Thursday Treasurepile #2: Classic Play Book of Adventuring
Every Thursday has a short summary of gaming product. If there are at least 20 unique comments under that review, we’ll give away whatever we’ve reviewed to the reader who posts a ‘+5 comment’ for it. i.e. based upon whether the staff here either got something useful out of reading your post or maybe just LOL’d at your reply. And yes, employees of DMing or their family members are not eligible, although their comments do count towards the 20 minimum requirement. Readers can post multiple times- say if responding to another post- but still only get counted once towards the 20. Contests run for a full-week, so if a book reviewed doesn’t get the full 20, it’ll stay eligible until it both does & the next review comes out.
The 1st book to be given away- Love & War- The Sourcebook of Knights & Chivalry– still has not been given away, so please check it out & go post there as well. Need a few more posts there before its eligible to be won by a reader.
So Mongoose Publishing Classic Play Book of Adventuring by Adrian Bott & Alejandro Melchor. A 256-page perfect-bound hardback book from 2004 (MSRP $34.95) that aims to add depth to the adventuring process through 3 parts. The first is the “Adventurer’s Craft” which are ways the characters can prepare for their trade, through smarter equipment selections as well as their non-standard uses- 4 knives lashed together in a star shape might make a giant-appropriate caltrop. Rules for various ‘pocket contents’ like a plug of tobacco, oily rag, or a fork, can be handy. We get advice & rules for group tactics for traveling, such as a wedge formation (echelon) or pincher attacks for combat. There are spell lists for certain common situations: Deception/Concealment, Movement/Travel, Communication/Information Gathering, etc. Then we move on to spell lists by roles: Artillerist, Booster, Defender, Counter, etc. Lastly we have home bases like in a castle or a ship, which examines aspects like Lines of Defense or Provisioning.
The second is “A World of Adventure” are those environmental aspects the characters have to adapt to such as terrain but also social situations. We get Challenge Ratings for various outdoor travels, meaning the journey can now earn players XP, not just the destination. However to qualify these must be done in game time as well as have a danger factor. For example a CR 6 Encounter would be to climb a steep mountain or evade a major pursuit, while a CR 1 would simply be pilot a ship 60 miles or more across water or go 30 miles on foot overland; 10 miles if through swamps or desert. But again, to earn XP there has to be some significant risk, & there are rules for making outside expeditions risky- such as how windchill or even simply being wet can have adverse effects. Finally, there is some advice for Planar Travel whether through ships or portals but the bit about introducing Alternate Realities & even travelling through time & space has the most possibilities. Put simply, this is where the DM can introduce all sorts of his own ideas & personal creations.
Lastly, “Playing the Adventurer” is advice for the players, focusing on 14 different character motivations, from the service minded ‘Duty Calls’ to the ‘There Has to Be More To Life!’ of someone who wants to see the world. Each has a specific memory associated with it to explain the motivation to the character’s past. It is these character motivations that are the Platinum Pick from the book, as these drives & ambitions help explain why an adventurer goes adventuring. There are several ways to have an in-game focus for these such as having scars or dreams or a small totem-like object like a childhood toy. However it is the in-game story examples; “I remember finding the dragon scale wrapped in soft cloth among my late uncle’s effects,” which can provide instant interesting background stories for PCs or NPCs.
Alright DMing Readers, get those comments posted. Remember, we need at least 20 before we can select someone’s to be the ‘+5 comment‘ & win this book for themselves!