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Goblin Babies and Wasp Nests: Too Close to Home?

Friday, September 25th, 2020

 

Dungeons & Dragons is getting rid of inherently evil humanoids, maybe even race-based ability scores, and so on. I’ve personally always disliked alignment for various reasons, the old “slaughtering goblin babies” problem being one of those, and I also don’t put humanoid women-and-children in the path of adventurers, so the problem hasn’t come up in my games.

But I do want a way to have “these are probably not things you want around” to be a thing with monster-types because…well…such things do exist in the real world, even if they aren’t rampaging barbaric hordes wielding steel and magic. I like monsters for heroes to overcome.

In the real world, we Raid-bomb wasp hives that are built on our houses, and you would probably stomp a nest of black widow spider eggs into goo if you found one, and cockroaches that have set up shop in our walls are going to a roach motel. And we feel–and probably are–justified in doing so.

But let’s explore and unpack this idea, for which I’m going to use goblins and goblin babies as an example. And you can probably see–or at least think you see–where I’m going with this: building a case that compares and makes equivalent wasps and goblins. But I’d like you to stick with me to the end here; don’t be a bad psychic and try to predict where this is going.

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Cut it Like a Pie

Friday, August 21st, 2020

 

Forged in the Dark games tend to have a multi-part meta-structure to play that I am finding very enjoyable. The types of actions and play that take place in each phase of that structure are differentiated from one another and simply utilize variations on the core mechanic.

This started me thinking about how OSR-type games could benefit from this meta-structure, and how I already use a pseudo-structure like this in play: for example, how downtime and travel are separated into mechanically-discrete phases of play when I run a game. I started wondering what this BitD meta-structure would look like for an OSR game, and a quick sketch emerged with around eight phases of varying complexity and length…but that’s a lot of phases, so I went back to ruminating on the issue.

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Make Mine a Challenge

Monday, August 10th, 2020

 

Your players announce the following ideas during play, maybe during Downtime, maybe in the middle of an adventure:

  • “I want to convince the head of the depository to give me a loan!”
  • “The queen is pretty lonely…let’s say I seduce her…I know! Maybe convince her to marry me?”
  • “The texts I need to complete this research are in the grand library in the capital? I want to go there to access them.”
  • “I’m going to punch this guy in the face for lying to me about his qualifications!”

How would you handle each of these ideas from a player?

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Temple of the Night Serpent

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

 

My first map for public consumption drawn by hand using my own map assets. This was meant to be the centerpiece of a battle against yuan-ti cultists, but COVID has delayed my group’s ability to meet. Rather than allow it to languish unused, I’m sharing it.

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Positions, Puzzle Boxes, Adversaries and More

Friday, June 26th, 2020

 

One of my BitD groups recently had a discussion about play styles due to some questions involving how one goes about negotiating for Position and Effect. One of the players, frustrated by the system, wanted to know what the normal difficulty of an action should be. The thing is, in BitD, there’s no real answer to that question.

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