Wednesday, August 16, 2017

RPGaDay 2017 #16 Which RPG do you enjoy using as is?

As I said yesterday, all of them.

So instead, I'm going to talk about the time that running a game as is actually opened up some doors to me.

Old School D&D, at least as conveyed to me by OSRIC, included a couple of rules regarding mandatory downtime. That is, time that characters must spend away from adventuring in order to take care of other things. In those rules, these included training times for when a character goes up in level and medical recovery when they are dropped below 0 hit points, but not actually killed. I'm sure most tables would ignore this sort of rule. The guys over at the System Mastery podcast have complained plenty when this sort of rule is included in a game they review.

But I wanted to get that First Edition, early-days-of-gaming feel, so I left it in. Another thing I knew that happened in Ye Olden Dayes was players having multiple characters, suitable for multiple levels of adventuring. So I encouraged my players to build multiple characters in case one of them became unavailable to play for whatever reason.

In the early days of this, what mostly happened was that players would wait for all characters to be recovered before venturing into the dungeon. Even if that meant days or weeks of waiting. If I was on top of my game, I would have put pressure on them by highlighting the expenses of staying in town and also taken the time to repopulate the dungeon, but I was new to the whole process myself.

But once there were enough characters and enough players involved, deciding which character to play became part of the strategy of the session. "We're going down to the tomb level. Who's got a cleric to turn all the undead?" "I do, but they're in training right now. Do we want to wait on the tombs and clear out the gnolls on the fourth level instead? My fighter's looking for some action!"

It was a unique and fun experience that I wouldn't have had if I had ignored those downtime rules.

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