Monday, January 16, 2012

Homebrew '82 Character Sheet

I'm making slow and steady progress on my Homebrew '82 old-school game variant. Here's a first draft of the one-page character sheet. 

You can click on the image to get the PDF from Google Docs, or you can go directly HERE.

The Rientsian influences are clear: a space for animal companions, and a nice big picture frame for a wacky character portrait.  I'm assuming that the second page is for stuff like the character's background, a list of hirelings and home-town NPC contacts, and the obligatory blank area for notes, but I'm not planning on presenting a formal version of that.

MC is Melee Class, which is a number that determines one's "row" in the to-hit chart. (For fighters, MC = level.  For other classes, it's a lower number than one's level.)  Eagle-eyed readers will notice that there's nowhere to list saving throws here... but in Homebrew '82 those are usually handled by Constitution ability score rolls, usually using an Xd6 roll-under system.

Please forgive the Futura overdose, but I'm pretty much not planning to use it at all in the Homebrew '82 core books. Might as well get it out of my system here...  :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

5e D&D: Country and Western?

There seems to be a lot of buzz and optimism in the old-school role-playing community about the newly announced 5th edition of D&D.  Not having played the 3rd or 4th editions, I can't say too much about where this train is heading.  However, I do worry that some people are building up hopes that 5e will be somehow "OSR-friendly."  That's one way to interpret statements like those of Mike Mearls:
...a rule set that enables players of all types and styles to play a D&D game together by taking the best of each edition and getting at the soul of what D&D is.
Yeah, but it all depends on what you think the "best" aspects are, or were.  I have a feeling it will end up like that scene from the Blues Brothers...

Oh, don't worry.  We've got both kinds of music here: Country AND Western.  You can use any kind of battlemat you want: squares OR hexes.  You can advance to godhood via an Epic Destiny OR a series of Adventure Paths.  See, all of your options are covered.

Apologies for the sarcasm and/or being a wet blanket, but I think cynicism (or at least extreme caution) is warranted here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Blogoversary

This blog is now one year (and two days) old!  I'm happy that I'm still keeping up with it, what with other demands of work and home always nipping at my heels.  I thought I'd do some looking backwards and forwards...

I initially hoped to post once a week, but I ended up surpassing that goal a bit, with 79 posts over the past year.  I have the September of Short Adventures to thank for that, since that pushed me to make a record 25 posts in one month. As of right now, this blog has 32 followers, and I thank y'all for reading! I'm also indebted to the others (how many I'm not sure) who don't click "follow" but put me in their blogrolls. Most of the time I get way more hits from Jeff than I do from all other traffic sources, including even the link-happy folks at!  :-)

I first conceived that this blog would be split pretty evenly between posts about RPGs (including my still-in-development Homebrew '82) and posts about Hesse's Glass Bead Game. Though I'm still loving the GBG, it's taken a back seat to RPGs and other fun geekiness. I've been surprised at the popularity of silly one-off posts like the ones about the CE3K board and the Asimov Foundation trilogy map. 

What about the future?  More of the same, I hope.  However, I'm going to be teaching a college course in the fall and that will demand lots of extra prep time.  We'll see how it goes.  Still, my Homebrew '82 Player's Guide is more than halfway completed. (If you count raw rule mechanics and not polished prose, I'd say it's 95% done!)  Volume 2 is going to be the GM's Guide, and my original plan for Volume 3 is a fleshing out of the Avalon Lost campaign setting. That may change, though, since the Barsoom bug has been biting me lately!  :-)

Here's to another year of amateur ludology!