You do What?

Source: The RPGPundit: Your D&D Campaign Prep is Wrong

This reminded me of a series of events that took place during a session at UCSD back in 1975. In it my character, a prestidigitator, fell down a hole and wound up on the 15th or so level of a dungeon. A first level magick user with one hit point, one spell, and a dagger.

According to a recently established tradition I was supposed to just let him die while I prepared a new character to enter play. I said, “Heck with that.”

So I told the fellow running the game what my character was doing, and he let me just to see what would happen. After some wandering about I found a dragon’s lair.

To make a long story short the dragon gave me directions to stairs going up. I followed those directions until I ran into the lair of a balrog –this being back when D&D had balrogs.”

The balrog demanded to know what I was doing there, and I tell him, “That dragon up the hall?


“He says you’re a wimp.”

“He said what?”

“That you’re a wimp.”

Telling me to wait there he headed off to the dragon’s lair. He came back a few minutes later, said “thanks.”, and tossed me out.

I go back to the dragon’s lair and find him in rather poor shape. As a matter of fact he had just one hit point left, and being a kind soul I put him out of his misery. That done I gather up some gold, a robe, a staff, and a new dagger then head out the door for the last time. Just in time to encounter 8 dwarven myrmidons.

Seeing me coming out the door their leader asks, “Is this the dragon’s lair?”


“How is the dragon?”

“He’s dead.”

“And who’s responsible?”

“Well… …I am.”

I now have 8 myrmidon dwarfs as my henchmen.

As you can see based on my experience that night back in 1975 I’m not about to treat any session of any RPG as a story. Just too unpredictable. In the play of any RPG things can’t be set in stone in any fashion. What happens depends on what the player decides to do, and how his luck plays out. I got lucky, and I amused our moderator. And had I taken the time to set it up with him my pea green magician and his dwarfs could’ve had an impact on the moderator’s world.

“Once a Man Went Down…”

Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were shot Saturday at the Metro Blue Line station in Compton, one of whom may have been hit in the head.

Source: Two Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies shot in ambush attack at Compton train station

There are better ways to protest police actions. This is just plain rude, and considering just how irresponsible the subject is that he is found and apprehended soon. He puts everyone in danger. And the fact he has been described as dark skinned puts others with dark skin in danger since all too many people are going to jump to conclusions about those with dark skin.

A couple of centuries ago Irish Americans came to the conclusion that each of them is responsible for what other members of their community do. The same holds true for those in the Black Community. The same for us in the White Community and the East Asian Community. Whatever a black man, a white man, an asian man do is a reflection on you as a black man, a white man, or an asian man, and it is incumbent  on you to speak up and do something about it. Get involved.

I hope the victims recover, that the shooter is caught, and that things don’t get too out of hand.

“Who then is my Brother?”

An elderly disabled woman was assaulted and seriously injured in downtown San Diego, police said today.

Source: Elderly disabled woman assaulted in Downtown San Diego

She has housing now. At her age and in her state she’s in no condition to be on the street. That fact she was says a lot about our society, and that not good.  Though I suspect she’s also short-tempered and not entirely pleasant to be around.

And her assailant is also short tempered and not pleasant to be around. I expect that when caught he’s going into mental health and then into a board and care where they can keep an eye on him. She’s also going into a board and care for assessment and treatment, both will then be going into long term nursing since neither can really be trusted on their own.

It sounds to me like nobody really wanted to take responsibility for them, so they took whatever excuses they could to avoid the responsibility. Some people just have to have their comfort wealth, and so refuse to spend what is necessary for the benefit of society. Small are the souls of the greedy.

Today’s News

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series DJ

I’m pooped so I’m heading to bed. That said I have made progress on the manuscript for Dangerous Journeys and tomorrow I’ll be finishing up the SEC descriptions and doing the actual social demographics. I am making progress! –And rejoicing there was much.–

So I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and next week I’m hoping to get the chapter of Personae done.

What I’m Up To

Almost done with the outline. Though I may actually have even more to do than that. The big change is my decision to call the combat mechanics ‘fighting’ since that’s what the HPs will be doing should things turn out that way. And then I learn once again I have more to put into the chapter of Personae. I get the feeling that Gary was rushed.

But still I will persevere.

After making my life more complicated than it needs to be, I am doing an outline of the DJ manuscript by doing it as an organized list. Instead of all the crap it seems certain parties insist on with their outlining apps. I can only conclude that certain parties are blinking amateurs with a flagrant need to look important.

I’m also going to just write the damn book, get it to looking good, converting it to a PDF, and then presenting it here in this blog. There’s also more to do, but that can wait for later. So for all you writer out there, how do you handle outlines?

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Understanding RPGs

Back in the day, when what we now call role playing games were better known as wargames, you had lot of fighting, and a part of the fighting for the most part it started off by the parties involved who if either was surprised, and then who actually got to go first. This last part was called “initiative”.

For the most part surprise and initiative were handled simply, mostly because the participants didn’t really want to bother with the complications that can come up in real life. Let’s face it, it was a game and realism wasn’t really a part of it. On the other hand I’ve decided that having a semblance of realism can be fun as long as you take the time to make it fun.

So why do people get surprised? They weren’t expecting things and it may take some time to catch on to what’s going on. As for who goes when? That’s a matter of what you are doing and what you are doing it with.

Now the man who designed the mechanics for Dangerous Journeys had a mechanism for determining initiative, something he had originally written for use in his old AD&D. This mechanism included speed factors for equipment and actions. Though in DJ the combat round is shortened from one minute to a Critical Turn of 3 seconds. Then later he added an even shorter time form, the “Beat” of 0.1 second. Which meant that now a speed factor of 9 meant it took longer to perform an act than a speed factor of 3. –I’ve used a bow, it takes time to draw it back.–

Of course you do need to remember the role reach plays in all this, so that with a speed factor of –I think– 7 a pike is a slow weapon, but since it is a thrusting weapon with a reach of 12 or so –I’ve got research to do–  a lot of the time the pike armed man is going to have initiative on his foe. About the only advice I can give the guide with this is, let yourself have fun with initiative, and make it fun for your players.

Guide to Metron the Sage: Since you weren’t really paying attention that giant with her bardiche has the drop on you, and since her weapon has an effective reach of 15 you stand a good chance of getting punctured before you get a chance to react.

Just remember to let it be fun.

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