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.

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Tools and the joy of hex

For my bday I got what any gaming dad would love - and iPad! Many games of Puerto Rico later I have gotten a bit more serious. I love penultimate for a mere .99 cents. Especially since you can put in your own custom papers. With some simple free downloadable hex maps you can have both a moleskin looking notebook sketch pad as well as having hex paper. I swear this will be better once I have my stylus - no more scanners for sure. Well once I figure out how to get from my iPad to blogger. Still learning the tools I guess. Blah

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Not dead, just busy....

Summer is here, with that work heats up, kids are doing summer stuff, car trips to grandparents, etc.... Still working on my flaming canyons of the transfigured dawn d&d mine.... Anyone have any great critical hit tables that they have publishable on the web ( I.e. telling me use the tables from an out of print book that I don't have would be less useful)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Soundtrack for Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn

Been busy with life - and working on my psionic ideas. Mutant Future and 1st Ed. Gamma World are a big influence.

In the meantime - this would be part of the soundtrack of the Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn - especially  St. Stephen, Mountains of the Moon, and Rosemary.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thinking about trying out a G+ game some time

I am really intrigued about G+ gaming. When I was in Japan I did some voice Skype gaming - it was good but not awesome, and then the Ebisu Game Club managed to form so I didn't need it. But I was thinking it can be hard to find old school gamers, I was thinking about trying out Constacon.

Anybody got any tips for a non-technophile like myself? Interested in how maps would work, I heard of Twidda but not sure how easy or user friendly it is. Before I dive in I wonder if any of the blogosphere knows some tips and tricks.

I'm Back!

Well just returned to blazing Houston after having to deal with snow in Wyoming. Nothing game related (I don't have my personal computer while travelling) - but I did get to read a lot of blogs, and some older articles on Zak S.'s website that made me look at some things in a new light - especially XP's. I also learned about Corcosa (how I didn't know about this just shows how insular I was before I started reading some blogs). Not sure I will pick it up, but all the discussion is interested. Wondering if it was a new product, something that was different; is my D&D Mine just another sci-fantasy game world? And if so, does it matter, really, since 0E was a lot about mashing all that stuff together anyway?

Peace and glad to be home,

Friday, March 23, 2012

No Posts for a while plus an open letter to IKEA

I am engaged in a project of a different nature than Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn. A project involving many small pieces, not one but three flat packs and an engaged 6 year old that wants to help as well as get said project completed before I have to travel for work for a week.

But in the meantime I have a real question for IKEA: why the fuck would you decide to put brackets and screws that measure fractions of milimeters on the end of a bedframe where you have less than a half an inch clearance to fit a screw driver. Who decided that was a good application in this situations. Either than or the Swedes have tiny f'ing elf hands and pixie size screw drivers. A gold ole American dewalt power screwdriver (6AMPS!) was able to simultaneously strip these diminutive fey screws from the Nordic lands and get those suckers in at the same time. I only managed a little damage to said bed. No one will notice with a bit of touch up paint.

In the meantime I am on step 6 of a 3 digit step process of assembling this bunk bed which took three trips to the big blue and yeller CF of a store. Brian was really helpful though they should give him a raise.  Between that and work next week there will little posts.

Though I am working on some psionics. I always wanted a decent psionics system in my game. It helps capture that Sci-Fan feeling like you get in PERN and other such works that I think of when I think of the late 70's and 80's of my youth. Peace to all, except for little bastard elves from the lands of the midnight sun that have the tiniest hands ever.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brevity of Writing - Why Moldvay is Awesome

I'm an engineer (engineering supervisor to be more precise so mostly I do powerpoints) - so I am not the best of writers. I tend to talk a lot as well. I noticed that the best written rules are succinct, clear, and tightly edited. I personally think that is what separates Moldvay from the rest*. And probably why he is probably the single most important person to making the hobby what it is. I know we all like to talk about Gary and Dave a lot - and yes they 'invented' the game. But Moldvay made it organized, coherent, tight, and accessible. As many have articulated, even when AD&D came out most of us just bolted on elements from it that we liked to how we have been playing B/X. That probably makes LL AEC the way that most of us played. Personally I like less AEC and AD&D and OSRIC in my games - I can't stand the race/class split personally. I like the simplicity of decision choices for a player in B/X - class, alignment, gear --> go to the dungeon. The fact that Mentzer took two books to do what Tom did with one separates them for me (that plus Otus vs. Elmore).

Moldvay in a few short pages gives an awesome "how to DM" and how to "wing it" when you need to. At the same time some of the basics of the game are covered: light, encounter distance, encounter reactions, retainer reactions, finding and opening doors, attacking, and finding traps. It was a game that explained how to run a game like a game. I think you do have tweak it a bit (but not in a big way probably how you award XP plus add some Deities to the game for the clerics) but can be run almost with the RAW. My D&D mine is more of a vanity project for some specific wackiness I want to add.

My only beef with Moldvay is the Thief class and I blame Gary and Dave for that. My fighter has a better chance to find a trap than the 1st level thief. That plus all the snake spells for Clerics. Rest of it is gold. I think when I get my D&D mine complete there will probably need to be a complete rewrite and tightening process. I am not looking forward to that.

How do others handle their editing? Do you find it tough like I do, or does it come easy. Any quick rules of thumb you use?

*(I can't speak for Holmes - my perception is that it wasn't around that much compared to B/X back in the early 80's which I perceive as the heyday of the hobby none of my friends had Holmes but we all had B/X )

For some reason my computer won't let me put comments in my own blog

I know I am idiot - but somehow I can't post comments to my own post. So I will just say thanks for the link to Jeff's post on XP. I have read a lot of his stuff before, but haven't this particular one.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Expierence Points Drive the Game - XP For Exploring the Dungeon?

I won't rehash what we all already know - how you give out XP defines a lot of what happens at the table. It works in the corporate world the same way - you work what you measure - and rewards drive behavior.

If I was being fidely and forgey - well I would overall the whole system potentially. There are a lot of really good games that do a good job with this, Burning Wheel comes to mind as well as the keys from the Shadow over yesterday. But then that would Azemol a bit more complicated than what I am looking for, and also it would hamper being to move from campaign to campaign - or least it would impact the fungibility of players from different backgrounds being able to play (probably another post all together on one of the things that makes old school DnD is while every table is different they are relatively fungible from a rule set - but probably not always from a style).

Instead I go back to the good old standby's plus a bit more. I want Flaming Canyons to be like when I played the B/X originally - a lot of exploration - what's around the next corner - what's on Level 2. But I also really like in my game of the impacts as characters grow and you get into the "end-game".

Like many I use the Dave Arneson rule: you only get the xp if you spend the gold you get out of the dungeon. Meaning that just getting isn't enough. What you spend on doesn't matter, except you don't get any XP from buying equipment or making magic weapons. All else you spend on does give you XP. If wine, women, and song is your thing, then by all means. But you could also get paying a ton of bribes to gain an audience with the Baron Throckmorton or in building up your Overlord Lair or whatever. What you spend it on shows some of how you see your character.

Jeff has a similar system for his carousing. I don't limit to carousing, but I do like some of his ideas about how big of a city you can spend it on. In the past I haven't done this, I just assumed somehow - usually 'off camera' the character spent the money. Make something up, scratch the gold off your sheet, and we talk about it (briefly) and maybe I add a twist or two to what you said, usually some sort of complication, a 'I always knew he was that type of guy' or just jot something down to add for future adventure fodder.

I will have think on it a bit more if I want anything more fiddely than that. One thing I do want to do is encourage characters to take some additional risk though. Exploration is a big thing, espically those old so tasty weird Enochian Ruins like the Burnished Tower of the Spellthrone. So in addition to the rule on gold, and monsters, I will add one on exploration.

So my XP system looks like:
  • 1XP for every 1GP a character spends on non-equipment/magic item creation 
  • Standard Monster XP per B/X
  • +25 XP times the Level of the Dungeon for each room you explore in a dungeon. 
  • +50 XP for trying something weird in the dungeon (what happens if I pull this lever; sure I'll drink from that rainbow hue liquid squirting out of the fountain that we found in this 1000 year weird fortress buried in the side of the mountain about 200' underground!) 
  • +100 XP if someone dies in that room of the Dungeon from the Dungeon (i.e. killed by a monster or trap or something weird). Those that survive learn from these events. 
  • +100 XP for going down the stairs to the next level
  • +200 XP for going down a level by means other than stairs caused by the dungeon (that teleporter you weren't expecting will also learn you some - at least if you make it out. 
  • Need to work it out but something similar for Hex Crawling and clearing Hexes. 
Or something similar. I would probably get some tokens or markers or something and just hand them out for each event. When you get back to town you can cash them in for XP for exploring new stuff and coming back out alive to talk about it.

Interested in feedback on this - especially the level of the awards and how others would see to implement XP for exploring the dungeon.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Raise Dead Spell For Maidens of the Black Gate

So in an earlier post, I talked about the dieties and mentioned that only of them has the ability to cast the raise dead spell. The ability to have characters come back to life is an important decision in any campaign. I never felt very comfortable with the AD&D versions, or the continuance into mainstream game culture including computer games like Bard's Tale where healing and resurrection turned into a way to such out resources only. The idea of raising dead and resurrection also comes squarely from the Christian religion which isn't in AD&D (at least in the way I have read it). So for my D&D mine, I want something a bit more mythic. Hence the Maidens of the Black Gate. They owe a lot to the Earthsea Trilogy.

This is the version of the spell I use in my game:

Raise Dead - Level 4
Range: Special
Duration: permanent (side note - I have always toyed with the idea of it not being permanent - that the spell would have to continue to be cast before the hero turns into dust - but that is a separate post). 
By means of this spell the cleric casts a ceremony to open the Black Gate. Only a Maiden of the Black Gate can cast this spell, and must have access to a Black Gate (typically an altar found in their temples). To cast this spell the maiden must perform an elaborate sword dance naked in front of the Black Gate. The last part of the dance she cuts open the gate creating a rend to the lands of the Dead. A companion to the slain character must enter the Black Gate carrying their slain companion. Once inside they spend 1D3+number of days the character was dead wandering to find the dead. They can then bring back the dead one to life. For every 7 days inside the lands of the dead both the risen character and the companion who went inside to find them must make a save vs. spell. A failed saving thrown results in a character losing a level (per standard energy drain rules). 1st Level characters become Normal Men (with 1d6-1 HP as HD) and have to reroll their attributes. Upon gaining any experience they become 1st level characters again.  Normal Men who are slain and fail the save are not able to return from the land of the dead and sealed there forever. 

Note since this ceremony breaks the restrictions of the "Obscuring Dance of Utter Darkness" clerics the cleric will be unable to cast spells again, and won't be able to be part of the order. They lose the power to turn undead, and the power of their spells. But they still retain HP and Saving Throws, but they will be unable to advance a level. In general the Clerics that cast this spell stay on in the temple, but in a different role. Generally to get a cleric to cast the spell the person requesting the temple to cast the spell must pay enough gold to take care of the cleric who cast for the rest of their life. Generally this is 14,000 to 20,000 gold pieces. Alternatively in some rare cases the temple has been known to instead marry off the priestess who cast the spell to someone that is part of the group that requested the spell to be cast.

The Maidens are a fairly common order and temples can be found throughout the Baronies and communities east of the Riven Sea. They frequently are healers, midwifes, and perform the marriage and funeral rites for the communities. It is rare that they will open the gate, and will generally only do so for those that have the funds and have proven themselves worthy by deeds that they are strong in the world (e.g. they will not generally throw away their priesthood for a 1st level character since there is a strong chance the character will not return from the land of the dead).

D&D Mine - Taking the OSR to the next Level

JB at Blackrazor had a compelling post around the concept of D&D Mine. I'll just link it so you can get the complete thoughts, and if you are reading my little ole' blog out of the Bayou City you have probably already seen it. I think the planet Eris is great. I love it. Both are the inspirations for my own project to pull together all the rules I like, all the little quirks of the basic game that helped me fall in love with the game, and after a brief stint over at indie games - brought me back.

I realized that the simplicity of Moldvay was what my gaming style is. I still like a few changes. My other game of youth I liked but could never get a group to really get my head around was Tasilanta - there wasn't enough grounding for us for really to create 'adventures'. And that is what Roleplaying is to me, having adventures not crunching a bunch of numbers.

My D&D mine still has a lot of characterization and color even if not always original - I think Otus instead of Elmore. I am making it for me and folks I play with. Others are free to have it, but I do like to think of it like what JB posts, a sort of gaming bible for our table, back to the days when there wasn't a ka-zillon splatbooks. Quite frankly I have divested myself of well over a 1000 dollars of gaming gear. As I approach the other side of the 30's I don't have the time or space. I kept my Moldvay/Cook and few other key books that serve mostly as inspiration. They take up all of 1/2 a bookshelf. I don't plan on buying a lot stuff. I have everything I need between the blogs, my inspiration, and the pdf's like Eris that are out there.

I am a hobbyist, and don't mind if the industry doesn't stay an industry. When getting my car serviced - some random dude saw my B of B/X. He said - "wow we had so much fun with that when we are kids". I doubt if I had held whatever D&D Next is, he would have said that. The old Red Book is a cultural icon for a lot of my generation. That is who I play with.

I would encourage others to make their own D&D Mine - share your inspirations, share your ideas. I think the OSR has enough "base" now. Enough to start building and playing on. You can start to see some of these ideas coming through now in the mega dungeons, the versions of D&D mine like Flying Swordsman and Planet Eris. I think this is encouraging as a hobby. The great thing is that if we keep it as a hobby (or at least cheap) we can all still play in each other's campaigns. We will have the same grounding. I think it is still important to understand what "your game" is about. So I will be sharing my twenty questions and introduction in a future post for Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Canyon Goblins - They Go Bang!

So thought I would also add to the already huge list of monsters out there - really - who can't use more monsters in their campaign. This is one that is a huge pest in the D&D Mine project that I am working on: Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn. They are in the first of many dungeons in the area - in the outskirts of the Burnished Tower of the Spell Throne - an Enochian Dungeon (more on them later - they replace Elves in D&D Mine). Between the market village and the actual dungeon is a wall with towers on it that was built sometime between the Star Empire and now. We don't know who actualy built it, but the stones don't have mortar and they fit perfectly, and has been standing for well over 200 years.

Inhabit ting this 'foyer' to the Dungeon are two different tribes of Canyon Goblins that go through wars, truces, and treaties on a frequent basis.

At the start of the game roll a D6 and consult the table below:
1 - Heated War with each other, attack on site, will assume all encountered are spies - all reaction rolls are immediately hostile. Heightened chance of wandering monster (guards/spies).
2- Wat - at war with each other, will be suspicious - normal encounter rolls.
3-4 Ceasefire - Used to be at war in the not so distant future, but currently not. Wouldn't take much to get one going
5- On trading terms with each other
6 -Thinking about joining the two tribes into one supertribe.

The other aspect of canyon goblins is that they go bang. They explode when killed (at least some of the time) That makes it fun, especially if the players aren't expecting it.

Note: in Flaming Canyons all Monster HD are d6. 

Canyon Goblins
AC: 6
HP: D6-1 (Fight as 1HD-1 Monsters)
Move: 60'
Attacks: 1 Weapon (usually a spear or crappy shortbow)
Damage: D6
No. Appearing: 2-8 (4-48 in Wilderness)
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 7 / 9
Treasure Type: Q (Ind)/C (Wilderness)
Alignment: Chaotic

Canyon Goblins are chaotic small humanoids that frequently infest older ruins, abandoned settlements, any caves that would be worth turning into a hold or settlement, and some of the deeper darkest forests on the mountain sides. They stand between 3-4' tall, have bright green skin with deep beady red eyes. They can see 90' in darkness, and suffer a -1 to initiative and to hit when in sunlight. They come out between dusk and dawn.   They usually wear whatever they can find, but dye it pitch black, and wear funny floppy pointed caps. Different tribes trim their raggy clothes and patchwork armor with different colors of hideous orange, yellow, or red. They fight with cruddy shortbows (will usually only work for about 1 or 2 shots at most before they break or are rendered useless).

They frequently raid other settlements, and have a fondness for eating pork and sheep. Groups (tribes) of 15 or more will have a "Boss". The boss has 10 hitpoints and fights as a 2HD monster. The Boss will generally fight with a two handed weapon of some sort (giving +1 to hit against armored opponents). In the wilderness, there is a 1 in 4 chance that there are D6 gobbler herders amongst the tribe. For each 2 herders there will be one gobbler.

They have a fondness for cheap strong beer. Some communities have been able to bribe some tribes 'protection' to leave them alone by supplying a steady supply of cheap beer and pork products. These communities are often frowned upon by neighboring communities for encouraging such pesky infestations.

Canyon Goblins are sometimes known as Bang Goblins or Bomb Goblins. When a Canyon Goblins is reduced to 0 hitpoints they die like any other creature. But they also blow up. Anyone in a nearby radius - such as those engaged in hand-to-hand combat suffer 0-4 points of damage (D6-2). If the die roll is odd then any items that are easily flammable on those affected by the blast catch on fire, if the die is even they do not or someone managed to stamp it out. Characters can spend a round to put out a fire, otherwise they continue to take 1D6 damage for one more round from the object being on fire. When a canyon goblin explodes there is a loud bang noise, which tends to be head many tens of feet away unless muffled by thick stone walls and heavy doors. Out in the canyons the explosion tends to echo very loudly. Once a goblin explodes there will be left a steaming pile of sulfourous smelling pile of wet ash. If left alone, in about 7 days 1D4 goblin pups will grown out of the pile. They mature in a mere month. Goblin pups have 1 HP and don't attack. They can be raised as (unreliable) followers, but most communities will run you out with their pitchforks for bringing one into their community.

Canyon Goblins speak Goblin, and pigdin form of Common, and a brutally mashed up version of Dwarvish limited to insults, taunts, and pleading for mercy.

Some evil overlords have been known to keep stables of canyon goblins and load them into catapults all tied together to make a missle that usually kills the goblins on impact and results in a pretty decent explosion. Of course the goblins don't like this, and will generally check anyone hiring the tribe has a catapult or other siege type engine.

Dwarves hate Canyon Goblins and vice verse, they usually attack each other on sight, fighting first and asking questions later. 

Business Card Character Sheets - Demonstration of Low Impact - High Fun Gaming

I finally found a use for all those extra business cards that I don't need when I switch jobs. One of the great things about B/X (my preferred system) or S&W Whitebox (my second perferred) is that the characters are so simple, yet allow for so much characterization. While sitting waiting for my car to be serviced, I took one of the business cards, and using the dicenomicon app on ipod touch - whipped up Azemol the Archer in like 10 minutes.

What's more when I think about Azemol - his stats would point to a thief or halfling - both of which I frown upon for different reasons for Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn. But with the chaotic nature of the communities in the canyons, I soon saw that Azemol was a survivor. With his higher dex, con and cha - here was a guy who was making his way through the various communities in search of adventure. Personable enough to make his way through the small villages and communities without ruffling too many officials. With his long bow a bit of poaching gets him by, and he is pretty tough (rolled a 5 for HP out of 6, for a total of 7 for a fighter  with his Con)- in Flaming Canyons Fighters have D6+1 HP). Neutrality seemed like the logical choice for his alignment.

Equipping him, I thought that an archer wouldn't want a shield too much. So instead with his higher dex I went for the two weapon fencer type of sword and dagger. In Flaming Canyons this means when he hits he will get to roll 2D6 and take the best one. I also bought him a silver arrow. He either knows that wererats are semi-common in some of the ruins, or I like to think that a sibling of his bit the dust facing off against something that was only hit by silver, making him a bit superstitions.

Still need to work a bit on spacing on the buisness card, if I had made a thief or a magic user not sure I would have enough room for spells or theify type skills. But I think I could make it work. In play I would use a separate card for making notes, keeping track of turns and resources. Poor Azemol didn't have enough coin for tinderboxes or torches meaning he will have to be friendly with someone who does (but with his Charisma - he seems like the kind of guy that is able to borrow something pretty easy from his friends). Or potentially the next character will have to be a cleric of the Cleansing Flame.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn - D&D Mine

Working on my own D&D Mine called: Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn - Thought I would post some of the sections for clerics - always a troublesome part of the game. Note that some of these deities come from Jeff Reints: Six Kick Ass Gods. All of the god's marked with a * come originally from Jeff's post, with some edits.

Roll 1D8 or Choose your Patron God. The last deity is one that the player has to request at creation. It is my answer to the assassin and borrows from Al Qadim and other influences.  I have reposted even the the ones I am using from Jeff's Post since I modified some of the powers, and also added weapons and the names of the followers. I think having abstract Clerics that can be of any alignment for a temple help me with the 'cleric' problem. It also helps bring in some of the sci-fantasy aspects, they feel a bit like the cryptic societies from the original gamma world in some way.

Some of the spells are limited - such as raise dead only being available to the Maidens of the Black Gate.

Note in Flaming Canyons of the Transfigured Dawn all weapons do 1d6 damage. Two handed weapons always strike last regardless of initiative but they have +1 to hit against armored opponents. Fighting with two weapons lets you roll 2D6 and pick the highest one if you hit.

Comments are always welcome.

Deities in FCotTD are abstract powerful Deities rather than personified gods. For player characters only clerics who have reached second level (Oathtaker) may cast spells by calling on the power of their chosen Deity. Some NPC priests and pilgrims may have access to similar powers of a Cleric. Each Deity has a bonus and restriction. They are linked to each other. Failure to follow the restriction results in a loss of power. Additionally the referee may penalize the cleric to cast spells as a cleric 1-3 levels lower until an atonement or similar penance is undertaken.

(1) Obscuring Dance of the Utter Darkness
Other Names: What Lies Beyond the Black Gate, Confluence of Endless Sleep, The Long Kiss Goodnight
Followers: Maidens of the Black Gate
Holy Symbol: A black archway 
Clerical Restrictions: Must be a maiden with a minimum of 13 Charisma and 9 Dexterity. Must wear hair up and keep covered in public. Must keeps arms, legs, and body covered
Clerical Bonus: Ritual sword dances give the Cleric a +2 AC bonus when not wearing armor heavier than leather and having at least 10’ of space. Ritual sword dance also allows first strike in any combat round regardless of initiative. Only Clerics that can cast Raise Dead (as 4th Level Spell).
Weapons: Two curved single edged short swords (fights with two weapons)

(2) Prismatic Mists of Ys
Other Names: Long Strange Trip, Road to Unlimited Devotion, Fog of Multiple Hues
Followers: Dreamcoats of Many Colors
Holy Symbol: Swirling Circle of Multiple Colors
Clerical Restrictions: Oathtakers must take in the mists of a spring of Ys (found at all temples of Ys) at least once a month. Taking in the mists takes a whole day of stupendous dreams. Clerics must wear a bright multicolored coat over their clothes. To consecrate an altar, shrine, or new temple the Cleric must make a pilgrimage to the original source of the Mists of Ys and collect some of the mist for starting the spring at the altar, shrine, or temple. The location of Ys must be found out through play. Clerics may not attack a humanoid unless they have been attacked first.
Clerical Bonus: Can cast Charm Person as a 2ndst level Cleric Spell. Can cast Summon Forth the Mists of Ys as a 4th Level spell once the Elder has completed a pilmerage to Ys.  
Weapons: Throwing Stars and Multi-Colored Wooded Staff (generally the staff will clash with the Coat).

(3) The Cleansing Flame
Other Names: The Undying Fire, Blaze of Purity, The Immaculate Conflagration
Followers: Purifiers, Proselyte of the Pure Flame
Holy Symbol: Red and Yellow Flames on a Red background
Clerical Restrictions: Must always bring light into the darkness with flame. Generally wear a stole with embroided flames running it up over their armor.  
Clerical Bonus: Can cast Flame Retribution (as 2nd Level Spell) and Flame Strike (5th Level Spell). Can light a flame in 1 round on command.  
Weapons: Torch (treated as normal weapon instead of improvised) or Flaming Weapon.  

(4) The Benevolent Lightning*
Other names: The Holy Thunderbolt, The Electric Ecstasy
Followers: Keepers of the Electric Ecstasy
Holy symbol: jagged lightning bolt, usually displayed horizontally
Clerical restriction: must pass through doors and archways backwards. Must wear metal helmet with at least a 6” spike on the top when wearing armor.
Clerical bonus: cast lightning bolt as a 3rd level cleric spell
Weapons: Spear

(5) A Suffusion of Yellow*
Other names: An Amber Void, A Jaundice Upon the Cosmic Flesh
Followers: Golden Templars
Holy symbol: A body part painted yellow or made of gold, yellow gems, etc. The specific body part varies by individual church (e.g. A Temple of A Yellow Eye, A Cathedral of A Golden Hand).  A piece of yellow clothing or golden jewelry covering the appropriate part also functions as a holy symbol (a yellow eyepatch, a golden gauntlet).
Clerical restriction: All clerics of 2nd level or above must consult one of the Seven Yellow Oracles at least annually and follow their crazy-ass dicta.
Clerical bonus: All henchmen/hirelings are +2 loyalty/morale.
Weapons: Sword

(6) The Circle of Circles*
Other names: The Universal Circumscriptions, The Sphere of Spheres, The Point of Points
Followers: Seekers of the Circle
Holy symbol: a series of linked circles of differing sizes
Clerical restriction: cannot take the same route back to a place as they took going there
Clerical bonus: +2 saves vs. poison and petrification, a result of 20 or higher on such saves reflects the venom or stoning effect back onto attacker. Can cast the spell Counterspell as a 3rd level Cleric Spell.
Weapons: Mace (mace head must be a perfect sphere)

(7) The Vital Center*
Other names: The Heartbeat of the World, The Bottom of Down
Followers: Everfalling Followers, Guides of Nowhere
Holy symbol: arrows converging on a point, the number of arrows usually indicating the level of the owner
Clerical restriction: must greet every stranger with a brief blessing
Clerical bonus: half damage from falls; pit traps or similar only spring 1in 6 chance (B22)
Weapons: Shortbow (may use arrows as improvised melee weapon)

(8) Cosmic Cacophony
Other names: The Noise at the End of the Universe, The Sound of Stars all Screaming
Followers: Demonchasers
Holy symbol: A Brass Warbell inscribed with strange runes that make no sense (must be rung very loud when turning undead).
Clerical restriction: Must wear bells all over their armor or vestments tuned both flat and sharp; must ring warbell when crossing the threshold of a door.
Clerical bonus: At the start of a battle, when beating hammer against their gong shields foes must make a morale check at -1. Turn Undead, Demons and Evil Spirits at +1 Level.
Weapons: Warhammer and Gong Shield (same as regular shield but sounds like a loud gong when struck)

The Secret Word
Other Names: The Power that is Unspoken, The Hidden Way
Followers: Holyslayers
Holy Symbol: A dagger laid across a book
Clerical Restrictions: In most if not all the land east of the Riven Sea this religion is illegal. Temples must be hidden (cost is 4 times normal for the size of the temple). The number of followers is reduced by a quarter for the cost of the temple. Cannot use Clerical Bonus while wearing armor heavier than leather. If given a task by the Old Man on the Mountain they must obey his orders.
Clerical Bonus: Surprise others on a 1-3 on D6 if conditions are favorable. Can assassinate (with dagger or garrote) if they surprise a humanoid of equal HD or lower than themselves and hit on their first attack. If the humanoid is higher HD then there is only a 1 in 6 chance that they assassinate (but still get a free attack for surprise). May cast Finger of Death (as 5th Level Spell) but not Raise Dead.
Weapons: Dagger, Garrote.