I love the idea of using scenes to track time in a dungeon since time is so nebulous anyway. This allows for easy tracking of time, resource consumption (torches, oil, etc.), and even spell durations for those long-lasting spells. For more details, check the link out!
Yes. First level mages suck. So do first level fighters, first level thieves, first level clerics, etc. They all suck. They’re supposed to… unless you’re playing DYD 4e, then no one sucks ever. This is part of the charm of previous editions of (A)D&D. At low levels you have to think, charm, cajole and use your wiles to get through tough spots. Just charging ahead and slaughtering everything and everyone really isn’t an option. By the time the characters get to higher levels and can actually pull off the “attack everything” tactic, they’re in the habit of not doing so. That makes for more role playing and less roll playing.
I love the two basic premises of this blog post: Magic items are special are not needed for game balance. This is how I’ve designed magic items in my RPG. As a matter of fact, a single character can own a single item (armor, sword, shield, bag, whatever) and it can be blessed by the Whispers (controllers/creators/progenitors of magic) through heroic use of an item to become magical.
Loving this idea. Magic items (and even non-magic items) can be a mark of station. Finding said items can mark a player as a powerful person, a traitor, a savior or so much more. For specific examples clicky the linky.
This is a pet peeve of mine. No, not the use of aid another. The lack of use of aid another. Most parties think that “helping” each other is to take everyone with a skill (say, Spellcraft in Pathfinder which is used along with the Detect Magic spell to identify items) and have each person roll an independent roll. Then the highest number is announced to the GM and he’s kind of backed in the corner to use that. That’s not really how it’s supposed to work. The person with the best total bonus in a skill should roll a d20 and add in their skill total. Anyone else with the same skill and/or abilities can roll to aid another to give the primary PC a +2 on their die roll. Multiple people, up to a reasonable limit, can assist. Next time I run a Pathfinder (or similar) game, I’ll be requiring the use of a primary PC’s die roll plus aid another from any supporting characters.