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How Old School is Old School


Al.

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Firstly I should probably have spelledified 'school' with a k so that I could be mistaken for a young person.

So, inspired by a meandering conversation about the pros and cons of random characteristics vs allocated I thought just how random are random systems?

I'm not referring to bell curves here neither.

The oldest old school game I own is Stormbringer III

Roll characteristics - random (range 3-18 or in fact 1-30 depending on nationality)

Roll Nationality - random

Roll Class/Profession/Whatever its called in SBIII - random

BUT

Age is flat 25 unless one CHOOSES to alter it*

The most important game aspect** in SBII are skills; are these are very much not random. They are allocated from Class and predicated on the 'low chance of success is good for you' model and the not being allowed to know things makes you a better person' model

Fortunately the advice on statting up beasties suggests that when in doubt just roll 1d100 for their skills

IF SBIII was truly random then we'd be rolling 1d100 for each and every skill (MAYBE adding Skill Category modifier and/or the +10 bonus for easy skills). And rolling age on 1d100/2

I've just done that very thing (and yes that did mean rolling*** separately for each and every Craft, Language (spoken and r/w), weapon attack, weapon parry, summoning)

So what have I learned?

Bugger all really

But whether its fond memories of the system or this truly bizarre set of skills which I'm now trying to fit a believable background to I find myself itching to play said character

Oh that's another thing

I need a random name generator

(Gender was easy, all of my dice have an even number of sides and the actual outnumbering of males by females can be blown off by old school gaming sexism)

(Likewise handedness: 1 in 10 are lefties**** - doddle)

Al

* to think when I first read the book I couldn't imagine being that old and thought how do I relate to these characters? Well I suspect that I didn't use the word relate even in teh confines my own head

** one could argue that Int and Pow, Nationality and Class are most important as it determines whether or not you start as a Sorcerer or a Target but even in Chaosium's grossest adventures this wasn't the whole story

*** using a multiple dice rolling app. obviously I AM that sad but also easily bored

**** not quite right and I haven't included Ambidexters, Mixed-handers, Ambilevous but then I'm not trying to re-write Bushido or Chivalry & Sorcery

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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**** not quite right and I haven't included Ambidexters, Mixed-handers, Ambilevous but then I'm not trying to re-write Bushido or Chivalry & Sorcery

Can't remember which game I got it from, but I always do random determination of handidness as follows: roll 1D6 and 1D12. If D12 > D6 the character is right handed; if D6 > D12 the character is left handed; If D6 = D12 the character is ambidextrous. Sure I picked it up from a published RPG, but can't remember which one...

Nick

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Can't remember which game I got it from, but I always do random determination of handidness as follows: roll 1D6 and 1D12. If D12 > D6 the character is right handed; if D6 > D12 the character is left handed; If D6 = D12 the character is ambidextrous. Sure I picked it up from a published RPG, but can't remember which one...

Nick

Hm, strangely enough I also do the same thing. I also can't remember where it came from. I almost thought it might be DragonQuest, but that only uses d10s.

Mark

Always start what you finish.

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BTW Stormbringer 1 is more random ISTR, later versions toned it down quite a lot - I prefer the earlier version. There are random additions to attributes depending on nationality, and there's at least one Profession that you roll d100 for skills ratings in - Crafter perhaps? Skills from other classes can easily be 50%+ at start. If you just want to roll randomly for everything there's not much point in classes at all really.

cheers,

Mark

Always start what you finish.

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Can't remember which game I got it from...

I also can't remember where it came from.

White Dwarf #25. That's definitely Old School!

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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BTW Stormbringer 1 is more random ISTR, later versions toned it down quite a lot - I prefer the earlier version. There are random additions to attributes depending on nationality, and there's at least one Profession that you roll d100 for skills ratings in - Crafter perhaps? Skills from other classes can easily be 50%+ at start. If you just want to roll randomly for everything there's not much point in classes at all really.

cheers,

Mark

1. Yes agreed, that's what I tried to summarise in my intro. Obviously I failed!

2. Thief certainly had lots of skills and I think that they were pretty random so that may be the one

3. Agreed again

Al

Rule Zero: Don't be on fire

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1. Yes agreed, that's what I tried to summarise in my intro. Obviously I failed!

No I don't think you failed at all, I was just trying to remember the differences between SB1 and SB3!

2. Thief certainly had lots of skills and I think that they were pretty random so that may be the one

Could be Thief - if I remember I'll have a look when I get home.

Mark

Edited by d(sqrt(-1))
typo

Always start what you finish.

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RE: D12 & D6 for Handedness

White Dwarf #25. That's definitely Old School!
I bet it's older than that. I remember picking it up from one of the early Alarums & Excursions, which I started reading about #10. I'd have to go on an archeology expedition into the attic to find which one...

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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But whether its fond memories of the system or this truly bizarre set of skills which I'm now trying to fit a believable background to I find myself itching to play said character.
I like more random characters -- as GM I tend to roll a bunch of random stuff for major NPCs, and work out a background that works for them and my world -- the results are ALWAYS more interesting than anything I would have developed without the 'prod.' But I know that not all of my players like that approach.

I need a random name generator

(Gender was easy, all of my dice have an even number of sides and the actual outnumbering of males by females can be blown off by old school gaming sexism)

While there are a bunch of random generators on the net, I like TableSmith (downloadable for PC, $10 purchase if you like it, Role-Playing Tools: The World of Mythosa and TableSmith). The tables are plain text and easy to modify. Lots of starting tables available as well. I'm not associated with TableSmith other than as a happy user.

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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Hah! That was two years in to my subscription IIRC! :eek:

Well, there's Old - and then there's Venerable... ;)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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