Friday, March 25, 2011

How Awesome Is The Wiki? No That Is Not A Rhetorical Question

So we have this DIY D&D Wiki. It got started just a few days ago. I think we can all agree it has the potential to be awesome, but is it yet? And what gaps must be filled to make it awesome? Let's see...

Basics of Role Playing Games:

So first off there's Matt Finch's Old School Primer. This is pretty much a touchstone for everybody and dulce et decorum est or however you spell it that it is here first.

Then there's an Original D&D Discussion Board thing on the Scope of the Game. I've never read it on account of I don't spend much time on boards. Let us see: this seems like one of those "what did Gary mean?" things where the end conclusion is: D&D can mean pretty much any genre. I think someone put this here just to say: Hey, we interpret Old School D&D as meaning "more possibilities" rather than meaning "less possibilities", so don't think the whole wiki is just gonna be about whether orcs have pig-faces or not, ok?

Then we got Playing D&D With Pornstars: How To Play The Game which is obviously some tripe fit only for communists and homosexuals...moving on...

Definitions of Standard D&D Terms

We got nothing here. I feel like I have read some long and profitable discussions of what the word "hit points" actually means and whoever wrote these now has DNDWPS' official urging to stick them here.

Use of the Word "Level"

Isn't there some cartoon that should be here? I remember there was a cartoon about how the word "level" was used in D&D... Right? Am I imagining things?

How to Use the Dice

The d30 house rule is up first and is a classic example of a very good houserule. It's extremely simple, but gives the PCs a sort of unconscious mental "how serious is this situation?" index for each encounter which keeps them engaged, plus pulling out the d30 is, in playing-D&D terms, the equivalent of staring down at your slain father, wiping the blood from your nostrils with the back of your gauntlet, howling an unholy oath, and charging toward your nemesis while the music swells. On the GM side it gives you a reason to own a d30, which in turn gives you a reason to visit your local game store (even though they don't have anything published before 2002) and thereby maybe you'll meet some players.

Then there's the Troll on-line dice roller and probability calculator whose existence you'd pretty much have to be a total asshole from space to complain about, even if (like me) you've never used it. I have a nitpick though: it makes reference to saved rolls by users with descriptions but I don't see a link to them anywhere. Though it may be because the color on my screen is all screwy since it fell off the sofa.

Afterwards we have Delta's Die-Testing Article about which I have mixed feelings: On the one hand it was very interesting in a math-for-people-like-me-who-allegedly-find-math-interesting-but-avoided-it-like-it-was-H1N1-after-high-school way and I immediately read it and liked it and used it just now to test my dice, on the other hand this technique claims our dice are fair despite the fact that, out of 30 rolls, Mandy beat me head-to-head 17-to-8 and I only rolled 2 goddamn 6s the whole time and Mandy rolled 8 of them. Clearly there is some mathological flaw here and I think Delta needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out why god hates me.

Ok, part 2 later...


Talysman said...

Definitions of Standard D&D Terms

I thought of linking this OSR acronym glossary from Coasters, Castles, & Combustion, but it's more of definition of OSR terms, rather than D&D terms. But you remind me that links to definitions of individual terms would work here, too, so I'll dig through my memory.

Use of the Word "Level"

I thought of writing something about this, but I wouldn't link it myself. I don't link my own stuff. I link other people's stuff. BTW, I'm the one that linked your penny, nickel, dime, quarter, dollar system into the equipment section. I've been promoting it lately in the various discussions of how to make a $2.99 version of D&D.

Zak Sabbath said...


1. link the cc&C thing

2. thanks

Nagora said...


Zak Sabbath said...


Did you add it? If not, please do that. It will make you even cooler.

Spawn of Endra said...

Is this Giant in the Playground the Level cartoon you were thinking of?

ravenconspiracy said...

You've been mentioning bad dice rolls...

If you have any mysticism in you, I suggest developing a few dice superstitions and taboos.

Here are a few I have that generally work for me:

1)Think of a very happy thought before rolling.

2) Visualize the roll you need before rolling.

3)Say, "I'm totally gonna roll a ___" before rolling.

4)Give as much of Bard's "Black Arrow" speech from The Hobbit, as you can remember before making an important roll. Seriously works.

5)I favor certain dice - I give them places of honor over other dice. Dice which perform badly are disgraced in front of the other dice by being returned to the dice bag.

6)While playing I arrange all of my dice to the highest value or second highest value as they await use. This especially good in wargames while you wait your turn.

7)I do not let others use my dice.

8)If others molest my dice or they are performing badly I perform a dice cleanse which consists of rolling all of the dice until they yield maximum results. How quickly dice return top numbers establishes a new hierarchy or favored dice.