This whole pandemic has blown up my gaming group. Most of my gang was in seclusion in fear of catching this bug. This is not a political blog judging pro or con, it just was the fact that my group was in seclusion.
I’m grateful in a way, because I was getting tired of my out of control Sci Fi game. My hope is when they feel comfortable enough to at least meet outdoors at a distance, we can play a different game together.
What I want to play is Pits & Perils or Blood of Pangea but instead if I have a hacked up version of D&D 3.5 and all the skill inflation bullshit that goes with it. No matter how much I tried to simplify it, it got out of hand. I forgot to put the Master in Dungeon Master.
I worked part time for a month but didn’t touch my book during the whole time. Troy hasn’t left for magic school, but I did write a story of Tana’s first Orc kill, and how she felt about that. I fleshed out a little how the different tribes of humans communicated with post riders travelling long distance. With how the world is going, I doubt I’ll ever finish this book now. It almost seems futile.
Norbert Matausch inspired me to share about the current game of D&D I’m involved in. I was initially apprehensive about joining a game of 3.5, as 3.x is a terribly crunchy game. Look at this character sheet on the Wizard’s of the Coast archive page:
Lucky for me, my DM doesn’t care about much of it. We have our stats, we have our skills, but we haven’t had to deal with Touch AC, flatfooted AC, or AC at all. So far we have not used any armor rules. Almost any opposed test (including combat) are opposed D20 rolls. If you can make an argument why your stats or skills apply to the defense, the DM will let you add it. After a hit, roll damage. Most weapons crit on the highest number of the damage die, and the DM will add a special effect. So heavy weapons with a D8, D10 or D12 are great for quickly wearing down a foe, but the halfling with the D4 dagger will crit 25% of the time and cause some kind of meaningful injury informed by the fiction.
Unopposed checks are usually a D20 roll against a 10. If the task is especially difficult, it’s a 15. If it’s a bit easier, it’s a 5. Sometimes it’s a question of just not rolling a natural one, and in such circumstances, it’s funny how many of us roll Nat 1’s on group stealth rolls.
The magic rules are improvised. My Bard has his cantrips he started with, and the wizard and druid have accumulated more spells over time. A Gandalf-esque figure taught the bard a sleep spell he can cast by playing a lullaby on his bagpipes. Most of our party’s problems are solved through clever problem solving, negotiation, and some combat. Seldom does anyone actually use magic. And you know what? It’s fine. The best part is most of the players had never played D&D before, so they don’t know what they’re missing. Ignorance is bliss.
This leads me to my main point: You don’t need complex rules to have a good time playing a fantasy role playing game. That is all.
However you game, I hope you enjoy it.