Monday, January 31, 2011

something I liked about M!M!

Monsters! Monsters!, which I ran Sunday for the first time, is basically a you-play-the-bad-guys spin-off of Tunnels & Trolls, so this comment ought to apply equally to T&T.  Anyhoo, the thing I was digging on was that even the dragon was rolling 25 dice in combat and the demon 13 but everyone elses' paltry amounts still counted.  The basic T&T combat mechanic is your side rolls its dice, my side does the same and we compare totals.  The side with the smaller total takes damage equal to the difference between the two.  This means everybody can contribute to a victory.  Twenty kobolds aren't just twenty ignorable little dillweeds, they're twenty more dice their ogre master gets to roll.  Even though the PC clearly sucked in combat, the saxophone-armed halfling with only 2 dice could've been just the guy who turned a losing round of combat into a winning one. There's not much room for "I can't hit this guy, so I'm going to sit here and pout" scenarios.

Even though one guy actually did do that.  Playing a dark elf with measly 1 die javelins just pissed him off/turned him off to the whole exercise.  I felt bad that he clearly wasn't enjoying the game, but I'm not going to change how I run things to accomodate someone who didn't seem to be trying to meet me halfway.  Dude and his significant other left early, after her Fire Elemental was lethally doused by Ol' Man Miller and his sons when she lit up the family grain mill.  At the end of the run the guy playing the troublemaking pimp Warlock pointed out that his character had far worse stats.

Still, I hate to see even one groughy dude leave unhappy, especially when his last impression of the con will be my (presumably in his mind) crappy game.


  1. Dude was playing a dark elf. Pouting just meant he was staying in character.

  2. That T&T system sounds like it might make a good unit-by-unit skirmish system for the background noise battle if the PCs stumble into a big war. Weakies have a d4, dragons get a d20, etc.


    and, hey, i'm sure you handled Mr. Javelin as well as can be expected. Sucks but it sounds like there wasn;t much you could've done. IF you sign up for random then you gotta be willing to play the rim of the bell curve, right?

  3. i pity the fool
    who doesn't reinstate
    Mr T, tuesday

  4. Yes, I advocate rimming the bell curve as well.

  5. Anonymous2:42 AM

    Dude with 1 die javelins should have chanced his arm with Saving Rolls instead. Did you explain how to use SR's instead of straight up Combat? Makes all the difference in T&T.

  6. Even apart from the relative weakness of his character, I don't think that dude was up for a freewheeling what-the-hell-give-it-a-try game. *shrug* It's too bad, but not every game is for every player.

    As the player of Scrofulous Pineapple Proudfoot, I concur that it's a system in which a party of wildly unequal abilities doesn't automatically leave the feeblest characters in the dust. I'd have been toast if I let myself get caught alone, but I felt I was contributing to the party's overall fighting effectiveness.

  7. Sounds like he didn't quite grasp that combat in T&T is a group affair - individuals don't stand out by handing out big beat downs to other individuals, everybody chips in to the communal hurt pool.

    Or grasped it but didn't like it anyway. In which case whatcha gonna do?

  8. There was a grouchy dude in Alex's AD&D game on Saturday, too. Sounds like it was the same guy. Poor guy, going to a con and not having any fun.

    By the way, when are you going to get to Friday's EC game. It was a blast!

  9. Anonymous12:36 PM

    I was hoping Dark Elf would ride GRORG, the warg who had to leave early. Oh well!

    Thanks for the fun gaming overall!


  10. Don't worry, you can't please every player, and part of the fun is being weak and getting beaten up sometimes.

    I agree that the system sounds like a good way to handle large scale battles, with dice equaling chances. It sort of reminds me of Risk.

  11. Fey Corgi4:12 PM

    Giving a player a character that's terrible and almost worthless compared to the other members of the party is generally considered bad by reasonable people, because it makes them totally replaceable by NPCs. Not having a meaningful contribution to the game is boring. I'm completely for crazy free-wheeling games sometimes (I have a 1E Gamma World game I run that is just that), but the Dark Elf player had a point. I'm not sure what you would consider "meeting you halfway". It was a little disappointing to see you dismiss his concerns, because you've otherwise always seemed like a cool GM.