Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Get Your Ag On

 I ran my OSE Realms of Agon campaign again tonight. Some things to note: 

-The party wisely avoids combat. We didn't even have a combat tonight; the party wisely lured the wandering gecko lizards they encountered into the room with the slain bandits, and got the monsters to feed on the bodies rather than on them. 

-Monster xp in OSE and B/X is saaaaad. The players have leaned into this, and seek clever solutions if at all possible Given that most of them have like 3 or 5 hit points, this is a good idea. 

-The cleric usually takes light, rather than cure light wounds.Given that most of the party is probably going to die if they take a single solid hit, it makes sense to focus on a spell that can reduce a monster's chance of making that fatal blow land. 

-Fortune seems to favor the players with regard to reaction rolls, traps being sprung, and wandering monsters. Fortune is not with them, however, most of the time I need to roll up a treasure. 

-The party cleared out level 1 of the sepulcher they have been exploring. There remains an enigma to be solved, but they want to do some research in town. 

-Now that one of my players has introduced me to the shift key function in jam boards, using it for mapping isn't quite as awful for my artistically-disinclined ass. 

-I have homework: at the end of the night, the magic-user's player declared that he wants to seek out a tutor who he can pay to copy spells, and the assassin has decided she wants to discretely find some poison for purchase. I'll have that worked up for them before the next session. 

-Rumor tables have become my favorite part of this campaign. 

-Emergent lore is dope. 


  1. "Emergent lore is dope" is kind of an understatement. I'm not sure I'd consider a game to be succeeding if there was a lack of emergent lore.

    RE XP for monsters

    I know what you mean...I really, really do. While it's all well and good to discourage combat (that's a feature!) it doesn't properly reward the deadly nature of combat in B/X.

    The best modification I've found (i.e. that gave me the most satisfying results) was to award XP based on damage inflicted and taken. While I borrowed my own rules from Alexis Smolensk's game, you can find an earlier proposal for this rule variant all the way back in Dragon #36 (William Fawcett). In practice, I've found it pretty easy to track, and rewarding for low-level play while not becoming OVER-rewarding at mid- to high levels. You might want to check it out:

    1. One more thing about the variant XP system: it finally addresses issues with the B/X "special ability bonus." Should a troglodyte be worth the same XP (25 points) as a pit viper? Hard to say "yes" when a failed save for the latter can take down up to 66 hit points worth of 6th level fighter (a 50% chance of a failed poison save!). Should a berserker really be worth more than a giant shrew? Should an elf with the spell "floating disk" be worth the same as an elf with the spell "magic missile?" Which creature provides the more deadly peril?

      Anyway. It looks a little finicky, but it's not really.

    2. I mean emergent lore as opposed to the DM coming up with a bunch of shit ahead of time. I came up with some stuff, but most of the lore just kind of comes out as we play.

  2. Does your party have many hirelings or henchmen? I always appreciated the meat shield quality of easily replaced NPCs. Dear God were my players forever hounded by raging widows and orphaned children after their old man got eaten by an ogre or fell in a pit.

    1. The party has one NPC fighter who is a retainer to the cleric. The cleric managed to hoodwink him into joining his religion. The party, weirdly enough, often forgets he is there.

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