Search This Blog


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

LINK to the WotC D&D 5e forum where this entire discussion is being held.


I've been remembering my old 1e AD&D days, where gaining Ability Score increases were only rare [occurrences] of magic item or through Wish spells. I think the effect on the game was that one stopped worrying about what one didn't have and concentrated on how to maximise the strengths of the PC, as well as more lateral thinking about how to be better prepared for contingencies, as well as group dynamics (not to mention using 10' poles to check for traps).

Imagine, if you will, 5e without Ability Score boosts, and instead, every four levels being only Feats. Whatever one's stats are will be the way barring [generosity] of the GM in magic item selection, or luck of the dice on the MI lists granting Manuals of Gainful whatsit, or the like.

Everything else works the same as RAW 5e, just without the [escalation] of, 'I think it is more important to get your Stats to 20 as fast as possible.'

Sound interesting to any of the old timers? The OSR crowd? New D&D players?

--I think I'm going that route with my gaming group.


Karnos wrote:

I hope you are prepared for a party of 5 wizards.

Weapon attacking classes are very [dependent] on main stat. For example, a fighter with 20 strength does an incredible double the damage of a fighter with 12 strength with a longsword.

Casters, not so much. While some features may allow them to add ability score bonus, and spell saves are based on casting ability score, a failed save often still does some damage and the overall effect of +5 damage on a 8d6 damage spell is very small compared to that same +5 damage when applied to a 1d8 damage attack.


How many players who wanted to play anything but a Caster will go Caster simply [because] it makes more numerical sense for them to capitalise on the factors you have stated?

Very few, I think, but, I could be wrong. Funny, that. It was often said that Wizards or (Magic-Users in days of yore) completely out-performed Fighters at high levels, but the ironic thing about that was an all Wizard party likely never reached those levels due to only having d4 HD. ;) Once PF raised HD from d4s to d6, things got a little better, but then Sorcs got their d8s and the race was off to have Wizards compete in Melee [with] the d6-d8s and the Fighters then had to go Feat-happy to retain their edge, again. lol.

Part of the charm of Old School is that it is a long term play strategy with very little payoff at lower levels for even a 'balanced' party of the big 4 classes (wait, I hear old grognards complaining about the inclusion of d4 HD Thieves and d6 Clerics with a spell at 1st level!). It became/becomes a chess [game of] opportunities and unexpected increases of power when a rare spell (let alone magic item) came into the party's hands. Once a party started to include more than one of a the classes, or in AD&D, the sub-classes, then it got a little easier to pull things off.

I don't know of too many parties that cons[is]ted only of Assassins, Druids, Illusionists, and Barbarians, but, there were each of those accessorising Big 4 parties for added effectiveness.

It is a multi-piece machine that can be reconfigured in thousands of base ways, taken to exponential [manifestations] through Player styles and strategies. The obvious Power Gamer [strategies] in CharOp are the most superficial ones this game of ours offers.

Weekend 13-15 September


Saturday: Played a 5e Paladin in a Freeport game.

Sunday: Urutsk (Vrun contintent): Had seven players, only got about an hour in, but that saw the Khark willingly go under Possession after learning that it is the Shorrannin who possess his people, not their Ancestors.  He was struck by the Yirinn Fighter who burnt 8 Blood to land a blow -- but the damage wasn't enough after halving to KO the Khark, who fled into the misty morning of hte spillway.  Before that, a Thronetree piloted by its unconscious captive (a new PC Khark Monk) appeared in the area, and threatened to damage the broad bridge.  The party all joined in to attack the thing, but its DR 5/- bark proved too tough to get a good feel for what it would do if it were not inanimate after teh Monk stopped piloting it.

Monday: Played my Fighter 1/Warlock 2, Hekaethra, and gathered a bunch of spell components (skeleton dust, witch dust, unnamed potions, holy water from a LN temple that also sells Unholy Water, Healing potions, and other stuff.  She is now sporting a black gryphon cloak, shield, and has 3 goblin daggers.  XP total so far: 1,200.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend 5e Urutsk Update Aug 30-31st


Saturday Urutsk 5e Game-

^ Acolyte Vrun Oath of the Ancients Paladin with Assault Scout, with (Engineering?), BioSci and Survival Instructor starship Caste Clan Training Backgrounds.  Water Blooded.

^ Sage Western Isles Vrun Wizard with BioSci and Food Service Tech Backgrounds.  Earth Blooded.

The paladin mustered out in the Fernglens and looked for something to do.  Reports of burglaries, rumours of an Ancient arteact or relic found in the area.  A troupe of performers arrive at the Red Dawn tavern and begin shenanigans until someone gets offended and leaves with his mate in a huff.  They  are dropped dead by phantasmal Reaper appearing in a white cloud.  The paladin determines it is neither good nor evil, and cannot be bothered to do anything to it.  The reaper disappears and the folks inside learn that the locals were killed.  TLDR: A duellist and a confidence artist in the troupe were running an Antagonist/Protagonist scam in the towns they visited, and when the duellist should have died, instead, one of the locals instead dies in his place.  This tracked down to a cursed necklace and the Wizard uses Scortching Ray to heat it up and burns a day's 1st level slot to break the enchantment.  The duellist dies when this happens.

Days later, the paladin now a deputy, is on patrol and spots the suspected burglar, and intervenes after a murder is committed.  TLDR: The humanoid has no idea about laws or order and stole the metal to fuel its Elemental Earth Blood diet (although it had a sweet tooth for preserves).  It summons an elemental gnome in its likeness (but shorter) who is ready to wreck the place until he is released, but the wizard dismisses it.  They hang the creature from chains and it slides through after snapping its neck, and the chains rust at the noose.
The wizard sold failed spells to the Guild Council for 100 gp.

Sunday Urutsk 5e Game-

^ Female Vrun Tempest Cleric with Elemental Blood Silt (Lord Worm)

^ Khark Hermit Fighter (Earth Blood?)

^ Yirinn Outlander Fighter with a host of Starship skills and Earth Blood

^ Vrun (Outlander? Hermit?) Fire Blooded Barbarian

^ Western Isles Vrun Frost Blooded Wizard

After last session, we were down the Yaesh Shadow Blooded Monk, but up the Khark and Barbarian.  The forge operator couldn't communicate in any of heir languages, but he Fire Barb is also a Smith and they emphatically sussed out each other's intent through their shared connections.  The Green Sneer bellows operator was trying to sell the PCs out to the Big Bads on lower levels, but our Yirinn is a living lie detector, and even without sharing a language, could tell the Khark who was capable of communicating with the GSneer he was lying.  The forge operator tried to kill the Green, but was stopped by the Cleric who didn't understand his motivation.  That honour went to the Yirinn who split him in twain.  Not long afterwards, they loot the Violet Sneer overseer and get magical goodies: three Fire Beads worth a +1 Level Fire Magic effect each, cumulative; next, a crystal 'drive' capable of down and up-loading magic to devices built to use.  The Yirinn kept that after intuitively determining its function (Dual Brain and Heightened Brain Function).  He also determined that there is an active subterranean trade in place, by the coins the overseer was carrying (in addition to a nifty pocket knife).

The party doesn't heed the forge operator's advice, and get Slept by a Night Hag; all except the Barb who succumbs to her Frightful Visage [her true form is that of Black Beetles crawling over her skeleton].  They wake up and the Khark and Barb fail saves and go off to each gain 1 negative level in the Succubus sauna.  The rest of the party are being straight talked to by the Vampire that they can freely drink of his chalice and perform a Geas, or they can die and know they've sentenced their buddies to become undead.  The Cleric pours out he black blood onto the ancient floor and the dust and crumbling mortar form a Silt which she drinks up after burning 12 HP for 3d6 Silt Effect and contacting Lord Worm who gives her the OK.  TLDR: Lord Worm is the Vamp's boss, too, and the kids are sent on their way; the negative levels are converted to obligation to Lord Worm tattoos, and the Cleric gets a big one on her chest, marking her as His chosen.  She is leveled up to 3rd and they are now free to go.  The Yirinn who had been Charmed to lap up the black blood gains 30' Darkvision and his canines grow.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Urutsk using D&D 5e: The Sunday Sessions-

Urutsk 5e-
:: Sunday Sessions

Using the print copy available on Lulu, but dialing back the crazy bonuses which were conceived of during the 3.x era, we made new PCs.

1). Yirinn-Mutant Fighter with Elemental Blood: Earth.  He has Dual Brain and Heightened Brain Function, so receives 3 mental saves taking the best of the three, cannot be lied to, and takes 1/3rd the time to figure out tech and that with a bonus.  He becomes the de facto 'traps guy' with his Yirinn suite of old school Dwarven senses.

2). Yaesh Monk with Elemental Blood: Shadow

3). Western Isles Vrun Wizard with Elemental Blood: Frost.  The only one with Darkvision: 30'

4). Vrun Cleric of Life with Elemental Blood: Silt

A few of them receive a Human Eugenics bonus of +1 or 2 to one stat.

Each of them had some Starship caste clan background as per that book.  I cannot remember what everyone had, but I know we have two Security, two Data Techs, two Life Support; Medical, Athletics & Recreation, and two Shuttle pilots amongst the group.  These are in addition to their 5e Backgrounds, as they don't provide any gear or 5e proficiencies, but do give % to scavenge food, or diagnose malfunctions, etc.  The Players don't seem to mind rolling d% instead of d20 for those odd bits, and frankly, I enjoy the mix of die types.

The PCs were at a travel lodge when a notice was posted regarding a new burial mound found out in the wetlands woods some distance from 'town.'  With the knowledge that through Starship caste or 5e Class, the PCs all had some connection, they set off.

Scout service indications led the group to a tree with an Ogham map to the mound.  The capstone entrance was heavy enough as to require group effort, but hey manged and entered the first chamber empty of anything.  Detecting faint sounds of clanking and irregular but mechanical 'swooshing', the party set off sown a 30' shaft which terminated in a sloping corridor.  This then ended in a 'trapped' door which they surmised would signal the occupants of the noisy room beyond of entry.

The monk burns 4 HP to generate 1d6 bonus to Stealth and opens the now rigged door and peeks in to find three Humanoids in a forge room.  The blacksmith is hairy and burly, the bellows operator is green and scaly (5' ish), and the overseer is Violet and scaly, wearing robes.  The room is illuminated from the floor in a tangerine light cast upon the walls, and the overall effects suggests that it is a heat source funnelled into the tech furnace.  The smith is using a Bright Metal hammer, but what he's working isn't determined.  The bellows operator is throwing his entire weight upon the lever, while the violet scaly overseer is looking on intently.

A plan is hatched to attack the overseer with Ice Spears erupting from the ground (Frost-based Magic Missile), and the Yirinn burns 4 Blood to trigger a DC 15 'grapple' at range with the SFX of the stone floor cracking and cratering under him.  Melee is launched and the overseer is killed through a combination of staff and bare-hand monk attacks.  The party waits to see the workers' reaction before renewing hostilities.

The store closes at 9; we hold it there for next week.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Avdmurtkal: We've passed through it again! Whew!

We've made it once more around the system star, Sol in this case, and we here in the wetlands starship graveyard of Urutsk wish all of our opposite numbers a very merry and happy and monster-attack-free [2014] to you on Earth.

Avdmurtkal [LINK]

Annual Forecast-

Although on Urutsk the new year is the first day of your November, I have consulted the Elemental Currents and present this forecast:

^ Positive Lightning: You are a force for positive change in a world more than slightly off kilter.  Your 'go get 'em' and 'can do'attitude will make a big impact in the lives of those around you, so guard your back for those of Lower Planar influence who look to knock you from your pedestal.  Look towards spring for queue to re-start one of your many 'back-burner' projects; you have the energy and skill to do it this year!

^ Aether: The void of Avdmurtkal was a trying phase for you in [2013], as it always is, but you have the foreknowledge of all the weird and wonderful things coming up in this new year.  Void, like a hazy shadow, is stalking you in parallel synchrony; put on a good show and your presience will see you through your toughest times.  Beware false friends who make your acquaintance without reason, they mean only to ruin what they can get their hands on: cash, possessions, emotions, trust, &c.; you will know them by their true motives, plain in your pervasive second sight.

^ Shadow: Like the Wolf, you are aware of things stirring on the fringes of Void and the Lower Planes, and you have your various hiding holes well-stocked for hunkering down until mid-year conjunctions diffuse their dissipating, wasting energies.  Work your fingers, cast your magick spells with your shadow puppets, and amuse the bright and shiny ones while keeping an eye on the hidden realms to which you alone among the Upper Worlds are privy, and you may just make out ahead instead of by the skin of your teeth.  'You have no allies, only lies' and 'the abyss also whispers' are your catch phrases this year, so listen and watch their shadows -- that tells you all you need to know.

^ Frost: You know the drill: guard your over-abundant heart or it may melt.  You are always prepared, and you may yet find yourself in a trusted position of leadership, or perhaps one of intelligence gathering for a patron; just be your usual -- scratch that -- be more than your typically dry-witted self.  As your social network continues to spread like frost over the cold landscape, remember that all this lateral development requires a substrate -- read: the people you know and have come to depend upon -- to spread your understanding; thank them in your seemingly enigmatic way.  As always, beware Steam, Fire, and Radiance-blooded individuals, they will diminish you in their awesome warmth.

I'll continue the forecast for the remaining 12 Bloods soon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Urutsky video
I haven't seen this --if it is available to see, but: DUST

Friday, May 17, 2013

Google+ Overload or Back from my travels, Darling.


I was one of those folks who had made a migration of interest from Blogging to Google+, and I'm sorry for having neglected my readership for so long.  I intend to make up for it by posting more Urutsk salient information here.

A big part of this transition has been the ARGUS RPG as the platform for Urutsk.  Working on Urutsk in its various parts and products has in one sense diffused the energy so that on the surface it looked as though I wasn't doing anything.  Then with Porphyry's development and the long delay (well worth it, am I right?  :D ), there was added suggestion in some quarters that I had given up on Urutsk.  But now, as is my wont, I have begun to reunify the disparate elements of the rules I've been developing with the large amount of background material into a cohesive whole.

ARGUS (and its predecessor Daedalists & Distraint) has proven that a more traditional game platform can satisfy both me and you the players.  It is flexible enough that what I have written before is not so difficult to adapt (most of which only a few have seen) to the consistent methodology.  Even the roll under but high mechanism of ARGUS has been changed to allow open ended play.  Now that I have made my break with the data glut of G+, I intend on sharing the best bits as I write them.

So, thanks for sticking around; and for the new readers, thanks.  I'll see you very soon.