Of Encounters and Hobbits and Corpses…

I had a discussion awhile back with a group of old gaming buddies back home via email. Mostly talking about encounter tables, wilderness exploration and such since at the time I was wrestling with all of that for the sandbox game.

What was actually sussed out is irrelevant without larger context, but it did yield this gem which came to mind while I was working on AD&D inspired encounter tables for my C&C game over lunch. (AD&D encounter tables are incredibly mean spirited btw…) I felt the need to share because this still makes me laugh.

Let’s return to the fantasy literature that RPGs “emulate.” we shall use the series that AD&D unself-conciously rips off as our example: Lord of the Rings.

“Under AD&D rules… well, there’s a Ringwraith in the Shire at all times (based on AD&D’s 1% chance of a Mezzodaemon in any city on any night.). Sam, Frodo, Merry and Pippin fail a navigation roll and wander around in Farmer Maggot’s mushroom fields for two days (because getting lost is a function of time, not skill failure) OOPS!. While lost in Farmer Maggot’s mushroom fields for two days, they encounter 12 bands of orcs, three bears, two kobolds, one Ringwraith, a pack of direwolves, a band of bandits, and the devoured corpse of poor Farmer Maggot…

Of course, since, in AD&D you can only level up via killing foes and gaining wealth, I think it rather sad that none of the poor hobbits ever level up. At all. In fact, when the ONE RING is destroyed, Frodo goes down a level… for he has lost the artifact which was giving him so many XP… oh, he gets 200 XP or so for the death of Gollum, if the kindly DM rules that Gollum slipping and falling counts as a “kill” for Frodo… Maybe a 25XP bonus for ‘good roleplay,” but poor Frodo still lost 150,000XP for losing the ONE RING….. Oh, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli get to level up a couple of times, and Gandalf gets a 250XP bonus for returning from the dead [which, in AD&D isn’t that big a deal–the Fellowship didn’t have a Cleric. Tolkein just didn’t know how to build a party… cuz they didn’t have any tanks, either….] But I digress.”

Now, I would argue that in fact Sam does level up a little bit, maybe 1 or 2 levels in Fighter. I’d also argue that Gimli is the party’s tank with Boromir being their off tank, just with a rather shitty build…

This entry was posted in Beyond the Borderlands, Sandbox Dev, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *