Showing posts from July, 2022

Usage & Hazard Dice: How to Emulate Bookkeeping with Dice

In old D&D , you track the duration or quantity of items. For example, one torch lasts 6 turns; longterm spells often also last 6 turns; quivers can hold onto a certain number of arrows. When the timer runs out, your torch burns out or your spell expires; when you run out of arrows, you cannot use your bow anymore. One goal of contemporary rulesets has been to abstract these factors to avoid trivial bookkeeping during play. One method of abstraction is through random probability. Each resource, whether the duration of a torch or the number of arrows in a quiver, is depleted at a known or expected rate. Using random factors, i.e. rolling dice, one can emulate the depletion of those resources statistically rather than manually tracking resources at constant rates of depletion. Emulated Resource Consumption See: cascading dice, usage dice, risk dice, delta dice. One method of this is what has become known as the usage die. This term was popularized by The Black Hack (2016), whe

Psst, ODD74!

I've lurked on your forum for a couple of years! That is me in the new user registration thread; I just now wanted to make an account because I was trying to investigate to where my infamous post about the OSR was being referred. So, I wanted to reply on the thread where it was linked because there was some discussion about hazard dice and similar abstract mechanics, and I wanted to give some context for why it's used (and also clarify my own feelings about it, since my take on it was less because I use it actively and more because I think it's a useful teaching tool). I also just want to participate in general because I think OD&D is really interesting and the discussions on the forum have always been really insightful. It would be great to have the opportunity to talk about the game with y'all and learn more from y'all's perspectives. Thank you! Sincerely, Marcia

Death & Taxes in Mausritter

This is a simple scheme for character age and campaign time records in Mausritter , where you play as mice. To summarize on mouse age and campaign time: Mice have short lifespans, about 12-18 months. There are six seasons (each two months long) in the year. A mouse’s age is measured in seasons. Roll d6. One season is the duration of a downtime turn. The season changes between every session, if possible. This all has implications for long-term play, focusing on intergenerational developments in mouse families. To summarize on township play: To govern mouse society even in one hex is a great feat of social organization. Each hex should be governed by one mouse, i.e. by one player via their character. Additional hexes must be ruled by family members or by subordinate governors. Event dice are rolled for each hex, rather than for the whole region. 1,000 to 6,000 mice live on each hex. They generate o

Empire of Dirt

The great worm Letun rules over the underworld with iron fist and squiggly body. She protects the surface dwellers from the pesky mole people, in exchange for nothing but the dirt which she inhabits. However, when rumors spread that the ground beneath the town was rich with bitkojn, a mining company bought the surrounding land and began tearing away at it. Is there any hope for the town’s inhabitants, trapped between a mining operation and a dark place? Letun ( HD 15, AC 6, Mv. 6): The empress of dirt. Like other purple worms, Letun swallows up her target on an attack roll 20% (4 pips) over the minimum score required. Her victim will die in 1 hour, and is fully digested in 2 hours. She is intelligent and can speak. The Glabers When humans first ate of the fruit of knowledge, their eyes were opened to the world around them. They cast their eyes upon the sky and saw the heavenly hosts, and they saw wild beasts in the fields and fish in the waters. Then they looked upon themselv

Markets Without Capitalism? Reevaluating Commodity Circulation in Capital Volume I

Lately, I keep seeing people discuss whether there can exist markets without capitalism. This is often phrased in terms of Marx's terminology for commodities. The circuit of commodity circulation, C-M-C, signifies the sale of a commodity in exchange for money, which is then used to buy another commodity. The circuit of capital, M-C-M', is the process by which money makes more money: a capitalist purchases someone's labor time, and then keeps the product of that time spent working. This product, since it contains newly-exerted labor (in the abstract), is worth more than what was invested in its production. The capitalist can then sell the product for more than was spent. It is not, therefore, uncommon for market socialists to advocate for their platform using the language of Marx's critique of capital. Since C-M-C and M-C-M' are distinct circuits, and M-C-M' appears most obviously in the form of industrial wage labor, it seems that a society can be organized arou

On Thieves: A Trifunctional Analysis of OD&D

My friend Ava Islam and I were talking about how thieves could possibly be integrated into OD&D without compromising the integrity of its simple system with little mechanical variation between characters. Her solution is to treat thieves as a parasitic class that steal abilities from monsters by stealing their treasure [1]; unlike other characters, her thieves are also not limited by how much they can advance per session or how much XP they can receive from higher-level feats (i.e. from looting higher-level floors or defeating higher-HD monsters). This incentivizes the thief to pursue riskier jobs than other classes, and also to hold onto treasure rather than selling it and/or receiving XP for it. It’s very interesting and worth checking out, so please do that and also support Ava’s transition fund (link) ! My original (less interesting) thought for a while was to explore thieves as a viable option for characters with poor prime requisite scores, which in OD&D are strength f