Monday, May 27, 2013

Random Thoughts

I have several small ideas fluttering around, none of which warrants its own post. However, taken as a whole . . . they are still pretty inconsequential, let's be honest. So, this is one of my "notes to self" posts.

Swords & Wizardry Complete (SWC)

I came up with the Ranger for DD, and started thinking about some more conversions of classes from the supplements. There were some I was willing to drop in pretty much whole, from certain sources. I am happy enough with the Paladin from SWC, as far as Paladins go, so I pulled that out and  . . . well, now I'm sucked into SWC.

I have loved Swords & Wizardry since I first laid eyes on it. Even when I have fixated on the things I don't like about it, I still love the game. SWC is so gonzo to me. It really harkens back to the late 70's, when all the supplements were out, we had Strategic Review, and The Dragon first took flight. There was a crazy mix of ideas, some were brilliant, some not so much. Some were out-right horse shit. They all drove the game in crazy new directions, though. It was like building a soap-box racer. Then deciding it would be great fun to rig a lawn mower engine to it. A cup holder and better seat was next. Then, finally, somebody gets the idea to put wings on the damn thing.

SWC somehow captures that gonzo, free-wheeling, anything goes spirit of those times. Yet, it doesn't implode. Let's face it, not all of those crazy ideas (even the brilliant ones) really worked. Some of them worked great, until they were asked to work with some of the other crazy ideas, then they became an unholy mess. Not so in SWC. It isn't perfect (I'm still less than thrilled that the Fighter's class ability is completely dependent on high stat rolls), but it is easily house ruled.


I think there is a problem with the Delving Deeper Thief. It starts off too competent. All of the thief skills succeed 67% of the time. A lot of grumbling is done about the "Greyhawk" thief being almost irrelevant at low levels, and I suppose this alleviates that. I really liked it at first, then it hit me. There is no sense of accomplishment when playing a DD thief. Even with the option of improving his skills, something is lost when you go from succeeding almost all the time to succeeding virtually all the time. Sure, it sucks to have a 10% chance to pick a  lock at 1st level. Yet, there is a growing sense of achievement that comes with earning that 67% chance of doing something, rather than having it handed to you.

Not to mention the old argument about the class being self-justifying, anyway. What could be more self-justifying than making certain activities the purview of a specific class, then setting it up so that characters of that class begin the game with such a high degree of competence?

Ascending Armor Class

When I am in an old school mind-set, nothing rankles me more than AAC. Logically, I know it makes sense. It is easy to use, and it obviates big to-hit charts. This came up for me as I'm sitting here this morning contemplating making a referee screen for SWC. There are three rather large to-hit tables for characters and one for monsters. It would take up quite a bit of space just for those. If I embrace AAC, it would only take up a few lines. Plus it has the advantage of tweaking the bonuses slightly to further differentiate classes' fighting abilities. It still disrupts my old school groove, though.

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