So I made this rule...
(Ok, "rule" is maybe too strong a word.
"Snap decision" maybe is the word here.
I mean, "phrase." Anyway...)
The decision was that, ok, since the PCs are in a creepy little town at the moment instead of a big city then they have to use the AD&D Player's Manual Equipment list instead of the DeLuxe stuff available in 3.5.
"So, ok, ladies, ah...so you say you're going to shop before you go up and kill the vampire, what are you buying?"
So if you're familiar with the AD&D equipment list...
What do you think they want? What do you think drew the roving eyes of my players when they got vampire slaying on the brain and 200-some g.p. burning a hole in their collective pocket?
That's right, the livestock.
Top of the second page. The one where it says what armor is what armor class.
Gary gets a lot of static about all the pole-arms on that equipment list, but what about the ox? What's up with that, Gary? Did that come up a lot?
Yeah, so the girls go shopping...
I want a dog. I want a hawk! I want a pigeon. I want a guard dog! I want a pig, a warpig.
"A warpig? There's no warpigs."
"Why not, I mean why not just..."
"There's no fucking warpigs!"
So they walk out of there with a guard dog, a hawk, and a pigeon.
I rolled some dice for this hawk. How well-trained is this hawk? Apparently it can be directed to attack things smaller than it and it can deliver things.
The pigeon can deliver notes because otherwise what's the point of buying a pigeon? Seriously?
I am actually kind of thinking this is some real Old School game balance issue here. Like anybody with 30 gp or whatever can buy a hawk. Why doesn't everybody have a hawk?
Y'know why?--maybe--it's because my players are as rules-exploitive as any other Old School player, but then plus on top of that they're girls, so they want warponies and biting donkeys.
That came up, that actual thing--like "Hey, if I get a donkey can I train it to bite people?"
"There's no fucking biting donkeys!"
And unlike maybe the guys they're not distracted from the livestock section by the weapon-damage chart on the opposite page.
Which is actually wise because--seriously cleric--a mace? Fuck that, check out the damage for a wardog bite. That's a 2 hit dice monster you got right there. Right off the equipment list. Suck it, celestial badger.
So then after shopping then they've got these animals working overtime.
I tell the pigeon to drop acid on the magic statue, I tell the hawk to dump flaming oil on the vampire's house, I tell the guard dog to run into the acid fog cloud...
That was kind of not maybe the best tactic for a dog-lover, that last one. 2d6 is kind of a lot for even an AD&D 2+2 HD wardog to handle.
"Yeah, the cloud clears and your dog's dead."
"What? Can I take him to the Spider Cult and kill a kid and get him revived?"
"They don't do dogs."
"I loved that dog!"
"We got 80 g.p., we can buy two more."
Unfortunately, by that time all the locals had fled, what with all this vampire-baiting and animal-assisted arson the ladies had gotten into. They took their livestock with them.
But then the girls figured, Hey, free armor!
So then they were creeping around the armor shop in the dark.
"You hear something rustling behind the armor."
"I cast Color Spray at it!"
"It was a cat?"
"Can I train the cat?"