Volume 3 Issue 126 – Letter to the Editor III

Intro – 0:00.000
Roll For Initiative Website www.rfipodcast.com
Roll For Initiative Twitter www.twitter.com/rfipodcast
Roll For Initiative Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/RFIpodcast
OSR Gaming Forums www.osrgaming.org
DM Vince’s Blog http://www.theevilgm.com/

Ok, so I’m new to the podcast (been listening to the archives every day to catch up) however I really want to know about something that nobody really seems to be able to give me details on.

Where do I go to find out exactly what happened inside the company during the Lorraine Williams era? Forgive me if I’ve missed the episode on this one.

The reason I ask, is I’ve always been curious about the culture inside TSR and what changes happened in the transitions. I get parts and stories, but never the entire picture. I feel something similar happened at White-Wolf and other companies, and as always it is a topic that nobody seems comfortable talking about with me.

I’ve always felt there was some kind of major culture shift. Early on the community was directly writing and influencing the materials. Somewhere this seemed to diminish, and it is a patter repeated thru much of the industry.

P.S. Playing at the World is in the mail, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Brian Scott

Hi DM Vince, Nick, and Matt:

I am going to run I6: Ravenloft in October (Halloween themed game! ) and I can’t find anything about the appropriate method to start a multiclass character above 1st level.

As I look through the required xp for level 5, each class is different. It doesn’t seem fair to give a multi class character to 5th level in all classes. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Greetings RFI Staff!

A friend’s local face to face group has kindly offered a seat at their table, which is marvelous. The downside is they play Pathfinder, which I know basically nothing about. (But, I am willing to learn, of course.) The group takes turns hosting games and is open to other games so long as they reach a consensus. So, I want to sell them on playing AD&D.

A couple of the group played 2E when they were kids, which appears to be about a week and a half ago judging from their youth, the rest have never Old Schooled. So, I have to sell 1E to group of youngins who cut their teeth on WotC versions of D&D.

You guys have far more experience with later revisions than your humble servant who hung up his dice in the early 90’s. Without turning it into “Edition Wars” and keeping it positive, what selling points would you use to convince them take a chance on rolling back the clock to a simpler, grittier game when role playing took precedence over dice rolling and the character of the player is more important than the player characters? (which is how I am thinking about pitching the game by the way.)

Many thanks


PS: More than 2/3rds of the way through the back catalog of the podcast (episode 60 as of right now) and I just want to tell Vince that I have come to truly appreciate your crusty grognard-iness. I see the show topics and think “Oh! Vince will HATE this!” and you do! I may not always agree (after all Secondary Skills were written in by Gary opening the door to Non Weapon Proficiencies later in 1E) but I always enjoy your acerbic commentary!

Hi. Love your podcasts! Can you give advice to a new dm on when characters want to buy an inn and tavern in a small city and what it should cost? Thanks alan aka the rabid gerbil.

Hello TRI DMs,
I was wondering if you had seen the videos of golden eagles hunting mountain goats?
Link below:

I am curious what you thought about this rather innovative method & how you would use it to make eagles & other flying creatures more of a threat in combat.

Jeff H

DM Vince and gang:Goes

I was just listening to volume three issue 123 of your podcast in which you were discussing big battle rules. Enjoyable and interesting as always. However, I was surprised that you didn’t mention that your fellow podcasters over at save or die had just done a show on August 3 (number 76) in which they covered this topic very well in my opinion!

I would just like to add that for my part, I too like to address battles in controllable snippets. I have no interest in moving from role-playing to wargaming in my D&D campaign, no matter what the system. The idea that you mentioned about having how the players do in a series of snapshots in the battle determine the tide of the overall battle makes sense to me as well; with the players in the courtyard of the castle defending the gate from the ogres trying to break it down. Or defending a town from a unit or two with perhaps a couple of higher-level baddies as the main army passes by.

However, I would also like to quibble with the idea expressed by the three of you that players will feel “railroaded” if they can’t control the outcome of the battle. Battles in a war setting are not necessarily a controllable by a few individuals, even heroic ones, especially if the army they’re facing is much larger than the army that they’re defending. The tactics idea is a good one, but even if their tactics are perfect, I still think they should lose the battle to a clearly superior force if that’s what they’re facing. A good alternative, perhaps, is to have the players accomplishing a mission that turns the tide of the battle OFF the battlefield such as the several examples that happened at the end of Return of the King (returning with the Riders of Rohan, or the Oathbreakers, for example).

Thanks for listening, Jonathan

Admin of the Dallas Old-School D&D Players meetup group

Message body:
Hi guys.

I’m trying to add a series of crypts to my game, and am stumped how to make them more interesting. I would like to hear your ideas on what you can put in a crypt other than undead, coffins, treasure and simple traps (darts, poison needles etc) to make them exciting and interesting. I would especially like to hear what each of you considers your favourite puzzle from past games.

Full disclosure – I’m sending this to RFI and SOD, as I would like to hear all of your ideas.



Message body:
Hey guys, love the show. Just had a quick question about playing d&d on a tablet and if you were aware of any character sheet apps or an easy to use character sheets online that could be used on a tablet for original dungeons and dragons. Thanks for all your good work and please keep it up.

Brian Howard

Buffalo, NY

Hey guys just a question.
How do you guys make items seem magical without the players casting detect magic. Also, if there is a magical item in the room that isn’t obviously magical do you give the players a hint that it might be?


I recently found your podcast and I’ve been going through from the start and loving it.

In one of the first 5-10 episodes, Jayson mentioned that he had a whiteboard system for tracking how combat plays out with segments. I would love to take a look at it and see if I could incorporate it into my own game. Where can I find it? Thanks!


I am a new listener and I started at 101 and then jumped back to listen to the old shows and have been listening through those.. great may I add!

I was wondering if shows had been done dedicated to just the plain fighter? I know its a pretty straight forward class, but you guys have to have some ideas how to make it better or interesting?


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