DMG INBOX

GENERAL



SYSTEMS & HACKS



GAMEPLAY
ABILITIES, SKILLS, & CHECKS
Misc VIII [extended stat check]
Elegance [head-to-head contests]
NPCs
ENCOUNTERS
RESOURCES, ENCUMBRANCE, MOVEMENT, ETC.
Review – Numenera [re: distance]
CLASSES
MAGIC
Quick Skills Idea [learning magic]
TREASURE
COMBAT
GM TECHNIQUE

DESIGN, ETC.
MISC.


APPENDIX N

Hireling Generator (aka meatshields)










http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/05/your-cowboy-game-needs-this.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/12/party-like-its-999.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/01/throw-what-into-crack-of-what.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/02/welcome-to-dungeon-baby.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/04/economics-of-ironwolf.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/05/saving-throws-part-1.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/05/saving-throws-part-1a.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/05/saves-in-od-by-class.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/07/epic-sandboxery.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/08/hargraves-ultimate-attack.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/08/on-system.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-do-spell-levels-measure.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2009/11/designing-ultimate-treehouse.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/01/easy-peasy-ec-pc-contest.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/03/garys-weirdest-rule.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/04/bandit-kingdoms-campaign.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/05/on-swords-sorcery-dungeons-dragons.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/09/arduin-grimoire-cover-to-cover-part-1.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/09/arduin-grimoire-part-2.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/09/arduin-grimoire-part-3.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/09/arduin-grimoire-part-4.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/09/arduin-grimoire-part-5.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/09/arduin-grimoire-part-6.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/10/arduin-grimoire-part-7.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/return-of-arduin-grimoire-cover-to.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/arduin-grimoire-part-9.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/arduin-grimoire-part-10.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/arduin-grimoire-cover-to-cover-by-21.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/arduin-grimoire-final-installment.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/10/ready-ref-sheets-poison-rules.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/10/non-resolution-mechanics.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/11/od-spell-list.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/11/consolation-prize-based-weapon.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/11/exemplary-campaign-hand-out.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/12/whence-scrolls.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/12/ornamental-stones-base-10gp-value.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/fancy-stones-base-100gp-value.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/precious-stones-base-500gp-value.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/gem-stones-base-1000gp-value.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/jewels-base-5000gp-value.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/04/boot-hill-to-d.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/04/wisdom-from-this-american-life-guy.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/08/reaching-end-of-world.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/search/label/A%20Surfeit%20of%20Lampreys
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/12/classes-of-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/12/draft-wessex-mu-rules.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/01/paladins-of-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/draft-wessex-linguistics-rules.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/02/coins-of-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/04/intoxicants-of-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/05/wessex-manifesto.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-wessex-map.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/06/eldritch-druids-of-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/06/grimoires-of-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/06/grimoire-follow-up.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/07/12th-century-video.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/07/still-thinking-about-elvish-longevity.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/07/whos-who-in-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/08/draft-wessex-henchmenhireling-rules.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/09/carousing-in-wessex.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/11/draft-wessex-romance-rules.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2017/01/how-to-do-thing-like-wessex-online.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/12/say-it-with-monsters.html

I find it more useful to structure multi-level dungeons as a slow descent into madness. The first level of the dungeon usually should have the most concessions to logic, with accoutrements such as ventilation shafts, potable water sources, and latrines for the more human-like residents. But as one progresses deeper into the dungeon the less it resembles the waking world of cause and effect and the more it falls under the jurisdiction of dream-logic. That’s why I’ve never personally had a problem with so-called ‘funhouse’ dungeons, where a ki-rin might live next door to a shedu. Asking why they don’t fight each other while the PCs are away makes as much sense as asking what the monsters in my nightmares are up to when I’m not asleep.
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2004/09/method-to-my-madness.html
Consider for a moment the psychological implications of the dungeon crawl, by plunging the depths of the dungeon we explore the alien landscape of our own Unconscious Minds. In the realm of myth descending into a dungeon is no less than a descent into hell itself. Upon entering the dungeon we set foot into a dream-like world where everyday notions of logic or plausibility are insufficient to describe our experience.

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-to-ruin-perfectly-good-subsector.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/11/ladies-and-gentlemen-dave-hargrave.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/10/two-quick-thoughts-on-char-sheets-and.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/10/notable-features-of-dungeon-of-doom.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/10/all-hail-max.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/09/whats-my-motivation.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/08/stupid-wandering-monster-tricks.html

The original Traveller wilderness encounter charts included events on them like avalanches and blizzards. In dungeons I often add sound effects or odd smells to the chart, or events like a gust of wind that might blow out torches. Non-combat encounters with ordinary rats and snakes and such also appear on many of my dungeon charts. Things that players can interpret as omens also make interesting entries.
Will Douglas8 years ago And one time I put the smell of freshly baked cookies on a dungeon chart, without there being any good reason for it.

Pure genius.

It's this sort of thing that separates you from the run-of-the-mill dungeon hacks.


Anyway, my tip is to not use dice. I use cards, instead. (This is mostly for more stat-intensive systems.) I'll put the entire encounter: Type, number, AC, Move, hit points, total xp, total treasure, etc. (including motivations) on a 3x5 card. When I need one, I just shuffle the deck and pull one.

Also, when the deck is exhausted, there are no more wandering monsters until the players leave the dungeon and other monsters can 'wander' in.

S. John8 years ago When I was a young Evil Dungeon Master I had a random table just for things to scare the players with, and would include a reference to that table on every wandering monster chart as (approximately) and "uncommon" monster equivalent.

The chart had such things as:

* Ask a player what his AC from the rear is.
* Flip through the Monster Manual muttering to myself about how to spell "Tiamat."
* Pass a note to a player instructing him to snicker, point to one other player of his choice, sign the note, and pass it back.

I wish I could find the whole chart again; I'm pretty sure I never threw it away on purpose, but it's been a lot of years ...
 

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/08/old-schoolin-how-to-get-started.html
http://gorgonmilk.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/ability-score-rolling-matrix.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/10/three-steps-to-memorable-villainy.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/12/proscriptive-campaign-creation.html
The one thing I recommend DM's not trim is the list of character build options. I firmly believe it's the players' job to decide exactly what kind of freaks of nature they run. Don't let them roll over your campaign with some obscure ultrapowerful class or race from an oddball supplement, but give them a wide enough variety of nifty options to choose from and most players won't go that route. 
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/10/experiment-corkboard-combat-tracker.html
http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=18710&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=35
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/09/story-time.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/09/heresies.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/09/how-to-awesome-up-your-players.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/11/musings-from-campaigns-past.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/03/mapless-dd-combat-part-1.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/04/new-dd-house-rule-effective.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2006/09/bob-fighter-welcome-here.html

https://alexschroeder.ch/wiki/2010-02-05_Quality_Dungeons
http://monstersandmanuals.blogspot.com/2017/02/elementary-principles-of-dungeon-drawing.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2005/01/plays-thing.html
http://udan-adan.blogspot.com/2017/02/sophie-muscle-wizard-and-joys-of-random.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2016/08/you-universe-or-both-have-gone-very.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/search/label/Imperishable%20Fame

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/10/deck-of-stuff.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/11/draft-cinder-house-rules-part-1.html
http://hillcantons.blogspot.com/2014/07/fast-packs-for-boot-hill.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2011/04/twenty-quick-questions-for-your.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2016/11/the-deadliest-page.html
Jason Francis3 months ago - Shared publicly "In other words, 1 in 4 encounters in inhabited areas involve a shit-ton of cops trying to ruin your murderhobos' day."
This is a good rule. I can't tell you how many times I've asked a DM who the local feudal lord is and got either a dismissive "nobody" or a confused look. It only makes sense that a world plagued with wandering monsters would have armored cavalry patrolling the civilized lands. Not only would it be necessary for keeping a feudal lord in charge, but it would be vital for ensuring sustainable agriculture. You can't have the unarmed/poorly armed peasants getting eaten all the time. Serfs are expensive and difficult to replace. And without them who will husband the pigs, sow the wheat, or brew the mead for the lord's table?
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2016/05/old-wine-into-new-skins.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2016/11/ard-times-for-mus.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2015/04/fun-with-treasure-chests.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2015/01/little-rules.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2014/07/random-hamlet-names.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2014/07/tiny-thoughts-about-tiny-hexes.html
http://trollsmyth.blogspot.com/2017/02/jeff-rients-wants-to-blow-up-your-game.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2013/06/better-dying-part-1.html
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2013/07/answers-for-random-wizard.html
Do you use alignment languages?I usually don't.  But I think I can make it work in threefold alignment games, using them as religious languages for the churches of Law, the covens of Chaos and the druids of Neutrality.  In five- or ninefold games it's just ridiculous. 
http://jrients.blogspot.com/2013/07/non-mechanical-charsheet-fodder.html

https://rpgcharacters.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/valentine-dungeon-temple-of-love/
http://iceandruin.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-free-association-map-method.html
http://monstersandmanuals.blogspot.com/2017/02/modern-book-of-lairs-i-aarakocra-ma.html

http://jrients.blogspot.com/2012/06/why-low-level-high-lethality.html
The less competent and more likely your PC is to die, the greater the celebration when you make it out of the dungeon alive.  Sure, you can achieve this feeling at any level with a properly lethal array of opposition, but nothing testifies to your ability to cheat death than escaping ANY adventure alive when your max hit points is lower than the number of fingers on your right hand.  Maybe you were clever, maybe you were lucky or maybe you just played as cowardly as possible.  Whatever method you used, you spat in the Reaper's face just by going into the danger zone with your schmuck PC. 
https://plus.google.com/u/0/110352289066114829231/posts/ZZGp7QtWZ54
A lot of monsters are said or used to represent other things about life or society, like vampires and perverse lust or other anxieties, or liches and oppressive tradition (did you say that? I think I heard that from you, but I can't find the source). What fears are creators and GMs not making monsters to exploit in our fantasy games?
FEAR OF HAVING TOO MUCH STUFF TO DO THAT YOU'LL NEVER GET DONE BEFORE YOU DIE. FEAR YOU WON'T MEET SOMEONE REALLY HOT. FEAR THAT YOU'LL BE BORED
Oh magic Zak ball, as long as you're answering, can you give an idea of yours for turning those into monsters?
MIND FLAYER -LIKE THING THAT FILLS YOU WITH SCHEMES BUT DESTROYS YOUR ABILITY TO COMPLETE THEM, DEMON WHERE IEVERY TIME YOU HIT IT EVERYONE IN THE WORLD LOSES 1 CHARISMA POINT, MONSTER THAT CHANGES ALL YOUR ROLLS TO APOC WORLD STYLE MOVES 
http://www.criticalmiss.com/issue8/jameswallisreplies1.html
http://www.latorra.org/2012/05/15/a-16-hp-dragon/

http://abominablefancy.blogspot.com/2017/03/rpgs-with-kids-birthday-party.html

http://dieheart.net/dnd-fluid-fundamentals/

http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2011/04/on-strong-weak-henchmen-forces.html
https://bradfordcwalker.blogspot.com/2017/04/my-life-as-gamer-why-excessive.html

How to Play Your Dragon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0TPlzMwpF8

http://thecastellanscorner.blogspot.com/2015/12/osr-next-generation.html

Character Sheets: http://diterlizzi.com/home/download-some-diterlizzi/

http://goblinpunch.blogspot.com/2017/04/death-trauma-and-retirement-im-gettin.html