I’ve been way out-of-pocket with blogging as the baby date gets closer (super excited and terrified), and I haven’t actually been gaming to boot. Doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about stuff occasionally, though. For example, this was something I drafted up a while back, meant to flesh out more, and now am just going to post as-is, cause why not?
I was thinking about how to handle power armor in gonzo science fantasy games within the bounds of D&D-like rules. I know some people have touched on this before — pretty sure Dungeon of Signs had some sort of power armor on the HMS Apollyon — but I was thinking about how I would codify it for myself in the event that I ever ran my ASE DCC campaign or something along those lines.
In my last post, I struggled a bit to determine the DC for “encumbrance as encounter,” or a Weariness check as I dubbed it. I got a lot of positive feedback on the post, but Noah pretty fairly pointed out that there’s still a lot of work getting in the way of the fun in documenting encumbrance as suggested. I agree, and at the time I was thinking that a highly customized character sheet was really the only good way to make it simple. I essentially repeated the sentiment to Harley and expressed the additional difficulties I was having thinking how to incorporate it with DCC specifically, given the armor check penalty already incorporated in those rules. I had a few different thoughts on tweaks and revisions I could make to fit it into DCC, and how a sheet would look that would make it less difficult to track in any D&D-ish system.
Until tonight, when I realized that DCC’s armor check penalty not only didn’t need to be modified, but that it actually could be the key to really simplifying this for any D&D-like game, and not requiring a major character sheet overhaul. Here’s what I’ve got …
In my last post, I jumped off from Brendan’s thoughts on lighting as encounter with a couple of ways to simulate the passage of time, and as usual my personal favorite is the playing card method. Last night, while perusing the LotFP Rules & Magic book for no particular reason, I started thinking about it some more, and I think there’s more that can be handled by the “four suit” method. (To recap, base encounters on playing cards and torches go out every time all four suits have been drawn.)
First, one tweak I’d make to lighting in particular. I previously suggested that lanterns should run out of oil every other time the four suits are drawn. Even as I wrote this I didn’t love it, as one of the goals of the card method is to keep things very simple: Every time you draw X, then Y happens. I noticed in LotFP, lantern oil lasts a full 24 hours, and while this is a bit more generous than I’m inclined to be, it did lead me to my solution. Every time torches go out, there is a 1-in-3 chance that lanterns run out of oil as well. This makes lanterns theoretically infinite, but the odds are low.
Brendan at Necropraxis recently had a great post on using the random encounter die as a time-tracker — instead of just triggering wandering monsters, the encounter die could also lead to torches burning out or lanterns running out of oil.
As initially written, he advises just ignoring such results for the first two or three turns when it would seem unreasonable for new light sources to be dying. But it got me thinking, “What if there were a simple way to simulate time passage in the check itself?” Two ways popped into my mind, actually.
In my previous Advanced Dungeon Crawl Classics (ADCC) post, I looked at a simple method for adding warrior subclasses to the rules. This led to some discussion on G+ of doing the same for the other classes. There’s some obvious room with the demihumans to do so, though it should probably be limited so humans remain unique in their variety. Personally, I feel that wizards are already strongly distinguished by patrons (and potentially the Arcane Affinity spell). Clerics are obviously distinguished by alignment (which I previouslyexpandedupon), but I can imagine a scenario where clerics could be further distinguished by deity or type of service.
Thieves are also distinguished by alignment in the rules as written, though I believe it makes more sense to allow a thief to simply choose a path at 1st level. This effectively creates three thief subclasses in the rules and also provides a straightforward manner for adding more — new paths. Along those lines, I present a first crack at a new thief skill set, the Path of the Bard.
As I mentioned over on G+, my wife and I are expecting our first child this June, and her first trimester wasn’t the easiest going for her. Compound that with my new position at work (started in August) starting to ramp up and the result is a lack of blogging.
Originally posted by Brianna Heine on the other (now defunct) version of this site.
For those of you keeping score this post is a non-Conan topic though it is exploring facts I plan on incorporating into the Hyborian Age.
I have a HUGE problem with buying magic items in a fantasy game. I’m specifically speaking in d20 / Pathfinder rules.
Now let me start off by saying that I completely understand that in d20 a character’s ability to combat a threat is partially related to the magic items she has at her disposal. Technically speaking it doesn’t really matter all that much what equipment said character has but in the unlikely event the party Wizard winds up with a suit of full plate mail +2 he should have the opportunity to exchange it for something he can really use. Personally I think this problem can be combated by careful placement of treasure but players like customization as well. As I’ve said in previous posts players LOVE hundreds upon hundreds of options. In a future post I will discuss min/maxing and how it’s actually pointless in the d20 system but back to the matter at hand.
That’s Advanced Dungeon Crawl Classics (ADCC) – credit for the acronym goes to Ryan Colby.
A while back I posted my take on the Ranger for DCC, inspired by Crawl! Fanzine #6, which also featured DCC versions of the paladin, bard, and gnome. I’ve actually had someone just start playing a ranger in my game, and I’m already seeing some problems. I’m not sure that the problems are with my own design (though they could be). The thing is, the ranger as a separate class is really dependent on the style of play to have value at the table. If there’s lots of dungeon crawling going on and the monsters don’t fit the favored enemy, then the class seems like it kind of sucks compared to the others.
More than that, though, DCC has really brought me around to seeing the simple elegance of the four basic classes for humans (it’s also really brought me around on race as class, as I’ve mentioned before). And it occurred to me last Friday morning, as I was pouring my coffee and about to leave for work, that there’s a simpler way to add rangers, paladins, barbarians and the like to DCC with more mechanics than just role-playing but less than a separate class. And that way is through my most favorite of DCC rules, the Mighty Deed of Arms.