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Mike Hill
Little bit drawy, little bit writy.
Little bit drawy, little bit writy.

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Mike Hill commented on a post on Blogger.
Very impressive so far (I've only had a quick flip through). I see that the Aether Pilot has the skill (well, specialism. - I find that term tricky to swallow) of Aether Navigation but also an ability that kind of indicates he never needs to use the skill. I guess I'm not reading that right... The other thing that looked a tiny bit off was the Lord Dunsany bit at the end could probably do with reformatting, even if throwing a line break between paragraphs stretches out the page count. Thanks!

Folks, can you help me out with C&T treasure "trade out"? I've never understood the Swords & Wizardry treasure rules. When you "trade out" cash from a hoard is that money "gone"?

In C&T (remastered) trading out gives a percentage chance of something else being present; at lower levels the something else is usually of a lesser value than the trade out.

I'm confused. Help please?

Anyone else cooked up a character sheet for Crypts and Things?

Hi all just dipping into my backer's copy of Crypts & Things redux for the first time and I notice a possible snippet of errata:

The thief requires "proper lock picking tools" to use his or her lock picking ability but unlike your standard D&D game, there's no thieves' tools listed on the equipment list.

Any love around for the White Box-based Crypts & Things?

Folks, what level (roughly) is Aloy at the conclusion of Horizon: Zero Dawn?


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I recently asked the question at another OSR G+ group along the lines of, "Encumbrance rules are described as optional are then in play as written or do dungeon explorers move at 120/40-ft per turn/round regardless". Implied in my question was do you even use turns and movement?.

The answer was pretty much 100%, "Yes, encumbrance is important to a large degree," with some respondents declaring they were strict in the application of the rule.

I'm keen to know a bit more if you would indulge me further. :-)

Please note, I'm not asking what's the right way to play? invariably someone will chime in with the very reasonable comment if you're having fun, you're doing it right; I'm just keen to know which way this particular rule is used (or not). I fully acknowledge that fun = correct and there's no right way to play your game.

Before I ask the question, here's some background to consider:

B/X D&D and LL almost play encumbrance the same way. In both books, it's an optional rule. In both books the movement rates are the same at each category of weight allowance and those categories are the same (albeit B/X uses coins and LL uses pounds). In both books this simple rule is muddied by a further optional ruling but both books treat it a different way and it's still confusing...

B/X: "...carry this many coins OR wear leather/metal armour..."
LL: "...carry this much weight AND wear armour..."

Next up, using encumbrance means that pretty much only the magic-user moves at the 120/40 rate (unless he's also the pack mule) and, naturally, the party moves at the speed of its slowest member. This means the dungeon gets bigger. A party with one or more characters carrying 81+ pounds moves at a rate of 30-ft per turn. Without the encumbrance rules, the party travels 72 10-ft squares before their first torch burns out; encumbered, the torch is dead after 18 squares and to cover the same distance the burdened party faces 4 times the number of wandering monster throws.

Finally: I'm not advocating in favour of the rule nor against it, even though the above observations may seem to indicate otherwise.

Thanks for reading this far. My question for game referees is this: In your games do you insist all characters record the weight of each item of equipment and reduce party movement accordingly and monitor game time in turns (resting after 5 turns of activity, expending resources such as food and light etc.)?

If the answer is YES to all three elements of the question please select the Count each pound/coin response.

If you don't insist on all three elements of encumbrance (record-keeping, movement and turn-tracking), even if your run with 2 of them, please select the pole response Eye-ball encumbrance.

Thanks again

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Count each pound/coin
Eye-ball encumbrance

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Old or New-ish?

Now that the Modvay and Cook B/X D&D books are available in PDF for what I would consider to be a very reasonable price, are we still playing Labyrinth Lord as our default ruleset or are we returning to the originals?

In favour of the originals we have better artwork, the writing style, atmosphere and the nostalgia of youth.

Whilst in the black and white corner we have the complete rules in a very sturdy perfect-bound book - much better than carting your rules around in a hole-punch binder or on an electronic device (in my humble opinion). You do get the sometimes alarming "clarifications" (I'm looking at you Backstab and changes that needed to be made to avoid copyright persecution.

So what are we playing, the Lord or B/X?
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Praise the Lord
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Moldvay & Cook

It's probably been mentioned before but, some D&D stuff has surfaced on RPGnow and DriveThru as print-on-demand. Any chance of the B/X books doing the same do you think?

THAC0 a Dirty Word?

I stumbled across my very first B/X character a few weeks ago (tucked into an ancient notebook) he was called Oberon the Wizard (all my characters were called Oberon back in the day, they just were) written out in faded pencil on a lined piece of paper (you didn't get a character sheet until you made it to level 2).

After reminiscing on his short but brilliant career I noticed two interesting snippets;

1) he's technically a hopeless character because he has two abilities of 6 or lower (there were no re-rolls, you played with what you had and Oberon the Wizard made it to level 2), and

2) he had a Target Number rather than a string of numbers versus armour class values, scrawled at the bottom of his sheet.

The target number was THAC0 without the subtraction. Throw the twenty-sided die, add what you needed then add the target's armour class. If the result equalled or exceeded the score required to hit AC zero, you hit.

Perhaps it was the beer but I never made the connection between our DM's Target Number and THAC0 until much more recently. For some reason I didn't like THAC0 but for nostalgia's sake, I love the target number. Might have to revive that.

For those that might be interested here's my first Oberon. I remember wanting to play a fighter (always did) but that wasn't on the cards; all player characters (even the Robin Hood thief) were lawful in our DM's game. No maximum HP at first level but I think you re-rolled a 1 or 2 as per the suggestion in the rules.

From memory I'm pretty sure I always forgot to apply the -1 STR penalty when attacking but Oberon was definitely a front-line magic-user! Initially I thought "If Oberon the MU dies in combat, I can roll-up Oberon the Fighter"!

Oberon The Wizard
Magic-user (+10% XP bonus)
STR 6 -1
INT 16 +2
WIS 6 -1
CON 13 +1
CHR 12
HP 4
Languages Lawful, common, Human dialect, Gnoll
Spells Sleep, Read Magic (this wasn't classic Moldvay I'm guessing...)

40 gp
Silver dagger (kris), spell book, backpack, flask of oil (4) lantern, mirror, iron rations (1 week’s supply), rope (50-foot), tinder box, water skin, wine (quart), wooden pole (10-foot).

Throw d20 + target AC must equal 19+ to score a hit
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