Showing posts from September, 2012

House Rules: Dodge Blow (WFRP 1e)

The skill Dodge Blow may be purchased multiple times if it is on the skill list for your current career. Each time you purchase it, you may attempt to dodge one more blow per round of combat. The total number of times you can purchase Dodge Blow may not exceed the number of attacks your have per round.

On Retainers

I’ve never really used retainers. Everything I hear about them makes them sound like a fun (and wise) idea, but I never remember to look into it at the game table. When I first started playing D&D it was with the red box. I ran through all the solo stuff in the book, and then I talked my cousin into playing with me. He ran a fighter, and I ran one of every other class. So right from the get-go I had multiple NPCs (or DMPCs) as well as all the creatures and enemies to run. When you have one of every class being run by the DM, you really don’t have a need for retainers.   This was likely the subconscious mentality I brought to the table when I started playing AD&D with people later on. The group I played with for many years was made up of anywhere from 6-8 players. We had all the classes represented and then some.   There was always someone in the party who could carry the torch/lantern or had room on them to carry the extra loot you found in the dungeon. I didn’t think

Magic Item: The Exquisite Necklace of Jemma Bink

This stunning necklace was found by Gnome adventurer Jemma Bink while delving deep in the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar.  It was so enchanting that she put it on then and there in the middle of a dingy room.  Everyone in the party remarked at how beautiful the necklace was and how it made her face shine.  Even today, people that she meets comment on the necklace and the gorgeous little gnome wearing it. This necklace magically grants a +3 bonus to the wearer’s Charisma score (or a Looks or Appearance score/subscore if your system uses them). (Thank you to Debi of Lewellyn's Adventures  for the idea for today's magic item.)

Character Profile: Spade

Spade is a human fighter who dabbles around in archaeology when he's not putting food on the table. He is extremely interested in joining an adventuring party, especially if the party plans on going into a dungeon or an old city. He uses a light pick as his main weapon, as he usually has it in his hand anyway for digging purposes. His backup weapon is a mace. He also has a light crossbow for ranged attacks. Attached to his backpack is a spade, his namesake. He's tried adventuring without one before, but everyone razzed him for not having it. His interest in old stuff is often infectious. He has learned Dwarvish as a second language because it is useful to know when delving. STR 12 DEX 13 CON 11 INT 13 WIS 11 CHA 14 AC 4 (Studded Leather + Dex bonus) HP 8

Review: Ambition & Avarice

This FREE game was pitched to me as an OSR retro-clone. That’s usually enough to get my attention.   What I was introduced to when given an early draft was a game that reminded me of Basic D&D with a few extra, very cool, options. I started to write a review, but I could quickly see that it was going to be too long. Here’s my like/dislike or pro/con list: Pro: Dungeon Throws . These are similar to some well-known thieving skills, but everyone has them. How good you are varies by race, class, and how you spend discretionary points character points at each level.   Sad Panda: When I first was exposed to Dungeon Throws, they were in percentiles. Greg has apparently changed them to a d20 roll instead. I know it’s 6 of one and half dozen of another, but I really preferred the percentile rolls. (I’m sure that’s the WarHammer Fantasy Roleplayer in me talking.) Pro: Races . There are a great variety of races to choose from. They are categorized as Civilized and Uncivi

Magic Item: Cowl of Voice Disguise

This nondescript grey cowl is popular among the shadowy underbelly of society.  When pulled up over the mouth and nose, the cowl changes the voice of the wearer. The voice is usually made deep and gravelly.  The most famous use of one of these cowls was when the crowned princess of Manujah donned the cowl, along with dark clothing, to break in and steal jewelry and gems from other noble houses in the city. In a few of these houses, a deep-voiced male was heard taunting guards on the way out after filling "his" pouch with jewels. When the thief was finally apprehended, and the cowl removed, the princess was unmasked.

On Roleplaying

I played in a Google+ Hangout game recently where players were taking big chances with their characters and justifying it with "this is only a one-shot." I want to state that I appreciate the actions there characters took, I really do. I wanted to know what the glowing sword and armor did. I wanted to know what was behind the black curtain. I did. And I'm glad they took the initiative to check, because I wasn't going to be the one checking it out. There are two sides of the same Old School coin. One side says that characters are dispensable. You know they are going to die. The game is deadly. Don't get too attached. Be prepared to roll up another character. That's all good advice. The other side of the same Old School coin says that you are going to be careful with the character. You know that the game is deadly, so you're going to minimize your risk by taking fewer chances.  Not that you won't open the mystery door, but that you are going to look,

Character Profile: F'reyr the Savage Dwarf

I created this character for a playtest of an old school fantasy retro-clone. I liked it so much that I just had to share it here. Str 15, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 9 Equipment: Greataxe, hammer (backup weapon), pickaxe (backup weapon), crowbar (backup weapon), shovel (backup weapon), flail, hide armor, belt pouch, clothing, backpack, large sack, iron spikes, torches, wooden stakes, flint/steel, block/tackle, waterskin, ration, rope 50', snare trap. He has the personality of a WarHammer Slayer. Most of his equipment can double as weaponry. He'll grab the backup weapons in the order listed if something happens to his greataxe, and they are all strapped to his belt for easy reach...except his flail, which he is loathe to use but has in his backpack just in case. He normally eats whatever he kills (civilized, uncivilized, animals, monsters, etc.), usually raw, but he has one day worth of rations for emergencies (in truth, it's been a while since he checked the fresh

Magic Item: Ring of Odor Disguise

This magical ring does not just negate the personal aroma of the wearer (odoriferous as it may be), but it also  makes the wearer smell like his/her surroundings. A thief wearing the ring and hiding from a bear against a cave wall would not give off a lack of smell but would instead give off a smell like the cave wall mixed with a bit of the cave floor and the ambient smell of the cave. For gaming purposes, the wearer of the ring is invisible to creatures whose only sense is smell.

Cascade Failure Character - Soldier

Accused and sentenced in the midst of a battle by a superior officer whose mind had snapped in the stress of war, this soldier ran for his life, taking only the items on his back. The soldier spends the days avoiding anyone in uniform while looking for a way off planet. Human Soldier Luck 12 Age 27 HP 12 AC +4 Strength 14 Dexterity 14 Constitution 13 Intelligence 7 Wisdom 8 Charisma 11 Class Abilities Grenade Training Powered Armor Training Marksmanship Effortless Armor Class Skills Orient Weapons Training Knives Rifles Pistols Grenades Shotguns Unarmored Combat Styles Holding Ground Deliberate Fire Languages English Morality Adherence 3 Consensus 1 Efficiency 3 Ambitions Minor: Escape planet Major: Fund comfortable retirement Worn and Carried Equipment Machine Gun Plasma Pistol Dense Ballistic Vest Combat Helmet Frag Grenades Knife 1 extra rifle bullets 2 extra energy cells Backpack Bottle Compass Crowbar Flashlight Grappl