Volume 2 Issue 91 – Polyhedron

Intro -0:00:00.000
Roll For Initiative Website www.rfipodcast.com
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OSR Gaming Forums www.osrgaming.org
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Sage Advice – 3:09.789
Seeking Sage Advice? Contact RFI via our call in line 570-865-4210 or
Via E-mail RFIStaff@gmail.com

E-Mail 1
Hey all, (DM) Dan here!

I just listened to issue 89’s segment on playing evil characters, and I have to say that DM Will is WRONG! (Don’t feel bad, Will, I’m not a Will-hater; you’re my favorite host!) Here’s why…

Will states that, as a good person, he’s incapable of playing evil accurately. When has (A)D&D been about playing things completely accurately? I’ve never heard in any game I’ve ever been in anything like “Dude, I just can’t get into this because the game doesn’t treat combat/religion/whatever else like it really is!”. Why should morality and ethics be any different? Here, an approximation is likely good enough.

Furthermore, if alignment must be played accurately, what about something as simple as the basic mental stats? I know I’ve played characters that are either smarter or dumber than I am, for instance–it’s impossible for me to play these characters accurately, but that’s never pointed out as an issue. Why, again, should evil/good be different?

I also think it’s important to remember that just because a character is evil doesn’t mean that he or she is ALWAYS COMPLETELY EVIL at all times. For PCs, if the evil character has a reason to care about his or her companions–even if it’s just that by working with them he or she furthers his or her own evil ends–then that PC shouldn’t cause more trouble than a good or neutral character. Other reasons–love, religion, shared background, etc.–are even better. I think that it’s only when a PC is played in the stereotypical 13-year-old-boy “I’m EVUUUL! I’m going to kill everything!” kind of mindset that things get to be a problem.

Relatedly, what’s with all the kender hate? I think that “I’m a kender!” is the same kind of excuse as “I’m evil!” for playing like a jerk, and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Anyway, I like the show a lot! Keep up the good work!

E-Mail 2
Greetings RFI Staff,

I’ve recently gotten into podcasts and you and your sister-casts (SOD, TH) are wonderful.  I’ve actually never played 1st edition (having started on D&D and moving to 2nd) but am enjoying your podcast.  It is great for ideas, full of information, and just a pleasure to listen to.  Since December 2011 I’ve been ruing a BECMI/RC game with my fiance’, her brother (and his gilfriend till they broke up), my cousin and her husband and it’s been going great.  I’ve been putting them through many of the classic modules (with my own plots and changes to make them work).  I do have a few questions, but just as a heads up, I’m only on episode 22 right now (and working my way up) so these are a bit “dated”.

First off, I’ve heard DM Nick mention a couple times a website called gamers-rule.com or something similar with both books (information about D&D products) and other products (the deck he bought at Origins that he used to help the Creature Feature Theater segment in 21 with the Sons of Kyuss).  I’ve tried looking for the site but to no avail.  Are they still around?

I too use the occasional props in my game.  Back in the winter I ran my players through B7 Rahasia and so I retyped many of the letters to both make them easier to read and to be able to pass out to the players.  I also photocopied the “bottles” of wine so the players could look at them (and they became obsessed with the No.9 from the “Grapesmash No.9” wine, thinking it meant something and ignored all the other numbers, which actually meant something).  As for making or using anything else, I keep it there mainly.  I want them to be able to imagine most things.

I do enjoy the change in the Creature Feature Theater, going from just straight information to a mini-encounter with the creatures.  Apart from information on the creature, it is niceto hear how other DM’s run their sessions, even if it’s just for a little bit.

I’ve also always wondered what other groups do for player mapping.  In our first couple sessions we tried this (I gave them graph paper and everything) and it just wasn’t working well.  They became too focused on worrying about making the map right and I had to keep rereading dimensions and descpitions.  I tried photocopying the maps and enlarging them, then putting post-it notes to cover the areas they hadn’t been to but ran into the issue of information they shouldn’t have being on it.  Currently, I redraw the maps on graph paper, taking out secret doors, traps, and the like and still cover unexplored areas wtih post-it notes.  I’ve heard in other casts that people use white-boards, computer programs, or tablets.

Now to bring up an old can of worms, racial level limits.  Listening to your podcast 20 or 21, I got to thinking.  If a DM is not going to impose level limits, one way to make humans more inticing, as mentioned, is giving them attribute bonuses as well.  I was thinking a +1 to Charisma (since we tend to be social creatures) and a +1 to any other stat they want (within reason, no 19 wisdoms!) or DM modified based on where the character is from (a hearty, farming community might be to Constitution while a highly educated community might be to Wisdom or Intelligence).  Another option is to do what is done in BECMI/RC where they can continue earning XP and at certain XP amounts, they get some addtional bonuses (attacks, special moves, etc).  Or, as someone mentioned, just make it more difficult for them to attain higher levels but doubling or tripling XP amounts.

Anyway, keep up the great work and I am eagerly looking forward to the rest of the podcasts!

-Nathan aka Bouv on the Piazza & OSR Gaming

P.S. I eagerly await the Creature Feature Theater on the flumph!

E-Mail 3
I am DMing a game where the players have just captured a black dragon egg. I wasn’t really expecting them to get it but thought they earned it so let them keep it. Knowing that black dragons are chaotic evil, and except for an elf, they won’t live long enough for it to mature anyway, I think that they are going to try and sell it. In a city like Greyhawk, how rare would a black dragon egg be and how much would it be worth? Please let me know what you think. I think that I may have someone evil steal it as a hook to another adventure. Thanks!
DM David D

Table Manners – Adding Culture To Your Game – 39:16.646
Polyhedron Issue 36 pg 29

Game Mechanics – Thief-Acrobat 57:37.926
Unearthed Arcana pg 23

The Dragon’s Hoard – – A Different Look On How To Use Cleric Spells – 1:12:18.622
Polyhedron 36 pg 8

Outro –  1:26:24.245

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