Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Got It!

Yesterday I returned to the post office and what did I see in my little cramped post office box, but a yellow slip.  Those little yellow slips tell me the mailmen are keeping a surprise from me in the back.  Behold, the new Swords & Wizardry.  Apparently its been there for a few days, but I never got a yellow slip.  So Frog God Games were on top of things though a confirmation email that it shipped would have been a good thing.

I have the tomorrow off so I am looking forward to sitting down with it and taking a look through.  My initial impressions though, being a bit aged, the font is small.  But hopefully that's just a minor thing.  Hope everyone has a good New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What Gaming Stuff I've Been Tinkering With

I'm stilling tinkering around with publishing a couple adventurers I have in the final stages, but found out one of them has an outdated map.  Rob Conley redid the map, but can't seem to find the final edited version.  I did a lot of renumbering and editing to have the adventure make more sense...I think.  So when Rob get back from vacation I'll see if he still has a copy.

My second adventure in the final stages is being a pain in the ass to layout.  I'm sure it's a simple fix, but one that eludes me at the moment.  Ivy did the artwork for this one and I think the pictures came out pretty well. 

For some reason I have been playing around with harpies.  I decided to mess with my own version of a monster manual.  I came up with a couple variations to mess with.  I'll probably post them later in the week.  I did a lot of research of the mythology and several of the existing gaming books on harpies including James Mal's Slayers Guide.  I jotted notes of the stuff I wanted to include on a note card and then filled in the gaps as I wrote about the harpies.

I've also been reading over the Dragon Age RPG books and I really like some of what they have.  Still fooling around with my own campaign world I really like the random table of advantages a character gets for belonging to a culture.  Plus, I think overall a 3d6 system is more suited to my tastes.  Being a huge GURPS fan for many years its not hard to imagine. 

The other think I've been writing about is critical hits.  This one was inspired from the session where we play tested Goodman Games new old school version game.  In his game I think the idea of the critical hit was good, but not the execution.  What I am mulling over is different classes would have different critical hit dice.  A fighter gets to roll a d20 where as a cleric rolls a d12, a thief a d10 and the mage classes would get to roll a d6.  This is only for armed combat not spells.  Of course the higher the number the more potent the critical will be.  But that means coming up with a 20+ list of effects.  Not enough brain power to attempt that yet.  And I am sure I will find a ton of critical hit lists that I can scavenge from.

Still waiting on my Swords & Wizardry book, hoping it was sent out in the last mailings and wondering if the rumors of the Castle Keeper's Guide are true.  The latter one I've waited for, for so long that I am almost indifferent about it now.  But not quite indifferent.  If the rumors be true than I am sure I will get it down the line. 

Have a good one. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Swords & Wizardry Question

Since I don't follow forums or even try to read them, I was wondering when Frog God Games was going to begin to mail the new S&W out?  I ordered mine the opening day, got the soft cover and PDF.  While the PDF is all well and good, I really need to hard copy in my hands to enjoy it.  I received a receipt for the purchase but haven't sen anything about mailing schedule.  Thanks ahead of time for the information unless you tell me the wrong date.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

City Encounter Generator

Hi folks, hope everyone is enjoying the holiday.  I thought I would do a quick post about another generator I recently found that I think will be helpful.  Johnn Four has a City Encounter Generator available on-line.  He has a free PDF download, 650 Fantasy City Encounters Seeds & Hooks is where I got the link and I believe is what the generator is based off of.  Go check it out.  Its the right price after maxing out your account for the holiday.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Rural PA

We'll get our deer one way or another.  Remember, Santa is just another red shirt to us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dead or Unconscious

Back in the 80s we all pretty much played the same rules of AD&D.  There were some minor differences from DM to DM, but not so much that you couldn't navigate the game after a few rounds of combat.  The one rule that was pretty standard was the unconscious and death thresholds.  At 0 to -9 you were off to blackout land, but still breathing.  If someone hit -10 or below, some divine assistance was going to be needed.  This gave some leeway if something horrible happened in combat. 

I am generalizing here and I know it's not universal, but it seems that I have been reading that once a character hits 0 hit points he is dead.  Or 0 is unconscious and any negative hit points makes dead people.  I guess I like having more of a range of having someone get knocked out.  I know some games have it where the character only dies when he is negative his constitution score.  Which I like.  Using old school GM tools though I would, depending on how the player died, describe how the downed character is bleeding out, still on fire, the big bug is still chewing on a leg whatever to inform the other players that this player will die if they don't take some sort of action. 

The other reason I like this version is it gives the players a bit of a span to dead with especially at lower levels.  Once in the high levels when you have mages and critters dropping 7d6 damage on you at a shot than your 14 constitution isn't going to assist you as much.

The other reason I like it, even though I am not a huge fan of resurrection, the rule of someone being raised is they will lose a number of constitution points depending on their race.  I thought about making it depending on class, but to me it makes more sense that it would be a racial thing and their ability to with stand an ordeal. 

Off to work I go.  I have a short week this week because of the holidays so I hope to get in some gaming.  Hope everyone else does to.  Have a good one.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Red Box Owner

Don't get your OSR panties in a bunch.  Armed with a 33% coupon at Borders I bought *gasp* the new Red Box.  I would put a picture up, but everyone knows what it looks like.  It looks like the old red box, but its not.  You maybe asking yourself, why?  Why would I waste money on this instead of a kickass OSR module?  Or you may have already clicked away.  Anyways, I have my reasons.

1. I have been looking at that damn box on the shelf for months.  Being a bit compulsive in buying gaming stuff I think I did real good with resisting.

2. Recently I started playing S&W with my wife.  She has a knack for questioning things we gamers sometimes take for granted.  So, I wanted her to try the 4th edition red box vs. S&W.  Sorta like a blind taste test, except she won't be blindfolded.  There is a joke in there, but I will leave it alone at risk of being smacked later.

I'm curious to see which one she will prefer.  To see which game is more beginner friendly.  It should be interesting.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fantasy Henchmen and Hireling Generator

I was messing around on the web the other day and I found this completely fantastic site, Meatshields!  I've been messing around with it and found it very useful.  It's made for old gamers like us.  Very cool.  The artwork by Toren Atkinson is perfect.  I'm sure others have spotted this before me, but I thought I would put it out there.  I know I have it bookmarked. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thoughts on the New Swords & Wizardry Rulebook

During the mad rush the other day when Frog Gods opened the gates, I failed to get a hardcover.  Ah well.  I was able to land a soft cover and get the PDF for free for only $23 after S&H.  An excellent deal.  Now I haven't read the whole rulebook.  I can't do that reading the PDF, just bits and pieces and sections.  Normally I would print it out, but since the book is coming, umm I don't know when, I only printed a few sections.

The biggest thing is the new S&W felt more like AD&D than white box.  The biggest difference is the availability of more classes, those available in the original PHB.  There are a larger range of attribute bonuses, different from AD&D but again farther away from the white box.  Races are not a class.  All of these I am in favor of, but was wondering what others thought.

A few things about the layout though, some of the text parts are difficult to read because they text is so close together.  Also in some section I was very interested in like high level adventuring, hiring henchmen and developing an adventure I wanted more.  I'm a sucker for reading those kind of things and I would have like to have seen a little more space dedicated to those sections. 

I'm not sure when the shipping dates are for the books.  I hope its soon.  Anyway, those of you who have read through the PDF more thoroughly than me, what do you think?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Game Night with the Wife

Last night I ran my wife through a small adventure using Swords & Wizardry.  I had her roll two characters.  Her first character was named Diana Prince, the other Jaime Sommers.  Wonder Woman, I meant Diana was a magic-user and the Bionic Woman, err, Jaime was a fighter.  After a several minute distraction of who would win in an arm wrestling contest (Of course Jaime would be using her bionic arm) we got into the game. 

Well almost.  It took a bit of verbal acrobatics to explain the magic system.  Being flooded with visions of Harry Potter, Gandulf and a handful of TV mages whipping out spells left and right it was tough to tell her she got one spell to start with.  That didn't go over to well.  Then to top it off I had to tell her she couldn't wear armor.  I explained this is why I had her roll up a fighter character.

After buying armor, weapons and equipment we started into the adventure.  Since she was playing two elven females I made Amazonian type village on the fly.  The adventure started with one of the other female villagers running from a rabid wolf.  Jaime ran out of her home and launched a spear at the wolf killing it easily.  What she didn't expect was the wolf transformed into a goblin.

Diana recognized the ritual markings on the goblin, a member of the Black Foot tribe, a tribe that they had a treaty with for several years.  The leader of the village asked Jaime and Diana to go to the tribe and see what has happened.  The trip would take the better part of the day.  Ivy decided to leave now and arrive at the goblins just before nightfall. 

As she travelled through the forest a group of three goblin zombies came out of the trees.  Her initially volley, spear and two darts missed.  One dart did damage to one of the zombies.  Two of the goblin zombies engaged with Jaime and one hit (she had an AC of 18) and did maximum damage.  Second round, Jaime hit with her axe killing the wounded zombie.  At this time there was some discussion why her sleep spell wouldn't work against these undead.  She argued she was only allowed one spell and now her spell was no good.  When the zombies attacked they rolled very well and putting both Jaime and Diana down for the count.

Our after game discussion about what happened was good.  She enjoyed herself.  I am still getting her used to what dice are what, the general mechanics of the game and how to play the game.  Next time I will have her roll up two more characters, a cleric and a thief so she has a full party.  She already has their names picked out, Kelly Garrett and Nancy Drew. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Villains, S&W Style 2

Villains, S&W Style 2
Not all villains are skull toting, demon worshiping, psycho killers.  Subtle villains act as others, mingling within the common populace without any knowing.  They will have positions within the community such as craftsmen, washerwomen, tavern owners, or city guards.  To some people they will be best friends and assist them in any way possible.  But to others they become a danger and often their victims don't understand why they've been targeted. 

0-Level, Human, Female
S: 9, D: 11, C: 8, I: 13, W: 12, Ch: 14
HP: 3, AC: 9 [10], Dam: n/a, SV: 16
Equipment: lap harp, poisons

Lavonia is one of the more beloved women in the town.  She is an attractive, generous woman who married a city guard named Wilton.  She has a beautiful singing voice and often plays during celebrations both for private and public affairs.  She suffers from poor health and often disappears for a few days because of her illness. 

Within their home, in a hidden basement is a cage where Wilton locks up Lavonia during her bouts of sickness.  Several years ago before her marriage to Wilton, Lavonia became pregnant.  Her mother became furious and would not see her daughter disgrace the family.  Her mother made her drink the poisons that would cause a miscarriage.  Lavonia had the miscarriage, but her mother continued to have her drink the poisons as punishment.  Her health diminished until she barely could speak.  It wasn't until her father returned that he immediately summoned the healers.  The poisons saturated her body.  The healers did what they could to bring her to health, but said she would always be affected by the poison for as long as she lived. 

As the years passed she grew healthier, but with severe bouts of illness.  Wilton noticed that livestock and pets would be found dead during the times of her bouts.  Then the children started getting sick.  Twin boys died with days of one another and Wilton confronted Lavonia.  He found sobbing and she admitted to poisoning the boys, but did not intend to kill them.  Lavonia is over come by a calming madness to harm other during her bouts.  She knows how to prepare poisons and hides them in food and drinks.  She will make batches of the poison and place them where others with find them, especially children.  Wilton locks her up during times when she obviously sick, but he is unaware that Lavonia is always in her calming madness and she no longer finds satisfaction in harming.  She goes to the celebrations to slip her poisons in where she can.

Gerald  'Gray Robe'
3rd Level Fighter, Human, Male
S: 13, D: 15, C: 11, I: 13, W: 9, Ch: 13
HP: 17, AC: 2 [17], Dam: 1d6+3, SV: 12
Equipment: +1 Ringmail, +1 Shield, +2 Short Sword, Ring of Feather Fall

Gerald is the Sergeant of the Watch.  He is considered a competent soldier with little potential to move above his current station.  He lacks the imagination to solve situations out of the ordinary and often requires assistance.  Because of this his men do not respect him and hope to see him retire so their group can rise in prestige.  Because of the lack of respect held by all the others Gerald's group is often thrown into the most dangerous situations to 'evaluate' the situation.  Gerald is well aware of what others think about him.

In the past few months Gerald has been going to the shadier side of town disguised.  He went there to drink away from the others and to forget his troubles in one of the comfortable beds within the brothels.  During his trek to a tavern he was attacked by two young boys who thought they had found an easy mark.  Gerald easily dispatched the two boys, killing one and critically wounding another.  He saw the fear in the boy's eyes.  In that moment he felt a surprising rush of satisfaction.  An epiphany, this is how others should be looking at him. 

Although, very little changed at within the guards, Gerald began trolling the streets at night looking for someone to provide him with the satisfaction of fear. He disguises his armor and weapons under an old tattered gray robe he got off one of his victims.  Whispers of Gray Robe are heard throughout the city.  Gerald is very pleased with himself.  He is not selective with his victims and will attack anyone who looks like they might put up a fight.

0-Level Dwarf
S: 12, D: 10, C: 14, I: 11, W: 8, Ch: 8
HP: 4, AC: 8 [11], Dam: 1d4, SV: 16
Equipment: Leather Armor, Dagger, Ring of Azzul*
*The Ring of Azzul is a cursed item.  It will allow the wearer to resist poisons and allows the wearer to summon one skeleton/day.  The Ring of Azzul requires the wearer to sacrifice at least five hit points of blood to the dark god/day to work.  The ring cannot be removed unless the entire finger is removed or a remove curse spell is cast.  When the ring is first worn is burrows itself beneath the skin and wraps around the bone with a small protrusion above the skin that is dripped into the blood.  If the ring is not fed the full five hot points of blood it will take it from the wearer.

Slocum is a scar covered dwarf.  Because of the ring he wears he has sacrificed his own blood many times, but he always needs to supplement the ring's thirst.  Slocum, a coward, was kicked out of his dwarven clan, beard shaved and abandon at the bottom of a mountain range.  Though Slocum is a coward he is a survivor and has been through many horrible times.  During one of these times he was slave to a vicious mage who experimented on him often.  By mere chance Slocum found the ring and used against the mage.  He escaped with only his life and the ring.

Slocum quickly realized he needed to feed the ring.  He was fortune enough to get a job working in a kitchen.  Slaughtering the animals provided him enough blood to keep him from suffering the ring's hunger.  There are times when he is given days off or the masters are away he must find other sources of blood.  During these times he will bleed out livestock.

Slocum has no problem using the ring's powers against anyone to keep himself alive.  He will avoid direct combat using the skeleton to do his slaughtering.  He has used the skeleton several times to kill the people so the ring could drink. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Adventure Hooks or Getting to the Adventure

You've just bought a great adventure module at your local gaming store or the awesome RPGNow and though the adventure is great, how do you get the players there.  The old standby 'you see a mysterious stranger in the tavern and he walks up to your table' shtick.  When all else fails there is nothing wrong with that version especially if time is an issue.  Just maybe switch it up a bit. The guy doesn't have to be mysterious, or a stranger or not have to walk up to the party.  Could be a buddy they knew from mercenary school who gets tossed onto the party's table and as he is being drug away he screams for help. 

How do you get the party to this awesome adventure you are dying to run?  First of as a GM you should know what motivates your players.  Wealth?  Power?  Purpose?  Shits and giggles?  Whatever it might be alter the adventure slightly to include the carrot that will have them chasing after your adventure.  If your party wants to find a sword of power maybe put on in the adventure or at least in a rumor.  If the party wants money, easy enough, you know what to do.  Purpose you may need to alter the adventure more if your party plays a demon police and have made it their cause to purge this plane of existence of demonic presence then take the time to switch out a few critters, slip in a demon boss or at least some minions that are mucking up the works.  For shits and giggles players just straight out have someone tell them "Hey there are monsters in that direction."  And off they go, leaving half drank tankards and disgruntled bar wenches. 

Be careful using canned modules.  The main reason, the players may own them and know them better than you.  This is something we've run into in our current campaign.  One of the players used to run the canned module regularly when he GMed so when it came time for him to adventure through it as a player, he knew it better than the GM.  If you run canned modules take the time to change a few things around.  Swap some critters out.  Or move it down the timeline say a few decades from when it was written.  I always enjoy playing those 'what if' games.  What would the Tomb of Horrors look like after thirty years of adventurers going through?  It would be a lot different than written.  This way the adventure stay fresh, but it still holds the mystique old adventure.  "My god, what happened to the green face devil?"

GMs know your players.  That's the easiest way to get them involved in an adventure.  And enjoy the adventure.  Just don't be lazy with you canned modules.  A little work will go a long way. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Things I Also Thought About Gaming While Not at the Table

James C. over at A Dungeon Master's Tale wrote a cool blog about Ten Things I Did as the Dungeon Master This Week all them away from the table and without cracking a rulebook.  He's got a great blog please go check it out.

I don't know if I have ten things, but I do a quick list.

1. I was in the small bathroom at my house trying to get out Christmas decorations and a thought popped into my head.  It would be hard to fight in this small of room.  Especially with wepaons.  No way to swing a sword or axe.  Even the angles of the hallway would make it difficult to use a polearm.  Maybe it popped into my head because I was loosing a fight with the decorations.

2. Food.  If I was lugging, fighting and healing I would want to eat and drink a lot.  How much water would an adventurer really need for some of these adventures.

3. Since its snowing now and I nearly went ass over tincup on my sidewalk I thought if I had weight on my back armor on, no good grip shoes I would be falling all over the place.

Everyone have a great weekend.  Remember to take a break and do some gaming.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brisco's Eleven-Foot Pole

Howdy mighty adventurer, have I got the latest and greatest dungeon delving tool for you, Brisco's Eleven-Foot Pole.  You might be asking why our eleven-foot pole is different from the other ten-foot poles.  Simple, our pole goes to eleven.

Brisco's Eleven-Foot Pole can collapse into a one-foot rod making transportation easier and can double as a club.  When crawling through narrow caverns or passages the last thing an adventurer needs is to have his tools hinder as will normal ten-foot poles will do.  With an easy pull of a lever the pole shrinks into a one-foot pole in an instant.  The lever has a lock down recess that will keep unwanted shrinkage from happening.    

Brisko's Eleven-Foot can also be used as a ladder.  Small pegs hidden within the pole can be extracted to provide footholds.  No more waiting at the bottom of a pit while being heckled by party members to lower a rope. 

A pair of new features recently developed and provided for no additional charge is a continual light spell at the end of Brisco's Eleven-Foot Pole, that can be covered by an assortment of several decorative caps.   Each cap can also be used at a projectile by simply shrinking the Brisco Pole to its one-foot section then expanding the pole causing to cap to launch itself at your intended target. 

With Brisko's Eleven-Foot Pole you get the convenience of it collapsing into a one-foot club, the ability to turn into a ladder, a continual light spell, and three decorative caps that can be used as missiles.  Brisco's Eleven-Foot Pole can be yours for only 100gp or in four easy installments of 25gp.  Now if that weren't enough, Brisko has added four of his Brisko's All-Purpose Iron Spikes.  These spikes were given the Adventurer's Reliability Award four years running.  Order now while supplies last.

Customer Reviews
 101 out of 103 adventurers found this review helpful
** Frozen Lever and Tacky Caps by Amork "Stoner" Stonehill
While traveling through the frozen Fortuary Pass our party came across a tribe of snow trolls I tried to use the 'projectile cap' option but the cold weather had froze the lever.  It wouldn't budge.  Although I like the convenience of its size and weight, the continual light spell is more of a nuisance spoiling my dark vision and the decorative caps are embarrassingly tacky.  I had one of my buddies whip up a pair of caps that looks better and are more accurate.   Although I am not impressed with the eleven-foot pole it is useful, but combine it with a set of Brisko's Iron Spikes (they rule!) the 100gp price is a bit high, but worth it.

91 out of 96 adventurers found this review helpful
*****I wish I had bought Brisko's Eleven-Foot Pole a hundred years ago by Ephemeral Lightleaf
Eleven is better.  I use this at home, at work and on weekends when my friends and I decide to go south and have a go at the Caves of Chaos.  I've got most of Brisko's products and have never been disappointed.

0 out of 323 adventurers found this review helpful
No Starz by GruGunk
Brisco sukz.  I got yur 11 foot pole rite here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Organizing My PDFs

I've taken a part of my extended weekend to go through the ton of PDFs I have collected over the past few years.  I have condensed the binders down from 18 to 12 to make more space on my gaming shelves, which is at a premium.  I've gone through and thinned out the ones I haven't used and won't.  Some were just bad.  I have a collection of random tables ones I've gotten from other blogs and have given credit to those who wrote them, but some I just don't remember.  If you see one of yours in my list and I haven't named you please let me know so I can do so.

Purple Binder: Random Generators
1.       100 Tavern Features by *
2.       Tavern Tables by Chaotic Shiny Productions
3.       Interesting/Unusual Island Characteristics
4.       Hex Dressing Table by *
5.       Quick NPC Personalities by *
6.       50 Paladin Hooks by Campaign Mastery
7.       50 Barbarian Hooks by Campaign Mastery
8.       54 Sorcerer Hooks by Campaign Mastery
9.       25 Cleric Hooks by Campaign Mastery
10.    Dungeons, Towns and Wildernesses Tables by *
11.    Random NPCs by *
12.    Beyond the Black Gate Compendium 2009 by Al Krombach
13.    PC Events: Illusionist by Al Krombach
14.    PC Events: Fighting-Man by Al Krombach
15.    PC Events: Druid by Al Krombach
16.    PC Events: Cleric by Al Krombach
17.    PC Events: Assassins by Al Krombach
18.    The Dungeon Alphabet by Michael Curtis
20.    Fantasy Occupations by ADM
21.    One Million Magic Items by ADM

Green Binder
2.       The Kobold Guide to Game Design, Volume 2: How to Pitch, Playtest & Publish by Wolfgang Baur with Nickolas Logue
3.       The Kobold Guide to Game Design, Volume 3: Tools and Techniques by Wolfgang Baur, Monte Cook, Ed Greenwood, Rob Heinsoo and Colin McComb

Burgundy Binder
1.       NPC Essentials by Johnn Four
2.       Basic Gamemaster by Chaosium
3.       Robin's Laws to Good Game Mastering by Robin D. Laws
4.       Tavern Denizens: Book 1 - The Dives by Generic Universe Publishing

Green Binder
1.       City Builder Volume 1: Communities by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
2.       City Builder Volume 2: Craftsman Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
3.       City Builder Volume 3: Entertainment Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
4.       City Builder Volume 4: Professional Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
5.       City Builder Volume 5: Tradesman Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
6.       City Builder Volume 6: Mercantile Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
7.       City Builder Volume 7: Service Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
8.       City Builder Volume 8: Scholarly Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
9.       City Builder Volume 9: Religious Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
10.    City Builder Volume 10: Governmental Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group
11.    City Builder Volume 11: Underworld Places by Michael J. Varhola, Jim Clunie and the Skirmisher Game Development Group

Black Binder
1.       ePublishing Secrets by 12 to Midnight
2.       ePublishing 101 by Gareth-Michael Skarka ADM

Burgundy Binder
1.       ePublisher Guide by OneBookShelf Inc.
2.       ePublisher PDF Creator by OneBookShelf Inc.

Blue Binder
1.       Goods and Gear: The Ultimate Adventurer's Guide by Mark Plemmons and Brian Jelke

Green Binder
1.       GURPS, Psionic Powers by Jason Levine
2.       GURPS, Power Ups: Perks by Sean Punch
3.       GURPS, Power Ups: Imbuements by Sean Punch

 Yellow Binder
1.       GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1 Adventures by Sean Punch
2.       GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2 Dungeons by Sean Punch
3.       GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 8 Treasure Tables by Matt Riggsby
4.       GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 10 Taverns by Jason 'PK' Levine and Loren K. Wiseman
5.       GURPS Fantasy-Tech 1: The Edge of Reality by Matt Riggsby

Thursday, November 25, 2010

They're Always So Mean To Each Other

Day off.  Watching a little football and decided to watch something else.  I thought about watching Spartacus (btw it looks completely amazing on bluray) when Ivy says, "Don't watch that.  They're always so mean to each other."  You know, I had no argument.  They are mean. lol   Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"I Got About 10 Points of I Wanna Beat You with a Stick Left"

Get a good laugh here...

Again I can't figure out how to add a video, but this one is funny as hell.  Too bad his boots of his escaping didn't work better.  Anyway, thought it would be a good laugh before the frantic cooking of Thanksgiving begins.   

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Critical Hits and Fumbles for Spells

More on the magic system I am in the process of developing.  I am implementing a roll to activate the spell.  Meaning no more automatic successes for magic-users who want to whip out a spell.  Spells will have a difficulty level depending on their level and other circumstances will effect the roll.  A quick note before I go on, my system uses spell points to determine if a magic-user is able to cast a spell therefore if a 1st level mage has learned the spell and somehow acquired enough points to cast a 6th level spell he may do so.  Here is the run down of difficulty levels (DL) and what would enhance the outcome.

0-level - 8 D, 1st level - 10 DL, 2nd level - 11 DL, 3rd level - 12 DL,
4th level - 13 DL, 5th level - 14 DL, 6th level - 15 DL, 7th level - 16 DL, 8th level - 17 DL, 9th level - 18 DL

- For every level of the magic-user get +1 to the roll.
- Caster adds his intelligence bonus to the roll.
- Spell specialization bonus.
- The caster suffers -1 to the roll for every point of damage taken during the combat.
- The caster suffers -1 for every spell he is maintaining.

A 1 is always a failure and a 20 is always a success.  Each spell has a critical failure or success result.  In case of a regular failure the spell points are expended, but the spell does not discharge.  A success and the spell goes off as planned.

The other wrinkle I put in is that mage's need to hit with their spells.  Not automatic hits with missile weapon or even a placement of a fireball.  He must roll 'to hit'.  So a mage may have critically succeeded in casting a magic missile, so its charged up to do max damage, it still needs to hit its target.  When mage attacks with a spell he gains his level and intelligence bonus (like in the roll above) to hit.  But it is possible to critically succeed on casting the fireball and maxing out the damage, but if the mage fail's to target it correctly it could explode at the party's feet.  Magic is fickle what can I say.  And as for any roll, the 'to hit' roll can have a critical hit or miss.  A critical hit with a magic missile may cripple the limb it hits, knock a person prone if it hits the chest, or knock a person out if it hits the head.

Like I said, its a process and something I still need to playtest.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monster Vault

Another 4th Edition box set has hit the shelves at my not so local Borders.  It's tagged a $29.99, but armed with a 33% coupon and about $8 dollars in the gift card managed to get this for $12 out of pocket.  The price of the AD&D PHB and MM back, back, way back in the day.  If I played 4th Edition I think the $30 price tag would be fair, but since I don't play 4th edition I was only willing to get it for the reduced price.  And it is worth it.  What irked the shit out of me is as soon as I got out of my car I dropped it and scrunched in two corners. 

The main reason why I bought it were the monster tokens.  There are 10 sheets of excellent artwork on sturdy tokens.  I gave my miniatures to Rob years ago because 1) I don't have the space to keep them 2) I don't have the room to store all the paints and dodads you need 3) I don't like painting miniatures.  These tokens are a nice replacement not requiring much space and no painting.  They suit my needs just fine.  There is a wide variety and I like that the three different size tokens, plus they have a handful of 'rings' that makes smaller creatures larger. 

Also included in the box is the adventure, Cairn of the Winter King.  A predictable, but not bad adventure for 4th level characters.  It looks easy enough to convert to S&W or OSRIC.  It's definitely an adventure by the numbers, but most of 4th edition modules I have or read are set up this way.  There is a flip map to assist the adventure.  It provides the location when the undead ship arrives and attacks the town and a portion of the dungeon on the other side.  I wish the map was more generic or been large enough to include the entire dungeon doesn't make much sense to just have it include just a few of the rooms.

Lastly, the Monster Vault book itself.  It has an owlbear as the featured monster on the cover.  That's 4th edition tugging on my old school heart strings.  It's a large digest size book fashioned in the same manner as the Rules Compendium.  A thick and sturdy book with tons of monster stats I have absolutely no use for.  But it has bits and pieces of descriptions of the critters and I always like the small twists of monster ecologys. 

Everything in the Monster Vault, including the box (which I dropped and it still irks me) is top quality stuff.  My main reason for getting this was for the tokens and I am not disappointed.  The adventure is good and it will be easy for me to convert and the monster book has a lot of great artwork and I'm sure will be a good read.  Getting this for only $12 was a good deal.  The $30 price tag would have been too high since I don't play 4th edition, but if I did play 4th edition then I would have had no problem paying it for this product.