Thursday, July 2, 2020
What I Need
This isn't really a blog post...it's a shopping list of sorts, that I'm just writing down now so I can remember my thoughts for later.
- Equipment list, encumbrance/movement rates
- Experience tables, including spell acquisition rate/thief skills
- Combat (attack) tables, clerical turning matrix
- Saving throw tables
- List of spell descriptions, well-curated
I think that if I have these five references, dice, and an adventure (see below) then I should be able to run D&D. Everything else I need to know is firmly lodged in my noggin.
Racial special abilities, reaction and morale rules, "special" combat rules, adjudication of various exploration systems (traps, light, food, doors, etc.)...all that stuff is solid in my skull. Books (other than my "spell book:" about 16 pages long) need not apply.
Note: this is what I need to run the game. Seven or so (A5) pages of reference charts. The systems and procedures are easily remembered and explained, when explanation is necessary. These days...and, really, for most of my gaming history upon reflection...the players at my table(s) have taken the vast bulk of my rulings at face value without explanation. They have had faith in my basic competence (or, perhaps, relative expertise to their own). And I don't think this faith is misplaced: many of these "cheat sheets" that I want are for my players' benefit...I know the prices of equipment without looking, for example, but it's easier to hand someone the list to peruse when they're creating their character or "shopping in town."
The "adventure" part is the trickier bit. Maps are necessary, of course. Keys for referencing/remembering what's on the map. Some quick monster and treasure notes (when/where appropriate), a wandering monster chart for the area, and perhaps some notes regarding special areas and NPCs. When histories and backgrounds need something more than "vague," additional notes might be needed for reference...probably nothing more explicit than a sketchy outline.
Hmm. Okay, maybe not that tricky.
Yeah, I don't know why I worry so much about this stuff. Looking at what I need to run the game, I see that it's really not all that much. Not much at all.
And like I said at the beginning, this isn't much of a blog post. And, unfortunately, this is all I've got time for at the moment. Right now I need to go draw a map.