... now with 35% more arrogance!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tourist Party

In an RPGnet forum thread yesterday, David J Prokopetz referred to OD&D as "Nethack vs. Antiques Roadshow", which has a certain humorous appropriateness. But it also got me thinking again about Nethack ideas in OD&D, especially since I only recently linked another forum thread to my old tourist class, which isn't like some of the other tourist classes that have been floating around, but is a real Nethack-inspired tourist, a naive fish-out-of water.

And you know, if I ever get the capability to do G+ online gaming, I'd love to play a tourist. Or run a game that's all tourists.

I think you need to run an all-tourist game as mostly a town adventure. The tourists, presumable from the same location (because multiple locations is just too much,) are in a situation they assume to be mostly non-hostile, so they really ought to attempt communication, even though they can't do so effectively. They can communicate with each other as much as they like, and the GM would restrict the speech of townies to nonsense words; townie actions would frequently be described in ambiguous ways. The fun comes from trying to figure out what the appropriate response is.

If you tried to run an all-tourist adventure in a dungeon, it's much less satisfying, because the tourists could just try to kill everything that moves. It becomes run-of-the-mill murderhobo play, in that case.

A party that contains just one tourist, on the other hand, has the challenge of getting the tourist to pay attention to orders and respond to emergencies. The tourist player can't coordinate with the other players, so even if the player goes murderhobo, there's still a little comic confusion. You should probably add a 5+ on 1d6 chance that the tourist stands in the wrong location or attacks the wrong creature when directed, though. Also, there should be more attempts by monsters to communicate, although their speech will be nonsense except to a tourist with a phrasebook, who can translate (and be correct 2/3rds of the time.)

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