Friday, 25 August 2017

I Have Added My Combat Tables to the PDF Page

I have added my pdfs for the combined DMG combat and PHB armour type tables.

The key to understanding this condensed by the book form for AD&D is on the Missile PDF.

My attitude going forward is not to be coy about publishing gaming material in the highest quality available.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Taking a Narrative Approach to Setting Creation

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Taking a Narrative Approach to Setting Creation

The image above is a way of representing a difference in the sandbox approach (left) and the narrative approach (right) in describing your own campaign setting. There is something static and staged in the sandbox method which feels to me like a themepark, a list associated with a map. The creatures and characters are inert and stowed away, jacks-in-their-boxes until the player party happens along. The sandbox has the lifeless character of the boardgame. On the other hand. using a narrative description of setting, time allows moving parts to breathe and mingle, characters can be judged through interactions beyond the standard isolated studies and the same environment can be described in different lights through a variety of eyes as characters and creatures move around.

For previous campaigns I would create characters, give them ambitions, place them in jeopardy, wind them up and let them waddle about my maps until they interacted. I would write down, making it explicit for the record, the tone of an encounter: intimidation, dominance, raillery, alliance, camaraderie, generosity, ignorance, indifference, deceit, neglect, cruelty, instruction and so on. I would concoct dialogue to witness the interaction and I would record reasonably worthy efforts to use verbatim in play. Plausible true-to-character dialogue is extremely hard to extemporize, I think this accounts for the embarrassment among players when they speak in character, they feel they themselves and the other players are letting the characters down and are more comfortable giving a vague impression of what their character says and trying to control how they come across, '... in the manner of a Humphrey Bogart.' Needless to say it is better for players, and DM, to burn through the occasional shame of poor representation of character and improve the aesthetic with practice.

So this time, as I pat some clockwork characters on the head, nudge them on their way and watch them trudge, slink and pad across the landscape, I want to write down with greater clarity and discipline what I imagine happening and I am hoping that the continually unravelling nature of this contrivance might produce a more immediate, tangible and useful setting.

I intend following or unravelling three threads distinguished by character level or Metaphysical Acuity:
1st - 3rd level, The Gleemen, living and traveling in Soundes 
6th - 8th level, The Zorsche Brothers, a band of dungeoneers exploring Aione 
Extremely-high-level, Watchman et al., though Aione and beyond to the land of the Earth Sacraments and the Ocean of Mud.  
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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

I Have Added a Page Menu with Information and Links

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I have added pages to a menu bar above, at the moment containing links to large versions of relevant maps, some old pdfs of material by Gygax and Jaquays which I have reformatted, a page defining Metaphysical Acuity in great detail and a glossary describing in AD&D terms characters and words as they are mentioned in the As It Comes narrative series of posts. I expect to lift from there place descriptions so the glossary should serve in the end as a geographical reference too.

My AD&D glossary as it grows may establish a useful function for the comments, that is as a place to enquire how elements of the As It Comes series would be captured in AD&D terms.

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

As It Comes .1. Watchman

Watchman

A hundred days. A hundred years. No difference. I observe with devotion. I am firm. I reckon my hundreds, one hundred what exactly? and start afresh though not refreshed. This body will be the death of me. Wingless. A wingless biped he gave me. On this hair of stone arching impotent out over a sea of mud he set his warden, a warden I should say. Who built this bastion? a mountain of rock designed and shaped like nature's water-drop suspended from the tip of a hair of stone shot out from clean land bold above this endless churning mire.

Might they not have placed a statue here? A calcite presence with eyes of onyx turning, half man half beast, a feynd, a gorgicore or cacamand. Put the mind in, give it sight. Simple. A statue will endure a hundred full content. Not me. Consider for a moment can a monster ever be content by design or evolution. Given their appetites I mean. Why not give gruesome abominations small appetites? When they have gnawed a child's limb, chewed a woman's breast, nibbled a cock they are appeased and retire to aery lightsome leafy dells to contemplate existence or purpose, for who can order his mind in the noisome dark of filthy earthclogged hideaways cluttered with the rot and flies of discarded flesh and the bones which were expected to transport poor creatures about the place a bit longer. Look elsewhere for rectitude and comportment than monsters. Their lusts till now are designed with murderous hammer blows cracking the will in the dark caves behind their eyes.

Admittedly a statue would become a dungheap overnight before the sweep of storm ushered onto the coast in such filthy violent smog, a stinging blinding mudhail from that vile brown sludge, the Ocean of Mud whence the millennial horror will rise, the all-killer, the destroyer of messiahs, giant breaker and biter of gods.

Well then augment the statue with a crew of rat-creatures with giant hands, expert scrubbers with nails for scraping, who eat what they can't clean. Achh, nonsense. This is how my mind runs when I reach a hundred. And yet to be here, watching over this hypnotic heaving world of mud without wings. What was my crime? 'Trespass' he called it. 'You have come unlooked for to the Sanctum of the Temple of the Prime Five. You will Serve a Function or I will Recompose you Ultramontane.'

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Metaphysical Acuity: 60+

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