Though nearly as infinite in popularity as the Light Spell…
Darkness as the inverse of the Light spell only lasts half as long. I by default, assume there is good reason besides “the players are supposed to be good guys.”
Realistically, putting a Continual Darkness spell on a stone/coin inside a scroll case the character now has a beam of Darkness. This they can use potentially in order to help control the light/vision on the battlefield without completely hampering their own side. Aiming for enemies or their light sources for instance. Ideally, the character can now use a projected dark source to try and hamper an opponent so the targets aimed at have difficulties. This hampering effect may not be as difficult as completely encircling them in darkness or blinding them, but it may be good enough for a -1 or -2 to the opponents to hit rolls. Which of course equals lowering fellows armor classes by a couple of points. In some cases the reverse may apply, gaining a benefit to try to strike the visually impaired creature (as if the characters were striking from unseen positions) but again not quite as hampering as being completely blinded.
Big Escape ideas…
I was planning a bad guys escape route and decided that the best way was to use a darkness cast upon a kite (the toy on a string, not the bird as some people were confused by what I thought was a generally universally understood term) Because some were also confused as to why not use a rubber ball/copper piece/rock I had to clarify my original comment…
As can be seen from the post image, geometrically speaking the opposition on a battlement has 30 ft of height on a fleeing party out to max bowshot/ballista range. Darkness cast on something carried by the party would blind the fleeing party as well. Throwing it somewhere would still only provide limited cover. Thusly, something that can get a little bit of air / height in a stable rearward position of the party would provide maximum soft cover/identity protection.
In addition, the fleeing party can use light sources carried with them while fleeing in the night in order to properly navigate their intended escape route, while being as secretive as possible.
Llowgain the Incompetent: Str: 5, Int: 9, Wis: 6, Dex: 6, Con:6, Cha: 6 Hp:2 AC: 11, Llowgain is near the bottom in his class of adventurers. He should run from a single kobold if by himself. -2 to hit, -1 damage 250 coin weight (25#’s weight carry) max encumbrance before being encumbered as a sickly 98 pound weakling of a Half-Elf who is Neutral Good.
Intelligence is his best stat giving him 35% chance to know a spell, minimum of 4 spells per level and a maximum of 6 knowable spells per level. His Wisdom leaves much to be desired making him vulnerable to mental attacks involving will force.
Dex 6, Con 6 making him easier to be hit and taking -1 per die for his poor health. he only has a 50/50 chance of surviving a shock to his system and slightly better chances of being resurrected.
HIs Charisma does him little in the way of favors giving him 2 henchmen at maximum who are likely to be disloyal and most are likely to react poorly to his limited social abilities.
He has four spells in his spell book (that he lifts with a obnoxious grunt) Read magic, Light, Jump, Unseen Servant. Aside from a backpack and 6 darts, a wineskin, tinderbox and a dozen torches he carries little of interest.
I ran across something interesting in AD&D I don’t recall having noticed before. I think there is an Easter egg hidden in 1E. In a Facebook group for 1e a player was grumbling about seriously bad luck. They were rolling up a character using Method II and ending up with 2 3’s and nothing over a 9…
Horrible, right? The odds were pretty low of that even happening (but still possible, just like having 2 18’s and nothing lower than a 16 is possible. Not likely, but possible). I didn’t like the tone of the post but something more than that was off because I know most of the 1E rules makes a great deal of sense and while there is a price for low stats, I’m not sure that Gary ever had 0 encounters with someone who had abysmal stats or terrible dice luck. Especially after the success of the basic games and feedback of people who had never met a DM before they picked up the rules.
Maybe, just Maybe, he had a plan for people who could roll amazingly well AND for those who couldn’t roll higher than a 2 on any one of 6 dice. Now I need to get some Abysmal stats to test out the theory. After several frustrating attempts I have had to go with 1d4+2 for stat generation. Here is the characters stats; Str: 5, Int: 4, Wis: 3, Dex: 6, Con:6, Cha: 3. Now there is a need to interpret them on the chart.
Looking up Strength
On the PHB’s Strength Table I. it says… Boom. I have to be a Mage. Not a shocker, if there is anyone who can get by with a very low strength it is a mage. I also can still be… an Elf or Half-Elf. Thanks Elric!
Next up I go to Int.
With a 4, I can still be a Half Elf (whew!) BUT, here or lower I can only be a fighter… So here is where there is an interpretation Tree. I also can only be a Mage, but first rule is first so now I interpret _that_ as meaning my Int has to be a minimum of 6, but even better, the minimum Int for a Mage is…9. So if the character can only be a mage his (or her) Int must be a 9 (training as a mage automatically makes them halfway smart). there are many other downsides but the obvious one from this chart spells out they can only cast fourth or lower spells. Not a terrible deal but sad. This also means I can still be an Elf (minor compensation).
Fooling with… Wisdom!
Reading through Wisdom…. that 3 makes it so the character a can only be a thief. But the Str Exclusion following an argument of First rule is first should pump up wisdom to where they can be a not thief. Taking the Stat up to 6. Stat wise that isn’t terrible…
Next up the Dex Table!
This is where I start really thinking there is a method to what appears madness looking for an easter egg. Even this supposedly ‘terrible’ character if they had a 5 Dex would still capable of being a Half Elf mage because the character cannot be a cleric, so they get bumped up to 6 which is the minimum for Half Elves and Mages. The character can’t be an Elf, but then swords and bows were already out of the question.
Con Table tells how Unhealthy can you get…
This…This is potentially a problem from some points of view. Main issue being the “here or lower can only be an illusionist” taken in context with the other rules means only one class will ever have a 5 or less Con. On the other hand… it could make Illusionists more common, not necessarily terrible thing. Until you note the high Dex and Int minimums for the Illusionist, 16 Dex and 17 Int… Owch! definitely a point of concern, for investing in a character that gets 0-3 HP/level or less…
But some characters will get a bump up to 6 for Con (because of the first stat ruling) means the character can still be a Half-Elf or Human Mage (not that this character actually needed it).
Now we get to see where Charisma makes ugly boy Ugly.
This chart helps conceptually, far more than just giving my character a 6 Charisma. Unlike Con, this points me in a different direction of thought. Being an assassin isn’t a common choice or for everyone. This deepens the mystery in some ways. What was ticking along in the back of EGG’s head? I don’t know. I’ll have to ask around and see if there are better guesses out there than mine. Perhaps he was thinking that the bias of some towards of “let the dice fall as they may, and suck it” are wrong. Stats are not something to be worshipped?
Although there should be some caution used with interpreting the rules these way. I can understand the point of view that a DM can allow a character to be compensated, even dramatically. The dice don’t rule a character, at most a DM does. DM’s having pity for a character by giving them access to an certain stats and unusual class for the player rolling badly isn’t a terrible thing.
This system could be open to abuse so a GM is advised to keep in eye out for someone who knows the DM is following these rules to rearrange their dice rolls taking a 5 in Constitution arguing they get to have an illusionist who has 17 Intelligence and a 16 Dexterity as well (and making those secondary dump stats) leaving for example a high Wisdom, Charisma and Strength to manipulate the stats this way is potentially problematic. These concepts while not bad should be taken with a grain of salt and awareness by the GM that these rules could be abused.
Killing it Lowly….
On the other hand having a 4 in Charisma and average stats but opening up the possibility of them playing an Assassin could be a really fun game mechanic to expand the options for a player who otherwise rolled poorly and didn’t have any better choices or options and now has to play essentially an evil character as a way to balance the game Designers dice expectations. Perhaps pointing out that maybe evil is related to Charisma in some way in the alignment spectrum. And reinforces the fact that maybe assassins are willing to overlook things in certain characters or they’re willing to deal with such concepts and ideas and that there is someone who has the spies understanding the ruses of judging someone just upon the appearance behaviors and all that will be modified through intensive training in the assassin class…
There are a few ways to go about looking for things in an analog code system. One can go through line by line, or after suspicions have been raised create something obviously false. Personally though I’ll just flip Method 2 and use my betrayer dice…. which means the dice in the pic above gave me a seven, not ‘bad’ for the results sought.
And that is a Flipping 13 at the lowest…. I guess they are ready to come out of the bag… I may just have to only use straight 3’s for environment testing purposes. I’ll keep on trying though.
So I have run across something interesting in AD&D I have never noticed before. I think there is an Easter egg hidden in 1E. In a Facebook group for 1e a player was grumbling about seriously bad luck. Like rolling up a character using Method II and ending up with 2 3’s and nothing over a 9…
Horrible, right? The odds were pretty low of that even happening (but still possible, just like having 2 18’s and nothing lower than a 16 is possible. Not likely, but possible). I didn’t like his tone but something more than that was off. Most of the 1E rules makes a great deal of sense and yeah there is a price for low stats. I’m not sure that Gary ever had 0 encounters with someone who had abysmal stats or terrible dice luck. Especially after the success of the basic games and feedback of people who had never met a DM before they picked up the rules.
Maybe, just Maybe, he had a plan for people who could roll amazingly well AND for those who couldn’t roll higher than a 2 on any one of 6 dice.
Now I need to get some Abysmal stats to test out the theory. here is the next post