Tuesday, November 19, 2019

An Idea For Useful Languages in RPGs

Languages are never fun in tabletop roleplaying games. People have come up with numerous ways to handle them, and their methods become especially absurd in games where languages are handled by leveled skill points ("Sorry, professor, but I can't learn Spanish until I go shank some goblins and steal their loot."). LotFP has a linguistic skill, for example, that you roll to determine whether or not you know a language; max the skill and you know everything. AD&D had "alignment languages" and people the first part of that term was even worse than the second. Some effort has been made to at least make the languages interesting. Meanwhile, most people just dispense with languages entirely. Here's a proposal.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Skill Checks for OSR Games

I can already feel my 7 or 8 readers cringing at the title. OSR style games tend to try to avoid the very idea of skills. From goals of simplicity to theories of gameplay, the concept has a very contentious history. I don't like skill systems in general.  They are cumbersome at best, troubling intrusive and game-breaking at worst. What I've done, instead, is sorta universalize something that was already going on in early D&D and made more explicit how to apply and adjudicate it in various situations. It'll be quick, I promise.

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