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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gary, Aristotle, Theosophy, Platonism, and ADnD-


Originally posted by fusangite
Now that I've slobbered all over you in another thread, Gary, here's a series of questions that have been bugging me for about a year:

1. D&D appears to be inspired from Aristotelian physics, judging by the four-element system and non-exponential falling damage.
(a) What are the implications to this system of of replacing the celestial spheres with the Great Wheel?
(b) What are the implications to this system of having elemental planes instead of confining the elements to Earth?
(c) Am I correct in using Aristotelian physics for questions of physical science when the rules aren't directly on point -- ie. relative speed of falling objects, object trajectories, how electricity interacts with water, etc.?
2. The popularization of polyhedral dice suggests that D&D is in some way paying homage to Platonism; is there any aspect of Platonism in the way the rules or world have been structured?

don't read the complex into what is pretty simple. The four elements are indeed drwwn from Aristotelian physics, but then leaped ahead some centuries to Paracelsius (sp?) and later Spiritualist writers. In all it is meant as a game system of workable sort and nothing more.

As for the non-exponential falling speed question, I corrected that later on--much to the dissatisfaction of many players.

The elemental planes had to be expanded beyond the material in order to exist in other parallel worlds, and to have existence in terms of Theosophy, such as the empyreal plane. By being so it also offers new realms in which to explore and adventure, places for elemental creatures. For example, without the elemental plane of fire being outside the mundane, where would the efreet dwell?

The use of platonic solids is coincidental to the generation of a wide variety of random numbers


Too cool. :D

[RPG] 2d12 and Snorri's Instant Sandbox-

I knew which opponents I was going to spring on the party, the Tsherosehn (lightning creatures described in the previous post), but hadn't prepared their environment.
--A few rolls on Snorri's One-page Sandbox Campaign Maker (Sean Wills pointed us to it) tables gave me the terrain, etc., although the 'Celtic' bit I rolled hasn't yet found an analogue.

Also last night, I had the players start using the 2d12 replacement for the d100 Technical Skills I have been working on, and in general, the curve it provides grants a bit more mercy than the flat rolls. The players seemed fine with it.
--Once I upload the 2d12 Density chart, I'll post a link to it here.

[Playtest Campaign] 20th, November-

[Started 1.5 hours late and as a result, didn't have Ari onboard (was told that the player may be dropping out), and ran longer to compensate. Sadly, the LGS was effectively out of the session, busy with work, but popped in to see how things were progressing. Hopefully he'll be very busy next Friday, making sales.
--I purchased The Early Years Star Fleet Battles rules module in the hopes of organising a Prime Directive/SFB (or Klingon Armada) game set in the same period as Enterprise (Bakula) in their Delphic Expanse campaign. It seems like a great sandbox for that setting.]

LONGish... >>>

Considering the size of the Yaeshani 'dragon', the party evacuated the marsh area and in the process discovered that the lizardman, Sharru, was pointing out shelled molluscs he identified, through the outwardly-viewing invisible craft, as natural explosives of moderate strength. Ashta used the ship's TeleKinesis function to retrieve a dozen or so, and felt them in her hand as part of the feedback process, and placed them in an external hold.
--They then proceeded to the sheer cliff face with the carved dwellings, as the girls' Aetherwake, and microparticulate trail indicated they had travelled inland.

As they approached, a lifeboat from the old Yaeshani craft beached on the vegetation-choked shore caught their brief attention, its former occupants' skeletons mostly covered in a silvery-looking metal untarnished by the years. They chose to ignore that and followed the trail, launching one of the probes to scout ahead, and watching a hologram of the spherical view from the camera. I had them attempt Control CTs to avoid illness from the unusual display as they moved the probe in odd directions and at one point sent it rocketing toward orbit at well over Mach. Heh.

After a bit, the vegetation immediately fell away to reveal a desert plain of off-white loam dotted with what appeared to be naturally-occurring quartz crystals, and soon thereafter, the probe caught sight of footprints, although they veered from the wake-trail a bit. A few minutes later, on the horizon, a wagon with a cage came into view.
--Battle stations was sounded and the probe was cloaked by a cyclic-flicker of telekinetic effect, effectively making the thing invisible to human visual perception, then the probe was sent in to recon.

Three outriders, two wagon riders, and the strange bird-horse-lizard steeds were observed, as was Ahni, Tybylt's first daughter (the shadowy one), apparently well-enough, but unable to escape the crystalline bars of the cage.
--A 'fight' ensues using the ship's power beamed through the uncloaked probe, which shears off the portion of one steed forward of the saddle. Etc.

A few of the party deploy from the vessel and begin to personally engage the new enemy, resulting in a dead one, three escaped, and one captured via Tybylt's 'Rope of Awesome' as the player refers to it, 'unfortunately' doing 4d4+4 in damage to him as a dingy grey luminescence was discharged; the creatures revealed to be a humanish form made up of a somewhat chaotic mixture of elemental Positive and Negative Lightning.
-=[It begins to rain]=-
--A brief conversation with the captured individual reveals that to these folks, the party are interlopers, and the individual offers to act as envoy for the release of the other two girls, already captured. The creature explains that they are highly individualistic, with little to no importance placed upon others' safety, thus making it unlikely to utilise him in exchange. Ahni explains that they had fallen into a net buried in the loam, and it too was embedded with this crystalline material, making it much more difficult to escape -- and unable to bring either of her sisters.
---Left without much choice, Tybylt releases the creature to go on his way.

Sharru is spotted by the probe, slithering into the crystalline city via the loam flows in the rain, and due to that, the probe is lowered below the sheet of fog that obscured the down-tiered/terraced city, whereupon they see live images of a three-way fight that then turns into a 2:1 kill, apparently of the messenger. Interestingly, one of the lightning creatures appeared to be a 'converted' Abbekqorru.

We held it there.