Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blogger Stats

I've been digging into Blogger a little more and checking out my stats on Blogger and I noticed my all time most popular posts have been:

The color Carcosa map I did.

The old map my father drew before D&D and before I was born.

A review of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG

Grim and Gritty Mutant Future Radiation

A review of Pars Fortuna Basic


my biggest traffic sources of all time have been:

Someone from Finland and someone from South Korea are looking at the site as I type this.

A Dungeon Geomorph Collection

I've compiled all of the dungeon geomorphs I've posted over the past week and a few extra in this document available on google docs: A Dungeon Geomorph Collection

The geomorphs in the collection have a simple grey fill instead of the fancy one used in the postings on this blog to make it easier for users to edit maps of their own.

UPDATE:  The link to the file is currently misbehaving for me, I alos tried to edit the old one to re-post and it's password locked... surprisingly enough I can't recall a password from over 5 years ago.   I'll be recreating this collection from original files and making the newer edited version available soon.

Splintering Shields by Material

"Shields Shall Be Splintered" by trollsmyth is an excellent house rule that adds more to the shield in RPG combat then one typically gets out of a simple +1 bonus to AC. It's great and should work fine in many a game. Being the rules tinker and fiddler I am I couldn't help but whip up a variant to this excellent house rule.

Splintering Shields by Material
(based on a rule by trollsmyth at http://trollsmyth.blogspot.com/)

Any time you are hit in combat you may choose to sacrifice your shield to avoid damage.
No one can choose to sacrifice a shield after they know the damage they would suffer.
Shields may not be used to sacrifice against surprise blows or those from the rear.

A shield will hold firm if the damage inflicted is equal to or less then the
ShP of a shield. Otherwise the fighter is sparred the damage but the shield is ruined.

Shields crafted from alfenwoode can be sacrificed versus a damaging spell.
Magic shields can be sacrificed vs damaging spells.

Silver faced shields can be used to defend against attacks from spectral creatures such as shadows and wraiths. Roll a d6 each time on a roll of 4 or less the shield is ruined by the experience.

Dragonscale shields may be used vs breath weapons and spells similar to the breath weapon of the dragon they are crafted from. A d6 must be rolled each time and this number is added to the saving throw and on a successful save damage is divided again by the score rolled (a 1 =gives a +1 to save but no reduction in damage). If the save fails the shield provides no benefit and is likely lost.
A dragon provides enough scales for a shield for every 4 HD it has.

Magical dragonscale shields are treated as a normal magical shield for determining it's ShP score. Use the shield plus or the d6 roll for a save onus, not both.

example: Claude the Chevalier has himself a +2 red DragonScale Shield and is the victim of a rather fearsome red dragon. he rolls a d6 and gets a 3, so he adds 3 to his save. He makes his saving throw against the 80pt breath and suffers but 1/2 from the breath as normal due to his save ...reducing it to 40 points...and that damage is again divided by 3 (as per the d6 roll) so it's reduced to but 13 points of damage the shield sacrifice saves Claude from suffering any damage but his shield is destroyed as it had but 10 ShP

A magical shield can be used against as many blows a round as they have pluses in a given round. Yes, a +2 or +3 shield is darned handy.
Magical Shields may block against spectral attacks as silver shields can and the shield bonus is added to the roll vs ruining the shield.

extra option- DM's really into tracking fiddly details can incorporate wear an tear. Each time a blow is blocked without destroying the shield reduce the ShP value of the shield by 1.

A DM need not require players to keep track of ShP unless the extra option is used as the score can easily be kept track of on a chart.

Shield Material......................ShP
Leather or
Cured Mushroom Caps............0
Bark, Wicker, heavy Hides.......1
Reinforced wood,soft meta......3
Hard metal..............................4
Hepatizon shield.................... 5
Galvrin................................... 6
+1 magic shield.....................5
+2 magic shield....................10
+3 magic shield....................15

Suggested Shield Prices
Leather........2 gp
Wicker..........5 gp
Wood..........10 gp
Brass..........20 gp
Steel.......... 35 gp
Silver.........150 gp
Hepatizon....250 gp
Galvrin.........500 gp
Aethril..........1000 gp
Alfenwoode.....350 gp
Dragonscale....500 gp

Hepatizon, Galvrin and Aethril are special metals I use in my current campaigns.
Hepatizon is a high quality bronze alloy better then steel.
Galvrin is special ferrous alloy, it's secrets are generally known only to dwarven smiths.
Aethril is a rare and magically forged metal.
+1 magical shields crafted from Hepatizon, Galvrin or Aethril have 1 ShP greater then normal for the metal.
Magical Shields of +2 or better crafted from these metals are no different from other magical shields and are often the metals used in such shields because of their inherent value.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Using the geomorphs

Here's a quickie example of using the geomorphs I've posted with this blog and those available at Stonewerks, Risus Monkey and A Character for Every Game.

This isn't going to be a complex step by step just an overview.

I selected geomorphs from all 4 sources that I felt could flow together well enough and slapped them down together in a paint program. I rescaled them to fit together and rotated the tiles till I got an arrangement I liked.

From there I joined some sections with connecting corridors that I drew in with the paint program.

And then I finished it up. I added in another 5x5 section to the right hand side of the map because that connecting corridor was looking rather boring. I erased or added in a few staircases and entrance markers along with cleaning up a few other spots here and there. A background was added to make things flow a bit more visually (I wouldn't always bother with that last bit).Then I added in numbers to key this dungeon level set up with geomorphs drawn up by four different folks giving a lot more organic looking dungeon then I may have come up with as quickly on my own.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

5x15 Dungeon Geomorphs III

Set Three of my 5 x 15 dungeon geomorphs

Last batch for a bit unless I get the urge to crank out a few dozen more.

5x15 Dungeon Geomorphs II

Set two of my 5x15 dungeon geomorphs.

5x15 Dungeon Geomorphs I

Set One of my 5 x 15 Dungeon Geomorphs

Friday, November 26, 2010

follow up on an old map

In this post http://aeonsnaugauries.blogspot.com/2010/11/old-map.html I shared an old map my father drew in years past, prior to out playing D&D.

Turns out it was indeed very much prior to our playing D&D as it seems to be the latest iteration of a map to go along with stories my father was working on in highschool. The map I posted would have been drafted between my father's senior year in highschool and my birth.

The map would have traveled outside of the U.S., returned to U.S. and floated about among my parents stuff for years (surviving 8 or so moves). Sometime in the mid-late 80's it found it's way into my Worlds of Wonder box set (it may have been in an old bundle of art supplies prior to that) it then traveled with me on 4 more moves where it sat forgotten in that Worlds of Wonder Boxed set until I recently rediscovered it. So it survived about a dozen moves (2 countries and 3 states).

My father saw it again today for the first time in 40+ years. I wish I'd recorded the event in video as his reaction was a wonder to behold, rediscovery and youthful wonder on my dad's face. It's probably been one of the best Thanksgivings of my life.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

32 additional dungeon geomorphs

Hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving and managed to avoid black friday fun
here is set Six of my 5 x 10 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with other dungeon geomorphs available on the web.

32 dungeon geomorphs

Set Five of my 5 x 10 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with other dungeon geomorphs available on the web

21 additional dungeon geomorphs

Set Four of my 5 x 10 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with other dungeon geomorphs available on the web.

27 more dungeon geomorphs

Set Three of my 5 x 10 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with other dungeon geomorphs available on the web.

24 dungeon geomorphs

Set Two of my 5 x 10 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with other dungeon geomorphs available on the web.

27 dungeon geomorphs

Set One of my 5 x 10 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with other dungeon geomorphs available on the web.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

44 Dungeon Geomorphs

Set Three of my 5 x 5 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with those available at:




All those sets are 10 x 10 blocks of geomorphs and these 5x5 sets could be used to change a segment on those or used in-between the larger geomorphs.

55 Additional Dungeon Geomorphs

Set Two of my 5 x 5 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with those available at:




All those sets are 10 x 10 blocks of geomorphs and these 5x5 sets could be used to change a segment on those or used in-between the larger geomorphs.

55 Dungeon Geomorphs

Set One of 5 x 5 block dungeon geomorphs

These dungeon geomorphs are meant to be used on their own or to go along with those available at:




All those sets are 10 x 10 blocks of geomorphs and these 5x5 sets could be used to change a segment on those or used in-between the larger geomorphs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gaming Group Past

My core gaming group circa 2002 (or so)

A bit of personal gaming archeology.

A- me with an awful lot of hair.
B- my father, been gaming with me since I first picked up dice, still a regular
C- Alicia, college kid (not sure if she was 21 or not then), she's gone on and gotten herself a career. Haven't seen her in years.
D- Dave, our resident cheating bastard. Still games with us on a regular basis. His son has been a regular also for the past couple years. Known him since school.
E- Matt, my daughter's godfather, he passed away in September of 2006. He had a lifetime of health issues having had 2 heart transplants in his life and was a heck of a good guy.

During this era there were other frequent players one guy we lost to a job in the midwest he played a monk we knicknamed "fighting santa", another is one of my oldest friends who lives the next town over (we shared a locker in the 8th grade), another is a young lady in the military now, another woman moved to Florida and yet one more player whom I've known since adolescence is a regular to this day (he should have been in the picture but he goes through months of absence every couple years).

The table in that picture had as many as 14 people packed around it some nights.

(Oh yeah, I made my resurrection survival roll and somebody is grounded until he starts pre-school.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

I've been usurped...

gak, gasp, sputter....

Piety and Sin

After reading this post here: http://jrients.blogspot.com/2010/11/sin-and-sin-points-draft.html couldn't help but whip this up from a few ideas I've had in the past.

Piety is how devout one is to the divine and the tenets of their faith. Everyone has to roll this score, there are no atheists in worlds where gods walk the land. Those with clerical powers must maintain a piety score of 7 or more to use clerical abilities.

3............ -5............ 20% ........... x......1 in 1000000
4............ -4............ 15%............ x ...... 1 in 100000
5............ -3 ............ 15%............ x ...... 1 in 100000
6............ -2............ 10%............ x ...... 1 in 10000
7............ -1............ 10% .......... +30 .....1 in 10000
8............ -1 ............ 5% .......... +20 ...... 1 in 10000
9 ............ - ............ 5% ............ +15 ...... 1 in 1000
10............ - ............ 3%............ +10 ...... 2 in 1000
11............ - ............ 2% ............ +5 ...... 3 in 1000
12 ............ - ............ 1%............ +5 ...... 4 in 1000
13 ............ - ............ -............ - ...... 5 in 1000
14............ - ............ - ............ - ...... 6 in 1000
15............ - ............ - ............ - ...... 7 in 1000
16 ............ - ............ - ............ -5 ...... 8 in 1000
17............ - ............- ............ -5 ...... 9 in 1000
18............ - ............ - ............ -10 ...... 10 in 1000

Healing: This score is applied as a penalty per level/HD vs beneficial healing spells. EX: a 2nd level character with a Healing mod of -1 receiving a casting of a healing spell that would normally restore 7 hp will only have 5 hp restored.

Denial: this is the chance that a beneficial clerical spell cast on an individual will simply not function. The Ref is could choose to ignore this for spells cast at holy sites and when one is directly serving the faith.

Failure: this is the modifier to the chance of a cleric being able to cast a clerical spell.

Intervention: chance for a call for divine intervention to be answered. If intervention is denied a check vs piety must be made or a point of Sin is gained. Calling for intervention more then once per character level simply will not function and will earn a character another point of sin.

This is a measure of how one has sinned against their faith. A running tally is kept.
Each time sin increases the character must check against Piety.
The check against piety is made by rolling 1d20+SIN vs Piety. If the roll exceeds the current piety score the character loses a point of piety.

Removing Sin:
Prayer, sacrifice and absolution will reduce a character's sin score.
A simple act of observance reduces sin by 1point (1 hour &10 g.p / level)
A lesser act of observance reduces sin by 1d4 points (4 hours & 25 gp/level)
a greater act of observance reduces sin by 1d8 points (1 day & 100 gp/level)
A major act of observance reduces sin by 1d12 points (1 week & 250 gp/level)

if sin it reduced beneath a score of 4 the character is allowed a roll of 1d20. if this roll exceeds the characters current piety score they gain a point of piety.

Reveling in sin.
Check Jreints here if one wants this option to gain experience and put gaining of sin directly in the players hands.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Megadungeons need Neutrals.

Megadungeons need neutrals. There shoudl be a faction the players can interact with that isn't there solely to be defeated or isn't out solely to screw-over the PC's but isn't there as a first-aid kit or rescue squad. Megadungeons need Neutrals.

In most dungeon adventures we have Irredeemable Foes, Selfish Foes, Foils,Dumb Beasts, Feeding Horrors,Victims, Allies and Competitors. Not a lot of real variation in how Irredeemable foes are dealt with they are there to be defeated. Selfish foes are there to be thwarted or destroyed, the goal is still defeat at the hands of the PCs and most people are going to treat them the same as irredeemable foes (roll initiative and attack) sometimes a selfish foe can be bought off or tricked to help for a while but this is really just delaying the inevitable destruction at the PC's hands. Foils are a trickier manner, they usually pose a puzzle that must be solved if they can't be treated like an irredeemable foe, once the puzzle is solve they are usually of no remaining use to DM or PCs. After the foils we find ourselves with dumb beasts, they are there to eat you if you are too slow and stray into your territory but they aren't really bad guys; players will still treat them like irredeemable foes 99% of the time but onc eina while a player with a special ability will exploit and control a dumb beast (often reducing it to a piece of equipment in execution). Feeding Horrors aren't worth interacting with and are darned icky and want to eat the PCs, the PCs will generally avoid them like crazy or destroy them no greater interaction to be expected unless someone figures out how to get the feeding horror to eat someone else in the megadungeon. Next we have victims which are usually walk treasure and will be treated as cannon fodder if they aren't walking treasure. There is the rare and unlikely allies which players will lean on and exploit to no end and honestly if they are useful and capable why aren't they beating the PCs at their own game. Competitors will sometimes be mistaken for Allies, victims or Foils but when the players discover their true nature they will seldom last longer then a kobold holding a gp. That leaves us with neutrals.

The players have to be able to tell they are dealing with neutrals and not foes or competitors or you aren't going to get very diverse play out of the situation. The neutrals have to stand apart from the foes in some obvious fashion but should also be a fair bit different from allies/competitors.

One way to get the neutrals to stand out is to make them a breed apart. Throw in some obvious non-PCs that aren't a variation of an established monster race either. Moss Elves, Root Gnomes, Pebble Dwarves are cheap and easy way to go but one could go a step further and have Mole-men or mice people or something decidedly different from what the players are usually expecting in the first place. Many players are goign to hack first but yuo have a chance of a conversation coming up and then an opportunity for the players to discover they are dealing with neutrals.

The neutrals can of course serve as foes/foils/allies/competitors but they are really in the megadungeon to do their own thing. It's up to the players to define how they are going to relate to the PCs. Sure that might mean a hack-fest. But neutrals provide a faction to be bribed, hired, stolen from that just might encourage a wider range of role playign options beyond...fireball wand or stab them with a sword?

Get some neutrals into those megadungeons.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Land Measurements and a sim-economy.

I went off on a tear last time I brought up to topic of SIM economics. I threw out a lot of numbers and reveled in math and I'm going to do it some more. A lot of building a medieval economy (even a fake one) ties in with the land. Us modern folks still depend on the fruits of the land but most are removed from that to the point it isn't really part of our everyday language. We may use the term acre, but most folks don't really know what an acre is or have a real reference of how much land is required to feed us.

A lot of the old time measurements were tied to the land. That's what was worth measuring after all.

An Acre is a basic unit of land measurement. It really has no fixed dimensions but is an area of 4,840 square yards. An easily measured acre is one furlong long and one chain wide (660ft x 66 ft). The old definition of an acre is how much land a pair of oxen can plow in a halfdays worth of work , actually a whole day: Oxes are a pain to work with and must be fed and watered and rested to keep them healthy and fit for plowing so that half a day is really still a days work for the ox team.

There are 640 Acres in a square mile of land. I'll get back to that later.

Moving up from an Acre we find ourselves with an Oxgang (or bovate). An oxgang is how much land a single ox can plow in a season and still allow the crop to get sown. The actual area of an oxgang can vary by the demands and difficulties of the local terrain, for ease of math I'm going to go with 15 acres. Oxen weren't usually kept as lone animals as they were often kept in teams of eight oxen and a pair are normally used to plow which causes the identification of a unit of land that two oxen can plow in a season as a Virgate (or Yardland) of 30 acres. As the ox were kept in teams of 8 that gives us another unit of area known as a Ploughland (or Carucate) which is the land a full team of 8 oxen can plow in a season (120 acres).

The units of land and how important they were are part of the language that defines the land, economy and population. A person who occupied, worked or was responsible for aVirgate of land would be know as a Virgater. A person rsponsible for 1/2 that much land would be know as a Bovater. The tax levied on a carucate was called a Carucage.

The Carucage is the taxation levied on a single household as defiend for manorial property and taxation purposes.. So a Caricate of 8 Bovates (120 acres) is how much land is needed to support a household. This land was also known as a Hide.

A Knight's Fee of five hides is enough land to support a fully equipped knight. This Scutage , being the money that could be raised from 5 hides of property is what it takes to support 1 Knight in a traditional feudal setting. A person would be allowed to work that land by supplying the Knight or the coin that would hire a knight from the proceeds of those 5 hides.

A Fief is the holding that allows Knights to be maintained. A fief could of course be smaller then a Knight's Fee and could be as small as a a Hide (or Caricate) as that land is intended to support a household.

So in an ideal situation a typical Fief would have 5 Caricates (for a total of 600 acres). This land is supposed to be enough to support a Knight, support his family, keep him armed and stable a warhorse in addition to paying other taxes, duties and expenses the Knight would incur.

600 acres to a Knight's Fee (or Fief) is awfully close to a square mile. For campaign economy building purposes I'm going with 5 hides to a square mile for ease of accounting.

Those 5 hides have to support: A Knight, his wife, children, other family members, retainers, servants and farmers along with warhorse, other steeds and oxen to work the land.

Above the Hide there are other units of land. There is the hundred (which is measured at a size of 100 Hides). This is the land adequate for 100 households. A hundredman (or hundred elder) would be responsible for administering the territory and maintaining the troops drawn from it which could number 100 soldiers or 20 knights. A hundred could be split into 10 tithings of 10 families. Within each of the hundreds there is ideally a formal meeting place where then men of the hundred meet to discuss local matters and a hundred court of sorts could be held.

Above the hundred we have the Shire. A shire was administered by a Shire-Reeve (or Sheriff). A shire can vary wildly in size and may or may not be considered a County. A shire need no be manged by or owned by a Count.

A hundred (which supports 100 households) will cover 20 square miles as that is the area of 100 hides. the shire will have no fixed definition here. A hundred is able to support 100 soldiers or 20 knights, the knights families, their retainers, staff, farmers, warhorses, other steeds and oxen.
For ease of accounting later in life of this rpg sim-economy I'm going to have each hundred ideally support 50 soldiers and 10 Knights (1/2 of the total possible of each alone)

How many knights and soldiers can then be supported on the Hexes of the average RPG map?

How much land does a hex actually cover? Measured in a width (W) from hex edge to hex edge the area a hex covers is W x W x .86.

For later ease of reference here are common hex sizes with area and hides along with Knights and soldiers (50% total knight possible and 50% total Soldiers possible) for each hex.

Hex Size....area in square miles....Hides .... Knights/Soldiers
5............... 21.5 .............................. 107 ....... 10/50
6............... 30.96............................ 154 ...... 15/75
8............... 55 ................................ 275 ....... 27/ 135
10.............. 86 .............................. 430 ....... 43/215
12.............. 123.84 ........................ 619 ....... 61/305
20............. 344 ............................. 1720 ..... 172/860
24............. 495.36 ........................ 2476 ..... 247/1235
30............. 774 ............................. 3870 ..... 387/1935

These figures by hex are only possible in good temperate clear hexes. In areas of more difficult terrain reduce the population possible. Possibly: In Areas of hills reduce Hides to 2/3 the area. I cool areas reduce the number of Hides by 3/4 again. In Forested Areas reduce the Hides to 1/3. In Mountainous or Swamp land reduce to 1/6 if occupied at all.

It's going to take a little work to get this working with my 4cp-large loaf of bread calculations from the earlier post. That will lamentably have to wait for yet another post.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

PARS FORTUNA:Basic- my first look

John M. Stater of The Land of Nod has released Pars Fortuna: Basic.
Pars Fortuna is OSR-compatible fantasy RPG based on the Swords&Wizardry rules. The roots of it's development are intriguing: what would an RPG look like if many of the elements in it were randomly generated? Player classes, spells, monsters and magic items are in the main randomly created as the author has of course contributed ideas from elsewhere and used his own fertile imagination to give detail and life to the randomly created ideas.

Pars Fortuna:Basic is of course a basic set (and freely available as a PDF). It provides all the rules necessary to get a look at the larger game (to come as of this blogging) and to play with a subset of features (it's a pretty extensive subset).

Characters ability scores are created in the classical OS manner: 3d6 are rolled for each of 6 attributes. They are the standard mix of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. Most scores provide a simple penalty for a attribute of 8 or less and a bonus for a score of 13 or higher with Intelligence and Charisma getting more detail.

Character Classes are actually Character Races in these rules and players get 4 to choose from. Each character race is presented as a racial character class with enough information to fit them into a campaign and with 1-4 level of stats. The races are unusual and diverse: The Bo'al are a race of Engineers where adventurers are primarily students driven to seek out the architectural and engineering secrets in ruins and dungeons. Carkol are a small race pangolin like chanters that seek adventure to gain security and comfort from the profits they gain in adventuring. Caledjula are a race of tall statuesque tricksters witt he ability of flight that are drawn to adventure by fancies and impulse. Ilel are a race of militant human-like clone warriors. A diverse mix to be joined by 8 more in the full version of the game.

To flesh out characters and give each a little individuality every character has a boon which provides them with unique abilities, knacks or skills. Knacks and Skills are the simple skill system used in pars-fortuna: a knack makes one a little better at a task and a skill allows one to make a saving throw to possibly succeed at a task or perhaps to avert disaster when attempting something. At this point in the reading I'm a little fuzzy on who gets to cast spells.

Next up is equipment which characters get to select by spending their 30-180 gp. Armor is divided into broad and clearly defined as of light, medium and heavy armor and along with shields they range in an ascending AC score of 10 for an unarmored man to 17 for one in heavy armor with a shield. Melee weapons are presented in a broad fashion as well but some weapon types get an extra mechanical advantage over their damage score. Some of the weapon rules are curious but in the main they provide a range of reasons for choosing one weapon over another.
Missile weapons go from thrown axes to bows and handguns. The equipment section includes a pretty typical assortment of dungeoneering gear and there is an unusual mix of riding beasts included. Hirelings are accounted for and given brief but useful treatment in this section.

The next chapter covers Playing the Game. Characters earn exp for defeating foes and discovering treasure. Challenges and Saves Throws are briefly covered and then we get the Combat Rules. Combat resolution uses a stepped phase to determine resolution based on relative speed of combatants and declared action. In a round: The ref determines if anyone get's a bonus attack or move, magicians decide what spell they are casting, missile attacks are made by both sides, Quick combatants move and attack, normal speed characters move and attack, slow characters move and attack, magicians cast spells, second volley of missile fire, those who "held actions" get to go and repeat. When two groups ae acting in the same step a roll is made for first strike with advantage going to those with longer weapons, those of high dexterity and winners of the previous round. there are a host of simple modifiers to combat that will allow players to engage in a variety of tactics and maneuvers without getting weighed down by the rules. Grappling which is a bear in many games is adequately described in one paragraph. There's a list of defined conditions so folks will know what's up when a character is aged, blinded, exhausted , etc ... . Death, Healing and Morale are all briefly and clearly covered following the combat section. If one rests for a full turn after a combat they regain half the hp they lost in the combat thus regaining the luck, divine favor, fighting prowess that is often wound up in HP.

The Magic section includes a new spell casting system where magicians risk harm to themselves by frequent casting of their more powerful spells. Magicians keep spell books of those spells they learn and must refresh their memories with a hour of study a day or casing their spells is difficult, otherwise they retain access to all the spells they know and may cast them. Material components are required to cast spells with all low level spells (called "cantraps") of level 1-3 using a focus for each spell that isn't consumed in spell casting. All magicians are able to dispel their own spells at will and may attempt to dispel another magicians spell with effort. Lot's of magic could be flying in Pars Fortuna but it's risky to the spell caster. There are 60 spells of levels 1 to 3 presented in the basic rules and these are a diverse and creative lot that provide a lot of meat and potatoes to this OSR variant. Curiously 3rd level spells are detailed but characters must be 5th level or higher to learn them.

Monsters follow and we get a number of unusual low level monsters. A few seem borrowed from elsewhere but the majority are unique. They are presented by monster types of Beast, Construct, Folk, Magical Folk, Monsters and Spirits. Some are silly some are rather good definitely useful and not all just barely warmed over leftovers of older games.

Treasure and Magic Items is a real gem in Pars Fortuna basic. We get coins and jewelery for common treasures followed by three types of common magical items: potions (the least unique thing in the game), Talismans (one use protective items), Writings (a really superior and simple treatment of books and scrolls). Then there are the other magical items each of which is meant to be a unique one of a kind item. In the basic rules we get 4 each of Magic Armor, Baubles, Cubes, Rainments, Shield, Staff, Sword, Magic Melee, Magical Missiles and miscellaneous. A character may have but 4 of these unique items at one time. The magic items are evocative, some have a downside along with the benefits they provide. This treatment of magic items is a delight and really sets Pars Fortuna apart from the magic item giveaway show of many RPGS where a +1 sword is just another +1 sword, in Pars Fortuna that +1 sword may be "Bennai, the Leper's Blade" and has powers unique to itself.

I really enjoyed Pars Fortuna:Basic on my first read. There are some matters of confusion I have and there is a little bit of sloppy editing (part of that clearly being a sole author working on a basic and full rule-set at the same time), there are a couple spots where the rules and tables conflict but nothing game breaking. Some of the weapons tweaks are of dubious reality (you can throw an axe with one hand in the real world,I've done it competitively) but do provide playable differentiation. The magic system looks prone to abuse in one shots and better written for campaign play. The races are odd and this will throw some folks off but I really can't understand folks looking for something new being thrown off by something new. Pars Fortuna started as a fun experiment and it looks like the John M. Stater has certainly breathed a lot into random dice rolls and given us a lot to add to campaigns. Pars Fortuna has provided something an OSR game has to in my opinion "a whole lot of new". I know I'll be picking up the full rules when they become available and can't imagine why any fan of D&Desque/OSR games wouldn't give the Pars Fortuna:Basic pdf a look (it's cool and free).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Expanded Experience Rolls

Expanded Experience rolls to differentiate between the variety of character types available in Mutant Future.

Pure Human and Replicants
1-10..... +1 Damage with hand held melee weapons
11-20... +1 attack per round
21-30... +1 STR
31-40... +1 DEX
41-50... +1 CON
51-60....+1 INT
61-70....+1 WIL
71-85....+1 CHA
86-95....+5% Technology Roll Modifier
96-100.... +1 to hit with favored weapon (pick a weapon)

Mutant Human
1-10..... +1 Damage with hand held melee weapons
11-20... +1 attack per round
21-35... +1 STR
36-45... +1 DEX
46-55... +1 CON
56-66....+1 INT
66-80....+1 WIL
81-90....+1 CHA
91-100... Improve Mutation

Mutant Animal
1-10..... +1 Damage with natural attacks
11-20... +1 attack per round
21-30... +1 STR
31-45... +1 DEX
46-60... +1 CON
61-70....+1 INT
71-80....+1 WIL
81-90....+1 CHA
91-100... Improve Mutation

Basic Android and Synthetics
1-10..... +1 Damage with hand held melee weapons
11-20... +1 attack per round
21-40....+1 INT
41-60....+1 WIL
61-80....+1 CHA
81-100....+5% Technology Roll Modifier

Mutant Plant
1-10..... +1 Damage with natural attacks
11-40... +1 attack per round
41-50... +1 STR
51-60.. +1 DEX
61-70... +1 CON
71-75...+1 INT
76-80....+1 WIL
81-90....+1 CHA
91-100... Improve Mutation

Mutation Degree

Everyone having the same mutations can be a drag in mutant future one easy way to offset this is to differ mutations by degree. A mutant having Terminal Albinism, Developed Energy Ray and Amazing Damage Turning is different from one with Recessive Albinism, Vestigial Energy Ray and Underdeveloped Damage Turning.
For each mutation a character has roll it's degree (don't record the score just the Mutational Degree.

Mutation Degree modifiers
Strength modifies a physical mutation's mutation degree roll
Will Power modifies the a mental mutation's mutation degree roll
4-5...... -2
6-8... .. -1
9-12..... 0
13-15.. +1
16-17.. +2
18+.... +3

Beneficial Mutation Degree Roll
3 or less.... Latent
4-6............ Vestigial
7-9............. Underdeveloped
10-15......... Developed
16-20......... Superior
21+ ...........Amazing

Drawback Degree Roll
3 or less........Terminal
21+.............. Recessive

Descriptions of Degrees
Latent, the mutation is present but not currently usable by the mutant. A latent mutation may improve ob exposure to mutagens. On a failed save of intensity > 1/2 a mutant's CON reroll the mutation degree.
Vestigial, The mutation may be used once per day. All variables are absolute minimum. If mutation is usually always active it is usable for but an hour a day. Using the mutation causes 1d6 pts of damage due to the stress involved.
Underdeveloped, mutation is only 1/2 as effective as described in rules. Using the mutation (for those with activation or limited uses) causes 1 pt of damage due to the stress involved.
Developed, as described in rules.
Superior: Usable twice as often. Fixed scores are improved by 1. Damage causing mutations receive a bonus of 2 pts per die.
Amazing, mutation is twice as effective in all capacities.

Terminal, drawback is twice as bad as standard.
Severe, drawback is half again as bad as standard.
Chronic, drawback acts as described in standard rules.
Acute, each day there in a 50% chance the mutation is active and hampering the mutant.It becomes active for 2d6 days following any mutagenic exposure.
Dormant, mutation will be active for 24 hours following exposure to radiation (successful or failed save)
Recessive, mutation may become active on exposure to radiation.Make a new Degree Roll on a failed save vs radiation with a  -3 modifier.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Castle Two

Another Castle.

This map has arrow slits with the locations highlighted on the outside of the walls to the direction they face.
No numbered areas this time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Small Castle Map

A un-keyed Castle Map for a small castle.


I may fill this in for a future post but if anyone else feels like doing so I'd sure like to see what you come up with.

The original map was drawn in pencil and scanned. The additional floors were done in photoshop as was the type. No doors are drawn on the map as i wasn't sure if I would be going with an active castle or a ruin.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Make A SAN Check

Click this link and make a SAN Check.
Hilarious and ridiculous all at the same time. It also made me realize something: geekdom needs some new ideas.

The full episode and related episode will be here: http://www.southparkstudios.com/

You'll have to make another SAN check of course.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An Old Adventure

Here's a small dungeon adventure I discovered in one of my game boxes. From the content I'm figuring it was from 1988-1990. The adventure is nameless and seemingly set in a mountainside monastery somewhere in the twisted land where the PCs find themselves through magical circumstances (see room 4). The "Xs" on the map are from when this was played sometime long ago.

1. Guard Chamber, 2 Barkbrothers HD:1 hp: 3each AC:7 Atk:1for 1d6. They will both bark at intruders, 1 will run for help and the other will hold off intruders.

2. Bunk Room, 12 rough bunks. There are 6 Barkbrothers here. there is a 40% chance they will be alerted by noise prior to PCs reaching the room. HD:1 hp: 3each AC:7 Atk:1for 1d6.

3. Unoccupied Chamber. 4 Bunks. (4sp hidden under one). Stashed in the rubble is a small chest with 100 g.p., potion of healing and 3 books.

4. Ram Priest Level 5 Cleric HP: 16 At:1 for 1-6 or spell. Has accidentally summoned the characters to the twisted land with his black crystal orb. 300 g.p. worth of jewelry on ram Priest.The shrine has 2,000 g.p worth of trimmings.

5. 2 Wulfen guards AC:6 HD:2 HP:6 AT: 1 for 1d6

6. Prisonsers. 2 monks. 1 level 1 cleric- weak, 1 level 7 cleric -weak with some spells.

7. Kitchen. 3 Ratters working here HD:1 HP:2 each Atk:1 for 1d4. Hidden in the kitchen is 40 s.p. The ratters are busy preparing a slain monk for dinner.

8. Oxen guardian AC:6 HD:3 HP:12 Atk:1 for 1d10+3. Mean, big and dumb.

9. Luxurious Chamber. The leader of the bad of beast-men resides here. Lion Prince Fighter 4. Hp: 18 AC:9 (4 in armor). Miscellaneous treasures worth 1,000 g.p. (half of it former property of the monks)

10. Closet. full of worthless junk. 1 in 6 chance to find 400g.p. chalice. check for searcher discovery each turn of searching.

11. 4 Barksisters. 1 is pregnant with pups. 20 g.p. cheap jewelery among them.

12. 6 Barkpups.

13. Supply room. 6 months of supplies for 100men. 16 barrels of wine. 1 Barrel has a pouch of gems secreted within worth 100 g.p.

14. Treasure Chamber. 5 chests.
Chest #1: trapped with posion spike and empty. intensity 3 poison.
Chest #2: trapped with sleep gas. Holds 3 potions of cure light wounds.
Chest #3: trapped with posion spike .Contains mixed coins worth a total of 100 g.p. and a green crystal shard.
Chest #4: Unlocked and empty. If disturbed there is a 3in 6 chance a nest of biting bugs is disturbed. Bite is painful but harmless.
Chest #5: Locked. 500 g.p.

Modern Notes: I was into trapped treasure chests in those days. I'm figuring the "intensity 3 poison" is in line (more or less) with the poison from the judgesguild ready ref sheets. In brief that'd be 3 pts of damage for 3 rounds on a failed save.

The Twisted Land saw a number of incarnations in my campaigns over the years in general it's a land of disruption and wild magics where monsters unknown to the outside world dwell and sometimes spill out of.

I was seemingly on a beastmen kick when this was drafted. I'm thinking I used 1d6 for hitdice for some reason given the low HP #'s for the monsters.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An Old Map

I discovered this map going through my copy of Chaosium's "Worlds of Wonder". It's not a map of my creation, it's a map my dad drew at least 35 years ago. I have no idea what he drew it for, he may have been working on some fiction or just drew it for the heck of it as I think it pre-dates our exposure to D&D.
I have no idea how it ended up in that game box but it seemed appropriate to share it.

(Click image for full size)

In a much more entertaining and exciting universe discovering an old map like this crafted by your father when he was young would be a gateway to adventure...

OldSchool Class Scans

Here are scans of three of character class the write-ups I dug up recently; as per request the Artificer, Gnome Trickster and Faerie. The Gnome trickster and Faerie were seemingly drawn up at the same time.



(Click on them to get at the actual file)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

T&T stats for a few Tekumel beasties

I posted a version of these over at http://trollbridge.proboards.com/index.cgi some time ago. Here are a small handful of Empire of The Petal Throne Monsters presented with mostly the same stat style as my last T&T monster post.

Aqaa "the worm of the catacombs"
MR: 36/72/108 Speed: 12
ATK: +18/+36/+54
Armor: 8pts
special: swallow man sized prey SR 3/6/9 to avoid)
stats given for small/medium/large specimens
IQ: 3

Birdlu "the mantle"
MR: 25 Speed: 9
ATKs: +12 armor: 5pts
special: Constricting crush, SR 4 to break free.May not be cut with chlen-hide weapons.
IQ: 3

Dlaqo "the carrion beetle"
MR: 18/24/54 Speed: 6
ATK:bite +9/+12/+27
Armor: 8pts
special: cowardly

Hliir "the beast with the unendurable face"
MR: 48 Speed: 12
ATK: +24
armor: 8pts
special: looking at it causes insanity; Sr 4 save to avoid insanity.
IQ: 6

Hra' "the blood sucker"
MR 42 Speed: 12
ATK: With Weapon +21
Armor: 2 pts
Special; reanimate in 2 turns following "death" unless touched by the amulet of the greater god.
Priests of Ksarul have 15% chance of controlling any Hra' they meet.

Huru'u "the howler"
MR: 15 Speed: 9
ATK: +18*
Armor: 2 pts vs chlen-hide weapons only
Special: may be driven off by protective magics (vs good/evil) or by fire.
Constant howling deafens all within 10' of them. (SR 4 each round to avoid)
IQ: 10

Treasures or Dross, Character Classes.

I recently dug through some of my old boxed sets and discovered a wealth of old characters sheets, maps, notes and more inside them. My companion set had also had the earlier moldvay basic and cook expert rulebooks along with a LOT of notes.

Of particular interest are brief writeup of many character classes. Some of these classes saw play (but maybe not in these versions) but I don't' recall the majority. These notes would all be from the very late 80's to maybe 95.

Here's a list of the classes within:

Gnome Trickster
Dwarven Seer
Elven Archer
Dwarven Pilferer
Halfling Burglar
Halfling Skirmisher
Herbalist (non-spell casting)
Elven Stalker
Elven Theurgist
Gnome Tinker

These are pretty much all simply a table for each class listing abilities by level. Some spell casting types have spell lists written up. I'm a little split on how (or if) I should post any of these classes. Maybe I'll type them up fixing only gross errors in spelling and language, update them or simply scan them in all their barely legible glory. I should note, I know I had some classes we played with that aren't on that list. So what classes would folks like to see and in what "format"?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Some Tunnels and Trolls monsters

Some Tunnels and Trolls monsters from yesteryear. Since Tenkar is mentioning Tunnels and Trolls so often these days I figured I'd share some monster notes that were in my 5th edition T&T boxed set that I wrote up many a year ago. Nothing too amazing just a non-standard method I used with a bit more detail then straight MR.

Creature Format
M.R.- Monster Rank
ATK- Attack, The normal Adds the monster gets in combat for each attack it can make. (1 die is rolled per 10 pts, or fraction thereof in current MR no bonus applied outside of adds in ATK).
Speed- The monster speed rating is used for movement and dodging.
Armor- the monsters typical natural armor rating
IQ- monsters average Intelligence
NE.- Number encountered/ normal level

MR= 12 Speed= 12
ATK= Any Weapon, goblins have a flair with missile weapons and get 3 ads with them.
Armor- as per armor worn
IQ= 9 NE= 3-18/1

MR= 18 Speed=9
ATK= Any Weapon, can also go at it tooth & claw with adds equal to 1/2 current MR.
Armor= as per armor worn, often use shields
IQ= 7 NE= 2-12/1

MR= 54 Speed=10
ATK: bite in single combat with 18 adds, general melee with claws for 11 adds. Can use weapons with 9 adds.
Armor= 1pt for tough hide
IQ=6 NE=1-6/2

MR= 75 Speed= 11
ATK= bludgeon for 35 adds, bare hand for 12 adds
IQ= 6 NE=1-3/3

MR 9 Speed= 12
ATK= 2 adds or by weapon.
IQ= 9 NE= 4-24/1

Wolf Brothers
MR 35 Speed= 12
ATK= tooth and claw for 15 adds.
IQ=6 NE= 2-12/2

Clawed Drake
MR:90 Speed=13
ATK= general melee for 45 adds. Single combat: flame spit as 10 dice missile
Armor= 10 point scaled hide
IQ= 4 NE:1/5