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1974. Summer. July. One of my friends picked up a copy of D&D. Described it as "like the Chainmail fantasy appendix" (which we were already playing in miniatures). Great I thought. Played it, and it was better than that. YOU were in the game. Hooked immediately. By August me and my brother had our own copy. *sigh* So much time to play with... I'm surprised I graduated from high school :)
Forgot, but you can get the Stars Without Number: Free Edition pdf on Drivethru RPG. For free, obviously. They have the free Mandate Archives PDFs as well, there are several of those. Another Sci Fi RPG, but not so simple, would be Mongoose version of Traveller. If you like older versions of Traveller, those are available as CDs, typically one per version (Classic, MegaTraveller, TNE, T4, T20 and the new Traveller 5) from Far Future Enterprises. Traveller, as much as I love it, is not simple. Especially T5. SWN has stayed fairly straight forward. Anyway, although SWN and Traveller have background settings they can be played without setting specific material. Other setting agnostic systems that I know / have are largely out of print.
Excellent! I, literally, just finished the last episode, logged on to check the boards before bed, and bingo, news that there's more to come. Life can surprise pleasantly on occasion.
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
You mean the UFO sighted during STS120 by the Discovery? That was on 10/31/ ?year 2007 0r 8. This is the only thing that comes to mind right away...
Too bad, that would have been symmetry. Any way, there's a new Star Trek RPG announced by Modiphius using their 2d20 system. Called Star trek Adventures, it covers everything but the new movies with a summer 2017 release. Should be interesting. I'll probably wait a week before seeing Beyond; it's opening weekend tomorrow and it'll probably be crowded. Well, no probably, it will be crowded...
For those of you who like well written military history on obscure topics, I'd suggest "Medieval Maritime Warfare" by Charles D. Stanton. It covers pretty much all aspects of the topic including the ships, navigation, logistics, crews, strategy and tactics. To quote the back sheet "Covers the sea wars fought by the Byzantines, the Muslims, the Normans, the Crusaders, the Italian City States, the Vikings, the English, the French, the Hanseatic League". This is not a topic that has received a lot of scholarly attention and it's well written. Three of my degrees are in history, and sad to say, a lot of historians can't write. Really, really, can't. Not just kind of can't...
Anyway, the author is a retired U.S. naval officer who went off to Cambridge after serving to study history. His specialty, and prior book, is on the Normans in the Mediterranean. it's good too, but more specialized. This one is broader, a virtue in an underserved specialty.
Aside from being interesting in and of itself, my mind was ticking over the aspects of how it would adapt, and change, in an RPG. Always a bonus :)
Yes. Basically they are supposed to allow the equivalent to face to face gaming at a distance. With mixed success I gather. Still, it you don't have a local group, want to play or GM for a change, or want to play a different game, it seems to be a good method.
If you can't find a PBP game, it sounds like a VTT is your best bet then. I've considered several, but haven't settled on one yet. I GM face to face. I don't have the time to both GM and play. A VTT might solve that problem for me, but like any game, finding the right table and players is always a problem... good luck!
*edit* That's a bit odd. There was nothing below Nohwear's post, I took a minute to type and when I posted, bingo, a post from SmiloDan shows up ahead of mine. Oh well... back to work on my game. Prep work makes for a happy DM.
I think a lot of people didn't notice the high barrier to entry for Pathfinder because they were already playing 3.5 and it was an easy transition. Unless you were new of course. It's easier to see looking back from 5E because of it's relative simplicity.
If you want a simple fast D&Desque science fiction RPG try Stars Without Number. It's an OGL (and OSR) game with great sandbox support and scratches that Traveller itch rather well. There are a number of supplements for it and a related (and compatible) Gamma World type game / setting called Otherdust. Mutation by nanites for that old school mutant feeling. They are both excellent and there are a number of free products (PDF) by the author that can add to your game. Really good stuff imho.
Not at low level. In OD&D (and AD&D) Fighters got better faster as they levelled up. Everybody started out about the same (needing a 10 to hit an unarmored enemy). Fighters went up in hit probability in 3 level jumps, other classes in 4 (Clerics, Thieves) or 5 (Magic Users) level groups.
Multiple attacks was in the original Chainmail combat system that OD&D used. Not in the "optional" (new d20 based system from Book I of OD&D). Fighters did get multiple attacks against opponents of less than 1 hit dice in OD&D. That is Goblins (1-1), Kobolds (1/2) and Skeletons (1/2). You could add Giant Rats to that after Greyhawk. Other than that it was 1 attack in OD&D. AD&D gave multiple attacks slowly... iirc a 7th level fighter got 5 attacks in 4 rounds. Then it went 3/2 for level 7-12, then 2/1 for level 13+. Rangers and Paladins went up a bit slower in multiple attacks as I recall. I don't have my old books in front of me at the moment. 2E AD&D was a bit different too I think.
After 3rd level, yes. Fighters weapon proficiency in 5E makes them better with a wide range of weapons from the get go.
Paladium RPG? It's been a looong time since I played it, but I don't remember too many similarities... I just remember giant amounts of damage...
Fighter in 5E have the same starting advantage they always had, more / better weapons and more hit points. Everything else came later. It was "baked in" to the class, but I think fighters in 5E get better as they level up too.
Yes, Thieves skills were specific to them... and they pretty much sucked at them. The only thing they were really good at in OD&D / 1E AD&D at 1st level was climbing walls. 87% for the win. The standard method of escape for them :) Everything else was 10-25% as I recall. You had more of a choice in 2E where you could pick where to put your percentages iirc. I think there is a truth in what you say about this, but it's a trade off between being better overall and having others play in your sandbox and being poor at it but no one else could do it (well, except Assassins and Monks).
I think the assumption is that you'll have higher ability scores in what your class focuses on and raise those abilities as you level up versus raising characteristics that aren't as useful for your class. They've given you choice in 5E, but that includes bad choices (for your class) or, if you prefer, more flexibility in play style for each class. People have been whining about the "lack of choices" in 5E character generation / builds without realizing the choice is there. Imho, of course.
Which, to an extent, is why Pathfinder requires a ton of base classes arch-types to do what 5E does with fewer classes / arch-types.
To each, their own. I've played, and enjoyed, every version of D&D / AD&D (except 4E). They are all different from each other.
No. Not after Greyhawk anyway. A 13 Dex got you a +1 with missile weapons, and a 15 Constitution got you a +1 on hit dice. After Greyhawk Constitution got you up to +4 (only Fighters could get above +2) and Strength gave bonuses up to +4 (again, only Fighters could get above +2 iirc). And yeah, except for Dexterity bonuses required 15+. In the beginning only Dexterity (8 or under) gave a penalty (-1 with missile weapons), after Greyhawk there were penalties for low Strength and Constitution iirc. Mostly, the classes Prime Requisite effected experience gained, with bonuses of up to 10%. There were other odds and ends in there too.
A "martial" with 10 Strength will hit harder than a Wizard. Because he has better weapons :) Just like the original game. 5E is a different game than previous editions. I think it's closer to earlier editions than 4E. And it's a game I'll play and enjoy. Which, mind you, I could do with 2E or OD&D with Greyhawk and the other supplements.
That would be a fun crossover.
Taylor Swift kind of bad. Her and any of her son... er exes.
I thought that was one of Travellers more interesting features. You had to balance stacking up skills / cash / a ship versus dying and starting over. It was it's own little game, especially with Mercenary and all the later supplements year by year career progression...
I may have to pick up the Mongoose version. I have all the other older versions, excluding TNE, and T5 is a bit messy. Is Mongoose Traveller still compatible with T5?
My favorite version, mechanically and minus the Rebellion which was a bit absurd, Megatraveller.
Several people up-thread have mentioned variations on "How do they know you're really a Paladin?". Probably because the real Paladins are going to cut you into little pieces if you're not... I doubt fake Paladins are going to get off easy. So, for awhile you fake it, word gets around and your head leaves your shoulders. And the next would be fake "paladin" considers a new scam.
I think what DigitalElf is saying is that in the old days you explored the setting, discovered the fantastical. Your character was relatively mundane, the anchor, your point of view and the really cool stuff was what you found / discovered. Now people want to *be* the cool / strange stuff (stranger than a wizard?) rather than finding it. It's like the game has moved from exploring the world to exploring your character. I still prefer exploring the world myself.
This threads back? Third time I believe. Well, time to contribute... not so much obscure as just fun and fondly remembered. Besides my D&D fixation.
Empire of the Petal Throne. And later games set in Tekumel right up to the new game, Bethorm. Incredible setting. I miss Professor Barker. If you liked Jeff Dee's art, Bethorm is his game btw...
Elric / Stormbringer. Moorcock. Angst. Philosophy. The Lords of Chaos. And I love the armor as damage reduction rule using a dice by armor type rather than hit location.
Mekton Zeta. I used it to run a Star Wars campaign. Used the vehicle construction rules to build everything from TIE Fighters to the Death Star. Star Wars fits anime themes very well.
Bushido. Feudal Japan. Great stuff. And ninja. I tinkered with a Tekumel / game using Bushido rules / ideas. Never got to run it. *sigh*
Space Opera. An rpg that came out of a set of miniature rules (rather like D&D did), Space Marine. The game was a bit of a mess, but it had a campy sci-fi flavor. A nice break from the "realistic" feel of my favorite sci-fi rpg, Traveller. I still love Traveller, and I swear I will finish reading T5 some day. And speaking of Traveller feel...
Stars Without Number. Sandbox sci-fi retro rpg goodness. Like Original D&D and Traveller had a child together...
Severe nostalgia attack oncoming. I feel the need to unpack some boxes... the wife will kill me, but the urge is strong :)
He was born on Earth. He invented warp drive. On Earth. He moved off Earth. He lived on Alpha Centauri later in his life. Probably after a life time exploring and travelling. Disappeared from Alpha Centauri to be found by Kirk and company later... makes sense to me...
Homebrew forum. No setting mentioned. Discussing generic Paladin Code, honor and poison. It's already been mentioned upthread that a different code might change the use of poison... and various other Paladin Codes have been mentioned. If the code in question didn't have a poison prohibition we wouldn't be having this discussion. Well, not this specific one anyway. At times people in this thread has seemed to want a distinction between lethal and non lethal poisons for the generic code. And of course the "use poison or watch children be murdered" bit has been trotted out to attack the generic poison prohibition... pretty much your standard paladin alignment / code thread :)
Given a world with absolutes of alignment, why would anyone have a problem with codes involving absolutes of behavior? Absolute prohibitions in this case. The people who do probably have problems with the alignment system too. But as Makeitstop points out this prohibition has to do with honor. For me, the no poison rule is about honor. It's not supposed to be easy. Being a Paladin. You're supposed to give, and receive, hard blows. Hard to do when the opponent is paralyzed or asleep. What have you risked then? What have you sacrificed? It's a kind of medieval mind set, but hey, my game has a strong dose of that in it.
Further I would argue that lawful good is built around codes of behavior. Hence the lawful. The Paladin's code is just pickier and more exacting than most. I would expect chaotic good characters to decide behavior on the fly, situationally btw.
All imo, of course and, as always, ymmv.
Now, could you construct a different code for a different take on Paladins? I suppose so, but then there's no need to ask questions about poison use then.
I've used both PC and NPC classes in that role in 3.x. My players have adventured with NPC friends and had henchmen and hirelings of various classes, PC and NPC. A simplified NPC type class is less of a burden to run (for DM or PC) than a PC class I'd agree. I imagine I'll continue to use both depending on the NPCs role and origin. For me the NPC classes are very useful in populating the world, but that population includes the people the PCs move through and around...
I moved into D&D from miniature wargaming (Chainmail). For us, there was always a degree of "simulation" in the game world. NPC classes (and PC classes for that matter) were a convenient way to organize and rationalize this world.
In short you're custom building your NPCs. That's fine in an AP. I run a sandbox and I sometimes need to produce NPCs on the fly in fairly large numbers or pre prepare a batch of NPCs to fit a role and use them as needed. An NPC class serves that goal by giving you a framework. It works for me, but ymmv. Obviously :)
I used the idea of a d8 per level for all classes btw.
Yes, it does, to answer the original question. Keep it simple. Limit them to a 10 level class on the theory that anybody higher level than that should be a PC class. They're useful for world building / populating places. Simpler than PC classes, but more flexible than the NPC types from the MM. Rough out a chart for what level different NPCs should be (plus or minus a bit). For example what level should a master smith be? What level should a typical city watchman be? One of the best features from a DMs point of view, and imho, was the NPC classes. The virtue of the cookie cutter MM NPCs is simplicity, but they have the same issue 0 level NPCs had pre 3.x. You end up using PC classes when you want something that isn't a pushover or a clone. And if you keep building tougher cookie cutter NPCs you might as well have the NPC classes in place. All in my opinion of course. Ymmv.
*edit* And yes, I'm working on my own versions based on what I used in 3.x. I started messing with them when I went to convert my own setting to 5E...
Death House. An introductory adventure for Curse of Strahd. PDF link from WotC:
Downloaded it; haven't looked it over yet. It's 12 pages.
edit: Sigh, my linking skill has failed me. Just paste it into your address bar and go... and it's put a space into of "Introductory" (r y)at the end and won't let me edit it out... paste it, fix that and go.
Oh, I agree, it can be done but I find it easier to set the hook in a developed character. It also allows the players more choice in the direction their characters are going to go. My PCs have walked away from epic plots. And wandered straight into others. Or just poked around and hung out with friends. A lot of players like choice in their character creation and advancement options, but don't worry too much about choices in what they do in the world (at least once the campaign starts). I've always found that odd. The most reliable way to draw players into an adventure is through their long term contacts within the setting. Players will "help a friend" or defend a place they like more readily than dive into an adventure without reason. They will dig into the mysteries of a place they are familiar with more readily than someplace they don't know. The more setting knowledge and context they have (the more buy in as it were) the better the adventure. I've run the same setting for over 40 years and it has worked for me with multiple generations of players.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Pretty much :)
Complexity and danger build as the character became more complex and more powerful. Gritty day to day survival stories can happen in a dungeon or city for low level PCs. It builds character. And a lot of the stuff that happens to low level PCs can be funny. If occasionally fatal. More complex character driven stories take time to develop and epic stories do as well. Many APs try to do this (level 1-15+), but the epic intent is there from the start and I don't really see low level PCs as being epic material. They need to level up a bit and find their feet before they're eligible for the big time or could survive being involved with it. I see PCs percolating around the sandbox through the first 3-5 levels before they get into important stuff. Then it becomes reasonable for others (friends or enemies) to involve them. In the old days "modules" were rated by level (1-4, 5-8, 9-12 etc.) and there may, or may not, have been any connections between them (although some are famous for having that). The modules could be plugged into existing games, and many of my friends did this. I'm a bit weird -- I always did my own stuff. I always found it "fit" the setting better and often the amount of time necessary to adopt an adventure wasn't much less than doing your own.
As for content I think comedy, drama, romance and horror are all necessary for good character development :D
I started in wargames (miniatures and board) and picked up playing D&D in 1974. I've said this before, as have others here, we didn't have backstories. The characters story was written in game. Partly it was a lack of information about the character. You had a vague idea about your fighter, he was a knight or a barbarian or a Viking or a hardened mercenary. You filled in the blanks while playing. Role playing came with knowledge of your character and his fellow adventurers. That took survival. Low level characters often had little detail to them. The character who made it to 4th or 6th level (or higher) became more "real". You had deeper story driven games with those higher level characters. My game, then and now, has a sandbox adventure area (dungeon, caverns, dark forest, etc.) where characters gain their first few levels. Players develop their characters ... character (as it were) on adventures and in town between them. As they go up in level (and have spent more time in the setting) they get more involved with the local NPCs, make friends and enemies, and do things beyond simple adventures. They wind up hip deep in a story driven game at that point. That's always worked for me (and my players).
This has always seemed fairly reasonable to me. I developed background generation systems DMing to give players a bit more information about their characters. They didn't do it, so I made up tables based on class and race. I still use them (players are free to roll or choose, always were. Nationality was also a table (or choose your own). You rolled characteristics, chose race, chose class, rolled / picked nationality and social background (tables based on class). I had to push this onto players who wouldn't have worried about how they fit into the setting. Not exactly a problem anymore :)
Personally I don't think it needs to get deeper than that for a new PC (although players are free to develop more). Fresh off the farm / manor house / squalid shanty / magical collegium characters probably don't have huge complex stories attached to them. Mostly anyway. They're beginners. Competent (hopefully), promising (maybe), inexperienced (definitely). They build that big story in game.
To me, that's old school. Ymmv, and I suspect does for pretty much everybody.
As I recall, Fox does not have a "news division" anymore. Fox News is part of the Entertainment Division. Which might explain their version of the news...
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
There's not that much 5E material yet. The two basic books and the Unearthed Arcana free articles are a good start though. There have been a half dozen (? 7 now) or so UA articles.
WotC hasn't finalized a license for 5E, so no equivalent to the PFSRD or SRD yet. And you won't get that until (and if) they settle licensing issues and determine what (if anything) is "open content". A lot of the current 3PP material is produced using the existing OGL. Except the WotC hardbacks produced by partners...
Personally I'm fine with the lack of material. It's not difficult to create / adapt things for 5E and I enjoy doing it myself.
A lot said about "old school" that I remember, some, not so much. Games differed. A couple of things I recall though and haven't seen too much on in this thread...
It wasn't about the PCs progression, it was about exploring a world. It could be a dungeon / nearby village or a massive city and huge setting but what was around the bend was important and unknown. And exciting. Exploration. And mapping it yourself :)
And character "story / backstory" really was written in game not pre game. What was important was what happened with your friends. That's where the stories were.
Campaigns weren't meant to go "1-20", they just went. Until they didn't.
Our games were sandbox, very little overarching save the world type stories. Possibly because getting to high level took forever without a "Monty Haul" DM :) Players set their goals in the world and the DM expanded his game to accommodate the players direction.
I run the same homebrew campaign today that I started with in original D&D. It's changed edition by edition (except 4th - I stuck with 3.5 and then PF). I'm not sure if it's really "old school" or "new". I'm immersed in it, it's built a history and mythology for itself. The adventures practically write themselves (and I have recycled material on occasion). And it saves me from spending a small fortune on adventure paths :D
I assumed "original gamer" was just another term for old timer myself. I started in 1974 but I wouldn't consider myself an "OG" in the sense of being in some kind of inner circle or being published, just an "old geezer" (I'm 56). OG in that sense would be a literal handful of people. We played Chainmail (both straight medieval and fantasy) and transitioned into D&D. No contact with GG and company other than buying the game from the FLGS...
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Yea i mean... Im only 22. Some people have been playing D&D for longer than I have been alive. But I hate when my age seems to invalidate me because some old fart played first edition.
You missed my point (? or not?). My point was that young / old doesn't matter that much. Experience is useful for some things but knowledge is not limited to old farts like me. My problem is with any group being categorized as annoying / grumpy / etc. That's why I brought up my experience. I don't make it a habit of annoying people, bringing up arguments about the "good old days" or "the one true way to play". Despite my age / experience :) My experience is that there are annoying people in every group. Young. Old. In between. That's just people. You need to learn to let that go. No use being annoyed by certain people. Easier said than done, I know.
Besides, us *real* old farts started with the original D&D game... 1E is for youngsters :)
I think generalization is a problem. About players. I've played D&D since 1974. Every version except 4E (I read it and decided to stick with 3.5), and, of course, Pathfinder. Among many other games. I manage to talk about it without, I think, being too annoying. There are grumpy, argumentative, dogmatic players of every age, play style and level of experience around here. Still not as many as on other sites I know.
Some people actually want to play their characters through without being "boosted up". Check with the PC. If they don't want to start at the higher level look at the situation. If the difference is too great talk to the player and start them at a minimum level for survival. If their party has any brains they'll cover for them.
Of course I run a sandbox game (always have) and that makes a difference. I have adventure threads in the game, but if the players are careful they can manage a level difference. If you're running an AP that might be difficult. I can't say for sure (not running APs myself), but logically when you have an adventure requiring players be level "X" for threat "Y" that would seem to be the case...
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Yep, and every thing going forward from post Disney Lucas Arts and licensees (comic books, novels, etc.). Given the variable nature of games outcomes I think they will be the exception.