Friday, 29 March 2013

Quick ruinedcitycrawls - and Conan on Necromunda?

For a little background for this post, go read this one at The Tears of Isstvan then this one at Hill Cantons. It's aimed at tactical roleplaying, but you can find an introductory ruleset for that here.

It's all about managing the complexity of a ruined cityscape that's occupied and prowled, and the key elements are the map, faction territories, depth, locations and activity.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

200 grimdarkling personal features, minor mutations, gifts, devices, body mods and stylings (arms /1,000)

Yet more entries for the character detail project, which is an open project to produce a large range of options for figures in a grimdarkling world like 40K's. The whole thing was set off a couple of weeks back by Lasgunpacker's random warband creator for Inquisitor.

Since my last batch, Lasgunpacker has posted 200 each for bling and equipment, to make 700. With zhu bajiee's 60 minor mutations and my first batch we have around 950.

This is my next batch of 200 then, this time for the arms, which gets us to around 1,150.

If you don't have a d20 and/or d10, just roll 1d6: on a 1-3, roll for 1-100 as described in the fifth paragraph here; on a 4-6 roll for 101-200 the same way, adding 100 to the result.

To decide which arm it is, assuming two, roll 1d6: on a 1-3 it's the left, on a 4-6 the right.

Beware: there's some weirdness, a fairy tale-bad dream darkness and light body horror.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A question for (potential) diemakers

If the probability of rolling each of the individual results on a given die is influenced by the weight of material removed from each face to create the specific pips or numbers that face has, why not:

a) cut seven pips in each face to a three-by-three grid then ink only those pips actually needed, or

b) cut the pips or numbers on different faces to different depths, i.e. cut the one six times deeper than the six, to equalise the weight of each face?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Casting on weird frequencies

This caught me napping: out from under the transplanar radar throbs Space-Age Sorcery - a free pdf resource.

It's a collaboration between Hereticwerks and Needles at Swords & Stitchery, with me along for the ride. The pdf has over 100 'spells', weird ones blurring the line people keep seeing between sci-fi and fantasy, with whole sacs of horror thrown in. There's a quick note on the tone here.

You should be able to plug them all fairly easily into your old school tactical roleplaying game, but if you don't have one of those yet, you could use the simple ruleset here.

Go download one, and show your appreciation to Hereticwerks and Needles if you like it.

Update: Just uploaded is Version 1.5, with enough tweaked to make it worth switching.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Petty Gods and trivial concerns

With the fair range of readers this blog seems to enjoy, from various areas of gaming and beyond it, not every reader with a potential interest might know about the status of the Petty Gods project.

Short version: Greg Gorgonmilk is taking over and calling for submissions old and new.

Long version: Petty Gods was a project inspired by Blair here at Planet Algol and set moving by James Maliszewski here at Grognardia. The idea was to source descriptions of obscure gods with game stats suitable for old school fantastical roleplaying. In simple terms, a bit like The Unknown Gods meets Terry Pratchett's Small Gods. There's an example here. Entries were sent and art created, but it seems layout was never finished.

Grognardia is one of the oldest blogs associated with the OSR, a movement of gamers interested in early forms of roleplaying, and especially early Dungeons & Dragons. For a few years the blog was one of the major hubs, a source of information, reflections and arguably revisions on the early years of D&D and tactical roleplaying as a whole. A significant part of the structure of current thinking in the OSR, and therefore quite possibly also the next official edition of D&D, may well lead back to, or through, one or more of James' posts.

James has been quiet for some time, apparently for personal reasons, leading to debate on the exact status of his as yet unrealised Kickstarter megadungeon, Dwimmermount.

It also seems to have contributed to a fin-de-siècle sense the OSR is out of steam, but this analysis seems not to recognise the breadth and depth of the movement. To judge by the response to Greg's first post, compared to James' say, the concern looks off the mark. It's a transfer: not an end, more an End. Petty Gods seems to be a rallying point.

Once again then: Greg Gorgonmilk has stepped up and is now accepting submissions.

If you feel this old school aesthetic and have a petty god worthy of praise, or can draw one, you can play a part. Start a religion, get published and change history in one move.

Update: A stop on gods for now, but various items are still needed - see Greg's sidebar.

Update: Greg has just linked to what he's calling Original Petty Gods, the first edition.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Local made good - collaborative campaign locations

This is a simple tool for generating locations in a campaign collaboratively, whether at the start or partway through. It's intended for both wargaming and roleplaying campaigns and it relates to the recent discussion with bombasticus at this post.

It's been tested with a group of five players who barely know each other and went down very well.

The central idea is this: the forces or characters that the players are guiding are part of the wider landscape, so they reflect this landscape and have relationships with elements of it. This tool treats them as a kind of inverse function to find the known nature of a given location.

You'll need all of the players, plenty of dice (I'll assume d6s), a sheet of paper and at least one pencil or pen. The key elements are size, links, centre and features, and generation involves rolling dice on the sheet and marking the positions to form a map.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

200 grimdarkling personal features, minor mutations, gifts, devices, body mods and stylings (head, /1000)

More entries for the character detail project, for individuals in a grimdarkling world like 40K's, set in motion last week by Lasgunpacker's random warband creator for Inquisitor.

Since my first batch, Lasgunpacker has posted 100 each for bionics, weapons and clothing. With zhu bajiee's 60 minor mutations that gets us to about 450 non-duplicates.

We're running parallel tables, aiming for 1,000 each to start and avoiding any overlap as far as possible, with the idea of combining them later. If anyone wants to join in, they're very welcome. Lasgunpacker's plan is here and I'm provisionally thinking the following:

  • 200 for the head, including the face and neck
  • 200 for the arms, including the shoulders and hands
  • 200 for the thorax, i.e. the chest and upper back
  • 200 for the abdomen, i.e. the belly and lower back
  • 200 for the legs, including the feet

So here's the second 100 for the head, combined with the first 100 to make a list of 200.

If you don't have a d20 and/or d10, just roll 1d6: on a 1-3, roll for 1-100 as described in the fifth paragraph here; on a 4-6 roll for 101-200 the same way, adding 100 to the result.

Beware: there's some weirdness, a fairy tale-bad dream darkness and light body horror.

Game stores, House of Paincakes and your blog too

Loquacious has answered my question at House of Paincakes on what she thinks boosts game store creation and helps a store thrive, and what a keen community could focus on. She's a store owner too so if you have an interest in the future of tabletop gaming at the tabletop, have a read.

This is also a good time to remind people of what HoP is: a major blog network with a strong but open authorial voice and excellent regular writers. Any blog on tabletop gaming can join, right here.

The blog rolls are heavy on wargaming right now, but that will change if a wider range of blogs join. If you want to spread the word about the kind of game you like, go and do it.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

100 grimdarkling personal features, minor mutations, gifts, devices, body mods and stylings (head, /1000)

I may not be fond of using tables in play, especially in tactical roleplaying, but I still like big, baroque tables, most of all for prep. This is a fairly big one, and baroque in content.

It was inspired by Lasgunpacker's random warband generator for Inquisitor and the idea of crowdsourcing a d1000 table, but helped along by the recent musing re John Blanche.

Put simply, Inquisitor is a 'narrative wargame' published by Games Workshop in 2001, a blend of skirmish game and RPG set in the 41st millennium. Officially it uses 54mm miniatures, but actual play looks to be heavily 28mm (see INQ28). Inquisitor may be the loftiest crag in GW's modern history, the magical moment when it all came together and the nature of the drop became clear. But that's an argument for another day.

I'm game for a d1000 table whether or not anyone else is, and this is a first 100 entries, for the head only. They're personal features, minor mutations, gifts, devices, body mods and stylings for characters in a grimdarkling world - like 40K's - but system-free. They assume a human, or standard humanoid at least, but the list shouldn't be hard to adapt.

It's a d100 table, which usually means rolling 1d10 twice, once for the tens and once for the units. If you don't have a d10 but have a d6, you can use the method described here.

Beware: there's some weirdness, a fairy tale-bad dream darkness and light body horror.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Arriving at the Abode of Departure

If you haven't seen it already, you might like what John Till did with that simple architect builder I posted the other day. He's developed his desert fortress-town - the remote Abode of Departure.

The introduction is here, the fuller overview here.

It's an eerily evocative location and I realise now that with the deep cistern network, hidden structures and gate, and stomach-churning fate that could well be waiting, it's potentially a campaign setting in itself. I don't know if I'd rather run it or be run through it, which is a possible measure of something just right.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Towards a 'new' encounter - reading, comprehension

Very interesting discussions on OD&D go down (like lead balloons?) at Untimately. I like the blog a lot. Today in the comments Gus L and Brendan suggested - if I'm reading right - that the encounter distance, surprise and reaction rolls can be just a little lacking.

For those who don't speak OD&Dese, encounter distance is the distance at which another party or situation is spotted, a surprise roll determines - surprise, surprise - whether each side is surprised and the reaction roll is a roll made to determine how a potential threat reacts, usually on 2d6 modified by charisma or an equivalent.*

Gus wonders if there's a way to generate more specific circumstances, like what exactly the goblins are doing other than "'goblin things'". I can improvise goblins okay, but I would be interested in a useful tool. I'm also the kind of guy who might help make it, even link to the project. But my worry is a new tool is more complication, especially when different settings and GMs have different takes on who or what a goblin actually is.

So I have a simple idea.