Friday, August 17, 2018

GLOG: Rules: Death & Dismemberment

I kicked off my Hot Spring Island campaign last Sunday over discord. The PCs were hired by the Bootstrap Bay Trading Company to track down and kill a Dire Boar that had been wrecking the company's expeditions left and right. 

Eventually they discovered the boar's lair and lured it out, were they discovered that this particular specimen was more magnetic than your average boar. With their pistols nearly being ripped from their hands, and the weapons of failed expeditions flying at them like shrapnel from a furry IED, the PCs eventually slew the beast. But not before Lorens D'Arron was impaled by a giant ivory tusk.

This is when my Death & Dismemberment rules came into play, and the point that I realized I never put them to writing. And with Death & Dismemberment being a hot topic of late, I thought I'd take this opportunity to do just that.

Death & Dismemberment

When you're dropped to 0 HP or less, roll 1d6 + Excess Damage and reference the result on the appropriate table of Courtney's "A Table for Avoiding Death." Any Bleed, Internal Bleed, and Pain dice are taken as Death Dice.

If you're dealt damage while you have Death Dice, roll 1d6 + Damage + Death Dice.

Critical hits as well as attacks that deal max damage also cause characters to gain Death Dice. Roll 1d6 + Damage and reference the results as above. 

Every round in which you have Death Dice, if you exert yourself make a CON check. If you fail, you gain a fatal wound.

If you have a fatal wound, you're unconscious, and you'll die in 1d6 + CON mod rounds. Your fatal wound can be stabilized by rolling a 1 on a d6. Alternatively an ally can attempt to stabilize your wounds by rolling under half their Intelligence. Regardless of the method, if you're stabilized you won't regain consciousness until your Death Dice are cleared and you're healed to 1 HP.

Magical Healing clears 1 Death Dice for every 2 points of HP healed. Death Dice can also be cleared by resting for at least 6 hours.


Round 1
Lorens D'arron is staring down the snout of the Dire Boar. It wins initiative and charges. It's Attack roll hits and it rolls a 12 for maximum damage.

The DM makes the Injury roll. The result is a 13. Lorrens' nose is pierced by the boar's giant tusk and ripped off, giving him 2 Death Dice and the Shaken status.

Unfortunately it gets even worse for Lorens as he only had a max HP of 4. So a second Injury roll is made. He rolls 3d6+8 (3d6 because of his 2 Death Dice and +8 because of the excess damage.)

The result is 15. 1 of his fingers is ripped off and his arm disabled as the boar's tusk impales his limb. His pistol clinks against the ground. Additionally he is staggered, loses 1 point of DEX, and gains another 2 Death Dice.

Now it is Lorens' turn. Despite his great injuries, he bravely presses forward, pulling his dagger out of its sheathe. He makes his Con check. And he makes it with a 13!

Round 2
Lorens has carved into the boar and decides to keep it up. He wins initiative this time and moves in for the attack. He makes his second Con check, and fails with a nat 19! His wounds get the best of him and he falls unconscious, and he will die within 2 rounds if he is left unchecked.

Round 3
Lorens' ally, Shuren Qin-Zheng, attempts to stabilize his compatriot. He succeeds with a nat 1! Lorens may be out for the count but his life is saved.

Later that night Lorens awakens to the smell of pork roasting over a spit.

by Ludvik Skopalik

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Revisiting the Time Wizard

I got to play my Time Wizard for the first time yesterday playtesting an introductory adventure for Arnold K. I only got to cast 1 time wizard spell but I felt that was enough to justify a revisit to the class.

What follows is my own personal critiques of the features in my Time Wizard class. Perks, spells, dooms, etc are quoted; my own thoughts are italicized

Perk: When you would roll a boon or bane, you can reroll one of the d6s once.
Unfortunately for my character Arnold K does not use boons or banes in his GLOG games. This isn't a bad thing, but going forward I'll consider avoiding designing around Banes and Boons specifically. The GLOG scene is subdivided into people who use Boons & Banes and people who use plain +/- modifiers; the two are not easily interchangeable.

Drawback: Magic that would grant you boons, or would alter the possibility of your rolls positively, has no effect on you.
The wording on this is weird. It was meant to offset the strong perk, but I could have worded it better. The intent behind it is that Time Wizards are the only beings in existence with free will, and as a result magical constructs such as luck and fortune have no effect on them.

1. Change your appearance to that of a child, an adult, or an old person. 
2. Tell how old an object is just by looking at it. 
3. Detect the closest temporal disturbance. A disturbance is any effect that influences time. You can sense the direction in which the disturbance occurs, but you can't gleam its exact nature.

Cantrip 1 came in handy during Arnold's game. We encountered a small hole that was barely large enough for an adult to fit through, so I aged down to a child and crawled down like the chimney sweep I was destined to be. Also helped in calming down a child victim of a witch that the party discovered. So this cantrip is pretty good in my book.

Cantrip 2 I'm on the fence about even though it seems fine. I used it a few times to identify the age of a few objects that seemed suspicious, and even though my suspicion ended up having merit, knowing their age didn't really help. I feel like this cantrip lacks "oomph" but I think the full extent of its use has yet to be seen.

3 was absolutely useless and I know exactly why. I mean what the heck is a temporal disturbance anyway? Yes I know I define it one sentence later, and even though it's thematically suitable, unless the campaign you're in revolves around time, this cantrip just feels useless. Definitely back to the drawing board with this one.

1. Minor Paradox
R: 0
T: Self
D: 0
When you cast this spell, you may remove an action from the last [dice] rounds. Alternatively you may insert an action.
This is the 1 spell I cast and it was more of a headache than exciting or useful. Arnold hit the nail on the coffin with his critique. It's just too annoying to force the DM to keep track of combat rounds, and the nature of the spell gives the wizard a "get out of jail free card" that is all-encompassing with no downside. So rather than salvage this spell I think it's better to just replace it entirely.

1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours. 
2. Take 1d6 damage. 
3. Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with a -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail. 
4. You lose your Perk for 1d6 Turns. 
5. You lose all sense of time for 1d6 Turns. You automatically lose Initiative rolls and are always surprised. 
6. You're stuck in a time loop. For the next d6 Rounds, Save or repeat your last action. 

1. You age 2d10 years. 
2. Each time you cast a Time Wizard spell, Save or the spell causes a temporal disturbance. 
3. A clone of yourself from a different time period appears in the world. Its mission is to obliterate you.

Mishaps and dooms didn't come up during the adventure because everyone was level 1, but I'll take this opportunity to talk about them anyway. First off, I suck at coming up with Mishaps and Dooms. Maybe that's why my early attempts at making wizard classes lack them for the most part. With that said, this wasn't a half-bad attempt on my part.

Mishaps 1-3 are par for the course.
Mishap 4 is iffy for the same reason the perk is iffy.
Mishap 5 seems underwhelming. Losing all sense of time should have more consequences than just losing initiative rolls and constantly being surprised. But it feels so vague that it needs some sort of concreteness to make it work. Leaving it as just "You lose all track of time" doesn't seem like it will cause any inconvenience in the middle of a fight.
Mishap 6 I actually like. It can lead to some interesting scenarios on its own.

Going into the Dooms, I went into it with the Elementalist's Dooms in mind. That is to say, the more you fucked with time the more it fucked with you.

Doom 1 is fine. It's a warning shot from Time itself. This is the slap on the wrist. Go any farther and there will be actual consequences.
Doom 2 is iffy for the same reason Mishap 4 and the perk are iffy.
Doom 3 I like but it might be too vague. It essentially just adds an extra head of broccoli on the DM's plate. "Ugh now I gotta figure out what this evil twin is doing and how it's going to effect the party. ugggggh!" 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

GLOG: Class: Time Wizard

"Where Time is but a loop, a loose stitch in the universal cloth, a time wizard might seize upon a chance, a fatal slip—and plunge the fate of planets into chaos."-Moebius the Time Streamer

Time Wizards are the wild cards in the deck that is Time. 

On Elsai, Time Wizards are more often called timestreamers, but they are referred to most of all as lords.
All timestreamers serve the Time Lich Kshar-mutti as his agents, advisers, and spearhead his military campaigns. Their status allows them a degree of privilege over the common masses, which fear the timestreamers for their iron rule.

by, Raphael Massarani

Wizard: Time

Perk: When you would roll a boon or bane, you can reroll one of the d6s once.

Drawback: Magic that would grant you boons, or would alter the probability of your rolls positively, has no effect on you.

1. Change your appearance to that of a child, an adult, or an old person.
2. Tell how old an object is just by looking at it.
3. Detect the closest temporal disturbance. A disturbance is any effect that influences time. You can sense the direction in which the disturbance occurs, but you can't gleam its exact nature.

by, Jonathon Reed

Time Wizard Spell List

1. Minor Paradox
R: 0
T: Self
D: 0
When you cast this spell, you may remove an action from the last [dice] rounds. Alternatively you may insert an action. 

2. To Dust
R: Touch
T: One Creature or Object
D: 0
You isolate the target object's existence and shift it through the timestream to the instance of it's most decrepit state. Books rot into mold, wood softens into pulp, lamps burn out, but stone is unaffected. If cast on a creature, the target ages [sum] years and might suffer the maladies of old age.

3. Flux Shield
R: Touch
T: One Creature
D: Concentration
You surround the target creature with a temporal flux field. The field causes the target to take only half damage from physical attacks. The other half is flung into the future. When the target has taken [sum] future damage, the spell ends and all damage is taken at once. Additionally any spells cast on the target take effect [dice] rounds later than normal.

4. Speed Gate 
R: 60'
T: 0
D: Concentration
You create a flat paper-thin gate 10' tall and 10' wide. One side of the gate is red while the other side is yellow. The gate cannot be moved once created, but you can chose which side faces you when you cast this spell. Creatures or objects that enter the red side of the gate travel an additional 1d8*10'; and if they enter the yellow side they travel 1d8*10' less. Additionally projectiles launched through the gate deal +/- [dice] damage. The spell ends automatically when the result of all d8s rolled equals [sum].

5. Magic Missile
R: 50'
T: Varies
D: 0
You unleash [dice] darts of coruscating energy from your hands that streak unerringly towards your target like ethereal piscids. You produce [dice] missiles and may divide them between targets as you see fit. Each missile does 1d4+[dice] damage.

6. After Image 
R: 0
T: Self
D: Concentration
You conjure timestamps of yourself seconds away from the present to surround you. You create 1d4+[dice] after images of yourself, which move and always stay within 5' of you. When attacked, roll to see if the enemy hits you or an after image. An after image vanishes after solid impact. Area effects will cause all images to vanish.

7. Temporal Shove
R: 30'
T: One Creature
D: [dice] Rounds
You fling a creature forward through the timestream. They appear to vanish from reality all together only to reappear [dice] rounds later. An affected creature isn't aware of the shift in time; from their perspective everything appears to suddenly shift around. When you cast this spell you must succeed on a Wisdom check or you're the one who is flung forward through time.

8. Stasis
R: Touch
T: One Creature
D: [sum] Minutes
The target creature is placed into a state of suspended animation, no save. The target's bodily functions cease and they grow no older.  This spell only affects creatures up to [sum] HD. If sum is 4 times the target's HD, the duration becomes permanent, and you can set the only condition that will cause the target to reanimate.

9. Temporal Bubble
R: 0
T: 20' diameter 
D: [dice]*10 Minutes
This spell creates a temporal bubble centered over the caster. Time will pass by faster inside the bubble while time outside will flow at the normal rate. This allows for 10 minutes to pass inside for every 1 minute outside. From the outside looking in everything will appear to be a blur, while for inside observers everything outside appears to move very slow.

10. Devolve
R: 60'
T: One Creature
D: [dice]+5 Rounds
You reverse the target's evolutionary clock to the most savage stage of their species' existence, save negates. The target gains d6+[dice] Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution; while losing d6+[dice] Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma (minimum 1). If the target's Intelligence falls below 5, they will eschew weapons for a claw/claw/bite attack (1d2/1d2/1d4; or +1/+1/+2 if the target already has this attack). The target must Save at the end of the duration or the effect is permanent.

11. Time Stop
R: 0
T: 0
D: [dice]+2 Rounds

You freeze the flow of time completely. This spell is the antithesis of time. As a result you gain [dice] banes for your next [dice] Rounds once the spell has ended.

12. Timestreaming Device  
R: 0
T: Device / Caster+[dice] Creatures
D: 0

This spell imbues a device with the power to travel through time. Constructing the device requires 1 week of work, a 10,000gp investment, and the casting of this spell on it. After these requirements have been met, you may cast this spell again to travel [sum] time into the past or future as long as you have the device on your person. The device counts as an oversized item. The amount of time that you can chose to travel through depends on the [sum] rolled.

1-4: Days
5-8: Months
9-12: Years
13-16: Decades
17-20: Centuries
21+: Millennia

by, Alex McC

1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2. Take 1d6 damage.
3. Random mutation for 1d6 Rounds, then Save with a -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail.
4. You lose your Perk for 1d6 Turns.
5. You lose all sense of time for 1d6 Turns. You automatically lose Initiative rolls and are always surprised.
6. You're stuck in a time loop. For the next d6 Rounds, Save or repeat your last action.

1. You age 2d10 years.
2. Each time you cast a Time Wizard spell, Save or the spell causes a temporal disturbance.
3. A clone of yourself from a different time period appears in the world. Its mission is to obliterate you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

GLOG: Class: Samurai

You gain +1 Initiative for every Samurai template that you posses. You gain +1 Move for every two samurai templates you posses.

A Bladestorm, Dodge
B Kiai
C Danger Sense, +1 Attack
D Tsubame Gaishi

Once per combat, you can make X+1 melee attacks where X is the number of Samurai templates you possess. Each attack must be against a different target. You can move up to 10ft between each attack.

While unarmored, you get +1 Defense per level, up to a maximum of +6

Once per day, you can unleash a fierce intimidating shout, causing all creatures within a 10ft radius and 1HD or less to make a Save vs Fear or take a morale check, flee from you, or surrender.

Danger Sense
If you are surprised, you have a 50% chance to act on the surprise round anyway.

Tsubame Gaishi
Once per combat, you can make an impossible unerring strike with your katana. Your attack automatically hits. Roll for damage normally. If your target isn't adjacent to you, you can teleport next to them to make the attack (reality-bending acrobatics, bursting from a cloud of cherry blossoms, etc). Or you can make the your melee attack from ranged (a cutting gust of wind, a whirling blade, etc).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

GLOG: Class: Seraph

You gain +1 HP for every Seraph template you possess.

A Forge, Vestments
B Soul Fire, Break, Enchant
C Heavy Eater
D Kaioken

You can pay 1 HP to materialize a weapon of any type in your hand. This weapon is called a caliber. Only you can wield your caliber. If it leaves your hands, it vanishes. If you throw a caliber, the Attack resolves first before it vanishes.

You gain +2 Defense against Melee Attacks for every Seraph template you possess. This bonus is only active if you're wearing no armor and carrying a weapon no larger than a dagger.

Soul Fire
When you hit with an Attack using one of your calibers, you can pay X HP to deal 2X additional damage to your target.

You can pay X HP to break one of your calibers and deal X damage in a [your number of templates]*10' radius. You ignore the damage.

When you use your Forge ability, you can pay an additional d6 HP to give your caliber a minor magical effect. Minor magical effects don't boost stats nor can they force a target to Save.

Heavy Eater
If you consume double the required rations when taking a lunch, you restore an additional d6 HP.

Once per day can pay d8 HP to increase your Attack and Movement each by the amount of HP lost until the end of the round.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

SDWC: Rules: Character Generation

This is how you make a character in Sex, Drugs, and Walled Cities.

1. Generate Ability Scores.
Roll your stats using the following method. Roll 4d6k3. Then assign that result to one ability. Repeat 5 more times and consult the chart below.

chart by Michael Bacon

2. Roll a Failed Career.
Your failed career was the nine-to-five you slaved away at before fate plucked you off your ass and buried you underneath a world of crime and violence.

Your failed career counts as a wheelhouse because it offered you some inside knowledge that your average Joe wouldn't know when you were working it.

3. Choose a Wheelhouse
Wheelhouses are overarching skills that you picked up in your life. Your Failed Career counts as one of them. Now you get to pick a second one.

Some classes offer you extra wheelhouses and you can invest time and money to learn more.

4. Choose a Class
Pick a class from the list. You gain Template A as well as any extras attached to the class.

5. Generate Derived Scores

Hit Points at first level = 6+Con mod.
After level 1 you gain d6+Con mod HP per level.

Stealth = 5+Dex mod-Encumbrance.

Move = 12+Dex mod-Encumbrance.

Save = 5+Cha mod+your number of templates.

Inventory = Strength Score+2.

6. Name your character
Pick a (un)suitable name for your character that slum dogs will remember for decades to come.

by Ehsan Fazeli

Sunday, June 3, 2018

SDWC: Race: Gongwarped Fishermen

Known colloquially as Gongheads, Gonks, Gongies, and Fush, Gongwarped Fishermen are mutant fish men that like to inhabit the liquid-veins of Gathox.

Additional Starting Equipment: Port-o-Lung, Freakshow Science Kit
Primary Ability: Intelligence

The Port-o-Lung is an invention that Gongwarped strap to their gills to allow them to convert oxygen from air. It takes up 1 inventory slot and if the Gongwarped is ever separated from their Port-o-Lung the Fish effect below applies to them.
The Freakshow Science Kit is a toolset of scientific instruments that allows the Fishermen to create their Mutant Freaks (see below.) It takes up 1 slot of inventory.

Gongwarped Fishermen begin with two random mutations from their player's favorite mutation table.

Gongwarped Fishermen can't breathe air. They can hold their breath for a number of minutes equal to their Constitution score. After this time they die from asphyxiation.

Team: Freakshow
Gongwarped Fishermen are masters of a pseudo-Frankenstein brand of science. As a result they are very adapt at stitching together Mutant Freaks.

Stitching together a Mutant Freak requires a flesh investment. The Fisherman can chose to take either 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6 Flesh damage. HP lost from taking Flesh damage is lost permanently, but if the Freak dies the Fisherman gains the HP back as the flesh crawls back to its body. The result is also the Freak's Loyalty score.

The Fisherman can invest Harvested Flesh when he rolls Flesh damage. Harvested Flesh is an item that takes up one slot worth of inventory. Harvested flesh can be harvested from fallen enemies at a rate of 1 per Turn up the the creature's HD. Alternatively it can be bought on the black market for 20gp a unit. Investing Harvested Flesh reduces Flesh damage by 1 point per unit invested.

One Fisherman can stitch together a 1 HD Assemblage.

Two Fisherman can stitch together a 2 HD Fresh Meat.

Three Fishermen can stitch together a 4 HD From the Depths.

Four Fishermen can stitch together a 6 HD Stitched One.

The DM has the rest of the Mutant Freak's statistics and special abilities.

by David Lewis Johnson