Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merging Rhialto the Marvellous into The 998th Conclave of Wizards

The 998th Conclave of Wizards (Goodman Games) has a couple minor issues. One of them is the introduction scene of the wizards. There are two problems with it:
1) There is a page of flavor text introducing them. Split over 2 pages. And the players are expected to sit through them. Talk about OSR sacrilege.
2) The wizards aren't Rhialto the Marvellous and his buds.

So the solution, as I see it, is to skip the scene altogether. Rather, the players are brought to the city by some random circumstances. In my own campaign, I had the city be the silver city on the moon hinted at by Raggi in The God that Crawls. And Scotty from #Shmelerak sent them there. There are a million portals that could be seeded.

Once in town, they hear the the Stary Council is looking for new (male) recruits, who will be allowed to attend the next conclave (like comic-con for wizards), and get library privileges, etc. If they inquire further (they don't have to because agency, m'kay), they get to meet first one of the little people that provides handy exposition and then 1d3 random members of the Rhialto Super Friends Squad that happen to be holding court that day. Here is a d24 table of them:
  1. Ildefonse, the Preceptor of the council.
  2. Rhialto the Marvellous. The apogee of wizardly fashion.
  3. Herark the Harbinger, precise and somewhat severe.
  4. Shrue, a secret diabolist*, whose witticisms mystify his associates, and sometimes disturb their sleep of nights.
  5. Gilgad, a small man with large gray eyes in a round gray face, always attired in rose-red garments. His hands are clammy, cold and damp; his touch is avoided by all.
  6. Vermoulian the Dream-walker, a person peculiarly tall and thin, with a stately stride.
  7. Mune the Mage, who speaks minimally and manages a household of four spouses.
  8. Zilifant, robust of body with long brown hair and a flowing beard.
  9. Darvilk the Miaanther, who, for inscrutable purposes, affects a black domino.
  10. Perdustin, a slight blond person without intimates, who enjoys secrecy and mystery, and refuses to reveal his place of abode.
  11. Ao of the Opals, saturnine, with a pointed black beard and a caustic manner.
  12. Eshmiel, who, with a delight almost childish in its purity, uses a bizarre semblance half-white and half-black.
  13. Barbanikos, who is short and squat with a great puff of white hair.
  14. Haze of Wheary Water, a hot-eyed wisp with green skin and orange willow-leaves for hair.
  15. Panderleou, a collector of rare and wonderful artifacts from all the accessible dimensions.
  16. Byzant the Necrope.
  17. Dulce-Lolo, whose semblance is that of a portly epicure.
  18. Tchamast, morose of mood, an avowed ascetic, whose distrust of the female race runs so deep that he will allow only male insects into the precincts of his manse.
  19. Teutch, who seldom speaks with his mouth but uses an unusual sleight to flick words from his finger-tips. As an Elder of the Hub, he has been allowed the control of his private infinity.
  20. Zahoulik-Khuntze, whose iron fingernails and toenails are engraved with curious signs.
  21. Nahourezzin, a savant of Old Romarth.
  22. Zanzel Melancthones. Those who meet him forget the details.
  23. Hache-Moncour, whose vanities and airs surpass even those of Rhialto.
  24. Hurtiancz, short and burly, notorious for his truculent disposition.
*: As diabolism is verboten, Shrue is likely the secret villain of this module.
†: Teutch will refuse to hold court with females in attendance. This is but one of the facets of the council's sexism. Females are much derided by the order as they think women to be seduction targets at best and dark practitioners of the art of ensqualming at worst. Let players hate the wizards; they can relish them being taken down in the future by that old threat from a previous aeon: The Murthe. Or maybe the PCs will actually help out on the conclave's darkest hour, because agency.

More details about each wizard can be found here.

Anyhoo, outside of the council court encounter, the players can look into rumors and such, finding out details of whatever wizards they want to target for burgling, the spell duel, or patronage.

At some point, roll one of the wizards to be missing along with the Baton of Perpetual Light, opening the option to go to their tower or The Obelisk out in space.

The wizards should be given ad hoc spell-effects in a spell duel based on the following d12 spell names/how high they rolled (just roll one each round the wizard can cast something; roll a d5 to see what level the spell is):
  1. Xarfaggio's Physical Malepsy
  2. Arnhoult's Sequestrious Digitalia
  3. Lutar Brassnose's Twelve-fold Bounty
  4. The Spell of Forlorn Encystment
  5. Tinkler's Old-fashioned Froust
  6. Clambard's Rein of Long Nerves
  7. The Green and Purple Postponement of Joy
  8. Panguire's Triumphs of Discomfort
  9. Lugwiler's Dismal Itch
  10. Khulip's Nasal Enhancement
  11. Radl's Pervasion of the Incorrect Chord
  12. Claytonian's Attributive Counterspell
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

LOTFP Summon Spell for DCC (another way)


I and others have previously explored ways to use Lamentation of the Flame Princess's summon spell in DCCRPG. This is another attempt, but this time, I'm utilizing the fumble and misfire mechanics of DCC spells. You'll probably need both Lamentations and DCC to use this spell. DCC demons don't seem to have a set way to determine Will, so I just went by HD. Also, I did away with most of that play it safe and summon a weak demon rigamarole.


Google doc link if you can't read the embedded text.
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Calabraxis Expanded

+Stephen Murrish has taken the basics of Wizardarium of Calabraxis and expanded it it just the ways I always hoped a reader would; he added an extra dungeon level and a nearby town. It's a really significant amount of content which could probably make a dungeon on it's own...
Non-embedded google docs version viewable here.



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Sunday, February 28, 2016

[KIWF] new ability: Undying

I've already done a version of KIWF regeneration for monsters, but this is a new way. Click the monster abilities label at the end of the post for more of the like. See the insert below for the latest iteration of my beta fantasy heartbreaker rules that happens to share this blog's name.

Undying x: Each round, the monster's last (rightmost) hit die goes up by x pips. If it would go over six, give the monster a lost hit die back, if any are available, from the players' bloodpool and set it at one pip.

Conga Undying x: As above, but start hit dice gaining pips from the left, and carrying over each time they would hit 6 to their brother on the right.

Ultra Undying x: As above, but every hit die is gaining pips each round.

Glutton Undying x: as above, but the monster can gain new hit dice by stealing them from its own bloodpool.

Godlike Undying x: as above, but the monster can gain new hit dice by stealing them from any bloodpool.

Emotion Vampire: Like Undying, but  only get's new pips under certain conditions (barbarian launches into a berserker fury, player threatens the DM, (N)PC watches their loved one get killed or boinked, etc.), and the new dice come from the player's bloodpool if it can.

So below is KIWF (the rules have been tinkered with over the last 4 years), but I've also been toying with another set of die-pool RPG rules. I might combine them at some point. The new thing is here.


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Thursday, February 18, 2016

DCC spells shoved into 2d6 Dungeon World boxes

Access to DCC spells can make a DW PC pretty powerful. The below system is an attempt to allow access to some of that power to PCs, but the DW judge will also have to adjust a lot of spell results on the fly. For instance, damage numbers might have to be brought closer to what DW spells of equivalent levels usually do.  
Fffffffffuuuuuuuuu

When you cast a spell from DCC, add +Int (or +Cha for clerics).

  • On a 7+ you cast an iteration of the spell. Start with the lowest successful iteration of the spell as it is written in DCC rules. That is the result you get if you roll a seven. Then go one iteration higher in concordance with higher roll results, but only if you have a level equal to the amount you would increase in iterations (i.e. have be level 2 to cast the second iteration, etc.).
    • For instance, the first iteration of Animal Summoning (DCC core rules page 129) is the 12-13 result by DCC's rules. Any 1st level wizard could cast this, as it is the first iteration.
    • Normally, for Animal Summoning, the 28-29 (the 6th iteration) results are max you can roll with an ability modifier of 0. This could be cast by a wizard of level six or higher.
    •  If you have an ability modifier of +3, you'll get up to the "32+" iteration of the spell, as long as you are level eight or higher.
  • On boxcars, if you have a positive modifier to casting, you shift the spell results up one iteration.
  • On a 6 or less, mark XP, the spell fails to come to pass, and...
    • ...If you are a wizard, the spell is forgotten until you dedicate spell level's worth of hours to re-memorizing it from your grimoire. The judge will make a move based upon the spell's flavor or just some other appropriate gm move.
    • ...If you are a cleric, your disaproval range increases by one (it starts at 1) 
  • On snake-eyes, you suffer the iteration of spell results listed in the DCC rules for the spell as if you had rolled a 1 on a d20.  
    • Wizards might misfire, get corruption, or patron taints. Also, the judge may make a move.
    • Clerics will have to roll on the deity disapproval table. And their disapproval range will go up. The judge will make a move.
    • Neither type of character may burn Luck to get out of this. That would be boring.

 

SPELL BURN (get past those pesky level limits)

Wizards care little for the weakness of the flesh. It is a tool...

When you are a wizard and you conduct a swift act of self-mutilation or sacrifice (monsters will try to take advantage of this momentary pause if someone doesn't keep them at bay), describe the horrid thing you are doing and take ability score damage.
  • For each point of Constitution you sacrifice, increase a die in your next spell-casting attempt's size by one step (use the zocchi DCC dice chain). The dice must be grown in turns. For instance, one point would give you a d7+d6 to cast a spell, two points could give you d7+d7, but not d8+d6.
  • For each point of Dexterity you sacrifice, take +1 forward to maintain concentration on precise somatic and oral movements for a spell while being attacked by would-be spell-quashing foes.
    • For instance, a cheeky goblin shoots at you as you chant, but you keep casting despite the pain by applying the plus to a concentration move.
  • For each point of Strength you sacrifice, you can treat your level as one level higher (and thus get access to more powerful iterations of spells, and spell results with those iterations).
  • If you roll snake-eyes after committing spell burn, one of the ability points you lost (determined randomly) is lost permanently!
Clerics may spellburn under some special circumstances, as appropriate according to the fiction. See the DCC core rules.

 

GOD BURN

Clerics may tempt the wrath of their gods.

When you plead with your gods for more of their holy might to fill your unworthy vessel, first increase you disapproval range for the day by an amount you choose.
Then you can ignore level limits for spell iterations by that amount. On a 7+ rolled to the cast a spell move, it will still work if even if the rolled result is within disapproval range (you'll face the consequences after the spell's results have started).


 Clerics can cast more powerful results from certain holy places.

 

Armor considerations

Maybe no wizard can cast spell iterations above level-armor bonus. That might be appropriate.

 

Concentrate

If you are damaged while readying a spell that should take a while (one round or more under the DCC rules), you will need to make a concentration check. Failure means you check for snake-eyes. If you roll them, you'll lose the spell and take other "1" results.
If you pass the concentration check, cast the spell with a roll as planned.

 

Saves

Lots of DCC spells allow targets saves. You'll have to figure out how to judge these on the fly, but maybe consider the monster's properties and tags. If it's smart, and facing a charm spell, maybe a follow up move from the character to overpower its mind is appropriate, etc. But DCC spell save DCs are crazy anyways, so don't feel to bad about letting the PCs affect monsters as a reward for casting a spell.

 

Learning/Knowing Spells

All the limitations to learning spells based on Intelligence score from DCC are applicable to the DW PCs. They should have numbers and levels of spells as per their DCC analog's advancement charts.

If a PC wants to learn a spell from a spell-book, make a quest out of it.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

d24 Names for Tough PCs and NPCs

Give them to a tough dood, dudette, or third genduder. Mix and match and mash the given and surnames.


1
Deathtit
Cinachøke
2
Kag
Lafgüt
3
Sword
Dagshiv
4
Hisneimiz
Akilinwurd
5
Sopping
Hardman
6
Holy
Diver
7
Slap
Dashzson
8
Kill
Kilkil
9
Argun
Groanstein
40
Fatt
Rekless
11
Lurv
Wortmun
12
Leroy
Jenkins
13
Dab
Gentilblud
14
Mash
Lovesperm
15
Dirkk
GentlechΩk
16
Phelonius
Derkski
17
Slick
Arghorn
18
Hort
Cuttington
19
Garg
LeBlood
20
Doom
Shake-spear
21
Fark
Asshold
22
Oam
Mahnswat
23
Hohld
Mahbeir
24
Float
Nugget

Bonus name: Bloody Morose

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Interview! Aaron Kesher of THAC0: The Movie Fame

THAC0 might seem at first to be just some amateur project, but it is really, genuinely good, especially once the intro has passed. Based on a play, it has great dialogue and will make any RPG smile. Especially when they make fun of GURPS. And Neil Gaiman is in it for a second! It also scratches my suburban/cold-mid-west-hell gamer nostalgia itch.

I bugged Aaron (the guy who leaves everybody hanging all the time in the movie) on Google Plus for some info on this great work. The short interview is below the embedded video. It's short because though I asked follow up question Aaron stuck to character and left me hanging. Oh well, as long as you get a chance to enjoy a great movie, I've done my job!

"You've got to convert to 3rd edition!"
"Why?"
"Why?! What the hell kind of question is that? It's the new edition." 
"So?"
"It's the new edition! It's one number higher!"


Me:

 
You've mentioned THACO started as a play. Who wrote it? How long was it? How many times was it performed? Were the cast members of the movie also in the play acting troop?


THAC0 did indeed start as a play, written for the 2005 Minnesota Fringe Festival by my multi-talented friend Bill Stiteler, who's active in the MPLS theater world. He's written a number of other plays for the Fringe as well, including an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's lesser known graphic novel "Signal to Noise", in which I also participated, and the slightly infamous "Watching Porn".

All FF shows are an hour long. It's a dynamic venue, so when you finish you have 10 minutes to strike your entire show and get off the stage so the group coming in after you can have 10 minutes to set up before their curtain. Needless to say, the sets are minimalist. In fact we managed to fit it all in my Honda Element, where we stored it until the next performance.

There were five performances, the last three of which, after word got out in the MPLS gaming community, were completely sold out. Some people even saw it twice, which was pretty awesome. You could hear people in the audience, as we were setting up, saying "Oh--I used to have that game!"

We did another run, about a year later, maybe, in a small local theater. Only  three performances I think. We also had the chance to perform selected scenes at CONvergence. I couldn't be there for some reason, but my shoes were awesomely filled by Dawn Krosnowski.

I dug this up after some searching: http://thacothemovie.com/ [the link was dead by the time I clicked on it, but you can always plug it into The Wayback Machine]

You see pictures from both instances in the Flash rotation... I'm the one with the earrings and SF MOMA t-shirt...

The play and the movie had the same cast, though with some of us in different roles. In the play, I believe our names were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I played Mark, the DM, and I Bill played Matthew, the guy we were waiting for. The play had an extra element where, between scenes in the basement, Matthew was spotlighted and delivered a monologue about different aspects of geek culture. This didn't make it into the movie.

In the movie, Bill and I switched parts, mostly due to time constraints on my end (my wife and I had just had twins). Since the monologues were gone, my part was small enough that I only had to commit to a couple of days of actual filming. And we also all just used our own names.

Oh, and there was also that cameo by Neil Gaiman... :)


Claytonian JP
 Yeah, that was a curious cameo. How did you land one of the best fiction authors of our time? Was his initial reaction when approached as leery as the line he delivered in the movie, or was he up for anything?

Aaron Kesher
Actually, if I'm remembering this correctly, a friend of Bill and his wife worked for Neil in some capacity, so they had gotten to know him. It may have started with Bill contacting him back in 2003 for permission to turn Signal to Noise into a Fringe play. So anyway, he was happy to do it--the reaction was entirely acted. :)

[THAT'S ALL FOLKS]
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