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Talysman the Ur-Beatle
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My suggestions on designing puzzles for dungeons: avoid riddles except as an extra clue to a puzzle, focus on simple puzzles of three types: One of These Things is Not Like the Others, Analogies/Relationships, and Memory Games. There may be another equally simple puzzle type, but none are coming to mind right now. Most other potential puzzle types seem to be about obfuscation or increased difficulty for these three, for example forcing players to remember something outside the dungeon instead of something they saw in another room.

Anyone have any ideas about puzzles that don't fit one of those types? Or variations on the three?
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My latest suggestion for reusing the magical research rules: use it for improvements to a barony.
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I wrote something up about holy shrines. The basic idea: don't give NPC priests levels, just assign the spells/miracles to the shrine instead. One benefit of this that I didn't mention was that it encourages adventure: if you want to cure disease and don't have a cleric that can cast it, you don't just find any old NPC cleric, you seek out the shrine known for curing disease. It's a place you have to travel to, not something you can advertise around town for. And if you want a local shrine that will provide multiple services on demand, consider investing in a shrine and praying for the miracles you need.
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T. Woolley's profile photoPeter Fitzpatrick's profile photoShawn Barrick's profile photoChris Geisel's profile photo
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This is awesome. 
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Because +Erik Tenkar​ used the term "Lawful Stupid" when he posed a discussion topic about alignment, I started to complain... then I decided that what was really needed was better support for noble acts, So I wrote up a rough draft of a Virtuous Acts Reaction Table that you'd roll whenever a character did something noble against their own best interests.

#dnd #alignment


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I've been thinking a lot about the 1e alignments lately, and - at least according to the DMG - Gygax's Lawful Good isn't necessarily noble and virtuous.  It could include people like Torquemada and the Grey Mouser, as well as more familiar Lawful Goods like Lancelot.  It strikes me that modern humans, as predominantly Lawful creatures raised in Lawful societies, tend to assume that "neutral" on Law-Chaos means "moderate folk like us", while Chaotics are failed Lawfuls and the Lawful alignment itself is reserved for fanatics.
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Talysman the Ur-Beatle

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I'm getting better at this LaTeX thing. At least, I'm starting to recognize which errors mean I misspelled a command and which are caused by missing \\ in tables.

And it only took me half an hour to figure out that one table's rows were stretched out not because I had the wrong width for a minipage, but because I used an asterisk instead of an ampersand.
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Joe Johnston's profile photoTalysman the Ur-Beatle's profile photoHolger Müller's profile photo
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If you get frustrated, do a something in MS Word for a change: get the newest version for lots of money, spend hours looking where the things you need went to in this version, enjoy the still fsck'ed up automatic index (in the 2010 version we are forced to love at work, the "update fields on save"-functionality is gone fishing).
...and all that knowing that no matter what you learned today, the bug/weirdness/feature will still be there tomorrow, and once you spend money again, what you learned is totally worthless.

Keep on TeXing ;-)
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I wrote up something about adversity rolls, basically one approach to Constitution checks, and how to use them to handle a simple disease system. But probably the most useful thing to people in general would be my reimagining of ear seekers and rot grubs to make them (a) simpler to handle, and (b) not a screwjob.

*Ear Seeker*, 3 dice, attack targets ear, damage > Con = deafness, weekly 3d6 adversity roll or reaches brain/puts in coma, second failed adversity roll = death.

*Rot Grub*, 3 dice, attack targets exposed flesh, damage > Con = burrows into flesh, weekly 3d6 adversity roll or reaches heart, second failed adversity roll = death.

Still nasty, but you have time to find a cure. 
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+Dyson Logos​ posted about wanting an RPG game book that requires players to write in the rulebook, or paste replacement rules over existing rules, as the players play the game. The example I focused on was the idea of a character class changing as a result of something a player did: the gods no longer have a foothold in the world, so clerics have reduced power or no power, or high-level magic spells no longer work for M-Us.

I kind of ran with this idea and brainstormed particular ways that a D&D retroclone could be redesigned specifically with this in mind. There would be actual rules -- meta-rules -- in the book that would allow research, pacts with supernaturals, or wishes to change the way a character class worked. You could add clerical powers to fighters during play to found an order of paladins, or make a wish to bestow eternal youth on all magic-users.

I sketched out some of the possible rules in a blog post. I think I'll do at least one follow-up.

http://9and30kingdoms.blogspot.com/2014/12/rules-are-meant-to-be-broken.html
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A recap of my comment in a forum thread about legendary weapons. Legendary weapons aren't enchanted by a wizard, but become magical because of heroic deeds. Again, I went with reusing the magic research rules to cover investment costs and to set a chance for becoming legendary.
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I discuss a way to allow non-magic-users to cast spells by using scrolls. This is aimed at designing worlds where most of the population is normal (Level 0) and only the PCs and a handful of NPCs have class abilities, while still including some kind of magic. Also, it's "realistic", in the sense that it resembles the kind of magic people believed in, historically.
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It's finally done: Our Infernal Neighbors: Simple, Alternate Otherworldly Creatures for a Cosmos without Planes. This is material I did on my blog a while back to simplify the demons and devils, fit them into a single-axis Law/Chaos scheme, and get rid of the Big Wheel of Planes. Instead, demons and devils live underground in an ethereal or astral state.

I rewrote a lot of the material and added a bunch, mainly The Fae as an "infernal" faction that lives inside hills, in the clouds, or at the bottom of lakes. And now it's a free PDF.
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Talysman the Ur-Beatle's profile photoKeith J Davies's profile photoMichael Lee's profile photo
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Just read it, love the concept behind it! Thanks for making these sir!
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Hi all,

Just released a free PDF of a combo ability score generation method and random background event table for player characters. The method? Either 3d6 in order, or pick whatever scores you want and then roll on the table.

This was previously on my blog, but the PDF version may be more useful.
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Someone recently asked about a variant Thief class on my blog that I deleted in preparation for a rewrite. This isn't the official rewrite, but it's where I think I want to go with it: instead of defining a Thief class and Thief abilities, just treat it as a background and define a Talent class that turns your background abilities into supernormal versions. Anything a thief could do, but with a risk, a Talent (Thief) can do without a roll, and a normally impossible thieving action becomes possible, but risky.

There are a couple other ideas floating around in this post as well.

#dnd #thief #class
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I like where you're going with this.
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Yep.  Same person who posted on the Sacramento-area BBSes back in the date, and later on ARK and alt.slack on Usenet.

Also wrote lyrics for Interröbang Cartel (most of the tribute album, plus others.)
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Performed at a couple Norcal Noisefests as the noise project kristal marimba lounge.
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