Friday, March 15, 2019

3/15 Friday Trivia Travisty




A question a week, answer the following week, until I get bored or forget. All questions from the 2ed AD&D Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monstrous Compendium Volume I, and Monstrous Compendium Volume II. Even setting aside 2ed is one of my least favorites, most the questions are troll piss. Rule math minutiae. Aspects of 2ed I find too stupid to endure. Quite a few that are common knowledge to any player these days. Mostly in regards to iconic monsters that were relatively new and unknown back in 1991.


First up last week's answer; When Kendor drinks a potion of speed, he can move twice as fast and perform twice as many actions as usual. What ill effect does he suffer?

DMG, page 144. He ages one year.

Age is a tough thing in RPGs.  It's mostly doesn't add much (too little for the cost of tracking), unless it is dramatic. That is enough age to enfeeble or kill.  Or, going other direction, make you a child or baby. Having to lug around the "baby paladin" looking for cure sounds like fun. Except for the paladin who is probably spending 90% of session being a passive observer. Used sparingly, a cool short-term effect (like a curse). Otherwise, meh.

Aging could be a less FU effect than Level Drain. But, I've been convinced that Level Drain should be a complete FU.  It's good to have more axis some creatures that just are not worth messing with. See also rust monster. Even when you are powerful enough to defeat them. XP loss is one of the very, very few things that actually scares players. Undead should be scary. The corollary is that level draining undead should not be randomly encountered or at least have way to run away from them. When you create bad choices for players, you had best be sure they have the chance to choose.


Question (3rd lvl)

Who role-plays a PC's henchman, and who keeps track of that henchman's possessions and statistics.

I'm not sure if 2ed continues the AD&D distinction between hirelings (roughly employees) and henchmen (probably still payed, but more akin to followers, sidekicks, proteges).

Friday, March 8, 2019

3/8 Friday Trivia Travisty




A question a week, answer the following week, until I get bored or forget. All questions from the 2ed AD&D Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monstrous Compendium Volume I, and Monstrous Compendium Volume II. Even setting aside 2ed is one of my least favorites, most the questions are troll piss. Rule math minutiae. Aspects of 2ed I find too stupid to endure. Quite a few that are common knowledge to any player these days. Mostly in regards to iconic monsters that were relatively new and unknown back in 1991.


First up last week's answer; On a clear plain, how far can the silhouettes of characters at a campsite be seen due to the brightness of the fire?

1,500 yards DMG, page 118.  Sure, whatever, like I even have a map or know scale or distances to that precision. And every possible creature, magical or not, has the exact same night vision?  I'd rather abstract everything and leave it to chance; 1 in 6 something curious wanders close enough to see their fire. Also known as Wandering Monster Check.  Maybe increase/decrease chances if party is lax or cunning in not being detected.  Or, if I'm bored and the first 3 hours of session has been all role-play and exploration and there is just enough time for one battle before everyone goes home; DM fiat, monster night raid!  Fun, pacing trumps simulation. And no matter how comprehensive you try to make your simulation it will never cover all situations. So, why bother with anything but the barest of simulation at all? All that energy remembering and following overwrought rules is better expended on being creative, inventing cool encounters, developing interesting foes, in a word; being a DM.

There's a saying from Software Development, a mantra against over-engineering, over-complicating things. YAGNI - You Aren't Gonna Need It. Sadly it is easier to sell books full of rules than it is to sell "Just play the damn game."



Question (3rd lvl)

When Kendor drinks a potion of speed, he can move twice as fast and perform twice as many actions as usual. What ill effect does he suffer?

Hmmm, I;ve always treated magic items are proper nouns and capitalize them. Nobody remembers this nor similar effect with Haste spell and in 1st ed (not sure if it carried forward to 2ed) there was an obscure to find but nasty combination with System Shock.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Commissioned Conan The Barbarian Artwork

After seeing the work of a local artist, Wiley Ross, at my local cafe. I asked if he'd be interested in doing a commission based on my favorite still from "Conan The Barbarian" movie.



This was his answer.



It is huge, larger than life size, about 5ft x 5ft.  The quotes are from the movie ("Grab him and take him" is a, probably mangled, Grace Jones line from CtD). I love it.

I've bought a fair bit of original art, mostly from "RPG" artists. But, this was first piece I've commissioned. Probably not the last.

Friday, March 1, 2019

3/1 Friday Trivia Travisty




A question a week, answer the following week, until I get bored or forget. All questions from the 2ed AD&D Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monstrous Compendium Volume I, and Monstrous Compendium Volume II. Even setting aside 2ed is one of my least favorites, most the questions are troll piss. Rule math minutiae. Aspects of 2ed I find too stupid to endure. Quite a few that are common knowledge to any player these days. Mostly in regards to iconic monsters that were relatively new and unknown back in 1991.


First up last week's answer; A spell that produces matter or items from some other place (such as Evard's Black Tentacles) is a spell from what school of magic?  PH, page 81  Conjuration / Summoning. [I'd say Conjuration. Summoning deals specifically with creatures. It's a subcategory of Conjuration. But, of course, such distinctions are what hour long, at the table, rules arguing are all about.]


Question (3rd lvl)

On a clear plain, how far can the silhouettes of characters at a campsite be seen due to the brightness of the fire?

[On the one hand, it's cool to provide information camping, fires, sight distance; that many modern people have no idea about.  On the other, holy freaking OCD over detailed rule minutiae! There are OCD players who like the certitude of exact rules for everything. For me, 90% of 2ed and AD&D can be replaced with this DM advice on how to handle situation X "Fuck it, do whatever seems coolest / most fun."] 

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