Saturday, June 30, 2012

a couple of scans

Up first is a page typed up by my buddy Dave back in the 80's. We got into MERP for a while and he put all the Experience Points charts together. In MERP you get XP for just about anything interesting you do: crits to baddies, travelling overland, casting spells, maneuver rolls, killing monsters, even having a good idea.

The blank space in the bottom left has some mostly-erased chicken scratched totalling XPs for Tom, Chris, Eric and Colin.  That's all the regulars in my high school game group except Dave and me.  I think the handwriting is mine, so these numbers probably go back to my run of the starter modules in the back of the MERP rulebook or Bree and the Barrow Downs.  Chris ran some sort of warrior who was always scoping out poisons to put on his spear and Eric had an elf tricked out with max Dex, max bow skill, a crossbow and a single mithril-tipped bolt.  Their master plan invariable involved ambushing the monsters, Eric shooting the most dangerous-looking foe and then Chris poisoning the rest of them.  That campaign only ran maybe 4 to 6 sessions, but it was a lot of fun.  The players soured on the game after running into an enemy sorcerer who knew both Spell Store and Fire Ball.  The result was the entire party taking a C heat critical.

The gang murmured about switching games, so like a bastich I ran Call of Cthulhu next.  That actually went well until Chris's big game hunter used a Yuggothian freeze ray on the warp core of Tsathoggua's spaceship.  Dave's professor was the only one to escape the ensuing explosion.  He got away by throwing himself in a river, but then drowned in the rapids.  Good times.

Next up is a page from Steve Jackson's Fantasy Gamer, issue #3 (1984).  I don't have a story here, I just thought folks would dig a one-page character class that focuses on strangling people.


  1. My, that's a complicated XP table.

  2. Anonymous3:49 PM

    The Strangler - talk about focused design!

  3. I recall the Strangler was one of the dudes in the Bandit Kingdoms classes folder

  4. "Uh guys, look. I know I wasn't much help in that fight against the gelatinous cube. Or those wraiths. Or the rock golem. But look, as soon as you see a catoblepas, just holler, OK? You should see what I can do to a six-foot neck."

  5. Anonymous12:33 AM

    Conan once got into a strangle fight with a dude who specializes in strangling, 'cause he's badass like that.

    I wonder if that's the real inspiration.

  6. That strangler is marginally better than Pervert class of White Dwarf "fame".

    Was there any cool classes in those old mags like something that would enable you to play Batman or your fave Mexican wrestler? Or would old Batsy be a wizard and Blue Demon a monk or mystic.

  7. I have a similar class based on some of the same ideas. The class is technically a cleric based on the thuggee and the hashin, which was inspired from the book Kings of Albion by Julian Rathbone. Basically they are holy slayers. Gives a ninja type class for folks without a whole new class. While wearing leather or less they Can surprise on 1-3 on d6. If they surprise and hit a creature of equal or less hd then they assianate the creature. For characters of higher hd there is only a 1 in 6 chance to assianate.

  8. I would have thought you could make a thugee without needing a whole new class. Perhaps an assassin, but without hiding, climbing etc., better at disguise (or 'pretence' I suppose), and with a strangling cord/scarf as a special weapon.

  9. I really want to play a Strangler in FLAILSNAILS, but they seem so woefully underpowered. You're basically trading down from a d8 damage to a d2 just so that you can say "I'm strangling him!"

    My favourite bit of the writeup is the end where he says "the Strangler can be a lot of fun." I really want to imagine that Ronald Pehr playtested this class all the way up to Holy Strangler at 500,000xp before publishing it Fantasy Gamer.