Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Things I am Proud Of

So I bared my soul last time with a project that I never completed. On the flip side, what am I particularly proud of?

I'm proud of most of the stuff I've working on over the years. However, what makes me smile are not particularly big things. It is the small tweaks, tight mechanics, and cool explanations that I've discovered over the years. Here are a few of them:

The Universal Table (Marvel Super Heroes) - I've talked about this before, and recognized its origins in the CRTs (Combat Results Tables) of earlier wargames. But the way it fits together, the way it works, the sheer .. universality of it all, still makes me happy. It is a table that carries a lot of load, and I was very happy with it.

The Nine Hells and, more importantly, why they descend (Manual of the Planes) - Here was my problem in MotP - the layers of the Outer Planes are supposedly limitless, infinite in all directions. So how do we create a typical Dante-esque hell where you keep climbing down to get to the nastiest layers?. My answer was that all the gates INTO a layer of the Hells were on the tops of mountains, and those OUT of a layer were in the valleys. That way, you are always descending. I was pretty darn smug about this one at the time.

A d8+d12 random monster table. (Monster Manual II) - I was reading the new edition of the DMG the other day (as one does) and noticed that some of the random monster tables were with 1d8 and d12. I did this in MMII, back in the day when monsters had rarity levels. The d8+d12 produces a bell curve with a large flat space on the top. The Common monsters would be found on the top of that plateau. The Uncommons were found on the sloping sides, the Rares further away from that, and the Very Rares were at the 2 and 20 levels, with about a 1% chance of each. So you could have a random monster table where demons were not as common as orcs

Those are the ones that make me smile. There are a lot of others - Phlogiston and the Crystal Spheres from Spelljammer.  Karma as a spendable experience point system in Marvel. Making Ashnod (Brother's War) and Varesh Ossa (Nightfall) female characters. Cheeeese. The Great Stone Men from Neither Man nor Beast. A good chunk of the Modrons. Tinker gnomes of Dragonlance. The names of the Asura  in Eye of the North (which sound like sound effects from Mad magazine). But those top three make me particularly happy.

More later,