Out Of Character


Mushgnome's Lovecraftian PBP

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Post Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:46 pm

Re: Out Of Character

Thanks Ways!

So a bit of background, one of my goals with this game was to improve two areas of DM'ing that I've often handwaved in the past: mapping and keeping track of time/distance.

Mapping has turned out to be one of my favorite parts so far, and I'm glad you appreciate it. First of all, I want to say, I did not draw the cavern map itself. My art skills are not anywhere near that good! I am using a commercially published map, and if anyone thinks they've seen it before and wants to confirm their guess, shoot me a PM.

To simulate light/darkness, I did this: I am using an open source software called GIMP (but you could probably also use Photoshop if you already have it). I created two "layers," a bottom layer for the map, and a top layer for the "shroud of darkness." Then when I want to reveal an area to the party, I lock the map layer and use the eraser tool on the darkness layer. If you set the eraser tool to a large brush size, then the edges are naturally "fuzzy." It really couldn't be easier and I am pleased with the "immersive" look of the result.

Regarding distance/time, I'm still struggling a bit with this, and admit I might have fudged the numbers a bit. If it turns out I've been too harsh on the players, then I've devised an easy way to make it up to the party in-game, without breaking suspension-of-disbelief.

In your mind, how many feet does a Hobbet with 9" movement rate cover in a) one exploration turn of careful exploration; b) one exploration turn running at maximum speed; c) one combat turn of tactical movement (i.e. closing a gap to initiate melee); d) one combat turn of pursuit/flight?

A third goal of mine to become a better DM is to post a nice public Google Sheets to keep track of all the minutia. I haven't quite gotten around to this yet, but I promise I will do so when we have our first big treasure/XP award. :)
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Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:21 pm

Re: Out Of Character

I for one am enjoying the confusion that results from the map being 1) in the ref's hands and 2) updated in a "realistic" fashion (i.e. not so much after a chase).

I've been thinking a lot lately about "fog of war" in exploration RPGs: how the PCs even at the best of times would not be paying attention to every little detail. The human (or hobbet) sensorium is remarkably limited at times, and I enjoy when a ref allows a bit of that fog to come between the fictive world (which only the ref has a clear view of) and the players (whose PCs are working from limited perceptual info).

It reminds me a bit of the stories of Gygax sitting completely hidden behind a filing cabinet when he was ref, so the limited info you got was descriptions from a disembodied voice... :D
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf (M 12", AC 3, HD 1+2, hp 8/8, N) helm+plate+cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, Burglar-in-Training (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L)[/f]
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Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:34 pm

Re: Out Of Character

I DM'd a game for some friends and their kids. I turned out the lights and gave flashlights to the players. If they switched off or put down their flashlights, then their PC's torches went out in the game! It turned out a fun way to keep the kids' attention from wandering.
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Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:10 pm

Re: Out Of Character

mushgnome wrote:I turned out the lights and gave flashlights to the players. If they switched off or put down their flashlights, then their PC's torches went out in the game!


That's really, really great. :)

Somewhere I saw a video of a ref from the early days running a game for some "new folks". He had a multi-level table w/surface level temple, then each level of dungeon laid out. Each PC figure had a tiny LED flashlight (if carrying a torch), and when you entered the dungeon he turned off the room lights and revealed the dungeon in "actual" lighting conditions. :-)

If I find the vid I'll link it here, but at the moment I've no recollection who it was.
[f=32]Wiglaff the Elf (M 12", AC 3, HD 1+2, hp 8/8, N) helm+plate+cloak of elvenkind, battle-axe (map)[/f]
[f=47]Wilibald "Willie" Whitfoot, Burglar-in-Training (M 12", AC 6, HD 1+2, hp 9/9, L)[/f]
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Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:25 am

Re: Out Of Character

Thanks for the info Mush. yeah, I recall trying to do maps with graphics apps way back. I think I got overly obsessed with making beautiful art, so it didn't last long. But yours are simpler and look great.

mushgnome wrote:In your mind, how many feet does a Hobbet with 9" movement rate cover in a) one exploration turn of careful exploration; b) one exploration turn running at maximum speed; c) one combat turn of tactical movement (i.e. closing a gap to initiate melee); d) one combat turn of pursuit/flight?


Quick response (forgive me if I overlook something):

One turn is two 9" moves, so 18".

a) Assuming moving cautiously (mapping, checking for traps, listening etc.) then two moves of 90ft; 180ft per turn. Mapping is slow going. I usually look for "decision points" on the map, and assume the players move along to the next decision point within reach for each move.

b) Personally I don't do full speed running in exploration turns; I do it in combat turns, cos that's where flight/pursuit happens. Also, can't imagine running at full speed with full gear for ten whole minutes at a go. You'd be beat. So, two moves of 180ft per turn; 360ft per one minute turn. Almost a believable pace? This is why we need some long passages in them dungeons. I guess if we were talking about long distance running in the wilderness, then I'd use the wilderness pursuit rules.

c) Same as b) for rushing into combat. When already in melee, I just assume all engaged figures are just "anywhere" in an abstract melee zone. Figures not in the melee theoretically get one move per 1-3 rounds of blows (per S&S p17)... but this usually doesn't matter.

d) Same as b).
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]
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Post Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:42 pm

Re: Out Of Character

Great discussion. I think we are all basically on the same page. :)

Quick bursts of pursuit/fleeing speed are very fast compared to normal exploration, but this is more than compensated for by the exhaustion factor and the risk of getting lost. Works for me.

Maybe I should have explicitly mentioned this earlier: "Behind the DM screen" I have been slowing down the party to as little as 3" exploration while crawling through tight squeezes, etc. (hopefully being smart players, you would naturally have assumed this).
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Post Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:44 pm

Re: Out Of Character

I'll be traveling for work from today through Friday. I should be able to check the game every now and again, but don't wait on Dougal to post if it holds things up.

Thanks.
Dougal Blackfoot (MV 9", AC 6, HD 1, HP 5/5, FC 1 Man) leather, short sword+main gauche
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Post Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:12 pm

Re: Out Of Character

No worries, I'm really enjoying the game, but I could use a few days off myself, to "recharge the creative batteries."

Let's pick back up this weekend. :)
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Post Tue May 21, 2019 6:30 pm

Re: Out Of Character

What's the quickest way to get caught up on the game? Both campaign game and the rules. :D
I'm an AD&D 1E kinda guy, but I've enjoyed some OD&D in my day, and have read a bunch of the Delving Deeper stuff, but like a million years ago.
Nobody ever catches Nuth.
The OSRIC Site and Wiki!
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Post Tue May 21, 2019 7:03 pm

Re: Out Of Character

rredmond wrote:What's the quickest way to get caught up on the game? Both campaign game and the rules. :D
I'm an AD&D 1E kinda guy, but I've enjoyed some OD&D in my day, and have read a bunch of the Delving Deeper stuff, but like a million years ago.


Here's the Rules: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=831

Here's the Intro: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=828

Here's the Setup for the adventure: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=832

Here's the Beginning Adventure: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=834
Dougal Blackfoot (MV 9", AC 6, HD 1, HP 5/5, FC 1 Man) leather, short sword+main gauche
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