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Friday, October 29, 2010

Dragon Age with S&W

Just an idea I've had. I love the Dragon Age game (been playing it again), and I think the setting is one of the best fantasy settings going. It appears the Green Ronin version of the game is held up in approval hell (and I wouldn't be surprised if it just fades away).

S&W would be an easy fit. Clerics would be recast as Templars, and Mages would have them watching their every move. It's really a setting for Warriors. I might even want to limit the party to one Mage and one Templar maximum. Not sure if I'd use one of the homebrew thief classes or not.

I'd use orc stats for genlocks, gnoll stats for hurlocks, and add in ogres.Undead pretty much fit right in. Not sure how I'd do demons, though I'd likely just modify an existing creature.

The only special rule I might add is that all characters would be Grey Wardens, and they'd have a 2 in 6 chance of detecting nearby darkspawn.

Monday, October 25, 2010

forum similar to RPG.Net?

Is there a forum similar to RPG.Net, without all the excess moderation? One that covers all kinds of games, not just one particular genre? If it did not allow political discussion, that would be a bonus.

Lord of the Green Dragons: Taking D&D "Back" To Its Future Level: Part 1

Lord of the Green Dragons: Taking D&D "Back" To Its Future Level: Part 1

Just a really cool post on the origins of D&D.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Slingers (Mazes & Minotaurs)

For my own convenience, I  did a regular class write-up of the Slinger class listed in Minotaur magazine:

Category : Specialists.
Primary Attributes : Skill and Wits
Gender : Male only.
Basic Hits = 10
Marksmanship : Slingers add their Skill bonus to their damage roll when using slings.
Quick Aim : Slingers add their Wits bonus to their Initiative when using their sling.
Weapon of Choice : All Slingers must (obviously) take the sling as their weapon of choice.
Level Benefits : Each level beyond the first gives a Slinger +2 Hits, +1 to Luck and +2 to Will, Wits or Skill (player’s choice).
Possessions : Sling, 24 sling stones, dagger, and sword. Their starting wealth is equal to 3D6 x 5 silver pieces.
Background Talents : All Slingers have the Mountaineer and Woodsman talents.
Patron Deities : Most Slingers follow Apollo.
Advancement : Slingers gain Experience by killing enemies and creatures with their sling; these awards are calculated as per the usual Glory awards but are doubled for Slingers. Killing opponents in melee combat does not bring any Experience to a Slinger.
Reputation Effect : None.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Things you might see in a fantasy city

Kids stealing the purses of inattentive shoppers.
Two merchants getting into a fistfight because one set his cart up in the spot "reserved" by the other.
A man having sex with a prostitute in the alley.
People playing dice games and taking bets.
A lady riding in a litter, which is surrounded by tough guards who beat anyone who doesn't get out of the way fast enough.
An orphan getting eaten by giant rats.
A killer slicing up some woman in an alley.
City guardsmen beating the crap out of a mugger.
A thief getting his hand chopped off in the square.
Obvious foreigners being led by a rake to an inn that pays him for customers.
Street thugs selling drugs on the corner.
Piles of horse crap everywhere you step.
Two young nobles engaged in a duel over some silly slight.
A young man with boards on his front and back advertising the local tavern.
A cockfight, surrounded by screaming people.
Someone killing a cat to prevent bad luck.
Adventurers roaring down the road, hauling treasure to their home base.
A cloaked creature heading down an alley, following an unsuspecting thief.
An ogre chained to a giant block in the square. Men are offered 5 gold if they can fight him bare-handed for one minute. Lots of people betting.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Elves for Mazes and Minotaurs (Revised)

Made a few changes based on comments. Elves are warriors with some magical ability. Their spells are geared towards combat, and elves lag behind specialized mages in total power.

ELVES      (Specialist Class)
Primary Attributes: Skill and Wits

Gender: Elves can be male or female, as they treat both genders equally. Elves follow Apollo or Artemis.

Basic Hits = 10

Deadly Aim: Elves know how to target the weak spots of animals and similar creatures: they add their Skill mod to their damage rolls when using any missile weapon against Beasts or Monsters.

Elfin Magic: Elves use Elfin Magic, which aids them in combat.

Weapon of Choice: Bow or Sword.

Level Benefits : Each level beyond the first gives an Elf +2 Hits, +2 Power Points, +1 to Luck and +2 to Skill, Wits or Will (player’s choice).

Possessions: Elves start with a dagger, a sword and a missile weapon (bow + 12 arrows). Their starting wealth is 3D6 x 5 silver pieces.

Restrictions: Elves may wear any type of armor.

Elfin Magic:

Elfin Magic = Skill mod + Wits mod

Mystic Strength = 12 + Elfin Magic

Starting Power = 4 + Wits mod

Power Recovery: Elves recover power by meditating within a forest. Each hour of meditation will restore a number of Power Points equal to the character’s level.

Elfin Magic

Magnitude 1: Mystic Arrow
This spell grants the Elf the ability to hit creatures affected only by magic when using a bow. This affect lasts for (1d6 + the elf's Elfin Magic) rounds.

Magnitude 2: Armor of the Oak
This spell grants the Elf bark-like skin. He receives +2 to his EDC. Elves benefiting from this spell may not wear a breastplate or helmet. Elves suffer no encumbrance penalty for this spell. This spell takes effect during the elf’s missile phase. It lasts for a number of combat rounds equal to (1D6 + the elf’s Elfin Magic).

Magnitude 3: Evergreen Spirit
This spell allows an Elf to instantly heal the wounds of the injured. Each use of this spell restores a number of Hits equal to (1D6 + the elf’s Elfin Magic) to the wounded being.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Halflings for Mazes and Minotaurs

Primary Attributes: Wits and Luck
Gender: Halflings may be either male or female.
Basic Hits = 10

Thievery: Halflings excel at hiding, sneaking, finding traps and, well, thieving. In game terms, all these skills are reflected by a special Thievery bonus equal to the sum of their Luck mod and Wits mod. See chapter IV (Adventuring) for more details.

Evasion: Halflings are also very good at dodging blows and add their Wits mod to their melee EDC (unless taken by surprise or wearing a breastplate).

Small Size: Halflings are Small, and receive bonuses and penalties as a Small creature.

Weapon of Choice: Dagger, thrown knife or sling.

Level Benefits: Each level beyond the first gives a Halfling +2 Hits, +1 to Luck and +2 to Wits, Will or Skill (player’s choice).

Possessions: Dagger and 3D6 x 5 silver pieces.

Restrictions: Halflings may wear any type of armor but usually choose not to do so, since encumbrance directly affects their stealth and agility.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Elfs for Mazes and Minotaurs

Check the October 17th post for a revised Elf class. This is just a place-holder for the comments now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dwarfs for Mazes and Minotaurs

Here's my version of Dwarfs for the Wilderlands. Please let me know what you think. I'm not sure if it's balanced against the other classes or not, though I think it's pretty close.

Primary Attributes: Might and Will 
Gender: All Dwarf adventurers are male.
Basic Hits: 12

Battle Might: Dwarfs add their Might mod to their damage when using their dwarven melee weapons.

Dwarf Toughness: Dwarfs add their Will modifier to their EDC against melee attacks.

Magic Resistant: Dwarfs add +1 to their Mystic Fortitude.

Slow Runner: Dwarfs have a base movement of 40’ per combat round.

Weapon of Choice: Any dwarven weapon (treat as barbarian weapons). Most Dwarfs prefer axes.

Level Benefits: Each level beyond the first gives a Dwarf +4 Hits, +1 to Luck and +2 to Might, Will or Skill (player’s choice).

Possessions: Dwarven weapon, dagger, helmet, breastplate, and 3D6 x 100 silver pieces.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mazes, Minotaurs, and the Wilderlands

I'm thinking that the Wilderlands might be a good place to use for the M&M game. The setting is pretty uncivilized compared to many other fantasy worlds, and it has a big minotaur maze and Amazons already included. The hardest part will be porting stuff in. I don't know if anyone has made classes for elfs or dwarfs yet, but I might take a shot at making my own.

I can definitely see the CSIO as a Greek City State, with some fantasy touches. Not sure if I'd leave Viridistan as Greek, or maybe make it Persian or even Stygian. Lots of stuff to think about. If anyone else has already done this, feel free to post a link.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Spears in Mazes & Minotaurs Update

Apparently, reach had been in the first edition of M&M (I didn't know this was a 2nd edition). They removed it due to the rule being too complicated and wanting combat to be more cinematic. The current system allows the hero with the sword to still have a good shot at beating the guy with a spear.

The Spearman class does get a couple benefits when using a spear (Will mod adds to initiative, bonus to Defense), so it works out for them. Other classes wielding a spear use it as a normal weapon, with no extra benefits. This ends up being simpler than my suggested house rule, allowing Spearmen to kick ass with their chosen weapon while keeping a mythic flavor in the game.

Spears in Mazes & Minotaurs

I was thinking of making a reach rule for M&M. Currently, all melee weapons strike in the same phase of the combat round. One possible fix for reach:

During the first round where two opponents are closing on each other, the guy with the spear gets to attack first. On subsequent rounds, while the two are engaged in close combat, the guy without a spear gets to attack first, because the spear is too unwieldy for close quarters.

This might end up making the game too complicated, but it seems more realistic.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Combat Rounds

Just going over the Mazes and Minotaurs combat round, after some clarifications on their Yahoo Group. I think this might provide some interesting house rules for some DMs who might want to import this into their D&D game:

The combat round:

1) Decision - Everyone declares what they will do. If you change your attack after this phase, you lose it, though you can still move. (House Rule: Slowest Initiative declares first, fastest Initiative declares last).

2) Missile Attack (bows, slings, javelins, thrown knives). Attacks occur in Initiative order.

3) Movement (tactical movement, full movement, retreat...).

4) Melee Attack - Armed (swords, spears, barbarian weapons, daggers, staves, monsters' natural weapons). Attacks occur in Initiative order.

5) Melee Attack - Unarmed (pugilism, wrestling). Attacks occur in Initiative order.

6) Spell effects (all spells declared during the Decision phase occur). House Rule: Spells occur in Initiative order.

Some of the House Rules listed will likely be addressed on the group list soon, as they just came up. In any case, I think it presents some interesting options. This order makes the actual range matter during a fight, unlike standard D&D rounds, where the archer is at a disadvantage if the melee guy is a bit faster and in charge range.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Using pdf's at the game table

Over at RPGNet, I made an off remark that "who would want to run a game from a pdf?". Naturally enough, a fair number of people got offended and said I'm some kind of luddite and that pdf gaming is the future. I understand economically that many game producers have to go pdf-only, or maybe have a print-on-demand option (I have had only good experiences with Lulu).

But I can't imagine bringing a laptop to the table to run a game. Maybe it would be easier for those who have an iPad, but I don't. And I'd be terrified that someone would spill a soda on my machine. Computers aren't cheap. And trying to look up rules on a computer screen, to me, would take too long. And I'd probably end up with a headache after trying to read too much. Maybe bookmarking helps a bit, but for me, pdfs will never replace real books.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Basic Fantasy RPG House Rules

Some of these ideas are borrowed and modified from other bloggers, but I'm incorporating them for my games.

BFRPG House Rules
Clerics do NOT Turn Undead.
Divine Protection: Clerics gain a +1 to all saves vs. effects caused by undead (mummy rot, fear, etc). They also can make a saving throw vs. death ray against level drain attacks (with the +1 bonus).
Fighter Professions: Fighters choose one profession during character creation and gain the associated ability. They gain an additional profession at levels 10 and 20.
Archer: The Archer is a skilled bowman, and gains +1 to hit with ranged weapons.
Duelist: Duelists score a critical hit on a natural roll of 20, unless only a 20 will hit their foe. Critical hits automatically do maximum weapon damage.
Noble: Nobles gain a +1 bonus to henchmen loyalty and may have an additional 1d3 followers.
Pugilist: Pugilists cause 1d6 damage with unarmed strikes and have a +1 AC bonus while unarmored. They may make two unarmed attacks per round starting at level 10.
Scout: Scouts gain a +1 bonus to avoid surprise.
Soldier: Soldiers gain a +2 AC bonus from shields, instead of the normal +1.
Warrior: Warriors get one attack per level each turn against foes of one hit dice or less.
Weapon Master: Weapon masters may choose one melee weapon to master. They gain a +1 bonus to hit with this weapon type.
Minor Magic: Magic-Users can cast minor "everyday/non-combat" magic at will. Attempting something abusive fails automatically. Usable once per round if no other action taken. Abusive uses include pickpocket attempts, combat effects, etc.

Some examples:
·         Light a candle or pipe with a flame from the finger tip.
·         Dust things – at first level a minor magic spell might be needed for each shelf or piece of furniture, while at third level a single spell might dust a room and at sixth level the magic-user's entire three story tower.
·         Tie or untie a knot.

Wizard Blast: A Magic-User can shoot a blast of magic energy once per round. They must roll to hit target normally.
Damage: 1d4  Range: short 60, medium 120, long 180.
Wizard Blast is usable once per round if no other action taken and requires pointing at the target. The visible effects can be fire, ice, or whatever the Magic-User desires (this effect does not affect damage, it only adds color to the ability).

Use d6 for HD.
Thieves use the alternate thief skill advancement table.

Mazes and Minotaurs

Got my books this morning. They came out very well, though it ended up costing me $46.00. In any case, I'm pretty happy with the results. I personally can't read long pdf's, so getting them printed is my only real option. And I wouldn't even try to run a game from a pdf. Computers are way too distracting at the game table (not to mention the threat of spilled sodas).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Goodman Games upcoming Old-School game

Apparently, it's going to use funny dice (d5, d16, and d24), in addition to the standard D&D dice. I think this is a big mistake. Unless the game comes in a box set with dice included, I am probably going to pass on this. I want a good game that doesn't require me and my friends to go out and buy dice that we won't use for anything else. I know the game is still in the playtest stage, so I'm really hoping they drop the dice requirements. It will really cut down on the number of potential players.

Mazes and Minotaurs

Well, I have the Revised PHB, DMG, MM, and Companion all getting printed at my local Staples. Tomorrow at this time, I will own all four as spiral-bound books in plastic covers. Not the same as nice hardbacks, but they will be usable.

Mazes and Minotaurs

Mazes and Minotaurs is a what-if game, where the authors imagined Gary and Dave had used Greek myth as the basis for D&D instead of LotR. I really like it. I've been wanting to do some Greek gaming anyways, as I've recently been watching a number of older movies. Stuff like:
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
Xena: Warrior Princess
Jason and the Argonauts
The Oddyssey
Clash of the Titans (Harry Hamlin version - still haven't seen the new one, not sure I want to).

I like the idea of a small group of warriors going out with a shield, a spear, a sword, and a helmet (and maybe some body armor) to kick some butt and become heroes.

There are two versions of the game, the "1972" version, and the Revised version. I'm probably going to go with Revised, as it does not go the AD&D route, and get a lot more complicated. It just adds classes and options. And the Revised version has been getting semi-regular updates in the web magazine Minotaur.

My only serious issue with this game is that it is pdf-only. No print versions available. So I'll likely have to go to Staples and get a bound copy made, if I get a chance to run this.