Thursday, July 8, 2021

d66 Loot the Body (refurbished)

d66 things in this unlucky stiff's pockets

This post is getting remade. Tweaked a little, but mostly being redone so you can read it on a mobile device without having to substitute one of Venca's eyes for your own.

When you loot a body, first roll a d66% for location on the body where this dude kept their good stuff: 11~34: Purse 
35~41: Inner vest pocket 
42~51: Boot 
52~56: Hat 
61~66: Britches. 

Second, roll a brace of sixers. I have some sub-tables for the items marked with *.
11 1d4 rations                                                    
12 PC level in copper*                                         
13 PC level ×1d6! (exploding d6) copper*                   
14 PC level in copper, one silver*                    
15 PC level in silver*                                    
16 PC level ×1d6! (exploding d6) gold*
Coinage sub-table (1d66): 11~34: shmeckles, 35~41: CHUD currency, 42~44: devil lucre (blasphema franca), 45~51: obols (good for deals with Charon, so maybe leave a couple for this poor stiff?), 52~54: coin of the next realm/kingdom over, 55~56: coins from the future, where one of the PC's royal visage has been minted, 61~66:1990s USA currency (pennies, nickles and quarters).
21 a statuette*
22 a bonito log 
23 a lump of purest green    
24 a robot's battery
25  a map to a dungeon
26  a Tijuana bible
Statuettes sub-table (1d8): 1) cat god; 2) unknown woman; 3) eldritch entity (sanity check!); 4) a member amongst the PCs!; 5) an unknown gods god, preferably a known one; 6) a pontiff; 7) a king, 8) duck on top, key on bottom

Statuettes sub-sub-table of materials (d10): 1) dolomite, 2) gold, 3) pewter, 4) lead, 5) wood, 6) crudely carved wood, 7) wax, 8) copper, 9) brass, 10) melted coins
31 a fan with a faction symbol
32 a very small "shower" spell scroll
33 someone (known)'s undies
34 an I.O.U. from "Big Paula"
35 a deed to Tegel Manor
36 scrip: a demon's secret name
41 an ear and a lizard 
42 a wand (might backfire)
43 a hymnal
44 a kung-fu manual
45 a prophylactic 
46 matryoshka dolls
51 faerie in a jar
52 oil lamp (empty)
53 jewelry* 
54 a key
55 a court summons
56 spool of thread  
Jewelry sub-table (1d12)(roll a d6×10×danger of acquisition to find monetary value): 1) earring, 2) earrings, 3) eye-patch, 4) nose-ring, 5) necklace, 6) torque, 7) diadem, 8) sheriff's badge, 9) rapper's grill, 10) blinged knuckle-dusters, 11) codpiece, 12) a band (a ring).
61 letter from this dude's love
62 intercepted scandalous missive
63 note on where a cult is meeting next
64 a monogrammed handkerchief
65 letter written in PCs own hand?!
66 last will & testament of "Bad Bob"

Hey, maybe the players discover something before they even get to that pocket.

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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Record of Record of Lodoss War Campain Idea in Recorded Form


I'm thinking about when I run Lodoss again. I Fanslated the Companion Rules a while back, and ran the players through eight or so adventures. Now I'm eying translating a scenario book which has scenarios from both the past and present. I want to introduce a few houserules while I'm thinking about it.

Lodoss time trippin campaign

PCs will start 40 years in the past, right when the age of the six heroes was getting started. Eventually, they will play the descendants of the survivors of the first part of the campaign. The Descendants will adventure in the Record of Lodoss War era.

PCs will not know their HP or MP totals nor their current score. When they take damage to these, they don’t know how much it is. As HP and MP are abstract, the GM only has to give a few hints. 

PCs can attempt a concentration check any number of times per day, but it will cost them 1d6 MP damage each time. Level plays no part in how many concentration checks you get.

The GM does a lot of work, and will need to have a sheet of paper ready to record everyone’s FS, DE, and soak. The players can roll d100s, but the GM just needs their shit together so that they can just look and see if the PCs do the things they need to.

All those spells that lasted 10 rounds before? They can go any number of rounds now, but each round beyond the first will cost you an MP. Decide whether or not to pay when your team’s initiative comes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Best role-playing prompt in all of elf gamedom


Someone else came up with the prompt--who wazzat? Imma just add some spice.

Prompt, to be answered at char-gen: 
(person) won't give me (thing) because (reason).

It's a great way to establish character traits, connections, and lore. (Person) has the right to say they are not comfortable, BTW. Use your safety tools.

Spice: what follows is a list of things. Show it to the players to inspire them.

Actual things: A cursed book, the ten gold they owe me, his father's sword, my house, my boots,  a locket, a map to a place.

Abstract things: Respect, love, candor, justice, my sister's emancipation, freedom to do something, the time of day.

Actions: A kiss, a nod of "well done", first blood, a handshake, returning my eye contact.

What you won't give me (?): a comment with more ideas... 
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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Homebrews: Gygax vs Arneson

No Zocchi hack?

In recent weeks, I made a couple one-page treatments of OeD&D based around rumors of how Arneson and Gary played D&D in both ancient times and the later aughts, when they both leveled up to the basement in the sky.

Which would you rather play? I want comments on that.

Roll a d2 to decide which to read first and control for bias. They are both linked below, available on Googydocs. 
Hargrave link because it's Arduin week BTW

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Adventure Hook: Spiders of the Purple Mage by Phillip Jose Farmer

Very few people have the courage to go near the Isle of Shugthee.
Spiders of the Purple Mage is very good. It would make a good adventure, especially on a world like Lankhmar. Or heck, TW has its own out of print RPG, right? And I suspect Harley Stroh may have been influenced by this one when he wrote the module The Jeweler that Dealt in Stardust.

Hook: Have a solo scene with one of the PCs. They are walking through a bad part of town that is dark and pretty locked up. They are passing a house so reputed to be haunted that it hasn't even been scavenged. Ask the player who the poor youth is that just staggered around the corner and just about gave the PC a heart attack. Though the PC gets the sense that the youth is being pursued and it is best to stay out of things, they also hear the youth mutter something about a jewel before collapsing. 
‘All I know,’ she said, ‘is that they say that the mage came here about ten years ago. He came with some hired servants, and many boxes, some small, some large. No one knew what his native land was, and he didn’t stay long in town. One day he disappeared with the servants and the boxes. It was some time before people found out that he’d moved into the caves of the Isle of Shugthee. Nobody had ever gone there because it was said that it was haunted by the ghosts of the Shugthee. They were a little hairy people who inhabited this land long before the first city of the ancients was built here.’
If the PC ignores the boy, that will be that for the most part. Probably. Soon creepy sand-people looking dudes come in. If the youth is alive at this point, they look briefly at the PC and continue to him, grab him and interrogate him in their strange donkey language. He dies within minutes. The sand-people will then start searching the area and want the PC for interrogation. The PC could fight them, even kill them, that's fine. But they will soon be scared off by hearing the whistles of the town guard in the distance (a coincidence, but they don't know that).

The PC of course will probably help the youth, who will mutter things about dying and getting into the maze of the purple sorcerer and stealing a jewel. Spiders. Pain. Ow. Urg. Dies. If the PC has dragged the youth into the haunted house, the sandpeople will come in, but the PC will be saved by the bell.

At this point I would do something akin to in medias res narration and be like, "that was two months ago. Since then, the town somehow got word of what happened that night and got it into their heads that [youth name] dropped a jewel and a rat ate it, so everybody hunted rats for a couple weeks, then moved onto cats, and now finally dogs. You've been dragged before constibles, gang-leaders, the holy-mafia and the governer to tell your story, but everyone in power seems to be unwilling to mess with the Purple Mage. Nobody speaks sandpeople language, and they seem to have stop coming to town for supplies during the day anyway.

If the PC has a family, threaten that next. Have them be kidnapped.  But the whole party will probably start getting anxious about going out there without this step. Eventually, sandpeople will come for the PC if they are being passive. Then other servant come if the sandpeople are beaten or the Purple Mage can't find another way to get leverage.

Appendix N:
Now, not only would I mix in a little Lankhmar or Punjar (DCCRPG), but I'd try to find a way to get some good old Clark Ashton Smith involved too. I dunno, the henchmen remind me a bit of the priest-things from The Charnel God. And if you are going to include a mage maze, you got to get some Maal Dweb in there, son!

This story also reminded me a bit of running an old old old White Dwarf adventure,  Halls of Tizun Tane. Fond are my memories of making the faction-head-brothers Sega and Super Nintendo. Then I made the monkey creatures be neck-less things with upside-down faces in their chests. Man, I love this hobby. 
‘The fur trappers and hunters who’ve gone by the isle say they’ve seen some strange things. Hairy beast-faced dwarfs. Giant spiders.’ She shuddered.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Lankhmar Bundle of DCC Holding

Continuing from where I left off, there is a BoH going through May 10th for the Lankhmar material made for DCC. TLDR is buy this. But let's get some words about why.

For all intents, purposes, and intensive porpoises, I consider DCCL to be DCC's second edition. Well, I say that, but you probably need DCC core rules to play it. Luckily, the quick-start rules should be somewhere in the bundle. Here are some interesting DCCL innovations:

  • Benisons and Dooms: Often, these pull you into the setting and give little tastes of it.
  • Languages: More world-building. Everyone at least knows pidgin Black Toga-ese. No more of PCs speaking generic monster languages in an RPG that was supposed to have only special monsters anyways.
  • Spell restrictions: Mercurial magic is often a bit too jarring, so having down to earth magic weirdness is a nice change of pace. Yes, that sentence was ironic.
  • Sing this new corruption to me: Our freak wizards are home grown. Man, there are a lot more of these than in DCC.
  •  Magic gets split into black and white (or just normal).
  • No clerics, hobbits, dwarves, or elves: PCs will be different thanks to their backgrounds, but these things are out, and it's kinda refreshing to have humans that either stab or get stabbed (that's what wizards are best at).
  • Healing without clerics. You use up luck to heal, but that's okay, because
  • Fleeting Luck and Carousing can keep your Luck tank full. Most of the adventures have luck rewards too.

Gosh, this is getting to long again I could have gone on. Anyways, it's a great take on DCC. I ran a campaign that took us to the desert, where a PC led a tribe of pillar men thanks to carousing too much.  We met Ningauble and Sheelba. Fun was had, and a lot of strange wines.

So, let's go down what the bundle has now.

  • The Boxed Set: This has a ton of DCCL books in it. I kinda question that some of it got split up into separate books, because there were a few times I was like, wait, what book from the three main ones is that rule addressed in? The group did play through the included adventure No Small Crimes, and it was pretty good for setting elements. You gotta see the map of Lankhmar the Doug Kovacs did.
  • Gang Lords: This low level adventure is good for learning how to slum it. I like how NPCs give information hoping to call in favors later and research is largely about greasing palms.
  • Land Of Eight Cities: Lots of good information on this area to the north of the usual adventures, but when running it I got frustrated that though the political leaders of the cities are described a bit, there is no information I could find on which cities are whose, but in retrospect I am kinda dumb and I think this was by design, to let Judges make it their own. Included is an adventure which had a fun, odd antagonist.
  • Dozen Locations: If your PCs need to hit up a temple, you can just pull out the temple from here and adjust a few knobs on the fly. The thing is filled with plug and play buildings, maybe even 12 of them total, but don't quote me on that.
  • The lower-level adventures: Are all new to me. I'll just say the authors are very good at delivering the goods.
  • The higher-level ones: Ditto. It seems there is a lot of fun to be had fighting glowing, undead things though. 

Well, I think the main takeaway it that I need to get another Lankhmar campaign going so I can experience some of this material. To add some ballast to this post, I should say some critical things. I found the original boxed set overall a bit rushed-feeling. I think the artists and writers worked hard to get that Kickstarter out the door, but it feels like it needed some playtesting, time, and room to breathe. And most of the art is not by my usual DCC favorites, but that's a pretty subjective opinion that doesn't affect gameplay at all. 

As long as I'm being honest, I'm gonna admit that--because I didn't feel confident running the DCCL modules without lots of mental prep and so needed some lazy Judge padding-- I pulled a couple of one or two page adventure ideas from the reviled TSR-era materials, specifically Wonders of Lankhmar. Michael Curtis will be pissed if he ever finds out about that.



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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Hit boxes, not HP

Ran across this in a Roll20 note I made. I think it has great potential. I guess I was using it in my homebrew Quest Ferrit a few years back.

When you are hit, check off one of the following (replenish once per level each day, between fights):
☑You dead. Dramatically pulling the villain to hell with you optional.
☑Your shield is splintered.
☑Your armor, helm, or jaunty hat saved you this time...
☑'Tis but a flesh wound!
☑Monster rolls on a crit chart (you take injuries; ignore damage rolls generated by this).
☑Monster does something typical for its variety (melts your face off, burns you, ages you 7 years, etc.)
☑You roll your HD & armor die; not rolling a one on either of them means you survived this blow (everyone has at least a d3 armor die).
☑ You suffer an injury of the Judge's choosing.
☑ Lucky dodge! Your luck score goes down by one.

☑ (hobbits only) Another PC you name jumps in to save your bacon .
☑ (fighters only) The pain helps you focus; +1d to your next to-hit roll.
☑ (dwarves only) The foe tosses you into your allies, who toss you right back.
☑ (elves only) Demoralizingly deft dodge and dudgeon. +1d to next intimidation or taming check.
☑ (barbarians only) Rage! +1d to damage and crit charts this fight.
doesn't usually have one.


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