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Mike Harvey
Dad, Linux geek, RPG geek.
Dad, Linux geek, RPG geek.

Mike's posts

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How D&D influenced Vin Diesel as an actor.

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There are some fun Mystara-related titles in this collection.
Hi, I want to share with you my project about free (Creative Commons) orchestral/hybrid music heavily inspired in D&D and OSR games. You can download and use it freely in your games, promos, trailers or whatever.
Youtube Playlist:
Direct download (MEGA):!iINSVaJb!vuawofthjmY3wK-rX7oVVWByH14f3s4LCfFHiEnfDrk
Castle Zagyx Bandcamp:

Cheers from Spain!

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Mike Harvey commented on a post on Blogger.
The D&D immortals set had seven types of "fiend" -- type I - VI demons plus the succubus -- but no devils. Cutting the devils would be faithful to the classic line but save some space. I never understood the need for both demons and devils anyway.

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+1 Informative.

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These may be shitty but at least they're free.

This is a 3-panel landscape DM screen for B/X:

This is a set of unified B/X wilderness encounter tables:

File format is MS Word so you can modify or export to PDF as you wish.

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Mike Harvey commented on a post on Blogger.
My comments and interpretations...

1. Spell book limited by spells known.

Agreed, that is the Basic rule, but this is expanded in Expert: "may add spells to their spell books through spell research" (X7).

* You circumvent the "spells known" limit by researching spells.
* You circumvent the "spells available" limit by researching new unique spells.
* You circumvent the "spells usable" limit by creating scrolls or items.
* You circumvent the "who can use spells" limit by creating potions and items.
All of these are in turn limited by time and money.

The difference is what is "free and automatic" (Basic) vs. what requires
additional effort and investment (Expert/Research).

It is interesting that the time and cost to replace spellbooks (X11) is identical to the spell research rules, only the time is cut in half. That's the baseline cost to write "spells you know" into your spellbook. The "first one is free" when you gain a level, but if you want replacements or duplicates or additions you have to pay. (There is no rule saying that I can't research existing spells... in fact I have to if I lose my spellbook!)

This is a great rule because it means PC wizards can't just freely copy spells from each other.

2. New spells can be taught to the magic-user per the rules on page X11, and
3. New spells can be created per the rules on page X51.
4. Spell books can only be read by the one who wrote it.

On B16, Read Languages spell, which says it can read "_any_ unknown language or code".

If spellbooks are non-magical, then this spell can read them by definition. The only things it can't read are magical writings, so if it can't read spellbooks, then it's because spellbooks are magical. And Read Magic can read any magical writing. Between these two spells everything is readable.

The rules simply don't allow that spellbooks are only readable to their owners and nobody else can read them even with spells. Even a Staff of Wizardry or an Efreeti Bottle is readable by Read Magic! Read Magic can broadly read "items" -- it's not explicitly limited to "magic" items -- and ultimately a spellbook is an item.

On B17, if only the owner can read the book, and Read Magic is ineffective, then it should read "...spell book is written so that only the owner may read them." Period. The addition of the clause saying "...without using this spell" only makes sense if spell books can be read with Read Magic. IMO it is saying the owner of a spellbook is exempt from the rule that you need Read Magic to read it.

I would like to also point out that Thieves can Read Magic. The archetypal precedent for that rule is Cugel the Clever using it to memorize two spells from a Iucounu's spellbook, and failing both times. (That example also shows a reversed spell!) Moldvay and Cook would certainly have been familiar with this reference from Gary's favorite author. To me that argues that the author's unstated intent is that Read Magic also functions on spellbooks.

So I would modify your points like this:

1. Spell book limited to spells known. You are taught free spells equal to spells usable per day, but may research additional spells on your own.
2. New spells can be taught for free to the magic-user per the rules on page X11, or paid for in research. You can never copy spells for free except when gaining a level. Read Magic is only needed for scrolls, not for spells taught or researched.
3. New spells can be created per the rules on page X51. Existing spells can also be acquired using these rules.
4. Spell books can be freely read by the one who wrote it, but require Read Magic for anyone else.

That raises the question, whats the point of reading spellbooks? You can't copy spells from them. If you research spells, you don't need  a spellbook to do so.

I allow two usages:
(1) If you acquire the spellbooks of a dead wizard, you can become the owner by casting Read Magic on them. As the owner you can now memorize spells from the books -- but you cannot copy them into your book without paying the replacement cost. Thus they become alternates or backups, and you now have multiple spellbooks. Two wizards cannot share a book, a book can only have one owner.
(2) As a magical item, you can use a spellbook like a scroll - that is, cast a spell directly out of it, after which the spell disappears from the book. But you cannot memorize spells from a scroll, only a spellbook allows that. So acquired books could also function as scrolls, if you don't want them for memorization or backups.

It is interesting that in Basic, magic users are said to have just one spell book (B16), while in Expert they have plural spell books (X11). "A" magic user whose "books" are destroyed... the "books" of an "elf"... And on X19 Theodorus has "books." Yet on X11 Expert also portrays a single book has having both first and second level spells, same as Basic! So there is no need to have separate spell books for each spell level, as was the case in '74 D&D. Given the rules in Basic, why would you ever have more than one book? If they are backups, why are you taking them with you, putting all your eggs in the same basket instead of leaving them safely home? Food for thought.

Sorry for the length, but I find it an interesting topic.

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This speaks for itself.

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Did anyone else see this? Nice review.

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It's not just interesting that US democracy is a train wreck - also that the Corporate GOP America prefers Hillary (therefore, Cruz) to Trump.
This means that Trump now has one more very important argument in his favor.
#us  #elections
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