I stopped by the local Dollar Tree and saw these little beauties. I bypassed them at first but dang there are so many things you can do with blocks: Terrain, flying bases, makers or whatever on the game board. Your basic blocks are can be almost anything your little hears can imagine. Heck, if you don’t like the colors, I’ve heard you can even paint this stuff (but it does soak up the paint like crazy). These aren’t Styrofoam but that same stuff that the foam sheets you find in the same store are made from. They’re light weight and fairly durable. And 50 for a buck, ain’t bad. Here you can see a couple with some mini’s for scale. Not bad, cheap, and the uses are limited only by your creativity.
This is something that has pretty much bugged me through every edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, I know there a little boosts in Armor Class but generally the only way a fighter gets harder to hit is to buy better armor. And, yes, I know they get more Hit Points. But let’s face it the “What do Hit Points mean?” Debate has been going on for nearly four decades.
Without throwing too many monkey wrenches into the works, I came up the idea of Minimum AC. So just what is Minimum AC? OK, that’s the worst AC a character can have despite armor (or lack there of) and penalties. Fighters have a Minimum AC based on their level.
It’s pretty simple. THe character’s AC is improved by level divided by 3, rounded down. So an 11th level Fighter’s AC would be improved by 3. Since I’m a Swords & Wizardry fan, that would be be -3[+3]. So unarmored the character’s AC would be 6 but if the character had a better AC due to equipment then use that.
It’s not a huge game breaking change and might not come into play that often but it could save a fighter’s bacon.
I remember when I started my first D&D campaign. It was the early days. Those funny dice were nearly impossible to find. Miniatures were made out of lead. And we made up the campaign world as we went along.
The first thing I want to say is that there are many fine maps that are works of art. They’re beautiful and inspiring. I’m not trying to denigrate anyone’s work. But I’ve been thinking. How much does a DM really need that world map?
My first world map was just some random notes. This was to north. That was to the east and so on. Later it turned more into something that looked like a cross between a flow chart and a poorly sketched dungeon. It was simple. The player characters knew (usually) where they were. They knew there was village that way. Some mountains in that direction. And big city over there. They knew roughly how long it would take to their destination. And that was enough. If there was something interesting out there, it would end up in their path. Nothing about “If they had only been walking a few more miles to the east then they would have found something interesting.” As a DM, you’re supposed to know where everything is or might be in the world. But a detailed map isn’t all that necessary. Flying without a map also let’s you throw in those interesting little extras that pop up after the campaign has started.
So discuss away. World maps. Great as art. Optional gaming tool. What?
I know I haven’t blogged anything of late. I’ve been busy reading. One the really neat things about the OSR is that there’s so much stuff. And if you just don’t happen to grab something when it’s new and shiny. It’s OK to go back and grab some stuff and start reading.
You know I’ve been on a Space Opera kick and this was latest acquisition. Highly recommended. Even if you just want to use all those charts. And bonus. It’s Pay What You Want on Drivethrurpg. You really don’t have anything to lose. It’s a solid old-school space opera game. And pretty easy to kit bash with things like X-plorers. But then of course like a cat with laser pointer. I get distracted and start reading some Mutant Future.
I’m still digesting all of it but damn there is whacky gonzo stuff that I’m just aching to kit bash. Yeah, I just may have some more crazy ideas that are going to keep my up all night. Well, not in a nightmare way but in the “I have too many ideas bouncing around inside my head!” way.
So if you’ll excuse me I have to mutate some space elves.
Yes, I like dragons but the Dragonborn always just kind of felt “meh” to me. Sort of dragons but not quite. And some overall feeling that they were just tacked on to D&D as a fanboy service. They just didn’t seem interesting. So instead of telling you what to do. I got some inspiration from Obscene Serpent Religion. Use it for a little inspiration to get those creative juices flowing or just roll and see what happens.