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Randy Hammill
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I-1 #1007 at New Britain Station
c1946. Kent Cochrane Photo So here's another great shot of the passenger service at New Britain. This one is looking eastbound, showing a good portion of the Railroad Arcade. This was a building built by the railroad at the same time as the station. The bui...
I-1 #1007 at New Britain Station
I-1 #1007 at New Britain Station
blog.newbritainstation.com
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Building a Roster: What is Rare?
K-1-d #404 with World of Mirth train in New Britain. August 1940. Kent Cochrane  A question  was posted in response to a post by Marty McGuirk on the Modeling Steam Era Freight Cars blog some time ago. The post itself is regarding the percentage that each r...
Building a Roster: What is Rare?
Building a Roster: What is Rare?
blog.newbritainstation.com
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DEY-5 (ALCO S-2) #0604 at New Britain Station
Another Kent Cochrane photo, c1947.  So Chris  pointed out that several of our recent posts have been well synchronized. Perhaps this one will be as well, a photo he found along with one of #0604 in Essex down in his neck of the woods. Although I had a copy...
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And now for something completely different!
Not trains, but cool! Last night Joseph told me about an oversized load that would be coming through Canton (pretty much out my back door). From what I recall, this is a turbine/generator for a new power plant in Oxford. This is the first of 6 such moves, a...
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Randy Hammill commented on a post on Blogger.
I love going back and re-reading some of these old posts.

I think you pretty much hit the orc on the head with what I think is old school. While the whole post covers it very well, I think it's this statement here that really shows the strength of 5e:

"I don't know anyone who played Basic D&D or AD&D "by the book". That person doesn't exist. The fact of the matter is that we've always been house ruling D&D."

Up until the 2nd edition, really, each game was often a unique mix of the published rules, house rules, and the endless number of rules variations found in (The) Dragon magazine. Each campaign was unique and felt unique. This was in part because of the rules, but I think it was really more that each DM was looking for rules to support the campaign, the world, and the story approach they wanted to use.

Essentially the core rules covered the basics, and you found additional rules needed to make the game what you and your group wanted. 

5e allows this same approach, and yet the streamlined and well designed mechanics keep it from becoming a complex system to remember. While I still have a decent number of house rules, it's funny that many of the ones I thought I'd originally lean heavily on simply weren't necessary. As we play through things, we find that the rules are pretty complete as is. 

The vast majority of the house rules I have in place now are just to allow a more "realistic" approach to the game. They lean towards fixing situations that can't be easily modeled by the rules - like Jaime Lannister losing his sword hand, or Inigo "not being left-handed." Other factors for us are to scale back some magical effects, especially healing. Otherwise there are no plagues, poisoning the king is irrelevant, and things like that.

Other rules we tweak are tailored to the world itself. In 2e, what was perceived by some as a bad thing, is that many of the campaign worlds essentially had their own sub-set of the D&D rules. Playing in Dark Sun was very different than Ravenloft, Planescape, or the Forgotten Realms. 

The thing that makes 5e so elegant is that it's so easy to tweak, house rule, or drop rules that don't fit your group's style of play. 

Why is that old school? Because I can run a game that FEELS the same as the ones I ran back in the late '70s and early '80s. This is where your item #3 comes in, and to me it's really become the biggest thing. With much less modification, my campaign world is very easily the most similar to what it was back in 1st and early 2nd edition. Once the 2nd edition started adding new races and classes (kits), which grew more and more in 3rd edition and beyond, then it started intruding more and more on the campaign settings and worlds themselves. Rather than a supporting role, the "rules" became a driving force.

Sure, there are still some changes, and we all have our own particular rules (as you pointed out) that we may not like. But they are easy to change. And there aren't as many that need changing.

In the end, what makes it old school to me is that I can once again focus on the campaign, the characters, and the story, and not the game.

The rules aren't what make a game old school, although they CAN make it not old school. 

Ilbranteloth
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Randy Hammill commented on a post on Blogger.
I've simplified the system with a couple of options.

First, for the most part anything you wear does not affect encumbrance. Heavy armor still impacts you via the penalties, so I didn't think it was necessary to use it to add to encumbrance as well, for example. So we don't worry about tracking most of your normal equipment.

In addition, anything that you can carry in a properly worn backpack has half of its encumbrance value. 

This is because something that is properly worn, or properly carried is much less encumbering. While we don't all have access to a suit of plate to experiment with, try carrying around a football or hockey player's equipment. Not so easy, but it's much less of a problem if you wear it.

I have charts of coinage in terms of weight and volume to make that easy. Bulk is another major factor. Many things are relatively light, but if they are too bulky they are more of a problem.

My players leave a lot of treasure lying because it's unwieldy. They also frequently use Tenser's Floating Disk.

I have considered (and written up rules) that penalize a character for combat and certain other activities when wearing a pack. A military buddy told me that a properly trained fighter wouldn't really have much of a disadvantage. Still not sure I agree. But for now I'm not using it and it really hasn't been a problem. Seems like a case of more trouble than it's worth for the number of times it would really be a problem.

Of course, if something seems unreasonable, then we deal with it.

Ilbranteloth
D&D / OSR: Encumbrance Made Easy
D&D / OSR: Encumbrance Made Easy
ragingowlbear.blogspot.com
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Philadelphia Transfer
So, I've been working on operations and was looking through blocking information for the trains that pick up in New Britain. For ANE-1, which is the Hartford leg of the Speed Witch, that meets NE-1 (the Speed Witch) in Bridgeport, one of the classifications...
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Randy Hammill commented on a post on Blogger.
I'm good with the technique in general, but agree that I can't stand the terminology. More importantly, though, is that it's important that it's not always 'failing forward' or whatever we decide to call it. Sometimes it's just outright failing.

You slip and fall into the 40 foot pit.

You set off the trap and are hit by a poison dart. 

This the the biggest issue I have with the general technique as it's usually described because you rarely see something that's just a real failure. 

I use a home-grown combination in D&D similar to what you've described from other games. First is that if the character is capable of completing the task (that is, their skill level is high enough), then failure equates to an amount of time. Trying to pick a lock before the guards come back and you fail by 7? It's going to take 7 rounds (although the players don't know by how long). 

In other situations, like the possibility of setting off a trap, I typically use failure by 5 as a threshold. Fail by less than 5 and you know that something's gone wrong (like you hear a click, or the flagstone you just stepped on sinks an inch), but you haven't actually triggered the trap. At the end of the time penalty you'll make another check to see if you manage to avoid actually triggering it. Failure by any amount means you've set off the trap.

Failure by more than 5 on the first check, and you've set off the trap.

The threshold of failure can be tied to the difficulty if desired. I also don't allow a non proficient character to succeed at a DC that's hard (20) or harder. I think actually having proficiency in something should sometimes mean more than just that you're a little better than somebody else. No matter how hard I try, I am not going to be able to pick a padlock. I just don't have the skills.

The circumstances are important. For example, people place traps for a purpose, not just to make things interesting for those who set them off. 

Ilbranteloth
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Ballast
So, partially in response to a post on the NHRHTA Forum and in part because I've been working on it for a while anyway, here's some info on how I'm ballasting the track. To begin with, I started with pictures. There are a number of color pictures of New Bri...
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