It’s Time To Talk About What I Learned Yesterday


Last night, I played in somebody else’s game for pretty much the first time. I found it through ConstantCon half a week ago, about when I found out what ConstantCon was. The game was a FLAILSNAILS OD&D sandbox, and I think I learned a lot about all those things.

  • I learned what FLAILSNAILS is, hadn’t known that;
  • I learned that OD&D doesn’t have rules for everything, and you can’t reach demigodlike levels of power, but that can definitely be a good thing. Throughout the session, we never saw a monster that didn’t have stats cobbled together out of arbitrary numbers, more or less on the spot.
  • I learned that ridiculously overpowered monsters can be fun, provided that there is an escape route.
  • I learned just how incredibly bloodthirsty and duplicitous players can be- hiring viking mercenaries to assassinate a local lord, and then thwarting said vikings for kudos. Nobody said much about the three nuns included in the collateral damage.
  • I learned that clerics are no exception to this- one of the most memorable lines of the session was this, more or less: “As a man of the church, it is my duty to help people to meet Jesus. And I understand that you, sir, have someone that you’d like to meet Jesus as soon as possible?”

 

  • I learned that in OD&D, stats are as far from everything as you can get. The cleric I quoted there? Wisdom score of 3. I think he roleplayed according to that.
  • I learned that I have absolutely no idea what “nothing to win, everything to lose” means when I’m playing a first-level character. An enormous thing is coming out of the sand behind the party. The DM says “does anybody want to look back?”, and I say “I look back and flip the thing off”. “Roll a saving throw”. From this,
  • I learned that the best deaths are uncertain. I failed my saving throw horribly, but didn’t die on the spot. I theorized that it might just cause fear, which would have no noticable effect on someone already running away- but the DM was silent. That night, whilst my halfling was asleep, the men on watch noticed numerous fibrous growths sprouting on him.
  • Then I learned that no-one will have any qualms about killing you in your sleep if it looks like you can conceivably pose a threat. The cleric specifically said that he was hitting my corpse with his morningstar long after it turned to ground beef.
  • I learned that if you give your players a good number of choices as to what to do first, they will spend nearly half an hour bickering over what to do.

 

  • I learned that if the players see a group of people, one of whom is not carrying anything, they will automatically assume that he is a magic-user or a cleric. He never got any spells off, though, so I still don’t know whether he was a sage or a clown.
  • I learned that being the only demihuman in a party of humans singles you out more thoroughly than being an anthropophage.
  • I learned the word anthropophage, when my halfling had no money for food and wanted to eat part of an enemy corpse. As I reasoned, I don’t want him to starve, the guy was evil, and he’s not even the same species- so it doesn’t count as cannibalism.
  • And most importantly, I learned that the mantra of “when in doubt, roll a d6” works about as well as any resolution mechanic I’ve ever seen.
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