“When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.”

-George A. Romero, Dawn of the Dead

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Spells Without Number

I've been working on a swords & sorcery fantasy hack of Stars Without Number. Basically I'm going with three classes. The Warrior, Rogue (Expert), and Sorcerer (Psychic). The first two classes are essentially unchanged from how they appear in the book, but the changes to the Psychic requires a bit more work. I was inspired reading in the psionics chapter about how Psychics can "Torch" their minds to cast their powers without paying the power point cost. This is a system that could be ripped out and used in any retro clone RPG for spell casters. Heres my personal take on it below.

Brundle the Sorcerer over-channeled one too many times...
Over Channeling a Spell & Mana Burn
A desperate, foolish or just plain unskilled sorcerer may decide to cast a spell when he no longer has
any mana points (or spell slots) left to do so. This feat of sorcery is accomplished by over channeling more eldritch energy than the sorcerer is capable of handling and suffering a mana burn.

Any level of spell can be over channeled this way but for each spell cast in this manner the sorcerer must roll a d10 and consult the Mana Burn Effects Table. Regardless of the roll over channeling a spell is a painful experience for the caster and will cause the sorcerer's body temperature to dramatically increase. Skin will turn red or blister and be hot to the touch. The air will crackle with a tangible eldritch energy that can be felt by those standing nearby and the smell of burnt hair and cooking meat will create a horrific stench that will suffuse the air and take days to dissipate.

Sorcerer's whose Wisdom or Constitution scores that drop to 3 or less become NPC characters under the Game Masters control. A sorcerer with a Wisdom score of 3 has gone insane and will be under the influence of some cosmic or infernal entity or quest. A sorcerer with a Constitution score of 3 has become so suffused with eldritch energy that they are no longer human. They have become an infernal, cosmic, unique undead monstrosity hell bent on world domination or some other maniacal scheme. 

Mana Burn Effects Table
Roll 1d10
Permanently lose 1 point of Con and Wis
Permanently lose 1 point of Constitution
Permanently lose 1 point of Wisdom
No Permanent Damage

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 I'm making you my Bitch

Aint that the truth.
2014 is coming to an end. I started this blog in 2011. I haven't been as diligent at posting as would have liked but hey thats life and gaming took a hit with all the other stuff going on in my life over the years.

Since that time I've been laid off, learned a language, finished high school, got a new job, and am now preparing for my second semester of college.

Theres been almost no roleplaying going on these days which blows goats. However I've been playing Magic a lot and even winning a few local draft tournaments. Plus a bunch of us have embarked on learning Warhammer Fantasy miniatures. ORCZ FOR DA WIN!

A new gaming store has opened in my town and its amazing. The staff and people who hang out and play are all great people and it promises to be a great new year for gaming. I just wanted to thank those that stop in and read my blog from time to time. I will make an effort to put up new material and finally update some of my blog projects.

Happy New year to you all!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tharzad-Dul: Map of Level 2

The Garden Level
I finally got around to scribbling this map out for the second level of my mega dungeon. I'm super excited to stock this sucker. Just a few notes. First I decided to go with a new room numbering scheme. Rooms are denoted with a X.Y format. So for example 2.1 means: level 2, room 1. Also I first refered to this level as the Farm Level. I changed it because I thought garden sounded better.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Martian Syphilis and Other Interstellar Diseases

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, Martians AND Mutants !
I should be getting school work done right now. But in the true spirit of procrastination I felt I needed to blog first.

One of the class that I should be working on right now is Western Civilization. I love this class. From a purely learning experience it has been amazing. History is rife with stuff we can steal for gaming. In fact I would argue the best authors have long ago figured this out. I find myself constantly inspired as I sit in class or read the text book. For example this paragraph inspired me:

“This essay will demonstrate that the Spanish Conquista of America in the 1520s and 1530s was more than a brilliant military victory. Aside from the Spaniards' military superiority, what other causes contributed to the rapid conquest of America? The spread of Old World's diseases and the weaknesses of native empires helped the Spaniards colonize America.”

For some reason this made me think of War of the Worlds. Obviously the Martian invaders in the end were affected by the bacteria of Earth. But what if it had been the other way around? What if the immune systems or the technology of the Martians prevented them from getting sick and instead it was Earthlings that were compromised by alien bacteria? What if this alien bacteria didn’t just kill those it infected, but in some cases it caused horrible mutations. What if in a small percentage of the human population it caused psychic powers to develop?

Of course the second part involving the weakness of native empires is easily translated into the fractious nature of humanity and its nations states. Lets face it, humans are dicks. We will always be out own worst enemy.

Ok, so I gotta get some work done now. Back to the books.      

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tharzad-Dul Mega-Dungeon Update

I've updated the Tharzad-Dul Mega-Dungeon Page found HERE.

With the arrival of Dungeons & Dragons 5e and delving back in to fantasy reading (see THIS blog entry on what I'm currently reading), my mind has come back to Tharzad-Dul and the World of Aerd my mega-dungeon blog project. The three things that I feel are most important to cover in order to make this playable in terms of starting up a campaign would be doing a write up on Enderfell the starting village, the Gods of Aerd, and level 2 of the dungeon (The Garden Level).

When I started this project I was using the free Swords & Wizardry rules. I don't intend to go back and update what I've written already (at least not at this point), but going forward I will be using the D&D 5e rules. So keep your eyes peeled for new updates of the World of Aerd.

Wheel of Time: The Eye of the World

One of the advantages of taking the train into school every morning is getting in a little reading. I've
tried getting in some studying while commuting but I've found I have a hard time really focusing. Instead I've been reading on my Kindle Paperwhite. I still prefer reading dead tree versions of whatever I'm reading but the conveniance of the Kindle is unbeatable. Its small and light making transportation perfect. I can read in the dark, and best of all the logistics of holding it and a cup of coffee while turning to the next page makes it perfect for the daily commute.  

I've long resisted the urge to read the Wheel of Time saga for a long time. The commitment of reading something like thirteen books is a little overwhelming. Not to mention I still haven't finished the Malazan series by Steven Erikson or George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice yet. Honestly I'm not a huge fan of epic fantasy. I've found that Jordan when compared to Martin, or Erikson has his own style and tone that I find enjoyable and easy to read. I'm not sure I have the fortitude to make it through the entire series, but I do see myself at least finishing this book. It's been a nice distraction from all the serious studying and hard work involved in my current studies at college.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hommlet: Burne's Tower

The following is an entry in my series on Ultimate Greyhawk. Much like how comics and movies will reboot a franchise with a new take on an old concept, this is my personal re-imagining of the Greyhawk Campaign Setting beginning with the venerable town of Hommlet.

Key to the Village
The following locations are numbered based on how they appear on the map of the village of Hommlet as found in the module T1-4 The Temple of Elemental Evil.

30. Burne's Tower
During their adventuring days Burne and Rufus ruthlessly gained power and prestige. They killed a green dragon in Kron Hills and defeated a large group of bandits. The construction of this stronghold began three years ago in 576 CY. In part because of a personal favours owed and because the Archcleric of Veluna wanted some influence in the area he helped finance the construction of this stronghold along with the Viscount of Verbobonc. The Viscount on his part was grateful for an early warning force in case the Temple were to ever rise again.

Burne is an arrogant and ambitious wizard. He seeks to join the Circle of Eight one day as an actual member and has been quietly working in the background to manipulate events that will lead to him joining the illustrious group. He has no idea that Spungior is an agent of Mordekainen. 

Rufus is a serious sort. He is ever vigilant and works as Burne's bodyguard and chief lieutenant. He over sees the Burne's Badgers a band of mercenaries who are completely loyal to Burne and Rufus throwing themselves into danger in order to protect their masters.

While the stronghold continues to be constructed hired Workers swarm the area doing all manner of construction. Ostensibly Burne and rufus work for Viscount. The reality is they work only for themselves. They will help other adventurers and will even go as far to help train and equip them in the arcane and martial arts, but only if those individuals respect and pay fealty to them. Both Burne and Rufus are ruthless and will not hesitate to do what they have to to get what they want. They will be extremly discrete about any illegal activities they undertake.