Sunday, October 30, 2011

Save vs. Cholesterol

I am on a number of emailing lists, as I imagine most people are. One of them is a free newsletter from Spes Magna Games called Quid Novi? which features short articles on things you can use for your D&D 3.5/Pathfinder games. Recently the author suffered from a heart attack - he's okay now - but apparently this had an effect on him, which doesn't surprise me in the least. Given the generally rotten health of most gamers (including myself), heart attacks loom large on the list of likely maladies a gamer might suffer. In this case, he didn't even have any health problems, so I guess you never really know.

So, in case you had a good game use for it - maybe a spell or magic item that rapidly ages a character, or a character who has been noted as being overweight - here's the D&D stats for heart attacks, courtesy of Mark Chance of Spes Magna Games:

Awful Afflictions - "My myocardium is infarcting!"

Shortness of breath. Shooting pains. Tightness in the chest. A cold sweat and clammy skin.

Heart Attack
Type disease; Save Fort DC 20
Onset 1 day; Frequency special (see description)
Effect 1d4 Str and 1d4 Con plus fatigue (see description); Cure 2 saves

Description A heart attack often strikes without warning. It causes loss of strength and health, and the victim is easily fatigued. Even though a heart attack can be treated via Heal as if it were a disease, it inflicts damage quickly. A new Fort save must be made every minute. The fatigue effect remains until all ability damage is healed. For a more severe heart attack, raise the damage to 1d6 or 1d8 of Str and Con damage and increase the fatigue to exhausted.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

While idly paging through some of my old PDF copies of Dragon Magazine, I was reminded of the strange variety of articles that used to be printed there. It was far less of a TSR company organ in the earlier days of its run, and for a long time I remember enjoying the issues that I bought or somehow inherited (thanks, Adam!) because of the articles about games other than AD&D.

Anyway, I happened across this old relic and thought I'd share it here, as a reminder of the magazine's early eclecticism (if that actually is a word); from Dragon #44, December 1980:

C. S. Lewis's

7th-level Fighter
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Good
MOVE: 9"

Reepicheep is a halfling-sized, intelligent mouse who walks erect on his hind legs. His fur is dark, nearly black. A thin band of gold passes around his head and under one ear. A long crimson feather sticks out of the gold band. He sometimes wears a long red cloak and is never without his rapier slung from his leather belt. The effect of all this finery is bold and striking.

Reepicheep is the most valiant of all the Talking Beasts of Narnia and Chief Mouse of the realm. He is a courtier and a warrior, companion to Prince Caspian of Narnia, and a hero who won undying glory in the second Battle of Beruna.

Reepicheep is the epitome of a gracious cavalier. His manners are extremely courteous and he retains his nonchalance under even the most dangerous circumstances. Reepicheep does not take kindly to insults or fancied insults and he is likely to challenge the offending party to a duel of honor. If the invitation to a duel is not accepted, he will belabor the offending party with the flat of his sword to teach the miscreant a lesson in manners. Reepicheep is extremely touchy about his short height.

Reepicheep abhors bullies, cowards and villains in general. His reaction to evil is similar to that of a paladin. He also hates unfair fights, and, all other things being equal, he will always side with the underdog.

When Reepicheep was a baby mouse in his cradle, a dryad woman spoke this verse over him:

"Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not Reepicheep
To find all you seek,
There in the utter East."

As Reepicheep says: "I do not know what it means. But the spell of it has been on me all my life." Because of the ambiguous prophecy, or perhaps merely from wanderlust, Reepicheep constantly wanders in search of adventure. Usually he journeys eastward, but wherever he travels he upholds his honor in battle, befriends the needy, and defends the helpless.

Written by Tom Moldvay

Another thing I always remembered about old AD&D material was how ridiculously inflated the ability scores were for characters adapted from fiction. Reepicheep has 18/01 Strength?! And check it out: Dex 18/52 and Con 18/37. I've never seen any ability score aside from Strength go into 18+ percentiles, but Reep's got two. I mean, I know he's cool and all, but I have to question the reasoning behind these stats.

So not only could you have Reep show up in one of your games to spank down your uppity PCs, but with this issue of Dragon you can also settle the age-old locker room question: Who would win in a fight - Reepicheep or Professor Challenger? (Clue: He's a 16th-level Fighter with "special Sage abilities" and a Strength of 18/90.)