Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sept Blog Roll Additions

Blogs added to the Roll and semi-arbitrary why. - Mega dungeon best practices.  [Although, for Mythic Dungeons my rule is doors don't have hinges and open away from players, even on both sides :)] - This anti-hammerspace item tracker, hand (assuming self) drawn art. - had me at baboons, LOVE the style, lots of numbers and analysis. This may be my new favorite simian flavored blog.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gold and Glory Science Fantasy PHB

Player's Handbook version 3, now with art.  But, lacking background "watermark" for printing greatness. Also did the OGL thing. Much closer to Swords & Wizardry (formerly Labyrinth Lord). Stripped and simplified bunch of house-rules.  Added thief, assassin and "ranger" classes. Changed "elf" flavor from Viking to Greek. Rewrote bits everywhere. Renamed DM to Referee cause I like subtle connotation of a "ref" vs "master". Other stuff I'm forgetting. Spellchecked!

This is not a complete "game". It is mostly listing of playable character classes and info on houserules and other stuff players might need to know. Many charts and supporting rules are in companion Referee Charts. Both lack spells, monsters, magic items, significant setting details. All of which are available in Swords and Wizardry and a bazillion other sources.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Couple weeks ago my OSRIC Temple of Elemental Evil campaign ended in partial defeat for to forces of "Rather not get turned into a fungoid slave of the demoness Zuggamonty, thank you very much".  [The party could have continued But, 1) DM was a bit burned out on the complexities, fiddly bits, and inconsistencies of AD&D, 2) DM plays hard and gives the players the story they create. In this case it would be one of disease, melting body parts, and being outmatched by a 80% freed demon queen.]

All is not lost, I now, yay,  have time to (re)start Gold and Glory campaign, using Swords and Wizardry.

Here's the blurb:

Gold & Glory Science Fantasy Meetup

Seek plunder and fame under the broken moon of a fantastic world where the demons cower from elder, unfathomable things from out of space. Where just beyond the horizon mutants and robot worshiping orcmen wield the fire lances of the ancients. Where the grey "Valkyrie" riding circular, silver sky-chariots transport the most glorious warriors to "Valhalla". Where Morlocs brandishing black powder boom sticks are a playable class.

In other words an almost anything goes post-apocalyptic, fantasy, cthulhu romp 'round the sandbox of our imaginations.

Swords & Wizardry and this campaign make it easy for players to come and go, join in the middle, etc. Rules are simple and characters are quick to roll up. New players welcome. The rules are free to download. All you need are dice (and you can borrow some of those until you get your own).

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Complete Sithogy

This awesome dude, Mathew, put together a Google Doc of my Sithogy posts.  Which I hope is publicly shared.

The tale of what happen when players in my OSRIC campaign Raided Sithogy's Lair.  And the first post describing Sithogy the Black and his Lair.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

We Play to Win

I just wrote this to prospective player in my Swords & Wizardry Gold and Glory campaign.
It is an "old school" game.  It's fairly tough, gritty and leans towards the "game" aspect of D&D (vs shared story time). We roleplay but that is not the point of playing.  We play to "win" that is to survive to 9th level and retire healthy, wealthy and wise.  The obvious (but not only) path to that is to form a gang of like minded individuals, go kill things and take their stuff.
I like it.  It is a good description of the kind of campaign I think of as OD&D "old school".  The emphasis on game vs storytime.  You can "win", you can "lose".  But, win/lose doesn't matter much.  In either case you roll up and new character in 5min or less.

It's more of a personal challenge.  Can I make it as a fighter.  Ok, did that now let's try a mage.  Oh, what about this fighter with 6 strength? How awesome would it be to get him to name level! And not just class level, there's can we find and survive the 4th dungeon level.  Find this, do that, etc. etc.

This challenge / reward cycle is the root of many old-schoolisms;  random abilities, permanent death, no dice fudging.

Friday, September 7, 2012

For my upcoming Gold and Glory campaign I was considering using d24 and d30 for some attack rolls.  For some weapons like black powder pistols, rayguns, and hvy crossbows. And I've been using roll two d20's and take the lower / higher roll in place of various +4 bonuses (like vs invisible or vs unawares).

I was curious what comparative odds where.  So, I wrote a litte test program using my Die Python dice library.

      2d20(worst)    2d20(best)     d20+2          d20+4          d24            d30
 1 -> 9.75%   9.75%  0.24%   0.24%  0.00%   0.00%  0.00%   0.00%  4.19%   4.19%  3.36%   3.36%
 2 -> 9.28%  19.03%  0.76%   1.00%  0.00%   0.00%  0.00%   0.00%  4.20%   8.38%  3.34%   6.69%
 3 -> 8.69%  27.72%  1.25%   2.26%  4.98%   4.98%  0.00%   0.00%  4.16%  12.54%  3.38%  10.07%
 4 -> 8.25%  35.97%  1.75%   4.01%  4.97%   9.96%  0.00%   0.00%  4.17%  16.71%  3.33%  13.40%
 5 -> 7.77%  43.74%  2.25%   6.25%  5.03%  14.98%  5.02%   5.02%  4.15%  20.86%  3.29%  16.69%
 6 -> 7.22%  50.95%  2.76%   9.02%  5.00%  19.99%  5.01%  10.03%  4.14%  25.00%  3.32%  20.01%
 7 -> 6.76%  57.71%a 3.25%  12.27%  5.01%  25.00%  5.00%  15.03%  4.17%  29.17%  3.34%  23.35%
 8 -> 6.27%  63.98%  3.77%  16.03%  5.03%  30.03%  4.98%  20.01%  4.19%  33.36%  3.34%  26.70%
 9 -> 5.74%  69.72%  4.25%  20.28%  5.02%  35.05%  4.97%  24.97%  4.18%  37.54%  3.35%  30.04%
10 -> 5.25%  74.97%  4.73%  25.01%  4.98%  40.03%  4.99%  29.96%  4.18%  41.71%  3.34%  33.39%
11 -> 4.74%  79.71%  5.26%  30.27%  4.96%  44.99%  5.00%  34.96%  4.14%  45.85%  3.33%  36.71%
12 -> 4.26%  83.97%  5.74%  36.00%  4.99%  49.99%a 4.97%  39.93%  4.15%  50.00%a 3.33%  40.04%
13 -> 3.76%  87.73%  6.23%  42.23%a 4.96%  54.95%  4.98%  44.91%  4.17%  54.18%  3.34%  43.39%
14 -> 3.27%  91.00%  6.76%  48.99%  5.03%  59.99%  5.05%  49.96%a 4.16%  58.34%  3.34%  46.73%
15 -> 2.75%  93.76%  7.31%  56.30%  4.97%  64.96%  4.99%  54.94%  4.17%  62.51%  3.30%  50.03%a
16 -> 2.25%  96.00%  7.71%  64.01%  5.00%  69.95%  5.02%  59.96%  4.18%  66.70%  3.34%  53.37%
17 -> 1.77%  97.77%  8.27%  72.27%  5.03%  74.98%  5.02%  64.98%  4.18%  70.88%  3.36%  56.74%
18 -> 1.24%  99.01%  8.72%  80.99%  5.04%  80.02%  5.02%  70.00%  4.16%  75.04%  3.34%  60.07%
19 -> 0.74%  99.75%  9.21%  90.20%  5.00%  85.02%  5.00%  75.00%  4.15%  79.19%  3.34%  63.41%
20 -> 0.25% 100.00%  9.80% 100.00% 14.98% 100.00% 25.00% 100.00% 20.81% 100.00% 36.59% 100.00%

Percentages are off a few 100ths cause results were rolled (1,000,000 times each) rather than calculated.  It ends at 20 cause any natural roll >= 20 is a critical. The d20+2 and d20+4 only crit on 20, 5%, but was interesting to compare the 20 or above's.  If not obvious d20 has 5% chance for any roll. Assuming GameScience ;)

I'm no longer so sure I like 2d20(best/worst) as general mechanic. Kind of extreme, less than 7 (or more than 14) 50% of the time.  All the other rolls are strictly linear and 50% is in the middle of range.  Linear curve (except stats) is one of the things that make D&D, D&D.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's not SAVE OR DIE

It's you are dead.  Would you like roll a save to see if the gods grant you a second chance?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

20 Questions

  1. Ability scores generation method?3d6 in order. Various non-humans roll differently for some abilities 3d4, d10+8
  2. How are death and dying handled?After HP is gone start subtracting from Constitution and roll on Death and Dismemberment table. When all Con is gone, probably dead. Roll on the "Dead / Mostly Dead Table". If truly dead you may attempt Haunting.
  3. What about raising the dead? Death is just the beginning. Make deals with demon to be returned to life. Friends can come "rescue" you from the underworld. Or, if they have part of your body, take it to the clone-vats and get a new, probably not very mutated, you!
  4. How are replacement PCs handled? Promotion of henchmen or start at 1st level.
  5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else? Meh, I've tried many, many systems and the all bog down more than they add. Generally players get to go first. If there's some situtation where it matters we roll off.
  6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?Natual roll >= 20 (some times you get to roll d24 or d30 for attack) Effects are made up on the spot based on weapon, situation. Nat 1's break bows, explode firearms, but mostly ignore fumbles except if there's some comedy to be had.
  7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?Less death on Death and Dismemberment Table.
  8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?Requires two attack rolls, if only one succedes you hit, just not what you wanted to.
  9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything? At low levels you will need to run from many encounters. At all levels you will need to recognize and avoid deathtrap encounters. i.e. by the time you decide to run away it's already too late. At no level will you be able to win every fight.
  10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no? No cause it's annoying to deal with that particular effect. Instead they bypass HP and drain Strength/Constituion directly.
  11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death? You mean will there be cases where a successful save prevents a PC's wholly deserved death, yes. Saves are truely saves, second/last chances. Bestowed by the fates cause they like you even though you do stupid things and get yourself killed.
  12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked? Depends on situation, in a desert/deep dungeon with no chance of resupply and resources are big part of the "deal", strictly. Like anything it's fun in moderation.
  13. What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time? There's a "bing!" sound and you are suddenly more awesome.
  14. What do I get experience for? Surviving encounters ala DCC. Carousing. Making Referee laugh.
  15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination? Mostly by springing them (certain classes have trap avoidance). Players could look for them. Magic could find them. No skill to find them.
  16. Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?Depends on number of players, less players more henchmen. Henchmen are encouraged for backup PC purposes. Shield bearers, porters, torchbearers, dogs are not hired enough.
  17. How do I identify magic items? Several classes can maybe id potions. By trial/use. There is also this ritual; rub chicken on item, cut off it's head. After it's done running around if it falls to its right, magic! Also, skilled diviners are able to interpret properties of item from the patterns of blood chicken leaves behind.
  18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions? Sure, anything is possible. But, not readily.
  19. Can I create magic items? When and how? You'll have to find out through game play.
  20. What about splitting the party? Two words Scythe Trap!

GameScience vs Chessex

Awesome Dice Blog guy sent me this link to his Awesome Dice Blog d20 Randomness Test.  It's full of, like statistics, and charts, and awesomeness.

10,000 rolls later 

Zocchi wins! Also shave of the bit of flash, which I thought everyone knew to do?  But, translucent plastic is a flippin retarded idea for something you need to read, quickly, accurately from probably farther away if you roll like a spaz, I do.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dungeon Plane

Long ago, in my 3.5 campaign, the party found itself on the "Dungeon Plane".  All I knew about that plane at the time was; it was "old school" (so only spells and powers/feats from base (DMG, PHB) books worked) and it needed to be randomly generated endless "mega dungeon".  Wanting to avoid distraction of rolling up during game but wanting the dungeon to be unknown even to me I wrote this little DMG Appx A Dungeon Generator program to automate things.

Here's what it looks like running.  It's text mode prompting "Adventure awaits:" which I either respond with to generate another "roll" on charts or respond with various commands that roll on specific sub-tables.
Random Dungeon Delve.
Based off of 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide. A tool for DM's to use while generating random dungeons.

? for help.
 to explore!

Adventure awaits: 
Pit 10' deep with crushing sides. Check again after 30'.

Adventure awaits: onward
Straight ahead. Check again after 60'.

Adventure awaits: onward
Straight ahead. Check again after 60'.

Adventure awaits: onward
20'x20' chamber with a chance of (1-5 secret door, 6-10 one-way door, 11-20 nothing) per 10' abutting previously explored areas. 
  It contains: Oh no a monster! 250 gold/level in bags secret compartment. 750 electrum/level in sacks with gas strength +1d6 str. 
Check again after leaving for 30'.

Adventure awaits: opendoor
5' wide passage straight ahead.

Adventure awaits: trick_or_trap
20'x20' elevator room descends 2-5 levels plus 1 level per unsuccessful door opening attempt and will not ascend for 60 turns.

Adventure awaits: 
Dead end. Chance of a (1-5 secret door, 6-10 one-way door, 11-20 nothing) per 10' abutting previously explored areas.

Adventure awaits: 
Passage turns left 90 deg. Check again after 30'.

Adventure awaits: onward
Trap door down 1 level to a Door right leading to a 10' wide passage straight ahead. Check again after 30'. 
Passage continues check again after 30'.

Adventure awaits: chamber
40'x40' chamber with 1 exit: 
  In opposite wall a door. 
  It contains a Oh no a monster!

Adventure awaits: flee
Till next time...

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