mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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The Trouble With Illithids. (94)

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guide Second Edition, by TSR.

Random encounter:
a shapeshifting treasure chest,
an owl that's a bear.

Even though I read the AD&D Player's Handbook back in May of last year, I didn't pick this up until just recently. Well, because I was a player! onatopofthings saw this at a library sale, though, & asked if I wanted it, to which the answer was an enthusiastic "heck yeah." My opinions on it...well, are pretty much the same as my thoughts on the PHB, namely that this is a mess, & confusing, & in places really brilliant. Badly organized, badly balanced, filled with tables you couldn't have less need for, but also peppered in with really great stuff. Playing in fordmadoxfraud's Stories of Our Youth campaign, that sort of sums up AD&D for me. This book is just chock full of ideas, plenty of good & bad ones, both. In my experience, the thing that everyone comes back to the DMG for time & time again for are the magic items. & well, they are a perfect little microcosm of what I'm talking about. Take, for instance, the figurines of wonderous powers. The serpantine owl can turn into an owl, whose stats take up about a sentance, a giant owl, which they refer you to the Monster Manual for, & some discussion of how an owl's senses work. Evocative, elegant, fantastic. Give it to your player, it is ready to go. Then look at something that should be much more of a no-brainer, the cloak of elven kind. That stupid thing has a list of invisibility percentages from 100% to 95%, & then in direct light, 50%. Why do you need to list all the 99%, 98%, & 95%s? That is just...clutter & unfun complexity. Dumb. Makes me mad! But before I can get too mad there is this sweet Alan Pollack picture of a robo-lion!

Tags: adnd, books, dnd, haiku

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