Getting started with S&W

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Re: Getting started with S&W

Postby merias » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:25 pm

Agree the old-school ref does most of the heavy lifting as far as record-keeping. This keeps it fast and fun for the players. But I find this changes based on the type of game I'm running. If it is a one- or maybe two-shot dungeon crawl I dispense with most of the record keeping, since you know it won't matter after that. For campaigns, I use google docs to track marching order, light, night watch schedule, PC stats and XP, and also keep separate DM and player session notes. I usually hand-waive encumbrance, apart from just setting a maximum amount of coin weight each PC can carry. If they want to haul more treasure, they need mules or porters.
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Re: Getting started with S&W

Postby Mach Front » Mon Dec 26, 2016 5:28 am

under_score wrote:When I read about S&W, or any old school play reports, there are new aspects of gaming that seem significant that we're not used to, but I'd love to incorporate. Managing followers, morale and loyalty, resources, encumbrance (assuming gold=XP, encumbrance becomes a lot more important). The ability to get lost in a dungeon. How do you run a game like that without turning it into a load of book keeping?


A bit late, but I had something to say.
I wanted to speak to this aspect (which seems to be the core of your concern).

IF this resource-management style of play is important to you then yes book-keeping is a part of it. The DM and players themselves are also resource-managing. Heh.

But, some folks myself included 'use' D&D instead of 'playing D&D'. What I mean is: I don't play old-school D&D with the old-school rules and old-school intended style. I dig the old rules just because I dig the old rules.
What I do is simply utilize D&D (or rather S&W more often than not, and usually WhiteBox) simply as an engine to play a fantasy rpg.
I ignore encumbrance. I don't even track time, really. I often ignore the number of rations and arrows and torches, etc.
Despite the game assuming and being built in such a way that hirelings and whatnot is very nearly necessary, I ignore that too and proceed with a game like most folks play with nearly every other system old and new and that is a party only as large as the number of players. I allow slightly quicker and easier healing. I usually use "low level" monsters as opponents often well long after PCs are levels five or seven or whatever (this helps to make fighters awesome). You can get a lot of mileage with standard human bad-guys anyway. Plus, monsters in OD&D and S&W:WB/WB:FMAG have only a single attack except for very powerful ones as opposed to the 'claw/claw/bite' attack routines of every iteration of D&D past the 3LBBs only.

My point is just to make you aware that you could do the same if the idea appeals. This is moot of course if you want to play OD&D in the resource-management vein.
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Re: Getting started with S&W

Postby foxroe » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:52 am

Book keeping is not that bad once you're used to it, and it can be simplified for sure.

Here's an example of how a DM can track adventure info/resources: http://www.mad-irishman.net/pubs/MI_ADnD1eDMAdventureLog.pdf

You can always make up your own "adventure log". Make a block for listing PC marching order, maybe with some basic stats (level, HP, AC). Make a grid of squares/check-boxes/circles/whatever to represent rounds, ticking them off as you progress through a combat. Make a separate grid for tracking turns, annotating special time-dependent situations or when a torch/lantern is lit so you know when they go out. Make a block for tracking monsters overcome and treasure hauled away. You get the idea.

As for player resources, let them track their own stuff. Hopefully your players are mature enough to control themselves and not cheat. Just ask them about their current encumbrance, HP, ammunition, etc. once in a while, maybe "pretend" to be tracking it as well, just to keep them honest.
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Re: Getting started with S&W

Postby under_score » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:49 am

Mach Front wrote:I don't play old-school D&D with the old-school rules and old-school intended style.


Thanks Mach for the additional perspective, although the old-school intended style is very much what I'm going for.

I've adapted Wouter's tracking sheet and feel I can pretty comfortably manage time/resource management with that now. I've read the various editions, and bought a soft bound copy of WB: FMAG (cause at $6, why not?). I'm very much leaning toward using those rules, although I own quite a bit of Frog God Games modules now and those all seem to be intended for Complete rules.

Anyway, at this point I just need to convince my gaming group to give it a try.
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Re: Getting started with S&W

Postby foxroe » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:51 am

under_score wrote:
Mach Front wrote:I don't play old-school D&D with the old-school rules and old-school intended style.

Thanks Mach for the additional perspective, although the old-school intended style is very much what I'm going for.

I've adapted Wouter's tracking sheet and feel I can pretty comfortably manage time/resource management with that now. I've read the various editions, and bought a soft bound copy of WB: FMAG (cause at $6, why not?). I'm very much leaning toward using those rules, although I own quite a bit of Frog God Games modules now and those all seem to be intended for Complete rules.

Anyway, at this point I just need to convince my gaming group to give it a try.

Just my worthless opinion, but I feel the intention of the old-school style isn't necessarily that you follow all of the rules to the tee. My perspective of the original game is that you were supposed to make it your own. I think Mach Front is probably right: most folks tend to ignore the fiddly rules, and just play it "lighter".

And, WB:FMAG is fantastic - I'd crown it the Spiritual Successor to OD&D, but I'm not anointed :) . I'm also a big FGG fan. I'll be running a Rappan Athuk campaign at some point and I intend to use WB:FMAG. It seems to me you can just run their Complete stuff using Core or WB (same stats), just treat the extra classes that come up in the modules as NPC-only and remember to reduce the HP of the monsters by about 25% if you're using WB.
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