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Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve in Holystone

I haven't done a Holystone entry in over a year, but I thought a "Dick Clark" lich would be cool and the city provides a great backdrop for him.

New Year's Eve in Holystone

On the last night of the year, the 30th of Icemoon, everyone in the city celebrates the coming New Year. A large party is held outside the castle for the nobles of the city. All of the other districts hold their own parties, as well. Even the tent city holds special performances, featuring the elderly giving gifts to young children. 

The High Church holds services on this day, focusing on their followers renewing their relationship with the gods. After services, a large feast is held in honor of the gods. The Archbishop knows that the food and wine will bring in otherwise absent congregation members.

Followers of the Seelie Court meet in hidden glens and dance the night away. Most of the participants are more interested in drinking and sex than worship, though. The Fae are happy with this, as it shows that nature is more important than rites.

Devotees of Mabb have services, as well. Her followers have orgies, with some duels occurring between followers vying for her favor.

The Demon Lords have feasts punctuated by duels or human sacrifices. The priests of Orcus hold a ritual featuring the raising of an undead through magic. They often feed an enemy of their church to the undead. The Cult of Asmodeus holds duels and torture sessions. Lilith's cult has orgies, often featuring unwilling participants.

Near midnight, a lich named Rickard uses magic to appear in the sky over the city. He does a countdown during the last 10 seconds of the year, and his voice reaches even into the caves below the city. As he counts down, a bright light appears in the east, traveling towards the city. Just as Rickard reaches zero, the fireball that was approaching explodes far above the city. It creates a number of smaller explosions, which range in color from orange to red to purple and even blue. 

The sky shakes and it gets as bright as a clear sunny day for a almost a minute, as thundering blasts shake the walls. Everyone cheers and toasts the lich. He then disappears until the following year.
The Count has tried to find this creature, but with no success. Since Rickard causes no actual harm to the city, and even provides a great diversion for the masses, the Count isn’t really sure if he should do anything about the undead mage.  

Of course, some thieves use this distraction to pull off otherwise impossible heists, since their targets are distracted. Most of the wealthy have guards ready for these attempts, but there are always a few who get robbed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lightsabers (final)

This is my final version of the lightsaber for BFRPG. Feel free to use it or not. I personally like it.

Cost: Artifact
Weight: 1
Damage: 2d6

Lightsabers are artifact weapons which can only be used by Force-wielders such as the Sith and Jedi.

Lightsabers have a thrown range of 10/20/30.

Lightsabers ignore non-magical armor and also ignore 5 points of Hardness when used against objects.

If a natural 6 is rolled for damage, immediately roll an additional 1d6 for damage. Continue rolling for each additional natural 6.

(For example: if your initial damage roll is a natural 12, you would roll another 2d6 and add that to the damage. If either of these dice is also a 6, you would roll another 1d6 and add that to the damage, as well.)

Lightsabers count as magical artifacts for the purposes of hitting creatures immune to non-magical weapons. They are very valuable.

Each Jedi or Sith usually creates his own lightsaber, from items either given to him by his master or by acquiring the items through quests. To make a lightsaber, the Force-wielder requires a hilt, a guard, and a crystal imbued with magic. He then uses the Force to combine these items into one weapon.

A master can gift his apprentice with a lightsaber if he so chooses, though this is rare. Jedi usually require their Padawans to craft a lightsaber as their final test to become a Jedi. Some Sith require their apprentices to defeat some monster or a Jedi, after which the apprentice will be either granted a lightsaber by his Master or he gets to keep and use the lightsaber of the Jedi he killed.

OSR - still no Swords and Sorcery game

There has yet to be a swords and sorcery game published through the OSR. I'm really surprised by this.

Some games claim to be S&S, but are really just D&D with some S&S trappings. Seriously, if your "Swords and Sorcery" game has PC clerics and requires a group, then it's not S&S. You may pretend it is, but you are lying to yourself and your customers.

What an S&S game needs:
1. One or maybe two players. No more than that.
2. Fighters and rogues are normal, and they should have a good chance of defeating a powerful NPC mage.
3. Fighters and rogues "heal" between encounters. They don't have to stop just because they've been in a big swordfight and got stabbed a couple times. 
4. No clerics!
5. No paladins!
6. You can have a mage as your character, but he should be a fighter-mage, in armor and wielding a sword, NOT a robe-wearing wimp with a spellbook.
7. Magic should be evil and corrupting. There may be some "good" magic, but the vast majority of it requires the mage to be evil as heck.
8. Humans are the majority race, by a long shot. If an elf is seen, he's going to be the only elf the locals see in their entire lifetimes, and legends will arise about him, even if all he did was ride through town and not even stop.
9. Lots of giant toads, giant snakes, and other giant critters. Many of whom will be worshiped as gods, even though they are just dumb animals.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Three Year Anniversary

Three years ago, I started this blog. My first two posts on that day included my own HOMEBREW rpg and a BARD for Swords & Wizardry: White Box. Seems like just yesterday I posted those entries. Anyways, I'm sorta surprised I'm still going with this thing, but it has been fun.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

D&D Magic: So much fire, so little ice

One thing that has always bugged me about most D&D editions is that ice magic is so limited, when compared to fire magic. Same with air and earth. I guess they aren't as exciting as fireballs blasting everywhere.

There are some very nice non-fire spells, but they are few and far between. The old 2nd edition Wizard Compendium addressed this quite nicely, but I haven't seen most of that stuff in print since then.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ideas for a Sith campaign

I'd like to run a Star Wars campaign set on Korriban during the Old Republic era. The Sith Academy is in full swing. The players would be acolytes grouped together with other NPC acolytes. They'd train, but also be sent on various quests to test their abilities and weed out the weak.

I think this would only work with a small number of players (and would be great for a solo campaign). Any more than three players makes it too much of a group effort to really fit the concept of the campaign.

Not sure what system I'd use. Possibly D6, but I've been thinking about making a Sith class to fit into the BFRPG system. Naturally, Sith would be better than "normal" classes, so that would likely limit their utility in any standard game. But for a Sith-focussed campaign, it should work fine.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Obligatory end of the world post!

If you are reading this, the world didn't blow up! Unless you are in a time zone where it's still Friday, so you might just die a little after reading this.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Lightsabers for OSR games (Revised)

Cost: Artifact (Gift from master)
Weight: 1
Damage: 1d10

Lightsabers are artifact weapons used by Sith and Jedi.

Range: Lightsabers can be thrown by jedi and sith only. They have a range of 10/20/30.

Lightsabers ignore 3 points of non-magical armor and also ignore 3 points of Hardness when used against objects.

If a natural 10 is rolled for damage, immediately roll an additional 1d10 for damage. Continue for each additional 10.

Creatures with 3 HD or less must Save vs. Death or die if struck by a lightsaber.

Lightsabers count as magical for the purposes of hitting creatures immune to non-magical weapons.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lightsabers for an OSR style game

I'm thinking of doing a conversion of BFRPG to Star Wars. At least for the classes and some of the weapons. Here's a first shot at lightsabers.

Cost: 10,000 credits (or as a gift from your master)
Weight: 1
Damage: 1d10

Range: Lightsabers can be thrown by jedi and sith only. They have a range of 10/20/30.

Lightsabers ignore 3 points of non-magical armor and also ignore 3 points of Hardness when used against objects.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Keep meta sections short

Just a bit of advice for rpg publishers: when you are writing sections like "What is Roleplaying?", keep it short. If it goes over four or five paragraphs, most people aren't going to read it. In any case, if you don't have Dungeons and Dragaons on the cover of your game, 99% of the people buying and reading it have already played D&D and know what roleplaying is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The paradox of belief in AD&D

One of the things I loved about 2e (and especially Planescape) was that the gods gained more power if they had more believers. This does present an interesting paradox, though.

If a good priest is trying to get his congregation riled up to fight the forces of a demon, he has to convince them that the demon is powerful enough to be a threat. While this certainly works to get his followers ready to fight, they have to believe the demon is powerful or they won't bother. Therefor, they are granting the demon more power, because they believe in him.

I just think this is kind of funny, but pretty awesome, as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What is Roleplaying?

Just my take on a "What is Roleplaying?" section.

What is Roleplaying?

For me, roleplaying is sitting around a table with friends, drinking soda or beer, and eating nachos and pizza. We're playing a game with no board, kind of telling stories, but with rules. Dice are used to provide an element of chance.

The Gamemaster (GM)  sets the scene, and acts out the parts of all the monsters and non-player characters (NPCs). He describes the world and introduces conflicts for the other players to overcome. The other players each control one character, that they use to explore the world, fight monsters, and maybe win a kingdom.

The main objective for the players is to survive and increase in power. The GM is there to provide the challenges they face. The GM is not the players adversary. His main objective is to make sure that everyone, including himself, has fun.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Low Magic Worlds - a twist

One of the things I've noticed about many fantasy settings is that they attempt to be low magic. Pretty much all of them achieve this by having the peasants hate and fear magic, and run around pitchforking mages. A growing subset actually makes magic inherently evil, granted by demons or cthuloids, which actually makes the angry peasant mobs make sense.

I'd like to see a low magic world but one where magic is celebrated. Powerful mages are the Hollywood celebrities of their era. They have fan-bases, and if they get into a big battle or magical duel, it's "televised" magically, and the mages involved get a cut of the proceeds.

Of course, magic is still rare. You have to find and read ancient, often encrypted, texts, which can be incredibly valuable. You also have to have the ability to cast spells. Many wannabes have read multiple tomes, practicing daily, yet couldn't even light a candle. Some marvels read a spell and can immediately turn invisible. It's kind of random. You just have to have the gift.

Of course, more than a few people are willing to fake it. They have elaborate stage set-ups, and perform phony "duels" with other charlatans, and reap in the profits. Their biggest worry is being challenged by a real mage.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Great time for Gaming

I have to say, I was really not all that interested in the majority of new releases over the last few years. Maybe I'm finally becoming a curmudgeon, but most new stuff just doesn't interest me. Luckily, a lot of companies have decided to pander to me.

WotC has released new copies of 1e and 3e, and has 2e on the horizon. White Wolf has Old School Vampire, Werewolf and Mage either out, or coming in the future. Just about all of the WFRP 2e books have been released as Print-On-Demand. And lastly, Hero Games has released Champions Complete, which looks like it will be very similar to the old 4th edition book, but with 6th edition rules.

Hot Damn! (Now I just need the money to buy all of them).  ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I miss Dragon Magazine

I certainly didn't own every issue, but I had probably 40 or so. I used a lot of stuff from them. I really wish WotC had let Paizo continue to publish Dragon (and Dungeon). I'm still confused as to why they yanked the license.

Then again, with how 4e flopped, Dragon may have gone by the wayside in any case. I still loved reading the articles on monsters, magic items, and Ed's Forgotten Realms stuff. A lot of the fiction was actually quite good, as well.

Kobold Quarterly sort of took up the banner, but it is also going defunct. I think trying to split their magazines between both Pathfinder and 4e created too big of a divide, causing a good chunk of each issue to be less useful to any buyer.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Character age

Just something I was thinking about.

When I was 12 and 13, I used to make all my characters 16 to 18 years old. I thought they were then old and tough. Of course, I now think that's young and inexperienced ;).

Lately, I make my fighters in their late teens or early 20's, because honestly, that is a great starting age for a beginning warrior. I make my cleric and mage characters either late 20's all the way through early 40's. It just makes more sense to me, as I think most people wouldn't either have the education (or at least access to magical tomes and scrolls) or religious insight until their 30's sometime to really justify these career paths. I know that's a bit silly, but it's how I view the world now.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Acting as bodyguards

A fun adventure that I have run is having the player group act as bodyguards for a noble or politician. Sometimes I have the noble be competent and basically nice to the group, and other times he is an idiot who abuses them at every opportunity. Either way, they have to keep him alive.

Assassins I have used included another well-rounded adventuring party, archers using poison, and someone loosing an owlbear into a crowded market where the noble was shopping (despite the players protests about him doing this).

It can be a very interesting dynamic. Players have to risk themselves, sometimes even jumping in front of an attack, to protect someone else. They don't just line up and kill everything. They have to look out for someone else, who often has no protection (and once only had three hit points and no armor).

It definitely caused some strong reactions from my friends. A couple of them loved it. The sit-there-and-roll-dice-but-rarely-talk dwarf player hated it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Elections in a fantasy world

Something that pretty much never happens in fantasy settings are elections. They really don't fit the genre, so it's not surprising. It's also MUCH easier to write about a ruler and his nobles than about a mob of ever-changing politicians.

Election security would be a nightmare. You'd have to defend against mages changing votes, legal duels between political opponents, and the random monster attack.

Serfdom would also be non-existant. You can't have serfs if they can vote. One way to deal with that would have only rich people vote, or maybe only elves can vote. Then you'd have an aristocracy with voting, which really isn't the same thing.

In any case, having election season roll around during a campaign would provide hundreds of potential adventures. Players could defend candidates, blackmail candidates, or even just straight-up kill candidates (either for money or because the guy did something to them).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Nephandi

Just wanted to mention my favorite evil villains from any game. Nephandi are just evil bastards, but have been turned that way. I'm guessing the concept was heavily influenced by the Hellraiser movies. Just go through a bunch of pain and terror, have all of your perceptions twisted so that you think all of existence is a lie and needs to be destroyed, and you'll be perfect!

Some very cool pages about the Nephandi:

White Wolf Wiki

World of Darkness Wiki

Two Nephandi and a Marauder

memoirs on a rainy day

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wegmar's Wondrous Wagon of Wonders!

This is a take I've had on a post someone had made a few years back regarding magic shops, which is a topic currently at the RPGSite.
Wegmar is a tall, thin man, wearing a silk smoking jacket and a top hat. He is loud, waves his hands a lot, and will try to sell a glass of water to a man standing next to a river. He has a large, enclosed wagon drawn by two small gray mules. He travels the dimensions, selling odds and ends and magic items. 

The first sign he is near is a glowing blue magical circle appears on a nearby road. Then the sound of wagon wheels rumbling, and his wagon appears. The gate vanishes shut behind him.
Most of his stock is useless junk. Things like small wooden toys, candy, and elixirs "guaranteed to heal any illness" (and which are just bottles filled with sugar water).

However, he does have a small selection of magical components, a few potions, and a few scrolls. He's also very likely to have some kind of miscellaneous magic item, such as a crystal ball or rope of climbing. He does not sell weapons and armor, magical or not.

Wegmar accepts coin for non-magical doodads, since they don't really cost him anything to acquire.If a customer wants to be something that is actually magical, he prefers to either trade for another magic item or he will accept a favor, to be collected at some later date.

The favor will be collected at some later date, and is generally going to have the players going on a short adventure to recover some magic item that Wegmar wants. If the players try to attack Wegmar, he and his wagon will disappear, never to be seen again.

Any players who owe him a favor must fulfill it when he asks, or they will suffer a non-removable geas that gives them a -1 to hit, damage, and all saving throws until they start trying to complete the adventure for Wegmar. After they acquire the item he wants, his wagon will reappear near the adventure site and he will collect it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My perfect D&D edition

Since all of the news seems to be about the upcoming D&D 5e, I figured I'd make a list of what would be in my personal "perfect" edition:

1. Ascending AC.
2. Reflex, Fortitude, and Will Saves.
3. Fighter, Mage, Rogue, and Cleric.
4. Options to modify the base classes:
  4a: Fighters have options to gain cleric spells or mage spells, fight with light armor and rapiers, etc.
  4b: Mages specialize like they did in 2e. They can also gain special abilities based upon spec, so that necromancers can raise weak undead at level 1, witch doctors can use some healing spells, etc.
  4c: Clerics have Domains like 3e, and gain weapon use based upon their god. Not all Turn Undead, instead maybe having stuff like Thief clerics gaining thief abilities or Nature clerics basically being  Druids.
  4d: Rogues would have options to become bards, burglars, assassins, or monks.
5. Races included would be: human, elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome, shifter, dragonborn, tiefling, and aasimar.
6. High level options including a decent rulership system and maybe a mass combat system (though I'm not really sold on the necessity of this).
7. Vancian magic, because I like it.

- There's probably other stuff I'm not thinking of right now, but these would all be awesome as a base starting point.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why D&D and the clones fail at Swords & Sorcery

Many people have said that D&D (and the various retroclones) are based on Swords & Sorcery. I call BS. Yes, it has some influences (such as giant snakes, giant frogs, and other crazy weirdness), but the general format of the game just doesn't work.

In swords & sorcery, almost every single story features one or two characters taking on their enemies, which usually involved some kind of insane mage or monster-god. Said character would have a tough time of it, but generally ended up stomping the bad guy and stealing the wench.

One thing that didn't happen in the genre was groups of people wandering around, fighting monsters. D&D assumes you will have at least four players, and generally one fighter, one thief, one mage, and one cleric. The cleric alone just doesn't work when it comes to S&S. "Good" mages were also extremely rare (Elric and the Gray Mouser are pretty much the only ones I know off the top of my head). Almost everyone else was a fighter or thief.

Having more than two, or maybe three, characters in the group is also pretty much unheard of, barring stories about some kind of battle the hero happens to be participating in. Until a retroclone actually addresses this in a decent way, the S&S vibe will be mere window dressing, at best.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Starting level

I've pretty much always started every game at level 1. Not really sure why, but it's what I've always done. In one way, I like this because it allows players to grow into their characters. When just starting out, there's only a few things to keep track of, and the player is well aware that he is no superhero, so he is careful and doesn't usually just charge into a fight (I've definitely had exceptions to this, though).

I'm not sure this is a great idea, especially if the players are all experienced. Allowing them to start at level 3 or even level 5 really wouldn't overbalance anything, and would give them a solid starting point, where they don't have to run in fear if they encounter a small group of orcs.

The big hold-up for this is determining what, if any, magic items the characters possess at the start of the game. The old Companion set had some decent rules for starting at high level, but that's pretty much the only rules version that addressed this, if I recall correctly.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Malazan stuff I'd love to see in an rpg

I've been reading the Malazan series by Steven Erikson and there is just a ton of stuff in it I'd love to see in a published campaign world. Fact is, Malazan is based on a D&D/Gurps campaign, so that probably really adds to this feeling.

Anyways, stuff I'd love:
1. Soletaken. Powerful shapechangers that are generally resistant to magic and many of whom are mages. Some of them are dragons, others turn into a horde of rats. All of them are vicious, nasty bastards.
2. Warrens. Magic is aspected to warrens. Many mages can only access one warren, though cases certainly exist where mages can use a bunch of different ones (Quick Ben and Bottle being the primary examples).
3. Ancient races that are still around, though very rare and generally extremely powerful. Examples include the Toblakai, the Jaghut, and the Tiste variants. This would also work fine with elves if they were not just the tree-hugging recluses most settings use that mid-level adventurers can kill without a ton of effort.
4. A real live Empire that includes multiple cultures and is generally quite effective at accomplishing it's goals. Most settings either have the empires long vanished or generally collapsing (Forgotten Realms is a prime example).

Monday, October 8, 2012

WotC reprinting 2e!

Greyhawk Grognard has the SCOOP! I'm excited about this. I will definitely be saving up to buy all three books. 2e is my favorite official D&D, bar none. They are also reprinting Slavers and the S series as seperate hardcovers, but I'm honestly not interested in them. They weren't that great the first time around, imo.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Solo elf wandering Realms

Something I've wanted to run would be a campaign with an elven fighter-mage running solo. Maybe with one NPC follower. Kind of like Elric and Moonglum. Start the character at level 10 or so, and work up from there.

Of course, I'd run it in the Forgotten Realms, probably the Western Heartlands. Travel from Evereska down to Iriaebor over to Candlekeep and back. Become a famous adventurer that wipes out bandit camps and defeats evil mages.

It seems kind of lame and boring, but I think it would be a blast. Especially if I focused a bit more on acquiring old magic and researching it.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rolemaster backgrounds

Rolemaster had the background roll you could make when you created your character. This roll could give you a magic item, such as the equivalent of a +1 sword or a ring that casts a spell once per day. I think this was a really good idea. I'm wondering why it was never incorporated into D&D or any of the OSR games, though. It seems a natural fit for many campaigns.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Comic store fails...

Having seen Dredd a few days back, I decided to go to the local comic stores to buy a graphic novel and read it, since I haven't read anything Dredd in years. Gah, what a fail!

First comic store had no Dredd comics at all. The counter guy said nothing was available through the distributors, though some collections would be coming in maybe next month.

Second comic store had some old issues and even a few old graphic novels. All were marked up over cover price as collectibles. Blah. I'm interested in Dredd, but not that interested.

Giving up, I went over to the Barnes & Noble to look at books. They had a paperback with three old Dredd novels collected in it, all three Judge Dredd Complete Casefiles (collections similar to the black and white Marvel Essentials books), several issues of the Judge Dredd magazine, and a new Judge Dredd graphic novel (with werewolves). And I have a membership there so I get 10% off.

So, big chain store that only has a couple bays of comics has tons of Dredd stuff available, at discount. One comic store has nothing Dredd at all. The other comic store has some old stuff marked up over cover price. Guess who got my money?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dredd (2012 movie)

I watched the new Dredd movie today. It was actually pretty good, though a bit more gory than I care for. Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby both were excellent, as were most of the bad guys. There were a few unnecessary extra gory deaths, but if I remember the comics right, that happened a fair amount in them.

The movie definitely had the right atmosphere. It was quite obvious that gangs were the day-to-day enforcers, but that Judges were feared (and kind of admired) by the general population. The tech was awesome (especially the pistols, which had voice commands to select ammo type).

I was kind of surprised that Karl Urban did not show his face even once. He always had his helmet on. I'd heard this before, but I really figured they'd find a way to have his helmet off for at least a little bit.

Olivia did a great job as a psychic. The movie is mainly about her first day on the job. I really liked how the movie dealt with her first field execution, and its affects on her. I won't go into detail, but it did not avoid the fact that she is judge, jury, and executioner, and she is aware of just what that means.

The bad guys were decent, though definitely more gangbanger punks and not some supervillain, like many comics movies would feature. 

Overall, I recommend the movie, at least on DVD, for any gamer. Dredd fans will likely be pretty happy with this, as well. My only issue is that I think the ultraviolent deaths early on weren't really necessary. As the movie went on, most of it was toned down, but early on, be ready for some gross deaths and corpses.

I saw the movie in 2D. I really, really wish the studios would stop wasting money on 3D. Guess what, I will not watch a 3D movie. I don't need the headache. Sadly, the movie is apparently a flop, and the 3D is likely part of the reason. Overall, I'd give it a solid 7 out of 10.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Afro Samurai - which rpg?

I really, really like the Afro Samurai anime movies. In each, an unarmored warrior using a katana takes on guys with chains, swords, bows, rocket launchers, and even mini-guns. And he wins. His toughest opponents are also sword-fighters, of course.

In any case, I haven't been able to figure out the "perfect" game for running this. It would have to have fast combat, and while people die quick, the heroes generally get beat up but win. And quite possibly are completely healthy only one day after getting shot to hell (though they usually are wounded and staggering, but still able to defeat any challenger).

Hero would work, but it's way too cumbersome. I suspect just about any supers game would work, in all reality, but none really jump out at me. Gurps might work, if the damage and combat systems were tweaked for cinematic results. BESM and OVA would work, though neither really is a perfect fit. I'm guessing there exists some game that would require very little work to get this right, but I'm not sure what it would be.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hero/Champions lots for sale

I'm going to split this up into 2 lots so it should be more affordable:

6e Lot $90
Hero System Basic Rulebook: NM
Fantasy Hero: NM
Star Hero: NM
Champions: NM
Champions Universe: NM

Prices include shipping to the continental USA. I can ship to Canada, Alaska, or Hawaii, but you'd have to add $10 to the price. Most of the 6e books are hardcover.

Interested buyers please contact me at buter1 at yahoo dot com. Thanks!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Goblin hordes should be more dangerous

For D&D, it just seems to me that goblin hordes should be something terrifying to everyone. Instead, a group of six mid-level adventurers could probably kick their butt. Most people work around this by including ogres and hobgoblins, but I think it would make more sense that even though goblins are little runts, if you have 200 of them rushing at you, you shouldn't just yawn and tell the mage to nuke them.

I might be able to pull it off if I had a bunch of self-made goblin mages, and a bunch of archers shooting a thousand arrows. It seems kind of goofy, though, as any decent-sized group of humans will have more than enough leveled adventurers to slaughter the little green guys.

I know this would work fine in Gurps or Runequest, but it just bugs me a bit that D&D kind of falls flat on such an obvious situation.

Friday, September 14, 2012

WotC republished 3.5

Apparently, the books are now in stores. All errata is supposed to be included. I'm likely going to pick these up, as I personally liked that edition (though it is far from perfect). It will be interesting to see the illusion spells, as they were heavily errata'd.

Also, Blackrazor covered this, and basically reminded me that the reprints were being done.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't use RPGNet

Seriously. RPGNet is somehow still the big dog when it comes to rpg forums. However, it's moderation is draconian and extremely biased. The mods regularly break their own rules, but ban anyone who is not popular if they say something even mildly bad about anyone else.

CASE IN POINT - Cessna used to be sorta level-headed. Now he is just as big a hyprocrite as the other weasels who "bear the burden of moderating such a busy site".

I HIGHLY recommend that, if you are a gamer, try either RPGSite for general gaming stuff or Dragonsfoot for older D&D and Paizo Publishing if you like 3e/Pathfinder. Don't help out the Big Purple. If you do try it, avoid Tangency or the D&D forums, or you'll probably just get banned in a week for breaking some ridiculous ruling.

(I got banned several years back for opposing the Tangency Hivemind. I only bring this subject up because of the derailing/bullshit contest that happened in the Lords of Olympus thread).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Female Armor sucks (College Humor)

Definitely worth a laugh, especially if you've read any of the hand-wringing, women are abused by gamers, threads on the various rpg forums.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Dungeon Dozen

I don't really support advertising other sites, but I wanted to point all of you towards The Dungeon Dozen . Jason Sholtis is posting new random tables almost every day. There are around 200 of them there now. Many of them are very good. I actually hope he makes a book collecting them and publishes it (then again, maybe he has and I just don't know about it).

In any case, if you run any type of fantasy game at all, you owe it to yourself to spend some time reading that blog. If you don't come away with dozens of cool plot ideas, I will be very surprised.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Legends of Steel: Barbarians of Lemuria edition

I recently reread "Legends of Steel: Barbarians of Lemuria edition". I really like this game. It's basically the original BoL game, but set in a more normal swords and sorcery setting, with actual mammals. The biggest problem I have with the original is that it is extremely lizard-centric.

The system is quite light, being roll 2d6 over 9 to succeed. Characters have four stats (Strength, Agility, Mind, and Appeal). They also have four general abilities (Brawl, Melee, Ranged, and Defense). Finally, they choose four careers from a list. All these categories are rated from 0 to 4 (-1 is possible, but I would strongly recommend against it). Character toughness is rated in Lifeblood, which is basically hit points, which is equal to 10 plus their Strength.

Careers add their score to any related action (soldiers improve combat, physicians can heal, and sorcerers can use magic). It's very open, and I expect career ranks to get used quite a bit in play.

Characters also gain Boons (stuff like Nightvision and Disease Immunity). Flaws are also available (including stuff like Fear of Fire and Combat Paralysis).

Characters also have Hero Points, which allow them to get rerolls and other benefits in game. They automatically start with 5, and can trade some in for additional Boons.

Combat should be fast, though I think Armor is a bit too limited. Then again, high Armor values will make characters very hard to hurt. The Armor system is based off of the original BoL rules, not the version found in BoL 2e (which came out after this book).

I expect most combats will be over in a few rounds, as long as armor is limited.  If heavier armor becomes common, combats will take longer, but I'm not really sure that's a bad thing.

The magic system is pretty vague. There are guidelines for three levels of magic in sorcery, priestly magic, and alchemy. Level one spells are fairly easy to cast, but limited in scope. Level three spells are hard to cast, but can be very effective. The GM is going to be largely responsible for what he will allow or not.

Sorcery looks to be geared towards summoning demons, blasting heroes with lightning, etc. There are possible side effects that can deform a sorcerer (especially the level three spells). Sample requirements like casting times, taking damage, etc., are also provided.

Priests also have access to spells, and they have to make sure they don't anger their god. The GM should have a list of Domains that the god is concerned with. Spells in these domains will be easier to cast for a priest (he rolls 3 dice and keeps the best 2 results). Priest must perform sacrifices, meditations, or similar actions to placate their god.

Alchemists largely create their spells ahead of time. They make items such as potions, artificial arms, flying machines, and golems. More powerful items are harder to create (including potions).

There are rules for villains and rabble. Villains will be very similar to players in power (and they get Villain Points). Rabble are basically easily defeated mooks, which is appropriate for the genre.

The system fills the first half of the book. The second half details the continent of Erisa. A color map is featured on the back cover of the book (and a black and white expanded version is included in the text). The world has a very Conanesque vibe. Lizard men, sorcerers who summon dragons, a large empire on the brink of collapse, slavers and slaves, etc. I think it's well done, though I would personally use this game with the Mongoose Conan supplement "Road of Kings", which details Hyboria. For those looking for a relatively normal S&S setting, it's pretty much perfect.

There are two short adventures in the back, which help show what the setting is like. Either will be easy to use in most S&S settings, though.

Regarding the book production, I have the hardcover version from Lulu. The binding is great, and the hardcover is quite tough. The paper is good, and the text is easy to read. A do believe the game needs another proofread, as there are a number of typos found throughout the book. Overall, it is a well-made book that should last years.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

NCSoft axes Paragon Studios and City of Heroes

News story here

I played City of Heroes for several years. I finally stopped a few months back, mainly due to playing the new Star Wars (which is really good). In any case, I figured Paragon was working on CoH2, and would release it in a year or so. Guess I was wrong. NCSoft fired a good chunk of the employees, and will be shutting down the CoH servers before the end of the year.

Let this be a reminder to everyone: You do not buy an MMO game (or even something like Skyrim or Diablo 3, that requires an internet connection). You are merely renting it. At any given time, the servers can be closed and all of those hours you spent creating your perfect characters are gone. Just like that. So take time to go outside and meet some real people and become friends. (I can only imagine the nerd explosion if the WoW servers got shut down with only a few months notice).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Solo supers

This is one of the games I'd love to run. I think having only one player is incredibly easy to deal with if you are running a supers campaign. You just need to come up with a few memorable supervillains and maybe one Cobra/VIPER-style evil organization, and you can play forever.

There are thousands upon thousands of old comics to steal stories from. If you use well-known villains like Dr. Doom or the Joker, your job becomes even easier.

Any power level will work, because you don't have to worry about balance at all. I'd personally love to play in a lower-powered game, with characters roughly equal to Spiderman or the Punisher. Then again, a run with someone on the Superman level would be awesome, though I'm not sure if I'd want to make a full campaign of that.

Cosmic heroes really seem difficult to do for a long term campaign, unless you really want to create a bunch of dependent NPC's and spend more time playing soap opera instead of thrashing villains. I'm sure some groups could do it well, though.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I wonder how the 1e reprint sales were?

I know it's like pulling teeth to get sales numbers out of the rpg industry, but just anecdotally, I wonder how the sales for the 1e reprints were. A local comics shop with a small rpg section had a number of them in, and the guys at the counter said they sold several sets. I didn't see the reprints at another comics shop that carries rpg's. (I refuse to give business to my local rpg store, so I have no idea if he even got the reprints in, but that's a long rant).

I personally didn't buy the 1e reprints yet. I might pick up the DMG, but I honestly am not a huge fan of 1e. I think B/X did early D&D better, and 3e and the retroclones were all big improvements over 1e.  A revised, errata-fixed edition of 2e would be my Holy Grail, though.

It would be great if the sales did very well. It would bode ill for the future if the reprints were a flop. I am pretty sure 3.5 is up for a reprint (errata included!) sometime later this year. I will buy those.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Malazan artwork

I've been reading the Malazan books by Erikson, and I found a bunch of great pics based upon his world. Here's a few (click on them for much larger versions):

Tattersail meets with Quick Ben, Kalam, Whiskeyjack, and Sorry at the very beginning of Gardens of the Moon.

Karsa Orlong riding around in the Seven Cities, being awesome.

Segulah warriors, with Lady Envy in the background.

Mappo Runt, looking suitably barbaric.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Forgotten Realms reboot

WotC is once again rebooting the Forgotten Realms, this time for 5e. Erik Scott de Bie has a nice SUMMARY of what's in store. It is still very general, without a ton of details. There's also a thread on CANDLEKEEP where Erik provide a bit more info.

I'm interested in what WotC is attempting. They know they need to fix the massive mistake that was the 4e Realms. Some stuff will be fixed by Ao rewriting the tablets of fate. Others will include Abeir once again being separated from Toril. All of this sounds good to me.

I will say I do not support the GLBT Politically-Correct Thought Police worming their way into future novels, but it wouldn't be nice for us to not allow them to push their agenda, even in gaming circles.

In any case, I hope the reboot is done very well, and is successful.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Elves as Sith rulers

This is an idea I've had kicking around in my head. I'd use a heavily-modified retroclone.

1. All characters would be elves (fighter/mages of some kind). They would be the rulers of the world.

2. They would be just better than other races. Period. One level one elf could easily kill a group of five human soldiers.

3. They can wear armor, use weapons, etc. They also use magic.

4. Magic may be limited to stuff like leaping, healing, some kind of roar that demoralizes and deafens, etc. Not sure if I want stuff like lightning or not.

5. Anger and hate fuel magic. If you're nice and mellow, magic won't work, or at least it will be very diminished. Therefor, the most evil elves are also the ones running everything.

6. There is a rebellion, of course. It will have some elves in it. Maybe they use technology to combat elven magic.

Friday, August 17, 2012

FFG posts Star Wars RPG info

Blah. From their website:

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is the first of three epic roleplaying game installments. Each will be a standalone core rulebook, but will complement the other two to form a single game system. Each of these three planned core rulebooks presents the Star Wars galaxy from a different point of view, and they all take place during the height of the Rebel Alliance’s struggle against the Galactic Empire.

Star Wars: Edge of the Empire is the first of these installments, focusing on the fringes of society, the scum and villainy of the galaxy, and the explorers and colonists of the Outer Rim. In this game, players take on the roles of hard-hearted bounty hunters, roguish scoundrels, charming smugglers, or fearless explorers trying to survive and thrive on the edges of civilization. 

In the second installment, Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, the players take the fight to the oppressive Galactic Empire as cunning spies, cocky pilots, and dedicated soldiers in the Rebel Alliance.

Finally, in Star Wars: Force and Destiny, the players become figures of legend: the last surviving Force users in the galaxy. Hunted by the Empire, they must stay alive, and more importantly, stay true to the ideals of their forebears—the fabled Jedi. Each of these independent game lines stands alone as a unique gaming experience while fully integrating with the others to form a single unified system. For more on Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, skip below to read our overview.


So it's going to be set up just like the 40K rpg. I don't like this at all. Especially the fact that the Jedi and Sith are going to be held back for at least a year, probably two. 
Oh yeah, it's going to have "unique, custom dice" that you will need to play. What the fuck?! Not another game going this route! What the hell is wrong with six-siders?! I'm betting it's going to be something right out of their board games, which will probably end up being a crap system. I just went from kind-of-excited to completely not interested in this game. I won't be surprised when it fails, hard.

Harry Harrison passed away

Harry wrote the Stainless Steel Rat series, West of Eden, and a number of other books. He was one of the mainstays of my childhood. It's hard to believe yet another influence on my life has moved on. RIP, Harry. Watch out for the Special Corps!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Drugs in a fantasy world

Just something I was thinking about. Does your setting have drugs mentioned often, or even at all? If they are listed, are any illegal? If they are legal, do the player characters use them? Are there any benefits or penalties?

Drugs I would allow as legal in any setting I run:
Wine, beer, ale, tobacco, marijuana.

Drugs that would be legal in most places:
Opium, mushrooms.

Pretty much the only drugs I think would be made illegal are ones that cause the user to become violent (like bath salts or meth can do).

Of course, in a fantasy setting, there would be magical potions and other substances that would be available to the rich. Likely, these would all be legal, but really expensive.

Drugs that grant magical powers (such as black lotus in my games), are almost always illegal for anyone not connected to a temple. The priests reserve these for themselves.

In some societies, even low level potions might be heavily regulated. Imagine if Charm Person potions (or scrolls) are illegal, due to how much they would be abused.

Hackmaster Basic free pdf

Just wanted to get the news out there that if you are interested in the Hackmaster game, the Basic rules are now available FREE online. I recommend checking the game out, especially if you like old school D&D. While it's not my preferred game, I think it has some neat ideas.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wizards has a playtest update for 5e

Mearls has posted it HERE. I'm still cautiously optimistic about the upcoming version of Dungeons & Dragons. The notes in this article at least show that they are listening to the playtest results. I think the Thief fix is great, though Thieves still need adjustments for combat.

The update is pretty short on details, unfortunately, so it's still a wait-and-see situation. I hope WotC manages to publish the best edition of D&D ever, though.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

ASSH is Now Available for those interested. It is published by Jeff Talanian and North Wind, who was heavily involved in the Castle Zagyg line with Gary Gygax. The game is supposed to be old school D&D, but with a heavy dose of swords and sorcery.

I've only seen bits and pieces that have been released and discussed on blogs such as Akratic Wizardry. It looks interesting, though I suspect the game is going to fall into the trap of needing four or more player characters.

This is one area I think D&D fails at, and hard. Adventurers in sword and sorcery often went alone, or with maybe one companion, on their adventures. They were largely self-sufficient. The roles imposed by D&D run counter to this. Maybe Jeff has addressed this in the rules (I hope so). If he hasn't, then we get yet another clone that we really don't need.

The artwork looks great, though I suspect there's going to be a lot of Cthulhu in the game. I like that in bits, but not as the main monsters session after session. I hope this is also addressed.

In any case, I remain cautiously optimistic. If Jeff has actually reworked the rules enough that a lone fighter can easily complete adventures, I think this game will be awesome. If it's yet another clone with new artwork, I'm going to skip it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monte Cook's new project

It's called Numenera. Looks pretty cool, so far. It's on a future world, with satellites and nanotech still floating around. However, the current civilization is going to be more of a fantasy game. Nano stuff will be seen as magic, and I'm hoping there will be some kind of power armor for fighters.

The game uses the d20, but it certainly doesn't sound like it will be based off of D&D. Your character will have certain abilities that lower target numbers. So far, it sounds like a rules-lite game, which is a big plus in my book.

The art will all be done by one guy, and the sample pieces all look fantastic. I'm betting this game is going to be one gorgeous book. I really hope it's set up and cross-referenced the way Ptolus was. In any case, I'm pretty optimistic. At least he's forging sorta-new ground, instead of pumping out yet another clone.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My favorite monsters

I like certain D&D monsters a lot, and use them often when DMing. I use NPCs as most of the bad guys, but the occasional monster is pretty necessary, or you're not really playing D&D.

You will probably also notice that most of the monsters I like are pretty mundane. Beholders are not interesting to me. They're just a little too gonzo. I love using undead, so I hate clerics that are good at Turn Undead. That one ability pretty much makes an entire category of monsters kinda lame.

Goblins: Excellent bad guys for low levels. Adding in Worgs makes them even more fun.

Skeletons: I like having them as part of traps. Maybe they are sitting underwater in a partially flooded corridor and will jump up as the players walk through.

Werewolves. It's hard to use these monsters well in D&D since most people figure out what the bad guy is and know how to defeat it, but I still like them.

Wraiths. I like having them come through walls to attack. I give them a huge bonus to surprise the first round if they do this.

Displacer Beasts. Use fireballs to saturate the area. It's the only way to be sure.

Giant Spiders. Lots of webs to trap players and poisons to ruin their day.

Vampires. Also usually recognized ahead of time, but they are classic villains for a reason.

Wererats. My favorite were-creature. I tend to have one or two tougher wererats leading all of the normal ones, as otherwise, they are kinda wimpy.

Various animals, such as bears and wolves. I keep this pretty rare, and often have them show up controlled by another monster.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wow, Star Wars rpg books are expensive

I remember not that long ago, the d6, d20 Revised, and SAGA books were available at cover price or even less. Now, looking at eBay and various online sellers, they generally go for two or even three times cover price. I understand Star Wars stuff can get collectible, but holy heck!

Wish I'd bought the whole line of WotC Star Wars minis, too. ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Revenge of the Sith

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a decent movie, but I liked Ep. II better.

Once again, Anakin's dreams push him to the Dark Side. His own actions trying to avoid Padme's fate brought about what happened in his dreams, which I always love to see when it comes to prophecies.

Palpatine finally makes his move. He is nearly destroyed by Mace Windu, but Anakin saves the day. Mace was definitely going Dark Side, which was shown by his wanting to kill Palpatine instead of just arresting him. I suspect Mace was always struggling with being a good guy. Anakin saw this and wasted the motherfucker.

I hate the world "younglings". Whoever came up with it should be banned from writing forever.

Anakin went full Sith in a hurry. He always had anger issues, but it didn't take a big push to have him running around killing little kids.

Order 66 was handled well, in my opinion. I actually felt sorry for the Jedi, even though I'd only seen them on screen less than five minutes over three movies. That guy leading troops across the bridge and then turning around as he realized he wasn't being followed was a great scene.

I love scout biker armor painted camouflage.

Wookies should not do Tarzan yells. I can't believe I had to write that.

The big battle scenes were well done. The whole panorama lasted only a few minutes, but it really showed the scope of the war.

Anakin choking out Padme was interesting, as he thought she'd completely betrayed him when he saw Obi-Wan in the ship.

The Yoda-Palpatine fight was ok. It was kind of funny watching two old guys fight.

I didn't think the Obi-Wan vs. Anakin fight was all that great, other than the very end. It dragged on, and was more about the scenery than them fighting.

Obi-Wan letting his supposed brother slide into lava and cook was fucking cruel. He's crying about how he loves Anakin, but he wouldn't even pull him away from the fire. At least stick him with your lightsaber so he doesn't cook to death, asshole.

Padme lost the will to live. Bitch.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic

I recently installed this MMO, since it's been out for almost 8 months. I figured the bugs would be mostly fixed, though my hopes weren't all that high.

I am very pleasantly surprised. I like Star Wars, so that really helps, but this game is very well done. I have a Jedi Sage, and the character is a blast to play. I've also done the starting areas for every class. I suspect the Bounty Hunter is going to be my next main, once I max out my Jedi.

Things I like:

Sound effects = outstanding. Lots of voice actors, and little crossover. Some pretty famous people were involved in this, once you see the credits.

Various aliens from movies = all over the place. Hutts running a starting planet!

Graphics are fantastic, as well.

The storylines were all good, up until I stopped playing each character (I stopped once they finished each starting area. I expect the quality to continue till level 50). For example, while you play both types of Jedi in the same starting area, their main quests are drastically different from each other. Same with all of the other class options.

Customizable gear (orange). You can keep the same item your entire career, you just have to update it's modifications.

Combat is fun. Kind of clicky, since it's an MMO, but I like it. The whole atmosphere of Star Wars helps this.

Things I think could be better:

Too many cut-scenes. Every time you get or finish a quest, you have to go through a scene. It's not bad, but it can be tedious.

I don't like Jedi and Sith wearing heavy plate armor. It doesn't jive with any of the movies.

Not enough customizable gear. I really wish they'd just made all armor and weapons customizable. I think this was a missed opportunity.

Too many powers. Why can't MMOs figure out that I really only want to keep track of maybe 10 or 12 buttons during a fight? How about just improving them over time and not adding a new power every few levels? Powers do improve, but they quickly get lost in multiple rows of buttons.

Not enough player races. There are a number of popular ones, but many are not available. In addition, a bunch of races are only available to certain classes, until you get them to level 50 in a class they can take.


If you like Star Wars, you should play this game. You can go all of the way to level 15 on every class for free.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Star Wars prequels (The Clone Wars)

Episode II: The Clone Wars was actually much better than I remember. I liked it more than Ep. I, for sure. I think my biggest disappointment in the theater was that the movie was really "The Lead-Up to the Clone Wars" and not the actual Clone Wars, themselves.

Anakin was whiny immediately, which was a mistake. If he'd started out a little more humble and gradually twisted to evil, it would have been more believable. Instead, one of his first scenes is him bitching about how Obi-Wan is keeping him down. Very poor decision on Lucas' part. Hayden was actually a better actor than I remember, but his script just sucked in most places.

Ewan McGregor really stepped into the role of Obi-Wan in this movie. I think he did a fantastic job. His big fight scene in the rain against Jango was well done. Especially considering that neither won, it just ended up a stalemate.

I liked that Jar-Jar was used by Palpatine to gain control of the Senate. Now we know why that goofball was even in Ep. I.

This was not Christopher Lee's greatest work. He did ok, but I could tell that he wasn't comfortable with the role. Also, he just didn't pull off the sinister Sith vibe very well at all, which is surprising, considering how many villain roles he's done so well in.

I like Natalie Portman running around in a tight white spandex outfit with no bra. The scene where she was sitting with Anakin in the spaceship watching the computer message from Obi-Wan was very "interesting".

I really didn't get Padme getting all excited and horny after Anakin told her he killed a bunch of women and children. Then again, she's in full cougar mode, so who knows?

The big battle at the end was pretty good. A bit deux ex machina, considering just how fast they managed to get the clone army together and ready to fight.

The big lightsaber battle at the end was good, but not great.

The wedding scene was good, though the metal hand looked way too cheesy.
I think that Return of the Jedi kind of showed that denying love is a really bad idea, and it was one of the big reasons for the downfall of the Jedi. Balance in the Force really means not denying yourself completely, but also not diving in headfirst and using emotions to fuel everything you do. Both Jedi and Sith are wrong.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rewatching Star Wars Prequels (The Phantom Menace)

I haven't watched the prequels since they were in the theater. Figured I'd rewatch them to see how they've held up.

I remember The Phantom Menace as being pretty decent when I saw it at the movies. However, after watching it yesterday, I'm much less impressed. Lots and lots of actions scenes, and next to no plot or even decent dialogue.

The pod race was WAY too long. It should have been cut down to only a couple minutes (I think it lasted at least five minutes in the movie). In any case, it was just way too long.

Jake couldn't act for shit. It's not really his fault, since he's just a kid. It just pisses me off that Haley Joe Osment was busy making The Sixth Sense at this same time, and he was a great actor. (Also, it's been 13 years since Ep I was in theaters! How the heck did that happen?)

Jar-Jar was bad. If he'd been toned down a bit, I think most people would have been ok with him. Stupid crap like his taking fruit off the table with his tongue was annoying, though.

Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor both did good jobs, but Natalie Portman was kind of bad. Ray Park was awesome as Darth Maul, and I think he only had 5 or 6 lines in the whole movie. Ian McDirmid was very good as Palpatine.

I loved the gungan and droid armies. Very cool tech. Costumes were extremely well done overall, as well.

Again, they could have cut out one destination or some scenes, and added some actual character development to the movie. It just seemed to jump from one action scene to the next, with the exception being the initial half of the Tatooine location.

Overall, the movie did not hold up well. It was flashy and bright, but had little substance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hags for BFRPG

Armor Class: 18
Hit Dice: 9**
No. of Attacks: 1 claw
Damage: 1d10 / poison
Movement: 30’
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: Magic-User 9
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: M, N
XP: 1,225

Hags appear as large, bent-over, incredibly ugly old women. They are very strong, and can easily kill animals such as a bear. They usually live alone in swamps or dark forests. They prefer to eat people, and usually have a pot brewing in their home, ready for the next victim. Most other creatures avoid them.

Anyone facing a hag must make a Save vs. Spells or suffer a -2 penalty to hit. This effect will disappear one turn after the victim can no longer see the hag.

Anyone clawed by a hag must Save vs. Poison or immediately lose 1d6 points of Strength. A victim who drops to zero Strength lies helpless, and can be killed as a free action by the hag. Lost Strength will return at a rate of one point per hour.

Hags can cast bane (the reverse of bless) once per turn. Horses and animal companions used by adventurers will not approach the hag, and will attempt to flee if forced near her.