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View Full Version : Running a Paleo game



kyoryu
2010-10-26, 02:59 AM
So I was thinking of running a really, really old-school game.

Meaning:

1. Characters aren't presumed to be special. They're just guys doing stuff. If they survive, they may become legends, and if so they will have done it with their own might and wits. If not... well, at least it will make a good story.
2. Random character generation (maybe even as far as straight 3d6). You are not guaranteed good stats. You are not guaranteed anything. Not a big deal, though, because...
3. Multiple characters (just not at one time).
4. Cursed items, random effects, all of that good fun stuff.
5. Maybe even use the ol' personality mangler from the appendix of the 1e DMG.

The idea is that characters don't represent player avatars like they do in more modern games. Rather, they're just individuals in the Great Story, and players may take the part of one of these individuals... but that is not a guarantee that those characters will see the final act of the story. The world is not necessarily hostile, just... indifferent.

You folks think anyone would even be willing to play such a game any more? And if so, what system would you run it with?

Yora
2010-10-26, 06:22 AM
I probably wouldn't be interested in it myself. When the characters are throw-away, it's all about combat, which doesn't do much for me.

If you run such a game, use a system in which character creation is quick and easy. In 3.5e this can take forever at higher levels, so like for sandbox games, it's a really bad choice for such a game.

hamlet
2010-10-26, 07:20 AM
"Paleo Game"?:smallmad:

2-HeadedGiraffe
2010-10-26, 07:34 AM
If you're borrowing so much from 1st Edition D&D, how about running it in 1st Edition D&D? The concept is interesting, though players could get stuck with characters they just don't enjoy, who can't do anything useful, or any number of other problems.

Mark Hall
2010-10-26, 11:04 AM
You may want to look into using either a "Paleo system" or a retroclone. I'm a big proponent of Castles and Crusades. OSRIC is a sort-of SRD for 1st edition, and I believe Labyrinth Lord is for Basic/Expert era.

On the topic of stats, however, you may try the version I've gone with... 3d6, arranged to taste, with the option to turn any 2 numbers into 15s. That guarantees that they are good at their job, but gives them a semi-realistic spread. If you want a little more hard-core, try 3d6, in order, and let them turn their "prime requisites" into 15s if they want... so a fighter always has at least a 15 strength, but if they roll high on it, they can't shore up weaknesses that way.

kyoryu
2010-10-26, 02:53 PM
I probably wouldn't be interested in it myself. When the characters are throw-away, it's all about combat, which doesn't do much for me.


So, the "paleo" game I played in (we're talking ANCIENT - it used a heavily house-ruled version of the *predecessor* to GURPS) fit these criteria, and probably had the best roleplaying of any group I'd been part of.

In fact, I think that the hardcore-ness of it actually improved the roleplaying, as it both made real risks and rewards, and also let people feel more free to play weird personalities and accept bad things, as they knew they wouldn't be stuck with 'em forever. An actor might be willing to play the part of an insane person, since they know in the next play they'll get a different role. That kind of thing.


"Paleo Game"?:smallmad:

As in beyond old school - old to the point of being Paleolithic.


If you're borrowing so much from 1st Edition D&D, how about running it in 1st Edition D&D? The concept is interesting, though players could get stuck with characters they just don't enjoy, who can't do anything useful, or any number of other problems.

I've considered that as an option. I've got a DMG, should be able to get a PHB and MM, at least, off ebay.

I'm going more for the feel than the ruleset, to be honest.


You may want to look into using either a "Paleo system" or a retroclone. I'm a big proponent of Castles and Crusades. OSRIC is a sort-of SRD for 1st edition, and I believe Labyrinth Lord is for Basic/Expert era.

I'll check those out. Thanks!


On the topic of stats, however, you may try the version I've gone with... 3d6, arranged to taste, with the option to turn any 2 numbers into 15s. That guarantees that they are good at their job, but gives them a semi-realistic spread. If you want a little more hard-core, try 3d6, in order, and let them turn their "prime requisites" into 15s if they want... so a fighter always has at least a 15 strength, but if they roll high on it, they can't shore up weaknesses that way.

I'll consider that...

dsmiles
2010-10-27, 04:36 AM
When do we start?

3D6 IN ORDER, FTW!

If you're in Virginia, I've a crapton of 1e books. Ranging from the PHB, DMG, MM, MMII, FF to almost all of the Greyhawk specific stuff. I also have a PDF of all of the 2e books. GINORMOUS, but searchable!

Mark Hall
2010-10-27, 02:01 PM
I'll consider that...

FWIW, I only recently realized I stole it from MERP... the RoleMasterLite that ICE came out with for Middle Earth. You could change your prime stats to a 90, which works out to about a 16 in 3d6.

kyoryu
2010-10-27, 02:10 PM
When do we start?

3D6 IN ORDER, FTW!

If you're in Virginia, I've a crapton of 1e books. Ranging from the PHB, DMG, MM, MMII, FF to almost all of the Greyhawk specific stuff. I also have a PDF of all of the 2e books. GINORMOUS, but searchable!

Well, I'm in (not-so-sunny) Washington... :/

If I can't get a local group to do this, I've considered doing it via MapTool. Actually, a paleo game would probably work well with running over the internet, as I assume the randomness of player attendance would probably increase.