Monday 3 March 2014


Not something collected from Sand Worms, but a description of the patchwork of rules in play at my table during last week's session. The Party had found the Skin Mandala, were found by a little trouble in Salamonis (I should write up those session reports), and were then recruited by the King's spymaster to ensure that the trouble brewing between the local Goblin tribes (trouble likely caused by some unprovoked murder-hoboism by the Party) was turned to Salamonis' advantage. The reward was membership of the Order of the Brass Sceptre, a minor 'knightly' order populated by merchants and professors, but nevertheless a step into Salamonis society. 

The players were given some brief details on five local Goblin tribes, their customs and allegiances, and decided that the Party would begin by visiting the savage Moondance Goblins of the Forest of Spiders. The plan is still nebulous, but seems to be getting towards, 'unite the Goblins and sack Salamonis'. Indeed!

But in the sort term, that means a bit of a wilderness crawl. Out came the numbered hex paper and the index cards, and I started generating interesting encounters in and around the Forest of Spiders. Giant Spiders. Zharradan Marr's Rhino-Men and Soulless Ones. Mundane animals. Trees festooned with gory charms. Sinkholes of corruption. A village of Sprites. Etc. 

Now, on the table there were three d100 rule-books; Magic World (which we're using), RuneQuest 6, which is filled with interesting stuff, and OpenQuest 2, which has tended to be my go to d100 bestiary. Also on the table were Titan, Out of the Pit, and Advanced Fighting Fantasy 2e, to provide me with quick setting reference when I didn't just make it up. But that I resorted to using the next two books is something that I found quite surprising. In play, I referred both to Menzter Basic and Expert D&D. From the Basic D&D DM's book I took guidelines of 'monster' reactions and handling morale. From the Expert D&D book I took the procedures for wilderness exploration - getting lost, random encounters, and so on.

It made me realise just how much, as a DM, I value the D&D 'procedural game'. I've been meaning to write a proper blog post extolling the virtues of D&D's abstract, procedural (but simple) systems, so we can add that post to the list of things that I have promised to do. In the meantime, who else indulges in a cross-system melange? 

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