Thursday, July 28, 2011
...will be announced tomorrow, at 1:00 pm CST. You can check out the announcement on the ODD 74 Fight On! forum.
While you're at it, you should pick up the newly released Fight On! #12, dedicated to Jim Ward, creator of Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World. I mean, c'mon---look at that cover!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Player Activity Record
The topic for this post is the initial Player Activity Record, compiled from the "archives" of the first nine months of the campaign. At this point, participants are identified by player name, not character name (this changes later on.)
The first thing to notice, of course, is that 23 players are listed! This includes John and Len---since both were DMing, both also got to play. The top paragraph gives a peek at what the tone of the whole campaign will be like:
This is the first report of the D&D campaign along the Ryth, published as a public service by the Yggdrasill papermill, and compiled by John Van De Graaf from the recent archives of Rythlondar. Please report any inaccuracies to your friendly referee so that he can feed you to a ravenous purple worm, thereby cleansing his records.
I doubt anyone in the hobby at this time was taking themselves too seriously...though they were very obviously having fun!
Even though nine sessions are notated (third week in Nov. of '74 - the third week of March '75), November has no details (I'm assuming that covered expedition A), so it really starts with Session 2 (game week 3). It looks like the "campaign time scale" mentioned on the first page was decided upon: one actual week = one game week.
Some quick math yields the following tally:
- Eight expeditions over 17 weeks of real/game time
- Several weeks had two adventures going on
- Total fatalities: 21
- Highest XP total: Two characters in Expedition B received 4999 XP!
- Lowest XP total: One character in Expedition M received only 115 XP (though it looks like he collected 360 GP, so I'm not sure what happened there...)
- Highest GP total: 1462, in Expedition E
- Lowest GP total: Three characters in Expedition C walked out with only 26 GP.
Current Questions for John and Len
- How were you determining treasure amounts?
- How much experience were you giving for monsters killed?
- Do you remember what date you bought the White Box?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Bookletized version, complete with my scribbled notes...
And so it begins--my most ambitious blogging project to date. I've recently been blown away by The Ryth Chronicle document that recently surfaced. It's an amazing source of insight into the earliest days of the hobby, and it really deserves a thorough discussion. My plan is to go through it cover-to-cover, usually covering a few pages at a time. I'll be posting images from the document that connect to the main point of the given post--the document is, of course, approaching 40 years old, and is, I believe, a scan of a photocopy, so don't expect sterling resolution. If anyone can offer insight about how to clean up the jpegs I'm snapshotting out of Reader and editing with Photogallery, I'd appreciate it!
We'll start out with the introduction, right on the front page. This is a thing of beautiful utility--it sets up the whole framework for play in four short paragraphs, including all those things that many DMs (well, okay, me anyway) hand-wave:
- Class-specific lodging
- Taxes (based on your status, i.e., XP!)
- Immediate adventuring destinations
"...murky Fenmarch, where few men travel these days."
"Overlooking the road lie the ruins of the once-proud Tar Morgard, a fortress built by the Great Kings long ago. Now the ruins hold only the dread Weir burrowed into the mountain by generations of evil beings. Minstrels sing of vast wealth and powerful treasure hidden in the dark depths of the Weir, but few dare venture there, and fewer still return."
Alright. I know exactly how to set up my Adventurer, and where to go from there. Plus there's an echo of the famous "...vast, ruined pile" quote from the LBB. Oh, and has been pointed out elsewhere, it's called a "Dragons and Dungeons Campaign". :)
Next, logically, come the houserules for this particular campaign. The most fascinating thing to me is the Combat Hit Matrix:
Next is the really interesting part, the "Hit Die Roll Adjustment for Degree (Level) of Attacker". It appears they immediately de-matrixed the combat matrix into a simple hit bonus dependent on level. Sound familiar? So much for the innovations of the d20 system! (okay, that's an oversimplification, but still...) They tinkered a bit by letting everyone increase in smaller increments over levels (as opposed to the combat table which only grants bonuses every three/four/five levels), but that's a pretty common houserule even these days. I'd use this table as it stands.
Current Questions for John and Len
- Did you guys have the Chainmail rules?
- When did you start using Greyhawk?
- Why did you decide to make these particular changes?