Friday, March 05, 2010

three quick items

  • Tuesday's picture post seemed to go over fairly well. Gameblog reader Jayson noted "Looks like a coherent campaign setting to me!" while the mysterious d said "I want to play this. All of it.NOW." Guess what, folks? As it turns out all those images were from my file folder labeled 'Encounter Critical pics'. Maybe I'll post the color pics from that folder next week.

  • Basic/Expert D&D and its retro-clone Labyrinth Lord do not have stat requirements for human characters. I like that a lot. This allows one to play a puny fighter, foolish cleric, dimwitted magic-user or clumsy thief. What's weird is that you can end up playing an illiterate magic-user. Anyone ever see that in play? I'd probably run such a dude as a Hollywood-esque Rain Man style idiot-savant, capable of reading and using hypermathematical incantations but unable to read simple Common.

  • I vaguely remember someone leaving a random off-topic comment on the blog asking about the Tom Moldvay game Dino-Wars! If that was you, shoot me an email at jrients to the blogspot dot com. Similarly, I promised someone a copy of a map missing from a module they bought second hand. If you're still out there, please email me again. Sorry I blew you off the first time!


  1. Anonymous6:59 PM

    An illiterate magic-user? Cool. But he still has to have a spell book.

    "I just like looking at the pictures."

  2. Low Ability Scores

    No matter which technique you use, eventually a player is going to come up with a low ability scores – this should not be a buzz kill,
    but an opportunity to add personality to the initially generated PC.
    I believe there are few truly ‘hopeless’ characters. In the course of adventuring, I tend to be pretty liberal in allowing characters to advance their ability scores
    (up to 18 if primary ability for class; otherwise 16).

    The GM requires a plausible explanation why a character with an initially low ability score would through the course of adventuring develop a superior or excellent ability score.

    Low STRENGTH does not have to imply the character is a weakling, but could reflect a prior shoulder injury from riding a bull or a back injury from a vehicle crash.

    Low DEXTERITY is not necessarily a lack of coordination, but could represent a knee injury or vertigo from severe barotrauma (large explosion next to ear).

    Low CONSTITUTION could represent a respiratory disease such as asthma or chlorine gas inhalation or would simulate the lack of emotional fortitude from either phobia or post traumatic stress disorder; it does not have to imply that the character is sickly or obese.

    Low INTELLIGENCE does not have to imply that a character is a simpleton; it may merely represent illiteracy or lack of formal education.

    Low WISDOM is not necessarily a lack of insight or perception, but could signify a character struggling with the familiar problem of addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.).

    Low CHARISMA may merely represent lack of etiquette or an overzealous ego (think Dr. Cox on ‘Scrubs’); it does not have to imply that a character is ugly or deformed.

  3. Anonymous5:46 AM

    I ran an illiterate magic user once. We said he was a hedge mage. That DM used a point system rather than spell memorization, though.

  4. Speaking of Encounter Critical, I watched The Wiz last night and realized it might as well be Encounter Critical: The Musical. Check it out and watch it from start to finish, if you've the courage.