Monday, June 10, 2013

Breaking the hiatius

I'm finally back. Life has been keeping me from this blog and most other past-times lately, but that's all over.

It's hard, coming back to something like this after such a long break. I pretty much stopped thinking of this project except in odd moments because there wasn't the necessary cognitive space. That being the case, this post probably won't contain too much useful information for people looking to play the Temple in GURPS or convert other AD&D material. Sorry.

I still have a lot of posts I need to write, and I will get on that this week and in the weeks to come. Despite the fact that I stopped doing pretty much any preparation, I did keep gaming, so there are session reports that need to be fleshed out and posted. (This is the blessing both of lots of front-loaded preparation and the fact that T1-T4 contains the Moathouse as a separate starter dungeon.) On the flip side, I don't think I'm going to continue the Know Your Options posts; other bloggers in the GURPS niche can cover DF-centric tactics much better than I can. Perhaps I'll pick them back up once I have some experience under my belt. We'll see.

Beyond that, I need to consider what needs doing next. The Moathouse is basically done, but I still need to work on Nulb and the Temple itself, where I've done very little. I think I'm going to stat up Nulb with City Stats in a rudimentary fashion, because I hope that will help me answer some questions about using it as a base for adventurers, like how much wealth the local economy can absorb, and how the town will change over time because of PC influence.

I also need to work out a new note system, since the method I currently have just doesn't work very well. I'm stuck flipping back and forth. I have a few ideas on that score that I'll try out and report on, but if anyone wants to come forward detailing what you do to keep track of treasure and monsters in the dungeon, I'd love to hear it.

I might occasionally wander off-topic; I've been considering a sort of hex-crawl campaign for a while now, though I don't expect it to ever get off the ground. It's for when the Temple's been gone through and we're ready to move on to something else - an eventuality I expect to take years to arrive.

Finally, I think I'm going to move down to a Monday-Thursday update schedule for the moment. That could change once I get my thoughts in order. It isn't the best thing for the blog, but the point of the blog was to force me to continue working on the Temple and to be a repository of useful information, not as an end in itself.

Since I'm a big believer in not posting if you don't have anything useful to say, I'll bring up something I've been mulling over for a bit now. I'm considering restricting spells learnable in town to those without any pre-requisites, unless the town or mage in question has special connections. Other spells would have to be picked up in the dungeon or researched. I don't know how much I like this idea: on the one hand, it brings back that flavor of why a wizard would delve and it makes magical scrolls and the like treasure truly worth it. On the other, it hamstrings mages, perhaps too much. Maybe I could combine it with not requiring pre-requisites for spells learned from spellbooks and scrolls? If I do that, and simply make learning spells from town prohibitively expensive, it might perform the same function without being too much of a handicap for spell-casters.


  1. I totally sympathize with your difficulty getting back into the blogging groove. I'm there myself. Keep publishing as you have time, and please at least post the session reports: they're very useful for getting another perspective on how the game is played.

    As far as your mage idea goes, I think you had the right idea the first time. Spells without prerequisites can be picked up freely, but everything else requires either a contact in Hommlet/Nulb or spellbook/scroll. Then just makes sure that contacts are hard to find (Hommlett only has Burne, his apprentice, and 2-3 NPC wizards at the Inn, right?) and scrolls are reasonably common loot.

    Doing that lets you control the entrance of spells into your game, and helps keep the wizard from niche-stealing. No matter how cool a spell Lockmaster is, if the no one knows it, the wizard can't learn it. You also don't need to worry about the wizard learning meta-magic spells such as Limit or Delay until you're ready to deal with the complexity.

    1. To echo Mark's comments, and reinforce them, make sure you forbid Wild Talent (Spells Only, with Retention) from the list of allowable advantages for wizards. If not, you'll be forced to make decisions about every spell in the system, on the fly. You won't be able to limit any spells they know are out there because they can access them freely. So if you want to leak spells out like valuable loot, forbid that advantage.

  2. Glad you are back.

    That said, your last two rule tweak thoughts have been to double DR and to make spells less accessible. Am I playing Ilseldil especially obstreperously?

    1. No, you're fine, Martin. I'm not addressing any specific play problem with these proposed tweaks, but rather looking to capture something of a feel with them.

      Also, I haven't and don't plan to actually implement the DR or ST-based damage fix in this game. Too much work for too little gain in DF without having worked it out in advance.