Thursday, March 26, 2009

"More money than sense" -- Carousing Mishaps from Fight On magazine #4

For those of you not yet "in the know", Fight On! magazine is a quarterly fan-zine "for fantasy role playing campaigns played with pencil, paper, and your imagination". Each issue so far has been packed with campaign ideas, dungeons, character and class ideas, randomization tables and lots of artwork..the latest issue being no exception. it says in my blog's little credo in the margins, I don't pretend to be any sort of authority on the history of RPGs or have some deep insight into how the game has changed. Heck, I freely admit that I still haven't committted to memory the timeline of the evolution of The Game We Love from the little brown books to present...and I also stated quite recently and truthfully that THACO does my head in. I've never lunched with Gary Gygax, killed a purple worm, or even made it past fifth level.

BUT I know what I like in a game or game setting. I enjoy random and often stupid fun, whether it be at the expense of myself or some other poor player character. Leave it to Jeff Reints to come up with a random table for players who wish to spend their looted gold out on the town in order to build their reputations (and in theory gain a few experience points in doing so). The complete article can be found in Fight On! #4, so I won't spoil it for you, but I will provide a quick example of how it works.

Let us suppose that you, the Esteemed Reader, are a human barbarian named Gorn The Crusher*. Let us suppose that you have just survived a fortnight in The Endless Tunnels of Enlandin and want to spend all your hardly-earned gold on whiskey, whores and Texas Hold-'em..and maybe just waste the rest. Let us also suppose that a few hundred XP is all that stands between you and the power and glory that is fourth level.

First, roll a d6 to see how many hundred gold pieces you spend. This also tells you how many hundreds of points of XP you will gain through increased reputation IF you survive the night.

Much to real-life, tying a drunk-on in a larger city affords you the chance to double or triple your chance to earn reputation as well as empty your pockets.

And also true to real-life, if your character "can't hold his poison", then you better be ready for the worst....and of course "the worst" is defined by a random dice table.

So...our imaginary Gorn goes into town and spends 300 gold pieces .... but fails his saving throw against poison. "Shouldda stuck to wine coolers, aye?".

What happens next?

"13 - Target of lewd advances turns out to be a witch. Save versus polymorph or you're literally a swine."

Mind you there are also some good things that can happen to you too...but you'd likely have to hear about it second-hand because you can't remember a bloody thing after that last tankard of orcish mushroom elixer.

But who're now 4th level... even if you ARE a pig.

The entire Carousing Mishaps table is just as entertaining, and can make for some fun role playing opportunities in the hands of an imaginative game referee. This and other great articles are all in Fight On! #4. You might also enjoy the Dungeon Home Remedies article and the random table of Magical Weapon Drawbacks.

Get Fight On! #4 in printed format and help it reach first place in the Lulu monthly top-author contest. Right now the editor, under the name Ignatius Umlaut, is firmly ensconced at #2. Seeing pen-and-paper RPG stuff in the limelight makes me think we're maybe doing something good around here. :D

* Any relation to player-characters living, dead, undead, or otherwise is purely intentional.


Jeff Rients said...

I'm so glad you like the carousing rules! Do you really have a 4th level pig in your campaign now? That would be awesome.

Spike Page said...

Well...he's not exactly a pig still..but you'd have a hard time noticing the difference :D

Actually, the referee mercifully let him re-roll the mishap table. In the end he just made a drunken fool of himself.

But the funny thing is that even though he knows what can happen and what it can cost, he STILL is itching to get back into town and carouse some more.

Believe me, this is the guy who, if not for carousing, would be eyeing up the party's NPC hench-persons and contemplating how much XP they are each worth.