I'm off to "the Big City" today, so not much time for a deep thought post. How about we take a look at how things went with some recent polls?
THE LOCATION FOR THE ADVENTURE LIES BEYOND TREACHEROUS WATERS. CAN THE PLAYER'S SHIP SINK ALONG THE WAY, KILLING EVERYONE?
Yes - If it happens, time to roll new guys (31%), No - The story would be over before it began (69%).
See - I tricked you - I put in the words "story" in the second answer, a clear tip off that making rulings to fit some notion of a predetermined story is the wrong answer, prima facie. By now you should realize story is irrelevant; no player characters have plot immunity. If they choose to hop in a boat and head into unsafe waters without precautions, of course the ship can sink. Blub blub. That all being said, I appreciate the well-thought out comments in the post - many folks were fine with raining havoc down on players that sailed unwisely into ice-berg laden northern waters, but rather than making a sinking ship equal instant death, they advocated a wide range of complications - ship damage, lost cargoes, lost resources, man overboard, forced to abandon ship to a lifeboat, tons of options that still get the point across. I'll be a wiser judge with all your useful suggestions in hand.
WHAT'S YOUR PREFERRED METHOD FOR ABILITY SCORE GENERATION?
3d6 in order, no adjustment (44%), 3d6, rearrange and adjust (14%), 4d6, rearrange and adjust (12%), Modern point buy (7%), Something else (21%).
3d6 in one form or another was the popular choice in my circles; from the comments, I got the sense the folks that picked "something else" were doing 3d6 with the adjustment scheme from Moldvay BX, and I probably needed to call that out specifically - BX called for 3d6 in order, limited adjustments, but no rearranging. From previous polls, I get the sense by-the-book AD&D sits around 10-15% in terms of active play so the 4d6 result makes sense. I see a lot of Advanced Edition Companion in use with classic D&D versions.
Story, game - six of one, half dozen of another. Either way the whole party is dead, and it's going to be a hard sell to get them to go to your meticulously mapped out dungeon every again with new guys. They'll take their 3d6 in order guys and rob the innkeeper, because at least there isn't a roll-or-die for the whole party involved. ;)ReplyDelete
Once they've been to the dungeon, sure, kill 'em all if you want. But it just seems pointless, and not in a fun way, to kill them by a random die roll when all they've done is make characters.ReplyDelete
I'm actually running a version 2 game next week, and planning on doing 4d6, in order. They're used to Pathfinder, so I feel like 3d6 would be too harsh, but requiring them to place the stats in order should make for more interesting characters.
This makes me think of reports I have heard of some old school players not even naming their characters until they reach second level. In a game like this, why bother even rolling or picking anything until it becomes needed? I'm only half joking. Need to make a melee attack or strength check for the first time? Roll 3d6 to figure out your strength! Players could delay as long as they wanted determining any aspect of their character, until some choice required that an aspect be nailed down. I think such a game of discovery might be really fun, if players were on board. In such a game, save or die sea storms might feel much more natural.ReplyDelete
This also reminds me of the Holmes method for monster initiative: it is by dex score, and thus referees would need to roll monster dex "just in time" to figure out order of action.