Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Character Generation

I have been toying with the idea of running a Deepest Sea game over the holidays (Christmas and New Years, not this upcoming holiday weekend).  Doing so would entail creating a packet of material suitable for gaming neophytes and those with a ton of D&D experience, although mostly from newer editions.  The handout packet would be the players' guide for setting and would be ~20 pages long in total.  Character generation would be one of the pages in the handout, and would have a matching character sheet to make things easy.

Above, for your consideration is a draft Character Generation sheet that I have created in MS Publisher. [click to enlarge]  Please note that it uses the wonderful silhouettes created by Telecanter for a little atmosphere.

What do you think? Is this sufficiently useful for both newcomers and those with significant experience in newer editions?  Suggestions for improvement? (aside from cleaning up the statblocks)  Any obviously missing items?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ebay score

I am currently working on a night goblin regiment (painting at work during lunch!), and as you might know, every night goblin regiment needs some lurking fanatics to keep away the heavy cavalry.  Not being a fan of the current (costly) plastic fanatics, I looked over to Ebay, and happened to find this:

Seven old lead fanatics, which I put in a super low bid for and won! (winning bid was less than shipping)  They got to me very quickly, and are now enjoying a bath in some Simple Green.

As a side note, I intended to post a picture of this directly from my phone, but was not able to post MMS messages to blogger, so here is one from Ebay.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is a test, just a test

an attempt to post by phone

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Forge Beasts

Noisms has a post about using the Forge to create monsters for your game (or just for fun, because monsters should be fun).  Basically you go to the Forge, hit up "beast forge" and create some monsters.  You can redo the words until you get one that seems plausible/interesting/scary, and then you blog about it.

So here are my four:
Dead Flesh Lizard:  A small lizard with a nearly translucent skin.  Some think that this is why they are called "dead flesh lizards", however; the truth is that they collect meat from dead creatures to make their nests, several lizards working together to create a large pit under the earth where their eggs are laid.  The stench of this is can be extreme, and just as the smell fades, the eggs hatch and the rotten liquefied flesh is eaten by the young lizards. [Adventurers walking on the surface have a chance of falling into the nest, and take d4 damage from the bites of the lizards before they flee. Hoard class I, nests may be detected as traps, or avoided all together by parties with dogs]

Plains Basilisk: Thought by the most erudite scholars to be a sub-species of the common Basilisk, the Plains Basilisk is generally larger, leaner, and longer limbed. [move of 100'/30'] Their color ranges from the usual Basilisk Brown Green, to a nearly tan color.  During the summertime, when they are most active, they can be seen stalking prey from patches of long grasses, or sunning themselves on rocks or termite mounds. In the winter, they generally hibernate for weeks at a time.

Unlike a common Basilisk, the plains Basilisk keeps no den, and therefore has no hoard worth speaking of.  However, its the powder made from the large scales of its neck are considered to be an aphrodisiac in some quarters, and the most depraved will spend unimaginable sums for this powder.  [this powder is inhaled, and causes partial petrification of extremities lasting d6+1 rounds]

Hill Wallow Shrimp: The Hill Wallow Shrimp is a parasitic shrimp carried by wild or domesticated hogs from wallow to wallow. They are occasionally collected by enterprising adventurers and sold in jars to bored elvish children as "ocean apes" complete with little wooden kingdoms, and halflings find them to be delicious.  [If the adventurers consume the Hill Wallow Shrimp in any quantity, either by drinking the water, or by eating a cake of the shrimp themselves, they will have a small chance of contracting lycanthropy from the experience.  In addition, wallows in the wild are protected by Giant Boars 1/6th of the time, who come charging out of some nearby brush if the PCs stop too long by the wallow]

Ebon Hair Willow: The Ebon Hair Willow is a particular type of tree linked to a particular type of Dryad. The tree from afar looks like a normal weeping willow of dark color, however; once it is examined at close range, it is noted that the branches and trunk are the color of bone, and the leaves are instead long black hair twisting and turning in a wind that no one can feel.  Touching the hair brings out the dryad, who is chaotic and hideous to look at.  She is as white as bone with long black hair, and seeks to destroy those who disturb her slumber.  She uses her charm ability to make the party fight amongst themselves, and pulls the weakest into the tree, which reacts with a bone crunching shudder. The hair of the tree is used by necromancers to bind the bones of skeletons for rituals, and is highly sought after, both by those who want the hair, and those who wish to destroy the tree and with it, the dryad.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prestige Classes Old-School Style

FrDave had a great post recently about a way to incorporate prestige classes.  Essentially, he moves prestige classes to entry at fourth level, so that a character has to survive and be a hero before he is able to select some of the more obscure classes.  FrDave also comes up with some interesting specialist classes as the prestige class, for example healer for cleric.

Musing on what he had posted, I thought of the graphic below, which essentially shows a decision tree of the various "career options" that a standard human has.  I am no Telecanter, so it is a bit crude.

[Apologies on the format, but I knocked it out in MS Word, and then cropped a screenshot to get this image]

Obviously this needs some work, but I think it gets the concept across. It could be modified to show the classes allowed in YOUR world, and with a better presentation, could have all of the spell levels and skill information included as well to allow for it to be a one stop visual representation of player classes.  You will note that in the cleric and fighter rows, I started to go that direction, so it shows the XP and HP of each character level.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stellar Adventure

Last night I finished reading Exiles of the Stars, by Andre Norton.  This is the second book in her Moon Magic series, and like many of her books features an outsider dealing with issues relating to separation and growth, while overcoming the immediate problem. It is set in a far future, where Free Traders are contracted to move cargo from one primitive planet to another

Reading this book, I was struck by how much the story and setting would suit an Old School sort of game.  Everyone is fairly low powered, death is imminent at any time, and classes are at once rigid and generic.  Solving mysteries and exploring maze like ruins are key, and the risk of being overtaken by those with magic (esper) powers is ever present. This started the creative juices flowing, and I started thinking about a sandbox game set in a vaguely Norton-esque universe, with the Star Patrol, Free Traders, Combines and Guilds mucking it up for the little people, and howling wilderness worlds loaded with Forerunner treasure, monsters, and secret pirate bases.  Atomic rockets, blasters, stunners, fliters, tape computers, and all the good stuff.

Thinking about how such a game would be run, I immediately thought of Stars Without Number, the 0D&D based space exploration game from Sin Nomine.  Since the rules in PDF are currently free (at the link above), I had a bit of a look through, and they seem pretty workable.  The game uses 3d6 for skill checks (in a similar way to d20 games).  Interestingly, a professional published version of this game is coming out soon from Mongoose in September... something to watch for.  I think I will post more of a review of the rules later, once I have the chance to read them more thoroughly.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More on FFG's X-Wing game

The Hopeless Gamer has some pictures of the prototypes for the new X-wing miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Games.  Seems to be using a pilot card and stats on the base and a damage dial and turn/movement templates. That is pretty component heavy for a miniatures game, and may lead to the table looking pretty cluttered. On the plus side, the components all look very good, as is expected from FFG.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Star wars Games!

Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) just announced that they are releasing games set in the Star Wars Universe.  Wizards of the Coast gave up the Star Wars Universe license last year, and there was much speculation that FFG had picked up the license. Two games have been announced, a Star Wars card game (is this the third one?), and more interestingly, a miniatures based dogfighting game called X-wing.  Figures for this game will be prepainted, but still, it should be interesting to see what comes out. 

More games will be announced in 2012, and the message specifically mentions a new RPG.  It will be interesting to see if it is compatible with the previous three versions of role playing games, or if it is completely new.  So watch for more exciting news!