Friday, 15 July 2016

Say Something, I'm Giving Up On You


Life happened, for a while, and not in the good way. But it's getting back on track, as shall this blog.

Eyes, Teeth, Mouth, & Hands campaign imploded. That's fine, campaigns come and go.

A new campaign has taken its place, a West Marches style affair called Welcome to Palisade, clearly taking a lot of influence from Rat Queens.

In between these campaigns I'd say something fairly significant happened in terms of my D&D life.

I gave up on 5th Edition.

At least on running it, for the time being.

The original purpose of this blog was finding the old-school at the heart of 5e, and bringing out ways to make it work. But that's what it come down to: work. A lot of it. The backlog of drafted posts I have in "The Elixir" series is huge and it was all terribly inefficient. Why try to wrangle something so hard when it doesn't want to co-operate? Why waste so much energy when I could be devoting it to the game? Why confuse my players with conflicting expectations and make them play subpar systems for the sake of my experiments?

So I gave up and embraced the old school fully.

I mucked about with writing my own composite of S&W, Labyrinth Lord, and LoTFP for a while and was happily tinkering away on it when I found The Black Hack and promptly fell in love, like everyone else in the OSR apparently.

It fixed a lot of the issues I had where I felt other retro-clones were unintuitive, and it honestly feels like that 0e/5e mashup I'd wanted to make myself. The game just sings. The unified roll-under mechanic feels like a nice old-school inversion of the d20 system, and yeah yeah hodge podge systems but it's not like any version of D&D isn't going to have a bunch of stuff tacked on to deal with everything else, but I like the core of the game to be neat, to help with adjudication at the table.

But yeah, goodbye 5e for now. If I want a tactics simulator, I'll pick 5e over 4e or Pathfinder, but that's not what I want right now. Marco is bemoaning the lack of greater choice he got with 5e but he's still enjoying various aspects of the system.

Obviously the blog will change in focus (as well as the redesign). I'll maybe post the 5e essays someday but they're not a focus. 

Anyway, here are my house rules. I use the Sorcerer class and spells from Wonder & Wickedness instead of Magic-Users and Logan Knight's Mystics instead of Clerics. I take the magical activities from LotFP as well. I've added species (races) with class disjunction (no race-as-class).

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