Monday, October 29, 2018

The Lareth Conspiracy Cont'd

Image result for lolth laveth
Dark Hope Jr...

Breaking News from the obnoxious jerks in the "I Told You So" dept. here at Dice Chucker Enterprises: according to an ancient tome my minions recently unearthed called Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, Lolth, Queen of the Demonweb Pits, has a daughter named "Laveth". Big whoop, you say? Well check out this quote from a highly esteemed and learned Greyhawk Scholar/Crackpot on the topic of Lareth in T1 Village of Hommlet:
"[O]n meeting the Demoness [Lolth], Lareth succumbed to her feminine wiles, casting aside his vows in favor of the indulgent life of the darkside." --Yours Truly
...and Sr.
Well, Laveth is only one letter removed from Lareth--less if your handwriting is like my friend Gordo's whose lower case 'r's are easily confused with 'v's. The aforementioned crackpot must have been onto something as it is now quite clear that Lolth conceived a child during her dalliance with Lareth and named her offspring after the father, the charismatic and well-endowed "dark hope of chaotic evil."* Remember, she was so heartbroken at his death that she dispatched a 10th level assassin to murder the gang of low level PCs that killed him. Now we understand why.

*It should be noted that the Fiendish Codex misleadingly credits fatherhood of Laveth to a "handsome drow wizard." That was the official story passed off by the rabidly racist drow community down in the demonweb pits, but Lolth and I**--and now you--know the truth.

**It should not be pointed out that the same crackpot has elsewhere endorsed the notion that Lareth and Y'Dey, Canoness of Cuthbert are one and the same. That scenario would certainly make conception rather problematic. But hey, I'm sure Lolth could find a way.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

C&C: Back Pack full of Pole Arms!

One of the highlights of the C&C's Adventurer's Backpack is the section on polearms in which they describe in detail all those freakin' polearms you could never figure out back in AD&D and its friends. Yes, all of 'em, Ranseurs, Glaives, Bec de corbins, Bill guisarmes, Bob Guisarmes. All of 'em plus a lot of others you never heard of--we're talking Asian pole arms here! It even provides illustrations for many (most) of them and  the description includes an explanation as to what they were used for, be it puncturing/rending armor, disarming opponents, denting helmets, etc. All very nice.

But best of all, they actually have rules for polearms in combat:
  • when closing with an opponent, the pole-armed always win the initial initiative, 
  • after that first clash of arms, they still retain the option of falling back on any round in which they win initiative, assuming they've got at least 5' of space behind them in which to retreat. I had a house rule similar to this once, so you know it's a good idea.

The questions remains: even if you knew what a bill-hook looked like and what its purpose was, would you use it?  Probably not.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Castles & Crusades: Adventurers Backpack and the demise of the Rogue

Until yesterday, I didn't fully understand my ongoing financial support of Castles & Crusades published by Troll Lord Games, and yet I keep buying new rulebooks whenever they come out. It's a perfectly good game, don't get me wrong, but I don't actually play it and every time I write about it I wind up getting my knickers in a bunch over some irrelevant bit of minutiae.

A couple of years ago I bought their Guidelines for the Keeping of a Fine Castle Worthy of Adventuring Within by Your Players, which was as lively as that title would lead you to believe, and yet that didn't stop me from procuring their latest tome: the Adventurer's Backpack. Old Timers will likely equate this book to AD&D's Unearthed Arcana; it's a book full of new spells, character classes, gear, and the like. It just arrived last night so I haven't looked at much of it yet but two new character classes caught my eye: the magic user and the thief. Yes, you read that correctly, the Trolllords are reintroducing the MU and thief; known respectively as Wizards and Rogues in Original C&C.

The new C&C Magic User is somewhat different from your standard spell-memorizing DnD MU in that the new MU has the innate ability to read and detect magic and a few other things that normal MUs typically have to cast spells to do, which is nice.

But the new thief class is exactly the same as the original rogue class thus making the "rogue" class completely redundant. If you know how I feel about the rogue class then you will understand that, clearly, the authors of C&C created the new thief class solely for my personal amusement which thoroughly justifies my ongoing support of the Troll Lords.