Thursday, August 31, 2017
Friday, August 25, 2017
With that said I plan on taking a specific approach to my current campaign, which features my city setting Wundergauss. Now without further ado I'm going to define my chosen three rulesets and campaign inspirations.
Ruleset 1: Lamentation of the Flame Princess
Was there any doubt? It's the game that pulled me into the OSR and it just so happens to be my favorite game to run for OSR noobys. It's got nice clean-cut mechanics that aren't bloated or janky. Skills are simple and eloquent d6 roles; fighters don't suck; saves make sense; it even has rules for Property and Finance! However there are some rules in this book that just trigger me. I'm looking at you Firing Into Melee rules! And the magic item creation is more annoying than it is useful. But overall Lotfp is just a nice full package and a great base for any OSR inspired ruleset. It does lack the essentials for high adventure like treasure tables and a monster manual, but my next choice should fix all of that....
Ruleset 2: Old School Reference and Index Compilation
Or OSRIC for short....At first I was going to pick Labyrinth Lord over OSRIC but the former doesn't add as much to the equation. Meanwhile OSRIC brings more treasure and more wandering monsters to the table, not to mention more classes and Fireball! However I don't like the way OSRIC does most of these things. For example I'm pretty sure +1 against orcs and goblinoids doesn't really qualify as a racial bonus.... But from what I understand my complaints are due to the nature of 1e and has nothing to do with the creators of OSRIC being shits (because they're not!) In total OSRIC is a ruleset that will serve as a resource for the things that lotfp leaves out, and it will serve as an inspiration for homebrews down the road. I'll probably regret this last ruleset
Ruleset 3: Classic Traveller
Yup! I love this game. It's also got nifty things like guns so if I want to take my campaigns into modern land or if I just want to give the cleric a machine gun I can do that. It's got spaceships so I can take the party into space! I love that entire worlds can be randomly generated on the fly. It's got a bunch of weird and interesting races. Most of all it has sapceship combat which can easily be applied to regular boring ship with sails combat.The only downside is that I might be biting off more than I can chew. But that has yet to be seen and like I said earlier if it fucks up my game somehow I can just fix it.
Inspiration 1: The Napoleonic Era
Now Jeff says to avoid generalized sources for this part of the formula. He says to use books, not wikis. Truth be told I'm not a huge fan of fiction or books in general anymore. I used to read a lot as a kid but that was more of a coping mechanism than anything else. Since becoming an adult with expectations and responsibilities, my love for fiction and reading in general has tanked. What I know about this time period has mostly been through glimpses through movies and shows such as Master and Commander and Horatio Hornblower. But in the end I think what players take away from the table are those glimpses. They remember hails of cannon fire or musket rifles, intriguing with posh nobles, or crawling through the streets of an early modern civilization. Sure you might run into one player that absolutely gushes about this stuff but your average player just doesn't care. And there's nothing wrong with that. They're here to play D and fucking D, not get a history lesson. With that said there's just so much that I like about this era: the early-modern combat, the transition from monarchy to democracy, ships of the line, the style of clothing, the etiquette and expectations placed upon not only the bourgeoisie but pretty much everyone in society. But the focus isn't going to be in reenacting history, its going to be recreating those glimpses of this era provided by those shows and movies that caused me to fall in love with the period in the first place. (BTW if anyone knows of good resources for this period, preferably not on dead trees, I would be most gracious if you could send them my way!)
Inspiration 2: Girl Genius
Now if you haven't figured out that I'm an illiterate sod then you'll probably be surprised when I say I haven't read a single steampunk novel. But comics....I can do comics. They have the perfect balance of words and pretty pictures to keep my attention and regardless Girl Genius is so entertaining that it keeps me glued to the pages anyway. Now my love of steampunk is purely aesthetic. There's just something cool about leather-clad scoundrels running around with zappy bits. Not to mention it fits in the early modern feel that I am going for.
Inspiration 3: Final Fantasy VIII
I love this game. It was my first introduction to the final fantasy series and I really like its mechanics (even though everyone else seemed to hate them). The lore it presents is interesting and the setting is a weird blend of high fantasy and near-future science fiction. Not to forget GUNBLADES. (I don't care how stupid it is the idea of hurting someone more with your gun powder (or whatever) powered sword its just awesome!)
So those six things will serve as a base for whatever it is I'm trying to create but I know off the top of my head that won't be enough to cover all the bases. So I'll take the opportunity now to list a few more sources that I will be taking advantage of here.
Zak's Urbancrawl Rules
These rules are just awesome and that's why I'll be using them. I don't want my players to feel like they are in constant danger, which is why prior to reading Zak's post and Vornheim, I usually treated settlements as safe havens. I think that's totally fine but when my players are drunking it up at the local tavern, I don't want them to feel like they are in constant danger, but I do want them to feel on edge—that anything could come around that corner (but it won't kill you...probably).
I bought this ruleset awhile back on a whim and while I don't like most of it there are some aspects I enjoy, mainly how race and class are treated. I am a proponent of race and class being separate entities. The only problem with that is separate race and class is a big contributor to builds, which I despise with a passion. Some great people have offered solutions to this problem while keeping race and class separate, but they haven't been for me. However I really like how 13th Age addresses the problem and I'll probably be using their method going forward. I also like some other aspects such as the mechanics surrounding Icons but I find mostly everything else to be too bloated and it's just too much of a modern rpg for my tastes.
The Last Gasp Blog
This blog is a great resource for anyone, especially if weird fantasy makes you gush. I'm extremely fond of anything related to Maleficars and the Horwarts Can't Save You Now rules might be the best for handling magic items I've come across.
and countless other sources will server as inspiration....
In elevator pitch this creation looks like a early modern setting beating to the tune of high adventure with a sprinkle of low sci-fi and a twist of high sci-fi layered on top of that.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
First I showed up to Blackforest expecting to pick up the game from where we left off last week, but a new player showed up and he really liked 5e. Also I had promised Gabe Jr that if it was just me and him I would run 5e if he wanted to play that instead of my OSR madness. Unfortunately for me I showed up completely unprepared for this situation and therefore reran the events of last session out of desperation. (Don't do this. It's bad.)
Second I don't actually have any chase rules that I can call on at a moment's notice. When I knew a chase was about to start I looked up the optional chase rules in Vornheim and cringed when I realized I had no measuring tape with me. (There was none in the shop either.) Luckily I was able to utilize a Star Wars lanyard. I ended up making each side roll a d10 and they would move that many heads across the table. (The lanyard had little heads of Star Wars characters that I was using for vague measuring units.) Whoever made it to the center of the table first won the chase, so to speak.
As cool as lanyard-based chases sound, I don't think it's my thing. But playing cards; those are my thing. So I'm going to layout a playing card based chase ruleset here. Disclaimer: the main inspiration for this ruleset is borrowed from an article, but I found it too wordy to be relied on at a moments notice. So consider this ruleset a wacky simplified version of that one.
Required supplies are simple: a deck of playing cards without the faces and something to represent the chasers and chasees.
Start by laying out d6+4 cards face down. Flip the first card over and place the chasers and chasees on there. The rank of the card is the difficulty class set for each side. (Aces count as 1.) Each round each member rolls a d10+Dex. If the result is higher than the rank then they advance a card. The chasees escape when they reach the last card and the chasers win if they incapacitate the chasees or cut off their means of escape by reaching the end first.
If two members are on the same card they can exchange a round of melee attacks. If there's only 1 card of difference between them then they can exchange a round of ranged attacks instead. Anything more than that and the two sides can't attack each other.
Instead of attacking a member can opt to inflict a disadvantage on an adjacent member (same card or 1 card away) or provide an advantage for themselves. In the case of disadvantage a member rolls 2d10 and takes the lowest and in the case of advantage they take the higher. In order to accomplish either tasks a test of some sort is required, usually a skill check of some sorts but don't be afraid to reward ingenious thought.
If members decide to split up you can place another row parallel to the first and place the figure representing the member doing the splitting on that new row.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Sunday, August 20, 2017
So it's hard to contextualize adventurers since they're often born from spur of the moment inspirations and pod-dropped into a world their players know nothing about.
In a normal dungeon crawl this is fine but in my current weekly campaign Gabe Jr has a fine taste for story games and roleplay. So I want to provide him some opportunities to learn about the setting and flesh out his character without throwing ham-fisted explanations and exposition at him.
So the big question is how do I go about doing that? Well if the players control their characters' actions, personality, and background, the dm controls everything else. I literally have an infinite list of npcs, monsters, and encounters at my disposal. To be honest that feels a little intimidating on my part so I'll start small and hopefully that will get the ball rolling.
If you've ever moved to a new town with no friends or family near by then it's probably intimidating or down right scary to go out and mingle. The same can be said of pcs.
So I decided to use Zak S's contact rules from Vornheim and give Gabe's character a friend. Now all I know of this npcs is their name and profession. I'm leaving it up to Gabe to decide what this person means to his character. He could be a distant relative, lover, co-worker, etc.
Who you pass by on the street or what kind of homeless people or street performers you see can influence your perspective of a place and I think the same is true for adventurers.
I think I'll start small and go from there. I'll keep the combat encounters low because I don't want pcs to feel like they are in constant danger above ground.
Wundergauss isn't an ancient or mysterious city but it is sprawling with numerous factions playing The Game. However the land beneath it is as ancient as time itself and plays host to an assortment of underworlds. So I want the encounter table to reflect that. Plenty of secret entrances to lost dungeons, hideaways were nobles get high and order hits, seedy dens for dregs, etc.
And of course I'll support these things with improvised lore and info as it comes up in play. I might do a short write up about notable houses, the current dynasty, and the local religion but other than that I really prefer winging the rest during gameplay.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
So I planted myself in the dm's chair once more after a long hiatus, deciding to run Lamentaion of the Flame Princess and Tomb of the Forgotten Toad-People.
Blackforest Comics has open gaming every thursday so I posted an ad earlier in the week on their Facebook page.
Unfortunately only two people showed up, Gabe Jr, the owner's son, and Timmy, the owner's friend. Gabe Sr, the owner, was around and joined the game later but he had to go run his own game at the library for some kiddos.
Regardless of the small party the session ended up being pretty eventful.
I brought some pre-gens for potential noobys but Gabe Jr and Timmy decided to roll up their own.
In the first room the party got tpk'd by a Black Pudding after they tarried too long in its lair by collecting coins scattered amongst the 3 feet of bones lining the floor.
Then they rolled up some more characters, this time with random levels for a slight advantage, and tried the tomb again.
In the next room they discovered a floating toad-person in the lotus position that exploded into a cloud of dust when the pcs touched it.
Slightly disturbed they continued to the next room and encountered some yellow mold (that they lit on fire), fought some zombie toad-people, and discovered the cockatrice statue.
In the next room Timmy's character almost died horribly after triggering a poison gas trap but he was able to bash his way out of the room. After that they surfaced to rest up.
At this time we braked for pizza and Gabe Sr joined the fray.
They dived back in, fought some more zombies, who were suspiciously more dwarvish, and Timmy's character got eaten by a Gelatinous Ooze in the next room. After that the Gabes retreated and we called it a night.
Not sure what the state of the campaign will be next week because Timmy is having to go out of town for a few months. I might just do one-on-one with Gabe Jr. If that doesn't work out I might try to get something going online once I move into my new digs.
Friday, August 18, 2017
I love anime
|Yup even her|
I love rpgs
of the video game variety. I think I'm in a rare percentile of gamers because I didn't discover trpgs until I was at least 18 and even then my first experience wasn't that great. Ever since I had an on-and-off again relationship with trpgs until it cemented itself and my favorite hobby.
A majority of my childhood free time was taken up by video games, more specifically rpgs. I remember spending hours upon hours playing Final Fantasy VII, X, X-2, and even XII for a short stint. Next to that was Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, God of War, and probably countless others that I've forgotten since.
I've never really gone public with this information because its emotionally taxing. But a man's blog is a man's soul so if I can't put it here then I can't put it anywhere. OK. So I lose my mother at age 11 and it fucked me up pretty bad. I dropped out of school and society and my dad didn't really know what to do with me because he was about as fucked up from my mother's death as I was. I was essentially agoraphobic and, truth be told, video games kept my mind off the fucked up the intrusive shit brewing inside my skull. It sounds silly now but video games were my lifeline until I got the help that I needed and pulled myself together.
Now I don't even own a video game system and I'm not exactly happy with the state of the gaming market today. But chances are I can get one of those games on steam and relive those all too familiar moments that not only influenced my muse, but also kept me safe.
I love wrestling
Survivor Series 2003. Undertaker versus Vince McMahon in a Buried Alive match. No disqualification, no count out, no ring out, no submission; the only way to win is to bury your opponent six feet under—killing him.
Fucking wow. That was the first wrestling match that I watched that hooked me into the world of professional wrestling. The sight of Vince—the guy who runs the whole shebang—bleeding all over the place. The twist at the end where Kane, Taker's brother, buries him alive. Holy shit they just killed a dude! I was hooked.
And boy was it a great time to be into wrestling. I remember fondly Evolution and the build-up to Wrestlemania XX. There's probably countless other wrestling moments that I've since forgotten.
I love history
As a teen I read fiction constantly but as an adult I find that history is more interesting than fiction. I'm probably not the most literate history fan but I find my interest gravitating more towards the Age of Sail than anything else and my interest has only bee piqued since discovering Lamentations of the Flame Princess. And on that note....
I love D&D!
If that wasn't obvious....I love to run the game. It's an indescribable feeling and it gives me great joy to be behind the NPCs and monsters. I'd say it's my one true calling if I was to be so bold. I more so love the OSR and DIY communities and the great creators pushing their projects farther ahead than the corporate/modern games.
Alright! This has been a short list of things that I love and hopefully my future projects will be filled with a little bit of everything from this list. I'll have to wait and see.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
When rolling to attack, if the result is a multiple of seven, you can immediately roll another attack after resolving the first one.
When rolling to attack, if the result is a multiple of seven, you can immediately roll another attack after resolving the first one. If your character has a Strength score of 13-15 decrease the result required by 1. If their score is 16-17 decrease it by 2. Finally if it's 18 decrease it by 3.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Roll up stats and chose a class. Whenever you level up you can spend one or more of your rolls on this chart.
01 Nothing! It ain't easy being a lizard....
02-11 +1 to hit
12-21 +1 to all saves
21-30 +1 damage
30-50 Your hide gets harder. +1 unarmored AC.
51-53 You get really good at climbing. Now you can now climb at normal speed without restriction on what you can wear or wield. Also you take half fall damage. Re-roll this result if you get it a second time.
54-56 Your scales sprout sharp spikes. Your non-weapon, non-spell attacks deal 1d4 extra damage and foes that hit you must save versus Breath Weapon to avoid your spikes or take the extra damage. Rolling this result again increases the damage to d6, then d8, and then d10. After that re-roll this result.
57-59 You gain an extra d6 hit points. If you roll this result again increase the hit points gained to d8, then d10, then d12, and finally d20.
60 Once per day you can transform into a crocodile for 1 turn (AC 14; HD 2; 1 Bite for 1d8 dmg). When you roll this result again you gain +1 to AC, HD, or damage for your croc-form. After rolling this result three times you can spend your +1 to add weird shit like flying wings or extra appendages.
61-63 Now you can consume the flesh of another creature to be imbued with the secrets of the flesh. Next time you encounter a creature of the same species as the one you devoured you'll learn their statistics (AC, HD, etc) and what they want, why they are here, etc. After that you lose all benefits. Rolling this result allows you to repeat the process again.
Monday, August 7, 2017
So your party has been captured by cyberpunk orcs, post-apocalyptic halflings, or some other brand of fucked up sicko and forced to play a friendly game. The losers lose everything, i.e. die, and the winners win it all, i.e. live. We're talking about Russian roulette of course. But how does a GM run this situation? Like this of course!
Spin the cylinder: A player can spin the cylinder an infinite number of times. (However you should punish players trying to "buy time" by abusing this fact.) When they do this they roll a d6 and the result is the number that will kill them when they pull the trigger. For example if Jostalph spins and the result is 6 when he pulls the trigger and the result is 6 he's just coated the wall with a fresh coat of brains.
Pull the trigger: Roll a d6. If the result is your spin the cylinder number you're dead. By default this number is 1 if a player decides not to spin at all.
The d6 is a metaphor for the revolver but this short system can apply for any item capable of randomly killing the player. Playing a friendly game of toss the lit bomb? How about that spooky jar you found that sometimes summons an otherworldly maw to chomp your head off? In that case this system is just what you are looking for!