Author Topic: Rappan Athuk 2019  (Read 2224 times)

Cramulus

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2019, 02:48:32 pm »


I've got a copy of Bill Webb's Book of Dirty Tricks (by the same guy who wrote Rappan Athuk) -- it is a cursed tome. But I think it points at the best elements of Gygax style play. You familiar?

It has great tips like  -- sometimes when your party is camping in the wilderness, the watch will hear something in the bushes... but it's not a monster, it's a skunk. If they jump up with weapons drawn and start waking up the party, the skunk panics and blasts them. For the next few days, they have penalties to stealth and charisma checks.


The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2019, 02:52:25 pm »
 :lulz: :lulz:

I might have to get me a copy of that!
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2019, 03:26:07 pm »
I own a copy.  It's worth mentioning that I've been DMing since 1977, so a lot of those tricks were pretty famous at the time (Through Dungeoneer magazine, etc).
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

nullified

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Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2019, 08:23:57 pm »
I’ve been digesting this slowly.

D&D and PF are things I’ve always liked for the sheer amount of shit you can do with them as a DM, there’s something for almost any diseased idea to fall out of the back of your brain, but I’ve always had trouble with the “half the things you want to do are worthless” part of it as a PC. What’s the point of a billion classes and races if you end up useless with all but a couple of them, is sort of the thought process I have on it.

That said: this looks incredibly fun. I even like the fluff and probably should grab the book for that alone. I’d love to play a TTRPG with the Dok one day, even one as bloody and deadly as this one seems to be.

EDIT: I don’t know why I said “even”, because my /ideal/ D&D/PF style game involves a body count many times higher than the number of players.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 08:26:51 pm by nullified »

Doktor Howl

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2019, 10:33:33 pm »
I’ve been digesting this slowly.

D&D and PF are things I’ve always liked for the sheer amount of shit you can do with them as a DM, there’s something for almost any diseased idea to fall out of the back of your brain, but I’ve always had trouble with the “half the things you want to do are worthless” part of it as a PC. What’s the point of a billion classes and races if you end up useless with all but a couple of them, is sort of the thought process I have on it.

That said: this looks incredibly fun. I even like the fluff and probably should grab the book for that alone. I’d love to play a TTRPG with the Dok one day, even one as bloody and deadly as this one seems to be.

EDIT: I don’t know why I said “even”, because my /ideal/ D&D/PF style game involves a body count many times higher than the number of players.

The book is really steep.  The PDF is more affordable, but that's a relative term.  You can find it on https://froggodgames.com/frogs/
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Fujikoma

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2019, 10:59:56 pm »
Just play cleric, or thief... or cleric/thief.

nullified

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2019, 11:00:51 pm »
Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it for when I have that kind of money (or Christmas rolls around, who knows?)

I’m a firm believer that originality is just remixing and happy accidents, so I like to consume everything remotely of interest, which this certainly seems to be. I’ve got three or four settings I work on off and on, and I can see this fitting well with one in particular.

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2019, 11:40:35 pm »
Thanks for the link, I bookmarked it for when I have that kind of money (or Christmas rolls around, who knows?)

I’m a firm believer that originality is just remixing and happy accidents, so I like to consume everything remotely of interest, which this certainly seems to be. I’ve got three or four settings I work on off and on, and I can see this fitting well with one in particular.

The entire adventure set is:

Stoneheart Valley
Rappan Athuk
Slumbering City of Tsar.

It's like 3000 pages of madness, horror and death as a body of writing, obviously there is no campaign track to complete all of them.  So far, there is a running total of 85% mortality in Rappan Athuk (54 dead PCs), and one party that tried Tsar (5 out of 6 dead PCs).  Stoneheart Valley is a bit easier if you play intelligently and has a 40% mortality rate (15 dead PCs).

Mind you, I've been running Rappan Athuk occasionally since it's 3rd ed incarnation, so since about 2000-ish.  Tsar is more or less unplayable, so I mine it for ideas.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

nullified

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2019, 11:43:33 pm »
I missed Stoneheart but found the other two. Still too rich for my blood (a good meal for me lately is one of those 6 dollar bagged pasta meals in the frozen section of Wal-Mart) but I have /goals/ now!

What makes Tsar unplayable?

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2019, 11:54:35 pm »
I missed Stoneheart but found the other two. Still too rich for my blood (a good meal for me lately is one of those 6 dollar bagged pasta meals in the frozen section of Wal-Mart) but I have /goals/ now!

What makes Tsar unplayable?

It's fricking HUGE.  You start at the camp at 8th level.  After about 6 months of play (1 5 hour session/week) you get to the gates of the ruined city.

This is where the party all died.  Just outside.  (from what the party referred to as the "Jersey tire-fire beast")

If you get through the gates, it is an entire city.  Like the size of Buffalo.  And every single encounter is written like the boss encounter for a module.  It's an AMAZING body of work, and it would make the most fantastic computer game or MMORPG ever, but running it would be a full time job.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

nullified

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2019, 11:57:01 pm »
There’s a place for that if you run one of those “real play RPG” podcasts and it’s popular enough. But yes, MMO material.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2019, 06:48:29 am »
Adding one more house rule, which we don't like to do normally:

Spellcraft as a skill is abolished.  Appropriate knowledge skills take it's place.  So for a wizard learning a new spell, knowledge arcana (same DC).  For determining what spell an opponent is casting, use the skill tied to that class (so to determine what a cleric or oracle is doing, use knowledge (religion), for a wizard or sorcerer, knowledge (arcana).  For druids, knowledge (nature), etc.  If you don't have the correct skill, you don't have a chance to do it.

To identify an item, do the same thing.  You make a single knowledge check role, and apply each bonus.  If the correct knowledge check is high enough, you recognize the item.  For items that don't require a spell as a component, any applicable spell will do.

Example:   A ring of invisibility.  The DC to recognize this is 15+ minimum caster level (3) = 18.  Invisibility is an arcane spell, so the appropriate knowledge is arcana.  No other knowledge check will get you the result.

Bob the Cleric has only knowledge (religion).  Bob cannot identify the ring.

Spedge the Wizard has knowledge (arcana).  If his check is an 18 or higher, he identifies the ring.

Dave the bard has both skills.  He rolls a single die roll, and adds that roll to each of his knowledge skills *separately*, and if the *appropriate* check is high enough, he knows it is a ring of invisibility.  If his roll fails but is at least a 15, he knows that it is arcane.

The advantage of this from the PCs point of view is that it frees up a skill point for a caster.  From the DM's point of view, it forces the party to broaden their skill base.  It also removes a redundancy from the game.

Note:  This gives wizards, sorcerers, and bards a significant advantage over other spell casters, as they have access to the identify spell, which nobody else gets (except for a domain, IIRC).  A qualifier added to the spell would be that when identify is cast, the knowledge it is being added to has to be named at the time of the casting...And since an untrained knowledge skill check maxes out at 10, it's useless if the caster hasn't got at least one rank in the appropriate skill (except for bards, who can use knowledge skills untrained.) 

This would *imply* that identify be added to the spell lists of other casting classes as a 2nd level spell instead of a 1st level spell, but this is still under discussion.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Don Coyote

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2019, 01:22:29 pm »
Democracy Spellcraft can get fucked.
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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2019, 08:55:22 pm »
Good thread! Thanks for the peek into your campaign, Dok.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Rappan Athuk 2019
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2019, 02:03:34 am »
Good thread! Thanks for the peek into your campaign, Dok.

The campaign starts in June.  I will be posting notes from now til then, and then I will record the horrible carnage.

This is one of those campaigns where you KNOW you need extra character sheets.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.