[PnP] Rediscovering this classic

William Wilson dwarf74 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 05:59:55 CEST 2012

Thanks for the feedback, both of you. :)  Paul - I saw your Two-Handed
Weapon houserules on the site, and if I ever get a chance to run P&P, I'll
be incorporating at least some of them!  With how intensely valuable
shields are, it's good to see a reason to haul around a huge axe!

I think my confusion on the Characteristic Points bit was that I wasn't
thinking in end-of-session or end-of-adventure terms; in the book, it
looked like you got your XP and EP right after a fight, and the Char.
Points were part of that.  This way makes more sense!

I'm a poly-gamer, myself.  I looove systems.  I like finding out what
systems are good at, playing to their strengths, and against their
weaknesses.  Old-school, new-school, whatever - as long as a game has
unique strengths, and I can see some interesting bits to build an adventure
around, I'm a fan!  I think that's why P&P has stuck with me all these
years - there's parts of the system I have literally never seen anywhere
else.  IMO, some work better than others, but I'd rather play a unique game
that tries something innovative than a safe game that only builds off the
past.  So I have a lot of respect for games like AD&D 1e, D&D 4e, Call of
Cthulhu, FATE-based games like Spirit of the Century, and, yes, P&P!

So please keep in mind - I'm pretty critical in my extended review.  Part
of that is for comic effect, but honestly, after initial dismay, I found
that this game still charms the heck out of me.  I hope that shines
through, as well.

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 10:39 PM, Paul L. Ming <pming at northwestel.net>wrote:

> Hiya.
>  My turn. :)
>   First, P&P is an excellent RPG. The one thing you should keep in mind is
> that it was made in '83. That means that it expects that the readers (and
> participants) are expected to use their own brains to decide something that
> doesn't make sense to them, is unclear, or that they don't like. So, the
> old grognard rule of "If it doesn't make sense...change it yourself!" needs
> to be kept in mind throughout the entire session. I could go on and on
> about the "good ol' days", but not now...so....
>  (1) Magic Experience Points & Characteristic Increases.  Let's say I take
>> some time to cast an EL0 Healing spell on my buddy.  I get MEP & EP for
>> this.  Do I also get a Characteristic Point bump?  I'm guessing No, but I
>> have no idea. :)
>    Looking at the end of Book 1 (page 51 or so), it clearly states "Per 50
> CEP" and "Per 25 MEP", the character gets a single Characteristic point. So
> if you survive an adventure and have accumulated 344 CEP and 47 MEP, you
> will get 7 Characteristic Points. In my game, I require that the PC try to
> 'spend' those points on an appropriate ability for whever they got the
> Characteristic Point from  (re: of the 7 above, spending 6 on 'physical'
> abilities and 1 on 'mental' ones). They can spend them wherever they want,
> but should try and make it make sense for their character.
>  (2) The "stickiness" of melee.  According to the rulebook, it looks like
>> once you're engaged in melee you're stuck unless you happen to be faster
>> than a guy who wants to fight you.  Is this pretty accurate?  I was also
>> unclear if you got to counter-attack everyone who attacks you in melee, but
>> I settled on "no."  The book is a bit confusing on this count...
>    Well, basically, that's kinda the way it actually is. If a guy with a
> knife is trying to stab you in the gibletts to take your lunch money, you
> don't really have much of a choice. You can just turn and run, sure...but
> if he is faster than you, you're going to get stabbed in the back as you
> flee. Of course, if you try to use the environment to your advantage (re:
> weaving in/out of traffic, running around corners, street lamps, fruit
> carts, and garbage bins, for example), then you may have a chance of
> getting away. But there are no 'rules' for doing that...that's where the
> "grognards rules" come in. Basically, the Ref makes some shit up and you
> keep gaming. Hopefully after a thrilling chase scene! :)
>   Of course, the rules are written specifically, IMHO, to *not* give
> "absolutes" with regards to stuff like this. That is --a GOOD thing--. One
> of my most hated 3e D&D things I can think of is all the "absolutes" listed
> for combat...especially "Attack of Opportunity". The 3e AoO's basically
> ignore common sense and list "if X, then Y", which shatters believability
> quite often during a chaotic melee. Example, a fighter facing an orc.
> Suddenly, a kobold runs by, directly behind the fighter. Using AoO rules,
> the fighter can turn 180 degrees around, swing at the kobold, then turn
> back 180 degrees to face the orc...all the while the orc just stands there
> and does nothing because the fighter "didn't move out of his 5' square".
> Luckily, P&P doesn't do this sort of thing often, and when it does it is
> typically followed by a common "Of course, the Referee should [make shit
> up] if it suits his game style".
>  If you want to check out my work-in-progress, the main posts are linked
>> here: http://tradwiki.foxxtrot.net/**index.php/FATAL_%26_Friends:_**
>> P-Q#Powers_.26_Perils_.28by_**dwarf74.29<http://tradwiki.foxxtrot.net/index.php/FATAL_%26_Friends:_P-Q#Powers_.26_Perils_.28by_dwarf74.29> But there's some other comments interspersed.  There's bad language, and I
>> range between admiration and frustration, so be warned!  But have no doubt,
>> I still love this darn thing, and I hope it shows.
>    P&P is one of my constant Top 3 game systems. It allows me to play a
> very "heroicly gritty" campaign...something I find no other game has
> allowed me to do. Having a system that allows a PC to obliterate an entire
> dragon with one spell, and yet that same PC could be killed by a single
> dagger thrust is hard to beat, IMHO. One of my best, most memorable
> campaigns was in P&P (using my own world of Shadowthorn). The PC's
> basically were glorified tourists...then walked all over my map, going from
> one interesting place to the next, and never actually doing any "typical
> story-based campaign stuff". We played that for about 2 years and everyone
> loved it...advancement was not a concern, nor was accumulation of wealth,
> power, etc. Basically, the players characters were all interesting enough
> that they didn't *care* about advancing "levels and stuff". Any game system
> that can support a 2-year campaign of "just wandering around and seeing
> stuff" has GOT to be good! :)
> ^_^
> Paul L. Ming
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