Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Original Edition Delta

I spent a lot of time researching medieval archery (longbows, crossbows) around 2am this morning because...well, I don't honestly remember what put that particular been into my bonnet. For whatever reason, I felt I needed/wanted to "correct" some things.

[I also spent a good bit of time researching The Runaways. Cherie Curry was a phenomenal talent for her age. Well, I suppose they all were, but I know quite a bit more about being a vocalist/front than those stringy-instrument things...]

Anyhoo, while watching videos of dudes with British accents shooting arrows into things and comparing my copy of D&D with CHAINMAIL and a bunch of pseudo-scholarly web sites devoted to medieval weapons, I...

[oh, wait! I remember! I was checking archery technology in relationship to the development of armor in western Europe...again...especially in the 13th through 15th centuries. Duh]

...I found myself getting more blah-blah-blah-blah because is the kind of shit I am always doing: re-re-inventing the damn wheel just trying to reconcile historic stats with design models. Surely a lost cause when players would prefer to do cool stuff like putting an arrow through a dragon's eyeball.

[having been stabbed in the eyeball with a lollypop stick a couple years back and managing to make a full recovery without the need for medical attention (I got the medical attention, but the doctor did nothing but set me home with some painkillers) I would be inclined to think such an attack, while inconveniencing, would not be nearly as deadly as the players might assume...just given the scale and all]

However, I am what I am (depressing as that can be at times), and I can't help but feeling that if I could just get it right once, then I would stop repeating the damn wheel.

Enter Delta's D&D Hotspot.

Delta's blog is a wealth of good material, most especially for folks (like me) who are interested in the development of D&D over the decades and the modeling of historic accuracy with the oldest versions of the game (including Chainmail). I've been reading his blog for years, but I've never really put in the time to read back over his older stuff. I could have saved myself a shit-ton of trouble if I had. Not only is his archery conclusions fairly close to my own, most of his house rules (Original Edition Delta...available as a free, 6-page PDF) are excellent, well-reasoned, and quite practical. I especially dig on his encumbrance ("stone based") rules and - oh, lookee - a thoughtful distinction of weapons and the use of "real time" for wandering encounters. His system for helmets is pretty much the same as what I was using for my Goblin Wars setting and (with adjustments), Land of Ice.

O Those Mathematicians! If I'd checked here first I might have shaved a couple hundred hours off my design time.

You might want to check it out (if you haven't already)...I'll probably be making reference to OED in future (design-related) posts, seeing as how most of it is so right on.

Okay, now that I got that out there, I shall return to my B/X dissatisfactions...


  1. Delta is an excellent resource - I think originally discovered him when looking for dice stats. He does an great job of integrating math and history in creating mechanics.

    1. Exactly. Ugh, I'm having a hard time being succinct lately!

  2. I remember reading Delta's archery post years ago, but can't recall the conclusions. Time for a re-read I guess!

    1. @ Dennis:

      The gist is: effective range should be a lot shorter in an underground environment when you have a low ceiling.
      : )

  3. I remember reading Delta's archery post years ago, but can't recall the conclusions. Time for a re-read I guess!