rules?
At last a problem I acknowledge. Even Gygax never used that system, and I feel for anyone who tries to make it work. I always used 2d6+Dex mod, counting segments down. Not a whole lot different than the modern method, really, although 1e has a wonderful thing called segmented casting time. (Means there are actual rules for interrupting magical spells that don't involve holding or readying an action.)
All in all, I celebrate most of what you object to.
As I said above. I respectfully disagree with you.
I have a big problem with those who not only fail to acknowledge rule zero, but who use the rulebook as a weapon against their GM.
If you have such an adversarial relationship with your GM, why are you playing his game?
I respectfully disagree with you. My experience has been very different than yours.
The rules are simpler, more generic and every case doesn't need to be spelled out. Or the emphasis is on the GM making a ruling, to cover a specific case, rather than creating a new rule to be followed in every similar situation.
A perfect description of 1e. Thank you for clarifying! :)
At the end of the day, the only thing I really like about 3/x was the scalable monsters, monster templates and some (not all) of the universal monster rules - those I am porting over to 2nd ed.
As I mentioned in another thread, I dropped PF and 3.5 to go back to 1e, but after realizing that I wanted a skill system like PF's and a few of the feats, along with a few other details from the 3.5 combat system, I decided to modify Mongoose's Conan RPG to move it back toward 1e.
I decided on Conan because it has elements that lean that direction already, and it has Parry/Dodge defense + armor-as-DR instead of the AC system, two elements I've always wanted to incorporate into 1e.
I also understand how the game works mechanically (and have tried to fix it on several occasions) so I can give observations and feedback in certain threads.
Just out of curiosity, what elements were you trying to fix?
That's why it's so funny. It's a wonderful example of how players can get ahead of themselves and make assumptions about things that just aren't true. So-called "logical" assumptions that aren't really logical. And it pretty much always spells their doom...
Keeping the challenge and lethality rate high discourages attachment to the characters, which discourages players from caring about anything in the game other than the bare minimum of survival. Which means that threat is the only tool the GM has and it all goes around again.
It doesn't work that way. The campaign doesn't have a particularly high lethality. The players do.
They attack monsters they have no business attacking (as in the beholder example in my previous post), and they expect equally-matched opponents to succumb to threat and intimidation without resistance.
They treat the laws and mores of any culture they encounter as rules for other people, attack and kill city watchmen, tavern bouncers and anything else representing authority with the attitude of privileged, spoiled brats.
They ignore any encounter intended to present them with anything resembling social interaction and seek to control and/or intimidate anyone in their presence.
In short, they behave as if the world exists solely for them, and that NPCs and intelligent monster races are lesser beings to be bullied, slaughtered and plundered.
I greatly prefer the social side of the game. My players are more fundamentally bloodthirsty.
To players who don't much care about the social side of the game, death is pretty much the only failure. Everything else that could happen is nothing more than a minor setback.
I don't go out of my way to kill PCs, but I don't try to protect them, either.
I've had PCs die because they did something stupid: a 4th level barbarian charging into an unsuspecting beholder,
or had bad timing: a wounded cleric dashing in to heal the fighter just before the dragon turtle breathes on them,
or even because the dice just fell that way: three criticals from two monsters in one round of combat that simply obliterated a ranger.
I don't apologize for these deaths. Two of the characters were raised (the ranger was of such low level that the player just created a new character), so it wasn't a player hardship.
Without the threat of death in the game, there is no excitement about combat.
A player trap such as this would undoubtedly work in my gaming group, because the players would assume that if something like that actually existed in the game, it couldn't be so obviously broken.
If a GM was to actually use it as written, most of us would admit we were pretty dumb. One or two players might feel it was a GM cheat, but they'd admit it was their own fault.
We'd go on with new characters and threaten the GM's life if he ever did anything like that again.
But we'd still be laughing about it long into the next campaign.
OD&Ds and AD&Ds racial and Class limitations were awful.
I agree with you there. Usually the first things we'd change back in the day. The modifiers to abilities were generally left alone because that was just how the races were different. But most DMs in our gaming group dropped the level limits for races, and none of us used the ability maximums that were based on race and gender.
I like playing gritty, but old school for me had other baggage.
I started gaming with a group of late-seventies college students. We had a mix of genders in our player demographic from the beginning. Racism and sexism wasn't welcome at a table where the DM was an Hispanic woman with a mean left hook.
IMO, problems such as you describe came more from the players involved than from the "old school" game.
For me, it isn't a matter of trust. It's probably my gaming background talking, but I look at a campaign as belonging to its GM. If a GM is gracious enough to take on the labor and responsibility of running a game, I as a player of that game have the responsibility of respecting the GM's way of doing things.
That includes whatever interpretation of the rules the GM uses. It's the GM's game, not mine. Trust doesn't enter into it.
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
The old, mixed with some of the new, streamline it out and don't have complexity and slowed actions for its own sake.
I also like a blending of old and new. I dropped PF and 3.5 to go back to AD&D because I wanted to return to a game that I could run with nothing but my old 1e shield and my campaign notes. It was sheer joy not to have to crack open any of the rulebooks during play.
But the old game has its drawbacks. After fifteen years of 3e-style skills (esp. the PF +3 bonus for class skills) and character-customizing feats, 1e characters seemed bland, so I added these elements to my 1e game.
After adding a few more things, I found it was easier to modify Mongoose's Conan RPG to make it more old school than it was to make 1e work in the modern age.
Loathe as I am to admit it, times have changed. To use a hackneyed phrase: you can't go home again.
Our gaming group has been known as the Last Ditch Defense since about 1985. For a while we had a newsletter called "Trenchmouth".
As far as I can remember, we've never named an adventuring party.
I like a mix. I'll often run my NPCs and monsters with humor, but they usually die--and suffer when they do.
I try to make lethal combat and taking damage as serious as I can. Blood soaking a battlefield is not something to joke about.
But a barroom brawl evokes physical comedy, and is never lethal (even when that bloodthirsty player has his character start using hidden knives or tries to break bones--for some reason, it just doesn't work out the way he wants it to.)
And an encounter with a peasant on the road or a garrulous teamster trying to get his wagon through a too-narrow gate is guaranteed to cause laughter.
As a GM, I try to make every monster encounter unique.
Even that little band of goblins hiding in the woods to ambush passers-by has personality, and as much cleverness as the leader's pea-brain will allow.
As far as "boss" monsters are concerned, each one is totally unique. I run creatures, not stat-blocks (the stat-block is nothing but a suggestion).
Oh well, my work schedule doesn't really lend itself to playing anymore anyway. :(
That is a true tragedy. I consider myself very lucky to have a schedule that allows for gaming.
About your off-topic...
I must say I couldn't disagree with you more. I am not going to say any more about the subject, because that ship sailed many, many years ago. You have your opinion, and I have mine, and there is nothing to discuss. I am sorry I brought it up.
I think the GM is partly to blame for this also at times, if he does not do anything to stop it.
I agree with you. The GM is supposed to be in charge of his game (although some players would argue otherwise). I'm a GM who as battled munchkinism his entire gaming career. I've had long conversations with other gamers who have been gaming as long as I have, who agree that this is a problem.
And yet when I make changes to the game to prevent munchkinism (such as removing certain feats that allow amplification of damage and number of attacks per round), these same gamers complain that I am the strictest GM they know, that I disallow more things than anyone else they know.
Maybe that's the case. But what good does fighting against munchkinism do when the people who supposedly agree with me resist the attempts to deal with it as strenuously as the munchkins themselves?
This is more than a peeve. It caused me to give away all my Pathfinder books and stop playing that version of the game altogether because I can't deal with the arguments any more.
I don't have a problem with catching up or finding out important things about my friends. What I object to is the chatter during the game.
It's bad enough when a casual remark game might lead to a cascade of humorous comments that slows everything down. But when a comment about your kids or your new car sidetracks the game after it's begun... There's no excuse for that.
In the case of Homes, it depends on the size of the inhabitant and/or the social class/wealth of the inhabitants; rich people tend to have double-height rooms with balconies, arching vaults, etc., while larger creatures just naturally have higher ceilings.
I use an eight foot ceiling height as a base unit for medium creatures. It makes it easier to describe the room when the ceiling is about the same height as the room we're gaming in.
A good rule-of-thumb is to add 25% to 30% to the creature's height for a comfortable ceiling. (A six-foot man has a ceiling height of about eight feet; a twenty-foot giant has a ceiling height of about twenty-five feet.)
Also, fortifications like castles and fortresses (which can be considered homes to certain people) will naturally have higher ceilings; most great halls had upper-level balconies and lofts.
Of course, even a peasant hovel might have a loft for storage or sleeping, which means the main room might have a ceiling that is one and a half to two times normal height (twelve to sixteen feet, maybe).
Stores usually follow the rules for homes; most are built pretty much the same way.
Caves are unpredictable; very low ceilings or dizzying heights are possible, depending on the geology of the area. I try to have a mix, and always put in at least one air shaft for ventilation that is more than twenty to fifty feet high.
Warehouses are usually much higher than typical stores, because of the kinds of delivery methods used. You can't usually drive a laden wagon into a typical home, but it's pretty much a must for a proper warehouse. Depending on the wealth of the owner, my warehouses are usually double to triple normal ceiling height.
Other buildings or spaces vary depending on their use, and on who's using them. A rule of thumb for large buildings is that the more people that use a space, the higher the ceiling is. An assembly hall seating a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand people will have at least a triple-height ceiling (or even higher), while a small chamber for intimate discussion with a group of five or so will have a ceiling of normal height.
I have a few peeves. (None of them is a pet. My apartment manager doesn't allow pets.)
1. The player who bends over backwards to create the self-sufficient loner who refuses to follow the party's course of action, and then complains that he's "not getting any gaming time" when the GM ignores him.
I have had this kind of player in my gaming group for a couple of decades now. It seems like one will leave and another comes in as a replacement. And they never get the idea that loners do not belong in a group.
2. Going hand in hand with this is the Information Hoarder, the character who makes secret rolls to notice things, or to think of things, and clutches the GM's note in a sweaty little palm with a secret smile while the party is wandering around in circles because they don't know what to do.
As a GM, I make certain the other players know exactly what's in the note; if the recipient tells them, fine, but if not, I won't wait too long before the same information finds its way onto another note to a player who won't fail to share. As a player, I'm perfectly willing to cheat and sneak a peek at the note; waiting for the hoarder to part with the information takes up too much game time.
3. Another peeve (apparently I'm not alone in this) is munchkins. Of all ages, gaming experience and sizes. I love the additional customization provided by 3e and Pathfinder, but I hate the fact that a lot of it can be easily abused by "roleplayers" with a "concept" that happens to throw the party's combat balance off with enhanced criticals, iterative attacks, damage increases, etc.
As a GM, watching the party's weaker characters go down in nearly every encounter is painful. As a player, I stop enjoying the game when I am continually suppressing the impulse to snatch the munchkin's character sheet to flush it down the toilet.
4. A fourth peeve is the Chatterbox, the player who wastes gaming time by talking about everything under the sun except the game. Worse is when it's the GM.
I'm really not interested in your new car, or the court case your brother is mired in, or the fact your kids' grades are falling. If the only reason you come to game is to vent or boast, take it to a bar. Gaming time is for gaming.
There are others, but many of them are system-related and this thread isn't the place for that.
I have a critical system that doesn't do extra damage, so the massive damage rule never really takes effect in my campaign (criticals have effects like limb disable, stun, daze, blinded, deafened, etc.).
That being said, if I were to use massive damage rules, then I would adopt some means for monsters with multiple attacks to add the damage from their attacks together to provide a number of points per round that would have the same effect. This would give monsters the same chances of massive damage as the PCs (who are much better equipped to artificially pump up their damage to the massive damage threshold--especially in Pathfinder).
Good for the goose...
I was still hopeful, but I realize now I was being naive. This has the same effect on me that 4E had. The feel of it is far too different for me; I won't be buying it, unless radical changes are made.
The alien Advantage/Disadvantage system seems so firmly rooted into the system that it will take a rules-damaging crowbar to get rid of it. Why this was used still baffles me. I cannot fathom why people like it. (And don’t bother trying to persuade me; I’ve heard all the arguments and disagree with them. IMG, there will always be the +4/-4 mechanic that is a staple of D&D.)
I don't like the fact that the vast majority of the options that are presented for any of the classes are combat-oriented; I don't want to buy a combat system, I want to buy a role-playing game. I want to see something closer to a 50-50 combat/non-combat rules set, please, or I won’t buy it.
I think the rogue is FAR too powerful with sneak attack; but then, I felt the same way with 3.5. Too much damage far too soon. A rogue’s job is to deal with traps and doors; he isn’t a front-line fighter.
I hate the weapons mastery that gives every race a way to change the basic size of his favorite weapon, increasing it a die type, in spite of the fact that the weapon itself would likely be smaller, at least in the case of the halfling.
They did try fix the fighter's silly wound-you-with-the-wind-from-my-miss ability. Unfortunately, they made it worse by introducing yet another alien concept in the form of expertise dice.
I don't want to play d20 modern; giving the fighter action points is a cheesy way to make up for the fact he gets screwed out of his premier role as front-liner by every feat or maneuver every other class can take.
There's an easy fix to the problem; stop giving the other classes things like a die per level of sneak attack or an autohit at-will power that does damage that can't be defended against. Let the guy who's name is Fighter be the one who fights. The others have their roles in the game; let them stay with those roles.
Backgrounds determining skill choice and specialties determining feats is fine; but there aren’t enough choices. This might be rectified in the future, but it doesn’t bode well. It feels like the powers of 4E in a different skin. And to me that’s a deal-breaker.
The automatic magic missile is still an issue for me; it needs to be a 1st-level spell so the mage won't be a walking autohit machinegun.
And why bother to make the casting of a spell 6 seconds long? If you cast a spell within 5 feet of an opponent, you magically give that opponent the ability to stop you from targeting anything more than 5 feet away.
Other than that, there's nothing preventing you from lobbing a fireball up his nose. His attack means nothing. The six seconds of casting time has absolutely no significance as far as the rules are concerned.
I hate the very idea of rituals, which gives the game a 4E feel to me; casting a spell that takes that long is fine, but it should come off your spell usages, and it should always take that long.
And of course, the characters still regenerate. What's the point in having a hit point system if it doesn't mean anything?
If I ever run this system for real, neither healing word nor the short rest will exist IMG; there's no challenge to a game system that won't kill characters.
I'm afraid that all of this has turned my stomach as far as D&D is concerned; I'm going to take a break, and will be using the Hero System when my game starts up this fall; I don't want to think about what WotC is doing with 5E.
For WotC's sake, I honestly hope that I am in the minority. If I am not, then this edition will tank far sooner than 4E did.
The more I see from WotC about 5E, the more it looks like an attempt to re-package the basic ideas of 4E into something that will appeal to more pocketbooks. I believe it IS a sign of distress, because if it doesn't sell, Hasbro might well shelve the game.
The problem is that while the distress is making 5E's designers somewhat desperate, it isn't making them wise. They seem to be repeating mistakes; in my opinion, 5E is going to be too alien to appeal to a majority of fans. The closer to deadline things get, the more it looks like Custer at the Little Big Horn.
At this point, I just want them to get it over with; I have lost interest in 5E. They need to stop dragging things out, stop trying to make us believe our playtests make a difference, and put out the design they decided on before Cook left.
I don't see why this would be much of a copyright problem...
Social Class Table
As far as I'm concerned, the first thing a good GM has to remember is that he's not a player.
If the game is a game, then he's part of the mechanics involved. He doesn't get to play, in the sense that the game is not for him. His role is to facilitate the game environment for the players to move their characters through.
This is not to say he shouldn't have fun. I for one enjoy roleplaying all the NPCs and monsters in the campaign world, and that's the way I approach the game; I set out to enjoy myself while making sure the players enjoy themselves.
After all, it's a social activity; if you're not all friends at the gaming table getting together to have fun, you're doing something wrong.
I can't believe I didn't think of this one earlier, this is actually one of mine: If an AOE spell (fireball, for example) is cast in a room too small to contain all the squares it normally hits, it finds the nearest exit port and goes out, traveling until it uses up all the squares. A fireball cast in the end of a 5x5x10 in a one-way hallway would take up the two squares st the origin and then 38 more. Hope that makes sense.
I don't consider this a house rule. It's classic AD&D.
Maybe many of you would consider this a house rule, but I always use the following:
If the 3.5/Pathfinder rules are unclear on anything, I turn to the AD&D DMG/PHB as the ultimate authorities. Previous rules preempt later rules, unless it's a Clarification/Errata thing within an edition. The simpler the better is my campaign motto.
EDIT: Exceptions to the above:
The initiative system (what was Gygax smoking?)
Pummeling/Grappling (Oh. My. God.)
In a Chill game, between adventures, my character walked into the kitchen of the house we were staying in to make a pot of tea, and found the unofficial mascot of the group lying on the floor, gnawing on a bone (he was a big dog we found along a road, named Zeus).
She discovered the box of tea was empty and went to the pantry to get more. When she opened the pantry door, she found herself staring into the pit of hell. On the other side of the cavernous space, the demonic entity who had been plaguing the group stood calling to her.
She tried to close the door, but it resisted, and a tremendous wind roared through the kitchen, pushing her into the doorway. The strong-jawed hero (her love interest) came into the kitchen at that moment, and rushed over to grab her.
Unfortunately, his action caused her to lose her grip on the door, and she fell in, dragging him with her. Just as it looked as if they would tumble into the abyss, Zeus came to the rescue and grabbed the hero by the seat of his pants. He planted all four feet on the door frame, growling as loudly as he could to summon help as he held us suspended in space by his teeth.
I have to say thank heaven for the resilience of tweed trousers, because it seemed forever we hung there while the villain gloated and called out prophecies of our doom.
The rest of the gaming group tried desperately, between fits of giggles, to get the GM to let them help. Eventually he relented, and one of them came into the kitchen, and used a favor he had acquired in a previous adventure to force the demon to let us go.
Zeus hauled us back into the kitchen and whimpered in relief as we sprawled on the floor.
The encounter was very brief, game-wise, but the complexity of it and the rolls involved made it much, much longer in real terms. It also expanded the plot-line, because we discovered the house stood astride a gateway into the nether dimensions..
And we got extra experience because we entertained the group so well. :)
Nymian Harthing wrote:
2.) Girl gamers who see all other girl gamers as rivals for male attention. This can get problematic pretty quick.
This has sprung up in our group quite recently. It's like being in high school again, except that the "girl" gamers involved are all over 30.
I also have the box sets from the LotR RPG, the ones inspired by the maps from the movies. They're pretty cool, though they aren't as detailed as some of the MERP stuff.
I use ICE's old genre books, too. I don't own hard copies, but I have several PDFs, like Norman England, Robin Hood, Mythic Greece, Arabian Nights, Vikings and Pirates, to name my faves.
Did somebody say something-?
Hm. Must have been the wind....
I.C.E. made a bunch of stuff that (obviously) was perfect for a ME game. Even included a handy "d20" type conversion guide in the front of most of their MERP 1e supplements.
ICE didn't acquire the Middle-Earth License until the mid-80s. The campaign I speak of began in 1976.
I use the MERP stuff when I run a Middle-Earth campaign (a couple of my players are big Tolkien fans), especially the maps and Fonstad's Atlas.
In Gary's defense, I have to point out that he didn't write most of the modules you're talking about.
But you are correct about the plethora of NPCs with levels.
My gaming group seldom if ever used modules. The first campaign I played in was based on Middle-Earth (big shock there), and the DM never used canned adventures, mainly because it was too much work getting them to fit the game world.
The primary difference between a 1st-level fighter and a man-at-arms is that the man-at-arms would be considered a 0-level character, and so would use the 0-level column on the Attack Matrix For Fighters, etc. table.
The "to-hit" column for 0-levels begins at 11 for AC 10, where the 1st level column begins at 10 for AC 10. It's a minor point, but it is a 5% difference.
Also, 0-level characters didn't get Ability scores. A man-at-arms didn't add anything to his roll to hit, or to damage when he did hit.
You only considered NPCs to use other tables or columns (or abilities) if they had class levels.
I dunno, I might get used to it, but I'd feel weird if the only people with certain skill sets were the PCs.
It goes back to the AD&D days when the vast majority of people in the world were 0-level characters, who were specialists in a given profession but had no training in adventuring.
A 1st-level fighter was a "Veteran", and stood above the run-of-the-mill man-at-arms. PCs were special, and only very special "adventurer" NPCs ever gained class levels.
A PC magic-user could still go to an NPC sage to research magic, or to an NPC alchemist to get special materials.
The 1E DMG has all the information about this you need. You an create an entire society using the various chapters. It all has that wonderful flavor that set D&D apart from other fantasy RPGs back in the day.
After many years of the "New D&D", I decided to go back to the old formula. :D
This could be a difference of perception. To most of the people I know, looking at their cellphones is as natural and repeated an activity as re-arranging their dice on the table, or looking over their character sheets, or talking to the next player.
People have had the continuous use of their beep boxes ingrained into their conscious activity to the point that they cannot imagine turning them off. And texting while they're doing something else has become normal. To them, it doesn't indicate they'd rather be somewhere else, it's just being connected.
I don't own a cell phone. And I've met people who literally cannot imagine life without one, who regard me as a freak. And I regard them as part of the Borg generation.