Showing posts from May, 2022

Wizards HATE Her! How to Play D&D for Free, Part 3: Inventory & Encumbrance

Last time, on wizards hating me... ( link ) I expect this to be a somewhat shorter entry in this series. After all, inventory and encumbrance (whichever aspect you focus on) are ultimately an extension of the player’s game interface. This is literal within the fiction of the game, in that we often consider tools to be extensions of ourselves, and likewise whatever our characters carry is an extension of their capabilities in the game-world. It is also strictly formal, since inventory management is simply yet another mode by which players interact with the game-world through their characters. The difference between inventory management and character scores (whether abilities, skills, etc.) is that the former tends to be dynamic since it depends entirely on what the character is carrying at any time. It also tends to relate more to the various loops and situations of the game. For example, inventory management for the dungeon crawl relates directly to the characters’ movement

Wizards HATE Her! How to Play D&D for Free, Part 2: Player Interface

Did you miss the last post? ( link ) Player Interface I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the overwhelming majority of content published for playing games (that aren’t adventures?) are player-facing rules for game interactions, i.e. rules for characters and how to use them as sort of your avatar in the game-world. I think people really overcomplicate it when it's probably the easiest thing to wing, provided that you have a structure simple enough to wing it. Abilities as Heuristic Frameworks Typically, in a D&D , your character is going to have scores that represent their capabilities with respect to different things. The traditional six ability scores are strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma. These are the ones everyone knows, even if opinions on them vary. I don't think these are important specifics, and that the traditional six serve as a fine basis for the sort of fictional world supposed by D&D as a cultural thing. H

Wizards HATE Her! How to Play D&D for Free, Part 1: Structures & Routines

I don’t know how much I’ve ever spent on TTRPG materials in total. I’d probably put it under $200 [1], with the most expensive (yet worthwhile) being physical copies of Old School Essentials , Wanderhome , and White Hack Third Edition . It doesn’t come as a shock to me, though, that none of the things I’ve bought have ever made their way to a table with my real-life friends (in fact, I think the only thing I’ve played that I’ve also bought was Wanderhome and, I guess, B/X since I own OSE ). I’ve played most of my home games using free materials--we’re cheap/poor college kids--or using homemade, cobbled together rulesets for more complicated things. I also like digging for digital materials online. I wouldn't download a car or whatever, though. Pinkie promise. I’ve told the story before how when I was setting up a D&D campaign for my friends [2], I put together a combination of Knave and Here’s Some Fucking D&D with some common house rules. My motive was twofo

Theoretical & Practical Proceduralism

  Proceduralism is, first, a method of reading rules texts to understand the structures of play activity that they prescribe, rather than according to any particular rules or mechanics for specific (or even universal) situations within those play structures. Rolls for searching a room or forcing open a door are operations or rules; the dungeon crawl is a structure or procedure of play wherein these situations take place. One way to understand procedures as the structuring logic of play is to imagine that you were playing a digital game on a console. The basic structure is that the console prompts you to act, you tell the console what you do, and the console determines what happens next before prompting you again. Any calculations that occur underneath the console interface to determine the outcome of situations etc. is merely a rule, i.e. an operation performed by the console or perhaps by the player. It is not an ordering principle of the back-and-forth conversation itself. The conver