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Messages - DM_Screenmonkey

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Classic D&D / Re: B/Ex Elf non-clerical healing
« on: August 29, 2017, 08:26:44 PM »
True maybe you could move the CLW up on the elf spell list make it second level for an elf. This way the elf can cast it at level 4. Now clerics not getting spells until level 2 I like players always get their feathers ruffled. I explain it this way first most of the lands clerics don't adventure they run churches, tend to the needy etc.. Very few actually get past first level, those that do go out into the world and test their faith taking on dangers so that others don't have to. When a clerics deity sees this he rewards this courage through the ability to call down miracles i.e. cast spells.

Spell casting clerics are the exception not the rule.

But back to the elf if you don't want to add a spell to the elf list you could give the elf a "herbalist" ability they can brew a non magical herbal cure -- say one day to gather necessary herbs and another day to brew. And to prevent it from turning into a potion factory say the potion only has a shelf life of one week. After that it spoils and is no good. This way the elf can prep a few short term potions for a party but not flood the market with easy make potions.

Classic D&D / Re: B/Ex Elf non-clerical healing
« on: August 29, 2017, 04:28:49 PM »
If working with just B/X only then building elven healing magic/arts would be the way to go. What about swapping some spells out with cleric. Say get rid of magic missile and replace it with cure light wounds (I know blasphemy!) that still leaves sleep and charm person for offensive. And possibly grant Cure Disease to the elf list but make it fourth or fifth level for the elf.

This give the elf a magical cure and an in game justification for elven magic that only elves can use.  I also might re skin fireball to something less destructive to a forest where elves live something like:

Teeth of the Forest      Range 240'
                                 Duration Instantaneous
The caster tosses a handful of brambles towards the intended target. The missile magically flies toward the area that bursts into a ball of iron hard thorns when it strikes the target. The brambles will do 1-6 (1d6) points of damage per level of the caster to a creature within the sphere.

Classic D&D / Re: B/Ex Elf non-clerical healing
« on: August 28, 2017, 08:14:30 AM »
For B/X I might give elves a different spell list. Base is on the druid spell list drop in a cure light at most. Mostly to give the elven magic a different flavor and feel. After all why would elven magic be the same as what humans learn. This would make it more fae then adding on to your idea on how they make their healing magic work. So it seems a more nature-fey sort of alien magic to the way humans create healing potions. I prefer the dwarves,elves and halflings not worshipping gods and leave that as a peculiarity left to humans.

Save or Die Podcast / Re: To our Fans
« on: January 07, 2017, 03:42:48 PM »
Nooooooooooo!  :'(

Oh well I guess all good things must come to an end. Thanks for all the effort and a great podcast!

General Discussion / Re: What editions are y'all playing?
« on: November 01, 2016, 07:07:16 PM »
Just finished up an OD&D game. Now we're trying Castles and Crusades out again some of my players prefer it as they grew up on 1st edition so I'm giving it a try again. So far it's not bad it's a nice AD&D lite to me and it gives the rest of the group an AD&D feel. I also tend to use a lot less house rules then I did when I run a AD&D game.

General Discussion / Re: Gandalf in D&D terms
« on: June 12, 2016, 09:19:17 PM »
... and an alternative, from The Dragon, Issue #5 ...

Yes I've read that article and it's a good one too.

General Discussion / Gandalf in D&D terms
« on: June 11, 2016, 05:30:40 PM »
From this blog


He provides an alternate link which I would use to view the documents:


The article was written in 1975

General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself!
« on: June 03, 2016, 08:26:33 AM »
Howdy, folks.

I'm not entirely new to the site, you can say I'm a quiet lurker for some time now, but only recently decided to have a say on some subjects on this forum. Been listening to your network's podcasts and it really gave me hope, along with the boom of online hosted RPGs where I had my come back into gaming after a long career focused brake. Anyway, here in Poland the bedrock of 'All That is Gaming' can be summarized by one word: Warhammer. And indeed, Warhammer Fantasy RP has been a huge part of my life, the game that introduced me to gaming in general, perhaps  to it I also own a certain dose of my current philosophy of how to run and how to play.
D&D had rough times competing with WH over here and when I was first introduced to D&D it was 3rd edition. I still have my books on the shelf. But despite all the fun of 3rd edition, all the ideas introduced in there, me and my group back in a day found it a bit tiring after a while. Many people say, that 3rd edition plays best on early levels, where the gameplay doesn't bog down in math which get's higher and higher and combat scenes which are longer and longer, while the sense of threat slowly dilutes itself in a comfortable and ever-growing pool of Hit Points. Sure, it gives the characters more of a power-trip, but it was this old Warhammer-like sense of constant peril lurking somewhere that I began to miss.

Then... one day me and my friends gather up in the only game store in town - we used it often as a meeting place for our group, since we used to live in all different areas. Our DM sadly can't make it, giving us a quick call, some issues with his mother (that was back in HighSchool - as someone born in the 80's I consider myself to be one of the younger generation). Well, that's a bummer, can't do anything about it and we're about to leave, when suddenly, this older guy with a backpack full of 'decrepit old tomes' approaches us saying he overheard our conversation. He was sadly missing his group, who in turn couldn't make it. Well, if we lacked a DM and he lacked a group, the guy proposes to run us a game since he has already something prepared. It might have looked kinda creepy, I mean a bunch of teens approached by a cross between The Dude from Big Lebowski and captain Blackbeard, who offers them a voyage into a wonderful land full of fables and adventures. But... then again, we lacked a DM and it was like third session that we had to abandon already. So we go... "Sure, why not. What you running there?" And he fishes AD&D 2nd Edition PHB. First of all: Damn! How can be a book so worn! And I mean it! Secondly: We're like, "Huh?! AD&D 2nd Edition? What's that?" For us, there was just D&D and we had the third, but this one's Advanced?! We were playing some pleb-kiddie version this whole time?! - I'm sure that's the initial reaction all the player's get, especially when they hear about Basic.
The guy explains us the whole history about this, everything to know about TSR and Wizards... or rather, the gist of it, but the way we were able to understand. But we're still undecided, I mean, we were growing a bit tired of D&D after the extent of our 3rd Edition exposure. But then the guy explains it's nothing like it and we'll be quite surprised.

So we gave it a go, and now, I'd rather play OldSchool (especially AD&D) then any newer verion of the games in question. I loved the lethality, mixture of mechanics and narrative, the simplicity of it all and the obvious abstract of the games. Those games aren't realistic, in the slightest, but I think that's good, they're not supposed to be. Just like a fan of old cars and history can enjoy driving a fully mechanical Packard from the 20's, without all those fancy electronics, new technologies and so on, and have fun because of that experience... so am I enjoying the OS for the same reason. Because the flaws and quirks are a part of this experience and I love to embrace them. I also feel that games nowdays become more and more 'merciful'. Having looked at 3rd, 4th and 5th edition I've noticed how it's gradually harder and harder to die, to a point where the philosophy changed from "Characters tell their own stories over time, while few of them will become heroes." to "Character are heroes and heroes are always meant to survive and tell their story." Perhaps that fundamental shift is why I prefer the older games - sure, characters die, but that makes those which survived all the more special - to a point where I remember more of them then I remember characters from my newer edition games.

So, not to drag it for too long, cause I'm afraid we're approaching length of an essay, I'll finish with this: Recently came back to AD&D, trying to introduce new generation to this system. It's not easy, but so far my players enjoy what they are experiencing. And on that note I find the online gaming to be a real blessing, it's easier then ever to reach out and find other people interested in playing or running some old school games, but not only that. If I tried to look for groups in my area, well it's mostly playing what is the hottest stuff on the market, and currently, that's 5th edition and some remnants of 3.5. Not many people interested in experimenting or even 'reading another book'. I've managed to run so many games which sat at my shelf idle for years, and, with a bit of luck, I can step in the shoes of that older scary dude who introduces people to the tasty modules and classic adventures. Other then that... well I'm running games on my YT channel devoted to RPGs and Actual Plays (Including AD&D) although everything's in Polish, so I doubt you'd understand :P

Welcome. WHFRP is a great game I played it several times and still own all my 1st WHFRP books.

Classic D&D / Re: Chainmail Spellcasting
« on: May 13, 2016, 08:58:21 AM »
Thanks for sharing I'll have to take a look.

Good show. And  as usual DM Mike is 100% correct the three alignment system is the one true way!!!! :P

There can only be three!

Save for Half Podcast / Re: Save for Half Episode #2: "Gamma World"
« on: May 01, 2016, 07:52:59 AM »
Great show I've never played GW in any of it's iterations but I do hope to track down a copy one day. I do have MA 1st ed thanks to the goodman games kickstarter. It'd be great to do another show with an interview with Jim talking about MA and GW and the evolution of those games!

Now it's time for a traveller show!

WotC D&D / Re: 5e Starter Set, Who has played it?
« on: March 27, 2016, 07:05:17 PM »
I've played it. I think it's better then the 3.x/PF versions. It does feel more D&D I would and have played it, but it's not a system I'd run.  I'm not a big fan of the auto attack cantrips (too computer gamey to me) and I like playing mages. But over all not a bad iteration of the current game.

Classic D&D / Re: How many OD&D players here?
« on: March 27, 2016, 06:31:57 PM »
I am about to launch an OD&D game next weekend!  I was first introduced by Mentzer, then AD&D, and today I received my first OD&D OCE box set!

I'm likely going to run the party through B2, as I am pretty familiar with it, if the group sustains.  Or maybe the sample dungeon from Holmes.


Some suggestions

First and foremost keep it loose and have fun!

Adventurers are competent, hardened sorts. Keep this in mind for any mundane task.

Unless you're 100% sure there's a chance for failure, don't roll. A good description of a reasonable plan succeeds. Period. It will cost resources of some sort: materials and/or time.
If you're certain there should be a chance for failure, then roll the dice. However, always tell the player what the odds are first.The character is right there and can judge for themselves that odds far better than you can ever convey them to the player via description.

For rolling with OD&D I keep everything on a d6. You'll notice most non combat is on a d6. When in doubt give it a 2 in 6 chance and modify from there.

Biggest thing to remember if you don't have thieves anyone can look for and find traps. But as a DM it's up to you to give some visual clues if appropriate. Also note in the Underworld and Wilderness book page 9 "Traps are usually sprung by a roll or a 1 or a 2 when any character passes over or by them. Pits will open in the same manner." traps will not always spring.

Most experience points come from treasure not monster killing. Players should avoid wandering monsters if possible as wandering monsters just drain resources.

Don't play OD&D with expectations of other editions play it as it is.

Keep combat abstract remember that one round in OD&D is a minute so one die roll represents a lot of action. So unless the room is really large don't bother to track movement .
* If no one is stopping the character from moving, say "You move where you want to."
* If someone tries to tackle or block, make an attack roll.
* If no one is actively blocking, but it's a crowded melee, roll 1d6: on 5+, it takes two moves instead of one.
* If someone else tries to get there first, make the same d6 roll for both, but lowest roll is first.

Henchmen and hirelings!!!

Classic D&D / How many OD&D players here?
« on: March 21, 2016, 09:01:48 PM »
How many of the posters here play OD&D with the 3 LBB's or a clone of the whitebox?

Classic D&D / Re: My Top 5 Favorite B/X Adventure Modules
« on: March 21, 2016, 09:00:40 PM »
B2 Keep on the Borderlands
X1 Isle of Dread
B4 The Lost City
B10 Nights Dark Terror

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