Friday, January 30, 2015

My Swords and Wizardry House Rules

Back in 2013, I attended North Texas RPG con for the first time. I had heard about the OSR and D&D retro clones but had never played any. I'd taken a look at both Labyrinth Lord and OSRIC but neither of those system's interested me. At the con, I walked into the Frog God Games room and started browsing through their books. I started flipping through the recently published Swords and Wizardry Complete rulebook. I was enthralled.  Here was a simple workable system that would allow me to run any classic AD&D adventure I wanted. I stood there at the booth for half an hour reading the book. I bought it and never looked backed.  (The PDF of Swords and Wizardry is free.)

Swords and Wizardry is meant to be modified to your liking. Here's the set of house rules that I use in my current Swords and Wizardry campaign.
Roll 3d6 for stats and place them wherever you like.
You may choose to replace any one stat with a 16.
Only fighters get more than +1/+1 damage due to STR.
Clerics get a bonus first level spell if they have a WIS >15.

All characters receive maximum HP at first level.
At higher levels characters roll their HD to see how many HP they gain. If the roll is less than 1/2 the maximum then they gain 1/2 the maximum.

Add level to backstab damage.
Assassins gain +2 bonus on save vs poison.

Clerics may cast CLW once per day in addition to their normal spells.
Clerics may scribe scrolls for 100 gp per level of the spell.
Clerics must be Lawful or Chaotic, a neutral cleric is a druid.
Clerics must choose a deity.
Clerics receive bonus spells from their deity.

Str bonus applies to both HtH and ranged for fighters.

Magic User
Magic users can cast read magic and detect magic once per day in addition to their normal spells.
Magic Users may scribe scrolls for 100 gp per level of the spell.

Monks can use potions.

Thieves may use magic Short Bows

No racial level limits.

Dwarves may be fighter/thieves, fighter/clerics or a thief.

Elves may be Fighter/Magic-Users, Thieves, or Fighter/Magic-User/Thieves.

Half Elves may be Fighter/Magic Users, Fighter/Magic User/Clerics, Thieves, and Fighter/Magic-User/Thieves.

Halflings may be Fighters, Thieves, or Fighter/Thieves.

The ascending armor class system is used.

Shattered Shields
Any damage from a single attack can be ignored by being absorbed by a shield, including a critical hit. When used this way, the shield immediately becomes unusable, shattered by the blow. Magic shields, on the other hand, don’t get destroyed, but are unusable until repaired by an armor smith.

If you are wearing a helmet and take a critical hit that involves the head, you may choose to ignore it but the helm is ruined.

Critical Hits
Characters, major NPCs and big monsters can inflict critical hits. On a roll of 20 roll on the appropriate Crit table. The crit tables from Dungeon Crawl Classics are used.
Wizards use Table 1.
Clerics,Thieves, Monks, Druids use Table 2.
Fighters, Rangers, Paladins, Assassins use DCC Table 3
Thieves and Assassins automatically crit on a backstab.
Monsters use the appropriate monster crit table. Roll die type according to HD.

Item Charges
Instead of  having charges, magic items now have a charge die assigned to them.  Every time you use the item roll the charge die, if you roll a 1 the charge die drops to the next lower die.  If you roll a 1 on the D4 then your item is out of charges.  For example,  if an item has d8 charge die, then you would roll 1d8 each time you use the item. If you roll a 1 on the D8, the items charge die drops to a D6. The Die order is D30 D20 D12 D10 D8 D6 D4.
I also tend to hand out magic items and spells from AD&D that aren't in the S&W complete book. I use the rules from the original AD&D books or the OSRIC book. The OSRIC pocket SRD book is great for looking stuff up during the game.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Spidergoat for DCC

The Spider Goat is such a cool monster. I'm going to use it in my DCC Post-Apocalypse game. I converted it over to DCC.  The hardest part was coming up with how to do the web.  As near as I can tell the rules for webs are different for almost every monster that has one.  I'm also not sure about the saves but I figure they are close enough. Comments and suggestions, as always, are welcome. 

Spider Goat: Init +2; Atk Gore  +4 melee (2d4+poison) , Kick +4 melee (2d6), Bite +4 Melee (1d4); Web +4 Ranged (no damage see below) ( AC 13; HD 4d8; MV 40’; Act 1d20 Fort:+2 Ref:+4  Will:0 
SP: Horn is poisoned DC 12 Fort Save or Paralyzed for 1d6 rounds.  If hit by web must make a DC 12 STR or AGI check to escape. 

(The Spider Goat, Mutant Future, and the picture above are copyright Goblinoid Games.)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thundarr DCC Characters Part 2

Here is the second set of characters for my DCC Thundarr game I'll be running at North Texas RPG Con. This week is the the Morrow Project sleeper, the Vault Dweller, and The Brotherhood scout and scholar.  The Morrow Project sleeper is an adaptation of the Cleric class, replacing divine power with technology.  To handle disapproval, I adapted the the Deity Disapproval table from the DCC core book into a "Technology Breakdown" chart.  There's only one character left, the Road Warrior.  I'll put that one up in conjunction with the release of Crawling Under a Broken Moon #6.   Rumor has that it's all about  wasteland vehicles!

Technology Breakdown

1 - Minor glitch. Must perform 10 minutes of maintenance as soon as possible.
2 - Major glitch. Must perform one hour of maintenance within the next 2 hours or suffer -1 to all Tech Use checks.
3- Crisis of confidence.  Must recruit one new member to their cause or suffer -1 penalty for 24

4-  Minor breakdown. -1 penalty to all Use Tech check for 24 hours.
5- "Hold these two wires together." The character may not use any of their technological gadgets without assistance from another character.  The other character may do nothing but assist. This last for 24 hours.
6 - Medical system breakdown.  -1 to all healing checks until the character finds the proper parts to repair the healing devices.
7- Improper hygiene maintenance results in the character catching a disease.  Loses 1 point from STR, AGI, and STM.  The disease cannot be cured by normal means and lasts 1d8 days.
8 - You broke it. -4 penalty on the device that resulted in the breakdown for the next 24 hours.
9 - System wide failure. -2 penalty to all Tech Use check for 24 hours.
10 - Feedback loop. One randomly determined device stops functioning for 24 hours.

11 - Intensive maintenance is required.  -2 penalty to all Tech Use rolls until the character spends one full day doing maintenance and succeeds in a DC 15 Will save.
12 - Your devices are multifunction require tweaking for the rest of the day.  You gain no xp for the while this occurs.
13 - Two randomly determined devices cease to function for 24 hours.
14 - New parts required. -4 penalty to all Tech Use checks. Calculate the character's total net worth. The character must spend 40% of their net worth on new parts. For each 10% spent reduce the penalty by 1.
15 - Routine maintenance has no effect today. The character's breakdown number does not reset until the next day.
16 - Medical unit breakdown. The character's medical unit requires 1d4 days of maintenance before it will function again.
17 - Major system wide failure. 1d4+1 devices cease to function for 24 hours.
18 - The neural disruptor unit has failed. 1d4 days of maintenance are required to repair it.
19 - Bio-feeback in the device permanently marks the character in some way.
20 - Medical unit malfunctioning.  May only be used once per day per person.  After 24 hours routine maintenance returns the unit to normal.

Morrow Project Sleeper

Vault Dweller
Brotherhood Scout
Brotherhood Scholar

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Thundarr DCC Characters Part 1

I took the plunge earlier this week. I submitted an event to North Texas RPG con 2015 to run DCC based on Crawling under a Broken Moon.  Giving myself a hard due date will make me and finish the characters and the adventure.  The characters will be based on my post-apocalyptic archetypes and adapting DCC for PA games posts.  Here are the first four characters: Thundarr, Ookla, Ariel, and the Ranger.  Comments, questions, suggestions, and stat checking welcome! Thanks much to +Jon Marr for the character sheets. (You can click the sheets for the full size.)



The Ranger

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Wrap-up

I started writing this blog on June 23rd with the first real post on June 25th.  Truthfully, I didn't think the blog would last this long.  I have a bad case of gamer ADD.  I get into a game system/rule set/campaign setting. I put a lot of time and effort into it, and then decide I'm not that into it.   Somehow, that didn't happen with the blog. In fact, my list of "blog entries to write"  just keeps growing.  Here's some stats for the past year.

Total Pageviews: 36,216
Number of posts:45

Top 5 most popular posts by pageview:
Channel Zero Christmas Giveaway
Converting D&D to Runequest
Converting between editions of Runequest
Shameless Self-Promotion and Free Stuff
Fan Created Gamma World Adventures

That makes sense.  Everyone likes free stuff and the Runequest articles are useful to a larger audience. I wrote a lot about post-apocalyptic DCC. I know that's a limited audience. (niche of a niche if you will.)   I could increase my traffic. I could write about the more popular game systems and I'm sure I'd get more page hits.  That's not why I'm doing this though. I saw Neil Gaiman at a convention many years ago and he said something to the effect of  "The characters talk to me incessantly in my head.  I have to write about them so they will stop."  That's how blogging works for me. All this game stuff keeps knocking around in my head and I have to put it somewhere.  I might as well share it with you.