Saturday, February 12, 2022

Adventures in Rekeying

Hey! The blog's not dead, just busy, plus what bandwidth I have for RPGs right now is going towards my in-person games. Still, I find time to plug away at old-school material.

I've been going through the G series and rekeying it for likely future use. And boy do I need to rekey this stuff, because no way am I going to run this at the table in this format.

From G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl

5. ICE CAVERN: The giants have frozen 8 corpses of mutilated victims. standing them upright in blocks of transparent ice. Evidently these are meant to "frighten off" any trespassers. The bodies are obviously hacked and very dead, not merely frozen whole. Each of these corpses has some valuable item with it in the ice: 1) is dwarven with a battle axe +1, 2) is elven with a long case at its feet (cold wand with 16 charges), 3) is human and wears a jeweled belt (worth 7,000 g.p.), 4) Is human and has a tube In its hand (a scroll of protection from elementals), 5) is dwarven and has a spilled pouch of (3710 g.p. base value) gems at its feet, 6) is human and wears a fire resistance ring, 7) is half-elven and grasps a sack with a burst seam showing silvery coins (471 s.p.). and 8) is a human In gleaming armor (magic armor of vulnerability,-2 but appears as +2 until actually struck in combat). If a fireball is used to melt the ice blocks, all magic and jewelry will be destroyed. Lesser fires or chipping will cause melting or vibrations which have a 10% per block cumulative chance of causing the ceiling of ice and Icicles to collapse and inflict 6-60 hit points of damage on each creature beneath.

I tried rekeying this in the format I cribbed from Castle Xyntillan, which I also used for the First Rat Bank:

5. Ice Cavern. (4’’x3’’) 8 standing blocks of ice contain mutilated corpses, each with a valuable item within. 

  • If a fireball is used to melt the ice, all magic and jewelry is destroyed. Lesser fires or chipping has a 10% per block cumulative chance of causing the ceiling to collapse for 6d10 damage on each creature beneath.

  • Dwarf with a battleaxe+2.

  • Elf with a cold wand (16 charges) in a long case.

  • Human wears a jeweled belt (7,000 g.p.).

  • Human holds a scroll of protection from elementals in a tube.

  • Dwarf with a spilled pouch of gems (3710 g.p. Base value).

  • Human wears a fire resistance ring.

  • Half-elf grasps a burst sack of silver (471 s.p.).

  • Human in gleaming armor (armor of vulnerability -2, appears as +2 until first struck).

We've cut 40%, from 227 to 135 words, gained a great deal in readability and scannability. More interesting, it's probably shorter depending on how wide your margins are. Here on the Blogger editor, my rewrite is slightly longer, but in the preview they're the same length. Meanwhile on google docs it's actually shorter, and it remains so when put into two-column form. In conclusion: rekeying old modules is worthwhile, will make them easier to run, and doesn't make the modules page-for-page longer.