Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cars are people too

So the flailsnailers have looted themselves a truck so I figure it's about time I hash out car rules.

Ability Scores
Cars have ability scores just like characters and they are generated just like characters. The Ability Scores for cars are Hard, Rev, Drive, and Smarts

Hard as in how hard is the chassis. Cars with high Hard can take more hits and probably have steel plating or a similar padding.
Rev as in rev that engine. Cars with high Rev can travel farther and don't use up as much fuel. This is the main stat for determining how many hexes your car can travel before suffering mechanical failure.
Drive as in how she drives. Cars with high Drive can turn on a dime.
Smarts as in computer smarts. Not all cars are analog. Some are equipped with computer technology. This technology can vary from an advanced AI, like Knight Rider, or automatic parallel parking. Cars from the analog age don't have this ability score.

In order to even dent a car a source has to deal 10+ damage to it. Yes this means most conventional weaponry is useless against cars. You'd need something heavier, like a machine gun or rocket launcher to really do some damage.

When a car takes damage she makes a Hard save with a -1 penalty per 2 points of damage over 10.
For example if Mercedes the Mercedes took 16 damage from a Glory Rider's Hexsaw Buzzomatic Launcher, she would make her Hard save at -3.
If she makes the save, nothing happens; she's A-OK. But if she fails, her driver rolls 2d6 and references the Table of Vehicular Calamities (see below.)

A car can travel a number of hexes per day equal to her Rev score. So a car with a 16 Rev can travel 16 hexes in a 16 hour period. If her driver wishes to push her farther after this limit, she must make a Rev save. Failure means a permanent -1 to her Rev score due to the strain. As soon as the engine gets 4 hours of rest, she's good to go for another drive.

All cars require fuel. A car's tank is represented by her Fuel Die, which starts at a d12. After traveling through a hex, the driver rolls the car's fuel die. If the result come up 1, the Fuel die decreases a level. If this happens when the Fuel Die is on a d4, the car is out of gas.

For Example if Mercedes' driver drove her 8 hexes that day, starting with a full tank, he would roll a d12 8 times after exiting each hex and if any of them come up 1, her fuel die goes down each time.
Most fuel is carried in Fuel Canisters, which take up two slots of inventory per canister. Characters can empty canisters to increase their car's fuel die by one level.

For example if Mercedes was on d6 and her driver filled her up with one fuel canister, her fuel die would now be a d8.
A car has 20 slots of inventory with which to store stuff...That's it....

All cars need upkeep and maintenance. The cost of these is determined by a sliding, but consistent scale.

Upgrades/Repairs have 5 grades. They are Minor, Normal, Major, Severe, and Totaled. These grades are arbitrarily given by the DM (but in this DMs opinion this is not an issue and the DM will probably not use his gift of omnipresence to fuck you over.)

The cost of the repair or upgrade is equal to the grade's die (d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12 respectively) times 100gp.

So if Baby-Baby Jenkins wanted to get some cool new rims for his mustang, he would roll a d4(minor)*100gp. Turns out he rolls a 3 so those new rims are going to cost him 300gp. But fuck will he look cool!

The Table of Vehicular Calamities

2: BOOOM!! She goes up in a flaming ball of glory. Your car is completely destroyed instantly and her passengers take 4d6 damage from the explosion (save for half.)

3: Blowout! A wheel is shot. Your char is immobilized and requires repairs to get running again.

4: Fuel Leak! The tank is fucked. At the end of each round/turn/hex, roll your car's fuel die. Now it goes down on a 1—4.

5: Barrel Roll! Make a Drive save with penalty. If you fail your car flips over, causing 2d6 damage to everyone inside, and needs to be flipped right-side-up before she can move again.

6—8: -d6 points from a random ability score. If an ability score reaches zero, the car is disabled and needs repairs.

9: Road bump! Lose a random item located in your car's storage. Passengers take d4 damage from bumping their heads.

10: Surprise! A secret compartment you were unaware of up until this point opens and be determined by the player. The only stipulation is that it isn't anything good.

11—12: Why nothing at all!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Scouring Sands of Skourenthe, Session 2: A Truck Named Bitchin

The session began with Goblini, Brutal Pete, Pitwin, Chris, and The Deud dropping out of FLAILSNAIL space within The Slippery Spot. The party noticed some new faces lounging around and figured out they were Glory Riders. Goblini recruited a rider named Slapp for his mechanical skills for a generous payment of 10 gold.

The party hiked their way back to the decrepit tower of Kazak where they found the gap left by Magic Meryl's Floating Disc spell still intact. Without hesitation Goblini sent a squad of 4 goblins through the gap, but they triggered a tripwire and released a pitfall of shit, piss, splintered bronze armor, and quartered and decapitated corpses. 2 goblins perished and the survivors smelled something awful.

Pressing on, the party found themselves in the dining hall were Chris P's character spied on 3 of the ominous hogmen feasting on the half-charred, half-rotten carcass of the gorilla-bear. They were quickly dispatched after Goblini's goblins sprang to action with a volley of gunfire as the rest of the party engaged. The hogmen's possessions totaled 120sp and was hidden among their shit-glued strands of hair.

The party made their way to the ramp which lead to The Underground and discovered it had been re-greased. They burned it away and descended into the darkness were they found a gross pile of refuse, corpses, and bile. The party traded gear and banter as they decided wether to take the worked stone hallway to the east or the snaking tunnel to the west. But as they talked 5 of the corpses rose from the refuse and came at them! However, due to Brutal Pete's dwarfiness he was able to scare the necromantic energies out of them with a bang of his implements!

Shortly after the zombies fell a hulking humanoid figure approached from the east hallway. The party hid and discovered the humanoid was a human man with a huge gut that stood well over six feet tall! He wore nothing more than an executioner's hood and a black loincloth. "Hurr hurr hurr!" the figure said to himself as he walked back the way he came. The Deud introduced him as Slutman, a "fucking idiot" that kept an eye on Kazak's workshop. And no you don't want to know how he got that name! Chris P's character decided to befriend Slutman and he responded to his friendship with a "hurr hurr hurr!" and a childish gaze. Chis P asked Slutman to show them where the workshop was and he replied with a "hurr hurr hurr". Realizing speech was getting him nowhere fast, Chris P placed a tool he happened to have in Slutman's hand and asked him to put it back were it belonged. Slutman replied with a "hurr hurr hurr" retrieving a ring of keys from his loincloth and presumably lead the way.

The Slutman

The party's faith in Slutman was rewarded! He had lead them to a WE hallway stretching 90 feet with 5 solid iron doors with eyeslats on them—presumably Kazak's workshop. In the first cell the party found a bloody operating table with corpses and chunks of meat hanging from hooks and chains. In the second they discovered a black desk which held a strange chinstrap device that had a circular plate that looked as if something could be screwed into it. They also discovered a display case that held 7 jars of formaldehyde, each of which possessed a big good-looking cock. The party swiped it all before moving on to the next cell.

The third cell lead to a large room which contained a 1953 Ford F 100. The paint had long been blasted away and was covered in splotches of rust. But the suspension had been raised as far as it could go and the tires appeared suitable for desert travel. On each car door the word BITCHIN was written in droopy red spray paint. Alas the keys were nowhere to be found and, worse yet, the steering wheel was missing! Goblini ordered Slapp to get to work at fixing these issues but Slapp felt another payment of 10g was in order for dragging him all the way out here. Generous Goblini complied. Unfortunately Slapp was only able to get the car running and couldn't jigger up a steering wheel. Fortunately Brutal Pete has a knack for these kinds of things and was able to jigger up a steering wheel. But before hitting the UP button out of here, the party decided to find where Kazak kept all his shit.

Bitchin looks something like this

Chris P reminded Slutman of the tool he gave him and the buffoon ran off down the hallway, passed the fourth cell, and opened the fifth cell where the party found an ornate chest with finely made high quality BDSM gear—whips, chains, masks, the works! As the party collected the BDSM gear and searched the room some more, they head a plopping sound from behind them and noticed some ectoplasmic foot prints that weren't there before. They paid no heed and continued their search until a decrepit looking humanoid wearing worn chainmail with eyes of sparkling red accosted them! Upon engaging the party discovered 9 more of the creatures pouring out of the fourth cell, with a feminine one holding open the cell, pointing and laughing and screaming "DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!"

At this time, The Deud revealed a spear from his robes ad pointed it at Pitwin, saying "Now I've got you!" before Pitwin knocked him out with a sleep spell. Meanwhile Goblini pulled out a strange artifact and, channeling all of its power, dispelled the necromantic spell that gave the vile monstrosities life.

Feeling the call of FLAILSNAIL space approaching, the party grabbed their truck and warped out back to Vyzor.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Scouring Sands of Skourethe, Session 1

The session began with Magic Meryl, Pitwin, and Goblini being safely deposited from FLAILSNAIL space in the sandblasted town of Slag. (Sapphean seemed to have taken a wrong turn somewhere at trans-temporal avenue.) Slag seemed abandoned until Meryl called out "Hello!" and several malnourished wretches curiously crawled out of their boarded-up hovels.

Goblini and company quickly befriended the wretches by cooking a stew and purifying their spoiled food. They learned from Kurkl, seemingly the only decently healthy human in town and owner of The Slippery Spot tavern, that Slag has been accosted by Hogmen allied with the evil sorcerers Kazak and Mel residing in the two towers to the east. Goblini learned that the hogmen raid the town in a bitchin' truck and decided to free the wretches of their oppressors. The wretches celebrated their new saviors by throwing a party with billybean beer and a whole lot of drugs.

The next day the PCs set out east and found themselves at the entrance to a decrepit looking tower covered in graffiti. An iron door speckled with sharp spikes, from which a multitude of guts and bits hung from, welcomed them. Magic Meryl used her non-Tenser's Floating Disc to dislodge the door from below, squishing it like an accordion and Goblini sent in his goblins.

Unfortunately the Goblins triggered a false ceiling trap and Spooky, His Excellence, and AGURHAGA were crushed to death. That's when the Gorilla-Bear burst through the north door—and yes a Gorilla-Bear is exactly what it sounds like.

Yup...That's a Gorilla-Bear
That's when Sapphean found his way out of FLAILSNAIL space and delivered the final blow with his poisonous fangs. Finally reunited the PCs pressed on.

The next room proved to be a dining hall with a long wooden table and several once regal tapestries that were now graffiti'd with tits, dicks, and black speech. Sat at the table, deep in his cups was the hairy ogre named Mung that was sick of all the killing Kazak made him do. The PCs quickly befriended Mung and learned from him that the hogmen kept their truck in "The Underground." Upon asking where that was Mung pointed to a door which hid an alcove.

Inside the alcove was a defaced and grafitti'd bust sat on a podium above a shag carpet. Mung said the entrance to the underground was below that. Goblini put his goblins to work and they unfortunately triggered a puke gas trap, which caused all the goblins to convulse and spew their dinner all over the place. Sapphean, sensing opportunity, quickly jumped in and sucked up a good whiff of the puke gas to absorb it's magical properties. The only problem was now everyone was puking and convulsing all over the place; the PCs decided to take a break.

Despite all this commotion, the supposed hogmen did not accost them during the PCs' hour break Funny that. Meanwhile Goblini had discovered a silver ring embossed with a black skull that turned out to be a Ring of Undead Control hidden inside the bust. 

Upon returning to the entrance, the PCs discovered that the shag carpet had mysteriously disappeared. Mung gladly ripped off the locked trapdoor to the underground, revealing a greasy ramp that disappeared into darkness. Goblini lit the grease on fire and sent down a goblin scout. The scout found a lot of trash, corpses, and skeletons, and was more than happy to get the heck out of there.

Deciding to leave The Underground alone for now, the PCs pressed on and discovered a room that looked like someone's personal quarters, equipped with a large bed, a writing desk, and a chest. Meryl opened the chest to discover a nearly-naked green-mustached gnome sleeping inside. He was rather upset. The PCs bullied the gnome into forking over his loot and he gladly obliged. Samuel the Goblin retrieved the gnome's coin hidden under the false bottom of the chest but not before his hands were sliced off by a whirling blade trap and died of the subsequent blood loss. The gnome, who would later introduce himself as "The Deud", laughed and twirled his mustache.

Before FLAILSNAIL space kicked in the PCs threw The Deud into his chest and kidnapped him to parts unknown.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

This post is a GLOG hack

So I've had this idea for an RPG floating around in my head forever and I'm sick of thinking about it. So I'm going to outline it in this very blog post.

Calling this rpg an rpg might be incorrect because it's not standalone. It is in fact a hack of Arnold's rpg GLOG because GLOG is great and lovely and I love templates. Regardless, this hack/rpg is called Verge because single syllable names for rpgs is the rage these days. Now Let's get into the meat and potatoes

Ability Checks
GLOG uses a roll under system but I'll be using a roll over system for Verge because I'm overly attached to nat 20s. Just roll a d20 and add the relevant ability score. If it beats a target number of 20, the roll is a success. The math is the exact same as a roll under system but flipped.

To physically accost something roll Strength or Dexterity. Your target's armor is applied as a penalty to this roll.

Armor is divided into light (+2), medium (+4), and heavy (+6). Shields, helmets, cool hats, and accouterments add +1 armor each.

Mortal wounds dealt with most weaponry is d6. Two-handed weapons, such a claymores, and dual-wielded weapons, such as twin katanas, deal +1 damage. Firearms and unique weapons deal exploding damage.

Verge uses a single type of save to avoid danger. To save Roll a d20 and beat a target number of 15. This target number decreases by 1 point for every level after first.

Hit Points
New characters begin with hit points equal to their Constitution score and gain d6 hit points per level after that.

Roll DEX. Encumbrance is applied as a penalty.

Roll 1d6, either for the group or individually. Ties are resolved with the highest Wisdom. Group ties go to the PCs.

(optional) Skills
Verge uses Benjamin David's skill rules. New characters begin with 3 skill points. These points can be invested in skills up to three ranks. Rank 1 is "Skilled", rank 2 is "Expert", and rank 3 is "Master". A vague "jack of all trades" roll is permitted to all characters. In this case the character rolls as "Unskilled".
Vague skills get vague results. Characters should be encouraged to pursue specific skills. i.e. don't pursue "Science", pursue "Biology" or "Geology".

Everything Else
GLOG....GLOG is everything else.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Criminals of El-Sai: Bagolo The Exiled

I'm participating in Santicore for the first time ever this year and my request is "Enemies of the (werid?) state(s), their crimes, and their punishment should they be caught". So I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce some of the ne'er do wells of El-Sai.

The submitter asked that his request be delivered in table form, but I thought each criminal deserved a detailed post. So after the 6, 12, or 20 criminals that bless the rogue gallery with their mugs, I'll compile them all in a link-filled table.

So without further ado, allow me to call in our first scoundrel.

Bagolo The Exiled

What does he look like? Like most giants, Bagolo stands tall—16 feet to be exact. He's mostly humanoid. One arm, One leg, a head with an eye and an ear, that sort of stuff. But like all giants, where his belly should be there spins a galaxy, a portal to a new world—or so they say. But Bagolo's galaxy has dimmed with old age, as has his face, now craggy and sallow, and his skin, now grey and covered in warts and liver spots. But there is never not a smile on this old giant's cracked lips.

What does he do? Bagolo spends his days leaning against a mighty redwood in the Forest of Purrs, carving crude wooden statues of mangled woodland creatures. He is too weak to hunt anymore so he depends on his giant wolf Skaxi to bring him food. But he likes to walk the forest still, so he finds strength within him to grab his great totem and stride to a not-so-far-off river to retrieve water.

What does he want? Bagolo wants what any giant wants—information. He loves to be regaled with heroic tales as much to be assuaged with lessons on philosophy. He loves new words, mathematical proofs, and especially stories to fill his infinite mind.

What is his crime? Bagolo's crime is cowardice. During the ceremony in which he was to become a sacred Durgamat, that is to say a great keeper of knowledge destined to live out his eternal life as a blind stump chained to the walls of the Halls of Omniscience, only allowed to speak when some crazed Bigjmat, that is to say a keeper of durgamats, needed his knowledge, Bagolo cried for mercy. After his eye was plucked, his arm chopped, and his leg sliced, this mercy was given. Afterwards he was given his totem, the object that would mark him as a Zindimat, that is to say a hoarder of knowledge, and exiled from Spectagauss, the great city of giants where the summits rake the clouds. 

What is his punishment? Bagolo's exile was only a temporary reprieve, what giants might call a time out. So now Bagolo is being hunted by those that imprisoned him to freedom. Upon being found he will be caught and brought back to Spectaguass and forced to finish the ceremony. He will become durgamat.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

State of the Blog

So I've left this blog barren for nearly two weeks now. My only excuses are a heavy workload and general burnout. However I have been dutifully adding to my pit so here's a preview of things to come in the following weeks.

Redux Death Marcher
I feel I rushed the Death Marcher class and I can do better. So first on the list is a redux of that class. I'll be making two versions. The first will be an OSR version that can fit into any retroclone with minimal tweakage. The second will be a version for Arnold's GLOG system.

Wundergauss and El-Sai
Wundergauss is a city located on a planet named El-Sai. They're both really cool and awesome but you wouldn't know that because I haven't written much about them yet. The best way to describe the later is that is is a post-apocalyptic planet without the apocalypse part. The world is full of hellish landscapes, and all that Neolithic Hobbes-infused savagery that everyone devolves into after an apocalypse. The former is like the City from Mountains of Madness but the humans moved in.

My Fantasy Heartbreaker
I am in the boat that limitation breeds creativity and in this hobby limitation translates to system, and system translates to RPGs. I could easily pick a system and stick with that but there are no terms like my terms. Also, pledging loyalty to a particular system is fine and all, I've never met a soul that's ran someone else's system RAW. They tweak it to suit their needs. Some people like percentile skills. Some Don't. Some people like descending AC. Some don't. So the goal with this fantasy heartbreaker is to write down all the rules that I like to use, for one reason or another, and go from there.

I rarely have enough time to run for my home group these days so I am going to branch out into the wonderful world of flailsnails! This gives me an opportunity to make some tables and pick and pull from the modules I haven't run yet *cough Hot Spring Island *cough*. I expect to be ready by mid November if everything goes according to plan.

As for The Cosmic Cephalopod, Ceph will have to wait. Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of a universe-as-squid but I think I bit off more than I could chew for this project and I lost passion for it after the Cephasite post. But who knows, maybe we'll hear from Ceph sooner rather than later.

I have dozens of other inspirations stewing in my pit. For example the most recent note is "Cretaceous Cops" and that will definitely become a thing!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Life After Death Table

I've been in a malaise lately so I made this table about not dying.

Upon death roll a d12 and reference the following table:

1-5—All that stuff about the afterlife? Nonsense! You're dead as dirt! Enjoy an eternity of nothingness and blackness chump!

6—The trauma of your demise summons necrotic energies that reanimiate your corpse into a minion of undeath with HD equal to your levels. The minion has all of your gear, statistics, and abilities; and they are super evil and the DM controls them!

7—You are for all intents and purposes ressurected. Boring!

8—A god of death raises you as a Revenant. This god grants you exactly one year of undeath to enact revenge against your killer(s), then your body crumbles to dust and your soul flies into the great beyond.

9—Your spirit reamins in the mortal realm as a Ghost.

10—You are recombobulated as a random non-undead monster with HD equal to your levels.

11—Your latent mutant genes save you from death's door. You are for all intents and purposes ressurected, but return to life with a random major mutation.

12—Turn out you were John Carpenter's The Thing all along! Who would of guessed!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Death Marchers

+cecil howe has been killing it lately with his inktober submissions over on his website and his most recent submission has inspired me to write up a class thingamabob. Also he and John Anderson have created a twitter bot that will occasionally pump out RPG hooks. And it's crowdsourced! So if you'd like to submit an entry follow that link!

Death Marchers precede the dead to places the living can't tread. Brass, woodwind, and percussion in hand they play final lamenting dirges through dry deserts, icy tundras, and dense forests. Their haunting music ends only when the dead are buried or death has claimed them.

The Death Marcher
Hit Dice: d6
Saves: Fighter
XP to Level 2: 2,250 
Spellcasting Ability: Wizard

Instruments of Steel - To the Death Marchers music and violence come hand in hand. Therefore their tools are forged as instrument and weapon. Roll a d6 twice to determine the instrument and its weaponry.

Instrument Types
  1. Brass (Cornets, Trumpets, Tubas, etc.)
  2. Wind (Clarinets, Oboes, Flutes, etc.)
  3. Percussion (Drums, Cymbals, Xylophones, etc.)
  4. String (Guitars, Lutes, Sitars, etc.)
  5. Keyboard (Accordions, Harmonicas, Synths, etc.)
  6. Other (Bagpipes forged from the lungs of a dead god, etc.)

Weapon Types
  1. Big Ass Axe - d10 damage, reach.
  2. Boomerblade - d6 damage, throwable, comes back to you.
  3. A Boring Sword - d8 damage
  4. Wires, Hooks, and Barbs. Oh my! - d4 damage, reach, can be used like a whip to trip people or snatch objects out of their hand. Damage causes the target to bleed for 1hp per round; the bleeding can only be staunched with magical healing or first aid. The bleeding stacks.
  5. Kerosene and Steel - d6 damage, can be ignited on command, illuminating like a torch, and dealing +1 damage.
  6. I Need Monster Power! - deals no damage, but playing it allows the Death Marcher to summon a random monster with HD equal to 1/2 his level (round up).

Personal Dead - You carry your Personal Dead with you, whether its in a square coffin, a large sac, or chained to your back. Your goal is to escort your personal dead to their final resting place. Use Skerples' Table of Camp Followers or your favorite NPC generator to determine who they were in life. For determining their final resting place, I recommend opening your favorite hexcrawl and picking the most remote dangerous hex on that map; or you could just make a place up that's filled with fuck all danger.

New Spells

Black Parade
Target: Self
Duration: d20+level days

Death Marchers travel to distant and dangerous lands where food and water are ill found. This spell allows the Death Marcher to forego food, water, and sleep for the duration of the spell. However once the spell ends, the Death Marcher incurs all the fatigue-related penalties he would have incurred without this spell.

Dead March 
Target: One
Duration: 1 Turn/level

This spell enchants the target with great speed. The target moves at double movement speed, as if effected by the Haste spell, but cannot deviate from his path. This means they can move forward but not backwards, left, right, or diagonally in anyway. Unwilling targets may save versus Magic to avoid this effect.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Cephasites

I am working on a Manual of Planes style post for the Cosmic Cephalopod, henceforth known as Ceph, which is the giant squid goddess that ties all of my settings together. It's looking like it's going to be a relatively big project and I'd rather not leave the blog barren for 2+ weeks just to reappear with a giant post. So I thought I would make several posts instead and end the series with a wiki-style post to compile everything in one place.

These first eleven or so posts will feature entries on the wandering monster table I'll be using for Ceph and will showcase the fauna that call her skin home.

So without further ado, allow me to introduce the cuddliest entry on the Ceph Wandering Monsters Table, the Cephasites.

Cephasites are alien mollusc-things that pepper Ceph's arms in giant mounds that look like coral reefs of scintillating colors. All cephasites have chromatophores in their skin that they use to communicate with one another and, in the worker's case, use to hunt.

Their society is broken into three castes. They are workers, soldiers, and reproducers.

A Worker (Art by Tyler Smith)
The cephasite worker is about a foot long and looks like an ant with the abdomen of a spider and the head of a cuttlefish. Its mandibles hide two tentacles, which it can launch to catch small prey or bludgeon large prey to death. The worker uses its chromatophores to change color rapidly in order to confuse prey.

Workers are the most numerous caste within a mound and their main job is to feed the soldiers and reproducers, expand and repair mounds, and hunt.

Workers are the only caste of cephasites that PCs will encounter outside of mounds.

Cephasite Workers
HD X AC Unarmored Tentacle dX Movement 40ft

Swarm - Workers hunt in swarms numbering 2d10+10. They have X hit points and roll a dX for damage rolls were X is their numbers. When a swarm takes damage their numbers are reduced by the same amount.

Mesmerize - The workers synchronize their chromatophores and unleash a rapidly changing array of colors when they hunt. Any creature that sees this color array must save versus paralyzation or act as if they had the Confusion spell cast on them until the swarm is neutralized.


The cephasite soldier caste is divided into two members. They are the walkers and floaters.

Soldiers jobs are to defend the mound from intruders.

Soldiers are only encountered inside or nearby cephasite mounds.

A Walker (Art by Tyler Smith)

The walker is about three feet tall and looks like an octopus standing with insectile arms. These are its legs and they are as sharp as daggers. Additionally it hides a sharp beak between the folds of its mantle and is capable of projectile vomiting a corrosive acid that it produces naturally.

Cephasite Soldier
HD 1 AC Leather d8 Arms d4 Beak d6 Movement 30ft

Projectile Acid d8 - If this attack misses but would have hit the target without factoring in armor, then that target's armor incurs a permanent -1 penalty due to corrosion.


A Floater (Art by Tyler Smith)

The floater is about as large as the walker and it looks like a sky cuttlefish. A hollow bone inside its mantle is filled with a light gas that allows it to float. It maneuvers with small air jets and fins that act like wings. The floater hides a sharp proboscis behind its tentacles, which it uses to dive-bomb intruders and drain their blood.

Its brain is more developed than its walker compatriot and its eyes are more acute. Therefore floaters function as a relay network for their mound, interpreting signals from one member and repeating it to another. 

Cephasite Floater
HD 1 AC Leather Proboscis d8 Fly 30ft

Dive-bomb - The floater can descend rapidly on its prey to impale it with its proboscis. This requires its full movement speed and when it does it gets +2 to both attack and damage.

Drain - If a floater successfully hits with its proboscis, it latches on to its target and drains 1hp a round.


The reproducer caste is divided into two members. They are the Kings and Queens.

The role of the reproducers is to produce more cephasites. This is accomplished by male cephasites (kings) impregnating the females (queens).

reproducers are only encountered inside mounds.

A King (Art by Tyler Smith)

A king is much smaller than his queen counterpart. He's about as big as a worker but lacks any offensive capabilities besides its large mandibles. A king is capable of releasing pheromones that compel nearby soldiers to come to its aid if it comes under attack.

Cephasite King
HP 4 AC unarmored Mandibles d6 Movement 30

Pheromones -  The king unleashes a cloud of pheromones that attract d6+4 soldiers (50% walkers 50% floaters) in a 150ft area.


A Queen without her egg sac (Art by Tyler Smith)
A queen is the largest of the cephasites at 6 foot long. She is largely immobile as she nurses her young and must rely on workers and soldiers for nourishment and protection. She is capable of accelerating her reproductive system to produce a small amount of cephasite workers. These workers usually die after a few hours.

When a queen dies she releases a cloud of pheromones that has an enraging effect on nearby cephasites.

Cephasite Queen
HD 6 AC Leather Mandibles d6 Movement 10ft 

Raging Pheromones - Upon death the queen unleashes pheromones that cause cephasites within a 150ft area to go berserk for 24 hours. Under this rage the cephasites act as if the Confuse spell was cast on them and they get +2 to both attack and damage rolls.

Rapid Reproduction - After a round of inaction the queen can produce a swarm of 2d6+8 workers. These workers die after 6 hours of life.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meeks, Mooks, and More!

My last post was about the Cosmic Cephalopod, the squid-thing that ties all of my settings together. In that post I said traversing the surface of the Cephalopod was absolutely possible. So natural I asked myself what would it be like to traverse the surface of the Cosmic Cephalopod? Interestingly that lead to another question. What hangs out on the Cosmic Cephalopod? Or in other words what kind of shit can PCs encounter traipsing about this octo-god? Naturally that means a wandering monster table.

I have to admit that I'm inexperienced when it comes to wandering monster tables. I come from that generation of DMs that brought encounters with them to the table and when I discovered the OSR I got into the habit of borrowing tables from books. Well I doubt there's a table out there for an infinity-sized nautilus so it's time to but my own spin on the wandering monster table.

The PCs can run into meeks, mooks, henchmen, bosses, meatgrinders and gonzos.

Meeks are absolute trash. They serve no use other than to throw their bodies at the PCs. They usually have d4 hit points, deal d3 damage at best, and have an armor class that even the wizard can beat on average. Meeks are only a threat when their numbers are high because they stand a chance of overwhelming the PCs. For this reason meeks' No. Appearing roll is 3d4. Text book meeks include goblins, kobolds, and commoners.

Mooks are like a meek plus. They're still pretty shit but slightly more deadly. These guys get a whole Hit Die, wield real weapons, and actually wear armor. There's usually 2d4 of them. Mooks include orcs, zombies, and footmen.

Henchmen are badasses. These guys are as tough or a little bit tougher than PCs. Usually their NPCs with class-like abilities and can go mano-a-mano with PCs. Often times they'll have a wild card hidden up their sleeves (poison, magic, items, etc.) Their numbers depend on the PCs but I usually shoot for 4-6.

Bosses fuck the PCs up. They are either hard as hell to hit or tough as nails and their hits can chunk a foo. One is more than enough to threaten a party of PCs. These are the gelatinous cubes, ogres, and warlords.

Meatgrinders are monsters that the PCs stand no chance of survival against conventionally. Combat ain't going to cut it. Now a lot of DMs will throw down a monster that hits like a mac truck or giggles at the PCs crits, expecting the party to run away, and I have to say that isn't my style.
What I tend to go for is intelligent monsters that have a personality—or in other words are interesting.
For example, say the PCs encounter the ghost of a girl who's looking for her lost family. She won't attack the party unless they, like, bully her or attack her, and she might be grateful if you find her family's skeletons and bring her back a skeletal finger or something. Or maybe a djinn looking for his lamp.

Gonzos are batshit insane, fucking weird, and straight out of left-field. Enjoying your fantasy campaign there? Too bad! Now you got to deal with the crew of the USS Enterprise suckas! Go crazy. Tap into the Salvador Dali or Frida Kalo that rests in all imaginations. That or just go with a pop reference

Conveniently there are six of these monster types? Encounter types? Templates? I'm not sure what to call them but anyways. That fits nicely on a d6 which is my go to for a dungeon delve.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The cosmic cephalopod

The universe is a squid. Or an octopus. Or perhaps it's a cuttlefish. In fact it is all of those things but not at the same time. It's not important what it is. What is important is what it does.

The Cosmic Cephalopod keeps you, me, and the rest of Creation safe from the Lakes of Undoing by sheltering us on its arms. What are the Lakes of Undoing? They're only the chaotic mess from whence all creation sprang and is doomed to return. Luckily for us the Cephalopod has got great upper body strength.

A world is nestled inside each suction cup and each arm is a plane of existence. So instead of an Elemental Plane of Fire, it's the Elemental Arm of Fire. Planet-hopping or Plane-hopping is just a matter of taking a step out of the suction cup and walking on top of the Cephalopod's skin. This is obviously dangerous as fuck.

Technically there's an infinite number of cups and arms but here's a few known worlds:

El-Sai is a planet that looks like a droplet of gasoline floating on water. Its habitable "green zone" contrast with its red mesas, white salt flats, and tan deserts. It's summer colors are marred by the greys, brown, and blacks of the colossal junk piles.
The piles were put there by dump ships belonging to apathetic worlds. Some Elsaians curse the dump ships, calling them "scum" while others praise them, calling them "gods".
Your average Elsaian is primitive, fueled by their most basic desires. It's better that way. Food, water, and a good life are hard to come by. On El-Sai it's "fuck it, fuck it up, get fucked up, and fuck."

Opensea is exactly as it sounds. The only dry land that exists are small islands that pepper its tines. By the way, Opensea is star-shaped and the water that cascades over the edge is recycled by eons old automata. An unending hurricane spins at its center.
On this planet dragons are invaders and masters, enslaving lesser races to wage their eternal war against each other.
Of course the depths host a myriad of secrets. Sea people living in their crystal domes lead by immortal dragon turtles. A drowned king sealed deep below in a forest of kelp. A lost civilization of gold-haired albinos and the great machines they commanded.
Your average Openseaman is entangled in intrigue. Just smile, nod, and serve and maybe the dragons won't eat you. They have paradoxical last names like "Conrad Biglittle" or "Annette Squarewheel."

The City of Glass is well a city and those don't count as worlds in most textbooks. But the City of Glass is infinite. (But not so infinite that it escapes the shelter of the Cosmic Cephalopod. That's another kind of infinite all together.) It's infinite platforms stretch up and down and are infinitely long and wide. Know one knows what's beyond the infinite platforms (probably yet more platforms).
Infinity leaves a lot of room for diversity. Therefore a city block can differ vastly from the next. There are no more purebloods left; everyone's a mutt. But the city has one constant and it's its namesake. The buildings are silver like mercury and gleam with reflected artificial light--like glass.
The City might be infinite and its rulers are too. The fractal councils rule any piece of infinity that they can grab and they all hate each other, for some reason or another. Members of the fractal council are infinitely powerful and meek because they command infinite underlings and have to answer to infinite superiors.
All this infinity must make getting around rather hard, right? Well thanks to the invention of miraculous machines traversing infinity got a lot easier. Infinivators, infiniships, infinicopters (really just throw infinity in somewhere) travel at the speed of infinity so getting from one infinity to the next is a piece of cake. What's that? You need to get off half-infinity of the way there? What are you crazy!?

Deepwater is also a city but it is not infinite. So why is it on this list? Well it's a peculiar case. It's not a world but it likes to infect other ones. Like a tick out of a sauna it creeps in through the mists and latches on to a coastal region. Locals seem to be completely oblivious to this fact.
It looks like the gothic horror love child of Venice and New Orleans.
It is lead by a plutocracy of Machiavellian weirdos. One of them is literally a super-intelligent colony of vermin.
Whatever sea it suckles from krakens like to play.

by Needle16 aka Luke

Saturday, September 16, 2017


They say history isn't what happens, it's what's written down. Such was the case for Ndaalu.

Ndaalu was cruel. Ndaalu was deadly. Ndaalu was strong. But most of all Ndaalu was pharaoh.

The people cried Ndaalu's name, begged him for mercy and bled by his sword. No ruler in all of Egypt was more brutal and cunning. By his lead Egypt slaughtered all*.

But who would honor such a terrible monster, even if he be pharaoh? So Ndaalu's scribes secretly omitted his name from their records, chiseled his name from their slabs. But Ndaalu knew.

Instead of slitting all of their throats, Ndaalu schemed with his sorcerers. If history would not remember him as a man the he would be remembered as an instrument of slaughter.

The sorcerers worked tirelessly to forge a great blade that would serve as Ndaalu's next body.

And so Ndaalu would live on vicariously through the heroes of the ages that took him as their mantle.**

*The bloodying of the Nile, commonly attributed to Moses, was Ndaalu's doing as he would execute surrendering armies by slitting their throats and holding them upside down by their feet to "feed" the Nile their life essence.

**The cherub's flaming sword that guards the gates to Paradise was directly inspired by Ndaalu.


The Meat & Potatoes
Put simply Ndaalu is a flaming sword, and dms could leave the details at that and run him as such, but the following text is how I run Ndaalu.

Ndaalu is a curved bronze sword peppered with 3d20 Egyptian hieroglyphics. These hieroglyphics are familiar and obscure and it is possible that they could help further the research of the written Egyptian language. The hilt is an extension of the blade itself and is wrapped with black leather straps.

The hieroglyphics serve as runes that capture the souls of living creatures slain with Ndaalu. A filled rune glows orange and gives off ember-filled smoke. These captured souls act as charges that the wielded can be spend towards different powers possessed by Ndaalu.

Ignite: The wielder can spend X charges to ignite Ndaalu. While ignited Ndaalu bequeaths +X damage to his wielder. Ndaalu stays ignited for X turns and counts as an everburning torch while ignited.

In this state Ndaalu cannot collect souls as the magical properties of the sword are focused on keeping it aflame. However slaying a living creature keeps the ignited state ongoing at a rate of 1 soul to 1 turn.

At 5 charges Ndaalu can cut through stone, worked or otherwise. At 10 charges he can cut through metal. At 20 charges he can cut through adamantine. At 40 he can wound a god. At 60 he can cut through the fabric of reality itself, opening portals into what lies beyond our own reality.

Great Balls of Fire: Ndaalu also functions as a Wand of Fireballs at double the cost. So if a system requires 2 charges to cast fireball with its wand than  Ndaalu would require 4 charges to cast fireball. Ndaalu's fireballs are particularly deadly and deal +1 per damage die.

Increasing the level of the fireball also costs double.

Form of Fire: for 10 charges the wielder can enter a fire form. While in this form the wielder is under the effects of a Gaseous Form spell with the added side effect of igniting flammable objects. To exit this form the wielder must succeed at a save versus Magic. Failure means that a random body part is bequeathed in flame permanently.

Also the wielder can communicate with fire elementals while in this form.

Soldier of Slaughter: for 20 charges Ndaalu summons the soul of one of his soldiers. These soldiers are fighters of 2-5 levels and can only be hit by magic and magic weapons.

HD 2-5 AC 13 Atk bronze longsword 1d8 MV human

For every 2 charges above 20 spent increase the soldier's damage and hit points by one.

Wall of Flame: For 30 charges the wielder can cast the spell Wall of Fire as a magic user of his level.

In addition to the above boons, Ndaalu adds +1 to the hit bonus of his wielder for every week he is in his wielder's possession (max 10). Additionally Ndaalu gains +1 to his domination rolls against his wielder at the same rate (max 10).

Guns are magic

In rpgs guns have a tendency to get simulated to pornographic levels. Luckily I know next to nothing about guns besides that they shot bullet.

Or I say that. I've already taken this entire post, crumbled it up and threw it in the garbage at least two times now because I thought my systems were too complicated.

But no worries. Something about three times and this time I'm not reinventing the wheel. I'm just taking it down a different road.

So yes. Guns are magic! What does that mean? Well to be honest it means guns are reskinned spells. Now I know that sounds boring but stick with me here.

Have you ever wanted to have an on demand Burning Hands? Hmm? How about a one time use fireball that doesn't require a weird wizard to read some squiggles of a piece of parchment? What do you think of that? I don't hear a guffaw! Well shotguns and grenades are at your service!

OK that's enough of the snark. So yes guns are reskinned spells but that idea is pretty cool by itself. But what about the poor wizard? Well if he's as smart as the rest he'll be using guns too so he doesn't have to worry about his precious class protection.

What I find the coolest about this idea is that it can apply across multiple games, albeit that they have some sort of magic system. So if shotguns are Burning Hands in your games you can keep them functionally similar between your 5e game and your LL game.

However these reskinned spells must be kept within reason. After all they're just guns. 5e's Burning Hands can deal 3d6 to up 6 creatures and that's pretty powerful for an on demand shotgun, even with a save for half. I'll make it an attack instead  and the number of adjacent creatures hit a d5 to nerf it a bit.

And by grod's beard if you want exploding dice let them explode!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dwarves of El-Sai

Dwarves are made, not born. Their bodies are constructed completely from rock, the most popular types being basalt, limestone, or obsidian. They are completely hairless however most dwarves are etched with long hair and complex woven beards. They stand about five feet tall and their shoulder width is wider than that of an average man and they boast a stout physique. Their pupils glow with the bluish light of the soul forge.

A Forge of Souls
Soul forges are ancient artifacts constructed and left behind by deep dark forces now lost to mortal races. It is the crux of dwarven life. Without their soul forge dwarves would not exist. That's because the soul forge is a factory that produces dwarves and it is fueled by the souls of the living. Without proper fuel a soul forge would cease production and the secret of forging dwarves would be lost forever in its machinery.

Dwarves treat their soul forge like ants treat the queen of an anthill. Not to mention that dwarves prefer to refer to their societies as "colonies". Each dwarf has a purpose. Most go out into the world in search of souls while others dig or build or trade. Colonies are usually located underground below tall mountains but volcanoes and deep canyons are also viable locations.

Dwarves don't experience emotions. Neither is their will solely theirs. All dwarves share a consciousness with the other dwarves of their forge. They sense what they sense and vice versa.

Children of the Earth
Made from the earth dwarves are therefore one with it. Rock is no different to them as water is different to man. Therefore dwarves can submerge themselves in the rock. Walls are useless against them and proofing a structure against them requires complex metal alloys or lead. However every time a dwarf submerges he risks losing himself and becoming one with the earth from whence he came. If this happens the dwarf fuses with the earth, leaving behind an eerily humanoid shaped rock deposit and a foggy white gemstone where the heart would be.

Hearts of Diamonds
That gemstone is a dwarf's soul gem. It serves a similar purpose to a dwarf as a black box serves to a crashed plane. The soul gem contains all the experience and memories of a dwarf. Colonies will sometimes retrieve these if it is necessary. To the right collector these gems are valuable and they hold spells well if emptied.

Ghostly, not Ghastly
Dwarves do not hate all life. They simply follow the cyclic nature of their soul forge. Collect souls, to fuel the forge, to make more dwarves, to collect more souls, etc etc. They will only begin abduction, or collecting as they like to call it, when forced. Otherwise they are more than willing to provide a service in exchange for souls. In fact a popular capital punishment among settlements around dwarven ones is to punish criminals to "collection". This deal doesn't bother most settlements because the people being collected are usually undesirable in the first place and the dwarves are damned efficient builders.

If the dwarves have some sort of endgame goal in mind, no one has got a clue as to what it could be.

Race Overview:

XP Penalty: 750

Movement: 25 feet or 3/4 human

Stoneman: Chose one or both: 1) +1 HD 2) +4 AC. If you chose both add 50 to your XP penalty

Earth Swim: A dwarf can move through rock 3/day as if Phase Door was cast on its surface. If a dwarf ends his turn inside rock he takes d10 crushing damage and a further d10 every round until he leaves. If a dwarf dies inside rock his body fuses with the rock permanently, leaving behind a soul gem.

Soul Gem: A soul gem contain all of a dwarf's memories and experience. Experience cannot be collected from a slain dwarf until its soul gem is retrieved. Additionally the gem can store spells of up to X level were X is the slain dwarf's HD.

Golem Immunities: Dwarves are immune to poison and any spells that target the body's physiology. Additionally they don't require food, drink, or rest and therefore do not suffer fatigue.

Hivemind: Dwarves sense the senses of nearby dwarves. This only applies to dwarves created in the same soul forge, or soul brothers. Unfortunately this means if one dwarf is subject to an effect that targets the senses all dwarves nearby are subjected to it as well.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


So I imagine that a lot of DMs who run OSR stuff fly by the seat of their pants from game to game, relying on their abstract knowledge of D&D to guide their rulings, cook up combat, and solicit story.

What's funny is that I use to hate that particular style of DMing. I used to think that the rules were supreme and were higher than the DM himself and that betraying them was a disservice to all players at the table. But as I played more and more OSR stuff I started getting into the game that was happening at the table. I stopped caring about the game that coulda shoulda woulda been the game described by the rules. Now I find myself tapping into my knowledge reservoirs (as empty as they may be) more often at the table and keeping my books and pdfs nearby lest I really really need to look something up for some reason.

However the printed text has a certain ethos-logos attached to it. Most players new to OSR stuff are more willing to try your weird game if it's printed on dead trees. This has half-motivated me to try and produce my own rules document. I say half-motivated because when a source book is introduced suddenly the DM isn't the only authority at the table. I'd practically be asking the potential lawyers to slap me with the white glove of rule dueling. But I think this fear can be chalked up to my own paranoia.

The hope would be that the rules would facilitate the game that's going on at the table and not the idyllic one they outline. More so since it's my rules document there's not going to be any niche rules in their that could potentially challenge my DMship and even if there is it's probably a good thing because I'm a forgetful plebian.

Now that I've decided to produce this rules document the only thing that I need to decide on is a name. Sure I could just call it Into the Weird but that sounds eerily similar to a certain designer's game and I believe I would be doing him a disservice by circulating such a document. So I've settled on "Qwik N Durti Role Playing Game" or QNDRPG for short.

Why that name? Well it certainly isn't artsie and I'm OK with that. This is a rules document not a module. In the latter's case I would take more creative liberty with the title. As for the reference to haste and filth I feel it resonates with my particular style.

An adventurer's life will be brief.

The world will be dangerous and bloodthirsty; a threat. There will be blood to spill. There will be muck to crawl through. There will be death.

Life will be quick. It will be dirty. There will be no time for philosophy or debate because someday death will be over that bend, around that corner.

So is the adventurer's life.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

E531347 - 7

That is the UPP code for the planet El-Sai on which Wundergauss is set, which I generated using Traveller's World Creation section. UPP stands for universal planetary profile and the value of each place tells you something about a planet. From left to right the places represent starport type, planetary size, atmosphere, hydrographies (basically how much water it has), population, government, law level, and tech level. (The dash is just for style.)

In El-Sai's case each value means the following:

Starport: E—basically a floating rock; no facilities or any cool space stuff.
Size: 5000 mile diameter; that's about the size of Ganymede.
Atmosphere: 5—Very Thin; you'd need breathing masks to adventure on the surface.
Hydrographies: 10%—if my math is correct that means all the water on El-Sai could fit into Yosemite Park.
Population: thousands
Government:  Representative Democracy
Law Level: 2—basically everything but energy weapons is A-OK.
Tech Level: 7—basically modern amounts of tech with a sprinkling of future tech such as hovercrafts, pulse lasers, as well as fission and solar powered engines.

I've always imagined Wundergauss being set in a land with plenty of water, green landscapes, and definitely no tech. Standard MEAL with magic stuff. (That stands for Medieval European Analogue Land.) But these results paint a way darker picture.

But first I want to address two things, the government and law level. It's no surprise that Traveller assumes unified global government and police force but for me I think it's more interesting when societies clash, so I'll largely be ignoring government and law level. Now that that's out of the way I can move on to the good bits.

Low pop, little water, alien atmosphere, little to no connection with the outside galactic civilization. This is starting to sound more like Mad Max than Lord of the Ring. But I am a little conflicted.

I've always imagined Wundergauss bordering a great sea or ocean where plenty of boat on boat action could go down. Such a setting seems impossible with only 10 percent water. But I'll take my cake and eat it too.

Not only does Wundergauss border a sea, it borders the only sea. A Lonely Sea, so to speak. It just so happens that all of the drinkable water drains into this basin. The land around it is arable and its rivers power corrupts; that's why.
prime real estate. Dozens of tribes brawl it out on this promised land for the exquisite title of Water Barons. The barons send waves of armies against their enemies and control the sea with steel ships fueled with diesel. Why would they risk polluting the only drinkable water on the planet? Well because

Sure you can live elsewhere, but who the fuck wants to suck water out of plants and pray to idols that you kill something to roast over the fire that night. It's a savage's life!

Might there be promise lands elsewhere? The caravans say so but who trusts them! They're all maniacs and low-lives. The Oil barons say here are, but they'd say anything for good coin.

The Lonely Sea awaits the people's saviors or the barons to rule it.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A great interview with James Raggi, Zak S, and Patrick Stuart in which they talk about LotFP and the OSR.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wundergauss Neighborhood Map


This is a rough draft map for my city setting Wundergauss done in Zak S Neighborhood Map fashion.
For awhile now I've simply been scooping up OSR books and plucking from them the mechanics that I like, stitching them together into some Frankensteinian ruleset that rests inside my skull. However I find it's easier for creativity to flourish when I set limits for myself. This gives me a base to work with and if the confines of my established limits are too strong I can always redefine them later.

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!)

Supplemental Stuff
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).

13th Age
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 Conclusion
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

Cards & Chases

Today Gabe Jr went on a killing/crime spree that culminated with a chase. (Report coming soon.) I'd say climaxed with a chase but the truth is I handled the chase poorly and it felt dull. Several factors had contributed to this.

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.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A handy dandy AC conversion chart

Thanks to dawnrazor!

P.S. I couldn't find the post itself, just the image. If anyone knows where that is could you send it my way?

EDIT: original post, thanks to Polydeuces Traxus! 

Surgeon's Kit image dump

Here's a list of images of what a Napoleonic Era surgeon would be packing (probably).