Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saintly Saturday: Sts. Chrysanthus and Daria

Today is the feast of Sts. Chrysanthos and Daria the Martyrs. Chrysanthos was the son of a senator of Alexandria in Egypt. When he became a Christian, this upset his pagan father who had Chrysanthos thrown in jail, hoping that his son would change his disposition. When it became obvious that his plan wasn't going to work, the father summoned a beautiful, educated and pagan woman from Athens — Daria. She was wedded to Chrysanthos in the hopes that through his love for her, Chrysanthos would abandon his faith. This plan also backfired. Through her husband, Daria also became a Christian. They were martyred in 283 when they were buried in what is nicely called "mire," but I'm guessing that a more scientific description might include the word feces.

Recently Beedo of Dreams in the Lich House posted the results of some of his polls. Among these was the question "Do you use love in your D&D games?" Of note, Random harlot chart, page 192 1E DMG garnered the most votes (I guess if D&D players were in charge, Chrysanthus would have disappeared into history instead of being remembered as a saint). Personally, this has been an aspect of the game I was never much interested in, nor very comfortable with. In Beedo's poll, I voted for We explore dungeons, not characters because, in terms of relationships, I have always been much more entertained by the camaraderie between PCs and the development of henchmen NPCs.

This is where I must begin my however. My current group of players is interested in these kinds of things, though they fall more into the second-most voted for category in Beedo's poll: Characters have gotten married. In our play, no one has gotten married, but given an opportunity (retirement, end-game, etc.) I am fairly certain such an event will happen. Unwittingly, I have also forced the issue a little bit by requiring all Clerics to make their decision to be either married or celibate prior to ordination (so far, surprisingly, celibacy has been the favored choice).

One of my favorite consequences of marriage is children. This is an aspect of the game I have never had the opportunity to explore, but have always wanted to. In my mind it is an indication of long-term play with lots of end-game maneuvering. Thus, when children do show up, I plan on using this method to determine stats:
For each characteristic roll a d8:
1 Use the Mother's stat -1 (minimum 3)
2 Use the Mother's stat
3 Use the Mother's stat +1 (up to racial max)
4 Use the Father's stat -1 (minimum 3)
5 Use the Father's stat
6 Use the Father's stat +1 (up to racial max)
7 Use the average of the Mother's and Father's stat (round up)
8 Roll 3d6


  1. That is an interesting heredity chart for stats... this looks very useful.
    There have only been a few occasions in my gaming career where children have come from a union (most of the PCs weren't that settled yet to have a family, but some of them did get to that point).

    My Cleric has performed funeral rites on a few of the PCs, though ;)

    Thanks for sharing this. I know it will come in handy.

  2. I always just added the stats of the mother and father together and divided by two, then gave a plus or minus 1d4 modifier with a minimum of three and a maximum of eighteen; but I think I like this better.

  3. One interesting thing about that poll, is to consider the typical campaign lasts 18 months or less - so most folks get together, hop in the dungeon, and 'we explore dungeons, not characters' makes perfect sense.

    I can see as a campaign matures and starts to reach name level, the idea of strongholds, politics, marriage, and legacy would naturally start to emerge in the campaign.

    Makes me kinda sad we've game-hopped so much the past few years - there's a lot to be said for sticking with a campaign.

  4. Very cool. That's a nice, simple, fun way to do heredity.