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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Brief Aside: The Mule's take on Thieves-

I dig it. :)


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DnD Hit Points as Consciousness, Pt. 3: The Field Adept-

In this realm of auras which grow outwards as they increase in power, certainly there is someone who profits from this mechanism. The Field Adept is one such Class...


15, Cha 13
HD: d8 through 10th Level
Special: Receives the Fighter Con Bonus if score merits
Advances As: Cleric
Fights As: Cleric

The Field Adept manipulates C-Fields (HPs) to produce effects upon, in the favour of, and against others and themselves, as the Field and time permits.

These Field Manipulations may register as Necromantic/Healing under certain circumstances, but the dweomer in such cases is very slight, and only detectable at the moment of occurrence, and only if specifically sought. In any case, they are non-Magical, cannot be suppressed by Anti-magic, and represent an aspect of multiversal underpinnings across the Planes of Existence.

The Field Adept can always manipulate their own C-Field, and can voluntarily reduce their HP to precisely 0 whenever they choose, even if otherwise Charmed/Dominated, etc. To voluntarily reduce their Field strength below 0, the Adept must succeed at a Difficult Charisma Task (EDSVAN, Roll Under on d20, etc.), and then, can only voluntarily reduce into the Negative Zone by an amount equal to their Class Level.

At 5th Level of experience, a Field Adept must choose between Arcane or Divine Effects, although sub-Class Spell Lists within each (Arcane: M-U, Illusionist, Divine: Cleric, Druid) are still available.

Each point of Field Strength consumed through their Manipulations allows the Adept to affect local reality in some fashion:

0 th ... 01 HP = 01 Cantrip or Orison Effect
01st ... 04 HP = 01 1st Level Effect
02nd -- Cantrip/Orison Charm Creation
03rd ... 08 HP = 01 2nd Level, Borrowing
04th -- 1st Level Charm, Fixed Field Generation
05th ... 12 HP = 01 3rd Level, Stealing
06th -- 2nd Level Charm, Mobile Field Generation
07th ... 16 HP = 01 4th Level, Lending
08th -- 3rd Level Charm, Energy Simulacrum
09th ... 20 HP = 01 5th Level, Healing
10th -- 4th Level Charm, Energy Clone

* nth Level Effect: As per Spells of that Level (later, regulated by 'type' -- Arcane/Divine)
* Borrowing: Allies may donate HP to the Adept to weave, and count as normal HP losses by those donating.
* Stealing: At the 5th Level of experience, the Adept can make a Touch-attack (at +2) against a corporeal, living target, and if successful, steals 1d4+1 HP from the target. This increases to 2d4+2 at 10th Level of experience, and is at +4 to hit. These stolen points are as per normal HP damage, and not Life Draining, etc. returning at the normal rate, and affected by magical healing, etc.
* Lending: At the 7th Level of experience, the Adept has learned how to imbue others with the Field, and may lend any number of available HP to recipients as desired. This takes 1 Turn per recipient. Points lent in this fashion are considered expended by the Adept, and are regained as per normal for the Adept. The recipient has, in effect, an energy bandage which adheres to the individual until the (morning, etc.) of the new day, at which point the lent HP dissipate. Lent HP may be stacked atop existing, full-value HP, as temporary Hit Points which are lost first in any expenditure.
* Healing: At the 9th Level of experience, the gains in understanding the Universal Consciousness Field permit the free gain of HP in themselves or others, as well as the disruption of Negative Energy creatures. Use the Clerical Turning table with the Adept as a Cleric of the same Level, and 'T' results as +3d8+9 HP, and 'D' results as complete recovery of lost HP, including those recently (9 Turns or less) deceased. Multiple Healings may be performed up to the normal Turning Limits. If the Turning Table is not employed in your version of The Game, make each Adept level worth 1d6+3 HP, to a maximum of 10d6+30 at 10th Level of experience.

Charm Creation, Field Generation, and Energy creations: detailed next post.

Monday, June 27, 2011

DnD Hit Points as Consciousness: Pt 2-

Use of the Consciousness Field-

With the basic framework of the concept and operation of the C-Field, we now move on to its practical application.

To use one's C-Field to better 'sense' their environment, the base chance to 'get a feeling' is:

* Current HP or less on d%

The focused and directed use of the PC's C-Field to 'read' their opponent and gain a +1 per Success to Damage in that single combat with all of that sort of foe. Attempting this takes one Round per 4 Levels/3 HD of opponent, of Defence Only Combat as per the rules.

* Roll HD, counting only individual die results which roll equal to the opponents' Level (or 1/2 a Monster's HD) as a Success. The 'reader' always receives at least a +1 bonus after the attempt.

C-Field Effects upon Hiding and Sneaking-

The idea of one's Power being too great to go unnoticed comes from Runequest. My implementation is for AD&D.

* 100% - (Current HP) = Maximum Hide in Shadows, and Move Silently percentage

This applies equally to Monsters being tracked by the PCs, as it does the reverse.

More if you feel this merits greater coverage.

DnD Hit Points as Consciousness-

In my youff I mocked the D&D 'HP as wounds' camp, because it was obvious that it wasn't the case, as Jason Vey's post today [LINK] illustrates.

We used to jokingly refer to them as the Consciousness Field that surrounded a PC, where, once depleted exactly, the figure would promptly fall asleep until the re-charge rate provided them with 01 HP and they could set off under a normal strain of adventuring.
--Everyone knew that one only had 10 real Hit Points (-10), the ones where you were bleeding, your eye was on the floor, and you were dragging your entrails about, calling, 'Cleric! We need a Cleric here!!!'. 2nd Edition AD&D only made things weirder with Endurance rolls and so forth.

As Gamma World had always really been more my cup o' tea, I'd seen the advantage of the high, but relatively unchanging total that system generated for PCs. In short (Con # d6), with an average of 36.75. It allowed for deadly tech and mutational attacks, while retaining the 'heroic' aspects of melee combat from its sibling, D&D. A mix of Blood and Bone plus Luck and Skill.
--In game designs after my reading GW, I almost always used a higher total, and usually around 35 points on average. This has persisted, with most average Humans in UWoM possessing around that total (while the considerably larger, more massive, and tougher Vrun have more on the order of 40-60).

But, let's bring this back to the D&Ds.

If we work from the point of a Consciousness Field, more experienced, larger (and presumably older, or arcane) creatures have a greater field strength and -- continuing this hypothesis -- greater awareness of their immediate environment, even if only semi-conscious.
--The AD&D Fighter then(again) becomes the undisputed master of the battlefield, aware of the number of foes entering his/her C-Field as well as their general position. Conversely, the acute senses of the Magic-User have been honed in on the extra-planar energies of their spells, and this has retarded their C-Field on the Prime Material. Without sufficient forewarning, the M-U is frequently caught defenceless.

Predicated upon that last bit, I have advocated the D&D Thief/Rogue/Assassin HD to be upgraded to at least 1d6, if not 1d8 -- for what is a Ranger but a confident Thief with a bow in the woods? :D

More on this...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Combined Shield Antics (DnD)-

Shield Roll-

Shields are groovy. Not always as groovy as one would like, but when they save your nihilistic/ picaresque/heroic/paladine PC, they are worth more than their weight in Coins.

The idea of Shattering Shields is someone else's, and someone else may have already reached this point of compromise between a 'mere +1' to 'sheer awesomeness'. Dunno.

The Shield still provides its listed bonus for whichever version of The Game you are playing ('ceptin' mine, dat is), but, in addition, you get this wonderful Shield Roll to demonstrate just how groovy your shield proves to be.

Metal shields require a fixin' after a number of Successful Stops equal to their Die-Type.
--I'll leave the costs for you to determine.


Buckler (d4) : '4'

Small Wooden (d6) : '5-6'*
Small Metal (d8) : '6-8' [8]

Medium Wooden (d8) : '5-8'*
Medium Metal (d10) : '7-10' [10]

Large Wooden (d10) : '6-10'*
Large Metal (d12) : '5-12' [12]

:: After a Hit is indicated, the choice to make the Shield Roll is made prior to the damage roll. If the Shield Roll falls within the indicated range, the attack is stopped without damage.
:: If the range has an '*', then the Shield shatters (no longer offers any protection) after stopping the Attack.
:: A shattered shield yields 1d4 dagger-like splinters, each of which is good for only one attack (hit or miss), and does 1-3 points of Piercing Damage (BtB Clerics may not use these 'blood-letting' weapons), while others treat them as Daggers for Proficiency purposes.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fun With Dice Series-

Hi, Folks.

I'm a confirmed Geeknerd when it comes to the d6 and alternate uses or expanded ranges.
So, to feed my desire to share these fun OCD hours I've spent figuring out these sorts of things, I've concocted this blog post to try and legitimise my hobby.

This is the first in an irregular Series of posts on Fun With Dice.
d6 Index Tables-

Chainmail & OD&D-


___Used to determine Critical Hits (damage results of 7 and 8), Weapon Loss (%), and Breakage (!) of the attacker's weapon.



___If the 0 result is unacceptable, simply make it a 01.
Yes, this can generate a bizarre sort of d%, and yes, I actually ran a campaign this way. lol.



___There are so many uses for the 36-index that it'll have to wait for the next instalment.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Small Notice-

Today would have been my father's 90th birthday.

I'm glad I better understand how cool he really was.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pt. 2 of 2 Hill Cantons Interview link-

This is the second of two parts of the Hill Cantons Interview Series he conducted with me.

In reply to this comment by DaveL:

1). The Group or Community has the potential to grow into the hundreds, thousands, or more, and the Player(s) controlling that Community are making the decisions as to what to work or build, whom to attack, where to explore, what to research, what where and with whom to trade, and how to react to unexpected events, including changes in the constituency of one's population/Workforce. These choices are not drawn from a finite list (but for one-off play it could be), but noted in a record, along with Yield, Waste, and Mishap notes. Areas initially settled may prove inhospitable or filled with foes, and even if the first spot now provides enough to sustain one's burgeoning population, it will not provide enough by itself in a short while, or in case of natural disaster, or to trade/lend to others. etc.

2). The entire game of the Boxed Set is playable as a Solo gaming experience, and one that can continue unabated -- provided one's fortunes abide. All the Community-building, hexploration, stocking of sites of interest, etc., can be Solo gamed, and if the process is honest, these solo realms could also be Campaign realms that interact on a once a fortnight face-to-face game, or in some fashion via the www, or snail mail.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kills and Disruption Points: A VANGUARD sneak-peek-

I have been as sensitive to the basic HP dichotomy (blood versus luck) as long as others, and I finally did something about it for Urutsk.
--Be forewarned, though, it isn't meant to model Conan so much as it is designed to model Solomon Kane.

In VANGUARD and the Boxed Set, figures can survive a number of Kills equal to their Fight Dice, or they can be whittled down to Unconsciousness or Death, or some combination of the two -- and each level of wound has its own effects (the so called 'death-spiral' -- as if that weren't actually the case in thoracic trauma).

Attacks that penetrate the target's armour (a D&D 'Hit') inflict a Kill. Commoners are 0 Fight Die combatants, meaning that 1 Kill incapacitates. But, that same commoner could be bitten by a poisonous animal, tumble a bit down a cliff, and pull herself to town after two days of no water -- and yet live.
--More powerful fighters (higher FD) can do all of that, and still be dispatched with one good shot, even at max DP. Heroic stuff.

On top of all of that, there is very little book keeping, due to each condition level being pre-calculated (it doesn't increase often, and then a minute or two to re-figure), the Wound Step. If the figure has taken more than x, it is at the condition level for y, until it exceeds that, then it is at z, etc.

...but, it does use funny dice, so y'all best heat up the blogging-irons and set to bitchin' ;D

Naturally, Alternate Reality Games will be supplying both the dice, and 'conversion tables' (lol) for the unconvinced to use their standard d6s:

6 = Violet, 5 = Blue, 4 = Green, 3 = Yellow, 2 = Orange, 1 = Red

I'm rough on you folks, I know... But, I'm certain you'll see the benefits of speed and flexibility in play.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pt. 1 of 2 Hill Cantons Interview link-

Chris Kutalik over at Hill Cantons blog has the first of a two part interview up.

It was very kind of him to give me the opportunity to give more personal information relating to the origins of the setting.
--I normally keep personal content to a minimum, but this seemed appropriate.


Monday, June 13, 2011

A Quick Roll-Low DAC To-Hit Formula-

Alternate D&D To-Hit Formula-

(Target AC + All Bonuses) or lower on 1d20

All Bonuses include:

+3 + Fighter Lvl
+2 + Thief "
+1 + Cleric "
+0 + M-U Lvl

and Strength or Dexterity Adj.

and Magic to-hit adjustment.

When Will the OSR Emperor Arise, Bringing Peace to the Warring Provences?

I'm taking a short break just to give me time to think.
--VANGUARD is being bolted into place with new formatting and a few last edits filed to fit.

I have been reading at my blogroll, and am glad I seemed to have missed this week's OSR Throwdown cage matches except to hear of them second or third hand.

You guys are doing this on purpose, arent you? C'mon, admit it. You guys don't actually think those fights look real.

I mean, I'll admit there is athleticism of the mind and some real steam in some of the battles, but the referee and team-mates always intervene and no injury, AAC leads to libertine thinking holy post notwithstanding, that the week or three travel down the stream won't fix, and all is well in that regard...

Instead, new rivalries are pitted in the ring, with folding chairs (2e Sux! BOOM! I Said it!) and chalk dust in the eyes (Alignment: Friend or Foe?), razored bare-hand attacks (Monk-Assassin PC legitimacy) , and pile-drivers (bewbalicious chicks in cloven hoof high heels).

If you guys are taking this seriously, you're kinda creepin' me out here.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Vrun Starship Table of Organisation-

I finished this up last night, but waited until morning to post the LINK

It shows the Command <> Ranks, and Support Personnel.

The bottom row have no Command authority, although their Overseers can contact the Ship's Liaison or Logistics Officer and make their work-obstruction complaints known, if speaking with Department Chiefs does not generate a reasonable response.

This .pdf is also on a link to the right, under the Scavengers microgame.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rather Gamey Goes Tripping the Urutsk Fantastic-

Rather Gamey's Arkhein has written a very nice Urutsk-centric post.

Thanks for pointing out the link-issue, scottsz. :)

3rd Annual NTRPGCon Photos

The oft-spoken of C., and you-know-who.

Boxed Set 20"x30" Map, Dice Set, and the Group Monthly Record Sheet (the latter was not used for the adventure session)

Cimmerian, JohnGaunt, Cyclopeatron

Chirine baKal's Urutsk and Tekumel figures in the end-battle: After pulling themselves through the Void, three PCs confront three four Khark priests involved in something nefarious.
--With most of their energy depleted, the baddies move in for dagger or unarmed combat. The PCs were victorious, but three were cut off from their previous locale, to emerge from the stone tower to a jungle covered by a violet sky.

Here is another look at these figs:

I'll get individual photos sometime hence.


From Top-Left, clockwise: Tiny: Eater of Mushrooms in Garlic Butter, Erol of the erroneous description, Cyclo of the Mushroom Heart, James 'You don't want to pick it up? But -- But why? It's SO cute...' Ward, Mike, Elizabeth, kvetch-mensch ?, Skunk-hair, the lovely C., Arkhein, The Boy (not visible). There were six casualties, and I was not one of them.

To C.'s chagrin, I am still using Jim's tone of voice and the above quote, too often.
--Good thing she loves me.

Jim's game was a fun gauntlet of: 'don't touch, don't deviate from the path, follow simple instructions and some of you will survive'. If there is a sort of pleasant adversarial gaming, this was it, and Jim is the man for that sort. Great fun, and a perfect gentleman. :D

Me, Dennis Sustare GMing his Tourist Traps scenario-set, and Elizabeth.
--This is a very interesting scenario, and I think it works best as a base of operations with mysteries in the locale rather than as the adventure site for an out of town group of PCs. Everything is very well fleshed out without being exhaustively so, and the handouts are very immersive, leading to points of interest.

Dennis is a great GM, and a true gentleman. I cannot recommend his games highly enough.

Saturday Lobby Game:

Map, Record Sheet, Eric Bergeron cover for forthcoming Encounters & Artefacts book, Boxed Set components, and open copy of unformatted VANGUARD Skirmish Rules & Tactical RPG.

Dr. Joe, Diana, ckutalik, me

Me, Joe, C., Diana, ckutalik

Sunday afternoon

Victor Raymond, Jeff Dee, Manda Dee, and my arm
--The Dee's chose to use paper minis rather than Chirine's figures

It was a charming session, although we had to leave just as things were really looking up.

I want to thank those who took photos.
--I'm not entirely sure who took which, but it is very much appreciated.
---I'll gladly credit them as I receive word.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thursday 2nd, June NTRPG Con Scenario-

While I am waiting for the photos C. took at the table (and any that surface from the Players, etc.), I'll post the expanded description of the scenario. There is a TL;DR at the end of the post.

--As regards the 'blurb' scenario:

A Continental Vrun fort set up on the Riverland Peninsula of Marnharnna, Dawnmist, has, increasingly, been subject to skirmishes with indigenous persons, after an Aberrant or Dokirin (no one is certain which) witch doctor/holy man attempted to speak to the fort's commander, Major Lanvyk. For his efforts, one of the green troopers beaned the man in the head with a bottle, which seemed only to degrade the situation. From that time forth, roughly five weeks (one and one-half months), greater and greater numbers of natives have attempted to gain entry and have assailed the fort's personnel when shots presented themselves.

The reports of ghostly activities, too, seem to be increasing apace with the native hostilities, and a few minor personnel have met with untimely accidents, some rather bizarre (one was found dead near a well, the other victim is alive, but has lost her vision in one eye -- the eye now milky white).

The 'secret weapon' is a Hierophantic Church relic sent to the site after the palisades were erected but before the interior structures were completed. The priest in charge of the relic is an unyielding perfectionist with no sympathy for the difficulties of the workers or guards, and is increasingly more belligerent with fort personnel, especially Major Lanvyk. Rumours circulating in the fort are that the relic is responsible for the unexplained events, or at least of precipitating them. Only a few troopers are Hierophantic devotees, but this cadre now seem to answer to Divine Shulsyss. The relic is small enough to be carried by one man, but it has been kept out of view, and if Shulsyss' men know what it is, they haven't shared it with anyone else.

The PCs are 'fresh off the ship', having come over from Vrun to the Sunken Continent of Marnharnna for their own reasons [...]

The Fort (Kruinak Rallsahm/'Fort for Staging Exploration') is situated on the rocky shore of an isthmus between North Bay and Lake Suhorm ('Isthmus Road'), and serves as the nexus for exploration south, deeper into the Riverland Peninsula, or north, into the clay mountains of the mainland.

Kruinak Rallsahm consists of three three storey structures composed of two layers of timbers filled in with tamped earth and local stone, the still grassy common, and specialist workshops which abut the palisade (as per structures). The main gate is higher than the secondary gate, and opens to a plateau of limestone and bauxite gravel just below the summit of the hill atop which the fort is situated. This area is the main loading/unloading point for the wagons and carts, and is planned to operate as a trading post in the foreseeable future. The secondary gate opens below ground, and exists through a worked natural cleft in the rock some 14.5 Msnk/65' below the hill's summit and concealed by a thick patch of stinging nettles. It is here that one finds a shallow although broad pool which is spring fed, potable although the mineral water contributes a strange soapy flavour to the local brews and is unpalatable to all save the parched throated labourers working atop a higher peak some 40.25 Msnk/50 yd. distant. These men toil through hard rock to fashion a rook from which lookouts would espy the surroundings while enjoying greater security due to the material's strength and the sheer sides of the pinnacle. An adjoining tunnel is rumoured to be the next major work project.

Major Lanvyk is perfunctorily friendly towards the newcomers, knowing that the tight confines will quickly cause friction and the more so if the raids do not abate soon. He is an architect by trade (Superstructure Technician Secondary Caste) and is usually present in the common overseeing the placement of shacks and stores of provisions, or atop his tower communicating messages via Aldus-lamp to the rook's construction. If approached, Lanvyk is brief, but polite in his communication; clearly more of a thinker saddled with the responsibility of military duty than a hard-head. His broadsword is plain, and his carbine slung barrel down and out of the way -- it is plainly obvious that both are necessities of his station of which he'd rather be free. Brown hair, brown-hazel eyes, pink-tan 'northern' skin tone. 1.5 Msnk Height/6'8.5", 256 Nux/225# Weight, draughtsman's shoulders, brisk gait. Perhaps as old as his mid 20's. Only his age reassures the more experienced soldiers, but he is well liked if only in comparison to the resident Divine.

Shulsyss is rarely seen outside his tower, but when he does appear in the common, it is to demand an object or whatnot from one of the workshops. He never compensates them, nor thanks them, instead castigating them for personal flaws. Shulsyss is in peak physical condition for his 19 years, and is always seen in his reinforced leather armoured suit of red and black, trimmed in gold and embossed with Hierophantic Church motifs. He carries a long dagger. Some men report having seen Shulsyss lift a fellow a few Snk off the ground, from across the common. Most fear his authority and personal power.

Weather this summer's end has been mild and pleasant, with few showers after noon-watch, but the scouts warn of the possibility of food scarcity as the season turns colder. From the fort, the surrounding area is dominated by the large brackish lake (Suhorm), and North Bay, but on the marshlands surrounding the outcropping of rock, are mist shrouded emerald and teal forests and jungles. To the south the dense vegetation gives way after roughly one hundred XsM to the seemingly endless Riverglades of grasses, reeds, sedges, scrub, wooded low hills, and mid-chest deep water slowly trickling through to the Gulf and Storm Ocean. Port Straethys is a small, but burgeoning riverine port city further south, all but unreachable without a ship. To the east is a locale known only as Port, which is located just south of the Terhyk Shallows necessary to navigate to reach North Bay. The Shallows prevent deep-draught vessels from sailing into the Bay, and at Port, cargo and persons disembark for shallow-draught ships to complete the voyage. Kruinak Rallsahm would be the staging point for a port on North Bay near the Smiou Flood Plain of the isthmus.

:: TL;DR: (Fort + Internal Conflict + Weird Happenings + PCs to fix it)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Texas Bound-

For those of you attending the 3rd Annual NTRPGCon, I hope to see you there.

The rest of you lot, have a good time, too.