The Classic Adventure Gaming Podcast

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Not seeing how having choices re: class features really changes the basics of how the game is played. You have resources, you try to figure out how best to use those resources. You may as well criticize a module because it uses different magic items from the DMG.

^^^This, man! At a game-centric rather than character-centric table, all the extra character fluff does is give the players some fun creative stuff to do between sessions, or during downtime/towntime. If you're playing an older style game, that stuff shouldn't get in the way of actual at-the-table play.
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Old school rule-sets are the simplest, most natural, direct path to old-school play style. That's my entire thesis.
I am The1True, and I endorse this statement.

The later editions (5e in particular) have almost completely removed "difficult choices & compromises" from the menu. Everyone gets to be awesome. All the races/classes can do anything. It's slow-pitch softball catering to a new generation of coddled youth with trigger warnings, OPCs, cosplay, 100% improv, etc.---it's no use lying about it, we all know it's true. The nerdy, hard core war gamers aren't invited to the party anymore. While it's fine if the cool kids these days want to play something else/better/evolved/whatever...it's just not the classic experience. Simple as that.
God damn it, Squeen! 🤪
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
The problem with "modern" adventure design is it rarely builds in a downside to making a skill check. Get rid of wandering monsters, and there is never any reason not to pixel bitch in the dungeon.
Fuck, do I ever agree with this! And half the reason I was quailing away from RWM's was the giant statblocks. I spent a few years listening to the goldy oldies here in the OSR and realized the random encounters were importent. Just the sound of me rolling dice behind the screen while they dither about makes the players realize they need to get moving. I chopped the stat blocks way back and gloss over (probably important) special attacks or other information that would require a hunt through the books. And, the other side to this, is good Adventure Design; if the traps are arbitrary and poorly telegraphed then pixel bitching will result immediately after the first 'hahahaha, gotcha!'.

And like you're saying, that's just one example of how play can be modified. Newer editions push the currently popular playstyle, but that doesn't mean they don't have the machinery to run any other.
 

Beoric

8, 8, I forget what is for
And half the reason I was quailing away from RWM's was the giant statblocks. I spent a few years listening to the goldy oldies here in the OSR and realized the random encounters were importent. Just the sound of me rolling dice behind the screen while they dither about makes the players realize they need to get moving. I chopped the stat blocks way back and gloss over (probably important) special attacks or other information that would require a hunt through the books.
Worth noting that Forge of Fury has short stat blocks. Like "Orcs (2): hp 8, 6; longbow (1d8/x3), greataxe, 1dl0 gp, 4d6 sp," in the main text. There is an appendix with longer stat blocks, but that they are still abbreviated for standard monsters:
Orc: CR 1/2; Medium-size humanoid (orc); HD 1d8; hp 4 (average); Init +0; Spd 20 ft.; AC 14; Atk +3 melee (ldl2+3/x3, greataxe), +1 ranged (ld6+2, javelin); SQ 60-ft darkvision, light sensitivity; AL CE; SV Fort +2, Ref +0, Will -1; Str 15, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 9, Wis 8, Cha 8.
Skills and Feats: Listen +2, Spot +2; Alertness.
Is that just because it is a 3.0 and not a 3.5 product?
 

Beoric

8, 8, I forget what is for
And, the other side to this, is good Adventure Design; if the traps are arbitrary and poorly telegraphed then pixel bitching will result immediately after the first 'hahahaha, gotcha!'.
On this, one of the points of discussion in the podcast that interested me (I can't remember which episode) was respecting trap placement and the use of standard operating procedures. I actually encourage the use of SOPs in certain situations, as opposed to asking for a declaration every time. But I make sure the players know the consequences before they employ them.

In particular, I want to know what everyone in the party is doing when they travel down a hall. Is someone mapping? (Believe it or not I have Leeroy Jenkins players who don't want the party to be slowed down with mapping, and then wonder why they get lost.) Is someone checking for secret doors as they go? Is someone probing ahead with a 10' pole? Is someone on point, and is someone keeping an eye on the rear? Do you have enough characters to cover all those tasks?

I also have hall traps, but I make them automatically detectable if one character is assigned to using a 10' pole (I'm considering having some chance of failure, to balance the choice between risking traps and losing surprise because of all that tapping; I'm not really sure if this is an issue yet). Part of the reason for this is to encourage mapping (see previous paragraph), because (a) that way they know where the traps are when they try to escape (not that Leeroy Jenkins ever runs away :rolleyes:), and (b) I slow down party movement the same amount for pole use as for mapping, i.e. enough to make wandering monster checks meaningful, so if they do one they may as well do the other.
 

squeen

8, 8, I forget what is for
The original AD&D books are literary and historical gold. Playing to those rules was wild and weird.
There are some indications (e.g. cancelling of publication agreements with Penguin) that WotC has seen what most of the corporate world has realized --- digital content that "they" can pull the plug on unless your subscribe monthly is the new tenent serfdom. You never get to own anything, just rent.

I wonder how much longer the POD 1e books will be offered. I think WotC wants to eliminate physical copies of D&D---and if they don't today, then they eventually will.
 

EOTB

So ... slow work day? Every day?
Fortunately we've already lived through the TSR books being pulled from point of sale twice, and neither time did it achieve anything. It's even easier now to get your own copies if WOTC decides it doesn't want your money than it was then.

We'll be fine.

Embrace the power of being rejected and not caring about it. "Oh please don't throw me in that briar patch."
 

The1True

My my my, we just loooove to hear ourselves don't we?
Worth noting that Forge of Fury has short stat blocks. Like "Orcs (2): hp 8, 6; longbow (1d8/x3), greataxe, 1dl0 gp, 4d6 sp," in the main text. There is an appendix with longer stat blocks, but that they are still abbreviated for standard monsters:


Is that just because it is a 3.0 and not a 3.5 product?
No that works for 3.5, I guess they stopped doing that though. I'm personally not a huge fan of monster rosters elsewhere in the product. I can see their utility, particularly if you're running a living dungeon where encounters are not necessarily attached to their room descriptions, but generally, if I'm trying to play the adventure right out of the book, I want the full stats with the description. The first abbreviated stats above are pretty much inline with OS esthetics though.

That second stat block though is in no way abbreviated. Crunch that into a two column format and it's going to form a large block. And, that's just for a simple humanoid with zero special abilities, defences, etc.
To be fair though, I'm looking at some of these 1.5 and 2e blocks, and they get pretty long after 5th-ish level as well. Sorry about the filthy whataboutism folks. Note, I did say 1.5 and not 1. I'm looking at S1-4 here, and things are pretty succinct.
Althoooooooough, I followed that up with a peak at Q1 and monsters with spells occupy huge chunks of page and that old paragraph style is fucking illegible for on-the-fly combat, so...
 

EOTB

So ... slow work day? Every day?
Episode 4 dropped on the day before Thanksgiving, so just now making the rounds. It's an episode with a new guest, Arbrethil, who's got a lot of great discussion on large group combat at the table. Enjoy!

 

EOTB

So ... slow work day? Every day?
Now that holidays are over and I have a bit of time to catch up, in the final breaths of 2023 Gus dropped an episode discussing the recent CauldronCon put on by our very own Settembrini earlier this fall. A crew of attendees discussed what made the weekend such a great experience, with general discussion re: convention gaming in general. Lots of useful discussion for those who may be thinking about running a game at a con soon.

CauldronCon looks poised to become the old school convention across the pond, similar to Nortex here in the US. Hats off to Settembrini for this triumph, and to everyone who went, played and ran games, and had a grand old time.


Also, episode 5 dropped during the holiday season where Gus takes an in depth dive with Jeffe into the creative processes behind the critically-acclaimed modules of BuddyScott Entertainment Group

 
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