Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Blog Watch: Grumpy Dune-cat, the First Character Sheets, and Megadungeon Rumors

“I had a giant litterbox one time. I hated it.”

History of Gaming (Playing at the world) Character Sheets in 1975 — “As an historical aside, several of these fan sheets mention “brevet ranks.” Brevet ranks were a common convention of the early days of Dungeons & Dragons that allowed a starting character to begin at a higher level, but the character then had to earn enough experience to reach that level before they could progress beyond it.”

House Rules (Hack & Slash) On the Magic Bell (Curve) — “You get 2d6. You get an additional d6 to your pool for ever level you have and every bonus for your statistic. Table stays the same, you may roll as many as you wish to cast a spell. Any die that comes up with a number equal to or less than the level of the spell you are casting is lost and cannot be regained till you rest. Armor reduces the number of dice you have available.”

Adventure Design (Semper Initiativus Unam) Megadungeons, Treasure Maps and the Importance of Goals — “Published megadungeons tend to rely on what we can call the ‘B-Series Model’ for giving advance information about their contents: there is a chart with some rumors, some true and some false. That’s very nice for a level or two of monster-bashing, but in a megadungeon complex it’s radically inadequate, both in quantity of information and depth.”

History of Gaming (Beyond the Black Gate) Armory AD&D character record sheets — I don’t remember these… but I do remember the thirty sided die books from the same company.

Campaign Design (Greyhawk Grognard) Continuous Play, or Breaks? — “When you run a campaign, do you hold that the action in the game is happening more or less continuously, or do you build in breaks during which the characters are deemed to be off doing their ‘day jobs’, training for their next level, carousing, etc.?”

Moldvay Basic (B/X Blackrazor) On Role-Playing (Part 5 of 11) — “Look at the great Example of Combat on page 28. This is a pretty well-written example, displaying all the facets of an encounter in Basic D&D: reaction rolls, initiative, morale checks, melee, missile fire, spell use, and character death. If the example had simply stopped where the hobgoblins provided instructions for finding treasure (and disarming the trap), the page would easily have fit the instructions to any small-scale skirmish game…from D&D4E to Mordheim or Necromunda. But then you add the last three paragraphs and you get something else entirely.”

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2 responses to “Blog Watch: Grumpy Dune-cat, the First Character Sheets, and Megadungeon Rumors

  1. Alan July 16, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I remember those old Armory sheets! As a young computer geek, it inspired me as I realized that I had everything that I needed to make my own sheets: a computer and a dot matrix printer. That was a hobby that occupied many hours, and that I still occasionally dabble in.

    • jeffro July 16, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      The irony is… that as an adult, I go out of my way to use loose leaf notebook paper in order to fully recapture the 1981 experience. :sigh:

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