01 April 2011

What I Really Feel Like Doing

Is writing a drop-dead simple game that lets you make characters that "plug in" to high-level D&D so you can rock out with your block out without generating up a 17th level character from the ground up, complete with "level-appropriate" (whatever that means) gear so you can stomp on some demons and rip apart Llolth's brains.

Something that gives you the right numbers, but maybe gives you a little extra, too. After all, half of what made D&D balanced (to the extent that it ever was) was that fighters were stronger on the way up, and wizards were strongest when you got to the top, but that can't be much fun to be a fighter when you never got to experience your prime and you don't have a castle (or it doesn't make a difference because you're in the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Bone or wherever).

So maybe we could make some sort of "prestige class" sort of thing, except you wouldn't have to bother with the  whole boring pre-requisite thing, you could just be like "Yeah, I'm rolling up a Bone-Shard Thaumaturge. Anybody gonna be a warrior? If you are, I'll pick up a couple spells of Mighty Striking or whatever for you," and then the guy next to you would be all, "Nah, I'm planning on being a Red Fist Invoker, I'm not allowed to have magic cast on me or it'll break my sacred vows," or whatever.

It'd be sort of bringing it back to tournament play, where it'd be all about how much loot you got and whether or not you passed the challenge, sort of an old-school meets new school mentality. Plus, if you die, it'd take you about ten minutes to make a new character.

The really hard part would be making it so that each character class or prestige class or whatever would be interesting but with drawbacks, so you have to craft a competent team but it wouldn't be drowning you in details. Well, that, and making it so that it fits into the high-level D&D framework. It'd take a bit of studying, and then I'd have to decide which damn framework to use. I'd probably just use Labyrinth Lord 'cause it's easy and also free so everybody has it. If you didn't, there's no real excuse to not get it if you were interested, and besides, you'd either want to have some modules to play it with or rely on my procrastination and insanity to generate some, and everybody knows by now that it's not real reliable.

But the point is that there really should be some fun way to play all those modules that sit on shelves because nobody's gotten to level 13 yet (and probably never will) but damn it, trekking across hellish mountains just sounds so cool.


  1. ...drop-dead simple game that lets you make characters that "plug in" to high-level D&D so you can rock out with your block out without generating up a 17th level character from the ground up...

    Interest engaged.

    Possibly relevant, albeit written from a 3E perspective: Some Base Classes are Short and Knightly Prestige Classes. They work on the premise that everyone uses magic-looking effects above 10th level...

  2. I'm working on it, just need a bit longer.

  3. @Chris: If you're talking about the "Tome" series, I'll have you know I read every possible inch of that in my 3e days and loved it to peices. Finally, a world that made sense out of the silly jumbled world that 3e pretended to be! I'm a sucker for internal consistency, and for Gygaxian naturalism (of a sort) and that entire document really appealed to me. That might be where the grain of idea came from, in all truth.

    I had a PDF copy of the entire document laying around somewhere. I'll see if I can't find the link somewhere.

    @ADD Grognard: I'm willing to wait. But not patiently, and perhaps not without my own attempt as well ;)