26 January 2016

Original Dungeons & Dragons Is Affordable Again

Yes, our beloved OD&D is both available and affordable again (in PDF form at least), and you can read a better article about it here in Semper Initiatavus Unum.

11 January 2016

How to Knock Out a Foe in One Easy Rule

Knocking out — or being knocked out by — an opponent ought to be a viable tactic in an adventure game, but more often it is made too obscure or unwieldy in the rules of Dungeons & Dragons and its offspring. As an alternative (and as an encouragement in the use of this tactic), I offer the following house rule.

Any attack with a blunt instrument (either unarmed or with a weapon) can be made with the intent to knock out an opponent. The victim is entitled to a saving throw. If the saving throw succeeds, the victim takes no damage if a helmet is worn or half damage if the head is unprotected. If the saving throw fails, no damage is sustained, but the victim is knocked out and will remain unconscious for 1d6 turns or until revived. Opponents who are surprised suffer a -2 penalty to their saving throw; opponents who are attacked from behind suffer a -4 penalty.

Edged weapons with suitable non-edged surfaces (such as a sword's pommel or an axe's handle) may also be used as a blunt instrument for the purpose of this rule.

01 January 2016

Applying Phantasticality in 2016

Last year was a quiet one for Applied Phantasticality. I posted only 12 articles, which is the least I've posted since I started this Web log. On the bright side, it gives me a low hurdle to overcome this year. I also have three other gaming Web logs that need my attention, so it remains a challenge nonetheless.

In 2016, I will be slightly adjusting the focus of Applied Phantasticality. Swords & Wizardry White Box has been moving to the center of my experiments with Old School Renaissance gaming, and it will remain an area of concentration, but this year I will also be giving a significant amount of attention to Dungeon Crawl Classics. (I backed the 4th printing Kickstarter project, so I should be getting my hardcover copy of the rules in April.) Session reports for both games will follow as soon as gaming resumes.

I'm still tinkering with my OD&D-inspired house rules, but I will probably hash out a definitive rule book before long.

Cargoes & Castaways continues to vex me for several reasons, one of which is its relationship to Swords & Wizardry and the Open Game License. (How compatible do I want it to be? Do I really want to deal with the OGL?) Then there is the issue of illustrating it (or not). I'd love to make it available in PDF and print, but until I can resolve those issues, it will languish in Limbo.

Whatever else the year has in store, I hope there will be plenty of gaming.

Happy New Year!

Game on.