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Monday, December 30, 2013

Annual Blog Cleaning

Just did my annual cleaning of the gaming blogs I follow. In all, six gaming blogs got removed, as none had updated in over a year. There are a few more that are over 10 months, but I didn't delete them, as you never know if they might reboot.

It's a shame so many gamers start blogging, and then just stop. I know my output dropped dramatically this year, but I still managed at least a couple posts in my worst months. It is really hard to post if I don't have a project, as I did all my pontificating a few years back, and am quite frankly burned out on that stuff.

So, here's hoping a bunch of new gamers start blogging, and tons of great material gets published for me to steal for my games. Hahahaha!

Bushi d6 - money

There are three standard types of coins used: gold koban, silver ichibuban, and bronze mon. There are 100 ichibuban to one koban. There are 10 mon to one ichibuban. Mon are made with a square hole in the center for stringing them together. Koban are only used for large trade transactions, and as currency between nobles. Most people only see ichibuban and mon in daily life.

All prices listed for equipment are in silver ichibuban unless noted with an (m) for bronze mon.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bushi d6 - Samurai Family Names

Samurai Family Names

Honzu (Imperial Family)
Retainer Family: Minase.

Gojo (Great Family)
Lesser noble families: Asukai, Daigo, Kaoin, Oimikado, Reizei, Shijo.
Warrior families: Asai, Honda, Ishida, Kusonoki, Okuba, Shibata.

Ichijo (Great Family)
Lesser noble families: Aburakoji, Hirohata, Kuga, Matsuki, Nomiya, Washio.
Warrior families: Askikaga, Fukushima, Kaga, Matsudaira, Suwa, Ukita.

Konoe (Great Family)
Lesser noble families: Inokuma, Jimyoin, Kawashi, Nanba, Rakujochigusa, Shimizudani.
Warrior families: Date, Hachisuka, Mori, Miyamoto, Okamoto, Takezaki.

Kujo (Great Family)
Lesser noble families: Anenokoji, Kajuji, Konjo, Nakayama, Sanjo, Tokudaiji.
Warrior families: Hojo, Kato, Kuroda, Murakami, Tanuma.

Takashi (Great Family)
Lesser noble families: Imaidegawa, Karasuja, Masachika, Saioji, Shigenoi, Yamashina.
Warrior families: Chosokabe, Heike, Hosokawa, Kuki, Ooka, Saito, Takeda.

Unaffiliated warrior families: Genji, Hattori, Maeda, Oda, Shimazu, Takigawa, Tokugawa, Watanabe.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bushi d6 - Honzu Empire Timeline

This is a basic timeline. More to be added. I won't go back 5000 years like most fantasy settings, as it would not really matter to the adventurers.

Timeline for the Empire of Honzu.
(IA = Imperial Age)

-500 IA The City of Nekoji founded.
-450 IA The neko begin trading with the human barbarians on the island.
-350 IA The City of Kujo founded.
-330 IA The City of Ichijo founded.
-300 IA The City of Honzu founded.
-290 IA The City of Konoe founded.
-260 IA The City of Gojo founded.
-240 IA The City of Takashi founded.
-200 IA An oni army nearly destroys Gojo, but is finally repelled with the aid of Honzu.
-198 IA Honzu conquers Gojo.
-93 IA Honzu conquers Ichijo.
-55 IA Honzu conquers Kujo.
0 IA Honzu conquers Takashi. Honzu Shuzo becomes the First Emperor. The City of Honzu is renamed Miyako.

9 IA Imperial armies are repelled from Sarumori.
30 IA Konoe joins the Empire.
79 IA A massive oni army rampages through the center of the Empire. It is finally defeated west of Takashi.
81 IA The Empire forms an alliance with Nezoka.
122 IA An oni army attacks Gojo, but is repelled.
157 IA A dragon flies over the city of Kujo for a few days for some unknown reason. A festival is started in its honor the following year.
163 IA A warfleet from Konoe destroys a pirate haven on the islands south of Nagazawa.
165 IA Yamashina Tetsu slays Daigo Kazuo in a duel at the Imperial Palace, to settle a border issue between House Takashi and House Gojo. Takashi wins some territory from Gojo as a result.
168 IA Pirates reestablish a stronghold on the islands south of Nagazawa.
170 IA Current year. Death of Emperor Ryoto. The Civil War begins.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bushi d6 Armor


Samurai wear dou armor when going into battle. Anyone wearing a dou while not actively with a military unit will be challenged by the local samurai, therefore samurai tend to be unarmored most of the time. Samurai do wear jingasa and hachi gane without armor, and this is socially acceptable, but provides no in-game armor bonus.

A set of dou armor consists of the Dou (cuirass), Kote (gloves), Kabuto (helmet), and Suneate (boots). The Jingasa (armored coolie hat) and Hachi gane (headband with forehead armor) are sometimes worn in place of the Kabuto, especially by poor samurai. For battle, many samurai wear a Sashimono (back banner), with nobles wearing a Horo (cloak for nobles).

A set of dou armor provides 3 armor points. At the GM's discretion, he may allow a character wearing only one or two pieces of armor (often the jingasa) to provide one armor point.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bushi d6 - weapons and armor

Melee Weapons Damage Cost 
Bo Staff  +1D+2  1
Dai-tsuchi* (hammer, 2h) +3D 12
Jo Stick (club) +1D+1  1
Kama +1D+1 2
Katana (sword) +2D+2  30
Manriki-gusari (chain) +1D+1 3
Naginata (polearm) +3D  10
Ninja-to (sword) +2 D 5
No-dachi (Sword, 2h)  +3D+1  50
Nunchaku +1D+2 1
Ono (battle axe, 2h) +3D  10
Sai +1D+1 2
Sasumata (man-catcher) +1D+entangles 4
Shuko (climbing claws) +1D 1
Sode-garami (sleeve entangler) +1D+entangles 4
Spear  +2D  3
Tanto (knife) +1D  2
Tessen (war fan) +1D 5
Tetsubishi +1D 1 (f)
Tetsubo* (maul, 2h) +3D 8
Toami Jutsu (weighted net) entangles 3
Tonfa +1D+2 2
Wakizashi (short sword) +2D 10

*Weapon ignores one point of armor.

Missile Weapons Damage Ranges in Feet (S/M/L) Cost 
Aiguchi (throwing knife) +1D 5/10/15 3
Blowgun poison 10/20/30 5 (f)
Daikyu (Longbow) +2D+2 30/100/300 50
Nageteppo (egg grenades) smoke 10/20/30 1
Shuriken +1D 5/10/15 1
Yumi (Bow) +2D 30/80/250 30

Armor Type Armor Value  Cost
Dou (lamellar armor) 3 50

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bushi - Honzu Empire

My Samurai D6 game is currently going under the name Bushi. I have uploaded a map and a very brief setting introduction. Both are pdf files. I am leaving the map mostly empty, so GMs can modify it to fit their campaign. I may add in one or two more locations, but then again, maybe not.

The game is mostly going to be based upon Mini6, from AntiPaladin Games, but with my own tweaks.



Please feel free to provide feedback. I've got lots of stuff not listed, such as Minor Families, Bushi Families, Monsters, etc., but I'm nowhere near done with them.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

D&D 5e next summer

Announcement HERE

I'm not surprised. If anything, I would have expected it sooner. Wizards has to be hurting on sales, since they will have gone almost two years without a "living" edition of Dungeons & Dragons in print.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Working on Samurai D6 game

I'm working on a D6 game focused on samurai. It will be a weird mix of real Japan and fantasy. Characters will all be samurai. Most will be human, though naga (snakemen), neko (catmen), saru (intelligent monkeys), and nezumi (ratmen) will exist as player races. I'll make a new map, but a lot of the names will be based upon Japan. 

Brief intro 

The Emperor is dead. The five Great Families are maneuvering to take the throne. War is already breaking out. You are a bushi samurai, either working for a clan or wandering as a ronin. You may fight in great battles, or just defeat local bandits or monsters. The choice is up to you.

Not sure if or when I will put this on the web. For right now, at least, I just want a good, rules-lite samurai game, and none really exist (L5R has gotten way too rules heavy).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Night of the Doctor

Just in case you missed it, the BBC posted a mini-episode on YouTube in preparation for the upcoming 50th anniversary.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Expanding empires

One thing I've noticed in most rpg settings is a lack of dynamic, expanding empires. Usually, when empires exist, they are in decline. Yeah, this gives a great reason for ruins and old magic, but I would love to see either a revived empire, or a newly-formed one, expanding and taking over the place.

Heck, if the players work for the empire, part of their job could be to explore and clear old ruins and claim them. They could be members of the army, or just special agents out to discover and utilize magic to help the empire in its quest for expansion.

This also allows players to fight against the new empire, which might be utilizing either new magic or new technology, which is why it is expanding.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Malazan needs a setting book

I'm just about done reading "The Crippled God" by Steven Erikson, book 10 of the Malazan: Book of the Fallen. Damn it's epic and awesome. Easily my favorite book series ever.

But why oh why doesn't he publish a setting book? He's a gamer, damn it! Give us a big book of maps and pictures of characters, with some bio for each. I'd buy it, and I daresay a whole lot of other people would, too.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

All of the gods had been mortal

It would be cool if there was a world where all of the gods had been mortal at one point, and anyone alive today had a chance to become one. You just had to become powerful enough to force yourself into the pantheon. BECMI D&D certainly allowed a way for this to happen, but precious few games since have done it.

Of course, some of the existing gods would likely make a point of stomping out any potential competitors, but even they can fail. If their champion gets stomped by an ascending hero, it just might be his destiny to become a god, no matter who opposes him.

This would give long-term campaigns a great goal and even better, provide a perfect finale to a campaign, with the final game night being one or more players achieving godhood.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Alternate Names for DemiGods

While the term Demigod is useful in D&D, it's also very technical. I'd love some alternative names for them. Saints doesn't really work, as it implies they are just projections of some other god, and not god-like themselves. Ascendants, as used in the Malazan series, is a great alternative, but it's taken. Anyone have any other ideas?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Season of the Witch

I just watched the movie Season of the Witch with Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman. I liked it a lot, though it certainly wasn't perfect. In any case, if you are a fan of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying, you should watch this movie. It's pretty much a perfect fit.

Dark woods, knights, knaves, and evil magic are all present. A witch is escorted in a cage/wagon to her trial at a monastery. She uses magic to foil her guardians (or maybe she's an innocent being framed).

Some of the special effects weren't great, but I liked the combat scenes, and the banter between the various characters.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Arena World

Just an idea I had, since I've been playing League of Legends. How about a world that has dedicated arenas, with champions fighting each other? Have the game actually designed for it, too. I'm thinking something similar to d6 or the Supers! rpg would work well. Heck, this is one area I think 4e D&D would actually shine. I'm not sure old school D&D would do as well.

Instead of having monsters, it's just NPC Champions to fight. Team vs. Team, or even One vs. One. Heck, powerful monsters would be champs, but actually written up with a name and history.

This would also allow different arenas. Maybe one is all ice, with big chunks of snow and clear ice sheets that block ranged attacks. Another could be a jungle, and then just a flat plain for some matches.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Player demi-gods

Been reading Malazan books again, and I am just thinking about high powered characters. I suspect the only systems that could really pull off characters such as Draconus, Kallor, or even Tehol would be a supers game. Hero 5th is likely the best option, since it is presented as more generic than supers. (It's also a pretty fine game).

Gurps was apparently used as a real-life campaign for the Malazan setting, but I don't think it would scale well at all once you get to the really powerful guys.

I love D&D, but it just doesn't seem to do high level characters well (BECMI would probably be ok, but other versions get too complex). Anyone else have any recommendations?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Elves as druids

Just an idea: take the 2e druid class and add in the elf racial abilities, and make it a race-as-class option for games that go that route. ONLY elves can use druid magic. They also lose chain amor and magic user armor. Let them use leather armor, swords, and bows, of course. I think this would be an easy fix, that would instantly separate elves from fighter-mages as they are usually presented.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ambition and Avarice?

This is a new OSR game as seen HERE on RPGNow. It looks interesting, but I'm still not convinced I want it. For anyone who has it, here's a couple questions:

1. What is max level?

2. Is magic mostly just classes with different spells from the various OSR games?

3. The followers look interesting. Does every class get them, and are they worthwhile, or just a headache in play?

4. Ascending or Descending Armor Class?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Portents affecting a campaign

Does anyone have some massive portent appear in a campaign? Maybe one night, a big-ass green comet appears in the sky. The GM just mentions it.

The next game, he mentions it again. This continues, with maybe local NPC mages and priests getting real worked up and even hiring the players to obtain some lost magic item that will be needed as the comet reaches its apex.

Or maybe some big bad will take the comet as the sign that he needs to destroy the players homeland RIGHT NOW, so they get sucked into a war.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Elementals as Nature Spirits

I think one could way to make your setting more unique is to have some elementals actually living in the world. They would be nature spirits, and might even be worshipped by local tribes. I'd give them more intelligence than your typical summoned elemental, of course, so that players could interact with them.

This was done in Exalted and Avatar: The Last Airbender (and a bunch of Eastern myths), but I don't know that it's been included as part of a vanilla European fantasy setting. I think it would be a cool variant, even if it's only in one area of the map.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

GenCon this weekend

Scary part is, I had completely forgotten about this until it was mentioned on RPGSite. Honestly, there's nothing being released (that I am aware of), that I'm even mildly excited about. Maybe next year, if 5e is released at GenCon, I'll be a lot more excited. As is, it's just "neat but basically uninspiring" news.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Only humans and one other sentient race

I think it would be interesting to have a world with only humans and one other sentient race. The humans would be dominant, but they would have to worry about the other race. Maybe it's orcs or beastmen. Even better, skaven would happily take over the sewers of human cities. Even just having elves would be cool.

Of course, there would still be monsters. Something like owlbears and griffons would still be around, but only as strong animals. Even some "smart" monsters could be made to have animal intelligence, especially ones like the minotaur. Or have intelligent minotaurs as the rulers of the beastmen.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I guess I've always viewed the broadsword as a knightly weapon, looking like this:

Apparently, once it got to the early Renaissance, they got basket hilts. Kind of like a rapier, but with a battle-worthy blade. Like this:

I don't know about anyone else, but I really like the basket-hilted version more than the plain knightly version.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I sorta remember some fencing rules included in A Mighty Fortress for 2e. I no longer have the book, unfortunately. Not sure what happened to it, but it was very good. In any case, I was wondering if anyone had some fencing rules (rapiers, main gauches, cloaks as shields, etc) that were simple but worked fairly well.This would be used for BFRPG or B/X, so conversion should be fairly easy, if necessary.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Favorite area for adventuring

It's a toss-up for me. I really like the idea of a new colony in a New World, with lots of wilderness and monsters. This allows you to do all kinds of fun stuff, especially if the settlers are from a large Empire that contains multiple cultures.

Another idea would be an Italian city-states style area. Multiple large city-states that are fairly close together, with roaming armies (including mercenary companies), and maybe an old ruin that just happens to be inhabited by ghosts or other monsters.

I'd also be interested in a Napoleonic setting, in an out of the way location, with patrols of both sides in the area. There would be some kind of local antagonist or monster to deal with, as well.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Notes for Napoleonic D&D.

Here's some basic notes to work with. I may actually sit down and write this, depending upon time.

Napoleon D&D Notes
Member of British, French, Spanish, Prussian, Russian, Austrian, or Ottoman army, or a guerilla of some type (often Spanish). Part of a scout or irregular unit of some type. May be infantry or cavalry. The focus would be on garrison work, patrols, scouting parties, and secret missions. Big battles might occur, but are rare.
Females ok. They even wear uniforms. 
Characters are human, and do not start the game knowing how to use magic. They can be affected by it, and might learn it during a campaign.
Officer, sergeant, or private? Catholic, Protestant, or Atheist? Royalist or Revolutionary? Noble or Commoner?
Fate/Luck Points. One point per session. Each Fate Point allows one reroll.
Duels. Maybe.
Fortitude/Reflex/Will saves.
Ascending AC, though there is very little armor to be had. Dex and Wisdom both modify AC. Maybe also include bonus AC as you level, to represent battlefield luck.
Cover! It has to be in game, and described well.
Hit points = Constitution plus one per level. (maybe adjust this for more epic style).
Shrug it Off. Regain hit points nightly. No worries about infection, etc. OR go grim and dirty. Gangrene is much more dangerous than the bullet wound.
Max level 10.
Characters are basically fighters, but have a Hide skill.
Only armor available is the cuirass, for cavalry. Helmets are also available for some regiments.
Weapons include: musket, rifle, pistol, club, saber, bayonet, cannon, lance, dagger, pike, spontoon.
Big Battles: Handwave final results. It’s not a wargame. Focus on the situation immediately around the players and how it affects them. This would be a perfect place for players to act as skirmishers on a flank, or to take a small, but vital objective, such as a cannon emplacement overlooking the battlefield.

Monsters may be encountered, though usually in out of the way places. A witch in the forest, a demon hound in the hills, or maybe a naga leading Indian troops. Most of the enemy would be regular humans, though. Just add a bit of magic here and there to spice it up.