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Play-by-Post » New PbP on Discord » 1/05/2020 9:28 pm

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PM received and sent!  Sorry, I've been away from the board for a week or so, as predicted.

Chainsaw and Iron Ranger, thanks for the assist!

Bestiary » MMM - Mini-Monster Manual » 11/06/2019 5:39 am

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Would love to see more Mythos monsters, if you have them!

Sorcery » Them! » 11/06/2019 4:42 am

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Spider of Leng wrote:

Incidentally, the jack-o-lanterns & scarecrow are statted up in the Swords & Wizardry version of Tome of Horrors.  Scarecrows are also in 1st edition Fiend Folio. 

To my knowledge, the first appearance of a jack-o'-lantern in our beloved hobby is this illustration by Greg Bell, in the 1975 Dungeons & Dragons Supplement I, Greyhawk:
http://www.coldmonkeymountain.com/osrpg/halloween/bugbear1975.jpg

And speaking of bugs... this is the 'original' Bugbear!  It's the look I prefer, and find entirely suitable for insertion into Hyperborea, for which one can use any of the available OS stats (and for a nice kicker, make them a minor Sub-lunary Dæmon).
Though Jimm's shambling boar-thing certainly deserves a mention as well https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cool.png


~ sub
 

Adventures » Rats in The Walls (spoilers) » 10/11/2019 9:32 am

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Wow, looks like it's unanimous!

I shall run that part of the adventure as printed.  The Shining One awaits!

Rules Discussion » Rules for adding Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings to ASSH » 10/10/2019 7:26 pm

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joethelawyer wrote:

the xp penalty for being a demi human is the only penalty.  they can all be any class, just progress slower.  gave humans nothing to compensate. 

It's your game, brother.  My dad (who once played a Dwarf long ago!) used to say, "The proof is in the pudding."  In other words, by exercising their power to choose race and class in session zero, your players will be telling you how good they perceive these advantages to be.

Not saying that everyone is a min-maxer or takes advantage of the best possible stats, but many are, and the later D&D editions tend to encourage this style of gaming.  You're giving demi-humans more bonuses than AD&D does, with a penalty that is equal or lesser.  +20% XP seems stiff, but in play it actually means the demi's will level up only a couple of sessions behind their human companions (depending on your pace and how generous you are with XP).

For example, if I were at your table I'd ask to roll using Method III, put my top score in DX and make an Elf.  For class I would choose Witch, Shaman, or Legerdemainist, thus getting the most out of the race's extra weapons, stealth, and magical boons.  When he's not casting offensive spells he'll be supporting the party with his Longbow.  And my minmax-fu is not even that good, compared to some ;-)

~ sub

Adventures » Hyperborean Black Ruins: » 10/10/2019 4:08 pm

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Instead of binge-reading the entire forums I've been consuming a bit at a time, like a grab bag.  So I just came across this gem, and it's now in my short queue of stuff to run while my group are still low level!

Three questions.  (Chainsaw, or anyone that's undertaken to run this adventure, please chime in!)

1). Where on the Hyperborea Map would you place the Black Marshes region? 

2). Aside from rumours of the wicked outlaw Hrólfr, can you recommend any other plot hooks suitable to bring typical AS&SH adventurers to the region, or to the Black Ruin specifically?

3). Just what is it about the Vheez family, anyway? 

Adventures » Rats in The Walls (spoilers) » 10/10/2019 10:05 am

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A Decision

I kicked off my new play-by-post game using "Rats in the Walls" with some minor changes.  As I write this, the party is in the basement and things are rolling along.  (Their rippling thews were unequal to the task of opening the iron trapdoor, so now they're rigging up a block and tackle that they bought on the wharf!) 

So here's my dilemma.  The party's cleric is a chaotic good Amazon who worships none other than Aurorus!  Coincidence, right?  Like some of you, I too realized the sub-basement could make a nice base for the PCs, but I worry that the shrine of A. would be too much of a 'gimme.'  I feel that it's really there to be a source of mystery and, perhaps, temptation to use its dark powers -- not to be a ready-made chapel / divination booth for the PCs to move into.

Of course being CG, the cleric would stop short of human sacrifice (the neutral magician has fewer scruples).  This could trigger some alignment play which is fine and dandy, but I want the focus of the game to be on exploration and gritty derring-do --not so much on brooding about moral dilemmas, which we can delve aplenty in other games.

Do you see my point?  So I'm thinking of changing the shrine's object of worship to Mordezzan, Khalk-Xu, or Kthulhu (the latter is not my top choice, but would tie-in with the idol in the pirate treasure next level down).  Thus making the shrine somewhat forbidding and perilous (short of inimical) to the players, as I think it was meant to be.

Or, I could just leave it as is and see what the players do…  what do you guys think?

~ sub

Rules Discussion » Rules for adding Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings to ASSH » 10/09/2019 6:58 am

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Thrasaric wrote:

So, what did you add in for humans to balance them out to compete with the magical races?

It's there in his blog post, first column of the table.

"All Dwarves need 15% more experience per level to level up than humans of the same class," etc.

This being a high-fantasy setting, one also presumes Humans can aspire to levels above 12.  But so, perhaps, can demi-humans?

Sorcery » Command and hold person » 9/25/2019 10:00 am

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gizmomathboy wrote:

Looks at the history of this spell:

OD&D: 3rd level cleric spell, 6 turns + 1 turn/level, as charm person. Under complete control of caster, saving throw with penalty to save if a limited number of targets
Moldvay Basic: 2nd level cleric spell, 9 turns, paralyzed, saving throw with penalty to save if a limited number of targets

Good catch, Gizmo!  In fact the 6+1/level duration is for the MU version in OD&D.  Clerics get a flat 9 turns, as with Moldvay.  The interesting thing about the OD&D spell is that it doesn't actually specify paralysis.  In fact, a secondary source I use implies that it was essentially charm person with multiple targets; those that failed to save would join and fight for the party for the duration of the spell.


Blackadder23 wrote:

... command isn't limited to making the target fall down - it could be used to issue orders like "Flee", "Cower", or "Sleep", any of which would remove the target from combat completely.

It can indeed be any one-word verb, and BitD we liked to get creative with this.  I knew a guy whose favourite command was "Autodefenestrate!," but it never seemed to work.  Others liked "Defecate!," especially when the target was a typical, savage warrior in plate mail! 
Thanks for the comments.
~ Q-sub

Sorcery » Command and hold person » 9/24/2019 6:46 am

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Thrasaric wrote:

Part of why I questioned it was these spells were going to negate the encounter that I was thinking would be at least a challenge. 

Hi Thrasaric. as you realised, there is a reason your players chose these spells!  Consider also how quickly one Sleep spell can end an encounter with weak opponents.  These three spells (and one or two others) are intended to be powerful tools in the hand of a low-level party.

Command:  when you think about it, AS&SH didn't change the spell duration -- it shortened the combat round ;) I would've gone RAW and ruled that since the werewolf failed its save, it's compelled by a divine power to stay on the floor for the whole minute and suffer the penalty for being prone.  Remember, creatures can still attack from a prone position.

Hold Person:  As you pointed out, the victim is subject to Auto hits and coup de grace.  Not good, but again, it gets a saving throw.  In this case I agree that the 1-hour duration is questionable.  I'd like to see Ghul's and DMPrata's thoughts in this.

Sorcery » Read Magic & Read Scroll abilities » 9/24/2019 5:56 am

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This is my first, and perhaps only 'RAW' question on this forum, and if it's been addressed elsewhere please forgive me.

Looking at the _read magic_ class ability of magicians and their subclasses (2e, p.15), I see two different ways to interpret how it works.  I'm curious which one is closer to the authors' intent:

A) It is a mundane skill no different from knowing other written languages.  This interpretation suggests that all magical writings (including all _sorcerer mark_ spells) use a common alphabet or set of symbols, which magicians and others are trained to read.

B) It is a "spell-like ability" whose use actually enjoins a measure of magical energy, though less than what is tied up in memorized spells proper.  This latter view is natural for Old Schoolers familiar with OD&D/AD&D/Basic, where _read magic_ was a first level MU spell (and then codified by the 1979 DMG to be known to every MU), as well as later editions in which it became a cantrip or an "at-will ability."

One might ask, what difference does it make?  Well, one instance that comes to mind is when a magician suffers the effects of exhaustion or extreme distraction (as from eg. the musk of a Giant Ferret).  In that case she still might use the ability under reading (A), but not reading (B) since she is unable to cast spells.

The question further applies to the _read scroll_ ability of all sorcerers, though it's perhaps less of an issue since there is no real departure from the AD&D rules in this case.

I look forward to your thoughts on this matter.

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 9/04/2019 10:24 am

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mabon5127 wrote:

Characters begin with HP equal to Constitution.
As characters level, they re-roll HP dice and only begin to increase total HP when the dice roll (+con mod) is greater than their Con attribute.
HP over Con attribute restores overnight with a good rest. HP up to their Con restore more slowly like normal HP.
...
Not original, I stole the idea from somewhere.

I really like this idea, Mabon, and just might steal it for myself!  :-) A 20-hp kicker may be appropriate for Hackmaster but it's a bit much for this game (unless, like Spider of Leng, you use full exploding damage dice AND up to x5 crits… then your PCs might need it!)

A compromise, which I've settled on for my upcoming PbP game, is to give each PC a permanent kicker of ½ CN, rounded down.  It should prove helpful at low levels and less noticeable later on.  Of course, the sauce is there for both goose and gander in terms of leveled NPCs.

Some of my other house rules (and I'm trying to keep this a tight list – we already have a great system to begin with!):

Thief abilities (Table 11).  I'm borrowing from AD&D 2e and later editions the idea of customizing thief skills somewhat.  Instead of the fixed +1 bonus for high attributes, the character gets a pool of discretionary points equal to (DX-10) plus the # of bonus languages from his IN.  Each point improves a chosen thief ability by 1-in-12, with a cap of +3 to any one.  This applies to all thief subclasses except bards, who get (DX-10)/2 plus # lang's since they have fewer thief abilities.

(Ex. a thief with DX 13 & IN 13 gets four points; he can use 3 to raise Climb Walls to 11:12, and the remaining 1 to raise Decipher Script to 1:12, or apply it to any other ability except Read Scrolls which is locked until 5th level.)

Runegravers.  I am toying with the idea of adding 8 more runes, thus making the complete Elder Futhark available.  I'll probably sound this out further in another thread…

Armour (Table 46).  Again inspired by

Rules Discussion » House rules and changes to rules » 9/04/2019 7:44 am

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rhialto wrote:

No, you weren't misreading my post at least, and I think you're right now: it just seems like a sequence, since they're not alphabetically ordered. Now that I reread the Initiative section on p.244 it's clear that within a Phase the priority of determining action sequence is 1) Highest Initiative Roll, 2) If same Initiative Roll, in order of Dexterity Score, 3) If same Dexterity Score, Simultaneous. Thanks!

Although I'm a few months behind, Rhialto, I'm really glad you brought this up.  All this time, I've been interpreting the text the same way you and Jimm.Iblis did!  As you said, if the melee–missile–magic–move order on Table 89 isn't a sequence, then what is it?  In hindsight, it might just be the order of greatest frequency; i.e. since melee attacks are the most common activity in combat, and so on.  Perhaps my clue should have been that if this were indeed a 2x4 action sequence, the rules would speak of *eight* phases, rather than two.

I'm now looking forward to trying the 'true' AS&SH two-phase system… but I'm also considering making an exception for combatants with readied missile weapons (arrow nocked, crossbow loaded and aimed, Radium pistol charged and aimed, etc), and allowing such weapons to fire in 'phase 0' before any initiative-based actions.  The quick and the dead, indeed.  Or should we give this advantage only to warriors with mastery in the given missile weapon (à la AD&D weapon spec)?

~ sub

Play-by-Post » New PbP on Discord » 9/01/2019 8:12 pm

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Chainsaw wrote:

Sounds fun! Can I participate as a viewer/reader only?

Hi Chainsaw, glad to have you, but I guarantee it'll be more fun if you roll up a toon and play!

Just curious, are the pubbed adventures a factor in your decision?  I'm already considering a tack to making up my own stuff instead, now that I'm looking at some free time opening up.  A short plot or two tied in with a roomy Underborean pile...

Anyhoo, check your PM for invite.

~ sub

Play-by-Post » New PbP on Discord » 9/01/2019 8:51 am

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To all Adventurers,

I will be starting a AS&SH play-by-post game to be hosted on a private Discord server (used by my fellow gamers from the Dragonsfoot forums).  For those unfamiliar with Discord, it's a chat application that we find is very easy to learn, well-suited to PbP and particularly to posting and responding on a mobile device.  If interested, reply here and once qualified I will PM you an invite link.

The other catch is that I plan to run published adventures (loosely tied together with sandboxy events) for the sake of a few new players. A suitable applicant will be able to handle spoilers if already familiar with eg. "Rats in the Walls" and "The Moss-Hag of Lug." Hopefully you'll still be entertained... after all, the murky jewel of Hyperborea shines strange from each of its myriad facets!

Swordsmen & Sorcerers » When can you take a subclass? » 4/11/2019 7:42 pm

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Iron Ranger wrote:

Spellbinder wrote:

So, instead of a lvl 1 Fighter, I could play a lvl 1 Barbarian instead.

If your rolls qualify, you should play a lvl 1 Barbarian instead, but always a good idea to check with your DM to see if Barbarians frequent the environs or one can be worked into the game.

And if the Referee says "no" to a Barbarian, I question whether he can even call his game AS&SH...  =D

General Discussion » Introduction Thread » 2/21/2019 8:58 pm

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Chainsaw wrote:

Q-sub wrote:

Thanks Chainsaw! I appreciate your kind words over at DF as well.

Sure! What's your handle over there?

Wow, so sorry I missed this earlier!  On DF I go by 'subaltari.'
 

Rules Discussion » My Tentative Houserules. What do you think? » 2/21/2019 8:54 pm

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Spider of Leng wrote:

He was avenged, however, as both bone golems in the room were similarly destroyed by criticals inflicted by the PCs.  That at least made his death epic and memorable.  They limped back to Helix laden with booty and using an unseen servant to carry the corpse...

Always bring an unseen servant spell.  Whether it ends up being the loot or your friends, you'll be using it http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cool.png

Rules Discussion » My Tentative Houserules. What do you think? » 2/03/2019 7:23 pm

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Handy Haversack wrote:

FLAILSNAILS: This is a wonderful tradition that grew out of the community of online gamers where you can use your character from whatever your home game or system in a given DM's game of whatever. So like I have a 4th lvl. BD&D thief that has played in a bunch of different homebrew systems, Traveller, etc. And the DM will do their level best to give you XP that translates into your system.

I didn't know that, thanks Handy!  This sorta describes the current PbP I'm in, where characters from all OS editions are allowed and everyone levels up after each "7-room dungeon" episode.  It's worked fine except for the time someone wanted to bring in a 5e character...

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