Monday, October 17, 2011

Cross-Edition Pollination

Cross-Edition Pollination

So, as I've mentioned before, I'm starting a Microlite74 campaign on my new blog, Microlite74 is a very old-school type of system, emphasizing the exploration and do-anything feel of the original D&D editions, while utilizing a very streamlined and basic rendition of the D20 SRD. 

However, I'm setting this campaign in the out-of-the-box 4th Edition setting of the Nentir Vale (heavily tweaked, of course, to keep any players with access to 4e material on their toes), and using the 4E pantheon of gods and (if we ever get to it) the 4E planar landscape as well. I may even tweak some of my 4E modules to run in the Microlite system. 

I've seen numerous folks out there in the blogosphere updating old modules to the new systems. WotC did the Tomb of Horrors, and I've seen Temple of Elemental Evil for 4E gameplay reports as well. I was even tinkering about with Night Below and pondered giving Dragonlance a whirl. 

But my question is, anyone out there going the other way like this, and applying the new fluff and stuff to the old-school type game? I really have enjoyed a lot of the fluff, sidebar-type material that WotC has produced for 4E, the mechanics of the system have just been wearing me down. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Ruins of Empire

I have started a new blog for the purposes of running my play-by-blog Microlite74 campaign, and you can find it here.

It's still pretty bare-bones, but I'll be adding a lot more to it over the next few days.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Microlite74, Sully's Houserules

Microlite74 Extended Edition, Sully's Houserules 

The following Houserules will be in effect for my upcoming Microlite74 Play-By-Blog game, which is still recruiting players. If you are interested in joining this game, email me at sully33 at gmail dawt com. 

Races: all the races offered seem pretty well true to the source material. One thing, however, immediately jumped out at me, and that was Gnomes getting a +1 to both Strength and Dexterity. Dexterity I agree with, as they are a small and nimble people, but Strength just doesn't make a lick of sense to me, so we'll change that to a +1 to the Mind attribute instead. 

I may also cook up a few of the 4E races, such as Tieflings and Dragonborn, down the line. 

Classes: all the classes are solid, but I will only be allowing the "Standard" classes to start (Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, Thief, Cleric, Druid, Magic-User, Illusionist), while the "Optional" classes (Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Monk, Mystic, Sorcerer and Warlord) will have to be "unlocked" through the course of player exploration in the campaign. 

Alignment: The Microlite74 alignment system is pretty vague: Light, Dark, or Neutral. I prefer more colorful terms to express a characters alignment, such as "Neutral Hedonistic" or "Chaotic Ugly". Alignment is really more just guidelines for role-playing anyway. Any magic item that has alignment requirements will be adjudicated on the fly based on an individual character's history in the campaign to date. 

Virtues and Vices: I think this is a nice little role-playing tool to go along with alignment. I crossed out the line containing "Determined" and "Hidebound" and then numbered the chart down from 1-20 so it could easily be rolled on with a D20 for randomness, if desired. 

The different Battle Stances just won't get used, except for "Full Defense", which will be an option as an action in combat. It grants a bonus to Armor Class in exchange for not attacking that round. 

Special Combat Situations: the only thing that jumped off the page as ripe for abuse here is the "Knockout Blow", which as written allows a character to make an attack that stuns the target for a number of rounds equal to how much the AC was beaten by (and more for Thieves!). This is something that I think should be included in with Combat Tricks and Stunts, so that's where it will go. Alternatively, I'm the kind of DM that will allow players to knockout an opponent instead of killing them outright when HP are dropped to zero (except in the case of a critical hit). 

Next up we'll tackle the Microlite74 Companion, as there are some optional rules there that I would like to include in our game. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Microlite74 Play-By-Blog anyone?

As I mentioned before, last week I think, my gaming time lately has been pretty slim. That bugs me. This hectic life leaves precious little time to gather around the table, even with my kids! I'm really itching to run something and stretch my creative muscles back out. I've been pondering getting into a Constantcon game, but I just don't have the three to five hour block of time to do so, and nevermind that my crappy old desktop would undoubtedly fail me, even if I tried. 

I really want to take Microlite74 Extended for a test run. I really dig how MilwaukeeJoe is running his game of Grind4e using a blog interface, with players describing their actions in the comments. For more details on how exactly that works, go here

That being said, consider this a call for player applications. This will be a player-driven, hex-crawl, sandbox type of game. While the standard fantasy races described in Microlite74 Extended will all be available for PCs, the setting will be low-magic, and with the same basic "Points of Light" idea that 4th Edition D&D espouses. I'll be using converted AD&D2E monsters and magic items, along with plenty of homebrewed goodness. I have no overarching grand plot. The landscape will be liberally sprinkled with plenty of adventure sites, of which the players will hear plenty of rumours about. I will utilize multitudinous random tables to determine a lot of things as the game progresses. This will NOT be all nice and balanced like 4E, nor will it focus excessively on that tactical combat side of things. 

Email me at sully33 at gmail dawt com if you are interested in playing! I will start up a new blog specifically for this game if there is enough interest.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I want to be a dragon!

Or, at least, have one out there with my namesake! Over at Tenkar's Tavern, one of my favorite blogs, he has a poll up to determine the name of his "Nameless Dragon" he uses in his videocasts. One of the names in the lead is Sully! Hey, that's my name!

So, all you slavering marauders of this Pack of Gnolls, go vote for Sully over at Tenkar's Tavern!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monte Redeems Himself

D&D Insider: Legends and Lore
(linked article does not require a DDI subcription)

Monte Cook struck out in his first at-bat with his new gig writing the Legends and Lore column for Wizards of the Coast. His ideas about how Perception should work were basically the same as the system already in play in 4E, and his column seemed to betray that he didn't really have a grasp on the system in question. 

Today, though, in his second article, he hit a home run. He turned the spotlight on magic items, and made a point that's been a primary grognardian criticism of 3rd and 4th Edition D&D since the beginning: magic items have lost their magical feel, and it's because they are no longer a reward but have become an expected part of character advancement, and, indeed, a requirement to maintain PC power levels as they advance through the game. 

Ha! And he takes this swipe at the system right on the heels of the release of Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium, the finest collection of magic items WotC has given us to date. 

This is a good thing. Monte's clearly been paying attention to the old-school gaming movement. This definitely bodes well for the direction of the game. Word is that a 5th Edition is on its way, and if this is a primary assumption of the system, magic items as actual reward and not mechanical filler in the overglorified name of "balance", then maybe Wizards will strike gold.