Episodic Adventures and Then Some

So it’s been a while …

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.

Continue reading “Episodic Adventures and Then Some”

Hex Crawl Alphabet: D is for Dwarves

Viking Myke has some wonderful stuff

OK, we know that next hex over has a dwarven settlement of some sort in it. First off, what’s the general purpose of that settlement?

Dwarf Settlement Purpose (d6)
1-3: Mining
4-5: Military
6: Mercantile

Continue reading “Hex Crawl Alphabet: D is for Dwarves”

Hex Crawl Alphabet: C is for Castle

Sand castle by Sue McGrew

The PCs have stumbled across a castle in their travels. Who lives there? What are they up to? Well, I took a slightly different approach with this, and I thought the best ideas for what they are up to might come from the judge just thinking about what certain combinations of results below mean. For example, an overcrowded ruin might be home to a military force in need of a makeshift shelter. Interested to see if anyone finds these helpful or if there should be a bit more to this entry.

Continue reading “Hex Crawl Alphabet: C is for Castle”

Hex Crawl Alphabet: B is for Bandits

deviantART by Robedirobrob

Fantasy wilderlands are downright infested by bandits, brigands, and burglars of all stripes. Here are a couple of tables to help generate bandit camps. I’ve only concerned myself with the hit dice of the bandit’s leader, but bigger camps will surely have a few intermediaries with extra HD as well.

1d20: Bandit Leader HD / # of Bandits

1-8: 2 HD / 10 bandits
9-14: 3 HD / 20 bandits
15-18: 4 HD / 40 bandits
19-20: 5 HD / 80 bandits

Continue reading “Hex Crawl Alphabet: B is for Bandits”

Hex Crawl Alphabet: A is for Animals

I’ve already quoted Eliot’s apocryphal advice about great writers stealing in a previous post, but I’ve got to bring it up again here. Michael Curtis’s Dungeon Alphabet (also in PDF) is one of the most ostentatiously useful and fun system-neutral supplements even published; if you don’t own it, you should. So last night when I got thinking about how I hadn’t done any random tables in a while, I got some inspiration and decided on a project – the Wilderness Hex Crawl Alphabet. Not surprisingly, I found that I wasn’t the first person to have this idea. Jim Pacek published The Wilderness Alphabet in 2010. Based on a couple of reviews I read, I think that the list of subjects I came up should differ significantly enough from his to justify proceeding with the project (especially since I already came up with a few potential table ideas for each letter). So this is the first in a series of alphabetical posts featuring tables to assist with wilderness hex crawls.

deviantART by Sampl3dBeans

Let’s start with Animals. Many a rural region is home to mythic animal that features heavily in the oral tradition of the locals. When your PCs arrive in a new village, roll 1d10 on each column to see what legendary animal dwells in the nearby wilds:

Continue reading “Hex Crawl Alphabet: A is for Animals”

DCC RPG Ranger Class PDF

A while back I had a post about my take on the ranger for DCC. It took me awhile to get around to it, but I put the class in PDF and added a link to the Downloads section.

 

New (Old) Look for a Map, and a Change of Venue

This is my 99th post on the blog, which is something I find pretty awesome. I was hoping I’d stick to this thing when I started, and it’s actually worked out well. Originally I thought I’d try to write a lot more essays/thoughts on older games and gaming culture in general, and at some point I may do some of that again, but shifting to DCC RPG as the game I was playing really ramped up my desire to post actual game-able material.

I chose WordPress.com over Blogger for a lot of reasons, but it can be boiled down simply to a personal preference for the user interface. However, there are some limits to using WordPress.com that really bother, especially in the blogroll department — my Links Library page is manually maintained and can’t really do what I want. That’s why as of post #100 I’m going to be moving over to a hosted WordPress blog at ageofruins.com! I still have a bunch of tweaking to do to get the layout and the look where I want it, but all of the posts have been exported and anything on here is now up there.

Due to the limitations in coding on WordPress.com blogs, I won’t be able to do a redirect, so I’ll be tweaking this site very shortly with reminders that this is the old version if you land here from a link. If you’ve been following me via WordPress Reader or RSS, you’ll have to update to the new site (I don’t know if you can follow hosted blogs through WordPress Reader), and if you’ve been following me through any other method (Twitter, Facebook), I’ll of course do all the work on the back end so you’ll automatically go to the new site. However you do it, thanks for reading, I genuinely love doing this and knowing that anyone is reading makes it all that much more satisfying!

I also mentioned a map in the subject line. A while back I did a hand-drawn regional map, which I added a hex layer to on my computer. I’m really proud of the drawing, but from an actual gaming standpoint I’ve gotten really used to using Hexographer style maps both for the clean look and ease of editing. Fortunately Hexographer has had a trace feature for a while now, so here’s the 6-mile hex version of the Southern Border Valleys:

Click to bigify

New (Old) Look for a Map, and a Change of Venue

This is my 99th post on the blog, which is something I find pretty awesome. I was hoping I’d stick to this thing when I started, and it’s actually worked out well. Originally I thought I’d try to write a lot more essays/thoughts on older games and gaming culture in general, and at some point I may do some of that again, but shifting to DCC RPG as the game I was playing really ramped up my desire to post actual game-able material.

I chose WordPress.com over Blogger for a lot of reasons, but it can be boiled down simply to a personal preference for the user interface. However, there are some limits to using WordPress.com that really bother, especially in the blogroll department — my Links Library page is manually maintained and can’t really do what I want. That’s why as of post #100 I’m going to be moving over to a hosted WordPress blog at ageofruins.com! I still have a bunch of tweaking to do to get the layout and the look where I want it, but all of the posts have been exported and anything on here is now up there.

Due to the limitations in coding on WordPress.com blogs, I won’t be able to do a redirect, so I’ll be tweaking this site very shortly with reminders that this is the old version if you land here from a link. If you’ve been following me via WordPress Reader or RSS, you’ll have to update to the new site (I don’t know if you can follow hosted blogs through WordPress Reader), and if you’ve been following me through any other method (Twitter, Facebook), I’ll of course do all the work on the back end so you’ll automatically go to the new site. However you do it, thanks for reading, I genuinely love doing this and knowing that anyone is reading makes it all that much more satisfying!

I also mentioned a map in the subject line. A while back I did a hand-drawn regional map, which I added a hex layer to on my computer. I’m really proud of the drawing, but from an actual gaming standpoint I’ve gotten really used to using Hexographer style maps both for the clean look and ease of editing. Fortunately Hexographer has had a trace feature for a while now, so here’s the 6-mile hex version of the Southern Border Valleys:

Click to bigify

A Man, Lean, Dark, Tall: Rangers in DCC RPG

At the top of my very, very short list of non-core classes that should always be a part of D&D sits the ranger. I dig rangers, and I say that as someone who has only played the class a couple times over decades of role-playing and never with a particularly long-lived character. My appreciation for the class actually comes from my perspective as a DM. Since I view the class as something of a midway point between fighter and thief, I think simply playing either of those classes and just calling the PC a ranger doesn’t really get it right. I’ve also been lucky to have some great ranger players over the years, which certainly biases my opinion in their favor.

deviantART by Deelane

Issue #6 of the awesome Crawl! Fanzine presents a few new classes for the DCC RPG from potential versions voted on by members of the Goodman Games forums. There’s some really good stuff in there, but in the DIY spirit of the OSR I’m putting together my own take on the ranger class for my game. Here are the versions of the ranger that were in the running:

Ranger by raskal
Ranger by beermotor
Ranger by oncelor
Ranger by Hoplitenomad

Raskal’s version was the winner and was the only one I had read before starting to formulate my own take; not surprisingly some of the tweaks and additions I thought of are similar to parts of some of the other proposed versions (we’re all drawing inspiration from a shared legacy). I’m mixing and matching some other’s stuff with my own, and primarily drawing from Raskal’s version. They all deserve full credit for their creations.

Ranger

Hit Points: A ranger gains 1d8 hit points at each level.

Weapon Training: As Raskal’s version.

Combat Path: At 1st level, rangers must choose one of these two options:

Archer: Archers suffer no penalty to missile fire at medium range, and only receive a -2 modifier at long range. They ignore the 50% chance to hit an ally when firing into melee.

Two-Weapon Fighter: Two-weapon fighters dual wield melee weapons as though their Agility was a 16. The two weapons can be of equal size.

Wilderness Skills: As Raskal’s version.

Favored Enemy: At 1st level, rangers must choose a type of monster as their favored enemy. How specific or broad the definition of the favored enemy is left to the player and judge to determine. When attacking the favored enemy, the ranger’s action die is improved by one step and has a critical threat range of 20-24. In addition, the ranger uses an improved crit die and crit table versus the favored enemy, as noted below.

Healing Herbs: Rangers have the ability to heal wounds using natural herbs and saps, which they often carry with them. Using this ability takes 1 turn and functions as the cleric’s Lay on Hands ability per the “Adjacent” column for all targets.

If a ranger rolls a natural 1 when healing, they have inadvertently poisoned the patient. The target of the healing must make a Fortitude save versus DC 20 minus the ranger’s level. If the save is successful, the patient only temporarily loses one point of Stamina. If the save fails, the unfortunate soul permanently loses 1d6 Stamina.

Level Attack Standard Crit Die/Table Favored Enemy Crit Die/Table Action Dice Ref Fort Will
1 +1 1d10/II 1d12/III 1d20 +1 +1 +0
2 +1 1d12/II 1d14/III 1d20 +1 +1 +0
3 +2 1d14/II 1d16/IV 1d20 +2 +2 +1
4 +3 1d16/II 1d20/IV 1d20 +2 +2 +1
5 +3 1d20/II 1d24/V 1d20+1d14 +3 +3 +1
6 +4 1d24/II 1d30/V 1d20+1d16 +4 +4 +2
7 +5 1d30/II 1d30/V 1d20+1d16 +4 +4 +2
8 +5 1d30+2/II 2d20/V 1d20+1d20 +5 +5 +2
9 +6 1d30+4/II 2d20/V 1d20+1d20 +5 +5 +3
10 +7 1d30+6/II 2d20/V 1d20+1d20 +6 +6 +3

Saturday Morning Maps: Southern Border Valleys (With and Without Hexes)

click clack boom
click clack boom

After my work in progress post last week, I decided to remove all of the landmarks I had noted during the pen drawing phase. For one thing, I am much happier with my hand-drawn wilderness than with the city/village marks. For another, if anyone else actually wants to use this it probably gives more value as a map for them to fill in the details on.

For various reasons, Hexographer isn’t working out as my method of adding icons and numbered hexes to the map. I do at least have a hex overlay version to give scale, though it should be noted that that the width of the rivers isn’t really to scale with the distances — they aren’t all a mile-plus wide. In the version below, 1 hex equals 6 miles.

1 hex = 6 miles
1 hex = 6 miles