Sunday, January 20, 2019

Murderhobos Mutual Wants You (an RPG)

In the below-embedded google doc, I have started an RPG inspired by Amazon Mutual Wants You as well as the OSR notion about how to fix 0D&D thief abilities: Maybe thieves don't have just 20% to pick a pocket at low levels. Maybe they have a twenty percent chance to succeed anyways where others would fail (in other words, they get a back-up roll). I took this idea and made a little percentiles system and a fun setting.

If you cannot access google docs that have been embedded, the link to it is here. I love it when people correct typos or make "I see what you did there" comments on my google docs. I've made a lot of little heartbreaker RPGs over the years, and intend to start sharing them more here soon.


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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Crossword Spell Reserch (my version)

Courtesy of Telecanter
Since Something Something 2d6 uses word combinations to make words, my eyes perked up when I read this post at TRR about using crosswords to define how to research spells. I have an alternate take on that idea, that uses free-form, level-independent spells. I'm going to use T's image to kind of illustrate the idea, but like I said, this is an alternate take, so bear with me.

So here are the changes, listed as system from the ground up, so not so much changes as they are inspired ideas.
  1. Each wizard (or multiclasser wizard) starts their first level with one word of their choice, their eureka concept, that they want to learn (they gots no magics till they do, in fact). As soon as they learn it, they can start using it to cast spells. So you could, for instance, chose to go for "run" or "rune", but run would be easier to learn and do vastly different things than rune, but longer words might be more advantageous for your repertoire-building (see no. 6). You could later expand run to be rune, runner, runny, etc (see no. 7).
  2. The player (not the DM), writes the word they intend to learn on a grid (maybe even a scrabble board).
  3. Each time they find a valuable or hard-won tome, curio, or reagent that can help them learn a letter of the spell, they can take a week to study it and check off a letter from among their words (this is when you get the satisfaction of using pen to fill in a crossword).
  4. Once all the letters in a word have been learned, it can be cast as a spell of its name. For instance, if you learned SEEK, you could tell the DM, "I am casting SEEK to try and divine the location of something".
  5. If you have done the scrabble option, maybe they have +x to cast it, or deal damage with it, or to its efficacy, depending on what kind of elf-game magic we are talking here (in SS2d6, you have to beat DC 7 to cast basic spells, but I digress).
  6. Now then, since the player is in control of their arcane interests, if they want to start studying a word that shares a letter with any current words they are learning, that's okay. The PC names these words too. Any overlapping letters are learned for both spells only once. So for instance, if you were using the pictured Seeks Enemy Mage Dart spell, and you were to learn the E from 1, you would also have it for free for 2. 
  7. Players can elect to modify their words later, adding letters (i.e. change "dart" to "darts"). They just have to be careful to not negate any previously learned words that share letters by somehow messing up their spelling.  If it can't be done in Scrabble, don't do it.
  8. Players can elect to start new words elsewhere on the grid, no problem, unless you are using Scrabble. If you are using Scrabble, be sure to give board square bonuses and give the PC seven starting letters from a Scrabble bag to make them feel better about the fact that they might one day run out of ways to add words.
  9. You could use these rules for alchemists, clerics, etc, with a little adjustment. Imagine mixing two chemicals or prayers to make an interesting effect.
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Friday, November 30, 2018

Five RPG Tomes that Drove Me to Existential Despair

There's an RPG challenge going around like a squamous thing from times primordial. As you know, I cannot resist the siren's call of such forbidden joiningness. The Internet has an inexhorable pull. The challenge is to list five RPGs that changed you. Listed in this web journal to-day is an account of my harrowing experiences with a quintet of ineffable RPGs that should not be.

1: Bronies vs Humanity
At first, I found the central mechanic, that of using cards to contsruct a pony avatar, quite charming, but a sinister development soon reveals itself when you sit down to make a diminuative, equine construction. Little could I and my assistant guess that the being we created would soon develop beyond our control. She wanted more parts, and heaven help us, for we gave them to her. A hoof here, an ear there, and all too soon she had developed beyond our control. With her new-found appendages came an inhuman averace. In the end, I ran screaming from that game table.

2: Mazes and Monsters
Woe be to those that open the appendia and gaze upon the optional rules. That which conceals itself as a fun LARPing experience seems to be in actuality an esoteric ritual performed by the unwhitting players. If that tunnel complex had been larger, perhaps a touch more cyclopean in its contruction, we might have lost even more than we did. Poor Tom will be missed.

3: O.S.R.
Whilst I was perusing the dusty volumes at the back of the Miskatonic University library, I happened upon this one, and, intrigued by the logo--which seemed to have some sort of mercurial hologram that changed when I looked at it from different angles-- picked it up. The library was closing so I didn't really get a chance to examine it closely until midnight. As I pondered over those pages in the dim candle-light my roommate "Ogre" would deign to let me use while he snored in a rather ranine manner, I made connections that bring me to the brink of revulsion to this day. The central mechanic seemed to be using the letters O, S, and R as the beginning letters of your actions to accieve tasks, but this deceptively innoculous exercise has horrific ramifications. Once you use one of those words in the game, it seems to gain power. Impossible, I know, but soon I started to notice changes to my environment. Never again can I be at ease around things like Oranges, Sunglasses, or Raisins, to name but a few things. Luckily, these objects seem only inimicable to my local gaming group, for now. Oh, my, I think I hear an Oboe scuttling by just now. I must hide.

4: Rat Guts
Now, I want to assure you, gentle reader, that I have never engaged in this game as a player, but when I heard of this back-woods RPG played by inbred hillfolk of rural New England, I traveled against my better judgement to the place where it was rumored to have issued from. In the town of Ozcruk, a young attendant at the gas station surmised my intentions and tried to warn me away. He explained that like me he was an outsider and merely worked in town for summer cash, but that he had seen things. Strange, hunched over figures, that can be glimpsed in the tree-line at dusk. "Sir," he implored me, "don't go looking into that game. There are things slightly less horrible. Have you tried FATE?" But in my hubris, I ignored the youth, parked my automobile in a secluded spot, and treked through the woods until I chanced upon the foul activity the locals call Rat Guts. At first, it seemed like any quaint hill-nerd occasion, with an abundance of Mountain Dew and Monty Python quotes, but soon the game started in earnest, as I spied on through a hole in the walls. The players dipped into what should have been a bag of Cheetos and produced a live rodent. I shall not go into gory detail about the gameplay that followed, but a strange part of me, a shameful part, thought the divination the game referee performed as he examined the splatter patterns was fascinating. I could see the reasoning, mad as it was, behind the +2 bonus for spleen distance. Suffice to say, I was lucky to have been able to sneak away with both my sanity and body intact.

5: Flowers for Zothique
A scientist-friend introduced this one--part parlor game and part dissertation-- at a dinner party, and I am rather luckily that I decided to just watch, rather than participate. I guess my scepticism of homebrews saved me this time. It was a most intriguing system, wherein the players took a certain pill--that our friend assured us he had developed himself and was completely safe and its effects temporary--in order to expand their consciousness and enhance their immersion as they advanced in the plot. To his horror and mine, the participants could not stop roleplaying. To this day, they are locked away and bound in straight jackets, muttering about getting that pie away from that orc. I'd rate the adventure he ran at a 4 out of 5.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The HP nomenclature problem

Embedded in this post is a link to my four-page RPG, Something Something 2d6. You can read it on google docs if you can't see it here.

While play-testing it via ye olde Tomb of Horrors, we came up against one of those traditional RPG debates: what are HP? To a degree, the problem with pinning them down is probably due to their name. Hit Points makes it sound like you get hit. And you do, when someone rolls a to-hit roll against you. The thing is, in SS2D6, we have clerics of a different color, and they don't heal HP. They mend flesh and bones. So there was a disconnect when someone was like, "I'm not hurt, I just want to be healed."

One of the players said, "Think of them as Plot Armor points". And thus, I switched to PA instead of HP. We'll see how it goes. I would love to call HP Luck Points, but Luck is a stat (ability score) in our game.

Anyways, we are having some good fun, so checking out SSD6 might give you some useful ideas. I like the free-form magic system and all kinds of other things about it, including the crits, the non-spell-casting clerics, and the bonus dice each class gets. Also, check out the comment about how we are trying out leveling everyone else when one of their companions dies.


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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Cutting Crits and Wicked Wounds

I'm finally getting around to adding my own crits for Quest for It, my fantasy heartbreaker that marries DCC with DW's "no boring rolls" mechanics. You can check out QFerrit here.

Anyways, here are some crits for edged weapons. Unlike in DCC, everyone uses the same crit charts, but there are options embedded in the charts for the fighter-types and other types. This is still a draft.

You could totes use these in a normal DCCRPG game by tweaking the ability score names and rolling usual crit die sizes. These crits are heavily inspired by http://www.windsofchaos.com's Warhammer crits, but I think Warhammer crits inspired DCC's, so it's a fun circle of death.

Crit Source: Cutting weapons (typically melee only)

Cut 1: (1d7) 1) foe’s weapon and yours obliterate each other (they shatter); 2) wrist nicked; blood flow makes foe’s weapon get slippery next round; they’ll have to save or drop it; 3) foe’s helm is knocked off if they have one, but if they don’t they are momentarily disoriented, giving you the option to get in a quick jab at +1d or withdraw safely; 4) foe’s torso armor is busted open a bit (+1d to further dmg against them) or, if not wearing armor there, they are stunned for a round; 5) shin-slap forces foe to make a Con save or drop their weapon and hop around, gripping leg; 6) force of blow does 1d5 extra damage, but your weapon gets knocked out of your hand in the process and puts you in a tough spot that the Judge will describe; 7) you get your weapon stuck in foe’s extremity (losing it); they have to make a save or drop their weapon and desperately grasp at yours to pull it out in an attempt to stop the pain.

Cut 2: 1) foe disarmed and you have the option to follow them and get in a free attack at +1d if they try to recover it; 2) fingers grazed; save or drop weapon; 3) glancing blow against side of head causes-1d next round; 4) poke to foe’s side pains them and they lose use of shield for a round, or, if they don’t have a shield, they’re stunned for a round; 5) force of blow does 1d6 extra damage, but if this kills your foe, your weapon is stuck in them for a round (guts are a sticky vacuum); 6) foe slips on a heretofore unnoticed turtle; you get in an attack and they are stunned during it.

Cut 3: 1) biceps slash; foe needs to save or drop their weapon and is at -1d damage this battle; 2) temple grazed; -1d to damage and saves for a round; 3) rib broken and pierced; foe has to make a save or be stunned for a round as it wheezes and gasps in pain; in addition, if the save is failed another save is needed to hold onto its weapon; 4) thigh strike forces a save vs falling to the ground, stunned for a round; 5) foe’s shield or helm shattered d5 extra damage if they have neither).

Cut 4: 1) deltoid gashed; foe drops weapon in pain; even if they recover it, they won’t be able to do beyond 1d4 dmg this fight with their weapon attacks; 2) forehead slash drips copious blood into the eyes, giving attackers +1d to hit until middling; 3) weapon pierces right into trapezius; foe must save at -1d or drop weapon; 4) deep slice down to the bone of the upper leg; foe drops to the ground, and drops their weapon for a round; 5) smash foe’s hand; they drop a weapon and--due to a couple broken bones--cannot pick it up with that hand (off-hand attacks are -1d to hit/dmg).

Cut 5: 1) foe’s weapon shattered; 2) back of foe’s hand is skinned; they drop their weapon and have to make a save to avoid dropping things in the other hand to grip the wounded one; 3) slam to side of foe’s head, stunning them until a middling result is rolled; 4) chest gash; foe must save or be stunned until a middling result is rolled; 5) groin poke barely misses femoral artery; you may spend 1 Luck to force them to save versus bleeding out, and even if you don’t they still have to save versus gripping the wound in pain for two rounds.

Cut 6: 1) deep swing rebounds off of radius bone; weapon dropped and foe is at -1d to hits/dmg with this arm until it heals over a week; 2) carve a bit of flesh off foe’s neck causing blood spurt; they must get it bandaged before three rounds have passed or be forced to save vs unconsciousness each round; 3) gall bladder punctured, and it spills its contents; foe must save versus retching, and will die of infection if not well-treated; 4) weapon lodged in foe’s femur; they drop to their good knee and you have the option to make a +2d check to wrench the weapon out and deal 1d4 extra damage; 5) 1d5 extra damage if you aren’t a death-dealer, but if you are you enter a battle rage.

Cut 7: 1) weapon lodges between radius and ulna; foe cannot use this hand and writhes in pain, stunned; you can make a +2d check to dislodge the weapon next round, dealing 1d12 extra damage; 2) most of ear flies off; future Char checks may be affected, and if this is the second lost ear -1d to hearing tests 3) weapon lodges from above into hip bone; foe cannot use this hand and writhes in pain, stunned; you can make a +2d check to dislodge the weapon next round, dealing 1d12 extra damage; foe has -1d Coord to run until healed; 4) hamstring severed; make a -1d save to stay standing ; foe has -2d Coord to run until healed; 5 or 6) 1d6 extra damage if you aren’t a Death-dealer, but if you are you enter a battle rage.

Cut 8: 1) biceps-tendon severed; this arm is useless until healed and save each round vs bleeding out; 2) foe tries to bend back to dodge, but you slice their nose off; save each round vs bleeding out and permanent loss of 1d to Cha; 3) groin stab makes opponent stunned until someone gets a middling result; save vs sterility; 4) knee-cap whisked off; foe falls to good knee and is not coming up this battle, stunned until a middling result happens; 5 to 7): 1d7 extra damage if you aren’t a Death-dealer, but if you are you enter a battle rage.

Cut 9: 1) large chunk of one shoulder hits someone’s cheek; you may spend a Luck to have the chunk hit eyes and blind someone for a round instead; foe is bleeding out 2) weapon cleaves into helm or skull; in either case the foe is stunned until you pull the weapon out, dealing 1d12 extra damage; 3) bladder puncture; unless healed somehow, foe must save vs infection and also has a permanent, stinky leak, netting -1d to Cha; 4) upper and lower leg-connecting ligament severed; foe writhes helpless for the rest of this battle and will be at -1d Coord when moving in the future; 5) roll a result from above and enter a battle rage if you are a Death-dealer.

Cut 10: 1) foe loses 1d5 fingers; if roll meets or exceeds fingers on that hand, whole hand is instead severed at the wrist causing a panic; save or flee; 2) ear torn off at the root; -1d to listening attempts in the future; 3) guts spill out a bit; save to stay conscious, but -1d to hits/dmg even if they do; healing necessary for survival and even then save vs infection; 4) achilles tendon severed; hopping about in pain is possible with a save, but foe is at -1d to all rolls and their instinct is very much to just crawl away in terror; 5) roll a result from above and enter a battle rage if you are a Death-dealer.
Cut 11: 1) arm severed at the elbow; bleeding out and save vs fleeing; 2) bleeding gash down the face and into the collarbone; foe bleeding out and a cumulative -1d to everything until bandaged; 3) spleen-kebob; cumulative -1d to everything until a die would dip below 1d3, at which point they pass out and need healing to survive, and even then save vs infection; 4) foe loses 1d5 toes and if the great to is lost, they will hereafter always be -1d to run; foe also is stunned until someone rolls a middling result; 5) scalped and blood rushes into eyes, blinding for a round; save vs infection; 6) foe disarmed so expertly that they must save or drop to their knees and beg for mercy; 7) roll a result from above and enter a battle rage if you are a Death-dealer.

Cut 12: 1) guts spilling out all over boot; foe may only numbly attempt to scoop them back up and will die at battle’s end unless supernaturally healed somehow, and even then the experience will leave them with an insanity; 2) foot shorn off; bleeding out on the ground and will need a peg-leg to get around; 3) gash right through an eye ruins it beyond natural healing; save vs fleeing and infection; Char checks affected; if foe is a death dealer they may spend a Luck to avoid all secondary effects and instead get mad enough to enter battle rage; 4) collar bone is driven down near the lung; foe must make Luck check or have lung pierce by bone, which kills with d10 rounds; even if that save is made the arm is useless until healed and foe is -1d to everything; 5) you pin foe to a surface, you may spend 1 or 2 Luck to add one or two extra people to the weapon-kebab, respectively, depending on how long your blade is; 6) you enter a battle trance, reducing all incoming attack damage at you by 1d for this fight; 7) roll a result from above and enter a battle rage if you are a Death-dealer.

Cut 13: 1) Arm severed at the shoulder; bleeding out and if they somehow survive the foe will be at a permanent -4 Coord die sizes; 2) lower jaw and tongue have a bit nipped off; several teeth gone, affecting Cha rolls; bleeding out and unable to cast most spells in the future due to speech impediment; 3) puncturing in from the side,through a kidney, and lodging in the spine renders foe immediately unconscious and bleeding out; even if they survive that and an infection save, one or both legs will be permanently paralysed; 4) leg severed at knee; only magical healing can stop this bleeding in time; 5) you deal class damage die in bonus damage to a nearby secondary foe too; Death-dealers can spend a Luck to repeat this with a tertiary target, etc.; 6) you enter a defensive stance, reflecting all 3 damage or lower rolls back at your opponent; 7) roll a result from above and enter a battle rage if you are a Death-dealer.

Cut 14: 1) right through the shoulder and deep into the chest your blade goes; foe can do naught but slide down to the floor to die from bleeding out with no chance of saving; 2) slashed from temple through jaw and past the collar-bone; they die right away and you are showered in jugular blood, making all foes that witness this have to save vs fleeing and then save again for each ally that fled; 3) as result 2, but the shower comes from a severed aorta; 4) deep puncture into femoral artery reduces foe into a spasming blood-sprinkler flopping about on the floor; no magics will be fast enough to save them before they die within a round; 5) roll a result from above, and an extra crit against a nearby secondary foe, then enter a battle rage if you are a Death-dealer.

Cut 15: 1) from one shoulder to the opposite hip, you bifurcate your foe; 2) decapitated head lands in foe’s ally’s hands, scaring them off; 3) a vertical cut flashes, then you pause to let your foe realize that they are dead as their surprised halves fall apart; 4) cruciformly-separated quadrants tumble to the floor; 5) roll a result from above, and an extra crit against a nearby secondary foe, and you may pay one Luck per target beyond the second that you want to crit, then enter a battle rage if you are a Death-dealer.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ironclaw: A fun, furry alternative to Hit Points

As the Dying Earth Sun equivalent of our great hobby (Google Plus) finally sputters its last, I am starting to go through my old posts and see what I want to share here for posterity.  I'm not the most frequent blogger, because G+ was good for low effort games talk and sharing. My attitude was presaged: I remember sitting at a Danny Choo party for who's whos among online Japan people (I used to be one) about ten years ago and hearing from another, much richer web guy that blogs were soon to be dead. But I value blogs as a semi-stable preservation of information. If my g+ posts become as inaccessable as my old Google Buzz or Reader posts, well, they'll be gone like nerd tears in the rain.

So here is the first post where I share something I think deserves eyes. In this case, it is an alternative to using HP. It doesn't even do wounds the same way as you usually see, really. Nor is it just a series of boxes like a White Wolf product might use. Take a look. One of the most interesting RPGs out there just happens to be for furries. I found it so intriguing I've been kind of folding it into my heartbreaker RPG.

You can read more about Ironclaw at 1d4chan.

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Shmégel Preview Prt2:

Smegel manor will have lots of effects that play with life and death. Maybe I'll adapt the table about resurrection complications from Tegel.
    One of the interesting but kinda too crazy things about the statues in the original Tegel is that every single one did some thing for or to the PCs. Combine that with statues that are missing bits, and it was a bit overly-complicated, so this is my stream-lined take.
    Spooky Statuary is one part of the draft I'll probably expand (a d4 is just not enough results). Anyhoo, I think this take is a lot clearer than the d12xd8 table of the original Tegel Manor. Have a look at where it's at now in this image:


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