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Showing posts from January, 2013

Get the Word Out: Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game

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Erik Tenkar of the eponymous Tenkar's Tavern is trying to get the word out on some high quality, yet little know RPGs.  He's thinking of making a point to do one a month. He's starting out this month with Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game.



I have never played the game, but Tenkar states, "it's actually a very good set of rules. It's not that there is a lack of material for the system - there is enough freely available to keep your game running for years."
A free product with enough material to keep your game running for years? Sounds like something we should all check out.




Verdendrage Locale: Caliphate

A while back I posted about my friend's home-brewed world for D&D 2e. I have some of his notes. A comprehensive page can be found under the blog banner.

The Great Desert 

There are various nomadic tribes roaming The Great Desert. Most of these tribes are thought to have various mountain strongholds, though this has never been proven.

The Caliphate

This area is held tightly by a quasi-religious warlord.  The warlord and his successors reign between 50 - 200 years before a new tribal leader gathers an army and overthrows the previous caliph.  This is usually done under claims that the overthrowing warlord's “god” decreed him to be all powerful.

The Caliphate has a highly hierarchical church, which the Caliph is head of. There is no proof that their “god” even exists, and if he does he ignores his followers.

There is a great deal of trade through the Caliphate's port-cities of Gar’Shasin and Shadikar. The Caliph and his agents control all of this trade. The free city of K…

Plundered Vaults

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I picked up a copy of this book while at SnowCon, which is fortuitous because I've been looking for WarHammer adventures to run at PortCon.

There are some great adventures inside (6 in all). They range from first-career adventures to end-of-first-career adventures to second-career adventures.  You could conceivably start new characters and run only these adventures for them for many, many months. This is the only problem with using the book for a convention.

Some of the adventures could be condensed into four hour time slots, but most of them would suffer from being restricted so. One of the adventures alone promises many sittings worth of adventure.

Therefore, while I definitely like my purchase, and I would recommend it to others looking for adventures for their 1e or 2e WarHammer groups, I can't use it the way I would like at PortCon.

I'm still looking for suggestions if anyone wants to help me out.

Dwimmermount Playtest Using Ambition & Avarice

I've been really bad at getting follow-up thoughts on the adventure I ran at the convention last weekend, so I'm just going to post what I have:

Ambition & Avarice by Greg Christopher
1) Combat was too easy. This was my fault. I maxed out the PC HPs, but I left the HP of the creatures in the adventure at what they were rolled. We had a 22 HP orc ranger fighting 1 HP recently spawned orcs. To be fair, all the opponents should have been at max HP as well. Now, this isn't to say that people didn't get injured. We did have injuries, and we did need healing. I'll talk about that in the next point.

2) The Cultist changes things. Once the party saw what the Cultist could do, they suddenly wanted to knock their opponents out instead of killing them. We had a hobgoblin player trying to knock orcs out with the flat of his axe blade. A couple other players told me they were specifically trying to hit with the pommels of their swords.These players wanted their opponents t…

Character Profiles: Kelvin Maurer (WFRP)

Kelvin is the brother to my primary character, Lothar. He is one of the first alternate characters I made.He has been through far fewer adventures. He has turned away from his brother's upbringing and sought out his own way in life.

Kelvin is a human male rogue of neutral alignment. He is 20 years old, 5'11" tall, 166 lbs with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Currently an Embezzler, Kelvin started as an acrobat. He then became a thief, and then a pickpocket. Currently he is only a few skills away from becoming a Fence.

Feel free to port Kelvin over into your current campaign when you are looking for a neutral, looking-out-for-number-one type character.

Current Profile:

M 4 WS 42 BS 42 S 4 T 3 W 9 I 40 A 1 Dex 47 Ld 29 Int 29 Cl 33 WP 33 Fel 51
IP 2 FP 0

Skills: Acrobatics, Concealment - Urban, Silent Move - Urban, Silent Move - Rural, Secret Language - Thieves, Secret Signs - Thieves.

Hand Weapons: Knife, Sword, Spear

Missile Weapons: Throwing knives - 4

Armor: Sleeved mail coat

Trappings…

WarHammer Campaign at a Convention?

Brainstorming here: what is a really good WarHammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign to run at a four day convention? I'm leaning toward the Doomstones because I figure I can have them find each stone in one four hour time slot. I can also run the intro on the preview night of the con.

Do you have any other suggestions for con weekends and how the campaign could conveniently be diced up into four hour time slots?

D&D Next at SnowCon

Last weekend at the local gaming convention I got in on a playtest game of D&D Next. Yes, I've signed up for the official playtest and I get an email every time a new version comes out, so I'm not breaking any rules.

I have two main thoughts about the game we played: It was too easy, and it was too hard.  I think one was thanks to D&D Next and one was thanks to the adventure the DM ran.

Too easy: I had a cleric of Beory. I always had healing spells available of whatever level I could cast (0-3 for this playtest), and my healing spells did not count toward my limit of max spells. Effectively, I could cast any healing spell from Cure Minor Wounds (1 HP) to Cure Serious Wounds (3d8+13) as often as I wanted. This is too broken. No limit? Or rather, limited only by rounds? I liked it, as I was able to keep everyone else healthy, but it really is broken.

Too hard: The first things we fought were ghouls and ghasts. If I had been attacked and failed my paralyze saving throw be…

Verdendrage Races: Lizardmen

A while back I posted about my friend's home-brewed world for D&D 2e. I have some of his notes. A comprehensive page can be found under the blog banner.


Lizardmen are far more serpentine in appearance than otherdraco races. They have elongated snouts and forked tongues. They do not have wings or any vestiges of wings. They are deadly quick, normally wielding 2 weapons (usually scimitars). They have an Int on par with most humans (12-16). They make up the lieutenants, sergeants, and corporals of a Wyrm Lord’s army.

Lothar's Lakehouse

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On Saturday I posted the profile of my first WarHammer character, Lothar Maurer. When he set up the house, he made a room for his brother, Kelvin.  Kelvin is not currently living there. He is out making his own life, somewhat rebelling against Lothar. However, here's a bit more information about the house he lives in and what's inside.

Lothar's house includes two floors. Also on the property are his stables and his rowboat (he lives on a lake...he needs a boat).



Ground Floor
Kitchen: 5 cooking pots, 10 sets of silver cutlery, 2 kettles, 2 jugs, firewood, 10 candles, 1 pot lamp

Living room: 10 candles, 2 pot lamps

Porch: 10 candles, 1 pot lamp

1st Floor
Kelvin's bedroom: 1 mattress, 10 candles, 1 pot lamp

Lothar's bedroom: 1 cloak (best quality [bq]), 1 cloak (good quality [gq]), 1 doublet jacket (bq), 1 pair leather boots (bq), 2 pair leather boots (gq), 1 pair leather shoes (bq), 2 pair leather shoes (gq), 1 overcoat (bq), 1 overcoat (gq), 1 pair boots with spurs (…

Character Profiles: Mordrin Skorkinson (WFRP)

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 has now slain a wyvern, but decided it was too small to count as a dragon.

He is the bemoaner of the doom that got away. He is also the grumbler of living in Tibalt's shadow.

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. So far, it's original name has been lost to time, but Mordrin has taken to calling it Drung Azgul, or Smashing Death.

Mordrin is a dwarf male warrior. He is 75 years old, 4'10" tall, 246 lbs with orange hair (covering grey), one hazel eye, and one brown eye.

Current Profile

WS 64% BS 37% S 48% T 56% Ag 32% Int 31% WP 52% Fel 21%

A 2 W 18 SB 4 TB 5 M 3 Mag 0 IP 4 FP 1

Skills: Consume Alcohol, Intimidate, Perception, Common Knowledge - Dwarf, Dodge Blow, S…

SnowCon '13 Prep

This morning I'm running a group at the local con (SnowCon) through Dwimmermount using the Ambition & Avarice rules. I'm pretty excited. I have character sheets, Race+Class print-ups, minis, a sheet of Dwimmermount history printed up (with portions of lines whited out) for them to find in the library, and a battle mat. I've got the What the Players Know section printed up, and a selection of the rumors (both true and false) for the group to start with.

I almost wish I'd signed up to run it all weekend so I could see how far down the party could get.

Rewarding Experience Points (WFRP)

For a normal sitting of WarHammer (1e) I would usually award under 100XP. XP in a normal sitting would come from battle and from roleplaying. When dealing out battle XP, I try to figure out in my head how many of these specific creatures it should take for a character to advance one advance (100XP). Since this is pretty subjective, it can and does vary from character to character and sitting to sitting. Also, if I think you need to fight 5 lizardmen to advance, making each one 20 XP, but someone helps you kill a lizardman, then you have to share that 20 and each character would get 10 (or split in some other way to indicate who did most of the killing). It also allows for other subjective, judicious XP allotments if the character that helped you kill the lizardman would only need to kill 2 to earn 100XP. Maybe then the helper earns 20 for helping and the original character only earns 15. Above all, I try to be fair.

Roleplaying XP is probably between 10-50, but you have to be doing a l…

My Halfling Adventures (WFRP 2e)

I don't think I ever shared my notes from a game I played at PortCon last year. I played a Halfling, whose name I don't have in my notes.

My Party

Madeline the barbarianSulka the Slayer (who I treated as my pet)Sir Applewood the Elf Halfling's Notable Actions

Added chamomile to the Slayer's beer at night to help the Slayer sleep.The Slayer was missing a tooth, so my character whittled one. He then painted the tooth red to match the Slayer's Mohawk.Occasionally patted the Slayer, calling her "Good dwarf."We were honored pall-bearers at a funeral, so I just grabbed a handle and dangled off the coffin while the others carried it.Shot a wyvern with a crossbow, pointed to the dwarf, and said, "She did it!"The dwarf tossed my halfling over her shoulder at one point for an expeditious retreat. The DM asked if I was going to allow that. I said, "Sure. And I search through her backpack while I'm up there." I didn't find anything but troll…

Dwarf Reproduction Proclamation

The WarHammer setting is perilous. Each wave of chaos defeated, each cult rooted out of the city, each battle against goblinoids or skaven comes with a large price of life.  Every WarHammer novel and many adventure settings lead to the loss of more and more dwarves (specifically). I have long been waiting for the following:

The collective Dwarf Kings have come together to issue the following emergency proclamation:

Times are perilous and the outlook of the Dwarf race is grim. Warriors, artisans, and merchants alike have been giving their all for the continued survival of our people. It is imperative that more is done. Until further notice, all dwarfs are required to procreate. Warriors will be replaced on the front lines and united with their spouse until conception is confirmed.

Females with child must be protected. You will be kept in the most secure tunnels of the hold. You will be given the option of joining caravans to Nuln, Altdorf, Middenheim, or Talabheim where you may raise th…

Verdendrage Race: Draks

A while back I posted about my friend's home-brewed world for D&D 2e. I have some of his notes. A comprehensive page can be found under the blog banner.

Draks are humanoid dragon men. They are the “cannon fodder” and menial labor for the Wyrm Lords.

Properties:

5’-7’ tall when slouched (which is their normal). Height 6’-8’ when standing straight. Weight 250 – 400 lbs. Intelligence 3. Heavily scaled. Wear only a rough loin cloth (too stupid for anything else) Have small lumps on back, vestiges of wings. Created by the Great Wyrm Tinganol the Red who was trying to copy the Drakoons of the Great Wyrm Graypeart the Silver.

[WFRP 2e] Morrslieb's Shadow 4

Thursday night I was again able to play in a WarHammer Google+ Hangout game. This is significant for me, as WarHammer Fantasy Roleplay is my game of choice. It was the second sitting I've been able to join (and probably last...for a while due to the school semester starting back up). Here's a link to the first session recap. I waited much longer than usual to get my notes down. We had a lot of good laughs and wonderful character interaction. Let's see what I remember:

My PC
I haven't written too much of a background to date, but I am playing a Troll Slayer. Sufficed to say, all I really felt I needed to know going in was my name, what weapon I could put in my hand, and where the nearest monster was. He had a modicum of clothing and wields an Orc "choppa" he picked up off a dead body (pretty much just a large cleaver).

My companions:
A Brettonian Knight
An Elf Student
A Dwarf Priestess NPC

Encounters and dungeon dressing
We found a temple of the dwarf goddess Vala…

Character Profiles: Lothar Maurer

Lothar is a long-time WarHammer Fantasy Roleplay character that I started using in the first edition. He is one of the original characters created the first time our group sat down to roll up PCs. He has survived many adventures through luck and judicious use of Fate Points. He has amassed enough money to buy his own lake house in the town of Hobbly, fitting it with a strong-room.

Lothar is a human male warrior of Good alignment. He is 31 years old, 6' tall, 186 lbs with brown hair and blue eyes.

Currently a Mercenary Captain, Lothar started as a common laborer. He then became a bodyguard, then a mercenary, and then a mercenary sergeant before becoming a captain. Currently he is only a couple of advances away from the Judicial Champion of the town of Hobbly. He currently prepares for that role by acting as town protector during raids.

Feel free to port Lothar over into your current campaign when you are looking for a good-aligned, high-career fighter to actively lead a group.

Curre…

Gaming Inspiration: He-Man: Evil Lyn's Plot

I watched season 1 episode 12 of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe recently. The character of Evil Lyn reminded me of some simple tactics that I think we often take for granted in our RPGs.  She used an Alter Self-like spell, and then used some "natural" charm. I think it would also be easy to use a Charm spell. The combination of Alter Self and Charm should make infiltrating the enemy a whole lot easier. A good GM (like me) might not even make you roll!

Verdendrage Race: Drakoons

Drakoons are the generals of the hordes of Draks, which the Great Wyrm Lords use against each other and against human kind.

Properties:
7-9’ tall, 500 lbs Fully developed wings capable of sustained flight for 4-6 hours. Above average intelligence, by human standards (16-19), but they cannot learn spells. Imbued with strong mental abilities, both telekinesis and telepathy. With the telekinesis they can lift weights of 100 – 600 lbs, but cannot manipulate small objects. Can automatically control any creature of intelligence 4 or less. Cannot control a creature of higher intelligence than itself, and cannot control 5 creatures at a time…without magical aid. A Talisman of Shaka’nur expands their telepathic control of creatures 100-fold, which is up to 500 creatures, each of which must have Int 6 or less.

Felix and Gotrek Bookshelf

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Or #MyBlackLibrary.

We were (and are) having some discussion in the Google+ WarHammer Community about different books that help us portray the WarHammer world to our players. I brought up this series. Felix and Gotrek share a popularity in the WarHammer world probably only akin to Drizzt and Bruenor in the D&D novel world. Gotrek is everything you expect a Slayer to be, though he has a little help (hindrance?) from his magical axe.

I recommend these books to any fantasy reader but especially to any WarHammer player/GM.


What is a Castle?

The question was asked recently, "What is a castle really? A place of honor? A bastion of good? or the opposite?"

I tend to think of a castle as a haven in a dangerous place. It is a defense for the weak and defenseless. In that regard, the people that run them (be it lieutenant or king) probably set out with noble intentions. They were there, as we may say, to protect and serve. Even if the castle was never used for defense, it gave the people in the area hope. There is much to be said for giving people hope.

From this point, I tend to see a corruption. The people who run the castles come to like the power the castle brings. They come to be demanding of the people they protect. They demand tithes. They demand sacrifices (not in people, but in crops or some such forced gifts). All these demands are for the good of the protectors, which is ultimately good for the people they protect, so the demands are easily justified. Then the corruption goes deeper.

The castle ruler real…

Character Profiles: Pete "The Tough One"

Tunnels & Trolls

Pete has total biographical amnesia, and does not know who he is, where he is, how he got there, etc. He is dressed in sturdy garments and leather boots, all of which appears to be well-fitting but of standard issue, and never worn before. Even the boot soles show no signs of wear whatsoever. He has two large belt pouches and a backpack, also of good workmanship and with no identifying insignia at all. Other gear consists of:
A one-gallon waterskin, full. Fourteen days of rations, in the form of flavored protein cubes about two inches on a side. They come in a variety of flavors, which the players are free to define for themselves. Three chemical glow-sticks, fairly large and high-powered. Each will produce light equivalent to a lantern or a little better, and were rated to last six hours. 1 magnesium road flare. And one special bonus item, a lockpick set. Armor: Target shield (4AP) and Steel Cap (1AP) Weapon: Spear (3d6+1) Stats:
Str: 10 Con: 19 Dex: 9 Speed…

A New Gotrek and Felix Book Coming Soon!

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The Gotrek and Felix page on Wikipedia doesn't seem to know about this yet, but Amazon sent me notification of a new book coming out January 2013. It seems to have yet another new author. William King started the series, and Nathan Long continued it. This new book is written by someone named Josh Reynolds. I don't quite remember him from my WarHammer readings, but I've read a lot of authors.

You bet I'm going to buy it and read it!


Verdendrage Map

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I've finally gotten a map for my friend's alternate D&D world! It's not the original, as that seems to have been lost to the passage of time. However, it is a pretty good, recent reproduction. It seems a bit small for an entire world, but I'm sure there's something I'm missing. Have a look.


Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology

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It doesn't happen very often, but sometime Amazon actually emails me with products I'm interested in. Being a voracious Gotrek and Felix collector, imagine my surprise when I received an email from Amazon with a book I don't own. Luckily I recently received an Amazon gift card, so I'm ordering this book post-haste. Do yourself a favor and check out this review. It is very helpful.