Love & Hate

Discussion in 'Roleplaying Games' started by dragoner, Nov 14, 2017 at 10:24 AM.

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  1. dragoner

    dragoner Active Member

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    What do you love and what do you hate about your favorite game?

    For example, I love CT's initiative system, there isn't one, after you have gone initiative-less, initiative feels clumsy. Also having spoken with combat vets (like my father), combat is sort of a random chaotic mess, unless you are shooting at a tiny dot and then it's gone.

    I hate the starship movement in the combat system, it's a tabletop minis game, which of course GDW being a wargame company, is perfectly fine, as an RPG it's a pain. It's also like Avalon Hill's Jutland, where you measure it out, the game says to use bits of string, instead we used lines on paper. The upshot is that it's vector movement which is kind of cool.
     
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  2. Simlasa

    Simlasa Active Member

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    My two favorite games of the moment are Magic World and DCC... I love Magic World for being lite-ish BRP with all the stuff I like about BRP... but wish there were some of the wilder elements of DCC, like the Luck, Spellburn and random magic... and I love DCC for being wild & weird & wacky, but I wish it wasn't tied to class/level.
    Somewhere between the two of them is my dream chimera.
     
  3. TristramEvans

    TristramEvans Moderator Moderator

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    The only thing I hate about my two favourite game systems (FASERIP and Warhammer Fantasy) is the absorbent ebay prices for hard copies, to be honest.
     
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  4. Nick J

    Nick J Member

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    Goddamn. Preach.

    Funny, I finally picked up Classic Fantasy for Mythras about a month ago, and the first thing I thought of was "Huh . . . I wonder how I could bolt on DCC's spell-casting system, and strip out some of the fiddly bits?" I'm still not sure how I'd get from A to Z.
     
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  5. The Butcher

    The Butcher Legendary Member

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    I love D&D, all editions, for being a glorious incoherent mess — though a flatter power curve and less dependency on magic might have been nice (even the older editions feature this to a degree).

    I love Rifts for being a glorious incoherent mess (notice a pattern?) but there's no glory to be had in presenting the system as an incoherent mess — and I don't even think the Palladium system is as bad as it's often made out to be, just abysmally presented in terms of writing and editing and indexing (or lack thereof), with conflicting rulings strewn across dozens of books.
     
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  6. Stevethulhu

    Stevethulhu Well-Known Member

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    I love the incoherent mess that is Stormbringer. I love that you can tidy up the bits you don't like using the Big Gold Book. And I love the way the map is mostly blank. Which means you can put anything you want in there without fear of contradicting someone else's canon.

    What I hate is that I can't seem to get players who share that love. Who knew the internet wasn't filled with people dying to play old favourites?
     
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  7. Tommy Brownell

    Tommy Brownell Active Member

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    Marvel SAGA has the coolest game mechanic I've ever used. I love the core card mechanic, with Edge and Trump. Brilliant game design for color heroes.

    I hate character creation and advancement, both of which feel so tacked on.
     
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  8. Nick J

    Nick J Member

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    I only really discovered Stormbringer a few years ago after I took a hiatus from gaming (coincidentally right around when 4e D&D dropped) when I came back I somehow found Magic World and then started working backward by promptly gobbling up Elric!/Stormbringer stuff on E-bay. But I know what you mean, the mechanics were a real revelation after a youth and twenties spent playing D&D and its variants. It really hits a sweet spot in terms of how I think fantasy should "feel."
     
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  9. Baeraad

    Baeraad Member

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    I'm not sure I have a favourite game, but let's go with Savage Worlds since another thread just put it on my mind.

    I love the quick and eventful (one might also say "fast and furious," I guess) way the game plays. It's one of the few games that I actively enjoy rolling dice for - there's just something about those exploding dice that makes every roll thrilling, because there's always a significant chance to roll amazingly well and there's always a non-trivial risk of failure. It makes me want to gamble, and I normally hate gambling. And I love how much there is to do in combat, while at the same time combat is weirdly fast and uncomplicated. I even love it for the roleplaying opportunities, because the system with Edges and Hindrances lets you put together a distinct (albeit somewhat cartoonish) character with just a few quick picks. It's just fun. (there was that last F...)

    The only thing I hate is Charisma. It affects exactly two skills, so if you haven't put points into those two skills (meaning you'll fail most of the time you try to use them anyway), there's really no penalty for piling up as many Charisma-reducing Hindrances as you want. I mean, it's not that SW is super-well-balanced to start with or anything, but most stats and skills are at least going to turn up every so often - there are very few "dump stats" per se, but unless you're making an explicitly social character, Charisma is one - and if you are making an explicitly social character, you definitely won't be taking any Charisma reducers anyway, so they're not going to be relevant then either. It's just a weirdly disconnected stat in a game where otherwise everything fits together really well.
     
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  10. Mankcam

    Mankcam Active Member

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    Savage Worlds is broken, which was a big let down for me.

    I loved the simplicity and Edges, as well as the sheer amount of settings for Savage Worlds.

    But my issue with Savage Worlds is that the lowest abilites are rated with a 1D4 roll, with a fumble occurring on a roll of ‘1’.
    Surely noone could be that bad, not even newbies?
    A 1 in 4 chance of failure perhaps, but a 1 in 4 chance of an actual fumble just seems totally wrong to me. So much so that I eventually couldn’t GM the system anymore.

    It could have potentially been my favourite game otherwise
     
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  11. Mankcam

    Mankcam Active Member

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    Totally on the same page here.
    I really love the BRP mechanics, and I love how Magic World was a nice mix of RQ3/Stormbringer, with very clean character generation.
    The biggest issue was that Chaosium barely supported it, and the production values were pretty stale by contemporary standards.
    Magic World would have brilliant if it had been more fully realised, especially if it had gone with a more Weird Fantasy vibe akin to that which exudes from Dungeon Crawl Classics. DCC is literally bubbling over with atmosphere, and if Magic World had been presented likewise then I have no doubt it would have caused a few ripples in the pond.

    Such a missed opportunity for Chaosium
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 4:55 AM
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  12. The Butcher

    The Butcher Legendary Member

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    Not just newbs: Extras. ;)

    Wild Cards like the PCs need “snake eyes” (1 on both the skill die and the Wild Die) to fumble. That’s 1 of 24 possible outcomes for a Skill level of 1d4.
     
  13. Baeraad

    Baeraad Member

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    Also, IIRC, extras actually cannot fumble. Fumbles only happen on snake eyes, and since extras only roll one die, they can never roll snake eyes. I remember it being explicitly noted that the potential of an epic mishap is the price Wild Cards pay for just being larger than life in general.
     
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  14. Mankcam

    Mankcam Active Member

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    Well that’s blown my mind...I will need to dust off my SW rulebook to check, but I could have sworn a fumble was just a roll of ‘1’ and Snake Eyes was an exceptionally bad fumble...maybe my memory is more rusty than I thought? It has been a while since we played SW....
     
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  15. Baulderstone

    Baulderstone Legendary Member

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    I'm pretty rusty on SW myself, but I believe that there are a few specific abilities where you just need a 1 on the skill die for something bad to happen, but they are explicitly dangerous things like using Mad Science in Deadlands. Maybe that is what gave you the wrong idea.

    It is definitely Snake Eyes in a normal situation.
     
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  16. Ronnie Sanford

    Ronnie Sanford Member

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    My favorites are Magic World and Call of Cthulhu though those might count as one system (they are pretty similar). I am also learning Part Time Gods at the moment so it gets a honorable mention. BTW I agree with Mankcam's comments on Magic World. The rules are near perfect for a light to medium crunch fantasy game. I think they would have had a winner if they had spent more time on the production quality and on the setting.
     
  17. Shipyard Locked

    Shipyard Locked Well-Known Member

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    D&D 5e first:
    I love that D&D 5e is popular enough to cut through all arguments about what games to play. I hate that it sets the standard for what players are willing to accept in terms of character option complexity. Some games would be better served with less options, but talking players down from the baseline 5e (and 3e / 4e in fact) trains them to expect is like taking toys away from kids. It also constrains the specialness of magic items.

    I love that 5e's bounded accuracy makes power inflation less of an issue for the setting, monsters, and character comparisons, but I hate that it constrains design space a little too much by flattening one of the key sources of subtle mechanical differentiation, namely bonuses and penalties.

    I love 5e's classes and subclasses despite feeling that there are too many other options in the game, but I still resent D&D's classic race lineup and the expectation that they will be present in most campaign settings.

    High level magic is stupid, always has been and apparently, in light of 4e's failure, always will be.

    World of Darkness next:
    I love being a member of a hidden society within normal society. I hate that the comic-book power-arms-race drama of the hidden society usually buries all concerns from normal society, making you feel paradoxically weak and 'normal' because you're not a dark predator among dangerous prey, but the low man on a supernatural totem pole that stretches like a fractal in every direction above you.

    I appreciated the conceit that this was an alternate parallel world and how liberating that could be.

    I loved CoDs old "five families, five ideologies" faction design and despite how artificial they could end up being I'm sad they moved away from that.

    To hell with those stupid humanity / morality / whatever tracks, they're not actually necessary.

    Now Legend of the Five Rings:
    I actually appreciated the strict rules of honor that went far beyond what was historically accurate in Japan. It created a lot of good drama and dilemmas.

    God damn the flimsy math of the Roll and Keep system. Also, the disdavantages you could buy were often quite stupid ways to get free character points in exchange for hogging the spotlight more.
     
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  18. Stevethulhu

    Stevethulhu Well-Known Member

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    I'd be inclined to say you got that the wrong way round. The Honour rules in L5R are, to put it mildly, a shambles. Nothing is really explained, it gives flat mechanical bonuses in some odd places and the whole gains/losses table is often so specific on what you get slaps or bennies for that players and GMs end up completely ignoring the thing.

    Where the maths behind the R&K system is reasonably good. Emphases aside. Admittedly it takes a bit of getting your head around, but there's various probability calculators around, includng thisand this. Personally, I like the second one. But both work well enough in play.

    The whole of the Advantages/Disadvantages pricing needs to be stripped down and rebuilt from the ground floor. There's no rhyme or reason to things and the costs/benefits/drawbacks triad just isn't there for L5R.
     
  19. opaopajr

    opaopajr Active Member

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    In Nomine.

    Love the Band/Choir and Superior restrictions that enforce you to roleplay something distinctly alien from human.

    Hate the Disturbance calculation method. Too fiddly, tight (based in yards), and derived from the event instead of listener. Can end up grinding the game in practice.
     
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  20. Spinachcat

    Spinachcat Well-Known Member

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    Start up a Magic World thread.

    It's a terrible name, but I keep hearing great things about this game.
     
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  21. Shipyard Locked

    Shipyard Locked Well-Known Member

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    Ah, I wasn't talking about the mechanics, I was talking about the setting. You're right that most people ignored the book guidelines and went with what felt right in the moment.

    I disagree, especially in light of the Trait vs Skill fiasco at every level of the system. My suffering with 7th Sea 1st edition made me re-examine the whole thing and conclude it was "different for the sake of being different".
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 8:21 AM
  22. Sosthenes

    Sosthenes Active Member

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    My favorite things about MasterBook is the value table and the general resolution mechanism, spiced up by the MasterDeck.
    The things I don’t like: The FX/spell creation system could use a bit more love to bring it up to par with the four letter games, and the fact that I’m not playing it right now.

    So to be fair, let’s say something about a system I actually use. The things I love about GURPS are the flow that even the core combat mechanics allow, and the great power creation system.
    What I dislike is the attribute selection (too few bases, too many derived) and skill costs (techniques are an afterthought and improving attributes is too often a cheap alternative), and I rabidly hate the unit system. In everything but a medieval setting, pounds and feet are just badong.
     
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  23. Baulderstone

    Baulderstone Legendary Member

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    I definitely remember IQ being the sole base mental stat ran into issues at times. GURPS Horror had to use IQ as the basis for Sanity, but having smart characters be the least likely to go mad from Things Man Was Not Meant to Know was so conceptually wrong that I could never bring myself to use GURPs for Lovecraftian horror. It still worked fine for other kinds of horror, and I had CoC too. It just was one of those glaring holes in my desire for it to be the system that could do everything. It really needed some kind of base Will stat.
     
  24. Stevethulhu

    Stevethulhu Well-Known Member

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    The setting is also very, very dubious in it's handling of honour. In that you can get away with anything as long as you can blame it on doing your duty. Which is just about everything you do.

    It's a generally bad system.

    Fiasco is a bit of a strong word. I agree that there's little incentive in 4th edition for improving skills over traits. Other than cost, Mastery abilities and the simple fact that rolling more dice give you a bigger chance of getting an explosion. Of course, knowing the probabilities of a give roll coming out at a given ballpark number also helps. See my previous post for more.

    3rd edition, with more diverse Mastery abilities as well as general ones that every skill got, plus Emphases being directly tied to the level of your skill, gave far more encouragement towards improving skills. But then the smear campaign started in the runup to 4th edition.

    Actually, can I add that as a general hate? When a new edition of a game comes out, there's a tendency for companies to really badmouth the earlier edition. To the point of starting wars over it. D&D had a particularly bad example of this going from 3 to 4, but they're far from the only company to pull this stunt.
     
  25. Voros

    Voros Active Member

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    Love the modules, monsters, spells and magic items of 1e D&D but have no time for the finicky to incoherent rules strapped onto the fine base (OD&D, B/X, Basic) system and the self-important, rambling semi-literate style of the core rulebooks. I could be convinced to appreciate the writing style in a kind of outsider-art way if some squeaky wheels didn’t uncritically overpraise it all to the skies.
     
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  26. Shipyard Locked

    Shipyard Locked Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid we'll just have to disagree here.

    Yes, I drew heavily from 3rd edition L5R when writing my 'fixed' version of 7th Sea 1st edition.

    While I enjoyed 4th edition more than most, I think it's a pretty stupid gamble in general for companies to radically redesign their IPs with any new iteration. Your odds of dividing the existing fanbase are higher than your odds of bringing in new fans. Make something new for goodness sake.
     
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  27. K_Peterson

    K_Peterson Active Member

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    There's a lot I love about Call of Cthulhu. But most of that has to do with what it produces as a tool, instead of its mechanical components. There are some mechanics I love and some I dislike (but that's a far cry from hate). I house-rule what I dislike - pulling from various BRP resources - and revel in the parts I enjoy (the light framework; chargen; simple adjudication tools).
     
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  28. Stevethulhu

    Stevethulhu Well-Known Member

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    I've seen it said more than once that CoC editions could just as easily be described as printings. The level of backwards compatibility is so high and the amount of new edition drama being so low.
     
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  29. K_Peterson

    K_Peterson Active Member

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    That's quite true with 1st-6th edition; not really with 7th edition. But that's not really a topic worth discussing, IMO.
     
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  30. dragoner

    dragoner Active Member

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    Going back through CoC 6e, it's still the same old CoC I played long ago, mostly. However, I did just buy it off drivethru in pdf, and what someone said in the fb group: "... the layout for 6th requires a SAN check (1/1D4)." Is true.
     
  31. Doc Sammy

    Doc Sammy Active Member

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    I love the early setting fluff and style of Vampire: The Masquerade

    I hate the later metaplot and insistence on personal horror misery tourism being "The One True Way", as well as the condescending and pretentious fans who push that party line, giving a bad name to an otherwise awesome game.
     
  32. Simlasa

    Simlasa Active Member

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    Yeah, 6e has some fugly graphic design going on. 5.X suits me fine.
     
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  33. dragoner

    dragoner Active Member

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    It's what the GM said she wanted to play, so I went and bought it, which I usually to be a good player, and not rules lawyer or anything like that. I remember a discussion, maybe here, about bad layout, 6e is definitely up there. Too busy, and some odd choices, fonts in particular.
     
  34. Simlasa

    Simlasa Active Member

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    I guess with CoC it doesn't really matter much anyway, the book doesn't get opened much during play.
     
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  35. dragoner

    dragoner Active Member

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    It doesn't strike me as being that different than what I had played a long time ago, which was probably 2e; that we all played from books that the GM, or another couple of players owned. I do appreciate the effort, it's just that my old eyes can't take it anymore.
     
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  36. Tommy Brownell

    Tommy Brownell Active Member

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    Interesting. I felt like 5e was the first time since 2e that magic items actually felt special and not just another baked in part of the system.
     
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  37. Vile

    Vile Member

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    Worlds of Wonder
    I love the simplicity, the open-endedness, and the promise of bright things to come. I hate that nothing happened except Superworld (and I don't like superhero games), and then GURPS became the de facto universal system.

    I don't hate GURPS, by the way, I just don't love it.
     
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  38. Shipyard Locked

    Shipyard Locked Well-Known Member

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    The issue is that every time you try to come up with a cool power for a magic item, you discover that a class or subclass or feat already does that. I discovered this anticlimax effect as soon as I tried to stray much from the treasures presented in the DMG. The fact that 5e's math is flatter also limits the design space.

    So you're right that items are special in the sense that they aren't baked-in assumptions, but they are ultimately less special because the coolest stuff is already baked-in, so that items feel redundant beyond the vanilla thrill of exceeding normal math parameters.
     
  39. Voros

    Voros Active Member

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    I would go more with the unique weird approach to magic items you find popular with the 'arty' end of the OSR (Hydra Cooperative, Stuart, Zak, etc).
     
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  40. Ronin

    Ronin Active Member

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    I find weird is always better than a plain old "its a +1 sword". A couple things from a past 3.5 campaign.
    Dire Duck Call (The following is from a blog post)
    I forgot to mention one thing. At the first fight at the entryway room. Bartleby used the duck call he found a while back. The big joke with the group was that it better summon a Dire Duck. Well I originally intended it to just be a duck call. Kind of a goofy random item. But I really liked the idea of it summoning a dire duck. So thats what it did. I didn't use the rules I just flew by the seat of my pants and did it up. So I used the stats for a dire hawk, for the dire duck. Then gave it a breath weapon, a sonic blast (cone shaped) that it can use once a combat. It can be summoned only once a day. For 1d6 rounds.

    And these two I cooked up for/on another forum that no longer exists. (Also blogged about here)
    Rod of the Acorn
    Detects and locates any nuts in 400 foot radius. Can crack any nut in one round.
    Faint Divination; CL 1st; Craft Rod; detect animals or plants; 3000gp
    ---
    The Hat of Wonder
    Hat of Wonder
    4 times a day random semi useful and useful items can be pulled out of the hat.
    1-3% Bell
    4-6% Blanket, Winter
    7-9% Block and Tackle
    10-13% Bottle of Wine
    14% Bust of Abraham Lincoln
    15-17% Caltrops
    18-21% Candle
    22-24% Chain (10' peice)
    25-27% Chalk
    28-30% Crowbar
    31-33% Dagger
    34% Halberd
    35-37% Huge Chunk of Meat
    38-40% Ink (1oz. vial)
    41-43% Iron Pot
    44% Keys to a Volkswagen Scirocco
    45-47% Ladder (10' tall)
    48-50% Magnifying Glass
    51-53% Mirror
    54-56% Paper (10 Sheets)
    57% Potion of Cure Light Wounds
    58% Potion of Bull’s strength
    59% Potion of Cat’s grace
    60% Potion of Invisibility
    61% Potion of Fly
    62% Potion of Mage armor
    63% Potion of Neutralize poison
    64-66% Ram, portable
    67-69% Rope (50')
    70-73% Rowboat Oar
    74-76% Signal Whistle
    77-79% Soap
    80-83% Shovel
    84-86% Tankard of Ale
    87-89% Ten foot Pole
    90-92% Torch
    93-95% Tower Shield
    96-98% Warhammer
    99-100% Wooden Sword (stats as per club)
    Moderate conjuration,transmutation, illusion ; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest, teleport object, cure light wounds, bear’s endurance, bulls strength, cats grace, invisibility, fly, mage armor, neutralize poison; Price of this artifact is unmeasureable. (As is its silliness)
     

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