Friday, October 2, 2009

Reading T&T 7.5 - Adventure Points p.29-30

Welcome back to T&T Friday! Today I'll talk mostly about Adventure Points, and also a bit about the small interspersed pieces of game mastering advice the author have sprinkled his text with.

Our read through today start at page 29. Here we finish up the character generation by mentioning some things apart from abilities and kin which would have to go unto the character sheet.

Adventure Points is the first. What is interesting with those, apart from how fun it is to see your character get better, is how they are presented here in which is really the player's part of the rules. Ken writes:
They are the most mysterious aspect of life on Trollworld -- it is as though the gods themselves were keeping track of the players' actions and scoring them, handing out rewards and occationally punishments for all actions undertaken during the course of one's adventures.
This is a very fun attitude, I think. There's no pretense here about any simulation of a secondary world. Adventure points are given by the gods, and they are an interesting mix up of the reality of the game and the reality of the players. A quote like this succinctly encapsulates the feel of the rules text.Note that it also gives you a hint of how to play the game! Just like the gods award their followers, sometimes giving and taking, you as a GM and player can anticipate the AP to come and go. Play loose and reward actions, good and bad. I like the implication here that your actions have consequences, in a lighthearted way. You play a game and try to score points. Simple enough.

Then there are mentions of Weapons, Armor, Languages, Magic and Equipment. All of this is self explanatory stuff, really. What is interesting, though, is that under Armor there is a hint of something from a former edition. Back in the days, armor was ablative. It meant that when you took damage the armor absorbed it for you, but got hurt in the process. While the idea of damaged armor is mentioned here in an off-hand remark, I think an opportunity is missed by not mentioning that armor effect as a boxed note, or something, for the GM to use an an interesting optional rule. I'm beginning to think that the game would have benefitted from a section for players and another for Game Masters. The fact that e.g. AP is explained and expanded upon on p.102 almost gives this impression, but in a more confused manner. I'd have liked to see it done more purposefully.

Lastly before the big section on Talents, we have a short but interesting section on encumbrance and how it affects the life on Trollworld. The idea of tracking weight is "for the purists in the audience", and I must confess I ditched that rule myself in my campaign. What is interesting here is first that Ken mention the old Weight Units (1/10 of a pound) which have been in the game for many editions, but we get no real reason not to just use kilos or pounds. Secondly, we have a paragraph about how this affects people in Trollworld:
the delvers of Trollworld have developed wonderful packs for stowing stuff, and their clothing is full of all sorts of pockets, pouches, belts with hooks, and so forth. It's funny to visualize, but the heavily laden dungeon delver probably looks more like a boy scout leader buried under packs and gear than he does a medieval warrior.
I can't emphasize enough how that picture evokes the wonder of delving for me! No "dungeon punk" attitude with spikes and impossible poses. For a game that is so unashamedly a game, with its wacky logic, this for me gives a stamp of "realism" to it. Don't sweat the details, but imagine how fun this looks, eh? I like that.

Next up: Talents!


  1. Weight units--I needed something that was uniform and common throughout Trollworld. A solid gold piece seemed to fit the bill--make it 1/10 of a pound in our terms, so that we can understand it, but use something that is standardized throughout Trollworld so that they can understand it. Weights and measures in the ancient world were all over the place. Trollworld, being both simpler and more logical than Earth has one measure of weight--the standard gold coin--1 weight unit.
    --Ken St. Andre

  2. But why not just use pounds? There's nothing special with gold coins, is there? In D&D they at least used to be the basis for xp, but not so in T&T.


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