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Showing posts from July, 2013

[WFRP] Southern Creatures from Compendium One

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I love the D&D 2e Monstrous Manual and Monstrous Compendium Annuals. They are such a ground for inspiration. I recently realized my collection was missing the print versions of the Annuals, so I started ordering the least expensive ones from Amazon.

Compendium Annual Volume One arrived recently, and I thumbed through it to reacquaint myself with some of the monsters. There weren't really any for my Warhammer South Lands games, set in the Spears of the Dawn setting. Here's the closest thing to something I might use:

Stone Snake: I'm always looking for a little variation that fits the Warhammer setting.

(Copyright WotC)

Snake, Giant Cobra: Giant varieties of creatures are great, too!

(Copyright WotC)
Ormyrr: Fit the snake profile and add a little variety.
(Copyright WotC)

Ophidian: Yet another snake creature.
(Copyright WotC)


Naga, Bone: Can't forget about the skeleton version of some of these.
(Copyright WotC)

Marrashi: I'm not sure when I'd get to use this otherw…

Important D&D Concepts

I would definitely agree with this assessment.
Q: What are the two most important concepts in the D&D game?
A: The most important concept in the game is player choice. In order to give players the most fun in the game, they must be able to make choices that will make a definite difference in the fates of their characters.
The second most important concept is that actions have consequences. Player decisions will lead to further campaign developments.

--Jon Pickens et al., "Dispel Confusion" column, Polyhedron #13

[WFRP] Southern Creatures from Compendium Four

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I love the D&D 2e Monstrous Manual and Monstrous Compendium Annuals. They are such a ground for inspiration. I recently realized my collection was missing the print versions of the Annuals, so I started ordering the least expensive ones from Amazon.

Compendium Annual Volume Four arrived recently, and I thumbed through it to reacquaint myself with some of the monsters. There weren't really any for my Warhammer South Lands games, set in the Spears of the Dawn setting. Here's the closest thing to something I might use:

Human, Pygmy: Small humans who live in the deepest jungles.

(Copyright WotC)

Magic Item: Sweat of Grungni

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The sweat of Grungni is a very rare magical liquid collected in small vials. One drop of the potent sweat collected from the dwarven ancestor is enough to completely heal a dwarf of any and all wounds, fatigue, and insanity.


[WFRP] Southern Creatures from Compendium Three

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I love the D&D 2e Monstrous Manual and Monstrous Compendium Annuals. They are such a ground for inspiration. I recently realized my collection was missing the print versions of the Annuals, so I started ordering the least expensive ones from Amazon.

Compendium Annual Volume Three arrived recently, and I thumbed through it to reacquaint myself with some of the monsters. I was excited to find some that will fit perfectly in my Warhammer South Lands games, set in the Spears of the Dawn setting. There weren't many, but I like to mark them down to remind myself later.

Firenewt: Distant relatives of lizardmen that roam hot regions.

(Copyright WotC)
Cildabrin: A mixture of spider and scorpion.

(Copyright WotC)


[A&A] If You Can't Hit, Grapple

Greg Christopher, author of Ambition & Avarice, posted these tips on Google+ yesterday. I thought I would share. It helps for those who might be stuck in a combat rut. Read on and open your imagination: This was asked in the Ambitions & Avarice community, but I thought I would share publicly because it says a lot about how people think. It was brought up by [Jim]. Jim noticed that since my monster model also incorporates a very low rate of attack bonus progression, a PC in heavy armor would be very formidable. If your troll (you are running the game) has no attack bonus and the knight has an AC of 22, you are going to be flailing and doing nothing, right? A lot of times in traditional RPGs, we think of combat as people standing next to each other just bashing away. That's why this seems to be a problem. And I'm not picking on Jim here, TONS of gamers think this way. But in the A&A rules, you can initiate a grapple with a touch attack. So that knight with a 22 AC i…

[WFRP] Crossing the Border

The Doomstones campaign is a Warhammer-ized version of a high-fantasy "seek the artifacts of power" type game. It's not a campaign that I think fits particularly well into the Warhammer mythos, but when it was release there wasn't much of a Warhammer mythos to constrain it.

The campaign begins with 2nd to 3rd career PCs in a remote area of the Border Princes. Most Warhammer adventures take place within the Empire. A fan (or someone) decided that there needed to be an adventure that bridged the gap between where a group of established players might start out in the Empire to where the Doomstones take place in the Border Princes. Thus Crossing the Border was born.

Since I really want to run the Doomstones campaign at a couple local gaming conventions, I thought I'd playtest this Crossing the Border and see what we thought. Here are those thoughts:


The adventure is far too easy for 3rd career characters. Basic-level bandits and orcs, while potentially deadly, don'…

Survival Guide

This is a thing that has been going around Google+, a kind of survival guide for old school games, written by Ben Lehman. I'm sure everyone's seen it, but I wanted to post it...just in case:
Preliminaries Playing D&D is a skill. If you are not good at the necessary skills, the game will punish you by killing your characters. What I can do here is point you in the direction of what skilled play looks like. That isn't the same thing as teaching those skills, for which we would actually have to play the game together, but it can hopefully give you ideas about what to try. My assumption in this piece is that the biggest stumbling block to D&D is the combat, rather than traps or mapping or so on. Obviously, there is different advice for different problems. But I have noticed that combat is the problem that 90% of modern gamers have with playing D&D. Core Principles The combat system of D&D is a punishment mechanic, not a reward mechanic. You do not want to get i…

[WFRP 3e] The Winds of Change Part 1

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I'm sure everyone's wondering how a blind PC manages in Warhammer. Don't let me hold up your curiosity any longer.



PC:
Sister Sonja is, literally, a blind zealot of Sigmar. She has a robe, a quarterstaff, and, at times, a caustic personality.

Companion:
Stedi - Dwarf Boatman

Notable Zealotry:
The party's boat ran aground in Grunburg. A little girl was very kindly giving us some information and offered to take us to a location of interest...for a small fee. Sis. Sonja berated the 7 year old girl for trying to extort money from the faithful of Sigmar.

This place of interest was a bookstore where our prey had visited on his way through town. The store had the "stench of chaos," and Sis. Sonja insisted it be burned to the ground after they had gotten all the information they could from the place.

In Altdorf, the party met a dwarf windbag whose conspiracy theories never ended. She was about to tell the diminutive what she thought of him when her companion quickly led …

[WFRP] More South Land Creatures

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I love the D&D 2e Monstrous Manual and Monstrous Compendium Annuals. They are such a ground for inspiration. I recently realized my collection was missing the print versions of the Annuals, so I started ordering the least expensive ones from Amazon.

Compendium Annual Volume Two arrived recently, and I thumbed through it to reacquaint myself with some of the monsters. I was excited to find some that will fit perfectly in my Warhammer South Lands games, set in the Spears of the Dawn setting.

Draco-Sphinx: Perfect for the mountainous areas of the setting, and a great Warhammer type creature, as it is essentially a manticore with drake instead of human features.

(Copywrite WotC, I'm sure)
Mummy, Creature: These are mummies of animals and monsters, instead of just humans. Great for an African theme.
(Copywrite WotC, I'm sure)

Marl: Giant, acquatic snake-like creature found in swamps and rivers. Fits my snake theme!
(Copywrite WotC, I'm sure)


Laerti: Desert dwelling reptilian hu…

[A&A] New Race: Satyr

A Satyr is a humanoid that is half human and half goat. They are naïve and curious in most aspects of life. They are also a randy race, often caring for little more than the pleasures they can get out of life. These pleasures include wine, shapely nymphs or other enticing humanoids, and a soft place to sleep. Their whimsical nature is particularly difficult to control. Instead a satyr needs to be focused onto a task at hand, usually by an outside party.

A satyr has the head, body, and arms of a human, but the lower extremities of a goat. They usually have small horns poking out of a head of unruly hair. The hind legs are powerful, giving them bonuses in running and leaping. Most satyrs are vegetarians who balk at the thought of killing another living creature. In extreme situations, however, one does what one must no matter how distasteful.

The running bonus gives the satyr +4 to dexterity for the purpose of calculating encumbrance and speed rates (pg 32). Furthermore, a satyr who is…

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 15

In which Mordrin is not in Kansas anymore.

On Thursday we played the fifteenth sitting of our WarHammer 2e online campaign. Here's a relatively quick rundown.

My PC
Mordrin Skorkinson, Giant Slayer. He is still looking for a giant to slay, as he doesn't feel the last giant was quite giant enough. He has also slain some daemons, though none of note.

He is the bemoaner of the doom that got away.

His chosen weapon is a magical two handed war-hammer taken from a slain priest of Sigmar, its once faded runes now burn bright due to Mordrin's great deeds.

My companions:
Tibalt - A Brettonian Knight
Udrin - A High Elf Scholar
Gustav - A Human Initiate of Verena
Ato - A Wood Elf Wizard Apprentice (Absent)

Mordrin's Experiences
From last time: Mordrin flew through a chaos orb into an unknown place/time. He appeared on the top of a roof somewhere, vomiting up his last meal. His reluctant Remembrancer, Udrin, was the only one in the party who appeared beside him. We know not where, or …

[WFRP 3e] Character Profiles: Sister Sonja

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Sister Sonja is a human Zealot from Reikland. She has joined a party of intrepid adventurers after it was found out that most of the employees at her current place of residence were chaos cultists. She had always suspected them as shiftless no-gooders. During the purge of the locale, she was befriended by a dwarf named Stedd. She has committed to traveling with him on his encounters.

Sis Sonja is suspicious of pretty much all humans she meets. After a while in their presence, she can usually tell if they are lazy, gluttonous, greedy, lecherous, etc. She believes her purity and devotion to Sigmar will greatly enhance the dwarf's expeditions.

It is probably important to note that Sis Sonja is completely blind. A fever took her sight ten years ago.

Age: 4? Weight: Don't ask Height: 5'6" Sex: F Hair: Grey-Brown Eyes: White Rank: 1

S 2 T 4 Ag 2 Int 3 WP 5 Fel 2 Wound Threshold: 14

Weapons: Quarterstaff

Armor: None

Skills: Intimidate, Reilience, Discipline, Piety

Specializ…

Ambition & Avarice Release

On Friday Greg Christopher of Chubby Funster games released his full version of Ambition & Avarice on RPGNow. I think it is well worth the cost. I'm actually going to buy it when he releases the print on demand option as well.
If you downloaded his beta version, there should be a discount for the pay version in your email. You might want to double check. Mine went to my spam folder.

Here's the blurb from RPGNow:

Ambition and Avarice is an action-adventure roleplaying game with an easy-to-understand OSR chassis. The characters are rough and ready adventurers. No more moralizing paladins and clerics. Even the religious characters are willing to get a little dirty in the pursuit of their goals.
The game brings a fresh look to medieval fantasy with 10 unique classes that each bring something special to the table. Each class features;

- Expertise in a class-specific task; like the Sorcerer's counterspelling ability or a Cultist's ability to sacrifice humanoids to curry f…

Favorite Non-TSR Adventure/Module

I love it when other people's blogs ask questions that make for good blog posts here.

This is the kind of question that should have been coordinated on about 100 blogs all in the same day, with each blog answering even as they asked the question.

Erik Tenkar asks, "What is Your Favorite Non-TSR Module / Adventure (any system)?"

My answer is The Oldenhaller Contract for WFRP.

Why: I have run it many times, both for friends and at conventions. It plays out differently each time, which makes it fun. Also, I have come up with a couple ways to tweak/expand it to make it fresh for me or those who have played before.

If I wasn't such a procrastinator I'd have the maps and pictures loaded into Roll20...

Now, if you are reading and are so good as to answer, what is your favorite non-TSR module/adventure and why?

[PortCon] For Services Rendered (Pathfinder)

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Our party is hired as the personal bodyguard to the lord of the land. The lord wants to go on a cockatrice hunt. Events go downhill from there.



My PC
Kaide One-Tusk, half orc paladin. I once had a half-orc cleric who told everyone he was a paladin. This character became a natural extension of that one.

My Companions
Hayden - Human Fighter
Sinessa - Half-Elf Rogue

Notes/Encounters
The only children in the castle were teenage daughters. They all looked similar, though they all had different fathers.

The lord took us on a hunt for cockatrice eggs. Kaide fought off the creatures on a mountain pass, while the other two party members climbed down the mountain side to raid cockatrice nests.

Kaide explained what he was doing, his battle tactics, etc. to the lord while fighting off the creatures. He wanted the lord to know that he had gotten a good investment on his money.

By the way, one of the cockatrices we a dire version. The rest of the party climbed back up from their egg hunt to help Kaide…

OOC Thoughts On DodecaheDRONE

DodecaheDRONE is a d12-based game set in the far future. You play one of 12 Drone types who are assigned to maintain a cloning facility as well as assist the humans that come out of it rebuild the world. DodecaheDRONE is about exploring the ravaged land and helping find a way to return it to some semblance of normality.
For some reason I keep picturing these drones as RoboRally robots (which means also Johnny 5). In reality, they are supposed to be more human shaped, bipedal. I see them rolling around on treads. I guess that would be a horrible way to move silently.

Pie Week, Day 4

I was thinking about breaking down Pie Week for the blog here. I got just enough interest in it from here and from Google+ that I decided to go for it.

Day 4:
Morning: There is a rumor that some food went missing in the night. There is talk about it in the communal dining hall in the morning. "Some rascal children are sampling the pies right off our windowsills! Some pies are missing! I thought we raised our young 'uns better than that!" Investigation around the site(s) will find boot prints. The wearers of the boots have a short stride and drag their feet a lot when they walk. Trails are lost as they intersect with roads. Foot traffic from the morning has obscured all tracks along the main roads.

Archery events commence again around 1 PM in the afternoon in a field. Everyone has the morning to themselves.

Event 1: Archery - The Speed Shoot: This one is for the skilled. Archers must loose as many arrows as they can and hit the target block at long range (-10 BS with long…

Escape from the Zoo

I had this crazy idea for a game as I drove by the zoo the other day:

Players take on the roles of animals who have escaped from the zoo. They need to remain free, hiding from or taking out humans when necessary.

Sounds like a decent premise. I just see everyone playing lions and tigers and bears and snakes, with nobody playing penguins.

Maybe the penguins don't escape.

[WFRP 3e] Eye for an Eye Conclusion

(Previously in Eye for an Eye)

From Bruno the kennel master:
"I was walkin' the hounds around the perimeter, 'cause they was all antsy 'n stuff, when this large, red beast with wings falls down off the roof to land at meh feet. One of them new porters, that dwarf fella, was on top o' the creature gettin' ready to whack 'em with Korden's hammer. I don't know how he gots the hamer; all them dwarf doin's are beyond me ken.

"Anyway, these two falls down at meh feet from the roof, and what can I do but whack at the thing wit meh sword? I gives the creature a good ol' poke wit the business end, and it stops movin'. Next thing I know, it's all "congrats, hero!" I'm jus tryin' to start a water brigade to put out the wall the beastmen got burnin'

"I don't need none of this "hero" stuff. I got dogs what need takin' care of now that the hullabaloo's over."

[PortCon] Marvel Exiles: Hellfire and Doom

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It's an alternate reality. Professor X is the head of the Hellfire Society. Dr Doom runs the other faction in town, the Allied Nations. Neither are "good." The adventurers are dragged from their own continuums to overcome a world-altering event in this timeline.

My PC
Psylocke: Filled with assassin and telepathic abilities.



My Companions
Strong Guy (Guido)
Ultimate Spider Man (Miles Morales)
Penance (Billy Baldwin)
Iron Man (Eugene Thompson)

Notes/Encounters
I used my telepathic abilities to trail someone who turns out to be a clone of Peter Parker, Cain Parker. The second Spiderman we now know, after the one in our party.

We split up. The other part of our party meets Peter Parker. The third Spiderman we now know. There are far too many Spidermen for this to end well.

Our part of the party is recruited into the resistance, led by Captain America and a crippled Tony Stark. The other half of the part is recruited by Peter Parker, who has bought and taken over the Baxter Buil…

Use of Social Networks

If I had a product creator asking me the best ways to use social networks, I would advise them thusly:

Twitter: Use this for announcements. It's not useful for conversations.

Facebook: Use this for keeping up with friends and family only. Don't friend fans or people you don't know.
If you have a Facebook Page for your company/product/what-have-you, use it for announcements.
If you have a Facebook discussion group, let the fans discuss your product. Reply when something catches your eye. If there was one place on Facebook that I were to suggest the creator cultivate professional interaction, this would be the one place.
Google+: Use this for your professional postings. Post thoughts, new developments, pictures, convention info, etc. on this forum, and interact with the people in your circles. Reply to comments. Comment on the posts of others in your circles, especially prolific posters who have lots of other active people in their circles.
Do some Hangouts. Get your fans inter…

[WFRP 3e] Eye For An Eye Part 5

Continued from the Journal of Tor'endirathelevellon to His Lady Ariel, Queen of the Elves of the WoodPart 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

This is the way the world ends: Not with a bang but a whimper.
It is because you have seen first-hand the ravages of chaos and beastmen that I feel confident telling you what I witnessed in the basement that night. The beasts of the wood a fell and foul creatures, indeed, but the pure, palpable evil of these human cultists make beastment seem perfectly natural.

As we stared into the macabre ritual taking place, I could feel part of my spirit, my very essence, sucked out of me to fuel rite. Trying my hardest to ignore the chill of evil, I shot as rapidly as possible toward the one-eyed Gregor in a vain attempt to forestall future events.

Two arrows struck the man and hardly seemed to slow him from his chaotic murmurings. Blood erupted from my arrows' wounds, but it was not the red blood we expect from humans. It was a sickly dark color, more expected fr…

More Than Just Snakes

I'm starting to think I should have more than just snake people in the South Lands of my Warhammer game. Maybe I should use Lamia and Lammasu of various types, just as it was suggested I use various types of snakes as various races. These creatures fit very well into the barren, desert landscape. And they don't get used much elsewhere. 
Read my inspiration for this: http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2013/06/on-ecology-of-lammasu-and-lamia.html

Excerpt:

Description: Creatures that have the head of a human and the body of a lion, goat, deer or snake, said to eat childrenThings that are known:
Human are their preyThey are intelligent and have powers of illusionThey like to live in arid desolate placesThey have the heads and/or torso's of humans, with animal lower bodiesThey can see in darknessThey bait and trap men, using them for sex, sport, and supper

[PortCon] The Dionysian Gambit (Serenity RPG)

The Dionysius, the most luxurious space liner in the 'verse, is hosting the annual High Stakes Poker Tournament. The upper crust of Alliance society will be there to wager their winnings and hope for a chance to win 10 million credits! It sounds almost too good to be true. But with that much scratch at stake, somethin's bound ta go wrong....

My PC
Mr Gresham, an aristocrat who deals in antiquities. A competitor has been undercutting his business, and Mr Gresham severely needs this prize money to fund a new expedition. His poker ain't so great, but his connections to high society are outstanding.

My Companions
A registered companion, thinking about retirement
A professional poker champion who thinks he's high society
An ex police officer turned ship security
A pilot posing as part of the crew
A lady farmhand who was naive as all get out but could take any of us in a fight
An almost invisible drifter with his own agenda
A heroin junky looking to score big

Notes/Encounters
M…