Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Moldvay Basic - Turn Sequence

I am embarrassed to admit that I have owned the B/X books (Moldvay/Cook) for all these years and *I have NEVER really read them!*  I am ashamed.  :(

I have an excuse though and I doubt that I'm the only one.

You see, shortly after buying the boxed sets, I bought the 1st Edition Players Handbook, DMG (from the Sears catalog!) and the Monster Manual.

I set these blue and red masterpieces aside and never looked back.  Until now.

The good news is that I have the pleasure of experiencing them for the first time through older, more experienced eyes.  Eyes that can find the hidden treasures within.  Eyes that matured during 2nd Ed. AD&D and turned away during 3rd Ed.  Eyes with discrimination.

So, I've pulled both of these books off my shelf and I will be reading and dissecting them for days to come.  I'll probably post some of my revelations and questions here on this blog.  I hope that those of you who read it will be willing to share your thoughts and reflections with me.

In the spirit of discovery, I post the "Combat Turn Sequence" chart from p. B24 of Moldvay.  There's a lot to digest here, such as the movement rules (Defensive Movement) and the order of the round (Missile - Magic - Melee).  Good stuff.

One thing caught my eye and I thought I'd ask all of you about it.

"DM rolls damage"

Do any of you do that?  My players always roll their damage.  I roll for NPCs/Monsters/Traps but they roll their character's damage dice.

What say you all?


Jayson said...

Likewise--and I expect that the players would look askance if I suddenly suggested we do it like that. It just feels right they do it themselves, and I imagine it's something that's percolated through the subculture as "common law."

I also have players make their own saving throws, although that seems more logically something the DM should do.

Jeff Rients said...

I let the players roll their own damage.

Unknown said...

I don't have a problem with players rolling damage as a logistical solution. DM's often need to outsource as much as they can so they can stay ahead of the players. It's many against ONE in most RPG's...and the DM never, or seldom, has time to strategize or role play the monsters unless he slows down the game to do it...and then it seems a lot less fun. Meanwhile, each player has plenty of time to plot and plan while they wait for their turn.

Another way to look at this is: WHY would the DM roll damage for players? Do players roll damage for monsters? or for ANYTHING that affects THEM?


Some of the Joy of Victory is to be had when a player rolls a critical, or max damage, or ...


Does this sound familiar? --> "I have 5 STUN left, and he's DEAD! YEEEEAAAAASSSSSS!!!!!"


Unknown said...

And for what it is worth, I have always preferred to automate or otherwise reduce the burden of the mundane on me when I GM.

In HERO I used the HeroDeck.
In D&D I use DM's Familiar on a netbook.

Totally worth it to me to free myself to focus on the more interesting bits that happen BEFORE and AFTER the die roll. The roll is just the means to the end. :)

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

I have and would again roll damage for very specific situation were monster or whatever has some funky effect vis-a-vis damage that I don't want to immediately reveal.

But in generally rolling is fun. I have general rule "players always roll". They roll for treasure, random encounters (I usually have the player who's character is making all the noise / wasting all the time roll for these. It really helps them see the cause/effect of their actions). Even toyed with changing monster attack rolls into player defense rolls. Much less rolling for DM, players more in charge of their fates, and engaged players during the "not their part" of the round. Didn't work out so well in D&D3.5 though.