Sunday, December 21, 2014

Prettied up yesterday's table

Not a massive post here, the formatting on yesterday's table was driving me nuts so I fixed it.
If for some reason it crashes into something else on the page or can't be viewed on your browser please let me know.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

What are the walls made of?

A 1d100 chart of wall material and some construction variants.

Roll 1d100 if you feel like going wild and crazy, 1d20 if you just want crusty stone and brick walls, 1d30 for mundane walls,or 1d60 if you want to go a little crazy.

Wall Material Table

Roll
Wall
1
Hewn Living Stone
2
Great Stone Blocks
3
Identical Cut Stones
4
Broad Cut Stones of Differing Height
5
Fishbone Pattern of Cut Stone
6
Fishbone pattern of selected stone
7
Irregular Stones
8
Stacked Rock
9
Cut Stone with irregular filling
10
Reinforced Masonry
11
Unworked Stone
12
Rock and Soil
13
Packed Earth
14
Cement
15
Brick, Running- alternating runners
16
Brick, Common- alternating runners stacked several deep with interval runs of headers.
17
Brick, Stacked- bricks stacked one atop the other with no concern place on arrangement
18
Brick, Cross- runners with alternated small cross patterns of header and runner.
19
Brick, Diagonal- pattern with runners and occasional header with large diamond stacked sections
20
Brick, Double Stretch- alternating stack with 2 runners and a header
21
Wattle and Daub
22
Wood-boards
23
Wood-timbers
24
Wood-lath
25
Wood-panels
26
Adobe
27
Paper
28
Salt, Hewn
29
Bone, Piled
30
Salt, Bricks
31
Metal, Iron
32
Metal, Copper
33
Metal, Brass
34
Metal, Bronze
35
Metal, Hepatizon
36
Metal, Orichalcum
37
Metal, Admantine
38
Bone, Conjured
39
Bone, Fossilpack
40
Crystal, Piled
41
Crystal, Conjured
42
Crystal, Blocks
43
Crystal, Cultured
44
Glass, Handblown
45
Glass, Stained-glass Panels
46
Glass, Perfect
47
Glass, Conjured
48
Coal
49
Brambles
50
Sea Coral
51
Cave Coral
52
Ossified Wood
53
Ossified Flesh
54
Opalized Wood
55
Opalized Flesh
56
Living Wood
57
Ice
58
Obsidian
59
Jelly
60
Fungus
61
Flesh, Living
62
Flesh, Rotting
63
Hide
64
Fur
65
Chitin
66
Webs
67
Cloth Hangings
68
Root Tangle
69
Insect Mass
70
Brain Tissue
71
Elastic Membrane
72
Flowstone Curtain
73
Packed Refuse and Debris
74
Blast Glass- from radioactive wasteland
75
Metal, Lead
76
Metal, Nickel
77
Metal, Cobalt
78
Metal, Uranium
79
Iron Pyrite
80
Cinnabar
81
Native Copper
82
Arsenic
83
Asbestos
84
Stacked Barrels
85
Sod Blocks
86
Quivering Phosphorescence
87
Melancholic Pile
88
Choleric Mass
89
Sanguine Scab
90
Phlegmatic Crust
91
Cloud
92
Flame
93
Magma
94
Water
96
Force
96
Radiance
97
Shadow
98
Tormented Souls
99
Gearpack- a seemingly impenetrable mass of moving gears
100
Reaching Hands


Monday, December 15, 2014

OSR, Retroclones.... what are they ?

A nice couple visited my wife and I yesterday with their two kids (each a year on each side of my youngest child so the kids entertained each other most of the time). We had fun chatting and the couple were both RPG gamers keen to start a new game and while they enjoyed games like 7-Seas they are both interested in playing D&D, anything before 3.5, 4th or 5th edition.  I started knocking about editions and games and mentioned Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Basic Fantasy Role-playing ,and Seven Voyages of Zylarthen as possible options and they had no idea what I was talking about. I mentioned yeah they are "retro-clones" or oldschool games enabled by the SRD and OGL part of the whole OSR thing".  They commented "OSR? Retro-clones? What are they?".
My wife fetched a print copy of BFRPG and showed it to them while I talked, they were both interested but had no clue such things existed. Specific rule set choice and house rules are up to me as long as it is old-school D&D, and first game is scheduled for Jan 10th.

As I have mentioned before and elsewhere: There is a large number of RPG players out there that have no clue the OSR or Retroclones even exist and plenty of people willing to play D&D in general that have no clue at all about editions wars and the drama hardcore fanboys enjoy.

Having trouble finding players for your RPG campaigns? Talk about your games and they will come.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sneaking, using the rules that are already there.

I've seen it for years people complaining about old-school dungeoncrawling becasue it lacks essential rules, one area of complaint is the lack of any universal rules for stealth/sneaking. What a lot of people have missed over the years is there is a mechanic built into the game that covers that ground already: The Surprise Check.

Surprise is covered in the combat rules and a lot of folks can't conceive of using it outside of combat but the purpose of surprising someone is to do something unnoticed before others are able to react. So want to sneak past some guards and resolve the situation with game mechanic, make a surprise check against the monster/NPCs if they are surprised you gain the advantage of surprise and if conditions merit no combat happening, there's no combat you have slipped past the guard.

What about thieves, are they being robbed of their skills? Nope, they retain all the abilities they ever did their abilities at hiding and moving silently are enhancements over what other characters can already do. When deployed along with the surprise/stealth roll the seemingly low chances of low level thieves are much improved without knocking the game out of whack.

What about monsters? Use the rules that are there a few monsters are noted as having increased ability surprise PCs or being difficult to surprise, these creatures are simply as perceptive and stealthy as application of the surprise rules would indicate.

There are a lot of rules in place that just need to be applied more often or to a wider range of situations where they fit well. 

Check out this post on using the reaction table in a wider range of applications if so interested.

Quick and Easy Deathspirals for Combat

Realism and combat in D&D and related old-school games is a crazy issue folks drag up now and again and the there is a host of conflicting motives in that realism, one way to have wounds have a realsitic effect is by employing a death spiral to your campaign combats. A death spiral simply put is a method of combat resolution that includes an immediate deterioration in combat capability caused by wounds inflicted. The death-spiral is useful for implementing a sensation of reality beyond the worry casued by lowering HP and it alters the play of grindy HP based combat as well but if there are lots of rules and subsystems involved it increases the time it takes to resolve combat at the table. the following are two simple methods for implementing a deathspiral into your old-school HP based combats.

Method I: Levels Matter
Each time a combatant suffers a wound with damage greater then their level they have suffered a wound. Each such wound suffered causes the combatant to suffer a -1 penalty to hit and damage.

Record the number of wounds suffered, nothing else. Bandaging within 10 minutes will remove 1 wound. Healing magics will remove 1 wound if total healing is over the recipients level. It's possible to continue to suffer the impacts of wounds even when at full HP with this recovery method, this reduces some of the yo-yo effect of healing magic in dungeoncrawls and makes suffering wounds enduring in some cases. I recommend after a week each full day of rest removes one wound (healing magic will get the job done quicker).

High hitdice monsters and high level PCs will only suffer wounds from special attacks or critical hits (if you use them). Fights against multiple opponents will quickly wear down a solo creture/NPC (not a bad thing strictly speaking).

Method II: The Fading Total
As a combatants HP total decreases they weaken. At each 50% reduction impose a -2 penalty to hit rolls and saves (So if a fighter has 20 HP and is reduced to 10 the fighter is -2 to hit and save, -4 at 5 and -8 at 2).

It's best to calculate the different thresholds for the reductions of -2.-4 and so on.  High HP combatants will not suffer much from wounds at first unless suffering from a few heavy hits so HP based combat is still going to be grindy for a while but as significant damage is suffered there will be a significant impact on offensive and defensive ability.

Any method that restores HP over the threshold reduces the penalty. when HP aren't very high the yo-yo effect of healing magic will be pretty notable.


Random Monsters

I had a few moments and wondered what I could whip up for an animation in 20 minutes with 3D art tools and here's what I managed:



http://youtu.be/oQ2Ik7Lihu8

It's also over on my art blog but I figured I could share it here as well.

I wonder what level dungeon is appropriate for a Tank-Rex and a Shark-Blimp?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wizardawn are you gone or have you moved?

Over the past few days I'v enoticed a resource and great site I've enjoyed over the days is gone: Wizardawn  (over on the links ot the right). It had some decent generators for a host of RPGs needs.
Anyone know if the site has moved or is dead for good?