I checked over at The Secret DM for an update on the Super Secret Happy Birthday Gary Gygax Giveaway Bundle Extravapalooza. There were only 12 entries for the contest (including mine). That seems like a low number to me for a chance to win some great prizes, including copies of the 1E AD&D books recently reprinted by WoTC.
On the plus side, I’m guessing my odds of winning are better with only 12 entries. Probably not 1 in 12, since it seems likely that I’m facing some stiff competition. I mean, while I’m not mathematician, it stands to reason that if someone else’s entry is twice as good as mine, then I have zero chance of winning. Right? It’d only be a 1 in 12 chance if all of us entrants were equally awesome.
Huge props must be given to Christopher Mennell for hosting this contest, as well as other impressively sized props for all the folks helping with the judging, extra prizes, et cetera. It makes me want to get off my metaphorical rear end and do something similar.
From the free version of Sine Nomine Publishing‘s Stars Without Number (page 59):
“One of the characteristics of old-school inspired games such as this one is the large number of unique, special-case systems that arise. A given alien beast might have a 20% chance of knocking a human prone with its attacks, for example, or a 1 in 6 chance of swallowing a person it bites. A forgotten research station might be glowing with a deadly radiation that drains away one point of Strength for every ten minutes the PCs stay inside. Players shouldn’t be surprised to face these situations. Part of the charm of the genre is that PCs can never be entirely certain of their chances, or wholly confi dent about what an alien creature or abandoned outpost might do to them. GMs should avoid creating such one-shot systems when more general systems would serve just as well, but they shouldn’t feel obliged to transform every peril into something that can be diced out with the rules in this chapter.”
My first response after reading this? “Amen!” I said to myself.
As I’ve talked about before, the GM doesn’t have to follow the same rules the players do. The GM needs to be fair, consistent, and not be a jerk, but otherwise the rules can be bent, ignored, and/or modified as the GM deems necessary to create a fun, involving game.
In other news, I completed my entry for the Secret DM’s contest (see the blogpost immediately below this one). There’s now little point in anyone else entering because of the sensational surprises in “The Sinister Silo”. Ergo, y’all might as well just let me win. Right?