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Pausing upon the Ice For the Wild Things

Pausing upon the Ice For the Wild Things

I have built these characters (1, 2, 3, 4, 5-7, 8, 9) for the primary reason of it tested things I was developing. Specifically the concepts of Major and Minor Disciplines. Now I have to build the system into a coherent random rolling system and test it out just like modifications should be. Adding this to the AD&D system will encourage every character to go a little wild, which is a good thing.

This unavoidable delay right about 1/3rd of the way through releasing the characters is because I’m going to have to go through and organize everything into the major and minor disciplines.  In part because I also intend to test out randomizing the rest of the unplaced results as a way to check on the versatility and malleability of the suggested rules. And I love making up new names for characters as they help flesh out a world for me.

People should know that I never really have a problem to make up names for characters or make special abilities/mechanics. Unlike, for example, the Melf naming schema or when people call their characters junior. The previously mentioned characters are going to be different from standard AD&D characters in that they are built upon the give and take concept of sharing with the GM a general path for the character as a developmental concept and individualizing these characters further. A core but sometimes difficult to remember philosophy also one challenging to properly employ especially in the face of someone with a learning disability or other social challenge,

These character concepts bear some similarity to others, rather like building an engine while riding the car, building this character differentiator asks what can we take from where else? I also like that when it comes to concepts that are similar to those already in the book yet don’t have much in the way of mechanical benefits these can be switched out though I always think that they’re there to serve as enjoyable things you can do. All of which is part of processing building characters in me.

The odd thing is there can be utility in taking challenging concepts for either side of the GM Player divide. An Example that is particularly useful was uncovered when i played a Ts’krang female boat sailing character in EarthDawn.  Yes it’s broken in the game there’s lots of things are kind of broken in the game so those abilities are just some of the jams that ram right up against the wall of “That’s impossible!” on the GM’s side. Unless the GM is allowing for the pretty powerful ability to be looked at as that’s the magic, Part and parcel of the impossible things we are allowed to do. That tells someone where the Wild Things Are.

Defeating Emirkol the Chaotic?

Defeating Ermikol the Chaotic. A mechanics inspired story.

Ermikol is of course based upon the iconic art in the AD&D DMG  by David A. Trampier which shows a character (a presumed wizard identified as Ermikol the Chaotic) casting a spell while riding away on a horse in a town.

Technically there may be some argument against riding at full speed and casting a spell, but the mage can walk at 3″ and cast (CF DMG description of the Fly Spell) so having another character carry the mage especially in an upright position seems to be within the realm of possibilities.

Ermikol looks pretty hard to stop, and any player may decide this is something in character for a Chaotic character to do. Which means we should ask the question of how should someone (like a DM) prepare for players approaching a town as a place to raid, cities as their fair game and other distracting behaviours?

By using the rules as presented of course!

This is a particularly tough situation for most GM’s to deal with in one way or another since by the rules this is actually a pretty effective tactic. If there is a high movement person (actually someone riding a high movement Mount) they can start one end or another in a town, work the way through the streets just by randomly choosing them and then what is a person, group or party going to do? There’s a couple things to do: first step is to slow the person down. The second is remove as many tools as possible. Then the next is convince the operator it is a bad idea in general, sometimes via making an example often through death.

The first step in countering the tactic is a need to remove the horse or other mount from the equation. There is the option to target and kill or disable the problem but people aren’t really happy with the kill the horse option so is there another path? The answer is yes there is all that needs to be done is for the character to be dismounted. There is a rule in 1st Edition AD&D that lets you Dismount an opponent if they make it successful to hit roll. The weapon is any italicized weapon on page 38 of the PHB which is about half of the polearm weapons in the PHB.

If the wizard has backup tools or items, say for example a wand or staff the character can use an order to activate various Powers there is a second item that will be useful in reducing the combat dangers this character possesses is A Ranseur or Glaive according to the Unearthed Arcana can be used to disarm an opponent by hitting an armor class of 08. (Spetum in PHB is added if desired).

Simply by having ye olde Town Guardsmen trained in these 2 weapons a town can effectively change how people use this particular tactic making it far less effective and reducing the amount of disruption a player character or even NPC actions can have against a thoughtful group or even some individuals.
This also makes a fighter less of a meat shield. Now you have a btb choice of Weaponry enabling anyone controlling a well built fighter to figure out how best to deal with a situation with more tools than just “I swing at it and hope I hit”. For example: goblins riding wolves, an evil fighter with a powerful glowing magic sword. destroy the synergy by either knocking them off their mounts or get it out of his hands while the rest of the party beats on them.

I think this was part of what Gary Gygax was going for, mostly, with the huge variety of weapon forms, and in fact probably part of the reason why he did not see a reason for specialization in weaponry. Is it really useful to have situations where in you focus only on one or two weapons instead of using the right tool for the job? Not every situation needs a hammer.

These concepts are found, not only in the original player’s handbook, but are carried over and expanded upon in the Unearthed Arcana. Player characters specialized in a single weapon have sudden issues when that weapon is lost, meaning now any town guardsman can be a force to be contended with for that Longsword specializing fighter especially when they find themselves without their focus.