Thursday, April 9, 2015

Population Density of Hunter-Gatherers

   I realize I haven't posted much in forever. I've been busy with other games and with life in general. However, as always, I like generating worlds. Today while looking up some random info on something else entirely I came across this which might be of use to anyone working on games involving hunter-gatherer cultures.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Death to the Saving Throw, Part 2

  Sorry it's taken so long to post this, but I've been busy with real life stuff for the last week & a half. Some General notes:
  • All spells that allow saving throws are considered automatically failed unless the player takes some specific action to attempt to negate the spell's effect. For example, taking cover behind a suitably large enough pillar, or under a table may negate a spell's damaging effects from affecting the character entirely(or may automatically reduce the damage by a set amount)
  • Shields Shall be Splintered: direct damage spells like lightning bolt, melf's acid arrow, etc. should be subject to this rule.
  • Armor Shall be F%$#ed: Non-magical armor should be able to provide the benefits of a passed save(1/2 damage) if the player chooses to sacrifice the armor vs. AoE attacks like breath weapons, fireballs, & the like.
  • Magical Armor is Spiffy: There are a couple of ways of handling this, and I'm still testing them out. The first is that magical armor automatically reduces the damage of magical spells by 1 point of damage per die per plus that the item provides. The second option is that each plus provides 1-10% magic resistance (depending on how spiffy you want the armor to actually be).
  • Disbelieving Illusions: If the player has cause to believe that  a given spell is an illusion, a flat intelligence check should be enough to prove it one way or another. A penalty to the roll can be applied equal to the spell level.
Individual Spell Notes:
Charm X/Domination:  Automatic failed save when the spell is cast, but there's a % chance per day of the spell giving out equal to the victim's Intelligence + any magical defense pluses + # of days the spells has been active.
Entangle: Bend Bars/Lift Gates roll to be able to move 10 feet in that round.
Grease:  Rather than a saving throw, a Dexterity check makes more sense.
Magic Jar: Possession of new body should automatically succeed unless certain precautions are taken(a magic helm, circlet, etc. that prevents the takeover from occurring).
Polymorph: All these spells still require a system shock roll.

Next time: Monsters

Monday, March 10, 2014

Death to the Saving Throw, Part 1

  Note: These are not the final version of this, just my hastily scrawled ideas.
   I don't know about anyone else, but I dislike the saving throw systems found across the various editions (The TSR edition ones turn the game too superheroic at high levels, and the d20 ones always make me wonder, 'why didn't they use flat ability checks?').
   Part of my dislike of the system is that it's a bit of a get out of jail free card. You or your character fucked up, and it's the game's way of insulating you from your own stupidity. That's all well and good for heroic games, but I don't play that sort of game. In my games player characters are not heroes, they're adventurers, and high level heroes are special enough in that they have that great big heaping pile of hit points to begin with.
   As such, below are the rules I've come up with to replace the 5 score system used in 2e. I'll only be
dealing with the core rules(PHB, DMG, MM)

  • Elves and Half Elves still get their % chance to resist sleep and charm spells
  • Dwarves, Gnomes, & Halflings get Magic/Poison Resistance equal to the Constitution Scores. Been debating whether or not to just add this percentage on to the Magic Malfunction chance for the appropriate races. I'll have to do more playtesting before I decide one way or the other.
  • Paladin: Paladins get a flat 10% Magic Resistance with a +1% bonus per class level. This actually makes more sense to me than a save bonus because I've always seen Paladin as a state of being akin to a race rather than 'just a class'.
  • Ranger: Rangers get to double their charisma(to a max of 25) when dealing with animals.
  • Bard: To influence others, the Bard gets to make a charisma check. If he passes, he gets to re-roll his encounter reaction, with a bonus equal to 1/3 his bard level rounded down. He takes the better of the two rolls. If he fails the Cha check, no change. A natural 20 results in a reroll, with a penalty, and the worst of the two rolls is taken. Countersong automatically works.
  • The DM needs to state up front, before characters determine their actions that casters that can be seen are attempting to cast spells (if the spellcasting is obvious), or that the creature is attempting to use a breath weapon. 
  • Gaze Attacks: If your character isn't trying to protect himself, he automatically falls victim. If he tries to look in the general direction rather than directly at the creature, there's still a 20% chance he's still automatically affected. If he completely averts his gaze, then he suffers blind fighting penalties as normal.
  • Breath Weapons: Breath weapons are already variable damage as is. I see no reason to actually grant a saving throw. If the character however manages to find a significant cover however, the damage should be mitigated either by 1/2, taking 1 dmg per die off, or negated completely.
  • Massive Damage: A System Shock Roll should cover this. 
   For damage poisons, you take 1d8 damage for each onset increment until the listed damage is dealt. Example: Type A poison would do 1d8 damage in the first 10-30 minutes, then another 1d8 damage the next, and so on, until the total damage done is 15.
  Death poison: There are two ways of handling this. If you are using the death's door rules, the poison instantly drops the character to 0 hp, and the character starts dropping 1 hp per round as normal. In order to stop this, the character must be cleansed of the poison, at which point he may heal naturally. The second method of handling it is that the poison does 1d8 damage every
round starting with the poisoned round, and continues until the character is cleansed of poison, or slain.
   Paralysis: Reduce the length of time paralyzed by 1 for each bonus HP the character gets from high Constitution(all characters get the warrior con bonus for this purpose).

  I'll be posting Spells in the next post.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Darkness

  I'm not much one for comic books or anything based on comics, primarily because it's always about good guys. However, prior to the crossover with batman(and the protagonist's decision to become a good guy), The Darkness is actually pretty good. The video games are also reasonably decent. While I prefer the art and voice acting for the first game, the sequel has given me . . . ideas(always dangerous).
  My big thought for today about shamelessly stealing from other sources stems from this. It made me think about maybe having goblins or kobolds having slaying a house cat(a dangerous animal by 1st level character standards) as a coming of age ritual, or maybe as a requirement for skilled goblin warriors to challenge the current chieftain for leadership.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Option Series, aka 2.5e

The group I'm currently playing with wanted to use some of the rules from combat and tactics(and spells & magic).  Can't say I'm overly enthused, but I'm giving it a go. Primarily we're just using Knockdowns and Critical Hits. Thus far it's rarely been an issue, since nobody has rolled well enough to use them, or the monsters have been effectively immune.
  Having said all this, there are a few things I see right off. By and large, there are two many rolls. I think I might get rid of the save vs. PPDM used to resist the knockdown. Either that or I might just change the Knockdown from a random roll, to just the save with a modifier based on the weapon vs. size.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Converting Iron Heroes to 2e

Every couple of months I get it into my head that I want to play Dark Sun. I look over all the books and systems, and decide that I absolutely can't stand playing it in 2nd edition anymore because of the dependence of the system on characters acquiring magic items.
  So I always end up reaching for my Iron Heroes books, which, tbh, have always looked good on paper, but then I was never really reading anything very closely, and somehow completely missed all the proto-4e stuff in the skill section.
  I finally managed to somehow get through all the class conversions(Even have a workable Complete Psionics Handbook Conversion of the Psionicist to Iron Heroes which is something I've not managed to do, and have been trying to figure out since 2007 when I actually got the idea the first time), but ended up getting stuck in the skills section.
  I ended up talking to a friend about how much I wish there was a way to just drop the whole bloody skill system in d20(which is a big reason as to why I left playing d20 in the first place), when  my friend says, "Why not convert Dark Sun to 2e" which made me laugh for obvious reasons, but then it got me thinking . . . . why not convert the stuff I like in Iron Heroes to 2nd edition?
   Get ready folks . . . AD&D 2nd edition's Iron Heroes is coming! Over the next few days, I'll start posting classes and stuff as I get them sorted out.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cantrip effect ideas

 I recently sent the party a list of things that the Cantrip spell could do off the top of my head. Thus, it's a continuation of this article. I'm reprinting the list here so A) it doesn't get lost, and B) because I'm trying to get back into updating this blog regularly.

Possible Cantrip Effects:
  • +/-1 to a single check for the following types of rolls: Ability, Open Door, Encounter Reaction, Saving Throw, Initiative, or Secret/Hidden Object/Door.
  • +/- 5% to a single check for the following types of rolls: Thieving Skills, Hear Noise, Climbing, Bend Bars/Lift Gates, System Shock, Resurrection Survival, or Avoiding Getting Lost.
  • +/- 1 to the damage of another caster's spell.
  • +/- 5 Feet to the range or Area of Effect of another caster's spell or a single ranged attack.
  • +1 bonus to a Slashing or Piercing weapon's damage(by sharpening in) on their next attack attempt(effect fades whether the attack hits or misses).
  • Causes a Slashing or Piercing weapon to do -1 damage until it is sharpened w/ magic or whetstone(Can be used cumulatively to a max of -3, but no weapon may do less than 1 point of damage)
  • -1 AC bonus vs. Ranged Attacks from a range of 30' or greater.
  • +1 AC penalty vs. Ranged Attacks from a range of 30' or less.
  • +/-1  to AC vs. a single Melee attack(may not make an AC better than 7 or worse than 10).
  • Heal 1 hp of damage within 1 round of sustaining the injury or Stabilize one character below 0 hp(In my campaign this is the same as applying a bandage, and thus I feel this doesn't really step on the cleric's toes).
  • Increase/decrease a character's movement rate by 3. Can't make a character move slower than 0.
  • Increase/decrease  the movement rate of an animal of Tiny size by half.
  • Cook Food/Boil Water/Chill Drink/Season Food for 1 meal.
  • Light a Fire.
  • Preserve 1 pound of inanimate matter per level of caster to a maximum of 10 pounds(herbs, food, spell components, etc).
  • Age 1 pound of inanimate matter per level of caster to a maximum of 10 pounds by 1 week.
  • Instantly clean/dirty or dry/dampen 1 character/object.(may provide a bonus/penalty on saves!)
  • Repel normal, non-magical insects.
  • Summon a single stinging/biting insect or other small creature. The creature may cause disease, be poisonous, or interrupt spellcasting w/ an attack(DM determines)
  • Automatically know the # of a certain object in a pile.
  • Will Dye or color one object or creature any color you'd like(lasts until the creature next takes a bath)
  • Style hair, and even cause it to grow. This is how all those dungeon-punk wizards manage to keep a perfect mohawk in a world without Hairspray or Glue.(lasts until the creature next takes a bath)
  • Create a seemingly magical aura around yourself or another character/object.
  • Cause an NPC to make a morale check.
  • Creates a single object of 1 pound per level of caster to a maximum of 10 pounds. The object is fragile and is obvious magical nature.
  • Manipulate 1 object of 1 pound per level of caster to a maximum of 10 pounds within 10'
  • Create a 5' radius light.
  • Extend/Decrease the radius of a light source by 5'.
  • Animate the remains of a single tiny creature(such as a songbird or mouse). The caster has to concentrate to keep  the creature animated. It's movements are jerky(it can't attack or fly) and slow(half the speed it had in life).
Of course, there are a ton of other options, and I may post more of them later.