Showing posts from November, 2022

FAQ U: What is Marx's Critique of Value?

Sometimes, I (try to) talk about economics and end up bringing up a weird phrase: “social” value, or even “value” by itself. When I talk about social value, I refer to economic value, specifically following Marx’s critique of value in his Capital, Volume One [1]. You can read that volume for yourself, or read Marx’s seminar Value, Price and Profit where he discusses the concept in isolation [2]. I’ve also written about the implications of value in the context of so-called market socialism [3], or how the book Debt: The First 5,000 Years does not adequately account for value in discussing monetary units across history [4]. There was also an article I wrote a while back talking about value as a form of abstraction [5]. This is my attempt, though, to explain Marx’s critique of value in my own words, directly and not in the context of something else, in case some of you have not read Marx and want a simpler starting point than getting knee-deep in eighteen-hundreds (anti-)economics tex

Bite-Sized Dungeons

Workbook Now Available On Itch! Bite-Sized Dungeons by Traverse Fantasy Edit: This whole time, I said that a first level dungeon hoard had 100 times d6 gold pieces when it actually has just 10 times d6. This means the average hoard has an XP value of 70 without gems, or ~110 with gems. By extension, the eighteen-room dungeon only has 350 XP without gems, or ~550 XP with gems. That is downright dismal and I don’t think works out with modern play sessions and party counts, so let’s pretend it said 100 times d6 anyway. I just read an article by Yora of Spriggan’s Den about extrapolating a scheme for an eighteen-room dungeon from the procedural generation rules in B/X (1981) [1]. As Yora points out, eighteen rooms is a great size for a mid-to-large dungeon or for a floor of a multi-level dungeon, and the checklist of rooms makes it easy to make sure that the final product has a variety of interesting play interactions. But, being as large as it is, it can still be a tall order on the

A Basis for Reimagining Chainmail

Chainmail is an interesting ruleset for mass combat as well as individual scale combat, but its rules are a bit disparate and convoluted. They can also be difficult to interface with the use of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, where we might expect mass combat as well as individual combat against typical human-like beings or fantastic ones like dragons—all of which are given distinct subsystems in Chainmail . This is my attempt at a unified system of Chainmail , working with the abstraction of the mass combat system as well as the relative simplicity of the one-versus-one combat system. This will entail initially an analysis of the mass combat system with respect to its likelihood of landing hits as well as to its implicit attack classification system. Then, I will discuss four methods to redesign Chainmail : by approximating mass combat in standard dice rolls (A&B); by using variable dice to represent types of units (C); and by simplifying the existing system to focus on ratio

FMC Alpha Errata

Just released my 1974 remake Fantastic Medieval Campaigns on November 11! Here, I wanted to answer some frequently asked questions and feedback. Some of them are mistakes I want to correct, and others are things I want to clarify about the text and its approach. I owe many of them to comments on this blog which I cannot reply to because my computer is broken! I felt bad about not being able to respond, so I hope all y’all see this. Update 2022-11-18: Updated once again with respect to the issues below! Update 2022-11-16: Thank you to lvp0s93 for noticing that some spells have not had their descriptions written! I will update this page when I have updated the PDF again. Below is a list of more issues I want to resolve: p. 20: “lord” should be capitalized. p. 49: The spells “Bless” and “Find Trap” have missing descriptions. p. 177: “Light horse” should be renamed to “light cavalry”. p. 188: Replace “italicized” with “underlined”. Update 2022-11-15: Many of these issues have been fixed i

FMC is Out!!!

After almost fifteen months of extensively studying the original 1974 fantasy role-playing game, Fantastic Medieval Campaigns is finally available for download!! I wrote up a longer thing, an explanation and justification of my work, on the Itch page where you can download it. So, with that being said, click the link on the widget below to download the book! FMC by Traverse Fantasy Below are some more screenshots of the color version of the text, just to show y'all the final product in case you haven't been keeping up with it on my Twitter . Keep in mind, also, that my computer is officially broken so you can ony reach out to me there or on the Itch page linked above. Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement throughout this huge project!

Releasing FMC in 3 Days!

Releasing an "alpha" version of Fantastic Medieval Campaigns this Friday (11/11) on my Itch ! FMC is my free retroclone of the original 1974 manual for fantasy campaigns, in four chapters: Chapter I, Mortals & Magic: Explains how to generate fantastic characters, fight terrible monsters, and cast magical spells. Chapter II, Monsters & Treasures: Lists different kinds of monsters and the treasures they guard from characters that encounter them. Chapter III, Fantasy Adventures: Procedures for a vast campaign that will see adventurers delve into the Underworld and conquer the Wilderness. Appendix A, Chain of Command: The default wargaming system for medieval battles on a mass or individual scale. Appendix B, Indices: Compiled indices for monsters, tables, and spells to help cross-reference different sections of the book. Please keep an eye also on my Twitter , where I will post more screenshots and actually announce when the thing has actually re