Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Joining the Guard

I picked this up today. Now I just need to convince my players that pretending to be mice is just as cool as pretending to be Orcs, Elves, and Dwarves.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Help! I Need Somebody!

Teamwork is one of those things that I ensure is vital to any party hoping to survive my campaign. One of the most common ways to lend a hand is on a skill check, but few systems have explicit rules on how to go about multiple characters contributing to a task. I've developed a simple system for such a situation. One character acts as the primary participant, while everyone else is support. The sole character in the primary role makes their check a normally, rolling a 1d20 (or whichever die is appropriate). Anyone in a support roll does the same, but their result modifies the overall check as follows:

1:     -2 to check
5:    +1 to check
10:  +2 to check
15:  +3 to check
20:  +4 to check

Friday, September 21, 2012

DCC RPG Alternate Cover

I posted the sketch a while ago, but Joseph Goodman revealed the color version this week. Now I just need to convince myself I need a third copy of this rulebook. Or maybe I just need to convince my girlfriend that this would make a great Christmas present.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creeping Miasma

Often disguising themselves as clouds of fog, Creeping Miasma's are the products of cult activity or evil spirits who remain on the material plain to feast on the flesh of the living. Anyone who enters the cloud immediately feels a burning sensation throughout their entire body. For each round a character spends in the cloud they suffer 1d6 points of damage.

Init +7; Atk SP (see above); AC 17; HD 10d8; HP 45; MV 30', Fly 30'; Act SP (see below); SV Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +3; AL C

Trying to escape a Creeping Miasma is incredibly difficult. Should its prey attempt to run, it takes the form of a massive python. While in this form, use these stats:

Init +7; Atk Bite +7 (1d8 + Poison); AC 17; HD 10d8; HP 45; MV 60'; Act 1d20; SV Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +3; AL C

Poison: This venom rots the victim's flesh from the inside out. A player bit by the snake form must succeed on a DC 15 Fort save or suffer 1d6 points of dame per round for a number of rounds equal to their margin of failure. 

Should its prey, in a fit of foolish bravery, choose to stand and fight, the Creeping Miasma takes the form of a hideous, razor-toothed maw surrounded by six tentacles. While in this form, use the stats below:

Init +7; Atk Tentacle +7 (1d6); AC 17; HD 10d8; HP 45; MV 30'; Act 6d20; Any creature struck by one of the tentacles Is automatically grappled and will be thrust into its hideous mouth on the following turn unless they succeed at a DC 15 Reflex save; those who fail automatically suffer 1d6 points of damage from its bite attack; SV Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +3; AL C

All forms reduce any damage taken by half from non-magical sources.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shake, Rattle, and Roll

It doesn't matter how many dice I own, a new set is always welcome. Yesterday, my players surprised me with a new set of Gamescience Precision dice. They have been sanded down, inked, and are ready to begin their PC-slaying career starting tomorrow night.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Who Built This Thing?

 I've been thinking about the megadungeon recently. How I've never played one. How I want to design my own. About ones like Barrowmaze, Dwimmermount, Castle Greyhawk, Rappan Athuk, Undermountain. Mostly I've been wondering where the concept came from.

While the megadungeon will forever be associated with "old-school gaming", it seems no one who was part of the original wave of RPGs actually used this term to describe the sprawling underground complexes they spent their adventuring lives exploring. Massive, labyrinthine complexes full of traps, monsters, and treasure was what these game were about. Perhaps the term developed after the size of dungeons shrank and more modules emphasizing narrative came about? If anyone could demystify its origins, I will be very grateful.

Should that mystery be solved, there lies an even greater one: what are the literary precedents of the megadungeon? I am hardly well read in Appendix N fiction, but I don't think there are very many examples in Gygax's famed list of inspirational reading. The only one I can think of, which may simply be due to my inexperience with pre-genre fantasy literature, are the Mines of Moria. While Moria is indisputably a megadungeon, the Fellowship does not navigate it in the way that most players in RPGs would, which makes the origins of this type of locale all the more mysterious.

If any of you could provide answers or links to further my education on this subject, you can scratch your good deed for the day off your to-do list.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Where I Been, Where I Goin'

You may have noticed (not likely) that my normal M-W-F schedule of posting has been, well, nonexistent the last week or so. Fear not, for I have returned! I will say it will likely be about another week before I can resume with any regularity. My work and personal lives have eclipsed the personal time I normally use for this blog at the moment.

I have, however, still been gaming regularly. It's kind of amazing that it's taken me 12 years to find a group that plays on a weekly basis. It has definitely been worth the wait. Our last session was a very transitional one. Up until now, the players have kind of been wandering from town to dungeon, through wilderness, more or less sight-seeing in this world. This last session established the major story arc of the campaign and introduced the group's first long-term villain. I purposely made him this frail, unimposing Wizard so that the group would feel overconfident in their ability to deal with him.
I believe I succeeded, as their first battle with him lasted a full hour and was rife with death and near-death experiences.

Afterwards, the group wandered the wastelands in which they found themselves stranded. They slowly came upon slaving villages and began liberating them, culminating in many battles with slavers. They now have an army of about 300 unskilled ex-slaves and are marching back into the Outlands just beyond the empire's reach.

The group has expressed interest in forming their own nation and this feels like the beginning of those motions. Many sessions ago they cleared out a crumbling Keep and are currently en route to it with their middling army. I can hear the drums of war beating from the future.