Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fighter Level Titles

There's an excellent post here : that discusses the nature of level titles and how they could be much more significant to a campaign if they actually described something about the capabilities of the classes in question. There's an excellent christian-like hiearchy given as an example.

Here now is a set of level titles I worked up for Fighters some time ago but just fleshed out to describe each level.

1. Armsman- one who bears arms. Armsmen have the right to bear arms of war and make use of this right.

2.Warrior- one who is a capable and practiced at the art of war . A warrior may freely travel with their arms and may bear a personal badge along with the coat-of-arms of their lord.

3.Gallant/Ravager- A worthy fighter of some renown charged with delivering messages and assisting commanders. They may serve as sergeants on the field of battle. Gallants have the right to bear a modified coat of arms.

4.Champion- one who has proven themselves to be above most other men in force of arms and able to serve as a judicial champion. A champion may stand in another's place in matters decided by trial of combat. Champions have the right to carry a unique coat of arms.

5. WeaponMaster- a man who has mastered arms. A pinnacle in the use of one arm or a lesser master of several. A weapon-master may attract students and gain requests from lord's to train his heirs and men-at-arms.

6. Slayer- a fighter who's name is as death to enemies. Slayers have the right to serve as judges and executioners in the name of their lord. Some slayers may be employed as bounty-hunters.

7. Guardian/Destroyer- Fighters charged and capable of defending territories or destroying territories of foes. Guardians have the right to charge tolls to assist their task. Many a guardian serves as a Seneschal for a higher ranking lord.

8. Battlemaster- A master of the battle either a commander of renown or one able to strike as a cohort alone. A Battlemaster is capable of leading an entire army in a lord's name.

9. Warlord- one capable of building and securing realms through force of arms. A Warlord will attract other Fighters to his banner as he builds his realm and legend.

Gammasaurs vs Teenage Mutant Cavemen

A common menace for Teenage Mutant Cavemen are Gammasaurs. These fearsome reptiles are a hazard as they terrorize, stomp and feed on Teenage Mutant Cavemen and any of The People they come across. Some are edible so desperate hunting parties may consider attacking a seemingly docile herbivore or a lazy lizard basking in the sun. Nests full of eggs are a considered a dangerous but nourishing treat that provides brave nest raiders with 1d4 meals per gammasaurus egg.

Most of The People will conduct a fighting retreat when a Gammasaur surprises them and leave anyone wounded or carried away to their fate.

No. Enc: 1d4 (15% of encounters are with a nest, 2-12 eggs)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90'(30')
Armor Class: 4 or better *
Hit Dice: 7/10/14*
Attacks: bite for 2d6 or as below
Damage: see below
Save: 4/5/7*
Morale: as below
Hoard Class: none
* Gammasaurs vary greatly and represent a number of different subspecies so their characteristics may vary as outlined following.

The giant mutant reptiles resemble large lizards with extra-pieces bolted on in imitation of ancient dinosaurs. They have grey, green and rust-colored scaly skin with long tails.
For specific capabilities of a Gammasaur roll on the following charts or pick to determine size, special attributes, attitude,edibility and nesting behavior

1.......Man-sized 7HD
2-4...Huge 10 HD, ignore all attacks that inflict 2 or less points of damage
Can trample for 2d6 (stunning 10% of time). grabs man-sized prey on bite attack roll of 20
5-6...Colossal 14 HD, ignore all attacks that inflict 3 or less points of damage
Can trample for 3d6 (stunning 20% of time), grabs man-sized prey on bite attack roll of 19-20

Prey grabbed in the jaws of a Gammasaur will be held firm and automatically hit next round (roll damage) and roll d6: 1-3:swallowed, 4-5:chewed- (held for next round),6: dropped

Attributes (roll 1d6-3, always have at least 1 attribute)
1-10....Fanged- bite attack upgrades to 2d8/3d6/4d6 depending on size
11-20...Clawed- gain 2 claw attacks that do 1d4/1d6/2d4 depending on size
21-25....Club-Tailed- the tail is a massive weapon that does 2d6/2d8/2d10 depending on size
26-28...Screaming- all within 100' must make a save vs Stun or be immobilized by fear for 1 round.
29-30...Chameleon will gain surprise on a roll of 1-4
31-40...Horned, may make a horn attack for 1d10/2d10/3d10 (double on a charge)
41-50...Darting a fast gamamsaur, moves 150'(50'), improve AC 1 step
51-55....Sail-back- a large sail on back deflects primitive missiles 33% of the time.
56-60...Spitting -3 times a day the creature spits a glob os noxious goo at target which blinds it for 2-12 rounds if save vs breath weapon fails.
61-64....Spewing- 3 times a day may spit an acidic breath weapon in a 60' long, 5' wide stream that does 2d6/3d6/4d6 damage, this acid does half damage on second round if initial save failed.
65-66...Spraying- 3 times a day this creature sprays all to it's rear with a nauseating cloud of gas which will incapacitate those that fail to save for 1-4 rounds and double chance of random encounters for 2 days.
67-70...Spiked- body covered with spikes any attacks it makes except for bite get +1d6 damage
71-77....Long Necked- can reach up to 10'/20'/40' away with bite attack
78-80....Poison Bite- bite is poisonous, determine intensity randomly
81-90....Plated- tough carapace improves AC by 2 steps. ignore any attack of 5 or less damage.
91-98.....Physical Mutation- roll up a standard random physical mutation
99-100...Intelligent- uh oh, smart as a man can plan and has 20% chance of a mental mutation.
If an attack is re-rolled increase the lethality a step in size or upgrade the dice.

1-2.....Timid Vegetarian, Morale-7,
3-4.....Cranky Herbivore, will spit out man-sized bite victims, Morale-10
5-6.....Lazy Lizard, ignores man-sized creatures unless they press the matter, Morale-9
7-14...Eating Machine, if it notices something it starts eating, Morale-12
15-20...Carnosaur, It knows Teenage Mutant Cavemen are made of yummy meat, Morale-11

1-5...Edible, may be eaten
6-7...Inedible, can't be eaten tastes foul and will not be digested
8-9...Poisonous, flesh exposes those attempting to eat to random intensity level of poison
10....Irradiated, flesh exposes those attempting to eat to random intensity level of radiation

At The Nest
1-2...Cannibalistic eats own young, activity at nest attracts hungry adult 2 in 6
3-10...Lay eggs and abandons nest, activity at nest attracts adult 1 in 6
11-15...Protects nest until young hatch, activity at nest attracts adult 3 in 6
16-19...Raises young until they leave nest, activity at nest attracts adult 4 in 6
20...Raises young until they are 1/2 grown, activity at nest attracts adult 5 in 6

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pipework Geomorphs 1g

A set of 10 x 10 dungeon/ruin geomorphs intended for post-apocalyptic adventures but designed to be compatible with many readily available geomorph sets. This is the last of series Pipework Geomprhs Series One.

Pipework Series-1g

(click for full-sized version)

other geomorphs available here on this blog and

Pipework Geomorphs 1f

A set of 10 x 10 dungeon/ruin geomorphs intended for post-apocalyptic adventures but designed to be compatible with many readily available geomorph sets.

Pipework Series-1f

(click for full-sized version)

other geomorphs available here on this blog and

Pipework Geomoprh 1e

A set of 10 x 10 dungeon/ruin geomorphs intended for post-apocalyptic adventures but designed to be compatible with many readily available geomorph sets.

Pipework Series-1e

(click for full-sized version)

other geomorphs available here on this blog and

Pipework Geomorphs 1d

A set of 10 x 10 dungeon/ruin geomorphs intended for post-apocalyptic adventures but designed to be compatible with many readily available geomorph sets.

Pipework Series-1d

(click for full-sized version)

other geomorphs available here on this blog and

Pipework Geomorphs 1c

A set of 10 x 10 dungeon/ruin geomorphs intended for post-apocalyptic adventures but designed to be compatible with many readily available geomorph sets.

Pipework Series-1c

(click for full-sized version)

other geomorphs available here on this blog and

Pipework Geomorphs 1b

A set of 10 x 10 dungeon/ruin geomorphs intended for post-apocalyptic adventures but designed to be compatible with many readily available geomorph sets.

Pipework Series-1b

(click for full-sized version)

other geomorphs available here on this blog and

Pipework Geomorphs 1a

A set of 10 x 10 dungeon/ruin geomorphs intended for post-apocalyptic adventures but designed to be compatible with many readily available geomorph sets.

Pipework Series-1a

(click for full-sized version)

other geomorphs available here on this blog and

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

922 Platinum Pieces

"Tasmetus has 922 platinum that can be spent on the expedition, just uh...try to not let everyone else spend it all if you can. Negotiate and bargain as if you were ME okay?" said a regular player who can't make it to the next session as he calls me to notify me and authorize spending his 922 platinum pieces (about 75% of his money according to my accounting) in the upcoming session as the party is hiring a ship, and hirelings to go on a crazy gold-hunting scheme.

So he's authorized me, the one guy at the table who's often comes up with schemes to part the PCs from their money so as to motivate other money seeking adventures on their part, to spend his money. Really?

I could of course just hand the other players the money and encourage them not to spend all of it, I'm sure they'd be fair...

He's forgetting the two highest level characters in the party ( (of which he is one)) are rich, another is well-off and everyone else has what equates to pocket change in paying for a large expedition. I know ultimately I'll be fair but I don't really need to spend a lot of valuable table time arguing with the players over how to spend funds.

So would you trust your DM and fellow players to spend 922 Platinum Pieces (valued at 9220 g.p. in this campaign and most of your fortune) in your absence?

Teenage Mutant Cavemen On The Hunt

Hunting is a common activity of The People and with limited food stocks Teenage Mutant Cavemen will find themselves hunting frequently. This post covers the subject in a game-mechanical manner that should be modified by circumstance as the ML feels appropriate.

The Hunting Party
The People organize themselves into hunting parties of a 3-24. Each such party will be lead by a leader of the hunt. If PC's go hunting on their own one must be chosen as the leader of the hunt.

Each day of hunting has three Hunt Turns. When actively hunting for prey Teenage Mutant Caveman and other members of The People move 1/6th of daily movement each Hunt Turn.

Finding Prey
The hunting party will travel from the caves and establish a hunting camp and search for prey. Some areas will have ideal and well known prey.

The chance to find prey on each hunting turn is equal to Base Chance of Terrain + Tracking roll modifier of the Leader of the Hunt + 1% per member of the hunt.

Terrain..............Base Hunting Chance
Forested Hills.......10%
Lush Hills........... 20%
Scrub Hills.........15%
Barren Hills.........-5%
Lowland Forest.....15%
Forested Swamp.....10%
Upland Pasture.......10%
Lowland Pasture......15%
Mountains......... -10%
Wasteland......... -20%
Waterside....... +10%

Distance from The Caves of The People
6 miles or less.... -10%
7-12 miles..... 0%
13+ miles..... +5%

Days of Hunt (don't count travel time to hunting ground)
1st Day....... 0%
2nd Day..... +5%
3rd Day......+10%
4th day......+20%
each additional day..... -5% cumulative

Raining................ -10%
Day after rain....... +5%
2 days after rain.....+15%
3+ rounds of combat earlier today....-10%

Note: a standard wandering monster roll is made for each day of hunting in addition to hunting rolls.

Identify the prey:
When one Finds prey the prey can be identified by same roll by The Leader of the Hunt, if he is unsure 2 other members of the hunting party may make a roll to identify the prey.

The leader of the hunt may decide to close in on the prey based on it's type and actual distance from the hunting party.

Time to locate prey:
2-6....Find prey this hunt turn
7-9...Find next hunt turn (no roll allowed to find more prey if track is followed)
10-12...Find tomorrow (no roll allowed to find more prey if track is followed)

Closing in on Prey
When prey is discovered the party must close in on the prey to get within striking distance. Each member of a party rolls % dice equal to the chance of the leader had in finding prey if they are successful they can get within striking distance on the first round. If anyone rolls doubles and fails their roll the game was spooked and will escape with no chance of being brought down.

Anyone who fails this roll will be in position on the 4th round of action (if there is any left)

Everyone who has closed in on prey will start a number of yards away as determined on the chart below:

Distance to Prey
Mountains.......30-180 yards
Hills..........70-120 yards
Forest.....20-120 yards
Swamp.....20-80 yards
Open....140-240 yards

Spring on the Prey
Check for surprise as normal against the prey. Prey will be surprised on a roll of 1-3 by a successful hunting party where all members have closed in. If even one member hasn't closed in the prey is only surprised on a 1-2. The number on the surprise roll is how many rounds of action the hunters will get before the prey reacts meaningfully.

Reaction of Prey (2d6)
2-6...Flee in Same Direction- usually downhill towards open ground
7-8...Scatter- the prey scatter in every direction.
9-12...Fight- the prey fights for 1-3 rounds, roll again afterward.

How many meals?
A beast provides as many meals as 40% of it's mass per 2 lbs in size, if weight of the prey is known.

If weight isn't known base the yield on general size and HD of prey

small.... 1d6 meals per 3 HD
man-sized... 2d6+ 1 meal per HD
large...... 4d6+ 2 meals per HD
huge.... 6d6 + 4 meals per HD

Experience points from hunting.
Hunters earn exp form the action of the hunt and returning meals to The Cave of The People

Action of the hunt: Calculate exp as normal for prey taken down. divide this among all members of the hunting party.

Each Meal Returned to The People:
3 exp per meal for leader of the hunt.
1 exp per meal for other members of the hunt.

Spotting Wandering Monsters
Teenage Mutant Cavemen and other members of the People are good at spotting sign they are in danger, having a 10% + tracking roll modifier of noting the presence of a wandering monster. Such a successful roll will alert the party to the presence of the potential foe and the party can break-off before the wandering monster closes or turn the tables on the wandering monster. If the ML has determined the wandering monster will surprise the party only the 1st roll made by the PC's has any chance of success to avoid surprise.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I Was A Teenage Mutant Caveman

This post and a couple following outline a Teenage Mutant Caveman setting as a Different Mutant Future Campaign. The end of civilization happened long ago and tiny pockets of devolved humanity struggle as stone-age savages.

The People have always lived in the valley among the caves. It has always been taboo to travel outside the valley. Those fools that do have wandered back sickened and followed by monsters so all of The People know to stay in the valley. Each generation breeds rebellious youth and as always youth press the limits and some break taboos will the PC's be foolish enough to travel beyond the valley?

Character Creation
PCs in this setting will all begin as Teenage members of The People a primitive Stone-Age tribe of 100-200 or so Mutant Cave-men. Knowledge of the old world is totally absent and long forgotten.
All PC's will start off as Teenage Mutant Caveman (surprise!) 13+1d4 years in age. The People will not accept outsiders, mutant animals or androids at the start of a campaign.

Ability Scores and Modifiers:
+3 to CON (max 18).
If a Teenage Mutant Caveman survives to age 19 they will gain +3 to STR (max 18)
Technology Roll Modifier: -15%, Teenage Mutant Cavemen are not familiar with anything they can't build with sticks, cord and stones.

Tracking Roll Modifier: hunting is a common practice of The People and all PC's will have a Tracking Roll Modifier equal to that listed in the rules for the Technology Roll Modifier based on Intelligence (without the penalty listed above)

Every member of the The People has the same physical Mutation (the ML should choose or roll one for the campaign).
Each member of The People belongs to a family line identified by a common mutation (the ML or Player can roll this 1-20/21-100 mental/physical), all other members of The People that are closely related will have that mutations.
A Teen Age mutant Cave man will have 1 additional Physical Mutations rolled up by the player. A PC will also have 1d4-2 (0-2) mental mutations.

The People are nervous and distrust those with mental mutations families with a mental mutation keep it secret as it is dangerous except for those recognized as a shaman to demonstrate mental mutations as they are considered Bad Magic.

Starting Equipment:
Teenage Mutant Caveman will be allowed one equipment pick per 3 whole points of CHA they have which must be selected from the following list (or one created by the ML).

Teenage Mutant Caveman Equipment
Stone Knife- treat as a dagger in MF rules
Stone Headed Spear- treat as a spear as per MF rules
Spear Thrower- double spear range and provides +2d6 damage bonus to targets within short range.
Throwing Stick- treat as club that can be thrown 10'/20'/30'
Stone Axe- treat as hand-axe, if thrown the blade breaks on a damage roll of 1 or simply falls off on a damage roll of 6 (3 full 10 minute turns to fix).
Sling- a good old fashioned sling, no bullets are manufactured however.
Fur Wrap- Keeps one warm, cavemen without one are naked.
Fur Boots- a good pair of fur boots, without them one moves long distance overland at 1/2 speed
Rain Cape- a smooth and oiled hide used to keep the rain off when caught outside.
Hollow Gourd- a gourd held on a thong serves as the only means to carry water.
A Bag- a bag carried over the shoulder is the peak of storage technology.
Smoked Meat- the pinnacle of stored food. Enough for 1 day.
Sewing Kit- needle and fine cord for fiixing hides.
Fire Kit- a simple means to make fire. Fire making is an important skill among the people.
Fire Carrier- a basket full of shelf fungus, a means to transport coals over a large distance, important for when hunting in remote parts of the valley.
Digger- a digging stick and essential tool for foraging.

Stone Weapon breakage: all stone weapons break on an attack roll of 1 or 20. (20 still harms foe).

As can be seen from the list above the technology of The People is pretty limited. The people have no armor and may react poorly to shields upon discovery.

Technology and Teenage Mutant Cavemen:
Teenage Mutant Caveman and their elders are totally unfamiliar with technology, even metal is alien and wondrous to them. NPCs may flee in terror when confronted with obvious advanced technology. Teenage Caveman in possession of advanced technology may find themselves in great danger and may be driven from the tribe a reaction roll is recommended when they use or display such items near the tribe.

Property Rights
The People are a little iffy on individual property rights. If a character has more possessions then their CHA score/3 a roll must be made at the start of each session begun among The People to see what happens to those extra items.

Property Retention Roll (3d6)
3-4....Tribesman attacks for possession of Item
5...Stolen and hidden by thief.
6...Stolen and displayed by thief.
7...Borrowed without permission.
8...Borrowed and loaner item left in place.
9...Tribesman argues about right to borrow item.
10...Tribesman argues about right to trade for item.
11...Tribesman offers trade calmly.
12-18...Item stays in possession with no incident of note.

If the possessor of an item has CHA 13+ add 1 to the retention roll
If the possessor of an item has high prestige (an elder a leader of recent successful hunts and such) they add 2 to the retention roll.

When an Item is Stolen the tribesman claiming it does not recognize any special right to the character the item was stolen from. Theft is embarrassing but not a punished offense beyond squabbles that may break out between those desiring item. An time that invites frequent incident may be claimed by chief, secured by the shaman, or destroyed. One does not borrow from the chief or shaman without special need.

A Borrowed item will be returned after 2-12 days, 20% chance it is returned damaged (there is no recourse to this socially as broken gear reflects on the quality of the item not the user)

A PC may be able to Borrow one item at the beginning of a session and is unlikely to face repercussion if they return the item borrowed. (use reaction roll if ML wishes)

coming up in future posts: hunting, adventure and a sample setting.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

[Real Life] Baby Grace

My Great-Grandmother Josephine was an Italian garment worker living in NY city, her first child Grace was born in 1910. Baby Grace was a sickly child and passed away before her 1st birthday, my great-grandmother would miss work in her garment factory job to take care of her. One such day my great grand-mother stayed home to take care of baby Grace was March 25, 1911.

That was the day of The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, 146 of my Great-Grandmother's co-workers (mostly young women) died in the flames, from smoke inhalation, or by jumping to their deaths. My great-grand mother (according to family legend) had little doubt she would have died that day had she not stayed home to care for Baby Grace.

Baby Grace died before she was a year old and has come to be regarded as a guardian angel to some of my family. If Grace hadn't been alive that day my great-grand mother would have likely died before she gave birth to Grace's 6 siblings, five of whom went on to have families. There would have been over 120 of my family members who never existed if my Great-Grand Mother Josephine hadn't stayed home to care for Baby Grace.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Abstract Battles I

Many posts back I presented a method to conduct large battle based on morale called Battles in the heart and mind which explored/placed the role of morale as a major factor in large fights and battles and while it serves well in figuring out how large groups respond to combat it wasn't itself a complete mass combat/battle resolution system and certainly didn't cover what happens to the PC in the ebb and flow of major battles.

The most precise way to figure out what happens in large fights/battles is of course to use the standard combat rules but this can drag on and contribute to boredom and fatigue as many dozen attack and damage rolls are made. The next most likely method is miniatures battles which are a heck of a lot of fun and there are a lot of options out there but it alters the nature of play, requires a fair bit of space, a lot of miniatures and will certainly dominate a play session. Another solution and one I'm addressing here is the Abstract Battle.

Abstract Battle resolution assume a large fight (or actual battle) is a huge sweeping affair and the actions of individuals don't always have immediate or significant impact on the resolution of the battle itself and the important factor is how well the Player Character fairs in the battle. The fate of PCs will depends on fate and may be mitigated by their actions but entire battles will be resolved by comparatively few rolls.

The remainder of this post will provide the following cunningly named abstract battle Resolution method: Abstract Battle Resolution Method I

Abstract Battle Resolution Method I
In this method an entire battle is quickly resolved and the results as they fall upon each PC on the battle field are determined and resolved. PCs' may be captured or vanquished and the opportunity to collect bounty will be provided.
How long each battle takes to conduct in game time will vary with the size of armies and conditions of the battle field a clash of hundreds might only take an hour while a turn could take a day or more for epic armies numbering in the tens of thousands.

Step 1. Determine Outcome of Battle.Roll 1d6 for each side (apply a bonus for superior size of army, knowledge of tactics, more magic, etc to a max bonus of +3). The winning side will have the higher score.

Overall Battle Resolution
Compares Scores....Results
win by 4 or more.... Amazing Victory. +6 to PC Battle Roll.
win by 2 or 3.......... Well Fought Victory. +3 to PC Battle Roll.
win by 1.................. Pyrrhic Victory. +1 to PC Battle Roll
tie........................... Indecisive. no modifier to PC Battle Roll
lose by 1..................Forced from field of Battle. -1 to PC Battle Roll
lose by 2-3..............Brutal Defeat. -3 to PC Battle Roll
lose by 4 or more...Stunning Defeat, -6 to PC Battle Roll

Each character taking part in the battle must roll to determine their fate in with a Battle Roll on Step 2.

Step 2. Determine Individual Battle Results

Battle Roll (3d6 + modifiers)
0 or less......Separated and attacked by 20HD
1..................Separated and attacked by 10HD
2-3.............Separated and captured by 20HD
4-5.............Separated and captured by 10HD
6-7.............Attacked by 20HD
8-13...........Attacked by 10HD
14-15..........Attacked by 5HD, may Save Captured Ally if Attack is survived
16-17..........Attacked by 1HD, gain Booty Roll if attack is survived
18.............One Booty Roll
19............. Two Booty Rolls or Save a Captured Ally
20 or more.... Three Booty Rolls or Save a Captured or Vanquished Ally

Attacked by #HD. Make one attack roll as if by monster with HD indictaed per hitdie. Suffer 1d6 damage per hit. PC vanquished if damage exceeds HP. If vanquished make a save vs death if this save fails the PC is slain otherwise roll on Unexpected Survival Table.
If attacked and PC isn't separated they may sacrifice troops under their command , such sacrificed troops are automatically hit for 5 points of damage. Up to 1 defender may be sacrificed per point of CHA the character has. Any surviving members of charters unit may have their morale impacted by this tactic.

Captured by #HD. Make one attack roll as as if by monster with HD indictaed per hitdie. Suffer suffer 1d6 temporary damage per hit. Captured if temporary damage exceeds HP, otherwise PC escapes and rolls on the Escape Battle Table. It is also possible to avoid capture by using magic and special abilities (for easy resolution each such tactic reduces number of capturing HD per level of attempt).

Separated and... As either option above but no sacrifice of allies is permitted as character has been separated from them.

Save a Captured Ally: you may attempt to save an ally captured during the battle.An attack agaisnt enemy unit may be used as with PC getting three attack rolls and being able to roll up to twice CHA as HD attacks if commanding troops. If HD of capturing force is overcome the ally is rescued and they will have 1/2 total normal HP. This attempt will not put the rescuing PC at risk of being captured.

Save a Vanquished Ally: as above for capture. If ally is saved their death was greatly exaggerated they will retain 1 hp per level/HD. This attempt will not put the rescuing PC at risk of begin vanquished.

Booty Roll: The PC does well in battle and gains some booty. Roll on Booty Table.

Step 3. Resolution. If battle was victory each PC with CHA 13+ surviving the fight without having to be rescued (or escape capture or unexpectedly survive) get's a Booty Roll.

Determine loses.
Amazing Victory: All captives reclaimed, 3% of troops slain
Well Fought Victory: 60% captives are reclaimed. 10% of troops slain
Pyrrhic Victory: 30% captives are reclaimed, 20-50% of troops slain, 2-20% leave
Indecisive: 10% of troops are slain, 1d4% leave
Forced from field of Battle. 15% of forces slain. Leader escapes with 80% of force. remainder become brigands and roam countryside.
Brutal Defeat: 30% of forces slain, Leader may make save to escape with 5-50% of force.
Stunning Defeat: 40% losing force slain, 40% captured, leader may make save to escape with 1-20% of force. remainder scatter over countryside.

If battle was indecisive repeat Step 1 if neither side withdraws from fight (withdrawal is automatic if either side decides to do so). Each side will have the opportunity to use healing magics before next round of battle.

The winner may decide to press victory and assault enemy force before it can escape unless the victory was pyrrhic. If done return to step 1.

If step 1 isn't repeated. THE BATTLE IS OVER.

Unexpected Survival Table (1d12)1....Wake on field of battle with wounded enemy knight in view (both at 1/2 normal HP)
2.....Wake on field of battle stripped of all items of value (1 hp/level)
3....Wake on field of battle minus weapon and armor (1 hp/level)
4....Wake on back of steed missing weapon (1/2 normal HP)
5.....Wake under a hay pile on a nearby farm (1 hp/level)
6.....Wake in a peasant hovel being attended by peasant (1/2 normal HP)
7-8...Found by losing side and taken hostage (1 hp/level)
9-10..Found by winning side all gear returned (1 hp/level)
11...Reports of Demise greatly Exaggerated. 3/4 full HP and make another roll Individual Battle Results again.
12.....Escape the reaper, Stll have full HP roll on Escape Battle Table.

Escape Battle Table (2d6 roll)
2-4....Hide under a hay pile on a nearby farm.
5-6....Escape with your skin intact, all gear lost
7........Escape if you abandon armor and shield
8-9....You are stripped of all gear but steal an opponents horse and flee, allies left behind
10-11...You steal an opponents horse and flee, allies left behind
12......You escape with up to 1d6 times your CHA worth of captured allies.

Booty Table (1d100)
1-5..........Fine Sword
6..15.......1-12 Captive Camp Followers, no ransom forthcoming
16-25......Suit of Armor
26-27.....Enemy Banner, possible ransom of 1d100 g.p.
28-35.....1-20 Captive Levy, 30% chance of ransom of 1d10 g.p. each
36-39.....A Mule
40.........A Mule with Supplies
41-55....1-10 Captive Men-at-arms, 50% chance of ransom of 2d10 g.p. each
56-65...Captive Knight, 80% chance of 2d4 x 100g.p. ransom
66-67...Captive Lord, 90% chance of 2d6 x 1,000 g.p. ransom
68-75...Riding Horse
76-80...War Horse
81-95....20 g.p.
96-98...A Gold Ring
99-100....A Ruby Ring

The aftermath of a battle and the ability to exchange captive and get ransoms will vry with conditions of the campaign. Generally gentry are kept for ransom and commoners are slain or enslaved but they may be returned in exchange for captured men at arms.
A number of the results of escapes and survival could be played out and certainly lead to future RPG oportunities.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Map Mutants

The following image is part of a collection of mutant map icons. These and those that will follow in future posts are compatible in size with my earlier posted Map Monsters. These are meant for use with pretty much any post apocalyptic setting with wahoo mutants. I drew on a few sources and a particularly cunning fan of the post-apocalypse genre might be able to identify their inspiration.

Intelligent Mutants are indicated with a vertically pointy hex and unintelligent ones have a flat top. A future post will have weapon icons to indicate tech level and very general armament to place under the icons above.

Legal Mumbo-jumbo:
These map symbols are copyright 2011 by James D. Jarvis, anyone is free to use them for private, shared or commercial projects all I ask is to be notified about the project (a comment here would work fine) and to be credited for my contribution to your project (a link to this post would be cool). An exact copy of the specific image above isn't authorized for redistribution.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Making the other players hate you...

I mostly DM/GM as I enjoy the creativity it provides (along with the teeny-tiny power trip). When I find myself getting to play a character in someone else's game I find myself pushing the envelope but the envelope which I choose to push isn't always the same one.

In one DM's game using mostly the 2nd edtion AD&D rules I found myself playing a half-elven bard by the annoyingly difficult to pronounce name of Tinmiffalen Addergaspt (it could have been spelled that way even) and made darn sure to correct anyone who got the name wrong. If you are going to peg your charcter to a silly name you might as well stand by it.

Tinmiffalen Addergaspt wasn't much of a traveling minstrel he really was a much more a rogue and used his magics in support of legerdemain . I just didn't' want to mufti-class I suppose.

The name itself put me on the list for PC for other fellow PCs to hate camp. I wouldn't let it stop there however.

Need to look around a corner becasue you suspect a monster lurks around the corner? That's what a hat on a staff is for. Any self-loathing monster worth it's hit dice will at least notice the hat on the staff and make it's presence detected. Oh sure you've given your presence away but it wasnt' goign to be a secret much longer anyway, was it?

The dreaded dungeon door is easily dealt with by knocking on it and seeing who answers the door. Do all the occupants sneak about all the time and never bother knocking, I think not, surley soemeone is meant to knock to gain the attention of those inside. Very seldom is there much opportunity left to surprise folks on the other side of a door after having an argument on the other side, deciding who will search, giving 5 guys a chance to listen for noises and then having two or more delvers take turns tryign to kick the door open, get in and discover who is inside by knocking.

Need to get inside the evil villains castle? Castles have doors don't they? Go up and knock on the door. Sure you might need a quick story and that's how my bard became a peddler jumped by adventurers that were trailing him even still and hiding just around the corner not too far from the castle. The party got quickly captured, my bard wasn't and the party most certainly gained access entrance to the Castle of the villain. Escape and exploring the castle was just a few cunning steps away when there's a clever bard on your side that isn't in chains in a dank dungeon cell.

Players and their characters don't always have to follow the same formula of behavior and actions. PCs are not all bound to each other at the hip as if parts of a mult-iheaded-multiclass dungeon looting machine. There are many paths to adventure and game table success and soemtimes it requires one to be just a little willing to get the other players a little angry at you and your character.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mini Dungeon #2

A graphical system-neutral dungeon. This one is a bit tougher than the last.

In case you missed it you can find mini-dungeon #1 by clicking here.

Beastly Map Monsters

The following image is part of a collection of monster map icons.

Legal Mumbo-jumbo:
These map symbols are copyright 2011 by James D. Jarvis, anyone is free to use them for private, shared or commercial projects all I ask is to be notified about the project (a comment here would work fine) and to be credited for my contribution to your project (a link to this post would be cool). An exact copy of the specific image above isn't authorized for redistribution.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Humanoid Map Monsters

The following image is part of a collection of monster map icons.

Legal Mumbo-jumbo:
These map symbols are copyright 2011 by James D. Jarvis, anyone is free to use them for private, shared or commercial projects all I ask is to be notified about the project (a comment here would work fine) and to be credited for my contribution to your project (a link to this post would be cool). An exact copy of the specific image above isn't authorized for redistribution.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mini Dungeon #1

An graphical mini-Dungeon for use with any dungeon exploring fantasy RPG.

This map uses images from my OCD Door Chart a selection of monster icon from my Undead Map Monsters and Humanoid Map Monsters sets.

Undead Map Monsters

The following image is part of a collection of monster map icons. These and those that will follow in future posts are inspired by the old Heroquest game which had an adventure booklet full of one page dungeons where monsters were indicated on the map with graphics. I liked the idea then and I still like the idea.

Legal Mumbo-jumbo:
These map symbols are copyright 2011 by James D. Jarvis, anyone is free to use them for private, shared or commercial projects all I ask is to be notified about the project (a comment here would work fine) and to be credited for my contribution to your project (a link to this post would be cool). An exact copy of the specific image above isn't authorized for redistribution.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Foes Defeateted Recently In Regular Game

A quick Roster of foes the PC's have defeated in my regular game over the past few months with a few notes, just for the heck of it.

1 Vampire
, a vampire thief actually, players never saw that coming took a couple sessions to track down and lay low
4 Young Vampires
, three very young as they were hirelings/help of PCs turned by the Vampire above.

1 Young Howlie
. a Sasquatch
1 Disease Demon, the New Lands is an odd place diseases are often embodied by demons that latch onto mortals and must be battled on the astral plane to successfully cure disease.
over 54 Hillmen of the Snake Garter Nation.(well not all men about half were women and children)
1 Black Bear, poor thing was in wrong place really
1 Wood Spirit , a Dryad tricked but not slain
6 Dwights, Dwarven Wights
3 Crocigators, large crocodiles
1 Pestilence Spirit, A re-skinned Balrog (it killed 2 PCs)
2 Muck Ogres, re-skinned Hill Giants
2 Chimera, this mated pair left behind a nest of eggs the players never found (the pair killed 1 NPC)
1 Eight Headed Hydra

Healing Potions are Magic

In my current campaign I put some thought into how the divine related to the physical world, it's politics and how it might impact game play. While magic can be worked for contract and favor it's not simply another more potent product, magic (and in this discussion magical items) isn't a product that always delivers a specific effect to meet the needs of the user. Magic ties the user to the source of the magic and it's effects are impacted by the relationship.

The players in my campaign have been struggling with the game reality that healing potions are magical and that magic is tied to the gods. In the current campaign a healing potion isn't created with all it's potential healing built in and ready to indiscriminately restore hit points, a healing potion embodies a connection between the recipient and the healing force of divine. As such a healing potion may provide no benefit at all to those with no connection to the divine, it can even prove to be a poison to those who have acted against the divine.

Thus my players find themselves in a continuing quandary: They can't find healing potions that work for all of them. Several month back in the campaign all but one PC joined in on a murder plot that killed a number of priests of the Church of The Celestial Orthodoxy and afterward discovered healing potions were as poison to all involved in the murders. No one in the party has played a cleric so healing has been in short supply for some time.

Only two of the conspirators still survive but as they are the two strongest PCs in the party at this date they are severely disadvantaged. There are other faiths out there but they are rare, stigmatized and even persecuted by The Church so getting into contact with other sources of healing has been difficult. I do have bandaging wounds rule that allows one to regain 1d6 hp shortly after being wounded in a fight so I'm not a total hard ass but serious wounds can take a good long time to recover from if magics aren't at hand. Being raised or resurrected is off the table if one acts agaisnt or beyond The Church as the only clerics known to have such capability are high up in the hierarchy.

The Church itself is hard to avoid. It's the ultimate authority and dominates trade in the New Lands so the players find themselves in a difficult position where they must deal with a reality where political, financial and magical power are controlled and flow from the same source.

Those who hold magic, hold the power and magic is not a simple commodity.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Place for Heroes?

Last year some young bravoes gathered together a collection of arms and armor before setting off to a forgotten corner of the realm where they did pillage an ancient barrow. The grave-robbers were first caught swilling ale and filling their stomachs with mutton in a village tavern by the local warden and forced his retreat with simple conjurations and their clumsy blades. The fools bought all the horses they could find and camped but a couple miles outside of the village where they were quickly found by the Duke and his trusted retainers, the young villains were quickly brought to justice for their debauched thievery of the remains of a Royal ally as they quickly fell to the Dukes' blades and the spells of his magister. Their remains were burnt and denied burial in the earth and their souls condemned to torment in the pit.

So, just what place is there in the classic D&D campaign for the PC as a would-be hero? What chance do wandering vagabonds of disparate origin and anti-social demeanor have?

The castles are ruled by higher level Fighters, Clerics and Magic-Users. These lords and masters have plans of their own that they dont' wish ruined by some patty up-starts. Those lords that came into power from lowly origins are likewise aware of the future danger young adventurers represent. To the lord of a castle the lowly PC is a threat to be eliminated or a resource to be exploited. Those that can't be coerced by force of law, swayed by a fat coin purse or controlled by magic will be destroyed or driven off.

The best chance for the young would-be-hero is to seek a patron as a shield agaisnt the ambitions of others more powerful then themselves. To become involed in what soem call "the end game" at the beginning. Sure there are peasant heroes that didn't start among the ranks of the nobles and their retainers but they are far less common than those who rose among the ranks of the powerful and their underlings.

But we seldom see this in D&D campaigns. Players want to be in control of their own actions and future (which I agree with) but they and their DM's fail to see the way to gain control is to become part of the controlling structure. The hobbit's were the only main characters in LotR that weren't nobles and tied to Middle earth accept as chosen by fate and their free will, every other character was compelled by association to the power structure to be part of the fellowship and some of the hobbits themselves were quickly swept up into the power structure in reaction to their actions. Sure LoTR could be seen as one colossal Railroad of an adventure as it's a novel and not an RPg campaign but it shows the precedent.

Elric of Melniboné the anti-hero of Michael Moorcocks Young Kingdoms is among the most elite of his world. He doesn't start a 1st level nobody in some remote corner of the realm. He's most certainly in "the end-game". King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table are most certainly of the power structure. The heroes of the Illiad are bound to the power structure or to the gods themselves. The nameless peasant-turned hero and king is still of course a popular story, but you do notice he becomes the King?

Those who wish to be shortsighted wandering vagabonds should be given that privilege. Those that actually strive for more should also get the opportunity. In the main Heroes are made and usually die before they get to enjoy their status.

So what place is their for the PC? The lowly rascal, the outlaw and the vagabond offer a short but possibly longer lasting life than that of the usual would-be hero. But there is little reward and far less glory. Those that find themselves a place at thetable beside the king get to be celebrated forever.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Busy,busy, busy

I've haven't been blogging a whole lot lately as I've been busy with a few art contracts, great for me, not so great for the blog, really bad for this guy...

My lovely wife also got me the Tome of Horrors Complete for my birthday, lot's to read in there.