Thoughts on capital gains

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Re: Thoughts on Magic Users

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:01 pm

Right. Encounters won't be custom designed to their level. No "challenge ratings", although a GM can (and IMO should) telegraph danger level in some way, or give players the opportunities to investigate that in various ways.

For instance, a player character can buy everyone at the local tavern a round of drinks to butter them up, then ask the locals for helpful advice. That player character can then learn that the eastern meadowlands are relatively peaceful and there's good hunting there, but the western forest is haunted by dark spirits at night who steal men's souls. If the player character *didn't* talk to anybody and just went traipsing off into those woods, then camped there after dark, they might encounter a Wraith and get KO'd. Now, is that unfair? Is that mean? No. That's Old School. There was a mechanism in the game world to prevent that. Players learn to proceed cautiously through trial and error.

Same with, let's say, the Lost Crypt of Lord Ragnar in the uplands. How prepared will the players be when going to delve into this place and plunder its treasures? What precautions will they take? What allies will they recruit? That's up to them! There's absolutely no guarantee that they'll survive any encounters in any such place. In face, realistically, if Lord Ragnar's tomb has gone unplundered for centuries, there's probably a good reason for that. One does not just go happily whistling into that dark hole in the ground without gaining as much intel as possible first. That's the assumed world and playstyle of a game like Basic Fantasy as I understand it and as I personally have ran it.
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Pirate GM13
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Re: Thoughts on Magic Users

Post Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:15 am

daryen wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:29 pm
Pirate GM13 wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:05 am I mean not to offend you or anything, but are you not talking about Dungeons and Dragons or something a little more "new school" when you talk about point 1? If you're like me you've probably come from a newer Era of Dnd and pathfinder and Stars without number etc etc. But Basic Fantasy is ancient (that's supposed to be a compliment, forgive my Charisma score) and simple. It follows the old school style. I believe people get mixed up with what Basic Fantasy is supposed to be like and what most role playing games implement.
My point #1 is being made in the light of very old articles like the infamous Tucker's Kobolds that stressed the idea that these monsters are intelligent and will make accommodations based on external forces. So, they should plan for the PCs. They should react intelligently if they are attacked and then the party immediately leaves. That a dungeon is NOT a sequence of rooms that have no relation to each other. It is a living ecosystem and should be run as such. This is ancient stuff that was written about before there anything more than "basic" and "advanced".

One-and-done in a dungeon, taking the above into account, is going to end badly for the characters. Running the monsters even reasonably tactically, particularly if they are allowed to learn, is going to cause massive problems if characters cut and run after each combat encounter. Even if they completely clean out the room, while the PCs are away, everyone else in the dungeon is going to figure out what happened and prepare.

When I played back in my old AD&D days, you were not expected to leave the dungeon level until it was cleared. The whole idea of one-n-done would have never occurred to us!

But, what I am getting out of this is that a first level character heading into a dungeon has a death wish unless he is the junior member of a higher level party. (And he still probably isn't making it out alive.)

Instead, a first level group should focus on minor one-shot things around town to gain experience and the only time they should head underground is to kill some rats in a villager's basement. So, unless the "dungeon" is a one room tomb with some skellies to wipe out, dungeons are completely off limits to first level parties.

Or, I suppose, if you have a soft GM, he can make the dungeon be effectively a sequence of independent one room encounters. But that means the monster are rock-stupid and just sit around awaiting their turn to get slaughtered. I understand that was done in old school (because I did it), but always thought that was as highly discouraged as 100 hit point characters.
1. Level 1 characters don't have to do the 13 room dungeons. Maybe 5 rooms or so, and yes the monsters could replace each other, but the monsters will then shortly run out. And perhaps the characters are just there to study ancient runes or retrieve that cursed book that is now mind controlling them (long story).
Last edited by Pirate GM13 on Wed Jun 16, 2021 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on Magic Users

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:25 pm

Skeletons and zombies are rock-stupid.
It's quite possible to construct an adventure so it's not a full goblin lair that branches into a full orc lair and the like.

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