Monday, May 6, 2013

I should call this blog 2d6 h-town

Just got dungeon world.Liquid awesome on a stick. Waiting to play before making any final conclusions but this what I have been waiting for. I still dig me so me white box DnD. As soon as I remember how to blogger thing works I will update the what I am playing bit to the right. Wish we had this when we were playing with e Ebisu Gaming Club in Tokyo.

Peace - Steve

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why would I ever or why torch and sword is one of the most underrated games

Why would I ever pay 87.85 for This when I can get something that is better written, less confusing and essientially a leaner, meaner, sleeker version for free. Paul Gormon's torch and sword is the most underrated retro-clones out there. Like others I have managed to acquire an ok or decent version of the LBB. While I was in the mind to make a true text copy in pages for my own use, not sure I need to. Paul's version is the truest that I have seen, has awesome appendices and reorganizes for easier use. His terse to the point style is refreshing, and is reminiscent of Moldvay's style. Much better than the original quite frankly and he doesn't feel the need to add what is missing. For my money it hits the mark for what is needed if someone wants to play OD&D. I like Moldvay too but at the same time as I grow older I like the elements of the original (although I do like my own 2d6 combat better than anything else out there) better than Moldvay.

Paul's magic sword pamphlet is nifty too and better than most supplements out there.

Thanks Paul keep up the good work!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

More 2d6 goodness


NOTE: this system assumes using d6 for hit points, HD similar progression similar to the LBB. In my games name level is 7 and the maximum level for all characters. This also assumes that ability modifiers are limited to +1 for over 14.

Determine encounter distance (3d6x10 feet or yards, or determine based on terrain and dungeon layout)
Check for surprise (1 or 2 on d6) - if one side is surprised the other gets a free round.
Determine monster reactions (per whatever rule set you are using)
Determine party actions: flee, combat, parlay, or wait for monster
Roll initiative for each side if combat or flee (each side, highest on 1d6)
Declare spells in order of initiative
Highest side does movement and resolve missile combat
Resolve Melee combat from that move and retreats
Next highest does movement and resolve missile combat
Resolve Melee combat from that move that is new or from retreats
After all moves, missile, and Melee resolve spells in initiative order (use whatever rules regarding you normally use if a magic user or cleric is injured during combat or see rules below for hit while spell casting)  
Repeat steps 5-12 for new round if one side unless one side gives quarter, flee, or is dead.
Note it is possible for a character to fire a missile, charge an opponent, and enter Melee depending on the circumstances. A DM for example may allow for a character to throw a dagger while charging in battle, but may not allow someone to fire a bow and charge and pull out a sheathed sword. Use common sense and what is allowed at your table for norms to determine what is possible. If in doubt ask the DM, and remind him of your awesomeness.

All characters and monsters have a new stat, Combat Prowess (if you don't like this name then give it a different name). For monsters their base combat prowess is their hit dice. Normal humans have a combat prowess of 0. Fighters have a combat prowess of 2 and gain additional +1 each additional two levels ( 2 at level 1, 3 at level 3, 4 at level 5, etc.). Clerics start with a combat prowess of 2 and gain additional +1 each additional three levels (2 at level 1, 3 at level 4, 4 at level 7, etc.) Magic-users start with a combat prowess of 1 and gain additional +1 each additional three levels (1 at level 1, 2 at level 4, 3 at level 7, etc.) Elves or their equivalent depend on what rule set. If you are using something like a basic D&D clone then treat them as fighters. If you are using something more like the '74 OD&D rule set that forces elves or their equivalent to choose how they are treated before each adventure then use ever fighter or magic-user.

Additional Modifiers for Combat Prowess:
Fighters (and their racial class kin) get +1 for strength of 14 or greater for resolving Melee combat
Anyone with a dexterity greater than 14 get +1 for resolving missile combat
Anyone with a shield get +1 for resolving missile combat when they are a target.
Anyone with a two handed sword, halberd, two handed battle axe or similar heavy weapon gets a +1 against armored foes
Any other situational Modifiers that the DM warrants (ranging from -2 to +2)  allowing players to go hog wild to show their awesomeness in the situation.

Instead of a to hit roll, each of the combatants rolls 2D6 to see if they are hit. If the roll is equal to or greater than 8 then they are not hit that round from that combatant. A roll of 12 is always a miss or a critical fumble for the other combatant, and a roll of 2 is always a critical hit. With two combatants their are four possible outcomes: they both are not hit, they both are hit, one or the or the other is hit. If they are hit, then they take damage - usually a 1D6 or a 2D6 if a critical hit. Note some games use variable damage for weapons, if so replace the D6 with the variable damage.   Some more lethal games will use an "exploding" D6 for damage (each 6 rolled allows you to roll and add to previous rolls). You resolve combat by having combatants roll at the same time for each pair of combatants, but only resolve for each pair once during the combat round. Example:  Andog the bruiser is fighting Cal the dervish and Andog has a 6 initiative and Cal has a 1 initiative. Andog moves by charging into Cal swinging a broken chair leg they will both resolve their Melee at the same time by rolling to see if they are hit after Andog charges on Andog's initiative. On Cal's initiative if he chooses not to flee you will not roll again to see if they are hit since that Melee has already been resolved that round for that pair of combatants. The advantage of initiative is to setting up who is fighting who.

Missile combat works the same way, but only the target rolls to see if they are hit. If two combatants are shooting each other across the battlefield they would each make their roll to see if they were hit on their own individual initiative.

Each pair of combatants will roll each round. If you have a dog pile of people fighting one character then that one person will roll to see if he was hit for each one in the dogpile and each character in the dog pile will roll to see if they are hit. Example Elruk the King is confronted by three Frwen Assassins. The Assassins have the initiative and they all do spinning double forward flips to surround the King. Elruk would roll three times to see if he was hit, and each Assassin would roll once to see if they are hit. If the Assassins all had different combat prowess, Elruk would factor his Modifiers separately for each roll (see below).

Some badass monsters have multiple attacks. This works just like multiple combatants. The character makes a roll to see if they are hit for each attack the monster has. If a monster has two or more weak ass attacks (e.g. D4 or less damage) it is suggested to just replace with one D6 attack.

The base roll to see if a character or monster is hit is 8 modified by the following:
The one with the highest combat prowess (recall that with modifiers Melee and missile combat prowess can be different) gets a +1 to the roll, the one with the lowest gets a -1 to the roll.
If the combat prowess is ludicrously different say more than 5 apart, the modifier can +2 for the higher one and -2 for the lowest one.  
Leather Armor grants a +1 to the roll, chain +2, plate +3. Generally for conversions each 2 increments of AC (ignore shields see below) grant +1. Example monsters with an AC of 5 would get a +2, one with an AC 1 would get a +3, one with AC -1 would get +4.
Magic weapons generally cut or batter through armor like butter, they reduce the armor bonus of the opponent to zero.
Any other situational Modifiers that the DM warrants (ranging from -2 to +2)  allowing players to go hog wild to show their awesomeness in the situation. Note a +1 or -1 modifier is a big deal for a 2D6 roll.

With a to be hit roll and combat prowess players have two aspects to modify based on the situation. In general use your judgment to determine what makes sense, recognizing that small benefits (like higher ground or hazardous terrain) should impact combat prowess, while big benefits like leaping down spear first into a horde of goblins from a cliff above should impact the to be hit roll. Also recognize that anything that makes you more of a badass should be a positive modifier to combat prowess, while anything that makes you easier to hit such as a being blinded should be a negative to a to be hit roll but something that makes it harder to be hit such as a standing behind a parapet looking down on the horde of archers should be a positive modifier to a to be hit roll.

Shields grant a +1 to combat prowess against missile attacks. Also once per encounter you can reroll one of the two dice in your to be hit roll. Magic shields may let you reroll twice or thrice. Rings of protection and similar magic items work the same way.

For a fighting retreat from a Melee you make a to be hit roll, but your opponent does not. If you break and flee you make a to be hit roll but your combat prowess is 0.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dungeon Hack! Game for kids (and big kids too)

Working on my own simplified dungeon crawl game for playing with my 6 year old. We got to try it out today. While we have yet to get into the idea of tactics. So far we have dealt with a trap, and "whack the goblin with my big sword". Also had a bit if tears over rolling a 1 for Fate, but in general we had a good time! I think this would really work well as a fun and quick game, and want to try it out sometime with older gamers as well. It truly is mostly about player skill. Will post it when I get it finished and find out how to from the iPad. One design concept I really like is using old business cards to make the spell cards. It feels a bit like dungeon the game - and should be very familiar to those who have played final fantasy type games. But I present Lion - the dwarf, on his quest to recover his family history tome from the caves of despair.

Photo 1 - 2012-07-06

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The original evil space wizard

I spent my birthday with my son, wife and inlawsa at the exploration center in wichita ( one of America's most underrated cities). What a cool exhibit and birthday. Even though my boy has sort of a fascination slash fear of starwars there was lot of other stuff for him to do. If samurai space wizards can adventure together with uptight royalty freedom fighters why do some folks sweat the smorgasbord of od&d?

Photo 1 - 2012-07-05

First Twenty Questions for FCotTD - oh poor Yorick....rolled a 2 on the hurt table and didn't run

Photo 1 - 2012-07-05

Well here are the first set of 20 questions from Brendan's blog. I found these useful. I think with all the variations for ability score modifiers from thr old school games there should be a 21st one: what are the modifiers for the abilities. I will follow up with Jeff's in due time.

Poor Yorick must have rolled poorly on the hurt table after getting hit by a level draining fiend and foolishlyn didn't run.

Ability scores generation method?
3d6 in order: Str,Int,Dex,Wis,Con,Cha
Fighters can reduce int, dex, wis on 2 for 1 for str
MU can reduce str, dex, wis on 2 for 1 for int
Others can't reduce at all.
If you pick a hafling the max score for any is 12.

How are death and dying handled?
At 0 HP characters have to roll on the serious hurt table. The second whack you get while at 0 HP you only roll 1d6 on the serious hurt table. When you are less than 6 HP you get wicked wounds and scars.

What about raising the dead?
Only one sect - Maidens of the Blackgate can cast a raise dead spell. This is a special spell that costs a lot of money, including the upkeep for the priestess for the rest of her life as she loses her clerical powers in casting it.

How are replacement PCs handled?
Ported in, unless the character has someone is mind - prodigy or similar but that generally requires the player to wait until an appropriate time. In general new characters are level 1 and other players are expected not to be a dick to them. If all the players agree new characters can be the average level minus 2.

Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
Group unless there are special circumstances. Plain old B/X

Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
Yes, hits only, generally only by players or named characters. On a natural 20 something cool happens (generally someone that will give an advantage to your next hit or someone that will make it hard for the other guy). Rolling a 1 is the same as giving the other guy a crit. Fighters, dwarves, Enochs can explode a natural 6 roll for damage. Roll special crit die ( six sider that is marked with 0,0,2,4,6,8 or roll d6+d4. A roll of 3 or better on the d6 gives you 2x the d4 result)
If you roll a nat 20, the roll a nat 6 on the damage roll you get to roll on the serious hurt table.

Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
Yes depending on what is happening in the story. In general though no specific game rules regarding helmets. Some of the serious hurt table benefits from a helmet.

Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee or do something similarly silly?
Yes, if you miss, roll again to see if you hit something else.

Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
Use your player skills to find out

Level-draining monsters: yes or no?

Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
Yes - that is the purpose of a saving throw a chance to escape death

How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
Mostly yes - ammo, light, food, money, spells, hp, etc. will all be tracked. Encumbrance will be based on b/x.

What's required when my PC gains a level? Training? Do I get new spells automatically?
No training, but at least day of downtime. Magic Users get one new spell automatically but it takes d6x100 gp to scribe it out in a new spell book. Enochs are the same.

Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
No, you must be in town

What do I get experience for?
Treasure - 1xp for every gp you spend on non-equipment and not on spells. What you choose to spend your money on tells us a lot about your character. If folks have trouble with this I might break out a carousing rule instead. Later in the game folks can buy property and become a landholder.
You do not get xp until you spend the money.
Defeating monsters
Exploring (generally you get some for every room you explore, and interacting with the dungeon). If someone dies due to interaction with the dungeon, the survivors get some to.

How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
Combination, if you describe it good enough no roll. If you don't standard b/x roll.

Are retainers encouraged and how does morale work?
Yes, if you can afford them. Vagabond camps are interesting cheap ways to get them, but with unpredictable folks. Morale based in Charisma. They check morale based on when DM thinks they should. If the level up to same level as you they walk. They generally want a share of the treasure, and if you treat them as scum, they will treat you as scum.

How do I identify magic items?
Read magic or go and find a sage.

Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
Maybe, there isn't a magic shop. If you had a magic sword that was a 1000 years ago wielded by an overlord of the Riven Empire of the Stars that spit a life stealing black ray with a cackling laugh would you sell it? You might try some of the tonic salesmen dressed up gaudy clothes at the crossroads, or the young witch of shattered dream falls, but maybe it is just river water mixed with string wine and some sparkles or maybe it really is a potion of healing? Try some to find out if it will save your bacon before the serious hurt roll or make you take a save vs. dysentery?

Can I create magic items? When and how?
Yes. Scrolls are 100 gp per level and take 1 week per level to make. Clerics cannot make scrolls. Others are per the expert rules. Dwarves can forge magic arms and armor if they can find the lost arts and the requisite materials. For the most part it will be a while to make magic items. All require the caster/forger to find the secrets of their making.

What about splitting the party?
Go for it, but don't complain about the downtime as I try to run two games at the same time.