Monday, December 19, 2011

My Santicore Entry

Yeah so this is my half of the Santicore exchange. Jez is awesome or doing all this.

So this is supposed to be some random tables for use while sailing in a tropical area. I had been planning on doing one d100 chart but I ran out of ideas around 50.

Cliffs
1- A mysterious and ancient shrine is carved into this cliff side.
2- A dozen huge boulders tumble down from above- or were they pushed?
3-A cave half filled with water sits at the base of this cliff- does it lead into a treasure trove or the lair of a horrible sea beast?
4-Flocks of small sea birds nest here, they are very annoying and will try to steal small trinkets from the ship.
5- An ancient watchtower sits atop the cliff here, does the catapult still work? a secret stair is cut into the cliff side.
6- Jagged rocks and shipwrecks line this section of foreboding coastal cliff. A beautiful siren or hideous sea witch might live here.
7- A huge stone face is carved into this cliff but is that human? Is that a doorway set in the mouth?
8-Dozens of dark tunnel openings are set in the cliff here. Very ominous.
9- A Giant man sits here with a huge fishing rod, he is just relaxing and enjoying the sunny day.
10-A narrow cleft in the rock here leads into a pirate hideout.

Night
1- Bonfires are visible further inland in the jungle, ominous drums start beating.
2- The stars don't seem right, the constellations are all different or in the wrong part of the sky. Navigation could be a problem while this effect is in place.
3- Something is giving off an eerie green glow from the seabed.
4- Something is stalking the ship at night. It will try to pick of anyone alone on deck after dark. The attacks display a startling cunning.
5- The ship suddenly stops, snared by something huge underwater- maybe a sandbar or seaweed? By morning the ship will have drifted free.
6-On a sandy beach nearby many sea turtles are either laying eggs or hundreds of baby turtles are hatching and making a mad dash for the water.
7-A ghostly female apparition walks across the waves, beckoning to the sailors with her ghostly lantern- or is she trying to warn them away?
8- Strange multicolored lights flicker and dance across the horizon.
9- Another ship passes close by in the darkness, no lights are on and no one calls out or signals.
10- An iceberg looms out of the fog, which is kind of unusual in this warm climate.

Random
1-The shattered wreckage of a goblin fleet is scattered about. Miserable looking goblins cling to the still burning debris.
2-A dozen vicious sharks follow the ship, they will lose interest in a few days if no food becomes available.
3-Totem poles and carven tiki statues dot the beach here. Deeper into the jungle creepy fetish idols and even shrunken heads hang in the trees.
4-The sand here is stained red with blood and the dead and dying lay everywhere. A great battle took place here recently.
5-Something golden gleams far off above the jungle trees, is that the top of a golden pyramid?
6- An enormous coral reef spread throughout the area, it teams with aquatic life- the fishing is particularly good.
7-What looked like a small rocky island from a distance is actually a jumble of broken pillars and cut stone. Strange hieroglyphics cover every surface. There might be a stair leading down into the dark. 
8-A pod of friendly dolphins start to follow the ship, they will stick around as long as the ship seems interesting.
9-An exotic parrot like bird takes a liking to a crew member or character. The bird is intelligent and makes a good familiar or companion.
10- An enormous dead sea creature floats nearby, the air and sea are thick with scavengers.


Ships
1-A whaling ship that has been refitted with cages for hunting and capturing large and dangerous jungle beasts.
2- A small merchant trader, he has nothing particularly valuable but carries a huge selection of random junk.
3- A raft bearing a single starving cast away. He has eaten his shipmates and is now an insane and enthusiastic cannibal.
4- A small and barely seaworthy raft crewed by a handful of friendly goblin "traders". If allowed to go on their way the goblins will report to their nearby goblin pirate warship.
5- A slave ship wants to trade. They are out of food and so are willing to trade slaves for large quantities of food or sell off a bunch of slaves for cheap- or both.
6-Elaborately carved tribal canoes- they are fishing using primitive but successful methods.
7-Thick black smoke rises from a still burning husk of a ship. It is surprising that it is still afloat but it is impossible to tell who or what was on the ship.
8- A warship appears, it is apparently enforcing strict "anti-piracy" measures. They demand gold and supplies as payment for their valuable work "keeping these waters safe".
9- A crusade ship appears- crewed by many a Cleric and Paladin. They try to convert anyone they come in contact with but will only get violent if their faith is mocked or they witness "heathen behavior".
10- A Viking type raider ship, they are miserable in this hot climate and will pay handsomely for alcohol. 

Creepy
1- Too many rats aboard the ship, it is becoming a serious problem.
2-The rats seem oddly intelligent, sometimes they appear to be watching the crew.  Small random items start going missing.
3-The rats seem to develop a strange attraction to a certain person aboard the ship.
4-One day all the rats are suddenly and mysteriously gone.
5-Some times late at night faint knocking can be heard- seemingly coming from outside the hull and well below the water line.
6-A corpse is found stashed somewhere aboard the ship. No one will confess anything and the body can't be identified.
7-A nameless street urchin stowed away in the last port.
8- A stowaway is discovered. It is the son or daughter of somebody very important at the last port the ship visited.
9-The ship starts to slowly take on water. While not immediately dangerous the ship will need significant repairs, and soon.
10- A brutal looking storm brews on the horizon, it threatens for a day or two and then drifts away and dissipates.

Islands
1- This tiny and rocky island is barren and featureless. Several times every day the island is struck by powerful bolts of lightning, even when the sky is clear.
2- This small island appears to be a solid chunk of smooth and rounded stone. That outcropping looks almost like a nose. Is the whole island a half submerged head?
3- This small island is actually a huge mound of sun-bleached whalebone resting on a shallow reef. For unknown reasons whales will travel great distances to die here.
4- This barren island is crisscrossed with trenches and battlements, with no apparent order or function. Rusting arms and armor lay strewn about. 
5-Volcanic eruptions are creating a new island here. Huge steam clouds form as magma pours into the sea, and black ash falls like snow for miles.
6- This whole island is a pirate port and trading post. Brothels, taverns and warehouses cover every square foot of land. Rickety docks jut out into the sea. Nearly every structure is made up of boat wreckage.
7- Large mechanical insects are scattered all across this island, they lie dormant, as if waiting for a signal.
8- Monster Island! The only living creatures on this island are of the giant- apex predator variety. Giant apes, Mega lizards and Mutant bugs battle for survival.
9- This island seems perfect. Lots of fruit and palm trees and beautiful beaches. No hostile natives, dangerous predators, or lethal poisons anywhere on the island. It is totally safe. Folks might get nervous on an island that seems too good to be true.
10- This is actually a archipelago chain which has been formed into an island nation. It is a primarily agricultural based society, or it was until the plague struck. The pox killed nearly everyone, so now the stench of rotting bodies and crops is noticeable well out to sea.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Wow.  Just finished reading it. Some real dark shit in there, like really chilling stuff. Wasn't really ready for how messed up that whole thing got. When I get a book like this I tend to binge read and just stay up all night and get through a book in one or two sittings. The first half was a little messed up but geeze, about midway through the second half I was really feeling nauseous. I'm going to go see the American version of the film when it comes out in a week or two, and then get the original from my library.

So yeah, not really gaming related at all but really just needed to air some thoughts out, everyone I know is asleep.

Cheers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Zombie Grizzly Bear




















Lazy post but it's a really cool picture.  You really don't want to get blindsided by one of these bad boys.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Zombie Stats

Ok, so in my QZ Rulez posts I have been going over alot of stuff pretty quickly, and referencing stuff I haven't even written yet- much less posted.  So I figured I should post this little snippet on the stats for some of the Zombies.

The B.R.A.I.N.S. stats are Brawn, Reflexes, Attitude, Intelligence, Nerve,and  Search.

                                  B              R              A              I               N              S

Sloucher                    1*              0*             0              0              0               1*

Twitcher                    1*              2*             0              0            0               2*

Juggernaut                  3*             0*             0              0              0              1*

Thinker                      2*              2*            2*             3*            0               3*

*These are "active" stats, the Zombie will use them as part of its "natural" behavior.  A Sloucher will not use the Attitude stat, and all Zombies are fearless so will have no use for the Nerve stat.

The stats work the same for Survivors as for Zombies. When making a B.R.A.I.N.S. check you roll a number of dice equal to your score in that stat, and you get a number of automatic successes equal to your score as well.

A score of  0 means that when making a check with that ability you roll 1d6 only and get no automatic success.


Comments and questions are welcome. More on this later.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Running from Zombies

QZ rules, Part 3 - Evasion

So, there are undead between the survivors and where they want to be. When fighting or sneaking past seems unlikely survivors can always try their luck just running for it and hoping for the best.  In a situation like this the GM should call for an Evade check.
Evasion checks are appropriate in any situation in which a Survivor is trying to escape past or from a Zombie, including out of combat (as long as you haven't been grabbed).  The rules for Evasion are very similar to thefuture section on Pursuit and share many similar concepts.

When the GM is considering the parameters of an Evade check, there are a couple factors to consider:
-Whats the condition of the area to be traveled through?
-How many Zombies are in the way?
-How confined is the space?
-What is the distance to be covered?

The players should be aware of most if not all of these factors, most of the time, although sometimes survivors do stupid things- like run blindly into an alley crowded with zombies (in which case they wouldn't get all the facts ahead of time).

It should almost always be up to the player if their survivor is going to try to make an Evade check although the GM might make an Evade check compulsory in some circumstances- a failed Nerve check for example.

The distance the check covers should be well established and defined and usually agreed on by both the GM and the players- "to the end of the hall "or "across the field to the barn door" are both good choices, "to safety" is not.

Ok, so- an Evade check is pretty simple to resolve. The survivor makes a Reflex check, trying to get enough successes to beat the Evade DC. Each unoccupied Zombie the character is trying to Evade gets to make a Reflex check to try to catch the Survivor (each Zombie not in combat or feasting).

Evade DC = Condition DC modifiers+ Zombie Reflex check successes.

Most Zombies have a Reflex score of  0, meaning that they can only roll 1d6 and get no automatic successes.

          Conditions            DC modifier                     Description
  • Wide Open                DC-2          An open field, Empty Dance floor.
  • Street Width                 -            As much room to maneuver as a typical city street.
  • Alley Width                DC+2         Pretty narrow and confined.
  • Hallway Width           DC+3         Very narrow, barely any space to maneuver.
  • Cluttered                    DC+2          See Bellow
  • Difficult Ground         DC+1          Uneven or slippery - tree roots.
  • Treacherous Ground  DC+2          Unstable or dangerous- rubble or thick mud.
 What is considered clutter varies widely depending on its location- on a highway it is dozens of wreaked cars but clutter in an office building hallway is a few overturned chairs.

Example Area:
A small stretch of forest between a house and the road- 4 Zombies in the way.
Only 1 Zombie gets a success on its Reflex check (DC+1),
The area is wide open (DC-2), but it is cluttered with trees (DC+2) and there are lots of roots making the ground difficult (DC+1).
So the Evasion check is DC2.

Example Area:
An alley in a destroyed city- 10 Zombies in the way.
4 Zombies get successes on Reflex checks (DC+4),
The area is an alley (DC+2), cluttered with large rubble (DC+2), and there are lots of  jagged pieces of metal sticking up making the ground treacherous (DC+2).
So the Evasion check is DC10.

So each Survivor makes a Evasion check using their Reflex score, trying to beat the Evasion DC. If a Survivor passes the check they successfully evade past all the Zombies and obstacles in the way.

If the Survivor fails the check they get attacked by a number of Zombies equal to the number they failed the Evasion check by, and they are stopped somewhere short of the distance they were attempting to run (decided by the GM). The Survivor gets to pick which Zombies they are attacked by if there is a choice of different types. Note- the Survivor is placed into combat with the Zombies and they are ready to attack on their turn, they do not roll attacks immediately in the Survivor turn.  

Each Survivor must make their own check to Evade Zombies, the exception being a pair that is Aiding/Aided,
-In this case there is one roll by the Aided character which both Survivors will be held to (See the future section on Aiding Others).

Note- It is important to note that a group wishing to Evade must make checks one at a time representing the order they are Evading in. Each test should be calculated and taken independently because the DC could change depending on circumstances changing,  most often this will happen if the number of occupied Zombies increases or decreases suddenly.
Also subsequent Survivors in the planned Evade order are not obligated to Evade when it gets to their turn, they can do something else entirely- they might decide to charge into combat to save a friend who failed the Evasion check.

R.I.P. Pestilence

I hardly knew Ye. We hand some good times hunting down Sasquatches. And then, far too soon- we tumbled down that cliff and you died. I'll miss you buddy.

More Info on Pestilence

  Cool Art by rcahern

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Frustrated

There's a bunch of stuff I've been working on recently. Mostly Warhammer type stuff, painting models and building my Mordheim City ruins. But I also have been working on my GTZ rules alot (I'm trying to think of a better name).  So anyway, all this stuff I've been doing is pretty cool, so I would like to take some pictures of it with my camera to post up here. BUT I can't find the stupid little cable that connects my camera to my laptop. It's really starting to get to me. I've looked everywhere and I can't find it. Blah.

So that's why I'm frustrated.

Here is a sketch I did to illustrate  The Masque of the Red Death

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

QZ rules part 2

Ok, here are the long awaited(?) combat rules, at least so far...

If its your turn and you are engaging in melee you are the attacker, your opponent(s) are defending, thus you can only make attacks in your turn.

Each combatant rolls a Brawn check ( a regular Sloucher has a Brawn score of 1, thus scoring 1 automatic success with another possible success on a single d6 roll of 5+) Compare the number of successes scored by each side. The winner is the side with the most successes.

If the defending side wins OR if a tie is rolled- then this combat ends.

If the attacker wins that player gets to make a roll on the melee chart for each success they scored which exceeded the defenders score.

-So-

For players this typically means their survivor gets to roll on a melee chart one or more times if they strike successfully. The melee chart the player uses corresponds to the weapon type they are using- either "Flimsy" or "Sturdy".

Flimsy Melee Weapon Chart 
1= Weapon breaks
2-4= No effect
5= Knock
6= Critical

Sturdy Melee Weapon Chart
1= Roll again on this chart ( further rolls of 1 as "No effect") afterwards weapon is "Flimsy"
2-3= No effect
4-5= Knock
6= Critical

A Knock result is catch all term for affecting your opponent without killing it-staggering it, making it drop something, or making it let go of another character who has been "Grabbed". See the future section on Conditions to find out more about being "Knocked".

A "Critical" result is enough to kill most types of Zombie or wound another human (making them Bloodied).

-And-

When the GM wins a fight he or she gets to roll one or more times on a Zombie Melee chart, once for each attacker success which exceeded the defender's success total.

Zombie Melee Chart 
1-3= Ineffective
4= Maul
5= Bite
6= Grab---> next turn- Rend

The Maul and Bite result both are "Critical" hits and will leave a character "Bloodied", the Bite result might also transmit disease. See the future section on Conditions to find out more about being Bloodied, the short explanation though is that each time a character is Bloodied they take a +2DC on ALL checks until they are healed.

A character who is Grabbed can do nothing in their turn except make an opposed Brawn check to try to break loose of the grab. Alternatively another player might be able to rescue the Grabbed player by either knocking or killing the Zombie(s) doing the grabbing.

If the character is still Grabbed in the next Zombie attack round. The Zombie(s) preforming the grab will attempt to Rend the player- the player must make another opposed Brawn check. If the character succeeds they become "Bloodied" (or take another Bloodied token if they were already Bloodied)- if the character fails they are ripped to pieces by the grabbing Zombie(s). See the future section on Zombie Feeding Rules to find out how much time the other players will have to run while the feeding Zombies are distracted by their former comrade.

That's it for tonight. More coming soon though. Comments and questions are welcome.

Friday, November 18, 2011

MOST BADASS PARTY EVAR!!1

Seriously, I want to show this video to all my players from now on whenever they are going to be stating up new characters. So many adventure ideas from this 3minute 46 second video- PLUS the music is super legit.

The song is called "Iron", it is by WOODKID

This Assassin's Creed game trailer that features the song is pretty awesome as well...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The First Age

And then mighty IO saw that his newly created world needed inhabitants. He created all manner of beast to walk, swim and fly, and all manner of plant and flower to bloom and grow across his world. And then for each habitat he created a great race there to flourish. In the depths of the mountains IO made the first Dwarfs, the Oceans he gave to the Merfolk, the forests went to the Elves, he sky he gave to the Krocn, and in the burning deserts he made the Genii. Each of these races were to be immortal.

And then IO created his greatest work yet. A race to be cast from his own image, to rule the other races and to be the stewards of his world, the Titans he named them, and he granted each a small portion of himself, this gift was to become known as a soul.

IO raised a vast track of land and set it around the middle of his world like a belt. From this paradise the Titans would rule.

For a long time there was peace on Alkrin, and IO was happy with his children.

The Titans were a bold and prideful people however, and they began treating the lesser races with contempt. IO uttered a curse against his favored children, stripping the Titans of their immortality, to teach them humility.  Instead the Titans rose in anger and together with the dark hearted Genii tried to overthrow IO.

Instead of slaying IO the Titans merely succeeded in rousing his wrath.

IO bound the Genii in unbreakable chains and banished them from Alkrin. Then turning on the Titans he cursed them over and over. IO shattered Alkrin with his fiery condemnations, marring and scaring his once perfect world.  

Thus ended the First Age and thus begun the Age of Malediction.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.
~G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In the beginning...

..there was nothing.

And then there was IO.

He stretched out his hand though the void, crushing the emptiness together in his fist. When he released his fingers the great nothing had compressed into the Universe.

From the swirling chaos IO careful crafted the cosmos, forming the planets and the stars.

In the very center he created his masterpiece, which in time the so called enlightened of the lesser races would name Alkrin.

Alkrin, the cradle of life.  In Dwarven Alkrin translates literally to "All-Kin"., meaning all life, and also implying that all life is interconnected.   

In Elven Alkrin, means "center" or more specifically the center of the being, the soul.

And so the Universe was created, and so the world of Alkrin bore life.


-Not terribly original I know, but it's what I've got.

More on this later...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

QZ play report 2

Quarantine Zone

Around 9:00 Saturday evening our heroes heard a surprising broadcast crackle over the radio.

-" To anyone still alive out there, we have a helicopter and are landed on the roof of the University, we will take as many passengers as we can, but we leave at midnight. Don't be late!"

Gathering up some weapons the 3 heroes set out.

There was a quick scuffle in front of a local KFC which resulted in the destruction of all three zombies. One hero thought she recognized one of the undead but was able to pass a nerve check and take it out. Another hero killed a zombie but her fireaxe broke. One of the zombies was wearing a backpack which contained pistol ammo, unfortunately no one had a pistol.

The heroes busted into a hardware store and quickly grabbed a bunch of loot, replacing the broken axe.

At the top of a rise, at an intersection on the Trans Canada Highway, the heroes were able to look down and see many zombies milling about at the next intersection. They decided to go left and cut through a plaza.

Although initially they planned to loot a liquor store they just ran past when they realized zombies were inside.

They kept going and ran through a big grocery store, meeting a mob of zombies near the back exit.

2 Slouchers, 2  Juggernauts, a Crawler and a Twitcher were all quickly defeated, although one hero was mauled by a Juggernaut.

The heroes kept moving a looted another larger hardware store, this time looting bicycles and a whole bunch of weapons. They decided to bike down the road behind the University and then hike through the forest trails right up to the back of the school, thus bypassing a lot of the crazyness they suspected was on the main road up to the school.

All went according to plan and they arrived at the helicopter with just minutes till midnight.

(I was getting a bit drunk and their plan sounded good, so I pretty much just gave it to them at this point, and more or less handwaved  their trip through the woods and escape by helicopter.)

It was pretty fun overall and I think everyone had fun. I learned some stuff too, which I will post under a new rules article soon. But the main thing I learned is not to let the players dictate too much to me. The player plan to go the long way around was very clever, and definitely should have been rewarded. I shouldn't have just given them a free pass though. QZ while a simple system, does require prep, most of the prep I think needs to go towards taking familiar locales and "zombieapocalypsizing" them.

The forest behind the school should have been burned out and cut back. There should have been a overrun military style perimeter close around the school- sandbags and fences, maybe a minefield. An abandoned shanty town on the grounds of the school would have been badass and creepy.

It is easy to think of the places you know as they are, but in QZ you need to throw some curve-balls and change stuff up. Just because your players know what a nearby location looks like now doesn't mean it is going to be like that in QZ- thats the big attraction for a game like this, in my opinion.

More on this later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Best Girlfriend ever






















My awesome cool, pretty lady got me this rad shirt. It's from Teefury. There is a new limited edition shirt on the site each day, but it's only available for a single 24 hour period. So I am super happy she snagged this for me. It looks great. Now I just need one of those sweet Miskatonic U sweatshirts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roaming the Dungeon

Alright, Halloween is in just a few days so I've been thinking about my Ravenloft/Castlevania  inspired mega-dungeon Losh Nekkar.

I'm thinking the random encounter tables will be really small, probably only d6 or d8 tables, because there will be lots of planed encounter areas with more interesting stuff, and I don't want a huge number of random creatures running around.

So the creatures in each area should kinda be simple stock creatures and make sense for that level of the dungeon Exterior sections will have both night and daytime random encounter tables.

Like I said earlier though I want monsters to start to roam and migrate as the players unlock  different areas. To this end the 6th entry (or 8th if that's what I go with) on each table will be a redirect to a monster from a random adjacent (and unlocked) area of the castle.

So say I'm rolling a random encounter for the Great Hall and I get a 6- which indicates the encounter is a creature from a nearby area. I then randomly determine its from the Ballroom. I roll on the Ballroom encounter table and get a 3- A dancing ghostly couple appears in the Great Hall. If I had rolled a second 6 it would have meant a roll on the Treasury encounter table. Using this method something could theoretically crawl up from the Crypts and menace the PCs out on the Battlements.

I'm going away for a bit and might not post for a week or so.
 So....
Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dwellers in the Dark

The Shadows where the Mewlips dwell
Are dark and wet as ink,
And slow and softly rings their bell,
As in the slime you sink.

You sink into the slime, who dare
To knock upon their door,
While down the grinning gargoyles stare
And noisome waters pour.

Beside the rotting river-strand
The drooping willows weep,
And gloomily the gorcrows stand
Croaking in their sleep.

Over the Merlock Mountains a long and weary way,
In a mouldy valley where the trees are grey,
By a dark pool´s borders without wind or tide,
Moonless and sunless, the Mewlips hide.

The cellars where the Mewlips sit
Are deep and dank and cold
With single sickly candle lit;
And there they count their gold.

Their walls are wet, their ceilings drip;
Their feet upon the floor
Go softly with a squish-flap-flip,
As they sidle to the door.

They peep out slyly; through a crack
Their feeling fingers creep,
And when they´ve finished, in a sack
Your bones they take to keep.

Beyond the Merlock Mountains, a long and lonely road,
Through the spider-shadows and the marsh of Tode,
And through the wood of hanging trees and gallows-weed,
You go to find the Mewlips - and the Mewlips feed.
-The Mewlips by Tolkien 

In the dark lonely places of the world things lurk. Dark things, evil things, HUNGRY things. No one really knows what the Dwellers are, but they seem to be horrid mockeries of the human form. Not much is known about these elusive cannibals, except that they crave hot blood and cold flesh. Dwellers are thankfully very rare, or at least very rarely encountered. Although Dwellers are usually solitary creatures they on rare occasions will band together in a small group. Physically weak but devilishly cunning Dwellers use traps or tricks to disadvantage or separate their prey, attacking when the victim is injured, asleep, alone- or preferably all three.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Livin the dead life

Immortality. Powerful men and women have committed some of the most atrocious acts to cheat death.  There are many methods used by the corrupt and desperate, many vile strategies passed down throughout the ages.

Warriors will arm themselves with powerful magic weapons and armor, melding their life essence with these tools of war. In death only the most horrible butchers will be able to exert their will over the souls those they massacred in life. Raising armies of slaughtered soldiers to sustain their vile existence these warriors will rise from their tombs and cairns as unholy Wights.

Wizards who seek to unnaturally extend their years will eventually become Liches. The process of becoming a Lich melds arcane science with pure evil and requires the life force of many innocents.

Evil priests who please the gods of darkness are sometimes able to continue their work beyond death. The priest is specially prepared in a ritual which turns the body of the deceased into a perfect receptacle for their spirit to live on within. Virtually immune to aging the body of the priest is wrapped in fine cloth bandages and robes and adorned with unholy vestments wrought of pure gold.    

The master thief can steal virtually anything, but immortality is elusive. A thief who hopes to steal the secrets of immortality must put aside every last shred of morality. The thief becomes an insubstantial shadow, the ultimate assassin or burglar. Able to glide through walls and stab through their victims chest to pierce the heart, without marking the skin. The Geist is sustained by its own dark personality, greed driving it forward, it covets treasure without having any mortal use for it.














 click to bigify

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Black Ops Classes

Alright, so I have been playing the Xbox 360 game Call of Duty Black Ops a lot. A LOT.
It is very fun and addictive, even though I'm not great at it. One of the things that makes the online multiplayer so fun for me is the class customization.

You start off with 6 class slots you can customize. As you play you earn more points that you can use to buy new weapons and equipment as you unlock them and level up.

Here's the best picture of a class creation screen I could find.

 














So you get:
  • one primary weapon 
  • one secondary weapon
  • a lethal option
  • a tactical option
  • an equipment slot
  • three perk slots
The first perk slot changes your appearance, as well as gives you a powerful advantage.
'Ghost' for example makes you invisible to enemy spy planes.
The other perks don't change what you look like but still break the regular rules.
For example 'Hardened' makes your bullets penetrate deeper though walls and cover, and 'Tactical Mask' makes you immune to the effects of a Nova gas grenade.

I was wondering how well this approach to character creation would work in a pen and paper rpg. For character creation and as well as for equipment and armament purposes. The perks would turn into your class and different class archetypes or fighting styles. Instead of a encumbrance system a character would instead have 'equipment slots'.

I donno.

More on this later probably.

Monday, October 17, 2011

QZ play report 1

Alright, so Saturday night me and the gang decided to get some Mazes & Minotaurs going for a change of pace from Pathfinder. We stated up characters pretty quickly- a fire and earth Elementalist, a priest of Dionysus, and Noble hero named Olympia- played by my pretty girlfriend via skype. We played for maybe 10 minutes but I wasn't feeling it so when another player arrived I moved we try my QZ game rather than stat up another character.

So armed with only the rules I posted already here on my blog we set off. ( relied pretty heavily on the random charts from Fenways Zombie Attack Scavenger's Guide supplement.)

I set the game off, saying that the players were literally starting play from the time and place that we were in (one of the player's basement at like 10:45), I told them that they had been holed up in the house for five months but now they are out of food and supplies. I think they thought that was cool. They wisely waited till morning and then set out towards a nearby gas station (one of the PCs rolled up a car as a random possession but i ruled it was out of gas).

Finding the station thoroughly ransacked they decided to head right on downtown to check our local Giant Tiger store. There they encountered 5 survivors who were wary but not hostile. After a little conversation to lighten the mood (a passed Attitude check) they were willing to barter a bit- trading 12 cans of food for a clip of pistol ammo one character had (he didn't have a pistol).

The PCs left the Giant Tiger and checked out a nearby pizza place. The place seemed empty till one PC checked the walk in freezer- two Slouchers shambled out. The Slouchers were taken out pretty quickly, before they had a chance to moan, and then one PC picked up a shotgun that was in the freezer along with a 5 shells. 

Moving on the PCs encountered 2 more Slouchers in an alley which they again took out quick. They then moved into a fitness gym and searched the place but didn't find anything too useful.

As it was starting to get late and I had to work the next morning we ended it there with the PC's barricading themselves in the gym as night fell.

Game Notes
-Character creation was fast and pretty easy I think, although I think I need a list of example Survival Skills. Just saying "make up your own- anything you want!" left it too open, all the players put the points into stats.
-Equipment and encumbrance rules- need em.
-I really shoulda had some more rules sketched out. The combats were too easy and generally didn't work well, but then again I was making it up on the fly. I need to pin down some real rules for how fighting works.
- More random tables, lots more- need em.
- A little map of the town would have been really helpful- at one point 3 of the 4 players were on their mobile devices browsing the google map of our town.
-Mazes and Minotaurs seems really cool, I think we will try it again sometime. The priest of Dionysus seemed like he was going to be a particularly cool character, he had really cool powers.

Ok, well more on this later. I hope to get more QZ rules up soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

QZ RULEZ (pt1)

Quarantine Zone

Each player takes on the role of a survivor in the post apocalyptic Quarantine Zone  (the locale of your choice, preferably your actual real-world location) . It has been roughly 5 months since the outbreak and society has more or less collapsed. The zombie outbreak seems to be a viral infection which in some cases causes bizarre deformities, as well as zombification.

QZ uses six sided dice. To resolve dice rolls a player rolls a certain number of dice and tries to get the required number of successes. The die result required depends on the game type, it will always remain the same and should be determined before play begins.

Game Types:
Action- dice are successful on 4+ result. An easier and faster paced version.
Survival- dice are successful on a 5+ result. Recommended default.
Horror- dice are successful on a 6+ result.Very difficult. Characters will die.

Each Player character has 6 ability scores-'B.R.A.I.N.S.'

Brawn- How physically tough and strong a character is. Used in hand to hand combat and to resist illness.

Reflexes- A character's speed and agility, also used to measure manual dexterity.

Attitude- A character's ability to connect and make relationships. Used in social situations.

Intelligence- The knowledge and mental capacity of a character.

Nerve- A character's ability to stay calm in difficult situations and overcome fears. Used to shoot ranged weapons.

Search- A character's ability to notice details. Used to scavenge supplies.

Each character starts with 1 skill point in each 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' ability. Each character gets an additional 6+1d6 skill points which they may assign to one of their 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' abilities or spend on Survival Skills. Each 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' ability or Survival Skill may have up to 3 skill points assigned to it.

A Survival Skill is some specific skill that the character has. A character may choose nearly any skill they can think of, provided that it is specific enough and plausible. "Good at Shooting Guns" should not be a Survival Skill, but "Good with Hunting Rifle" might be acceptable. "Very Charismatic" -bad, "Trained in Hostage Negotiation" - good. Survival skills are meant to help make characters unique and give them a bonus in a few very specific situations. In a situation where it is useful the player may use their skill bonus on a 'B.R.A.I.N.S.' ability check to grant 1 extra d6 for each skill point assigned to that Survival Skill. Survival Skill bonus dice do not count towards generating automatic successes.  

'B.R.A.I.N.S.' Ability Checks
When making an ability check the Games Master will tell the player which ability is being tested and how many successes will be required. The player then will roll a number of dice equal to their character's ability score. An ability score is the number of d6s a player will roll as well as the number of automatic successes.

Example: A character with a Brawn score of 2 will roll 2 dice but will also generate 2 automatic successes. So 2 successes are guaranteed with 2 more possible if both d6s roll high enough (5+ in the standard game type). The number of dice a character will roll can be increased if conditions are favorable, or if they possess a relevant Survival Skill.

GM note- You should not decrease the number of dice a player gets to roll to make a task more difficult, instead increase the number of successes required. Also do not adjust the d6 result required to make a success once play has begun, as the game type selected above should not change.

Example of Play: Reloading a Gun
 Reloading a gun should be a very simple task, and in most cases a check would not be required. In a dangerous situation however a Nerve check would probably be appropriate. 

Nick is cautiously walking down the street and finds a shotgun and some ammo for it in a police cruiser. He sees that the gun is empty and would have reloaded it easily, but a zombie staggers out of a nearby doorway.
To reload the gun Nick needs to pass a difficulty 1 Nerve check, requiring 1 success. Since Nick has a Nerve score of 1 he gets to roll 1 d6 and also gets 1 automatic success- he reloads the gun.
 A few minutes later Nick needs to reload the shotgun again. This time though a Sloucher is shambling towards him and moaning loudly (a zombie moaning commonly increases the difficulty of a Nerve check by 1), so this Nerve check is at difficulty 2, requiring 2 successes. Suddenly this check is considerably more difficult- Nick can't rely on his 1 automatic success, he needs to roll a success on his d6 to pass.

Steve is cornered in an alley with a horde of moaning zombies moving in, and he has to reload his pistol.
Steve is a hardened biker, unlike wimpy Nick (Nick has Nerve 1) Steve is cool under stress (Steve has Nerve 3). Steve gets 3 automatic successes and rolls 3 dice when he makes a Nerve check. Steve needs to pass a difficulty 6 Nerve check to reload his gun, he needs all three of his d6s to be successes.


Note-  I know this is a mess but I just want to get my thoughts down.
 Thanks to Fenway for letting me rip off the "B.R.A.I.N." acronym he uses in his cool Zombie Attack rpg.

More on this later.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quarantine Zone

Alright, with Halloween fast approaching I have been thinking about this. I am still slowly thinking up the actual rules and have come up with the different types of zombies which will be roaming the Quarantine Zone.

It is important to remember that every zombie is unique and that zombies are as varied in death as they were in life. Assuming zombies are all the same will get you killed or worse- false familiarity is deadly.

That said, there are a handful of broad categories which most zombies can be classified into.

Sloucher - The 'regular' zombie. Slow moving, uncoordinated, and very unaware. Will wander or lay collapsed until it detects prey, at which point it will issue a horrible moan and move to attack.

Dragger- A Sloucher that moves more slowly for some reason, perhaps due to injury or decomposition. A Dragger's slow but erratic movements make them more difficult to get a headshot on than the more steady Slouchers.

Shambler- A Sloucher that is able to move slightly faster than average. Like the Dragger, Shambler's erratic movement makes them more difficult to target precisely.

Crawler- A zombie which must crawl, usually because of severe damage to the legs or back.

Juggernaut- A very large Sloucher, either obese, muscular or mutated. Not faster or smarter but stronger and very difficult to put down.

Twitcher- At first glance a Twitcher will appear to be a regular Sloucher, but a careful observer will notice the Twitcher is much more alert and fidgety. Unlike Slouchers, Twitchers will run, climb, and jump to reach prey; shrieking the whole time.

Wailer- Usually a zombie child with enormous lung capacity. The Wailer is fond of climbing and will wait in treetops or on the roofs of houses until it spots prey. The horribly distinctive wail will attract all the zombies in the area.   

Banshee- Usually a zombified young woman. The hellish shriek of a Banshee will not only attract more zombies, it is said to be able to transfix the living, freezing the weak willed in place.

Thinker- Thinkers are thankfully very rare. They look like regular people, they are able to walk and move like the living and they usually don't have obvious injuries. Thinkers are self aware and alert, able to see their surroundings in a way that other zombies cannot. Thinkers can learn simple things, use simple tools, and recognize symbols and patterns.  A Thinkers most terrifying trait however is the ability to telepathically direct other zombies, allowing them to set traps and overcome obstacles.

More on this later.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ogrefolk of the Hook Mountain

So here are some of the tokens we used when we were playing the Hook Mountain Massacre adventure path. Very cool and creepy.

Click to Bigify

Monday, September 19, 2011

Townsfolk Tokens

Here are my NPC and some of the PC tokens, a few of these were made up by players.

Click to bigify

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Wildlife Tokens

So Pathfinder does the whole tactical grid combat thing, which you pretty much need tokens for and I like drawing and stuff so I make my own.

These are my natural wildlife guys. Moose, two Boars, Mountain Lion, and Black Bear along the top, that's the wolfpack along the bottom.

Click to Bigify 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I have a problem

I just can't stop starting new things. It wouldn't be so bad if I posted more often, but as it is I am all over the place. Ok well, I started a new project, or more accurately have decided to return to an older project. It is that dream thing I was talking about here, but back then I was trying to figure out how to integrate that idea into regular D&D game play. I had a major revelation recently when I realized that it would work much better making the dream quest thing a stand alone game- the concept is strong enough, at least I think so.

Ok well here are the bare bones-

Everything is based on two game mechanics, Will Power  and Invocations.

Will Power (WP) is a measure of a characters ability to influence and resist being influenced by things encountered in dreams. In game terms each WP equates to one d6. As Will Power is spent the d6 are discarded and the characters pool of Will is depleted. A twist is that Will Power also represents a characters hold on the dream and are comparative to health points and HP as used in other games. In most cases trying to affect the dream will result in a depletion of will points, but also will being attacked by dream monsters. I am getting ahead of myself but hopefully you can see what I am trying to say.

When attempting to use Will Power the DM (Dream Master) will tell the character a target number based on how difficult the task is to accomplish. That target number is the number of successes the character has to get with their Will (d6 roll), a success being a roll of a 5 or 6 on a d6 Will dice roll.

example: Tim the dreamer wants to leap a chasm, its pretty narrow and should be easy to leap so the DM tells Tim he will need 2 successes. Tim has 14 Will Points, he decides to play it safe so grabs 4 dice and reduces his Will to 10 Will Points. He rolls the dice. Tim needs at least 2 of the 4 dice to have a result of 5 or 6. Tim rolls two 6s, a 5 and a 1, getting 3 total successes, he only needed 2 so Tim has successfully leaped across the chasm. If Tim failed he would have fallen into the chasm and possibly lost more Will Points to represent damage from the fall.

The second main mechanic is Invocations.  Making a Invocation is a little more complicated to explain. As characters explore the dream lands they will gain access to various different Arcana- a catch all term for a multitude of archetypal characters, objects, events, and powers.

(From Wikipedia:'' Carl Jung was the first psychoanalyst to attach importance to tarot symbolism.[22] He may have regarded the tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of persons or situations embedded in the collective unconscious of all human beings.'')

A character can freely Invoke any Arcana they possess as way of overcoming obstacles during adventures in the dream realms. Invoking Arcana can be risky though and may come with a price or be difficult for the dreamer to control. Check out my posts with the Dream Realm label to see some examples of Arcana, and an example of an Arcana being invoked below.

Example: Tim the Dreamer is now in a sleepy peaceful village at the edge of a vast desert, he decides to Invoke The Cyclone. To simply unleash the Cyclone and let it destroy the village all Tim would have to do would be to say "I Invoke the Cyclone!" and watch the destruction. But if Tim wanted to Invoke the Cyclone to carry him quickly across the desert- and to leave the village and himself unharmed- he would have to succeed at a very difficult Will Power test, and if he fails The Cyclone would spin dangerously out of control.

The various Arcana will be a pretty big deal in the game, with a near endless number of possible Archetypes to be discovered and used, I will try to post a whole bunch every once in a while as inspiration, and to make a core "canon" list, but my expectation is that DMs and players will be eventually able to make them up pretty much on the fly, and be able to creatively interpret them. In play most Arcana will start as NPCs or obstacles or found treasure- which after they have been met and befriended, overcome or plundered will be available for players to Invoke.

One important note to make is that players cannot swap or share or take duplicates of Arcana that the other players have, so each dreamer will build up a "hand" of unique Arcana which only they can use.

More on this later...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zombies in my town

So, just because I don't have enough half finished projects in the works I am going to start working on a new one.

This time its zombies.

Like everyone else I am a fan of zombies, I have a couple zombie games for Xbox, I have the excellent Last Night on Earth board game by Flying Frog as well as Zombies!!!4 The End

I recently picked up a copy of Dead Reign Dark Places it is an expansion sourcebook for the Dead Reign rpg. It is pretty cool.  It gave me alot of ideas, and maybe I caught a bit of the zombie plague because I haven't been able to get it off my mind.

So I am going to write up my own simple zombie rpg game. It will be a d6 system and hopefully pretty simple and rules light. One idea I had that is really been making me want to work on this is that I plan to set the game in my local real world area. Specifically the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).  I want to take real local maps and scribble notes and stuff all over them.  

Ok,well more on this later.

(-Edit: I have changed the name of this project to "Quarantine Zone"  and have gone through my posts on the subject and edited them to reflect this new name. Quarantine Zone is intended to be set in a real world location- preferably a place all the players are familiar with).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Trusty Dagger

Ok, so in my last post I mentioned character 'perks' or powers, and that I wanted them to be unlocked by characters accomplishing tasks in game. Another objective of mine is to give a facelift to magic items and character equipment in general (including weapons and armor).

With these goals in mind I came up with the idea for "trusty" weapons.

If a character uses the same weapon pretty much exclusively* for an entire character level that weapon becomes "Trusty" and gets a +1 to hit bonus. This bonus represents the character attuning themselves to the weapon, learning the exact details of the weapon, and possibly infusing the weapon with martial magical energy.

The weapon becomes magical for all intents and purposes. The +1 bonus can also increase if the character uses the same Trusty weapon for another whole level, increasing by +1 for each level used. It has to be the same specific weapon- NOT the same type of weapon and each character may only have one Trusty weapon at any time. If a character starts using a different weapon the Trusty weapon becomes normal again and loses all bonuses (all bonuses for being Trusty).

A Trusty weapon can be magically enhanced further using the normal methods.

This rule is intended to give a character a reason to be attached to that weapon they start at level 1 (or 0) with as well present a meaningful choice to the player- stick with the +5 Trusty sword they have used for 5 levels or take the sword of Giant Slaying they just found.

*A character can use a bow to make a ranged shot across a chasm, or use a knife to cut their way out of a giant fish, and still keep a Trusty longsword, but the Trusty weapon should always be the preferred weapon.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Want to lvl up? pt 1

So work progresses on my very own fantasy heartbreaker - my B?X project. I am seeing more and more that B?X will have very little in common with B/X, but I'm ok with that.

One recent idea I had regards experience progression and leveling. I was thinking why not get rid of XP all together? I mean, I get it, XP works really well to let you calculate exactly how many goblins you need to kill to level up. In my experience though experience points sometimes just get in the way or are redundant. You don't need to be totaling experience to realize the 10xp a level 5 Fighter gets from a lone goblin is pretty insignificant. Another problem I have seen is some players doing stuff specifically to try to get XP, like killing hobbit children (sure we were like 13, but still). The challenge and difficulty of rising through the levels definitely needs to increase, but nowadays I'm not so sure that crunching numbers is the best way to do it.

I would rather ask my party to come up with a goal, a quest worthy goal, which is informed by their exploration of the game world. We would discuss the goal, the players and I, and try to come to an agreement about what type of goal would be suitable for the party level and their current situation.

If the party is able to achieve their goal, or make some other significant accomplishment then the entire party can level up.

In this model leveling up entails:

a hit point increase,
a increase in renown and prestige in the game world,
and possibly some incidental benefits,

NO new abilities or powers would be gained.
 
To gain new class abilities, powers, feats, or skills, the player and I would have to set a character goal relating to the desired ability.

Example: Snagg the Barbarian wants to learn how to perform a mighty cleave attack with his great axe. We decide that to learn this Snagg must strike with his great axe and roll the maximum result on the damage dice 10 times, only worthy and dangerous opponents will count (no hobbit children!).

So that's one quick example but hopefully it gets my point across.

More on this later...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cool dudes on Youtube

Here are three guys who talk about gaming on Youtube. They are pretty cool and have some pretty interesting stuff to talk about for the most part.

First up is 'Esper'. He is big into 4th edition and has some videos about why 4th is better than other versions. No matter how you feel about 4th though he has some really cool content in his videos. I  particularly enjoyed the 15 video solo quest he plays out on camera - "The Isle of Horns", he used commenter feed back between videos to make many important decisions. The accents make me cringe sometimes but i can't fault him for lack of trying.

Esper

Ok, second I want to give some props to Captain Machine. He does mostly reviews but I find him pretty informative and just generally pleasant to listen to. He talks about games I have never heard of and that's cool.

Captain Machine

And finally here is Sean Connors from "The Outsiders" channel. Sean posts a lot of DM's tips videos and reviews and stuff. Some stuff is more useful than other stuff but he is very encouraging to new DMs and has some cool ideas. The sound is wayyy to quiet in all his videos so you might have to crank the volume.

Sean Connors

Friday, July 1, 2011

YAY FIREWORKS!!!


My Pretty Lady and I enjoyed a very nice day. We attended a parade, a fair, an old british pub, and some fireworks. I feel very proud and privileged to be able to call such a great country home.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

House Rules for Barbarian Prince

Ok, so Evan from In Places Deep posted a link here where you can get some cool old game materials ( I was very disappointed by "Goblin!")

Barbarian Prince is one of the games. It is pretty cool. You can get the rulebook and game board downloaded for free. Upon downloading and reading through the rules I imediately printed out a small copy of the game board and called up a buddy to play.

The game went fairly well but here are some changes I would make to the rules:

1- Although it is advertised as a solo game I heartily recommend a GamesMaster to run the game, and I think some additional starting characters run by other players could join the Barbarian Prince's party without too much trouble (maybe increase the amount of gold needed to win the game by 100 for each additional player). The more the merrier!

2- The combat system is kinda a mess. Here is my quick (and not playtested) fix to combat without totally overhauling the game: Combat Skill (CS) = the number of die you roll whenever attacking or defending in combat. Both combatants roll their CS # of dice, remove any dice rolled which are not a 5 or 6. Dice that come up 5+ have been successful (either attacking or blocking), successful block dice cancel successful  attack dice on a 1to1 basis. Successful and unblocked attack dice each cause 1 wound to the defender.
Example: 
the Prince (CS 8) vrs Dragon (CS 10)
Prince goes first -attacking he rolls 8 dice 
The Dragon rolls his 10 dice in defense
The Prince rolls well and gets 5 successes (5+ results)
The Dragon rolls 4 successes and thus manages to block 4 of the Prince's strikes.
The Dragon takes 1 wound.

Choosing targets and stuff remains the same as do CS modifiers due to wounds.

3-  +1 CS to anything that is mounted.

4- Your wit and wiles number is subtracted from your chance to get lost - the 2d6 dice roll. (SPENT WAYYY TOO MUCH TIME LOST IN THE SWAMP/ MOUNTAINS)

So those are my proposed changes, if anyone uses them please let me know how it went. I might come back to this. I am thinking about making some really simple character creation rules and maybe rules for leveling up and increasing your statistics.

Also custom encounters would be cool.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The VENDBOT

So, I posted this robot thing I made up on Zak's blog a while ago for the Gigacrawler game he was working on. I thought I should get it up on my own blog too before I totally forget about it. It could work in any futuristic setting I think.

Vendbot

Hundreds of years ago a very consumer based society controlled this part of the Gigastructure, that civilization is long gone but part of their legacy remains to endanger explorers. A Vendbot is a very sturdy and rugged vending machine with powerful track units enclosed in its base.

These machines trundle randomly about in forgotten corridors until they detect a potential customer. Unfortunately due to centuries of loneliness and neglect Vendbots react with a sort of frenzied desperation to any lifeforms they encounter-continuously ramming into their customers, often with fatal results.

Vendbots continuously emit cheerful recorded messages and slogans such as "PLEASE MAKE YOUR SELECTION!", "EXACT CHANGE ONLY!" and "TRY ONE OF OUR REFRESHING NEW FLAVORS!"

Vendbots are notoriously difficult to put down and can take an amazing amount of punishment. Many of the units still functioning are riddled with bullet holes and their bright logos obscured by the crushed remains of 'satisfied customers'.

Adventure Ideas-
An eccentric benefactor will pay handsomely for a particular rare beverage now only found in ancient Vendbots.

A Vendbots navigation harddrive may contain extensive maps and floorplans of large sections of the local Gigastructure.

A mysterious old hermit has made it his lifes work to seek out and peacefully deactivate Vendbots, doing so by purchasing each ones entire stock before they can crush him.

Notes-
I was thinking, finding the right type of coins or cards or whatever would be hard, but worthwhile to a party that knows they will be traveling through Vendbot territory, although there is no guarantee the bots will even give them half a chance to use it.

Another idea I had was that there is really no telling what kind of random stuff a Vendbot might contain- from pop and candy to bullets and nanochips. Maybe if the party was running critically low on a certain resource I'd have them be attacked by a Vendbot that has it, to give them a chance to fight for it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When Warcraft was cool

Now I don't mean to upset anyone who is a Wow fan. It certainly seems like a pretty cool game and is obviously very successful. The Warcraft universe was alot cooler though, in my opinion, before it got all cartoony and steampunk and "awesome to the max" if you get my meaning.

Warcraft 1 Orcs and Humans came out in 1994. It was simple, it was in blocky DOS pixel animation, and it was beautiful.  The story was pretty interesting and the missions tied together well, the gameplay was very simple real time strategy stuff. The premise and game world, the whole aesthetic tying the thing together from the art work to the music to the sword clash sound effects is what really made the game in my opinion.

The scope of the game was very limited, its about two armies fighting over a fantasy kingdom, but they were able to do so much to bring that conflict and world to life. It is truly amazing the developers were able to do so much with so little.

The world is dark and gritty, lots of blood and fire. peasants chop wood out of the dark pine forests and green slimes thrive in the deep caves. Orc warlocks bind Daemons and human knights swing morning stars.

Damn I love this game.

Check out the mission briefing screens:















And the coolest looking map ever:

Yeah seriously, this game was pimp. This is definitely the sort of feel I want my B?X setting to have.












Check out the game manual if you still don't believe me:http://www.scribd.com/doc/3914674/Warcraft-Orcs-Humans-Manual 

There's a ton of D&D usable material in there.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stuff About B?X and DCC

Alright, well maybe this is overdue but I thought today I would talk about B?X a bit. Say what it is and what I want it to be about.

Ok well B?X is a project I have been thinking on for over a year now. It is meant to be a medieval fantasy rpg game which is very loosely based on the Moldvay basic set, or more specifically the way I played it when I started out with D&D as a kid. I want B?X to be a refined version of those early days of madness, with a dose of mechanics drawn from my D&D 3+ (Pathfinder) years.

I am very happy with the DCC beta ruleset. It addresses many of the issues I had with the clunky aspects of the older systems- descending AC, the saves (dragon's breath, and petrify?- lame).  I also was really starting to dislike Vancian spellcasting so I was glad to see a cool alternative,which was actually very similar to the system I had been thiniking of using. The mighty deeds thing for fighters is really cool- adds some more interest and variation to hack and slash, without requiring endless lists of feats and a complex battle grid.

And finally the 0lvl character thing totally blew me away. I would have never thought of something like that. While I really like the "character creation funnel" I know it's not for everyone. My pretty lady really dislikes the whole idea. I think starting at zero level has alot of cool potential and would help alot with making characters with a cool back story.

I have no plans to release or publish or whatever my B?X rules. I think they are going to be more like a house rules amalgamation, drawn from a variety of sources. That said I do plan to do posts on pretty much the whole thing- to show my process and the final result. This is certainly not going to be a money making venture for me and I will try to cite the sources I look at when I come up with anything.


































 Here is a Storm Trooper (Scout Trooper). by Feng Zhu http://www.fengzhudesign.com/

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Narrative Character Roleplaying

This is in response to Trey's recent post.

The accent thing never worked well for my group, we would end up talking like pirates and it would really bring us out of the game rather than contribute to immersion. Talking in character even without accents was a real challenge for us, it was hard to think of what the character would need to say. In the end we decided to try talking about our characters in a narrative voice rather than an active voice.  The emphasis is on intention and specific talking points. Stuff like -

Jozen boldly explains what just happened at the dark tower to the king, specifically highlighting the danger the heroes were in, he leaves out the discovery of the magic staff however. He is hoping the King will reward him and not ask about the staff.

Florent recites a ballad he knows to the maiden, staring into her eyes when describing the romantic part. He is really trying to impress her.

The Myrish dock workers tell you that you in no uncertain terms that they want you to leave, their speech heavy with foul curses and the deep Myr accent.

We find its a faster a more direct way than trying to act out the scenes in person, and it lets you play a cool or eloquent character even if your improv character acting skills arent that great.

(L.A Noire, Fallout New Vegas, Clash of Kings, and my Skaven army are the reasons I haven't been posting lately.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

WAZ UP???

Hey gang.

I need to really get posting more I know. It's tough, I just feel so burned out after work I can't think of anything to post about. Everyone else seems to manage somehow though. I will try to do better.

I'm going to do a series of posts on the creation myths of my main campagin world, the one I been playing pathfinder in most recently.\

also offer some thoughts on DCC when I finish reading it (hard to get to when Clash of Kings is on my bedside table and LA Noire is in my Xbox.)

also still all my unfinished back burner stuff is going ahead slowly.

Night!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Locust Horde part 1

Here are some pics and descriptions of creatures from the Gears of War game series showing how I would adapt them the  fantasy setting I described here.


Drone


Of the horrible creatures which make up Locust horde Drones are probably the most numerous. Possessing a low intelligence and a high level of physical strength Drones are the front line soldier of the Locust armies. Drones (also called Grubs by the surface dwellers) are stocky and muscular: about the height of a man but more powerfully built. Drones have a reptilian appearance, hairless and scaled, with a chalky white skin coloration. In battle Drones arm themselves with scavenged or crudely made weapons and armor, typically using cleaver like swords.

Drones have an aversion to bright light and cannot tolerate direct sunlight so the often wear hoods or goggles when venturing above ground during the day.




Drones would pretty much use the same stats as Orcs, maybe with a slightly improved AC to account for their naturally tough scaled skin.

Wretch
The Wretch is a vicious and dangerous creature. Although short in stature Wretches are ferocious- and they hunt in packs. Wretches are not intelligent even when compared to the dimwitted Drones, but they do possesses a animal cunning which can catch their opponents off guard using pack hunting tactics to flank or ambush their prey. Wretches are excellent climbers and can traverse walls and ceilings just as easily as open ground, they usually leap about on all fours only standing upright to swing at prey with their lethal fore claws. 

Wretches would use the same stats as goblins but instead of giving them weapons they would get 2 1d4 claw attacks and the ability to run across walls and ceilings.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Castlevania Inspiration


 So just posting a few pics from the internet that I'm looking at as inspiration for Losh Nekkar. Two of them are art from the resent Castlevania Lords of Shadow game, the tall castle is from an artist on deviant art (sorry not sure who, I think I got the image from one of  the posts on The Land of Nod). The last one is a really cool map from Simon's Quest, which was my first Castlevania game as a little kid.

Have a fun and safe weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nekkar Cross Section

This picture is really the meat of what I have so far. Its kinda a cross section of the castle, but the main purpose of the pic is to layout the various levels and sections- and show me how they relate to one another. I like how many of the levels are interconnected. It will eventually become possible to unlock direct paths between certain lvls.  For example the Inner Courtyard is initially inaccessible from the Lower Court, but after fighting through to the Upper Battlements the party will be able to lower a draw bridge to connect the two courtyards.

Also the Chapel deserves some mention. It is intended to be a safe zone so the party can withdraw from the dungeon and rest in relative safety without having to slog it all the way back to the town.

I'm planning for Losh Nekkar to start in a kind of dormant state a gradually "wake up" as the PCs explore it. The dungeon for example will be sealed off from the rest of the castle until the PCs blunder on down there, releasing various dungeon themed creatures. Gradually the dungeon creatures will start appearing in other places as they migrate around the castle.

And this is a very early sketch which was super heavily based on the stages from the Super Castlevania IV game, the names of boss creatures and things are scribbled all over the place. The game is a linear sidescroller so I was trying to figure out how the various locations would logically fit together in a "real" castle.


(Click for larger Pics)

More  later...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nekkar Exterior

Ok, so here she is. my fairly rough diagram of Losh Nekkar and the surrounding area (click the picture for a much better view) . I'm pretty happy with the design of the Castle itself but the nearby village and stuff needs a little work, but most important elements are visible.  That's a bat's eye view of the castle in the lower right. Losh Nekkar is gonna be kinda of like a giant haunted house/fun house dungeon.  All the classic horror monsters will be lurking somewhere nearby if not in the castle directly.

  

The castle will certainly be the "tent pole" of the setting but there will be several other adventure sites located in the area.  Much like Ravenloft or any of the games though the action will be fairly restricted, there is a sort of contained sandbox around the castle and a well defined border keeping the PC's trapped in the Count's blighted domain.

More pictures and detail soon but feel free to ask questions or offer up ideas.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"What is a man?...

 .....A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk... Have at you!"
                 - Dracula (Castlevania Symphony of the Night)
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MM_Q0nfaG0
Awesome piano tune.

So, one of my many back burner projects is the creation of a mega dungeon. A mega dungeon heavily inspired by Dracula's castle from the SNES game Super Castlevania 4 and Castle Ravenloft, with a good measure of my own stuff thrown in there.

As soon as I stop being lazy and actually unpack my scaner I can post some digrams and sketches I have come up with -boy do I love maps.

So for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the Castlevania game series I will tell you why it is cool. Well it pretty much is just cool, particularly the early stuff, before it got all melodramatic and Japanese rpg style soap opera all up in there. Its basically just a rad story about a guy with a whip fighting his through a castle to get to Dracula.

As a young kid playing snes I made up an imaginary rip-off castle based on Castlevania (the literal name of Dracula's castle), I named my version "Losh Nekkar"- im not sure why. I pretended Losh Nekkar was in the woods on the other side of a swamp  just down the street from my house.  Anyway though, I'm naming this mega dungeon Losh Nekkar,and this will be the first in a series of posts about the place. Theres actually quite alot to tell. Not sure where to start.

More on this later...