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Where Has All the Mean Stuff Gone?

Written by Nicholas - Published on February 19, 2009

Nicholas is the columnist in charge of Nerd Watching and part-time Expy wrangler. He also works as the community manager, so keep an eye out for him on RPG blogs and forums.

Wight
       Wights don’t scare us anymore…

We recently had a commenter in our discussions section lamenting that the removal of level draining abilities has taken the dread out of the undead. I find myself forced to agree with him to an extent, I remember when players were terrified of battling a level draining monster or even better, one they couldn’t quite remember if it had the power to  level drain. These days an undead opponent might be a menace or a tough fight but there is no longer the fear there once was. However this problem is not limited to the undead or even limited to fourth edition.

Where We Have Gone

Taken as a whole the entire history of Dungeons & Dragons has been one of moving towards the heroic. As each edition passed the player got more control over his character. The character himself grew more potent and the peak of power he could reach became higher. Lastly, the world around them became more merciful.

What We Have Lost

Monsters, Monsters Everywhere: Cloakers, mimics, earseekers, do you remember these monsters? They are just a few of the monsters that populated a classic dungeon crawl. Together with many other fearsome cousins they ensured that no adventurer would feel safe during any activity. A chest, door, floor or any other item could potentially be a deadly monster. Not all of them would be, just enough that they would crop up when you finally started feeling safe again.

Necklace of Strangulation: Before you could figure out an item with a just few moments peace, there was a lot of expense, time and hassle associated with a magical item. Of course, if you were feeling bold you could simply put it on. However, you might find that your shiny new hat eats your brains, your weapon stabs your allies instead or your boots put a song in your heart and in your feet. Good luck getting rid of a cursed item before it gets rid of you!

Search Every Inch: The click under his feet may well be the last thing your character hears. Whirling blades, spiked pits and blasts of fire are just the beginning of the traps that sprang from the minds of devious DMs. Unlike the traps of this edition, which will mostly just wear a group down, old school traps dished out massive damage if not outright death to the slow or clumsy.

Cling to it all: These days the assumption among players is that once they earn something it will be theirs forever. A single encounter with a level draining undead or a rust monster would shatter this delusion very quickly.

What Does It All Mean?

To sum it up, we have lost paranoia. PCs were once trying to hold on long enough to make it through each dungeon and spend their rewards. Now they feel they can take on the world, nothing will be thrown at them that they aren’t equipped to handle. I don’t mean this as a condemnation. It is not a failure of the new editions, simply a slow transition to a new feel. I enjoy a good epic tale as much as anyone else but I also enjoy being afraid, having to rely solely on my wits to defeat monsters that can cripple me in one blow. For my purposes I use different editions and different systems all together. However, some people just want the old days of great fear but greater reward. If that’s the feeling you crave I understand why you feel betrayed with each new edition, D&D has left you behind.

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Written by Nicholas

Nick DiPetrillo is the original author behind the games Arete and Zombie Murder Mystery available at http://games.dungeonmastering.com

Nick is no longer active with DungeonMastering.com, however he is an accomplished writer and published his first game in 2009.

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Nicholas is the columnist in charge of Nerd Watching and part-time Expy wrangler. He also works as the community manager, so keep an eye out for him on RPG blogs and forums.

 

 Comments

29 Responses to “Where Has All the Mean Stuff Gone?”
  1. Questing GM says:

    I agree but I have seen how paranoia bogs down gameplay and dungeon crawling to a crawl (sometimes literally!). I would gladly trade that off with the new edition if I don’t have to worry about my PCs retreating from every adventure location after a save vs. death effect takes one of them during every session.

    While I would miss the sense of dread and fondly recall overcoming them, I also accept the change of pace in the new edition.

  2. Asmor says:

    What’s the meme? “…and nothing of value was lost.”

    Good riddance. I can’t stand the search-every-5-foot types.

  3. Thasmodious says:

    I have to agree with Asmor. That the days of the 10′ pole and save or die are over is something I am quite happy with. Level drain was awesome in its fear factor, but terrible when it came to the necessary bookkeeping, mid-fight.

  4. Scott says:

    I don’t miss any of this stuff, personally.

    Ear seekers? A monster created specifically in order to punish players for listening at every door, which was otherwise smart play at the time. There were numerous examples of this sort of monster (rust monsters were another), but ear seekers stand out for being an admitted metagame “fix” designed to screw a player who played a certain way.

    Level drain? Sure, it made undead scary… to the *players*. That’s not the same as making them scary to the *characters*, and is in fact much inferior. I can’t help but feel that GMs who bemoan the loss of this are bemoaning the loss of a crutch — no need to try to make your undead creepy if the players know that one touch means the last three months of character progress disappear.

    Save or die? Never used that in the first place. I like developed characters, not expendable caricatures, and the latter is what you get when your players have to roll new PCs every couple of sessions. When characters in my game die, it’s due to bad choices or a serious streak of bad luck, not bad luck on one die roll.

    Cursed items, though, those can stick around. They make pretty good traps and plot devices.

    Heh, captcha: XKCD. Good comic.

  5. kaeosdad says:

    I think that the mean stuff is still “brewing”. Diseases have potential, it can emulate some of the effects of level drain. Traps on the other hand needs a lot of work in my opinion. I think traps should have been designed more similarly to a series of pass or fail skill challenges.

    I don’t think DnD has left anyone behind, it’s a new system and it’s young compared to it’s predecessors. I think it’s still in development and in a lot of ways it could catch up to those who feel left behind some day. My overall impression on 4e is that it’s a good start but it’s got a long way to go, but that’s what makes it exciting.

  6. Chaddernaut says:

    What scares me the most in D&D, is the save of 10 or better on all afflictions ( or most). That is insane. Sure, have saves but something to work for.

  7. Zachary says:

    I’ve kept a lot of that in my crawls. Not so much that to search a room takes an hour of gameplay, but enough that there’s a level of challenge and uncertainty for the players. A good crawl should always keep them a little off-balance, I think.

    With as many old schoolers and adherents of older editions as there are, the day of the 10 foot pole is nowhere near over. :)

  8. Direbear says:

    I agree with Zachary. A certain amount of paranoia and uncertainty is good. It keep players on their toes. I have seen players just going by the numbers be cause they “know” that whatever their facing can’t actually kill them – just hurt ’em.

    I still use rust monsters, trappers, lurkers from above, piercers… just to make sure they don’t take anything for granted.

  9. Wyatt says:

    I always found all those things beyond stupid, and I only include them as old-school parodies in my games anymore. Then again, I rarely have games where there’s dungeon crawling, mine tend to be more event-based than site-based.

    “I can’t help but feel that GMs who bemoan the loss of this are bemoaning the loss of a crutch — no need to try to make your undead creepy if the players know that one touch means the last three months of character progress disappear.”

    Scott, you have no idea how much I agree. These elements were never scary, just artificial and annoying means of harassing players.

  10. Wimwick says:

    A timely article, I’ve giving the undead some thought recently. As a DM undead have always been my favourite monsters to throw at PCs. The main reason for this is the many effects they had on players, ability drain, paralysis, etc. With the new edition ability drain has been done away with and I’m ok with that. However, the undead have lost their legs as now almost any monster or power can cause the types of effects that undead used to have dominion over.

    I haven’t read Open Grave yet, but I’m hoping it toughens up the undead.

  11. Jeff says:

    Yeh, if you want to have a campaign where everything always turns out alright for the players, then 4ED is the way to go. I like the Feats and Skills from 3.5 because it lets a player personalize his/her character. However, I like to use the old Basic and 1st ED modules, converted to 3.5. Classics like Castle Amber or Ghost Tower of Inverness, and Tomb of Horrors, have some traps and obstacles that make characters think and have benefits or disadvantages, depending on player decisions. Many of those modules link together so you can combine dungeon crawl with site based experiences. Finally, the threat of possible death has to be ever present because adventurers do live dangerous lives. If it was easy then every common peasant would be one. Dead heroes run pell mell into a fight with scary looking undead. Longlived, successful adventurers, cautiously enter battle with undead that have the potential to steal life force from them (which is basically losing a level), but the “scariness” of the monster shouldn’t be a factor with Heroes. Grendal’s appearence wasn’t a consideration for Beowolf. In fact, the scarier the better; it goes well in conversation over a tankard of ale.

  12. paddy says:

    I’ve DM’s every edition of D&D from basic through to 4e and while it’s true that the special effects of some undead or traps in 4e don’t terrify the players like they used to, I think it’s up to the DM to make the monster or room as horrifying or unobtrusive as he wants it to appear. I think it’s fair to say that a lot of the ‘deadliness’ of both traps and monsters came about from players who rolled their eyes during the flavour text and they ended up reaping what they sowed. The creators came up with less ingenious more deadly opposition and all players ended up getting dragged under the wheels of these encounters. In my case those usually only came up in packaged modules and rarely if ever in my home brewed adventures.
    What I miss is some of the flavour of the old scrolls and potions! Some of my favourite memories were of players carefully sniffing and sipping out of the featureless gray flask and all the other party members standing around watching to see what if anything happened! It seems a lot of the juice has been taken out of these items!

  13. Yax says:

    I like the terror and the level drain but it has to be built in the campaign, in the plot. You can’t just throw a level-draining monster as a random encounter – that’s just mean.

    I like the mean stuff when it’s used parsimoniously.

  14. Rob says:

    I am an longtime gamer myself, and I am glad to see the “level draining” and “save or die” effects gone. Sadly, the two primary results I have noticed when a party encountered level draining monsters are:

    1. The party stops immediately after the encounter to rest and allow the cleric to memorize restoration spells. While the DM can make it difficult to rest, most players see this as a case of the DM being a dick. On the other hand, if it is easy to restore the lost levels, what is the point?

    2. The party doesn’t have access to restoration magic and one of the characters is horribly underpowered because of the draining. That character then dies during later encounters, causing him to lose more levels (or CON in older editions). If the character is raised, he continues to lose more levels, leading to a vicious cycle.

    Neither result seems like a good one.

  15. leonides says:

    go back to 1st edition i say.

  16. Templeton says:

    It seems to me that the ones who want to complain about the lack of “deadly” traps and “Level Drain” have forgotten one of the keys of playing D&D or any roleplaying game for that matter. HOUSE RULE! You are still just as free as ever to use your own imagination and set up combinations of traps, or (God forbid) develop your own trap which is extremely deadly. It does not take a save or die trap to kill a pc, a combination of several traps can be just as deadly. I recently ran a group into a fortress which had a 3 teir trap at the entrace. When the pcs entered they were at full strength and 3 were dropped to 0 hp and required the quick thinking and help of the other pcs to get out of the situation. One of the 3 died. The kicker was that with a little thinking the trap could have been avoided or the damage at least minimized. I used a variation of the crossbow turret (Indian Jones style from the walls), Spikes from the floor and ceiling and the ceiling lowering to crush any slow pcs.
    I have found that placing the pcs in a world of hurt with a limited amount of time (rounds) to escape gives more suspense than save or die.

    As to the Undead, if you like level drain then house rule it and put it back in. Personally, I have been able to cause as much havoc by pounding the healing surges of the party members, then not allowing an extended rest. Push the party, and set the pace, don’t allow them to decrease the effect of lost healing surges by taking an extended rest. Interupt it with a wandering monster. They will quickly learn that to rest in a dungeon crawl is a huge gamble that may cause more harm than help. Then the loss of even one healing surge can be a scary thing.

    Above all don’t ever let yourself feel constrained to have to abide by the “rules.” It is the DM’s responsibilty to make the game fun and if that means bending or breaking the rules to keep your players on their toes or make your game “feel” right to them by all means change the rules.

  17. kaeosdad says:

    @Templeton: I agree, if you think something’s missing from the game there’s always house rules.

    A disease that reduces any attack and skill rolls by 1 and grants any attacker combat advantage against your character and boom level drain. A daily endurance roll could stabilize it from getting worse but a failure eats up a healing surge. Even better, to cure the effect you’d probably need to see a specialized priest.

  18. Russell says:

    One of the players in the game I am running started playing about 3 years ago and only knows 3.5 and 4e. (He hates 4e by the way, as do I, but I digress)

    I found some pdf’s of the old 1e game, Against the Giants that are converted to 3.5. He, as do all my players, love it. He says the adventure is much more challenging than anything he’s played in 3.5 and 4e, not to mention more creative.

    4e is a MMO and therefore designed not to kill or seriously harm your pc’s. There, I said it and I stand by it.

  19. Matt says:

    OK D&D dumped some lame monsters and abilities. I’m not going to mourn them. It’s as you say at the start, PCs no longer get scared. What’s the point in a red dragon no-one worries about…Nobody remembers taking down something weaker than you. Maybe the worst insult that could be aimed at 4th Ed is that it’s D&D for cowards.
    I happen not to agree. Yes, early editions encouraged the idea that anyone or anything might be able to kill you. Years ago we tried taking some 100 level characters through H4 (I was one of the two DMs and am not concerned about the amount of levels in 4th Ed). The characters were hugely overpowered but terrified of every encounter. But this isn’t an insurmountable obstacle for the imaginative DM.
    How about some favourite house rules to put the fear back into the game. Mine would be: mutilation and illusion. If things can be deceptive and your character might be injured for more than a day you may be more careful.

  20. Templeton says:

    In my last 4 sessions DMing a 4E game, 3 pcs have died. I fail to see the justification to the thought process that 4E is designed to “not harm” pcs. I know the new rules for raise dead, make it more affordable, and available, but what about when the party has to leave the fallen behind? There are ways around easy raise deads, and you don’t want to do that then house rule it in what ever manner works for your group. Those who feel that 4E is designed to “not harm” the pcs, should use their brain a bit and design better encounters. My players worry when they enter a fight. Why? Because they know I am serious about the encounters and have built it to be a challenge. If players are not challenged, it is the DM’s fault, not the 4E ruleset. Make your players think, mix up elements in the encounter. Don’t use the excuse that 4E makes it too easy for the players. Believe me there are too many of DM’s out here that can prove that idea wrong.

  21. Giacomo says:

    No one wants to invest countless hours into a role-playing character just to have it all ripped away by a single bad judgment call, die roll, or unlucky guess. The only people who got anything out of all that, “Bang, you’re dead,” stuff were some under-confident DMs desperate to prove their potency. That it’s all been disappearing merely shows that the hobby has been maturing.

    The roots of role-playing games may lay in tactical miniatures war-games, in which individual playing pieces are only an expendable set of statistics, but when Dave Arneson introduced that crucial mutation wherein each playing piece came to represent a single hero for us to guide and nurture — to identify with as we watched his stories unfold — it launched RPGs down a divergent evolutionary path.

    That afflictions like level-drain and ye-auld cloak of poisonousness ever existed at all are only evidence that the pioneers of role-playing had not truly grasped what they were unleashing on the world. While such things made sense as evils to throw at unwitting pawns in a strategy game, they break all the rules and expectations of storytelling as we know it. And since the endless possibilities of story is the unique selling point of RPGs, the rules of storytelling apply to a good RPG experience as surely as they apply to a good novel.

    It’s all too easy to blame the kinder, gentler breed of D&D on MMORPGs, but the only evils that I hold them responsible for in 4E are easily fixed with a wave of the DM’s magic wand. If what you really want as a DM is to prove you can kill the PCs, just start out your next session of 4E by sitting everyone down and saying, “Ready? So you’re all sitting around the tavern one night when a mysterious stranger covered in blood stumbles in out of the rain. He’s about to gasp out his dying words when suddenly the entire world explodes. You’re all dead.” Then calmly take each of their character sheets and shred it into confetti before asking the players to make up characters for your next campaign. You may not have any takers, but at least you’ll have “won”, and isn’t that what really matters?

  22. Nicholas says:

    @Giacomo: Wow, you sound like you were burned by a bad DM (probably literally!). No one is saying that DMs should be trying to “beat” players. You even made the point yourself in the last paragraph that if the DM is so foolish that he is trying to win he doesn’t need a rust monster or anything. He could just fiat or throw a normal but really high level monster at the players. What I’m saying is that fear can be a valuable story telling tool. Play a good game of Call of Cthulhu, players in that game are frequently battling things in that game that could kill them in an instant or break their minds just looking at them. Call of Cthulhu isn’t about GMs trying to win, it’s about the tension and roleplaying of ordinary people in a world of nightmares.

  23. Todd says:

    I don’t really miss the old days of save-or-die effects and level drains. I never found them much fun (at least not in general), and level drains are mathematically difficult for the DM long term as pointed out by Rob in an earlier comment. I do, however, miss things like rock to mud, flying, and illusions. Wizards are a huge disappointment to me in 4e, probably because I was always of the opinion that hit point causing “fireball” wizards were pretty lame to start with. Magic in fantasy literature was always about charms, illusions, shape changing, and divination. Hell, the best damage Gandalf did was with his sword, and when forced to resort to magic he threw flaming pine cones for the sake of all that is holy! I also miss long term buff spells. I admit that they tended to last too long in some cases, but I can easily see them in the new edition as daily powers which last until the end of the encounter or 5 mins. Spells like rock to mud could be implemented as a “sustain minor” type power. The implementation of the illusion powers in the class acts: wizard (by rodney thomson) referenced above is mechanically wonderful, but not what people like me are clamoring for. I don’t WANT my illusions to just deal a few hp of psychic damage. How is that control again? If we must have sticky fighters who mark things, let me use my illusions to create that condition on foes. Let them flank. I can’t begin to describe how much I don’t care for the shapeshift druid powers (though I admit if you leave them off and work with the casting focused druid, the class seems good enough).

    Ultimately though, I am at a loss for why anyone in a fantasy game world would spend years of their life learning to become a wizard, much less why the general population would fear them. Perhaps the general population are all minions? Historically they were all treated that way, so perhaps I should treat it as fact. In a game where the characters are ultra heroic, far more so than in any previous edition, why does my wizard need to feel like a second class citizen? Is it because they are so reliant on blast damage in MMOs? Hell, in many of the older (and in my opinion better) MMOs, the blasting folks were also able to “root”/immobilize, or significantly slow their targets, buff themselves and allies, and debuff monsters.

  24. Cavan says:

    I do not believe that the the level and ability drain abilities are in themselves a crutch except to the inexperienced, but every system has these leaning points for the inexperienced dm. I think those abilities have a great potential to support good character or NPC development, they enhance the creepy factor, they are not its start and end.

    But more than this I agree that the danger to characters has dissapeared, It is a fact that in some situations a Mortal (and most players I believe are supposed to be Mortal) gets into will just kill him outright, this is not a failure of the game, it is in fact a strength.

    Why would I play a game that supposedly allows me to play a character in a fictional world when what I actually get is a set of stats on paper that cannot be stopped except by a series of unlikely bad dice rolls.(unlikely because the rolls are fairly easy to make and the bonuses are so high)

    Answer: I would not. I prefer to play a role playing game where awareness of my mortality is a factor in my character development choices.

    I am confused as to why Danger is shunned by players these days, people talk about how it sucks to have to roll new characters every few games, I do not understand why this would be required. If a party does not try to “TANK” their way through an adventure tehy would likely not have the problem, I think the real issue at hand in this complaint is that many players do not like to think their way through a situation avoiding the suicidal path.

    Not every situation should have an “easy button”

  25. George says:

    Coming into the conversation a tad late, but anyway…

    Some friends and I started up a 2nd Ed D&D game a few months back. We just so happen to be going through the Temple of Elemental Evil of all things. So we’ve been in the dungeon for quite a few sessions (it’s BIG) and we encounter a particular room that happens to have not one but two old-school nasty cursed objects in it.

    First was the cloak of poisonousness. My halfling thief character tried it on. Bang, instant death. What no save…no roll….nothing? No, you just die, goodnight, thanks for playing. However it just so happened that our priest was able to cast the required remove curse, neutralise poison, and the use a scroll of raise dead to bring me back (rolling 80 out of an 86% chance I might add). It was all a bit of fun, and I was not much worse for wear.

    The second was the dust of sneezing (I think it’s called). Any disruption of even the smallest portion of the dust at all, even from a distance with an implement of some kind, will immediately cause it to fly up into the victim’s face, who must then save or die. That victim (not me this time) did manage to save.

    At least THAT one gave you a roll.

    Now I’m not so attached to my character that I couldn’t handle a death. I can always start another one, that’s no big deal. But it just seemed to me that these items were….well…..really silly. Let me explain why.

    Firstly the effect to me seems to be extremely meta-gamey. There is no logical reason I can think of for a fantasy wizard so powerful as to be able to create a cloak of instant death to hang it on a statue in one of the thousand rooms in the dungeon just in case some adventurer stumbles across it and foolishly dons it. It’s like a pit trap in the middle of the desert – not protecting anything and you won’t even know if it gets used.

    Secondly it seems jarring to me to not have any save or roll of some kind – literally no chance whatsoever, even if you were a 20th level fighter with 150 hit points. Even the mighty 9th level magic-user spell Power Word: Kill tops out at 60 hit points, above which it won’t work against you.

    The original blogger here is quite correct, these things do cause paranoia. Lesson learned, neither I, nor anyone else in the party will ever just “try” something on, in case it happens to be cursed.

    But what is the point of that? How does the game or the adventure or the experience of role-playing as a whole benefit from such paranoia? It won’t be scary so much as a tedious procedure we follow, i.e. always identify things before trying them. Good magic items will still be benefited from, but after a delay before they enter into usage. Cursed magic items will never actually cause harm, since all necessary precautions will have been taken first.

    The whole thing definitely smacks of the very gygaxian “dm vs players” mentality.

    Fear of death is a good thing I think, in a game. Characters should be able to die. But arbitrary instant death potentially lurking anywhere is just going overboard, and rather than instilling fear actually takes you out of the game.

  26. Zachary Johnson says:

    The best part about 1e and 2e was that you had to work your ass off to get what you deserved, and you were justly rewarded for doing so. 3.0/3.5 simplified the game a bit, and changed the dynamic. It gave more choice to the character, but was easier for the player to abuse his or her power. 4e is a joke. Having attacks that damage even when they miss is pathetic. I currently play and run pathfinder, which is just 3.5 powered up, because that is what my players are willing to play or run. 2e was a good time. I try and incorporate stuff from the old when I can. The old modules or campaigns had more depth. The old worlds had more flavor.

  27. Eric The Greek says:

    I love 2nd Edition and got my start with the red box. I successfully ran a campaign that lasted 14 years and still had two members from the 2nd “original” group in it. I never ran modules and never took an adversarial position with my players. My campaign was open ended, heavy with character development, and fun. I still have players from the early ’90s ask me to kick something off again. The latter editions had great artwork but offered little in the way of substance. Level drain and the like aren’t as much crutches as they are vehicles for great story telling and character development. It’s all about how it is presented and played on.

    @George – While I don’t disagree with what you said (regarding the poisonous cloak) I do think that it comes down to how the DM handles it. There should have been a save or some story element foreshadowing the lethality of some mysterious cloak.

    I put a lot of work into my campaign and the only reason it stopped was because I became a father. I had made great friends through gaming and we worked hard to keep things going even after we went different directions for work, life, etc. I hope to start gaming again when my child is a little older and, if interested, can join me.

    As for the cloak, George, I would have handled it with some storytelling and detail. There would have been an opportunity for the players to have heard some backstory prior to them arriving at that room. How far in advance depended on them, their decisions, and the actions of their characters. At the very least it would have a reason for being that wasn’t to kill a PC. Maybe it was crafted by a vengeful wizard to assassinate someone and he never got around to use it or maybe it was used and locked away here so it couldn’t be used again if it fell into the wrong hands. Who knows but it surely would have a reason for being there.

  28. George says:

    Hi Eric,

    The thing to remember is that in AD&D you can generate these insta-kill magic items randomly! Thus it’s possible even the GM won’t know of their existence beforehand, if they roll for treasure at game-time, a common occurrence in my experience.

    With a premade module like the Temple of Elemental Evil, I’d say there is no logical or practical way to have additional foreshadowing or backstory to account for the mammoth mounds of monstrous magical items that appear in the dungeon. I believe that it comes down to the player to be aware of the existence of such things by virtue of familiarity with the rules (or absence of rules in this case – Bang! You’re dead!). So as mentioned, players never ever simply “just try” a new item thus nullifying any possible threat from them.

    I would speculate that their existence was entirely a meta-gamey anti-hoarding measure, put in place specifically to counter the other peculiarity of gygaxian D&D whereby players would typically find more loot than they can carry.

    I have total respect for your GMing style and meticulous preparation including backstory and foreshadowing, and it obviously worked well and was understandably popular. I submit to you that it was your very good GMing that meant no such silly items as the cloak of poisonousness ever appeared in your campaign :)

  29. Eric The Greek says:

    I agree. I think someone at TSR realized how out of control things got in the modules and started to tone down the Monty Hall style of horde/loot placement before they got bought out by Hasbro/WOTC.

    Somewhere in the books and I think it is in the DMG there is a great piece of advice and one that I took to heart: If the rule doesn’t work or the table results don’t make sense don’t use it. I took that to heart and wouldn’t put something random into a treasure pile if it didn’t fit or make things more interesting for the players.

    Thanks for your kind words too regarding my gaming style. It was a lot of work but well worth it when I was able to keep up on it. It helped that I had a good group of players who got into it as much as I did. My group shed a lot of people that weren’t a good fit for our playing style.

    Best of luck in your current and future campaigns!

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