Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wands of a type

I am looking at creating wands that can cast from a type of spell.  for example.  Wand of healing.  This wand can cast all the Clerical healing types of spells. Cure Light Wounds, Cure Serious Wounds, Cure Critical Wounds, Cure Blindness, Cure Disease, Heal, Neutralize Poison and Regenerate.

The spells involving the dead are not included.

For Clerics and non-Clerics except Fighters (Fighter classes cannot use the wand), the wand has 50 charges and each spells consumes as many charges as the spell level.  ie a seventh level spell like Regenerate costs 7 charges from the wand.

The wand can only be recharged by a Cleric of sufficient level to cast 7th level spells and prays consistently for 7 days straight for a 75% chance the deity will recharge the wand.  (rolled on the 7th day of prayer)

The cost to re-charge such a wand is 10,000 GP per highest spell level (70,000 GP) and a promise of a quest on behalf of the Cleric and/or Deity who re-charged the wand.

Still working on similar wands. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wands are powerfully dangerous

A wand is like any other tool that channels energy through it to come to some end result projected through it.  guns, air hammers, elctric drills, etc.. all share a commonality in that ther eis a chance for them to go awry.  misfire, not fire at all, backfire even.

Depending on the nature and quality of the item, those chances are raised or lowered, but are sill present in some way.

I treat wands, rods and staves the same way.  These are a magic users (and sometimes other PC's) "power tools".  Having just one of them can be a total game changer.  It can allow a PC that normally wouldn't stand a chance against a monster to be able to defeat it rather handily.

but, in my world, wands, rods and staves are wielded very carefully because the possessor knows or finds out soon enough sometimes that even wands have a chance to not fire or backfire and cause damage to themselves.

This makes wielding that wand of fireballs a bit of a sticky thing.  yes, the damage it can do to an opponent is great (6d6 to everything in it's area of effect) but, the very idea that the wielder has a chance for it to blow up in his/her hand causing that same damage to themself and any of their teammates nearby, well, that makes them think harder about if the situation is dire enough to call for it's employment.

Also, the chance for it to misfire, meaning not fire at all on that attempt, could seriously hose a plan of attack. Sure, it could be the saving grace of the mission, or it could make it's wielder and the party come out looking like bumbling fools.

I think MU's and other magic using classes need to have wands, rods, staves, rings, etc... available to them, even at lower levels.

As soon as they reach levels enabling to make those items,  I allow for it, BUT the lowest level able to make them leaves the items with the highest risks.  Each level gained above that minimum level reduces the risk of backfire or misfire to a certain minimum.

Of course, they don't have to make the items themselves all the time.   I make these common enough that they can be purchased in most higher end magick shoppes.  Again, with the risk for each item at various levels of risk as determined by a percentage dice roll.

Magic is powerful, but it is dangerous as well.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

There's magic and then there's magic

You may have not realized this, but magic as built in to AD&D 1E.  Yes, I know, you might have missed the concept entirely.  Good thing I pointed that out huh?  This could change the whole game for you now.

Seriously though,  I get to talk with a lot of folks who act like magic in the game is a bad or rare thing.  it's their game, they can run it however they like.   I have no problem with that.   I just don't understand it.

Here you have a fantasy game with magic just oozing out of every crack and crevice in the book, just begging to be put to use.  Some DM's act like the merest mention of magic is a wicked thing.

Not here.  I let the magic flow freely.  It starts with my whole outlook on the game world.  My world i not just some replica of a medieval map guided by historic ideas of medieval life and technology.  Nosirree Bob.

My world is more like an alternate universe in which magic takes the place of "high" technology.  Magic is everywhere and at various scales or levels of influence.

I do divide magic into two types.  There is "Common" magic and then there is "Divine" magic.  Common magic is magic made or done by people.  Common magic is, well, common.  You can find enchanted items and spellcasters in most places.

Divine magic, on the other hand, is rare and doesn't just "happen".  This is the power of the deities.  Most often turning up, if and when they ever turn up, in the form of Artifacts and Cursed items.

You can find enchanted items like weapons, armor, rings, cloaks, etc.. in urban and suitable places everywhere.  the more powerful the enchantment, the less likely you are to find it.  This is usually because most magic users die off before they reach the levels required to make the really potent magics.

If PC's want to find certain enchanted items, again things like weapons, armor, etc.. they really aren't too hard to find.  They get more expensive the more powerful the enchantment on them though, due to that less commonly found powerful magic user surviving long enough.

A party can walk into most towns and find a magic shoppe or magic user in residence who can help them obtain the more common types of things.

Artifacts are rare, exceedingly rare and these usually require a quest or the like to obtain. maybe.  Why?  Because Divine magic is insanely powerful and doesn't become less powerful as though it's batteries ran out or something after so many uses.  Once the item is touched by divine power, it stays that way.

Just a little something about magic in my world I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Playing a visual game

I see discussion talking about use of miniatures in the game.  They provide a good visual in terms of keeping track of the action.  Miniatures are OK for AD&D if you have the money and the opportunity to actually find ones that pertain to the game.

But for those who aren't interested in miniatures or are not able to buy them, there is still good old fashioned paper and pencil. After all these games, my players finally asked about how to get a better idea of what is going on in a melee situation as I describe it.

I told them make a map, just like they do in a dungeon.  This is part of asking questions of the DM as the party enters areas unexplored, except this map is for the Players rather than the PC's.After having a "melee map" a couple of times now, they are beginning to realize the value of asking detailed and specific questions.

They are also able to ask better questions now that they can "see" what is being described to them and what has not yet been described. 

They have a better idea where opponents are in relation to where their characters are and how they move as the action happens.  It  helps them to strategize better and describe the actions and intentions of their characters.

All in all, even though I have been telling them about doing this for over a year, they are getting a better appreciation for the game and say that the simple "melee maps" make the game even more fun and interesting to them.   I don't really mind that it took them this long to get the idea of this.  Everything happens in it's own time.

Having them draw the action out also helps me as I am also better able to keep track of what I am describing to them.  It is made even more important as I frequently involve a lot of randomness and on-the-spot invention.

So, if anyone out there who, like me, has kids who have pulled them back into the game,  think about having them draw out the action as it happens.  We call it making a melee map but you can just think of it as bringing the action in front of your eyes instead of just being in your mind.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

HMH - Herschel's Monster Hunters

Well, the new campaign is off and running.  The first game is underway.  The PC's have all been trained, armed and prepped as well as they could be.

There is no mercy.  They are going in, looking for trouble hoping to hit huge bounties, treasures and more.  They can expect to die on any given mission.  TPK?  Oh yes, there can be TPK.

As usual,  I do a lot of game creation on the fly.  Make it up as I go along.  They ask questions and they get answers.  (again, I usually make those answers up on the spot)  if they don't ask questions, they are leaving themselves in more danger than they need to be.   That's what you get when you don't take your wits with you on a monster hunt.  No pity, no mercy.

This is a guts and glory kind of game.  Play big, live big, win big, die spectacularly.  In many cases, they will have to pull miracles out of their rear ends.  If they want to win that is.

So far in this first game, they have a team of five.  Four PC's and one henchman, that have been called in to rescue a village from a nightmare.  it seems that a pack of Wargs, evil wolves as big as cattle, have been sent by an unknown spellcaster to prey on the small village.

That's what the party knows so far anyway.  I hate to tell them that's only the half of the situation, but they'll find out soon enough.  The Players had to break actually just before they take on the Wargs, so this should be interesting.