I wrestle With Myself

You know the bit in The Night of the Hunter where Robert Mitchum’s sinister itinerant preacher tells the “the story of right hand, left hand” using his hands tattooed with LOVE and HATE to illustrate man’s eternal struggle between the impulse of good and evil, love or hate winning the wrestling match between the two […]

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D&D and The Art of the Steal

So, I’ve been thinking again (as one does) about Thieves’ skills and bonuses in OD&D and B/X lines. I wrote about this before, in It Takes A Thief back in 2008. Nowadays, Original Edition Delta has a nice simplification of calculating them to eliminate the weirdness of the percentiles (that are almost always increments of […]

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Smoothing Attack Bonus Progression

One of the things that I really like about Original Edition Delta (Dan Collins’ restatement/mild reworking of Original White-box D&D) is how he adjusted the attack bonus charts for men attacking monsters to make a smoother progression as characters level up. The original chart divided Fighting Men into groups of three levels, e.g. 1-3, 4-6, […]

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The Most D&D Book Ever?

I’ve been rereading the Hobbit, for the first time in maybe thirty years, and I can’t help but be struck by it being possibly the most D&D thing I’ve ever read… including some books that were directly set in D&D worlds. It’s not just the moments where something in the early D&D rules was clearly […]

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Conventions of Play

Not playing at conventions, but conventions I’ve adopted in my games (mostly regardless of system or genre) to try to shape the play experience to encourage or avoid certain kinds of play at my table. These aren’t house-rules, most of them being meta-rules about what is and isn’t allowed by the GM or the players. […]

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Fixing Weapons vs. Armor Class

At the risk of turning this into a blog for commenting on Delta’s blog, here are some thoughts on a post of his back in March about the big error in the infamous Greyhawk and AD&D Weapons vs AC charts. Basically, Dan observed that there’s a fundamental error in the way the chart was derived […]

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Cleaving Attacks

Dan Collins of Delta’s D&D Hotspot has a new post on what he calls “Cleaving Through the Ages”, where he goes into the history of making multiple attacks against low-level foes through every edition of D&D, as well as the pre-history in Chainmail. And an exhaustive round-up it is, too. Without repeating it here, the […]

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Strength is Size

One thing I tend to do in D&D-esque games is treat the Strength attribute as indicating size as well. (Other games, such as Chaosium’s Basic Role Playing and its kin have a separate Size attribute.) It seems to me, though, that there’s a bunch of pretty good arguments that the two are at least highly […]

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D&D & Me (Part III)

For the first Gygax Day, back in 2008, I wanted to try running a one-shot purely Old School D&D adventure in his honor. I didn’t have a copy of OD&D, so I ended up using the Mentzer Basic and a free dungeon that had a good reputation that had been put together by the folks […]

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