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.




Sunday, December 16, 2018

Praise the Fallen


There were those demented powers that wanted to return all to naught, to become one with the Ever Slumbering Void.  Pantheons collided and the heavens shattered with war.  Untold cosmic powers were lost without their names ever spoken by mortal tongues.  Countless legions fell.  Defeated in their gambit of annihilation, they scattered across the universe.  Several of the Fallen, fell to this world, forever imprisoned at their point of impact...


Praise the Fallen is a one-shot dungeon where the players explore the lair of a Fallen Angel Cult.    It is designed to challenge low to mid-level characters.  It is a place where alignment matters and foolish decisions have consequences.  It is also a place where the players may find strange bed-fellows as they ultimately try to thwart the cult from resurrecting an angel of destruction.

Praise the Fallen is an OSR styled module compatible with most versions of the world's most popular role-playing game.  16 page PDF, (including cover and title page.)

 The main map.

A High Priest of the Cult.


Now available as Pay-What-You-Want at DriveThruRPG



Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Photographic Interlude...


Getting too cluttered to actually draw there.




Avant Garde.  Want your OSR gaming mind blown?   Pic one.  




More mind-blowing books.  Medieval authentic?  You bet.




 It's shameful that I only now bought this game.   A few blogs have peaked my interest and the non-traditional dice aren't so bad, except the d5 and d7..... those are dumb.




 Love Palladium, don't care what you say.




 Having a great cover artist is a good way to make people buy books they will never use.  Will I buy Pathfinder 2?.......Yep.



 Just because.




 Been a backer from the beginning.  Gorgeous books.  Latest book, Yndaros the Darkest Star, arrives in about a week.




 Again, when you like a game, go big.  You can do anything with Mongoose Traveller and the 1st Edition Core Rulebook is perfect. The 2nd Edition books are sitting on a table next to that shelf, the rule tweaks within are great, but the interior color art is not.  Don't go full color unless you're getting the best, otherwise keep it simple.




 Dictionary-Sized Dungeon.  Hard to imagine actually running this behemoth, but the mere fact this book exists makes me smile.




Artesia.  Think, Conan meets Joan of Arc, Lingerie meets Plate Mail.  What could possibly go wrong?  Nothing, it's amazing.




 Other than Larry Elmore's BECMI paintings, this was my favorite D&D cover.




 Speaking of...this just arrived.




Not bad.  But here's hoping for an edgier 6th Edition.




 Dragonlance anyone?  It's a spear, I know.  If things got medieval, what weapon would you want? Most characters don't use spears, but in real life, I think it'd be a good choice.




Ending on a tangent.  Best comic cover ever.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Praise the Fallen: Preview



"There were those demented powers that wanted to return all to naught, to become one with the Ever Slumbering Void.  Pantheons collided and the heavens shattered with war...."  

Up until now, the adventures that I've posted here have consisted of experimental methods for running games, but thanks to the cool dungeon map drawings of one, Samwise Seven, (and others) over on MeWe, I decided to do a straight up dungeon crawl.  I've been working on Praise the Fallen for a couple of weeks and should be ready to post it in the next few weeks (there's more to it than I first intended; this always happens.)  I've thought about putting it up for sale on DriveThruRPG, but how much can you really make doing that?  Maybe next time.  I think I'll just post the PDF here for whoever might be interested.  It is about the cult of a fallen angel.

Here are some map studies I've done.  I sampled various hatching styles, water color, dots, solid black; I think I like the semi-solid black in the bottom sample.  Also, my plan is to put all of the relevant information directly on the map for ease of use.





Here is some of the art...



Back to work...


Luridian Assassin

Luridian Assassin AC : as chain (breast plate, gorget, and face-plate) HD : 5d8 (30 hp) Attacks:     2  with a  Luridian   ...