Saturday, April 2, 2011

As I read through the Ready Ref Sheets...

As I mentioned in my last post, I acquired a copy of the Ready Ref Sheets (2nd Edition) yesterday. I've since gone through it a little, and thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

The first section is on city encounters. The charts are a bit on the crowded side, but there's some usable stuff in here. There's even a page explaining what some of the charts are intended for.

Up next is a section on npc women, starting with social status and profession. There's an interesting system on gaining favor with women through a mixture of communication and buying expensive gifts, which might actually dovetail in nicely with the infamous 'Random Harlot Table'.
There's even some complications that randomly crop up and make things more interesting for PCs.

After that, it talks about the likelyhood of women being trained as fighters in a militaristic society (just over 50%). It goes on to give a few locations where they might train, and then talks about daughters of nobles, including such things as their social rank, and circumstances revolving requests that will involve her father's intervention.

Turning the page, there a lot of tables for generating female npcs, ranging from disposition, their inclination towards the PC (and modifiers towards it), Houri garb, and physical characteristics.
Here's where it gets interesting.

The tables range from things like height, dress sizes, alignment (only 5 here covering Law, Chaos, Good, Evil, and a single Neutral) and finally complexion. It's complexion that really caught my attention. It starts off with with some realistic skintones, then moves into some SF/S&S/S&P inspired colors (red,blue and yellow). After that it's Downy Golden Fur, Feathery Down, Scaled, and Transparent to Bone. The first three of these have a asterisk after them denoting additional traits to the complexion. They are;
  • also has feline tail
  • winged
  • half mermaid (?)
I was fairly surprised to see that one could very easily roll up a catgirl! Here's a trope/meme that really took off in the last 20 years, and yet I came across it in a supplement written in the 70s, over 30 years ago. Now I admit that there was a female Kzin crewmember in the animated Star Trek series, and Batman foe Catwoman dates back to the 40s (and there could even be something in the pulps that I haven't heard about yet), but this came out of nowhere.

Admittedly, this took a lot out of the discovery that they had also put in Lieber-ian ghouls (people with transparent bodies save for their eyes and bones).

Well, that's all for now. I'll come back later and give further impressions about the RRS.

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