John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

My tweets

  • Wed, 19:40: Working on my 5E Keep on the Borderlands convert… just put in a room that’s CR 13. i.e., “a good fight” for a party of 13th level chars. XD
  • Wed, 19:40: Now I see why this module has so many tales of TPKs associated with it! O.o If you blunder in “room-by-room” style, you gonna get killed.
  • Wed, 19:42: Thing is, you’re not intended to just wade into this encounter (or indeed, most of the module). Just like Bilbo didn’t storm Goblin Town.
  • Wed, 19:43: I wonder how many modern gamers, reared on strings of perfectly-balanced-encounters, walk into this module and just get creamed.
  • Wed, 19:44: “The DM wouldn’t put something down here we weren’t intended to fight” definitely does not apply to 1E modules.
  • Wed, 19:45: Which, honestly? I like that. But it’s a dangerous way to run the game. Lots of players don’t want to take “no” for an answer.
  • Wed, 19:45: Lots of players also don’t seem to be able to sense when they’re in over their heads.
  • Wed, 19:46: No cave trolls, sorry! You’ll have to watch for other clues. ;)
  • Wed, 19:49: I’m thinking I might want to have a few extra pregenerated characters lying around. Y’know. Just in case. ¬.¬
  • Wed, 20:09: Here speaks a man who knows. ;)
  • Wed, 20:10: I always found Necromancer Games’ “3rd Edition Rules 1st Edition Feel” motto kind of ironic on that score. Still used 3rd Edition balance!
  • Wed, 20:12: That’s not what they were really getting at, of course. They meant “1st edition aesthetic.” Erol Otus and ‘70s van art instead of anime.
  • Wed, 20:14: I’m not an OSR grognard who wants those ‘90s kids to get off my lawn, but I will say that the 1e mindset was a lot more flexible.
  • Wed, 20:17: “Why are there 40 orcs in this cave?” “Because communal living makes sense for cave-based nomads.” “They’ll slaughter six PCs!” “So be it."
  • Wed, 20:20: .@multiclass_geek just showed me the “D&D module” in Stranger Things. My reply: “That’s clearly a Call of Cthulhu licensed book c. 2005."
  • Wed, 20:23: Ping @multiclass_geek
  • Wed, 21:41: For the evening crowd! Learning Not to Suck at Overwatch, Episode 11
  • Wed, 21:55: If you’ve got the plane ticket, I’ve got the table! ;)
  • Wed, 21:56: Although there was a trend in Dragon Magazine that way, the first RPG I saw codify the Rule of Cool was Paranoia in 1984.
  • Wed, 21:58: Before Paranoia, most RPGs-as-written still had the 1E D&D “players as Navy SEALs against a murderous universe” vibe.
  • Wed, 21:59: Paranoia didn’t just take that as subtext, it blew it up. The back of the box spelled out “Everything wants to kill you and the GM cheats."
  • Wed, 22:00: So, you were given six identical PCs (literally clones in-game) and the GM book said “If the player tries something awesome, it succeeds."
  • Wed, 22:01: Stuff like drama dice, Savage World “bennies,” 5E “inspiration” wouldn’t be around now if not for that shift.
  • Wed, 22:03: I think about this stuff when working on my games, especially in ref. to running for new players who’ve never done.
  • Wed, 22:04: 40 years later, RPG-esque games are so ubiquitous, but so “not what they’re really like,” that I kinda marvel at it.
  • Wed, 22:05: …All these artifacts in the “RPG-esque” experience that don’t make sense out of context. Levelling, hit points, the whole grind really.
  • Wed, 22:06: If you don’t know that “hit points” came from a wargame unit being “so powerful you have to hit it twice to kill it” they’re really odd. XD
  • Wed, 22:07: That’s also where Armor Class came from! Once upon a time, in miniature wargames, if you successfully hit a unit it was out of the game.
  • Wed, 22:08: Knights are tougher to kill than footsoldiers, right? So it has to be harder to land a hit on them. Hence, “Armor Class."
  • Wed, 22:09: So then you layer on top of that “not only are they harder to hit, you have to do it twice,” and suddenly a unit is super-badass.
  • Wed, 22:10: .@jakebe It’s been done, I’m sure! I only know the origin of some of the artifacts, but I’m happy to share what I got. :)
  • Wed, 22:11: Anyhow when you have super badass units needing to be hit multiple times, that means you need heavy hitters who count as hitting twice, duh.
  • Wed, 22:12: Keep layering on development after development like that, like a wargaming unit arms race, and you get to hit dice (levels) and damage dice.
  • Wed, 22:14: When the tabletop RPG element got merged with using miniatures wargaming as the game mechanic, POOF! D&D.
  • Wed, 22:18: Not as far as I know. The closest thing was the backstory for any given game, and “hero units."
  • Wed, 22:19: Like, Dave Arneson’s “Blackmoor” setting started as a framework for miniatures battles, or a “knight” miniature might be given a name.
  • Wed, 22:22: My understanding is “Chainmail” added Tolkienesque fantasy to miniatures wargaming; “Blackmoor” introduced the dungeon concept.
  • Wed, 22:24: Adding the “personal” layer to the miniatures game is what made D&D revolutionary. Imagine giving a name and persona to your token in Risk.
  • Wed, 22:24: Or having the shoe piece move differently from the car piece in Monopoly. That’s the kind of leap it was.
  • Wed, 22:25: Everyone who’s been six knows how to play “Let’s pretend.” D&D became, like, “Competitive let’s pretend.” XD
  • Wed, 22:30: But! It’s a huge topic, with lots of side-tracks. The Fantasy Trip pioneered point-buy systems, which led to things like GURPS or Champions.
  • Wed, 22:30: That in turn led to things like Feats and Flaws and Prestige Classes and and and… XD
  • Wed, 22:35: There have been a few; my impression is most focus on the origins of D&D as opposed to how modern games evolved.
  • Wed, 22:37: I haven’t even gotten started on Runequest and how it led to Call of Cthulhu and the subsequent Lovecraft Explosion in pop culture...
  • Wed, 22:38: And for that matter, how Runequest led to the “campaign world” (e.g. Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms) being a thing...
  • Wed, 22:40: But. Yeah. Big topic. XD I’d ramble for hours if I let myself.
  • Wed, 22:40: Anyone curious is always welcome to toss me specific questions! But I think I should probably shut my metaphorical yap and sleep for now. ;)
  • Wed, 22:42: Heh. And I didn’t even touch on Traveller. Wow. XD
  • Wed, 22:44: That’s fine, you know where to find me if any come to you. ;)
  • Wed, 22:44: Gnite world, and have an awesome tomorrow. :)
Tags: twitter
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