© 2018, Kevan Hashemi

Pick-Up Games

The Jaws of Redemption is an example pick-up adventure, in which everyone sits down, chooses from a few pre-defined characters, receives a description of a simple scenario in which the action begins immediately. First, Here are Mr. Goodnow's instructions for the dramaturgist of a pick-up game (with some minor edits), then we will present the example adventure and characters, as drawn up in an hour in a coffee shop.

What you want is for the players to jump right into action, so have them each create a 3rd level character. All you need is to make up the striking accuracy (SA) damage roll and dodging points (DP). Give them each 15 hit points (HP). Make the basic damage roll 2D10 (1-10 doubled, you can find apps to "roll dice" for free). Let them choose to add +4 to damage (stronger) or +1 to SA (faster) if you want. Give them all 10 points of armor (ring mail). Now tell them they are soldiers in the midst of a time of war. They lost the rest of their unit after it lost a skirmish against superior numbers, and are alone in the woods in the middle of a of a foreign country miles from the nearest town. They were being chased by (make it up, but a few 1st level fighters, w slightly lower SA and DP at a time gives them a fighting chance!) from the south, and see a (again, u can make it up, but could be an old fort, a trapdoor down into an old mine, deep cave system or any other "dungeon" scenario you want) to the north. (More woods and random soldiers east and west?). Keep it simple with all enemies being soldiers, or peak into the "creature guide" and pick low level monster like kobolds or orcs (still tougher than a 1st level human (sapien in the rules)).

You get two HP back when you sleep, but don't regain DP until "you are safe, can relax and don't feel you need to post a guard while you sleep". Like at home, or in a hotel. At that point, you get DP back all at once. Maybe you give them a chance to find safety, if they work together well and make good choices (give them a chance to avoid some combats, maybe). And if they die, it's ok, it's not a character they've leveled up for years and got attached to. Basic combat is: roll a die to see who gets first attack each round. Roll 20-Sider "to hit". They need: an 11 - the difference between their SA and the enemy's (so if they = 3 and enemy 2, they need 10 or higher. 10 over that, and they get double damage. If 2 on one each get +5 on their to-hit roll. If hit, roll damage, but subtract eany reasonable enemy armor (if they have ring, enemy might also) before taking off HP. Use a DP to escape all damage if it's a lot. Lose all HP and you can't fight or walk even, go to −15 (if you start with 15) and you die from wounds.

Missile combat works like this: at range zero, a shooter with firing accuracy zero needs to roll 1 or higher on a d20 to hit. For a longbow, the required roll goes up by one for every five meters of range to the target, and then we subtract the shooter's firing accuracy. For throwing knives and stones, the roll goes up by one for each meter of range. Damage for a longbow is 2D10. You can make up the damage rolls of other weapons.

Here are hand-written notes describing the Jaws of Redemption scenario.

And here are seven characters. Each has striking accuracy, a damage roll, firing accuracy, hit points, dodging points, weapons, and special abilities. Some of these characters are half animal half human, or calipanti. Others are black-skinned sapiens. One is a midget who can control a sparrow and a grisley bear, and see through their eyes. This midget can use his dodging points for his animals if he chooses.