Saturday, November 29, 2014

Simple d6 Gonzo RPG (Sd6G)

Hey, I made a new RPG today, that is pretty simple to get going in like 5 minutes. And it's got Vulcans and Blackulas, and combat like Dungeon World. I'm rather happy with this one. Reminds me a bit of the fun of mashing up Paranoia with Dark Sun and DCC.

Link to the doc if this doesn't display so well for you: LINK.


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Shadows of Esteren Review

Esteren was originally a French RPG that has been translated to English. The translation is good, but it is full of world-jargon that sounds nothing like English to me and is, I'm assuming, psuedo-celtic. So If you want to master some of the nuances of its setting, you'll have to find a way to memorize words your brain doesn't care much about. I like to think I know something about the subject of word memorization; I learned fluent Japanese over 5 years.

However, I feel in terms of atmosphere it is fairly well presented and in terms of mechanics, it really sings. My play experience is running an introductory adventure from the free to download prologue book (using the battle attitudes rules from the at-cost product).

The setting felt like a bit of Britainic peoples (pre anglo-saxons, maybe?) dealing with the influence of Romans and their ideas of science and other modern civilization double-edged swords. People are clannish and druidic, but influenced by lords and new monotheistic religion.

Esteren is supposed to be presented as a cinematic experience. The adventures have graphics like a director's slate-board and indications that you should use techniques from movies like flashbacks and cutaways to things that the PCs may never know but the players will have to avoid metagaming about. I'm cool with that technique, but skeptical of the constant suggestions for specific songs.

You see, Esteren is supposed to gritty medieval horror, and I find music in horror games distracts. Players are pretty prone to making a joke out of anything they can (we laughed a lot), and music can serve to further distract, so I recommend some nice, ominous, ambient music to truly set a horror mood. Take this scene for example, it's dripping with mood:
But hey, if you want some tools, Esteren is going to suggest them for you. It's fine, but slightly distracting for an ADHD DM like me.

The scenario we ran had a fine plot, but as presented it was a bit hard for me to keep the details straight. It would be easier to run as a dead tree product than a PDF. I had to make lots of notes and charts and timelines to keep it all smooth. But I am admittedly ADHD;  a visual DM who likes to look at maps and their corresponding keys, and there were none in the scenario.

However, as I said, the mechanics were pretty cool.
There are a few basic scores that the rest of your character is built upon, and they are a range between two useful extremes each, so there is less min/maxing (meta-gaming the best build) in this RPG. The ability scores are pretty cool in that they give cues for character traits too.

For instance, combativeness is good for hitting things, but it also makes you a jerk or a hothead or whatever you want to write for your flaws. And if you are investing your points in it, you might also be a little socially awkward. The players had a ball playing these quirks out.

The DM can use traits to decide how a PC perceives the world.

I also liked the latent dementia concept. They provide further role-playing cues as well as a path that characters who see too much horror will fall into.

Combat mechanics are pretty simple and easy to narrate. Each round you can choose a combat attitude which adds a "potential" score to one aspect of your stats (attack, defense, initiative, movement), while reducing another in kind. When players declare their attitude each round, they are giving the GM ideas for how the round will play out. Basically, they are encouraged to declare actions without it feeling odd.

Then everyone in the fight acts on their speed (initiative) order, which is a set number. It can be changed for a round by combat attitude, but it is really simple to run through action resolutions once you know everyone's speed. The basic PDF didn't seem to mention what to do about people acting at the same speed, but I had them act simultaneously.

Attacking is fairly simple. Roll a d10 and add an attack skill and try to beat the foe's defence skill. If you hit, take that margin you won the roll by and add your weapon's damage rating to it, then your foe takes that as damage, save for what damage reduction their armor affords them. Something elegant about that.

Wounded characters will perform worse at everything. This game has a death spiral, which can only be ignored by spending cinematic action points or whatever they are called. So fights can get serious fast.

There is a skill tree and DCs table. Everything is resolved by rolling a d10 and adding it to a skill (or trait if you don't have the skill) score. It's simple. I like using only d10s  and not bothering with any other dice--even for damage--for some reason. Oh, yeah, the reason is simplicity.

I recommend this RPG. I would like to try adapting some LotFP modules or something to it, though those are a bit too fantastical for this RPG, maybe. I'm not even sure if the boogeymen of the setting are even real yet, but there are fantastic things out there like druidic mysteries and psuedo-scientific magic.
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

J RPG Fluff product: Considerations of the Fantasy World

Found this lovely thing at Yellow Submarine today. It's a compilation of columns from Role & Roll magazine about misc. fantasy RPG topics by Yūya Kobayashi  (小林裕也). It's all system-agnostic stuff featuring the creatures, items, and locales one could find in your standard high fantasy setting. It's available on Amazon.co.jp.



I liked the section on mounts. Reminds me I need to include those humanoid mounts from the Dying Earth stories. Horses need to become rare in my campaign. 

Some Fantasy anatomy is explored in these pages about birdmen and centaurs.

Inviting copy from the book obi (belt, also called koshimaki)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

1d12 Things for you to stat

1: Aunt men
2: Orgone Energy Guzzler
3: Flat dragon
4: Manhandlers
5: Slime-clops
6: Rammun's Melting Revanent
7: The First Heart
8: Space Spore Spirits
9: Electric Bugalootron 4000
10: Child Riders
11: Endagering Chillofax
12: Moose from Hell

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In a Fevered, Trance-like State, I Fixed the Bard

Bards and skalds can be found in any court. But those that adventure have a certain set of skills. This is pretty generic; I imagine it would be good for 0D&D, B/X/LotFP, DCC, etc.

  • They can remember things others forget. This is because they use rhyme and verse to memorize epic tales, news, bon mots, and other things that get them fed. If a bard wants to see if he knows something about the thing that the party really wants details on, the DM can roll 2d6 and add in the Bard's Int mod as well as a circumstance mod. High rolls give clues.
  • They can weave magic into their lyrics. This does not work during a fight.  That takes too long and you will be cut, Jack. It might work during a battle, if the bard is, like, say, playing on a mountaintop while armies clash below. It will work on a captive audience. Literally tied up is best, but the partons at a quiet pub or a lord's court will do.
    • You learn one song each level. It just comes to you.
  • They can be blind, yet skillful swordsmen. This is a choice you make at character generation. 
  • You can conceal a weapon in your instrument, should you decide to become a wandering assassin bard. This isn't a rules thing; I just wanted to remind you that bards are  a lot cooler when they aren't about singing in a fight. 


Here are the bard songs of power:

  1. Ballad of Bravado: give each listener a d30. They can roll this during a fight, provided it happens by the next dawn, and replace any to-hit or stunt roll with it. Then it turns into a d24, and works its way down the die chain.
  2. Canticle of Kings: Listeners might kowtow to the regal might of a hero of sufficient character and bloodline.
  3. Carol of Cheer: Listener has a chance to shake off any melancholy or insanity
  4. Chant of Chivalry: Induces listeners to take up causes, enforce justice, or go to war for a pretty face.
  5. Coronach of Canceled Time: Reduces listeners to a metaphysical melancholy that will ensorcel them into a state of suspended time.
  6. Dirge of Dancing Dead: Placates mindless undead into a swaying stance-- even if they don't have auditory organs left.
  7. Jeremiad of Justice: Listener likely to admit guilt that the bard suspects them of. 
  8. Keen of Killers: All listeners are enraged and do an extra die of damage.
  9. Modony of Manipulation: listeners are charmed. +4 to reaction rolls against the bard.
  10. Serenade of Seduction: Listener may become ridiculously enamored of the bard
  11. Threnody of Thoughts: Listeners hear the secrets of the dead spirits of this place. Let the players ask a question each. 
I'll think up more someday if this post seems to have garnered interest.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fan Map for Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror

Want to run Bone Hoard in style?
This map is meant to address a couple things that dumb game judges like me can benefit from. It shows a couple monsters near where they might be encountered (just out of site of fog of war if you are using Roll20), including the heretofore unillustrated [in the original module] dancing horror itself.  The hordling is near a room where the adventure suggests it make itself known. There are a couple of traps illustrated too. I hope it enhances your experience. Click to embiggen. You might enjoy my fan map for Death Frost Doom too.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

XP for Gold revision 100: Montage

This is an embed of a revision of my XP for gold DCC rules, which my players quite frankly hate but I stubbornly think add something to the game. Enjoy.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Chase (an RPG mini-game to keep escaping exciting)

I'm tired of opposed die rolls for chases. What is needed is an event each round for each side. Then they decide how to tackle the event, or roll against its DC. This could be done with a table or cards or whatever (I've provided such a table below). If the escapee get's 5-minus its Dex mod in victory points, it slips away. Each success for the pursuer can can remove a victory point from the escapee, and if they have no more to remove when required, they are caught within either melee or ranged attack distance (pursuer's choice). Escapee rolls first. Escapee can give up running and parley or fight at any time. Escapee may have thief abilities that they can use, but they still need victory points to get away for sure. If they are caught up with, the escapee is too tired/out of options to run any more. They will have to make their stand here. They can't move out of range of the attacker unless a third party interferes.

If there is more than one pursuer and/or escapee, they alternate rolling on the table for their side and deal with it (but normal helping rules for your RPG system can come into play).

Disadvantage is either as 5e (roll two dice and take the less useful one) or DCC (roll a die one step lower on the chain) and applies to all dice you use during your turn.

Example (what the keyword means is ad hoc'ed by the Judge on the fly):

Escapee: rolls cover. A large tree. Dex DC 7 or Wis DC 10 to hide behind. They have crappy Wisdom, so they roll their Dex. It works. They spend this turn hiding and biding their time as the PC runs around. One victory point.

PC rolls obstacle. A slippery, muddt marsh. Dex DC 5 to nimbly walk through without falling or Str DC 10 to jump over. Failure means slipping or falling and having disadvantage during the next round. They don't make their test roll.

Round 2:
Escapee: Rolls obstacle. Thorny hedge. They can try DC 10 to run around it, or DC 10 to jump over it. They opt for Dex again, but fail and remove a victory point. Back down to zero.

PC: Rolls ranged attack opportunity: A clear shot. They can make a ranged attack or a DC 5 Dex roll to use the view to catch up. They chose the former and even with that remaining disadvantage, roll a hit against the opponent. It takes damage, but the pursuit is ongoing if the escapee keeps running. It does.

Round 3:
Escapee rolls trip-up opportunity: A big tree with long branches that can be pulled back and released into a pursuer's face (Str DC5) or simply run over to try and gain more ground. They opt for the former and easily make the roll to slap the pursuer in the face. This nets another victory point for the escapee (back to 1).
And so on.

The table:



1d12 roll
keyword to ad lib off of
Pursuer's
challenge and/or choice
Escapee's
challenge and/or choice
1
obstacle
Something that has to be scaled, jumped, or run around
the same
2
cover
Something that block’s sight and must be somehow seen through
something that can be hidden behind if one is quiet and/or clever
3
ranged attack opportunity!
Can roll a ranged attack, or simply use the visual information to try and catch up
You’ve been spotted! Try to dodge out of sight or missile weapons
4
melee attack opportunity!
Can roll a melee attack, or simply try to keep close pursuit
Can roll a melee attack (normal withdrawal rules will apply if you don’t want to end the pursuit here), or run under their blade and keep going
5
trap opportunity!
use available items cleverly to trip up your foe
the same
6
what the?!
something unexpected here; judge rolls a random encounter or landmark to be reacted against
the same
7
impressionable
able surface (makes tracks)
track your quarry!
cover your tracks!
8
golden opportunity
a hard check, but you can stop the escapee this round!
a hard check but you can stop the pursuers this round!
9
he went that way!
see through your foe’s attempt to throw you off the scent
use wits to convince foe you are headed a way you aren’t headed
10
hamstring
melee attack check to stop the escape now
attack check to stop the pursuit now
11
weather or environmental obfuscation
try to peer through this stuff
if you stand still enough, maybe they can’t see you...
12
I’ve got an idea!
pull something out of your pack and use it now, or lose this check to time spent lamenting if you weren’t clever enough to pack something useful
the same

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Friday, April 4, 2014

DCC lvl 1 Spell Memorization Effects

+Courtney Campbell Reminded me that I was always meaning to do something with +James Maliszewski's idea about the effects of memorizing a spell have on a wiz. So here's my take, using the core spells of DCC. DCC is probably too crazy already though. But still.

All effects evaporate if you forget a spell. Hey look, I included reverse spells that the book only hints at.

  • Animal Summoning: You have furry features. Go to your happy place and imagine your power animal.
  • Cantrip: Choose something odd to always be happening, like hair floating as if under water, a gnome living in your ear, etc. And you know what? In my campaign you can't forget cantrip.
  • Charm Person: +1d (dice step) to influence people or even jedi-mind trick them.
    • Repel Person: -1d to influence people, but they will be very willing to leave you alone if they can.
  • Chill Touch: Can't enjoy hot coffee. Can cause frostbite if you hold your skin against someone's for a round. Frost palm-sized surfaces.
    • Warm Touch: Can scald if you hold your skin against someone's for a round. Paper will burn in your hands.
  • Choking Cloud: -1d to influence people, as they don't like the miasma that floats about you. You always want your wizard pipe.
    • Refreshing Cloud: Everything near you for a turn will be clean and creatures will feel awake and dandy.
  • Color Spray: Eyes glow with psychedelic colors. They can project the colors like a spotlight if you desire.
  • Comprehend Languages: Use a d16 to try and understand languages just like a thief does. Inject a lot of Sesquipedalian terms, Latin and French into your character's speaking.
    • Befuddle Languages: Everyone must speak weird around you. Pig-latin, yoda-speak, Christopher Walken. Everyone (including PCs) has their own idiolect on top of whatever funny voice they might already have. 
  • Detect Magic: If someone is dweomer crafting (casting) near you, you're gonna get spider sense about it. The bigger the spell the farther you can feel it from.
    • Obfuscate Magic: You seem very boring and mundane. Other memorization effects are canceled.
  • Ekims Mystical Mask: You have a domino mask stuck to your eye area. People have -2d to recognize you, just like in the comics.
  • Enlarge: You are one head's length taller than normal, and can dunk.
    • Ensmall: You are one head's length shorter than normal, and dwarves start to make fun of you.
  • Feather Fall: You can bound like an astronaut on the moon.
    • Stone Fall: Your movement is slowed by 5 feet.
  • Find Familiar: N/A. This spell is obviously a ritual.
  • Flaming Hands: Fingernails exude constant flame that will alight stuff. Have care.
    • Freezing Feet: You can withstand up to -10 degrees celsius with no ill effects. Your boyfriend will be cranky at bedtime.
  • Force Manipulation: Minor telekinesis per 3e Mage Hand.
  • Invoke Patron: N/A (too messy with the potential of multiple patrons).
    • Counter Patron Meddling: Extraplanar creatures avoid you if friendly and attack you if hostile.
  • Magic Missile: +1d to throw items well/far (not for attacks).
    • Magic Shield: +1 to AC
  • Mending: Heal 1HP every hour.
  • Patron Bond: N/A
  • Read Magic: Mystical runes encircle and rotate around your head like a halo.
  • Ropework: Any ropes you have on you lazily grope their way about your person like snakes.
  • Runic Alphabet: Potential runes flit about on your skin/clothes as if something was casting shadows in their shape upon you.
  • Sleep: During non-tense times, you are rather prone to dozing off. Anyone near you has to roll under Luck to resist falling asleep too.
  • Spider Climb: Sticky hands, but not in a way that stops you from casting. Paper and dirt will stick to your palms.
  • Ventriloquism: You, or, if you're not willing, the Judge (yay!) will have a disembodied voice make smart-alec remarks. NPCs will be like "Guh?"
  • Ward Portal: You know instinctively if any given door is stuck or locked. 

Lvl 2 next time!


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Insanities Holding Your PC Back

A ghost touches your soul. An elder evil's face is glimpsed. Your whole family dies. Roll under your own wisdom score or take a condition below*. While you have a condition, you cannot gain XP. All the conditions' mechanical effects and XP nullification will go away once their requirements have been satisfied, but these should prompt lingering role-playing issues.


1d12 Insanities:


  1. Secrets†: You're certain that a random ally or NPC has a secret, and you must find it out by any means necessary (the secret doesn't have to be true, but your character must be satisfied with the confession).
  2. Paranoia: You must change your current, true name and hide it in a Matryoshka doll in a box in a chest within the pits of ______ (the DM can decide how to get you the name of the place).
  3. Resentment: You must secretly or suddenly set up a situation harmful to a random ally or NPC. This should expose them to significant possibility of harm or loss of reputation.
  4. Power: You must gain an office with sway over no less than 100Xyour level sapient beings.
  5. Puzzlemania: You have to solve one adventure puzzle or riddle on your own. If anyone tries to help you, not only is the chance to end this condition ruined, but you also have the Resentment condition from above towards that character too!
  6. Monsterphilia: you have to woo one monster. Consummate the relationship somehow before regaining your wits.
  7. Gold fever: You need to collect at least 100 gold coins (no sharing!), then roll a (DC 15-1 for every 100 gold hoarded since you got unwell) Will save, or you still have this condition.
  8. Fear: Hire a body guard and cower during fights as long as the body guard lives. After they die you reluctantly start taking care of business again.
  9. Obsession: Chose a quest/mission/objective you have yet to fulfill (even if it is a really old one you kinda forgot), or throw yourself at the mercy of the DM and they will make up one for you. Drop any other current objectives and single-mindedly pursue that one to completion.
  10. Fey-primitivism: You abhor worked metal of any kind, and seize up with imagined allergic reactions at the touch of such. This condition ends once a foe has pierced you with such an implement and you survive. 
  11. Pyromania: You must set some structures (occupants quite optional) ablaze. The amount of floors of burned structures must equal your current level.
  12. Tomemania: You become obsessed with finding esoteric information (of your choice) that you are convinced is to be found in the tome of ____ and won't be sane until you have studied it for a number of weeks numbering (roll until you roll under your Int). You must do some research to find the name of the tome, as well as clues to where it might be.  
*:An alternate system involves no save, only XP damage. If it takes you below a level threshold, you get teh insanes.
†: This one is almost directly ripped from a False Machine post that started this idea for me.
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here's one I rejected for not being questy enough and overlong:
Body issues: You must (1d3) 1: loose 1d20 pounds, 2: gain 1d20 pounds of fat, or 3: gain 1d10 pounds of muscle. It will take 1 day of fasting to lose any 1 pound (roll over Con to confirm), and 1 week to gain any (roll under Str or Con to confirm). If you lose or gain fat, also lose or gain a point of Con when you reach your goal weight. If you gain the muscle, gain a point of Str, but you must eat double rations to maintain your body image/gained score.
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DCCRPG Dark Sun Setting

I'm pretty happy with the Paranoia/A Boy and His Dog/Star Wars/Dune (duh!)/Logan's Run/The Prisoner/New Feierland tone this thing has taken, if only in my mind. I'd run the sessions much like Paranoia with missions from the templars and secret preserver, gestapo, and defiler characters mixed in to the PC ranks.

Which classic modules would fit this Paranoia spin? Hmmm....

The embedding probably isn't pretty, so you can visit here to read it in a more print-friendly form.


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Friday, February 21, 2014

Play Dirty: The Dirty Dungeon

I can imagine some interesting ways to integrate this into the bloodpool system of my KIWF RPG rules...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Initiative Dice

Messing around with the initiative rules for the KIWF RPG. Keep in mind that there is a limited amount of attack and defence dice for each creature each round, so I don't really see this system getting abused. Here it is in as per the current draft:
At the beginning of a combat round, the Ref will announce the enemies’ apparent intentions. “Charles the vampire attempts to mesmerise Sarasa” and so on. The players then announce their intentions. Every being taking an action (which constitutes something like: a move, quaffing a potion, an attack, readying a conditional action, intoning a spell, etc.) needs to roll an initiative die. If it is at/under their coordination, they will keep acting after this action. If not, they are done this round with the one action (keep in mind your attack and defense pools only get replenished at the beginning of a round). If a determination is needed to see who acts first at any given instant, the one with a lower-numbered initiative goes first (same numbers act simultaneously as possible).
A die may be forfeited from your group’s bloodpool to take a bonus action, provided you then roll it at/under your coordination score.
Outside of your turn on a round you can try something like talk, warn, threaten, taunt, or cajole.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Zadron's Zocchi Dicebag

In Dragon #62, "Zadron'’s Pouch of Wonders" made its debut. It was a clever idea for an item that was essentially many items, but never for too long. I decided to kinda redo it a bit, with Zocchi dice and the DCC dice chain.

Description:
A bag that contains some odd dice. If they are cast within an arcane ring, they summon an item from the ether. The arcane ring must be made by a character that can make a spell check. The character gets a bonus of+1 if 50 gp of gold was spent on materials for the circle, if their player brought libations for the gaming group, and/or if they brought foodstuffs to appease the game judge. The DC to make a successful arcane ring is 5.
A fumble on the roll indicates that a Zocchi Demon comes to claim the dice bag (roll initiative, you fools!).
said demon

Spell-check Results:
·  1: Fumble.
·  2-4: The bag does not spill its dice this day. Wait till the next dawn.
·  5+: Judge pulls a random item out of their favorite source. Or continue below.
·  5-10: Item level A
·  11-14: Item level B
·  15-18: Item Level C
·  19-24: Item Level D
·  25-30: Item Level E
·  32+: Item Level F

Item impermanence:
Any time you have an item, the dice disappear and you cannot use the bag while the item is here. The item stays in the local reality for a time. Each morning, roll a die, starting with a d30, and work your way down the dice chain as the days go on. If any die rolls a 1, the item disappears and the the dice return to the bag.


Level A (1 of 5 baubles):
1: Shuriken Sandwiches: 1d7 edible weapons. All pat-downs by TSA officers will find only sandwiches on your person, but when thrown, they are as sharp as shurikens.
2: Glitter Rock: Dazzles (no attacking, no Agility to AC) all viewers the first time they see it, barring a save. Any damage will bring afflicted ones to their senses.
3: Clay Ocarina: Entices boulders to roll where you ask. These are polite boulders that wait for people to clear a path, though they may be tricked into falling on someone.
4: Screaming Mimi: a sticky little blob that can be thrown with a ranged attack. Once it hits a surface, it will start screaming and be impossible to remove for duration.
5: Caustic Butt Beetle: Squeeze for ranged attack to blind a foe, who must make a DC 15 Will save to do anything other than clutch face. Beetle is empty until fed 1 gold coin.

Level B (1 of 5 flutes):
1: Flute of Groot: All who hear the song of this flute must stop combat for a full turn. Everyone speaks in rhymes, even IRL, or takes 1 HD damage per line lacking ill rhymes. Judge has to do this too lest his NPCs start dying.
2: Aqualung: All, save for flautist, who hear must save or have their lungs fill with water. They will spend each round coughing up the water until the flautist relents, or die within Con save rounds if he does not.
3: Storm-piper: Summon a torrent of rain and lighting. Chance of ambush by any party in the area moot due to visibility, as is chance of finding one's way.
4: Killer Queen: Blow to summon the god Freddie. He will remove any one obstruction (especially mooks) by blasting through it like a shooting star. There's no stopping him.
5: Entrancing Pipes: All intended targets who hear will feel overwhelming compulsion to follow player as long as the PC can continue playing and nobody is threatening them (roll under Con save each turn to continue piping).

Level C (1 of 6 pens):
1: Pen of Permanence: Can draw on any surface, and its mark never fades.
2: Pen of Penned Portals: can draw a door on any dungeon or underworld wall once day. Any door so drawn will lead to an immediately adjacent room, or, if there is not one, a 20x20 demiplane.
3: Pen is Mighter: If rubbed by a man of letters, it grows into a cudgel that automatically hits any foes who brandish swords.
4: Pen of Names: Anyone that uses this pen will end up writing naught but their true name (you know, that magics can take advantage of).
5: PEN 15 Club Scrawler: Any females who are pricked by this pen are physically transformed into a juvenile male of their species.
6: Infernal Quill: Any contracts written with this pen will contain a microdot that reads: Failure to fulfill the terms will  result in forfeiture of the signatory’s soul.
Level D (1 of 6 bolas):
1: Ebola Bola: This bola will inflict upon any victim (that doesn’t save) a strange malady that involves blood loss.
2: Boomerang Bola: If this bola misses its intended target, re-roll the attack. If it still misses, it returns to the thrower’s hand.
3: Vorpal Bola: If this bola hits a target, determine a random body part on the target and it gets sliced off! If the wielder fumbles when throwing this one, the result becomes: lose 1d5 digits from your hand.
4: Shocking Bola: any target struck by this bola must make a save or pass out from paralyzing voltage.
5: Bola Birds: Never miss their target. Can be instructed to set up a trip-style ambush as well.
6: Banshee Bola: Can be thrown or simply spun above wielder's head in the air. Either way, its susurrations will attract any undead in the area.


  

Level E (1 of 7 picnic baskets)
1: Basket of Heads: 1d3 heads inside. They will give advice in one situation for each head, allowing an untrained person to use 4d6 on a skill check. Trained people don’t take advice from no stinking heads.
2: Basket of Feasting: Enough food to feed every party member,  all henchmen, and trusted animals to contentment 3 times a day. That same night, whoever chose to eat the sole fortune cookie included in the first meal will dream a portentous dream.
3: Basket of Bombs: Endless supply of spherical bombs (only procurable by holder though). They do 1 exploding d8 damage each. Exploding means keep rolling if die comes up 8.
4: Bastard in a Basket: Child within. Child is the chosen one. Any who are touched by the child heal 1 hit die. A group of evil humans will come looking to kill the child. It would be very bad for the world if that were to happen.
5: Basket of Hands: 2d14 ambulatory hands to do your bidding. The can poke at any eyes they find, blinding a target for a round. They have 1HP, speed 30, and 13 AC.
6: Basket of Hiding: Up to 13 human-sized creatures can fit inside this basket (along with held or worn items). The basket is no heavier than a bread loaf even when full, and the inhabitants can hear and peak through the wicker. It takes one round for any one person to pop out again.
7: Basket of Flaming Doom: If opened, this basket launches a torrent of flame at the opener that melts the very skin from their face.
    Level F (1 of 7 ropes)
1: Hangman's Rope: Summon a creature similar to the hanged bogman, who will fight for you as long as you hold the rope. It ignores normal damage but dies to any critical hit.
2: Rope of Dice: If one lays this rope around a corner and waits quietly, a friendly Shmodron will come before long, munching the rope. It can be convinced to join in fighting until it dies or the rope disappears. It is of 1d20 sides.
3: Rope of Slime (30'): Can be wielded as a whip or lasso. Any beings besides the wielder touched by this rope will take 1d4 acid damage, and an acid residue,   that burns for 1d3 each round until a 1 is rolled for the damage, is left on them.
4: Lasso of Truth (50'): Any bound by this rope must answer truthfully all questions put to them. DC 10 to escape after initial lassoing, and DC20 after it has been properly tied around target by wielder.
5: Mythril Braids (1d3x100'): Can hold any weight, and wielder can pull that weight. Held items not guaranteed to avoid breaking apart, however.
6: The Longest Snake: An impossibly long snake that follows owner's unspoken will. 20HP, speed 20, 15 AC, gaze can hypnotise any target that fails DC 10 Will check. Can lift 400 pounds at a time.
7: Silk of the Arachnid Queens: Can entangle any one human-sized target (no save) (used until retracted), or fill a room with webbing that makes it nigh impassible (used until retracted). Also can be used to wrap an offering (must be at least as big as a halfling) that will placate any one monstrous spider, or a den of such, living together.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Experience expressed in terms of dice

This is a little update to the Kill It With Fire RPG rules. The concept is that while there are skill-sets that act like psuedo-classes, any PC can attempt to learn any ability, but those with the skill-sets and the associated traits can learn them easier. So there are no levels in KIWF, but there are HD and tricks that can be increased over time, if the dice come up in your favor. Good bye, experience points! Hello, experience dice!

Experience

When you finish a major quest and are out of harm’s way, be that clearing out a dungeon or what have you, the referee should allow your group 1d6’s worth of in-game weeks to improve your abilities as a reward for merely surviving, provided you made it back to a safe area to live and train.

It is not guaranteed that you learn anything of worth, however, and so sometimes nothing happens, but you can store up Experience Dice (xpdice) to shore up your chances. Experience dice are d6s that are awarded by the referee after each session for the following kinds of situations:
  • You or your group have completed a minor quest: 1d6.
  • As above, but a major quest: 1d6’s worth of d6s.
  • You have pleased a god/power (and this action isn't covered by one of the others in this list): 1d6, or 2d6 if you are have a “Holy” skill-set.
  • You said something in character that made the whole table bust up laughing something fierce: 1d6.
  • You spent dungeon lucre on a night of carousing, to buy or expand a personal domain, or create a pious work: 1d6 per 100 gold spent per the PC’S HD (for instance, a 3HD PC would need to spend 300 gold).
  • Your ingenuity saved the entire party from certain doom: 1d6.
  • You made a heroic effort to save someone in a grim situation: 1d6, or 2d6 if you were horribly wounded.

Example: Phinious the Sage is a PC of the arcane persuasion. During today’s session, his party stopped the machinations of Huruk the Mad Duke (minor quest), discovered a new dungeon complex (minor quest), and provided the ingredients to power a ritual that saved the free city of Cravenholm (major quest). After the excitement, during a lull between adventures, Phinious sacrificed 3000 gold creating some automatons to act as sentries to the temple of Tsathogunata, demon-god of wizards. He has 5HD, so that gives him 6xp dice for the sacrifice, plus 1 for the minor quest and at least 1 more for the major quest. His player may now roll some or all of them to gain new abilities now, or they can be saved for another session.

Experience Dice can only be rolled during the aforementioned PCs’ world's downtime, and any dice that don’t roll the needed result are lost.

Ways to spend those xpdice, and how many it will cost:
  • Get an additional Hit Die: roll a 6 or better, but the amount of successes required is cumulative for every two extant HD the PC has. For instance, if the PC has 6HD already, then the player needs to spend xpdice until he has managed to roll three 6s in one sitting (using any amount of xpdice the player is willing to throw at the attempt).
  • Get a new ability: each ability with have a number that you have to roll at or higher on an xpdie to earn, but you get one reroll to your attempt if you have a relevant trait score equal or higher than the target number. You also get a reroll if the ability is within your skill-set. Abilities that need to be learned before the one you want will be grouped together.
  • Increase a trait score: spend three xpdice and have them all roll the number you currently have. Xpdice can only be spent in groups of three this way.
  • Train with a weapon: each weapon is written up much like an ability with a target number to roll for basic aptitude, which is a minor weapon ability. Related weapon abilities will be grouped together on a weapon’s description.
  • Get a free check: this is a way to actually use xpdice outside of downtime. Sacrifice one die to pass one check or make one combat die an automatic hit.
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