Friday, February 24, 2012

20 Questions

The latest OSR Blogger meme is making it's rounds.
This one comes from Untimately,

Here are mine.
  1. Ability scores generation method?
  2. 4d6, drop the lowest arrange as desired.  I am not interested in average people, I want heroes in my games.

  3. How are death and dying handled?
  4. Dying at 0hp, death at -CON

  5. What about raising the dead?
  6. Only clerics can do it.  Elves and Witches can't be raised, only reincarnated.

  7. How are replacement PCs handled?
  8. I keep a stack of sheets handy.  I can always work a new PC into the ongoing story.

  9. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
  10. Individual

  11. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
  12. Yes.  Critical hits on natural 20s, double damage.  Fumbles on a 1 and attack is lost and "something bad" happens.

  13. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
  14. For AC, no.  For role-playing effects yes.  So if a character is wearing a helmet and a shot misses I'll say it glanced off their helmet.

  15. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
  16. I give players the benefit of the doubt that they have worked together and know what works and what doesn't.  I am more interested in drama and story than whether or not they hit each other.

  17. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
  18. Oh, HELL YES.  Sometimes the only recourse is to run away.

  19. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
  20. Not really.  Undead drain abilities like STR, CON, CHA or WIS as needed.  Trust me, my undead are plenty scary even with no draining ability.

  21. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
  22. No.  Bad rolls should NEVER dictate a game's outcome. Yes bad things happen, but we have that, it's called "Real Life".  The game is about heroes and their struggle, not a bad roll or a bone-headed DM that can't see past that.  Besides, there is enough to kill you in my games that I don't have to resort to passive/aggressive ways to kill characters.

  23. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
  24. Eh.  If I think the players have too much then I mention it.  With magic anything is possible.

  25. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
  26. No new levels until the characters can get trained, and that means in between adventures.  Spells have to learned.  Most wizards have schools as sources. Which means I get to limit which spells they have access too.

  27. What do I get experience for?
  28. Good role-playing, defeating (which is not the same as "killing") monsters, treasure, completing an adventure.

  29. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
  30. Traps are left where traps would be located.  NO random death traps.

  31. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
  32. I use old D&D Basic morale (1-12).  Retainers are group NPCs and have to paid and taken care of.

  33. How do I identify magic items?
  34. Wizards have a basic chance based on level.  Otherwise a spell.

  35. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
  36. There is exactly ONE place where you can in my world and it is very famous.

  37. Can I create magic items? When and how?
  38. Yes. Of course. Where do all the magic items in the world come from.  It takes research and craft and years of work though.

  39. What about splitting the party?
  40. No.  That's suicide in my dungeons.  Former party members tend to come back as flesh eating undead.

Here are some others:

Others to be posted I am sure.


Necropraxis said...

Some interesting variation here, especially regarding mechanics like save or die. Thanks for the answers! The level of blogosphere interest in my little list of questions has blown me away.

Bad rolls should NEVER dictate a game's outcome.

In my games, if you come to a save or die situation, I would say you have already made a major mistake and the save is one last chance to save yourself.

I never place death traps without clues and context though. I'm not a fan of PCs needing to probe every 10' square of dungeon floor with a 10' pole before walking on it. (And my current campaign doesn't use the save or die mechanic because it is based on 4E, though I'm considering adding old school saves back in, because there's something very satisfying and proactive to a player being able to roll a save as opposed to the referee just rolling against a defence score.)

I like the reincarnation proviso for elves and witches. Anything to make those demi-humans a bit more alien is good by me.

Timothy S. Brannan said...


Yeah the reason for the reincarnation only is that in my game, Elves do not have souls, only spirits.

Witches can't be raised because they don't believe it is possible; it violates the tenants of their faith.