Monday, November 26, 2018

"They weren't very good merchants I guess," a Hommlet Podcast

I've gone on record as being a dude who doesn't care for adventure logs so I'm probably twice as surprised as anyone else that I've found myself listening attentively to GGNoRe*.  It's a podcast wherein a posse of gamers--who exhibit an array of southern accents ranging from full-Gomer Pyle on down to the guy who occasionally throws a "y'all" out--take on a bunch of modules and games from all around the RPG-verse. Of note to a crotchety old loon like me is their sojourn into everyone's favorite adventuring town: le village d'Hommlet.

This place? Again?
Before we go any further, I should warn you that the G'Gnore whippersnappers have an unabashed insouciance when it comes to TSR history, telling us with conviction that "the T [in T1] stands for tournament," ** and even asking listeners to write in if they have any info on how those tournaments played out. In their  defense, there is a disclaimer in the text of the website indicating that the DM might have been wrong about this.

There are no disclaimers about these other factual errors:

  • The DM proclaims that the module came out in 1980 even though a quick glance at the title page will reveal a 1979 pub. date, with a later edition in 1981. Perhaps because Jeff Dee signed his famous jacked-halfling cover illustration "D. '80"?
  • The DM also points out that the module, despite being labeled "for ADVANCED D&D Game" came out before AD&D was even a thing. It seems likely he reached this conclusion from his belief that the Moldvanian rules, published in 1981--apparently he did look at the title page of this one--were the first of Basic D&D rules to be published. It would presumably follow that a game called Advanced D&D would not precede the basic version onto the market--except of course that it was the 1977 Holmes basic rules that set the table for the advanced game.

Impressively, the gents are aware of Dave Trampier and his legacy--including his abrupt, unexplained break from TSR--though they are unable to discern whether the art in the book is his or Dave Sutherland's.

Anyway, the G'Gnoré dudes run through V of H using 5er rules (I think, coulda' been 4th or even 3½th for all I know) and very nearly got their butts kicked on a few occasions, just like everyone else who's ever ventured into the ol' Heap-in-the-fen. I'm not actually sure how they didn't bite it in the crayfish hut; I think hit points must be handed out pretty liberally in 5ed.

What I like most is how the DM played up the Cuthbertian vs. Druidic conflict quite a bit, even going so far as to create a flow chart for determining potential actions the agitated Hommletians might get up to. Also positive: the PCs putting on drunken scheming "montages" when developing plans for achieving their mischievous goals.

What I liked least: the frequent use of the term "Yolo."

I won't spoil the action for you so if nerdy podcasts are something you're into by all means go have a listen. Also notable: the fellas keep the language clean--other than the yolo thing--if the kiddies are listening along with you.

And if you're wondering about the title of this post, kindly refer to this incident.

New Terms Learned:
Decrement: I think it means something like "incrementally decrease", as, at the end of every turn, the DM calls out "Decrement torches!" It's a pretty handy piece of vocab, even if I can't imagine that I'll ever bring myself to say it out loud. 
Mudbug: The first hundred times they said this it sounded like "Mudblood" to my non-southern ear.  Without any Harry Potter characters at hand, this was somewhat puzzling until I eventually figured out they were talking about the crayfish.

* I confess that, being a geezer, I had to google this term and now I can't unlearn it. Henceforth, I'm pronouncing it Gignoré.
**The "T" stands for "Tamarack" obviously.