Posts Tagged ‘traditional gaming’

Gem Valuing

May 20, 2010 2 comments

Over at Gothridge Manor there’s an excellent post on valuing gems. In a comment, I replied with my own (admittedly simplistic) version of gem valuing for S&W. If you’re interested:

Emerald Ring

Um...I'll give you like, 35 copper for it.


Whenever a player tries to value an art or treasure piece, I secretly roll a d10. For every number BELOW 5, they undervalue it by 10%. For every number ABOVE 6, they overvalue the object by 10% (this can make for some regretful discards when they players are trying to decide what to load onto their mule). A 5 or 6 means they get the real value.

Tim adds the character’s INT bonuses and many social factors (style, etc.) into the equation, but I simply am not a fast enough thinker on my DM-feet to do this (plus, we play S&W, so there’s no INT bonuses). If a player has 15+ INT, I will adjust the d10 roll one closer to the 5-6 sweet spot (I do not tell my players this rule).


When the players go to sell in town, they will receive the price they ask if they are undervaluing the object (I don’t allow haggling in my game unless the players are buying or selling something story-related or epic in value, such as a warship or keep). If they overvalue the object, the shopkeeper refuses and will only give them the correct value of the object.

If players suspect that the object is undervalued, they can pay an appraiser 10-15 gp to analyze an object in any town with at least 1,000 people in it.


On skills in 0e and 4e

February 12, 2010 3 comments

This is from a comment by me on

“I actually agree, for the most part, with the quoted editorial. I think that the further we get from the ’skill lists’ of 3e, the closer we’ll get to role playing. Of course, as a word of caution, I mostly play Swords & Wizardry, which has a combined total of zero skills, so there you go ;-)

I like to handle skills like I handle everything else in 0e campaigns–with panache. Seriously. If a player can’t convince me that his character knows how to build a sword, he’s not getting one built without paying. Whether that means that his background includes a stint as a smithy’s apprentice (with all the negatives that come from spending years as a ‘dirty commoner’) or a member of a dwarvish clan of ironshapers doesn’t really matter.

Role playing, for me, is about consistency, fun, and spontaneity.

I think that 4e is a great step in the right direction for where DnD needs to go, in my opinion. I love the wargame feel of combat in it, and I love the MMO-like character advancement. At the same time, they have abandoned the tome that was the skill list, allowing people to more fully role play their characters while also creating uniform, entertaining combat scenes.”

I stand by what I said. I think that the role-playing combat of the retro clones is excellent, and find that my players and I often have more fun coming up with eccentric combat moves and imagining their effects in our heads while playing S&W, but the case for 4e is strong, and there are times when I definitely prefer playing the structured, balanced game. But in both I love that they’re shying away from the statgrind that was 3rd.