Thursday, June 28, 2012

Demihuman Ability Adjustments

Inspired by my Alfar rules, here's a different way to handle demihuman ability score adjustments in "roll in order" rulesets:

  • Dwarfs:  can swap any score with Constitution.
  • Elves:  can swap any score with Dexterity.
  • Gnomes:  have big noses.
  • Hobbits, etc: can swap any score with Charisma.
  • Half-orcs:  can swap any score with Strength.
  • Humans: can swap any two scores.
Any swapping of scores must result in the ability listed become higher than initially (i.e, a Dwarf could not swap an Intelligence of 10 with a Constitution of 12).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

An old character background

The day of the graveyard battle. I (Dewglass) came to Eastgate after years of tutelage under the Omnithrox of Aphasia.  My master told me that if I were to retrieve three of the Ioun stones, he could show me how to create a philter that would grant me immortality. Of course, I have already discovered (through auguries to Tiamat), that the Omnithrox's heartblood *is* the secret ingredient, but the Ioun stones will get me a more private audience.  I'll still need to find an enchanted dagger to remove all of his hearts.  An airship from the Lakbunish Protectorate was reported missing in this area a century ago, so Eastgate is a good place to start.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rumors from Yrem

  1. Xagnus the Animated still roams Yrem as a ghost.
  2. Frog people to the south know a secret way into the city crypts
  3. The Statue at the City centre holds a magic sword
  4. Gebelt the Merchant Price will pay handsomely for certain styles of art
  5. The Temple of Sig is unapproachable by Demons and still has most of its loot
  6. At midnight, captured slaves from the surrounding villages are sacrificed in Executioner's Square
  7. Avoid the pit.  I don't know why, but everyone says so.
  8. A dragon sleeps trapped beneath the library, having forgotten hold to change to human form.
  9. Many have entered the dungeons beneath the Count's Palace.  No-one ever comes back.
  10. A Sphere of Eyes has blasted a cave beneath the Gardens.  He will trade secrets for good books.
  11. The Eastern Warlords are hiring.
  12. The drunken priest over at the cutthroat camp will cast blessings if you pay his tab.
  13. The Countess' troops hold the river gate. They shoot questionable folk on sight.
  14. The Black Pit isn't pleasant or cheap, but you can sleep safely there.  That cutthroat camp...
  15. A refugee family wanders the rich quarter.  They were born before the demons came.
  16. "I saw a smithy with fine swords and axes north of the market square.  Flying things came before I could pick the lock"
  17. The wizard in camp has been in the clock tower.  He says there are riches, but refuses to go back.
  18. "I saw black skinned folk beneath the cemetary.  I mean *black*. They asked about shiny glowing  rocks.  They seemed nice."
  19. One of the Eastern Warlords has brought in a renowned sage from his homeland.  On the sage's a direction, the warlord's forces are making a push to reach and stabilize the area around the Great Library.
  20. A wizard in the Black Pit encampment sells Potions of Healing
  21. Watch out for the area around the Clock Tower.  A group of explorers were found there, turned to stone, one of them clutching a crown in his hand.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fixing the Elf: The Alfar

Somewhere in my list of projects if a heavily/horribly tweaked D&D set of rules.  I dump classes that aren't really needed (Paladin, Assassin) and make it a little weirder and darker like my Uod setting.  The core stuff is there - dwarfs, spell-castings, hit points, levels, AC, etc, but I drop any idea of meeting expectations of players used to AD&D or BECMI.

So here's my bullet point notes on the Alfar rules, my replacements for Elves.  Once I finalize things, I'll post a pdf.


  • -1 to Constitution (NO bonus to dexterity)
  • Ephemeral: Alfar can not be Raised from Dead or Resurrected through any spell or item short of divine intervention.
  • Immune to Charm, MORE susceptible to Sleep (not sure how to work that yet)
  • Natural Archers: Characters proficient with a long or short bow, alfar characters gain a bonus of + 1 on their die rolls "to hit" with those weapons.
  • Infravision 60'
  • Taller - 5'6" to 6'6"
  • Crazy eye and hair colors.
  • Secret Doors: double chances of finding, but only when searching.

You'll see I've dropped the dexterity bonus, which I think is a big attraction for a lot of players.  With these rules, I'd feel better about dropping Racial Level Limits, which are a bad solution to a legitimate issue.

I'm also thinking about replacing ability score bonuses with a free "swap", in the event you're rolling ability scores in order.  In this case, Elves would be able to swap any rolled ability score with Dexterity.

Friday, June 15, 2012

5E and Life Chaos

I haven't abandoned this blog.  I shifted primarily from rules work to campaign work in hopes of using my Tactical Simulation Ruleset (ridiculously rebuilt/house ruled AD&D) with a new Sandbox campaign over Skype.

Life - work, home, and toddler intervened for myself and more than one player, so we're slowing starting to regroup   I'm slowly pulling teeth.  In the midst the 5E playtest was released and one of my players has jumped on the opportunity to run a live DCC game.  I haven't run a game that lasted more than a month or two in a couple of years, so I'm dying to really DM again.

1.  I'm still looking for players for a weekly/biweekly Skype game, using something akin to AD&D (whether my house rules or not) - or 5E...

2.  I'm not sure where I stand on 5E.  It's definitely an improvement (so far) on 4th edition and many things about 3rd.  If all my friends wanted to play it, I wouldn't fuss too much.  Based on the comments and griping of the superhero-balance-Pokechess contingent, I suspect it will get worse, not better.  I can deal with Hit Dice (better than Surges, worse than my healing), but the individual initiative, stonecunning, and long rests are garbage.

Unrelated, but here's the best Orcus ever: