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Showing posts from April, 2019

Game of Thrones Fans Are Angry about Being Game of Thrones Fans

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Game of Thrones Fans Are Angry about Being Game of Thrones Fans By Jason Vey April 29, 2019
After last night's brutal and epic Battle of Winterfell episode of Game of Thrones, fans of the series are up in arms...apparently just generally about being fans of the show. The latest whining comes from insistence that the episode was too dark to see what was going on. 
"I really had to search to find a problem with this episode," says Bucky LaRoue of Lafayette, LA. "So I just decided on the actual brightness of the image. I turned the brightness on my TV all the way down, and decided it was the writers' fault that I couldn't see when my favorite character got stabbed in the eye." 
Says Jim Harbour of Seattle, WA, "I bought this TV last year. It's totally a 4k, but I only paid like $300 for it, so naturally when the picture was dark it had to be the fault of the producers. It's okay, though. I mean, I could buy a better television, but why bother…

Reading Original Dungeons & Dragons Part 2: Monsters & Treasure

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In my last post, I discussed seeming rules inconsistencies in Original Dungeons & Dragons, and the reactions someone just opening those books for the first time in 1974 might have had from reading through. Now let's move onto the second volume, Monsters & Treasure. Remember, the conceit here is that we don't have 40 years of scholarship and play experience upon which to draw, without the benefit of the Internet, and without the benefit of having gamed with Messrs. Gygax and Arneson. Rather, this is someone opening a second or third-print woodgrain box (with all its early textual differences from later white box versions) and how they might have been driven to run the game.

Again, remember that I'm working from a third printing woodgrain box, and the books have different text than the later fourth through sixth print white boxes, so textual references may differ for those who have white boxes. Also remember that this is a thought experiement and nothing more; it'…

The Elegance of Non-Unified Mechanics

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Like a great deal of gamers in this day and age, I have long been enamored of the idea of a so-called "unified mechanic," that is, a single die roll approach to resolve most, if not all, issues in a game. Current versions of D&D, for example, use a d20 ability check approach for everything--even combat is a Strength or Dexterity check. The only things that don't use the d20 are random probability rolls (which use straight percentile) and damage.

The Unisystem is another universal mechanic system, using d10 + attribute + skill vs. a target number of 9, and the cinematic version uses this for everything; there aren't even damage rolls, as damage is a flat number.

Even my own Spellcraft & Swordplay original ORCS system used 2d6 for everything, with damage rolls using xd6.


The Elegance of Non-Unified Mechanics
There's a certain ease and straightforward-ness to this approach that's easy to appreciate. Recently, however, I've come around to a new apprec…