Showing posts from October, 2021

Kinetic and Potential Abilities Across D&D and Other Games

In this blog post, I'm going to investigate what I find dissatisfying about the use of ability scores in tabletop games since their functionality was expanded upon between the publications of the original Dungeons & Dragons  (1974) and the later editions of the game. Then I’m going to look at some later games from the OSR and post-OSR movements, and how they approach character statistics from a functional and a mathematic angle. This is personally useful to articulate what I want from a rulebook, and how I’d like to play or run games going forward. The Origin of Ability Scores I've done nothing but read the 1974 edition of  Dungeons & Dragons  for months now. This experience has given me a lot of time to reflect on what I like or don't like about the different rulesets I've played with for the last couple of years. I made a post a couple of months ago ( link ) about the extent to which ability scores, for example, actually affect player experience in  OD&D .

towards a d&d capitalism simulator, part 1/?

the first section of this is going to be a lot of annoying math. if you prefer to just see the outcome of the math as a little thing you could plug into an od&d  campaign (or any d&d , whatever), skip to the header following this one! the mathy foundations let's start with the following measurements, which will seem pretty arbitrary but become convenient later: the minimum wage is 1 cp/hr the working day is 10 hr thus a minimum wage worker costs 10 cp/day or 1 sp/day let's make up some other ones: for outdoor labor, it takes one person to transport materials produced by four workers thus we can hire laborers in sets of five, which costs 50 cp/day or 5 sp/day let us assume that the amount of any common material extracted in one day is worth 100 cp thus 100 cp - 50 cp = 50 cp = 5 sp surplus produced now let us count one cohort as 10 individuals instead of 5, such that each cohort is composed of 8 extractors and 2 transporters. labor cost is 10 * 10 cp/day, or 10 sp or 1 g

anti-sell manifesto

originally published on twitter, but putting on here for posterity. i've hidden most everything on my itch page and i'm not going to be selling products on here anymore because i want to contribute to making the hobby a more pleasant space, and because i'm a dirty freudomarxist communist who would rather not commodify my enjoyment. in the beauty community, there's such a thing as no-buy or low-buy participants who do not buy any new makeup products except to replace what they have or to have just one of something. note that this is not the same thing as a minimalist lifestyle, the caveat of which is that you can always buy what you don't have if you need another one; the goal here is precisely to discourage a view of art entangled with buying things because people tell you to. one of marx's most important notions is commodity fetishism, that capitalism abstracts relationships between people as being between objects (commodities). the perversion of small capitali

chainmail's weapon statistics for od&d's alternate combat system

by the end of this, i promise you'll have something useful! first, here is a cleaned up version of the one-on-one combat matrix for chainmail  from my upcoming remake of the original 1974 dungeon game, fantastic medieval campaigns ! just wanted to show how that page is going to look. here's what i actually made today, the same data in an excel spreadsheet because i wanted to derive the AC values from od&d 's "alternate" combat system by close-reading the one-on-one matrix from chainmail . i'm ignoring the values to hit cavalry because i'm not really worried about those tbh. according to dmdavid's blog post on the origin of the od&d  combat system ( link ), gygax made the following changes from arneson's original system derived from gygax's own chainmail  (the only difference between arneson's system and chainmail  was there being hit points): "hit points became less realistic and more fun" (dmdavid's wording) to-hit ro

critique 2.5: od&d, kittens game, and capitalism

i think that generally speaking, people are interested in od&d  because it lacks any consistent interpretation. by reading something into it and saying that it's what gygax et al. did, we are operating in the same realm of discourse as people who appeal to the founding fathers of the USA for political decisions. so i hope that by looking at od&d  through a different frame, i will actually introduce new concepts for how to play at the table regardless if they have actually been done before. this exegesis is totally ideological, and i'm just having fun with it. i'd rather not actually appeal to gygax for fun new ways to play d&d . my girlfriend got back really into kittens game  ( link ), the "dark souls of incremental games" as it calls itself (and which we have a lot of fun telling each other). an incremental game is a computer game where you manage resources with the aim of making more resources. cookie clicker  ( link ) is probably the most famous of