Friday, February 11, 2022

Five Point Friday - February 11th, 2022


Welcome to this week's Five Point Friday. This one will be a quick stroll through to current events to memory lane. 

Point 1 - This week, the kids and I have really dug into Todd Leback's Hexcrawl books. We've got a couple of purposes in this. I personally want to run a hexcrawl. My son wants to run a campaign as a DM. My daughter wants to play with tokens and slay creatures. And if you are using Into the Wild or The Basilisk Hills Ultimate, you can do all of these things. 

I'll circle back to this at the end. 

Point 2: I am reminded of all of the wonderful coffee table books of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. To see unicorns through Robert Vavra's eye. Or take a flight with F-Stop Fitzgerald, in airplanes, or on the back a gargoyle. These books sparked so many creative flights of fancy in my youth, I love them. I spent hours looking at them. And I couldn't help it, I had one. My parents-aunts-uncle-grandma and neighbor had one. These photo books offered something for everyone.  

They often show up at thrift stores and garage sales because tons of people had them for decades. You can also take a look for them over on AbeBooks. 

Robert Vavra on
F-stop Fitzgerald on

Point 3 - I'm still in fantasy mode. Back in my youth, I recall spending hours looking over the Columbia House flyer for tapes, CDs, and records. I could have six for a penny. Or if I could find just two more for $2.99 each, I could have 8! If only all I had demanded vinyl back then. 

And back then, I would struggle to find just 6 or 8 items to select, month after month. Sometimes, I would team up with friends and family to make these never-to-be redeemed selections. 

It happened a lot. 

Now we have Pandora, Amazon, and Youtube music on top of Netflix, Disney+, Discovery+... Plus... Plus... Plus. I can hardly pick what I want to watch or listen to for all the great choices. 

It's often too much. I have to force myself to remember how happy some things make me (Van Halen or Def Leppard) or how good Led Zepplin is. 

What is missing from all of these choices is the not choice. The magic of having a friend play Peter Gabriel to me. Or Ella Fitzgerald. Or my dad rocking out to Chuck Berry. Music, and to some extent TV and movies have become a sadder, more personalized activity. 

Point 4: Facebook is dying, so I will no stay on that platform. More importantly, 38% of my visitors come to my site via a bookmark or manually typing the address. 

Well. Thank you 38%. That is amazing. Apparently I am doing something right and providing content that people desire. I guess that means that I can forget Twitter because it doesn't even appear. Best of all, I can actually kickback on Mewe and Dice.Camp and simply enjoy the content that they provide to me. 

Point 5: Eric Tenknar has this excellent piece on The Dungeoneer's Survival Guide on Youtube. This was not a good direction for e1 in some respects. And excellent in others. In B/X and Holmes, the thief was the gamebreaker. He had individual skills no one else could have. The Dungeoneer's Survival Guide kicked it up a notch or ten. 

I love the idea of a character having some sort of professional, non-combat related skills. Hell, I wrote a book on it. The difficultly is, AD&D e1 has a very hard time with ordering events in normal gameplay like combat. Like when and how to roll initiative is badly handled. Adding more die rolls for other points and times in play is going to be bad under e1. 

I didn't have this book wayback then or even now. I wasn't a huge fan of most of the stuff from UA and the Survivial Guide was worse. I took what I needed and ditched the rest. You can see this in my Character Sheet on DriveThruRPG. . 

I honestly think that people are writing materials along the lines of the Survival Guide. We just call it hexcrawling. B/X is a good place to land unified rolling mechanics for events and activities, so long as those rolls are very simular to other well established die rolls. A save, a to hit roll, an ability check or a plain-old 100% die. This is the strength of B/X. No new mechanics, just one of the old mechanics reused. 

Well, that is it for Friday. Have a great weekend. 

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