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Dilvish the Deliverer

Getting to Know You, Mar 2018

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3 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

Thanks for all of your responses so far, folks! Keep 'em coming!!

 

I'm relatively new to role playing (started playing d&d 3-ish years ago), but one of the "old school" tropes I really like are traps that will seriously ruin your day (a la, Tomb of Horrors). 

 

Instant death is something that doesn't really exist in 5e, and I don't know if it's a good thing that it's gone.

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13 minutes ago, EldritchEladrin said:

Thanks for all of your responses so far, folks! Keep 'em coming!!

 

I'm relatively new to role playing (started playing d&d 3-ish years ago), but one of the "old school" tropes I really like are traps that will seriously ruin your day (a la, Tomb of Horrors). 

 

Instant death is something that doesn't really exist in 5e, and I don't know if it's a good thing that it's gone.

Tomb of Annihilation has some instant death traps - at least, for the level it's presented for (and otherwise, too...there is one puzzle where, if you get it wrong, you get 1 dex save. If you fail, you fall to your DOOOOM)

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4 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

I'd have to say death traps too. And Random Monster Dungeons. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

 

I'll go with the looooooong, narrow corridor that leads to an empty room....  Where absolutely nothing happens at all in any of them, but the players are on edge.   Then something happens right as they let their guard down... 

 

Another one is the infamous lit torches in a room, but no signs of anyone having been around to light them, let alone replace them as they slowly burned down... 

 

Then there's the two weeks of rations that never go bad, never get stale, or... Never get eaten at all... 

Edited by WhiteWulfe
Spelling erorrs
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On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 8:15 AM, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Question the 14th of March:  Do you have any old school minis in your painting queue? (I’m arbitrarily defining old school as being released more than 20 years ago)  If so, what is/are it/they?

 

Yes.  If we assume the immediate queue, which is everythng I am actively working on and not counting the lurker-loos scattered about being picked at or waiting, then everything in my present queue is old school.  That being an RAFM Ghoul, a Ral Partha TSR Bone Golem, and a fistful of Reaper Skeletons.  If I were to broaden the definition to the "soon" queue then it's too many to list but skews 90% pre-1998.  My total collection is a bit more balanced thanks to my frequent Reaper purchases that net me a lot more 2003+ figures, but most of them are still blistered as I work through the hundreds I stripped ten years back when I bought Learn To Paint Kits and stopped doing it the stupid way. 

 

 

 

5 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

 

Magic pools.  Especially the ones that randomly boost or nerf stats.  I had a fighter Splish-Splash his way to all stats under 5 trying to get giant strength.  I regret nothing.  He died as he lived, soaking stupid.   

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3 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

If you want really old school: the collection of rooms filled with monsters.  Forget ecology, or why these creatures are in these rooms.  Just the standard kick down the doors, kill the monster and take their stuff.

 

 

This.  Use the 1st ed map generation table that creates tunnels going off in random directions and plops down throne rooms, prison cells, and stairs higglety-pigglety. 

 

Don't get too specific with anything.  Traps are traps. What kind? Just a trap, roll to see if you get poisoned.  Dragon? It's just a dragon, not a medium sized 7th level chromatic ice dragon from the nether spheres.  It kills you. 

 

Likewise, characters need to be simple. You have stats (by rolling 3 d6 and sucking it up if you got an 8 STR) and equipment and a few racial bonuses (like elves being able to find secret doors and dwarves being able to tell if the passage slopes downward).  No multiclass, no monster races, no feats, skills, archetypes, fighting styles, etc. 

 

If you really want to do it old school, make everyone write down their stats in pencil on blank paper.   No pre-printed character sheets.  And leave all the accessories at home. One set of dice, no dice trays, dice towers, electronic dice rollers, status markers, tokens, spell cards, etc.  The exception is for Crown Royal dice bags. 

 

It might be too much to ask, but if you can play it seated on the floor of your bedroom it will add to the old-school atmosphere. 

 

 

Edited by Inarah
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6 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

Kobolds in boltholes using guerilla tactics. Terrify the party no matter what level they are.

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38 minutes ago, Pezler the Polychromatic said:

Kobolds in boltholes using guerilla tactics. Terrify the party no matter what level they are.

'swhat I'm sayin'. The oddly-colorful wiz-bang speaks my language.

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9 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

 

I'm a fan of shanghaiing a party and throwing them headfirst into trouble by means of Nefarious Tactics. Much more interesting than the traditional tavern setting. ^^;

 

I started a group by putting them on the auction block and having one of the (minor!) villains purchase them and their gear...

I also started a group by having them all hit over the head, stripped, blindfolded (and in the case of the magic users, gagged), and thrown in a ship's hold. First step: Free yourselves and get out! ... it went downhill from there. They did get out, though...

 

I am a fan of tossing the party into jail cells with nothing but their underthings and seeing what they do to get themselves out. Dismantling the torture devices for spell components was rather clever...

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12 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

 

Meet in a Tavern

The Cowardly Knight (Brave, Brave Sir Robin!  Sir Robin Ran away!)

Dwarves have Scottish Accents

Elves are flighty and pretentious.

Halflings are fat, hungry, and steal your shorts.

Humans are tall halflings.

Wizards will kill you from afar.

Beware the Caves of Tucker. (Tucker's Kobold's)

Drow are not good.  Drow are evil and will kill you to death if you are lucky (actual game quote, paraphrasing someone else I know). 

Don't be fooled by the suddenly cold room, do not start a fire in there.  Run away. 

The best traps are obvious traps with a secondary mechanism.

 

Oozes, traps, and kobolds will kill everything.  Anything lucky enough to be alive after that dies to the Beholder at the end.

 

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14 hours ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Today's question is brought to you by @EldritchEladrin (and the number 3)

 

Question the 15th of March:  I am currently writing an RPG adventure with some "old-school" flare, and would be curious to ask the forum about their favourite old-school fantasy tropes/cliches are (i.e. characters, monsters, quests, monsters, etc...).

 

It may be a cliche but ever since the Dragonlance novels, I've always loved the idea of adventures starting in a tavern.  And despite being a cliche, it's amazing how many ways you can start an adventure in a tavern:

  • Someone seeking adventurers to deal with a problem
  • Someone seeking the PCs specifically to deal with a problem
  • Bartender needing a minor problem dealt with that is indicative of a larger problem
  • Sexy barman/barmaid who is setting up the PC for a trap
  • Local guard burst in looking to arrest someone
  • Local guard burst in looking to arrest the PCs
  • Dying adventurer pops in and says something with his dying breath

I could go on but I think you get the pint!

Edited by Jokemeister
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 I always start my games with...

 

"You're in a tavern. It's on fire. No, it wasn't you... this time. But whoever it was seems to be opening a rather nasty hole to...somewhere...and it looks like something you'd really rather not meet is about to step out of it and introduce itself. Loudly."

 

 

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1) Wandering Monsters.

 

Totally old-school.  They are the epitome of "let the dice fall where they may" because every single turn, there's a roll to see if they show up.  If they show up, it's another roll to see what it is or how many there are.  The DM's hands are tied by the dice, and the players can whine and cry, but the dice say "here's 1d6 goblins, each with 2d4 copper pieces . . . roll for initiative." 

 

Too many adventures today ignore this vital piece of old-school goodness for set-piece combats.

 

2) Hex Crawling.

Don't know what's there, but let's go wandering.  Maybe you get to encounter a dragon, maybe just a few orcs. 

 

3) A pouch with food, and a pouch with coins.

Play smart, and know when to run away.  If the critters are mindless, It helps to throw some food behind you as your retreat. If the critters are intelligent, the coins suffice to distract them long enough to get away.

 

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Question the 16th-18th of March:  Have you ever scratch built/modified something for the hobby? (tools, equipment, figures, terrain ect.)  If so, tell us about the piece you are/were most proud of.

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39 minutes ago, Dilvish the Deliverer said:

Question the 16th-18th of March:  Have you ever scratch built/modified something for the hobby? (tools, equipment, figures, terrain ect.)  If so, tell us about the piece you are/were most proud of.

 

 My very first interest in this hobby was World War 2 wargaming in 20mm scale, mainly using the old "Airfix" figures and vehicles. The range of available kits was quite limited, but thanks to articles in magazines such as "Military Modelling" there was plenty of information available on converting and detailing these. I gradually achieved enough skill to be able to do almost complete scratch-building in this scale, and by the time I was in my late teens was building my own tanks entirely out of plastic card. My most challenging (and satisfying) product was a Russian T-35 tank.

 

 All of these got binned when I went off to sea for the first time. These days the wealth of commercial AFV kits that are available make scratch-building almost pointless.  

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