Saturday 24 March 2012

2nd Edition's 2nd edition

My booty
Today I found these in a local second-hand book shop.

I did buy the PHB and DMG for AD&D 2nd Edition when they came out in 1989, but I really can't say I was particularly impressed. The binding and paper quality wasn't nearly as good as my old 1st Edition books, and I didn't really think much of the layout aesthetic. I did import one or two 2nd Ed. things into my AD&D campaign, but we pretty much just carried on playing AD&D as we always had.

By the time this edition was published in 1995, I'd dropped AD&D entirely and was using the Hero System exclusively for all my campaigns. I didn't even really know this edition existed until just a few years ago.

Anyway, I bought these out of a sort of archaeological curiosity, just to see what TSR thought might revive their sadly sagging fortunes in the mid-'90s. As with the first version of AD&D2e I bought, they don't really excite me much. They're not terrible, but the paper feels even flimsier than the earlier version, and though there's a lot more colour scattered through the pages, the illustration seems, for the most part, a bit lacklustre. The organisation and layout is OK, I suppose. There are some semi-useful bits and pieces of reference info in there, but nothing makes me sit up and say "What a fool I've been! 2nd Edition is clearly the One True Way!"

I'm glad to have them in my collection though.

Friday 23 March 2012

Lots of eyes, lots of muscles

Inevitably, there comes a time when, convinced that there's something there to find, the whole party all search the same place to make sure that somebody picks up something that everyone else has missed, or all try to open the same stuck door, or pick the same lock, or find the same traps, or whatever. Apart from the fact that it takes up valuable time, and thus increases the chance of being mutilated by some treasure-less wandering monster, it can certainly help swell the party's coffers.

Assuming there really is anything to be found, that is.

Of course you can always throw a die for each individual searcher (I like to use a different coloured d6 for each character so I know who has and hasn't succeeded, just in case they want to keep the news to themselves or something, the sneaky bastards).

However, if you want to skip over all that and get the show on the road, you can always convert all those individual rolls into one combined d100 roll.

The formula for finding the probability from a whole bunch of d6 (or any other die type) is this:

1 - [(chance of NOT showing the desired pips) to the power of (the total number of dice)]

Assuming that you might just want to know the numbers and not have to do a whole lot of tedious maths to find out, here are some I prepared earlier:

Number of d6 Chance of at least one 6 showing on a handful of d6:
1 - [(5/6)^N]
Chance of at least one 1 OR 2 showing on a handful of d6:
1 - [(2/3)^N]
1d6 16.7% 33.3%
2d6 30.6% 55.6%
3d6 42.1% 70.4%
4d6 51.8% 80.2%
5d6 59.8% 86.8%
6d6 66.5% 91.2%
7d6 72.1% 94.1%
8d6 76.7% 96.0%
9d6 80.6% 97.4%
10d6 83.9% 98.2%
11d6 86.5% 98.8%
12d6 88.7% 99.2%
13d6 90.6% 99.4%
14d6 92.2% 99.6%
15d6 93.5% 99.7%
16d6 94.6% 99.8%
17d6 95.4% 99.89%
18d6 96.2% 99.93%
19d6 96.9% 99.95%
20d6 97.4% 99.96%

Saturday 17 March 2012


Apparently this mutation is more common than you'd expect.

Friday 9 March 2012

More leeching off the creativity of others

Jim Raggi over at Lamentations of the Flame Princess has just presented an idea that I rather like for determining how much of your character's hit-points are represent the amount of actual physical damage you can sustain and how much is luck, favour of the gods, plot immunity and so forth.

To summarize, at character creation you'd roll hit-points as if you were a zero-level normal, including any CON bonus/penalty (minimum of 1), and the result is your Actual Physical Damage Hit-Points. Those points take longer to heal than normal hit-points, while normal hit-points (always lost first) recover a lot more quickly (Jim suggests 1d4+CHA or WIS modifier per day). If you go below 0 on your APDHP, you're dead.

If one wanted to make combat more deadly, then natural-20 critical hits could come directly off APDHP, by-passing normal HP entirely. Personally, I've moved away from that sort of thing, but whatever floats your boat.

I'd also like to link that result with the character's physique, so a character with few APDHP would be tiny and frail-looking, while one with many would be huge and hulking. I'd probably want to throw the character's STR into the mix there as well, to avoid those odd tiny-and-skinny-but-infeasibly-strong results.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Scenery: The End of the World

Time for another scenery post. This is Beachy Head, one of the chalk cliffs on the southern coast of England. Apparently it's a very popular suicide spot.