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Category Archives: D&D

My copy of the Planescape Campaign Setting arrived this past weekend, and I had a chance to spend some time looking through it. My first impression is that Planescape packs a punch. What’s inside? The guts are classic 1990s TSR: four saddle-stitched books, four poster maps/thingies, and — somewhat unusually — a GM’s screen. The […]

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I’ve been noodling some more about running Planescape as a sandbox, and since my copy of the boxed set isn’t here yet I decided to pull stuff off my shelves that seemed like it might be a good fit. Important safety tip, Egon This is dangerous! This is how ideas collapse under their own weight! […]

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Planescape was one of the AD&D 2nd Edition campaign settings that passed me by while it was still in print, but I’ve been curious about it for years. I was thinking about it yesterday when an idea hit me: What would Planescape be like as an old-school, gold-for-XP sandbox? Since I don’t own it and […]

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I picked up Judges Guild’s Field Guide to Encounters[1] mainly because I’d heard it was full of funny monsters (think April issue of Dragon Magazine, but weirder), and because of its glorious cover. I went in expecting to enjoy the funny bits, but not find much I could actually use — but the Field Guide […]

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I’m almost out of Judges Guild Campaign Hexagon Sub-System books to try out, but I’ve saved one of the most fun-looking volumes for today: Temple Book I. (Curious about past entries? Check out all of the “Let’s roll up a…” posts.) Like the rest of the Campaign Hexagon books, the random tables from Temple Book […]

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I was poking through Dave Arneson‘s The First Fantasy Campaign[1] the other day and happened across a section I’d never looked at before: Gypsy Sayings & Chance Cards. The sayings don’t mesh well with my GMing style (they remind me of Ravenloft’s Tarrokka Deck, a 2e product revived for 5e), but the Chance Cards certainly […]

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I wanted to use the wilderness travel rules from the B/X D&D Expert Set in my DCC RPG hexcrawl, but character’s movement speeds don’t translate 1:1 across the two games. I compared species (races) in both editions, crunched the numbers, and turned the results into a one-page PDF reference for DCC RPG wilderness travel speeds […]

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My copy of Delving Deeper just came in the mail, and after a thorough skim I quite like it. I was after a retroclone that hews as closely as possible to OD&D[1], and at first blush DD seems to fit the bill. But when I got to the section on dungeon stocking, it looked pretty […]

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I love hit points. They’re a brilliant abstraction, though often misunderstood, and they work beautifully in play. I double-super-love that in OD&D, how you roll them for your character is completely open to interpretation. I don’t think that’s been true since the late 1970s, as each edition since has spelled things out much more clearly. […]

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It’s 1977. D&D is wild and wonderful and everyone’s doing their own thing. So much so, in fact, that in that same year two people published alternate versions of one of the core mechanics of old-school D&D: earning XP for treasure. In 1977, Dave Arneson, co-creator of D&D, and Jon Pickens, who later became an […]

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