Darkplaces and Draconians – A New Game

By: Gnimashinuswhosegreatgreatgrandfatherinventedsnakesandladdersanddied whensqueezedbyaverybigboaconstricterandwhosesonproducedMinopolyagamebasedontheterritorailinstinctsoftheminotaursetc etc…
From: The Entertainment Guild
Subject: Darkplaces and Draconians–a new game


We gnomes are dedicated to lives of constant designing, building and testing devices to improve the lives of all of Ansalon. However, with the recent War of the Lance, many of the younger hot-headed gnomes in our community have taken into their thick heads that they might like to join the fight against the draconians (and other minions of the evil gods), abandoning their Life Quests and proud heritage of tinkering with our glorious inventions! This is certainly uncalled for, and I think I have found a solution (my new invention) to cure our youngsters of their sickness.

The New Game:

After much consideration, I have decided to call my new game Darkplaces and Draconians, or sometimes DAD, which will give our youngsters a taste of what fighting draconians and venturing into darkplaces calls for–without them actually leaving Mount Nevermind or getting hurt. Basically, it recreates the whole adventuring experience (of which I haven’t any myself, but the last time Tasslehoff Burrfoot was here, I’d heard enough about to get an idea) on parchment.

First, a gnome puts his attributes on paper. The attributes I’ve decided are needed for “adventuring” are Health, Brainpower (which gnomes are naturally gifted with a lot of), Ability to Lift Heavy Things and Make Huge Dents in Things, Ability to Jump Out of The Way of Falling Things in Time and Hurl Objects with Accuracy, Ability to Make Decisions to Do the Right Thing and Ability to Get Along with Others. All these are given a specific numerical value, decided by another side invention which I will now explain.

The Wheel of Fortune:

This is a device invented by a fellow gnome in the same guild. It works very simply and is virtually perfect, for which my fellow very much apologizes for. (He is, in fact, working to correct his invention now.) His device is exactly what it is called–a wheel, that can be spun very smoothly on a greased axle, but numbers are written all along the rim of the wheel. When the wheel stops spinning, a pointer will rest on the rim of the wheel. The result of spinning the wheel is thus the number which has stopped at the pointer.

The numbers written on a wheel are like thus:

  • On a w20, the wheel has 20 numbers written on it, the numbers 1 to 20, so that a gnome spinning this wheel will get a result from 1 to 20 only.
  • On a w100, the wheel has 100 numbers, the numbers 1 to 100, a w10 has the numbers 1 to 10 and so forth.
  • A 2w6 would indicate a gnome has to spin a wheel with numbers 1 to 6 twice. The final result is the sum of the two results gotten.

Character Attributes:

Using the Wheel of Fortune, the gnome spins 1w90 do decide the numerical value of each of his character’s attributes. A higher result would indicate a greater ability in that attribute. These numerical values are used thus: Whenever the gnome running the game (called the game gnome) decides to do an ability check on the character or whenever the character wants to accomplish a specific task, he spins 1w100 for the appropriate attribute of his character to see if he accomplishes the task.

Stuff That One Needs to Survive:

In this game, all the characters including those controlled by the game gnome, have life stuff. This measures how much Stuff That One Needs To Survive An Injury. Once the Stuff reaches zero, the character is dead. The maximum of the Surviving Stuff is decided by spinning 1w20 or otherwise, decided by the game gnome. Surviving Stuff can be replenished by “healing” naturally or seeing a cleric character.

How Much Damage You Did To The Bugger

This is the part our youngsters will be most interested in–How much injury to the bad creature they cause when they swing their weapon at it. It is decided by what weapon the character is carrying.

For instance, I have decided our veritable Gnome Water-Blaster can only cause 1w2 points of damage with each blast, while the Multiple Spear Flinger seems to work quite well against draconians at 1w20 for each shot. The result spun is the damage caused to the creature (like a draconian, for example) and this damage is deducted from the draconian’s Surviving Stuff.

How the DAD game is run:

That is entirely up to the game gnome, except for the mechanics which I have explained above. Though, what I have explained are only the basics of the game, I will continue to expand the rules and procedures in adventuring in the DAD game, encounters and fighting, including new things like plus and minus modifiers, and Points that One Earns for Doing Something Successfully.


Though everything may sound simple at first, I will endeavor to make Darkplaces and Draconians as complicated as it (being a gnome invention) naturally deserves. My second report on my efforts in this should be due some time in the next 5 years.

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