Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Boba Peck!



So, the other day a friend misheard me.

The result was...........

Boba Peck!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Clerics and Ascension




Would you play a character if you knew there was an ever increasing chance, when leveling up, that something "off-screen" could remove that character from play?

I've been toying with the notion that as a character levels up, background (campaign) forces would ultimately retire that character from play.  High level characters would fade away (or burn out) into myth and legend.  The campaign would remain relatively low powered and gritty.  Granted, most campaigns fizzle out long before this anyway; most aren't much more than one-shots.  But damn, if you knew your character might have a bad-ass ending, you might actually look forward to it.

Fighters may become generals or lords of a realm or simply disappear, fate unknown, or suffer a sad, crippling injury.  Thieves could become guild-masters, or finally get "taken out" by assassins.  Wizards vanish to other worlds or transform into something not human and not playable or their tower explodes due to some mystical experiment, or they go mad.  Clerics could ascend...

What if, starting at say, 5th level??, 9th level??, your Cleric had a certain percentage chance of ascending, being called home to their deity to serve a higher purpose?  So you roll the dice...5%, 10%???...and if you roll below that number, you now begin your path to Ascension.  First, you become a Saint, for whatever you want that to mean--you glow, have a halo, etc., perhaps gain an ability.  Every level thereafter, you have an ever increasing chance of Ascension.

If you roll Ascension you don't immediately ascend; it will be triggered during play.  You could maybe set a target of 3 critical rolls.  The third time that you happen to roll a 20 during an intense, most likely combat situation, something thoroughly dramatic happens, such as all foes present are immediately struck down by your holy magnificence, after which, the rest of the party watches stunned, as you gloriously rise up and away, disappearing from the mortal world forever.

It would be memorable.

But now you have to roll up a new character.

Players would have to agree, from the beginning, that such a thing is possible.

This sort of reminds me of the Juicer Class from Rifts.  If you're not familiar, Juicers are chemically enhanced super-soldiers that live a maximum of 8 years (as a Juicer) -- no exceptions.  Rifts never came up with a mechanic for this though (at least not that I'm aware of, perhaps it's in the book, Juicer Uprising), but Savage Rifts has a mechanic for it.  The notion of playing a character with a limited life-span, by default, adds a certain level of excitement to the game.

Of course, one could argue that every character in the OSR already has a limited life-span......

Here's an example focusing on Lawful Clerics (I'll address Chaotic Clerics Descending Damnation some other time and perhaps similar rules for the other classes)

Ascension

Starting at 7th level, roll for Sainthood (15% chance which increases by 10% per level thereafter)
If Sainthood is attained, roll 1d6 on the following table for something beneficial:

  1. Gain 1d6 extra Hit Points.
  2. Gain +2 Charisma (is that a Halo I see...?).
  3. Heal and extra 2d4 Hit Points when casting cure spells.
  4. Turn Undead as 2 level higher.
  5. +2 to all Saving Throws
  6. +3 to all damage vs. Chaos(evil).

Once Sainthood is attained, you have a 10% chance when you reach your next level for Ascension to take place.  The chance of Ascension increases by 10% per level thereafter.  Once Ascension occurs roll 1d6 on the following table for something beneficial:

  1. Your attacks count as magic.
  2. Your blood heals.  For every 1d4 Hit Points you sacrifice, 2 Hit Points or 1 Condition/Disease is healed.  
  3. Your can sprout ethereal, angelic wings allowing you to fly a number of rounds equal to your level per day.
  4. Your presence inspires, all those within 10' of you can attempt to Turn Undead as a 1st level cleric so long as they have a Holy Symbol.
  5. You are immune to fear.
  6. Roll twice on the Sainthood table, results are cumulative.

As stated above, actual Ascension is triggered during play.  You now have a time-clock of rolling 3 natural 20's during combat (or some other situation deemed "stressful")  This could theoretically happen in one session, but will most likely take several.  You could also raise the number of crits needed if you feel 3 is too few.  Just imagine finally getting to that point, knowing that the next 20 you roll is the end...

When Ascension occurs, you dramatically achieve victory over your current dilemma -- all foes immediately present are destroyed as Holy Light radiates from your body.  Then you rise up into the sky (even in a dungeon) and disappear from play forever.  Perhaps they return one day as an Avatar???

This is all theory-crafting. Tinker with it...in fact I'm interested to see what other people come up with.


And now a friendly reminder, if you haven't already, be sure to check out my dark, angelic themed modules below.  Both received very positive reviews...

Sision Tower Reviews:



Sision Tower


Praise the Fallen Review:


Praise the Fallen

I've done some art for my next project, but true inspiration hasn't yet hit.

It will.



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

New Kickstarter From Knight Owl Publishing



Knight Owl Publishing has launched their first kickstarter...


From Knight Owl Publishing...

"The book is packed full of awesome role-playing goodies including:

  • Annalida: a complete island setting with maps, descriptions, encounters, NPCs, treasure, and more!
  • Two brand new OSR classes: the Worm Witch and the Worm Warden!
  • A comprehensive section on Worm Magic, with 42 spells!
  • A mini-bestiary full of worms!
  • Tons of the most amazing artwork we've ever done!

In addition, we are super excited to announce that Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood will be the first ever official third-party sourcebook for Necrotic Gnome's insanely awesome Old School Essentials ruleset."

For those not familiar with Knight Owl Publishing, here's a link to their product page on DriveThruRPG.


And here they are on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/knightowlgames/

Looks pretty cool, check it out!




Saturday, April 13, 2019

Luridian Assassin



Luridian Assassin

AC: as chain (breast plate, gorget, and face-plate)
HD: 5d8 (30 hp)
Attacks:   
  • 2 with a Luridian long-sword+7 to hit, 
  • Damage: 1d8+2
  • Critical Hit on a natural 1819 or 20

Initiative: +4
Stealth: 4 in 6.
Save As: fighter 10
AL: neutral 
Morale: 11
XP: 350  
  
If the Luridian wins initiative she will size-up her opponent, letting them act first, thus gaining advantage on her first strike.

Luridian Assassins have their eyes burned out at birth, yet somehow they can see…

They will never use magic or poison.

Nobody seems to know why or how they choose their targets.





About the drawing  
The more I draw in ink, the more I want to.  This was a pure ink sketch, no pencils or digital altering (except to remove my signature; didn't like the way it looked for some reason, and I've been experimenting with a new signature involving GP for Graphite Prime.)  Anyhow, I'm beginning to love the chaos of drawing ONLY in ink.


R.I.P. James Smith.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sision Tower Now Available!




Some time ago, the wind began to sing of death in the Sision River Valley, and if purgatory was a song, Glovakians are now listening to it.  The source of  this soul-crushing music was tracked to 90 miles northwest of Ambir What was found?   A massive, oddly built stone tower that wasn't there before. 

Word quickly spread and the curious set out in droves.  Many turned back however, as every passing day the music got worse, but a brave, or foolish few, managed to make camp and eventually go inside.  If anyone’s made it out, no one really knows, but there’s no shortage of rumors as to what's really going on in the place that has come to be known as, Sision Tower.

Sision Tower is an OSR styled, vertical dungeon-crawl where the PCs explore an odd domain of Holy origins.  Here, they will test their survival skills as well as their Faith.  Here, they will meet Saints and Seraphs.  Here, in the struggle between Law and Chaos they have to decide.......Plunder?? ...Sacrifice??...or Both!!!

Sision Tower includes:

  • All original black and white art.
  • Over a dozen, fully illustrated, new magic items.
  • Unique monsters and a sample setting.
  • A vertical dungeon crawl of 35 rooms.
  • A spiritual setting in the same vein as Praise the Fallen.

Sision Tower is designed to challenge character levels 3-5 and is easily used with most traditional fantasy role-playing systems.  39 printer-friendly pages, now available at DriveThruRPG!   







For all who purchase...Thank You!




Monday, February 4, 2019

Sision Tower: Preview


Praise the Fallen focused on a place of chaos, now its spiritual successor, Sision Tower, explores a place of law...sort of.  It’s easy to make chaos dangerous and creepy, but can the same thing be done with something Holy?  This became my goal, although, it didn’t start out that way...

     
Sision Tower is a vertical dungeon crawl using a non-traditional map.  So far, I've drawn about 30 pictures for it (Praise the Fallen had 7 or 8) and a solid majority of the writing is done.  Still far from finished, but definitely starting to come together. 

Here is some of the art...







Meanwhile, I thought this was cool...


Back to work.




Wednesday, January 2, 2019

DCC Dice Meets FASERIP



I've said before how the Marvel (FASERIP) RPG was my go to super-hero system for years, so much so that it nearly ruined percentile systems for me -- I probably passed on a lot of good games over the years simply because I was so sick of rolling percentile dice.  These days I don't care so much, whatever works.

The other two super-hero systems that I like are DC Heroes (Mayfair Games) and Heroes Unlimited by Palladium.  Notice a trend?  All three are old-school games.  I would love to encounter a modern super-hero game that I liked, but I haven't (Mutants and Masterminds isn't bad, so I suppose an honorable mention...)  Most modern super-hero games seem to be "story-based"-- not my cup of tea.  Some of the games do look like nice products, so I'll give them credit for that.

The last Marvel game (Marvel Heroic) was terrible, not trying to offend anyone, it just was.  It's flaws?  1.  Being forced to not only play Marvel characters, but, Marvel stories as well.  Stories, I might add, that you've probably already read.  2.  No robust character creation rules, though I think something half-assed was added later.  People ALWAYS want to create there own characters.  The Marvel (or DC) universe should simply be a guideline, a sample setting, something you can use or not use.  3.  Typical story-game nonsense made it possible for Dare-Devil types to even have a chance to defeat Thor types.  This reminds me of the "every one gets a trophy" nonsense.  Sorry, Dare-Devil, you can't beat Thor, I don't care how well you describe it.  I understand, they're trying to recreate those clever little comic-book moments where Ant-Man and the Wasp defeat the Absorbing Man and Titania, but......no.  Roll some dice, the story will tell itself.  4.  The dice-step system using only d4 - d12 is extremely limiting, they should have at least included the d20 to give the game more depth, but that still only leaves a 5 or 6 rank difference between normal folks and godlike beings.  I'm sure it can be done...  And to be fair, there is (subjective) dice-pooling involved.....which, I'm never a fan of dice-pool systems where you inevitably spend too much time making the case to include certain dice in your pool and then spend time "interpreting" your roll.  

Anyway, that's just a little rant, if you disagree with any of it, that's cool.  To each their own.  I always say, play the games you love and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

What this post is really about, is this:


More specifically, those dice.

I've designed several complete super-hero role-playing systems.  Or rather, I've designed my own system and redesigned it several times over.  For whatever reason super-hero games, up until recently, were my favorite to design.  Probably because no system out there truly satisfied what I wanted in a super-hero game.

Yet I keep coming back to FASERIP.  Those seven abilities (Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, Psyche) perfectly describe super-heroes.  Add up the first 4 for Health, the next 3 for Karma.  Perfect.  I used to think the Talent system was lame and we craved more "skills," but now I don't.  The Talent system makes sense.  The Powers could have been better explained, and the character creation system could be better tweaked to include more detailed "archetypes," but should remain random.  There are ways to create randomly rolled characters without it being nonsensical.

Here's what bugs me about FASERIP:  No matter who you're fighting, your chance to hit remains the same.  Aunt May, who probably has Feeble (2) or Poor (4), Fighting, has the same chance to hit Captain America as she does a hapless child (not that Aunt May would ever attempt either.)  The system doesn't take into account the combat prowess of your opponent (unless they actively try to dodge, which rarely happened because it costs your turn.)  One thing that was beautiful about Mayfair's DC Heroes, is that your fighting ability (Dexterity) was directly cross-referenced with your opponents score to determine your chance to hit -- the height of logic.  But, you had to consult charts, and that can be a pain.  FASERIP has this chart flaw too.  Charts were big in the 80's.


Right, those dice...

I've often pondered how to play FASERIP  without using percentile dice and/or charts, or at least only one chart, and include a way to make the opponent's power-level relevant when you attack/manipulate.  Zak Smith came up with an idea on his blog (I can't seem to find the exact post.) 


It involved assigning a number (ranging somewhere between 7-ish and 18-ish, like a D&D saving throw) to the FASERIP ranks and rolling 3d20 to hit that number.  One hit is a green success, two is a yellow, and three is a red, so you still need the small results chart atop the Universal Table.  Example, lets say Amazing (50) would be target number 8, you would need to roll at least one 8 on 3d20 to hit.  Pretty cool idea.

Fast forward to my recent purchase of Dungeon Crawl Classics and the special dice needed to play that game.  I was toying around with these dice to see just how well they roll and they're not bad, though some will keep rolling forever unless they hit a barrier.  I was thinking, why don't the games out there with dice-step systems (such as Savage Worlds) use these dice to improve or broaden their systems?  Does Goodman Games own these dice?  I doubt it.

My mind quickly went to FASERIP, maybe because Zak Smith had made another post where he talked about designing a super-hero system using a d4 - d20 dice step system.  As a fan, I'm sure it will be good.  But I find myself thinking, why not use the extra dice?


Well, the answer's simple, you never want to force players to buy "funky" dice to play your game.  And OSR types (myself included) are plenty content with the dice we already have.  Still, it's too good an idea to ignore, so how about this?

Feeble  d3
Poor  d4
Typical  d6
Good  d8
Excellent  d10
Remarkable  d12
Incredible  d14
Amazing  d16
Monstrous  d20
Unearthly  d24
Shift X  d30

Don't worry about ranks above Shift X as they almost never enter the game anyway.  You could simply treat them as d30 with Advantage.

The numbers for Health and Karma are the dice numbers, so if you had all Excellent's, your Health would be 40 and Karma would be 30.

When you attack someone, it's an opposed roll, Fighting vs. Fighting, Agility vs. Agility, Psyche vs. Psyche, or a Power vs. any of these, there are multiple possibilities.  If you beat their roll it's a green success, if you beat their roll by 5 it's a yellow success, if you beat their roll by 10 it's a red success.  You obviously still need the effects part of the Universal Table, but that's just a quick glance, no biggy.

Damage could be a dice roll or a static number (static number would be better I think.)

Talents improve your rank by 1 or 2 as normal.

Higher level, Thor types would be prone to wilder results when they fight thus resulting in people getting "slammed" all over the city.  Regular humans would rarely "slam" anyone.  Perfect.

Feat rolls would be made against the GM's roll for the feat.  Example, jumping across roof-tops might be an Excellent level feat, so you roll Agility vs. the GM rolling a d10.  Certain feats might be automatic if they're below your level, unless your attempt is under duress.

Spending Karma equals to die type you're upgrading to, e.g., you have Incredible d14 and want to upgrade to Monstrous d20 would cost you 20 Karma, and you can never upgrade more than 2 steps.

I've run some samples based on some FASERIP characters, and this all translates very well.

I almost feel like writing up a rule-set, but beyond what I just did, there's not much more to it.  I might however, write up a new random character creation system for FASERIP, but that's for another time...

Meanwhile, I'm working on another OSR Dungeon and will be posting a preview soon.




Boba Peck!

So, the other day a friend misheard me. The result was........... Boba Peck!