Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Open Locks and Update

 Been busy with various dungeon23-esque prompts this year, but I can't post most of it because my players look at this blog. Also, due to playing location constraints, I've been limited on what and when I can actually RP. Mostly just been working on my various Warhammer, Warcry, and Kill Team models and terrain.

Did have a random thought the other day though, pertaining to the the Thief's Open Locks skill:

RAW it takes a Thief 1d10 rounds to make an open lock attempt.  I think I'm going to start allowing thieves in my games to choose to speed up the process by risking their tools, requiring an item saving throw vs Crushing Blow to get the job done in one round. If the save is passed, they can make the Open Locks roll as normal. If the save is failed, the pick breaks and it counts as a failed attempt to open the lock. 

Sunday, August 8, 2021


Still finding it hard to breathe, but here is some content to hold people over.

Requirements: Str 12+, Con 9+, Wis 13+, Cha 17+
Prime: Str, Con
Races: Human(U)
Alignment: CE only

- The Anti-Paladin is Immune to Fear
- The Anti-Paladin receives a +2 bonus to Saves.
- The Anti-Paladin possesses an Aura of Fear. All those entering it, must make a Save vs RSW or be affected as per the Fear Spell. The save is penalized by 1 pt for each mutation the Anti-Paladin Possesses.
-  The Anti-Paladin starts the game with a single mutation. If mutations are rolled for, the Anti-Paladin gets to roll twice and the player can pick the better result. Additional mutations can be gained during play as a reward from his patron for major accomplishments.
- The Anti-Paladin gains a corrosive touch 1/day.  Objects touched should make an item save vs. acid or be corroded and destroyed. Liquids should foul and turn poisonous. Living creatures should be afflicted by a weak poison of some kind(determined by DM, but type K or P would be appropriate).
- At 4th level, the Anti-Paladin may quest for a demonic companion.
- At 9th level, an Anti-Paladin with a Stronghold attracts a body of fighting men exactly like a Fighter, but all the men attracted are of CE alignment.
- At 9th level, the Anti-Paladin gains the ability to cast spells, just like a paladin. His spheres of access are Combat, Healing(reversed), Necromantic, and Sun(reversed).
The limitations of a Anti-Paladin include:
- The Anti-Paladin must sacrifice a number of living creatures to his patron each month.  This can be HD per level or even a percentage of his XP in HP depending on what is appropriate. This is why a lot of Anti-Paladin take up lives as slavers.
- The Anti-Paladin may never turn down a direct challenge. By and large, as long as the blood and souls flow, the demonic powers he serves don't give a rat's ass about him. They do however expect their champions to be the strongest(as they rule through strength and intimidation), and as such, they may never turn down a formal challenge. The Anti-paladin is totally allowed to use any dirty, underhanded tricks he wants, but he has to accept the challenge.
- The Anti-Paladin must remain chaotic evil. His patrons aren't as stickler over violations as the forces of law and good are(after all, the road to the abyss is often paved with good intentions), but an Anti-Paladin who changes away from CE does lose all his non-mutation powers. His former patron is also likely to send Anti-Paladin aspirants after him to regain what goodies the character may still possess. Then again, there's a good chance the Anti-paladin's demonic companion may just pull him straight into the abyss to have a chat with his former boss.
- The resurrection survival chance is reduced as if the Anti-Paladin had a con score half(rounded down) what he actually does. His patron is loathe to give back useful souls.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Cooking Part 1: Hunger

For this system I am using the Fatigue system from Combat & Tactics/Spells & Magic and the starvation system from Wilderness Survival Guide.
Every character has a Hunger Track:
- Overfed: -1 to initiative and surprise checks, as well as to saves to resist sleep effects. +1 to fatigue level.
- Well Fed: Potential Food Bonus for a period of time.
- Fed: Normal. No changes.
- Peckish: +1 to initiative and surprise checks. 
- Hungry: -1 to saves vs. mental affects.
- Famished: -1 to initiative and surprise checks, as well as all saving throws. +1 to fatigue level.

A character with a normal human metabolism goes down one category every hour while awake(1 every 2 while asleep). Additionally, a player can chose to go down category at any time to give himself an automatic success at some action. 
Hunger categories are regained by eating snacks and meals. A snack restores 1 level of hunger. A meal restores 1 level per size(light 1 step, avg 2 step, Hvy 3 step) but also provides immunity to hunger drain based on what was eaten.
The amount is determined by race:
- Human, Dwarf, Halfling, 1/2 Elf, 1/2 Orc: Snack: 1-2 portions. Meal: Lt: 3, Avg: 4, Hvy: 5+ portions
- Elf, Gnome: Snack: 1 portion. Meal: Lt: 2, Avg: 3, Hvy: 4+ portions
- Half Ogre: Snack: 2-5 portions. Meal: Lt: 6-7, Avg: 8-9, Hvy: 10+ portions

A ration as per that found in the PHB has 15 portions per day. All food is further divided into 5 categories: Grain, Protein, Dairy, Fruit, and Vegetables.

Thursday, I'll get into what more of this means, but I'm still trying to work things out for Carnivorous PCs.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

I must write

I want to get back into working on this blog, but it is difficult when one is having to type everything out on a phone. This post is mostly an attempt to get myself psyched up and organized for what I want to write about for the next couple of weeks. My current goal is to start posting on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule just to get myself back into it.

 I've been going through my blog roll over the last few weeks, rereading what they have written over the years, and then clicking on their links and blog rolls and reading what those people wrote.

I'm also that idiot who plays games like Skyrim and Minecraft with mods that focus on immersive survival like Frostfall and TerraFirmaCraft. 

To this end, I want to add Thirst, Hunger, Fatigue, Stress, and Temperature mechanics to my game. I also want to improve on the rules for Lighting, Culinary Proficiencies, Diseases, and Poisons, as I'm just not happy the way things currently work in AD&D 2nd edition. Hell, I wanna do a massive system overhaul of my favorite RPG system, but still keep the overall feel of the system intact.

Tuesday I'll post about the cooking system I've thought up. As this is a bit of a rant, I'll go ahead and pay the joesky tax.

Spices as Treasure(1d100 doses)

What is Found(1d30)
1-16: Salty
17-20: Bitter
21-24: Sour
25-28: Sweet
29-30: Umami

Quality & Value(1d30)
1-16: Common(1-6 cp/dose)
17-24: Uncommon(1-6 sp/dose)
25-28: Rare(1-6 gp/dose)
29-30: Very Rare(1-6 pp/dose)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

DCC Cleric Without Spells

  I know I'm late to the party by about 9 years to talk about Cleric's without spells, but I'm about to start running a new DCC game in a Sword and Sorcery type setting, and I really have never liked the spellcasting cleric.

  Most people suggest removing the cleric altogether, but I do think there should be a class for champions/avatars of gods beyond the patron/agent system. Preferably one that has little to no spellcasting ability. 

  My literary basis for this type of character would be Tempus from the Thieves' World books. Game design wise I looked at numerous systems including RPG pundit's Lion & Dragon, Dominique Crouzet's Fantastic Heroes & Witchery, Green Ronin's Thieves' World and Black Company sourcebooks, AEG's Good Sourcebook, and Some Sanctum Secorum stuff.

  The end result is a cleric that loses spellcasting, and divine aid. This means it just keeps Turn Unholy and Lay on Hands.

  In trade for all it lost it gains Zealous Wrath and Boons.

Zealous Wrath: The cleric can enter into a state of holy mania, trading points of STA for Zeal dice each round, and gaining temporary immunity to any effect requiring a Will save. The cleric also counts as an outsider while affected by this mania. While in this state it must trade at least 1 point, but the max it can trade is equal to his PER bonus(again, min 1). These Zeal dice are based on level(same size as a Warrior's Deed die), and the cleric may spend them on the following each round:

- The cleric applies the Zeal die to attack, damage, and mighty deed rolls just as if he was a warrior. Each die applying to a different attack.

- The cleric applies the Zeal die as a bonus to a spell check for Turn Unholy, Lay on Hands, and Boons that require Spell Checks.

- The cleric applies the Zeal die to himself as healing. Any extra healing is wasted.

- The cleric uses the Zeal die as damage reduction.

The cleric can remain in this state for as long as he's willing to trade STA points, even into negative numbers. When he comes out however, if he's at 0 or lower stamina, he falls unconscious until his stamina heals enough to return him to 1 STA(1 pt/hour). Until his stamina completely recovers(1 pt/turn of rest) the cleric suffers a 1 die step penalty to all rolls, and may not enter the holy mania again unless he burns a permanent point of stamina.

Boons: I am building the deities for my campaign off of d20 cleric domains and the AEG Sourcebook 'Good'. These domains grant the followers and clerics certain, minor abilities as well as providing a framework for what counts as sins/transgressions and what kind of divine aid a cleric can reasonably expect to receive for various levels of disapproval. I'll start posting examples as I get write-ups done for the individual gods.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

7 DM Questions

Saw this on an FB post and thought I'd answer them here.

1) How do you handle a TPK?

  Players either roll up new characters or take up one of their stable of backup characters/henchmen. Prior to 3rd level, you likely haven't lost much, and after 3rd level, you likely have a few backups floating around. If a full, everyone is dead for everyone, and it's past level 3, then it may be time to have a talk with the group about what happened and why.

2) How do you get players to do their homework?

  In my 30-something years of experience as a DM, I've learned that players do not do homework. Especially American players. And that goes triple for ones under 40. This is understandable however as 'let me tell you about my campaign setting' is the DM equivalent of 'let me tell you about my 12th level Paladin' and I don't think a lot of DMs have realized this(I know I've been guilty of this). Sometimes it's unavoidable however, at which point my advice is, keep it brief. No more than a 3 question thing. Offer benefits for completion.

3) What are some good monster combos? 

  The MM and Role Playing common sense handle this pretty well. Beyond that, I don't worry about it. Creating 'killer combos' always rubs me the wrong way as a DM. I can literally Herd-of-Tarrasque the PCs if I want to. I'd rather create interesting locales. Players who actually explore will be rewarded with stories for them to uncover that can lead to riches and power. They just have to put their detective hats on.

4-6) How do you DM line of sight vs. line of effect? How do you handle knowledge roles and player metagame knowledge? When do you allow skill substitution during skill checks?

  The rulebooks are usually pretty clear, and when they are not, common sense usually prevails. In the incredibly rare instance in which this doesn't happen, I roll a die or have players roll Luck.

7) How do you handle parties that are a combination of newbies and more experienced players?

  Like any other game. I expect the old hands to show the n00blets the ropes. It's in their own best interest that the rookies don't do stupid things. Plus, I have never met a veteran player who didn't like to flex his/her knowledge and skills.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Damage Mitigation for Swashbucklers

One thing that I've always felt that D&D does poorly is lightly armored warrior types. Additionally, a major issue for tired or neophyte DMs and  players is that they often allow combat to become devoid of any real drama. Strictly speaking, from an entirely gamist perspective, there's not much reason to move about, sunder, or do anything but cause direct damage once a melee type gets in range of another melee type.
 To that end, I offer a potential rule addition that I think should be useful for both new and old school games. It is somewhat similar to the Shields shall be splintered rule in that it has the potential to make fights last longer(which may be a good or bad thing), but I believe that it may prove beneficial for a suitably cinematic playstyle.

Rolling With The Blow
 I suggest for balance that this be made into either a feat, class/kit ability, or proficiency unless you want to encourage this to be used by everyone. A character with this ability who is not encumbered, and is in light or lighter armor may make a choice when his character is struck in melee combat. He either takes the damage or rolls with the blow. In the simplest version of rolling with the blow, the character takes no damage but "suffers" some other sort of ill effect at the DM's discretion, such as being forced to move out of his current location or losing a held/worn item. This rule can be expanded on with tables and even saving throws and  hit locations that determine the type and severity of the effect.