Friday, May 22, 2020

Gamma World 12`000 AD

My 20 answers to scraps questions 

1. Yes, yes there are, many different types of them. You can play one as mutant animal, you can get one as a mount, no you probably cant start with one unless its stolen or you are one. There may or may not be weaponized handheld squids Pirates of Dark Water style.

2. No undead robots.Stray souls are probably just ghosts, and yes there may be weaponized ghosts.

3. Huh, I did have crawling iceberg mechs slowly terraforming streaks of the world in old numenera game. I like those. Iceberg that walks is probably fancy superscience robot. Those may be playable.

4. About as much as a human if they are mutant animals. Oterwise they are wise in the birb ways.

5. Abstracted medikits and herbal remedies - and pull stuff out of my ass when needed. Generally closer to real or medieval alchemy. Organs giving new powers? Hell yes, you want wetware or cyberware ones?

6. I dont like halflings(cant ever find a good place for them), someone may want to play halflings. Playable insects are more man-sized. Bug spells are cool tho - there may be a brain parisite spell for those weirdos.

7. Disembodied inteligences are thing, some would love to become bodied inteligences, some may ask for a permission beforehand.

8. level 2, Im willing to listen to complaints and suggestions after a while. No, you may not GM while im gone.

9. If there is a market for something, there might be a seller. Lots of stuff are made on order. Dont expect dumb stuff stocked in your local store.

10. 3, thats teh lowest charisma goes :| 
Walking fish are mutant animals. go ahead . Personal preference for needing reverse scuba tech.

11. All of them depending on use. There are few places that can manage industrial quantities of the stuff. Like Vampire oil barons of Titan (the one orbiting Szaturn)

12. Solay system 12`000 AD (after gamma, after the big oopsies in 199x, but not our 199x, but that cool 80s anime 199x). Looks like our reality, smells like our reality but there are Ravenloft on Titan. Magic and DnDisms did pop up sometime in the next few milenia. There are elves on venus. Dwarves on some backwater mining moon. 


13.  mutant crabs are fine in all shapes and sizes. probably on earth only. but you can export them to other planets if you get a big enough ship.

14. Do declining Vampire Nobility Count? Yeah they do. Wizards, vampires(few that are left) or warlords mostly are folks in charge. Various factions struggling for power organized around powerful figures.

15a. NO. Im not putting up people pretending to be schizophrenic again. 

15b. Yes, someone can scoop out your brain, stick it in a jar until they find you a new body.

16. Mercury. One of the last vampire strongholds.

17. Sure, minor additions are fine. Mayor ones are rumors and may not be entirely true.  Look up insect wizards before. Rest is no ... getting to weird.

18.  If there is antimatter, there might as well be antifire - and no its not stable in this universe.

19. Find yourself a buyer and well talk the terms.  Giant robot counts as a siege engine? Yes they do. Those may be playable, might not fit in tight spaces.

20. Not sure where the  starting place is yet. Different needs for local economies. Food, oxygen, some other byproduct. Something more funky is possible. 
....uhhh. Dryad corpses?

I blame Vampire Hunter D 1985 for this!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

100 curious thing for a setting.

As your genial host let me welcome to lovely "insert place holder name" world. It is a wonderful place to have a vacation during this part of the aeon. As you can clearly see one of its most noteworthy features is its various lakes of water that hover at various altitudes above the moisture poor surface below. But don`t let that fool you. Don`t believe me? Ask the lovely square assistant below.

Lists provided with the help of cheep internet labour (read as free and non coerced for legal reasons) with gentle prodding of Samwise Seven RPG, contractor for Keeper of Gates travelling agency. No refunds. You get what you rolled!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Ennui of not getting enough gaming.

Sweet surreal nonsense like this is almost good enough to want to stop sitting on my ass doing nothing and get back to doing stuff.

This is fascinating idea. Is it gameable as is? Hell no. Not without serious thought put into it. There are few games like Whitehack or Mage that might pull this off right out of the gate. But not big old D&D. Way to rigid and inflexible if you stick too hard to the written word as is. Some spell interacions are already there like Clerical Cure and Inflict Wounds. Someone has been cured of recent battle? Great Inflict Wounds just unmakes it, old wounds start bleeding again. Next casting just tears new chunks of the poor test dummy in this exercise.

So how on earth you do this right. Going over every spell and writing down a thing seems way too much work and kinda defeats the purpose of a make up bullshit as you go into a wonderful house of cards that will go up in flames magic and disappointment.  Maybe a precedent based incentive, If you buy-in as a MU and play along you get a reward. Spells dont have a real duration in this idea? But the added power is not without risk. Other cool side effect out of such an approach is that magical ingredients and props are not just gunpowder joke for Fireball or fart joke for Wall of Wind. All in all this was a wonderful read and something I clearly want to try implement in one way or another in the way I ran my games.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Generic Guild faction for Yoon-Suin

Recently I was reminded about existence Yoon-Suin, while a great toolbox book it has been sitting on a shelf for a while collecting dust. Turns out I might have a use for it now. It would work really well with Zyanise setting. But one thing that stuck out to me that there is no generic faction. So here is my attempt at making one and finally learn how to make proper tables in blogger while im at it.

Dice NPCs Other NPCs Rumors/Hooks
Guild Master
Concubine Conflict with a rival
Council Member
Benefactor Scorned by patron
Archivist Indebted to a powerful figure
Ambitious Upandcomer Involved in a plot against
Rival Spy Someone has gone missing
"Guild Specialist"
Aspirant Wants to humiliate someone
Guild Member
Disgruntled Member Cannot afford a distraction right now
Disgruntled Guard Planing an expedition
Tired caretaker Selling guild secrets
Slave Sudden windfall

"Guild Specialist" is very dependant of what the guild does. For example, it might be torturer or a puppeteer in Zyanese Inquisition Theatre.

This should give basic idea of who did what to whom.
I might make a list of entries with guild specialisations. Pretty names like The Rightly Honourable Fleshcarvers Guild, which I think is from K6BD webcomic. Or migth use The Blasphemous Roster - Guilds of Infinigrad and their Machinations I nabbed during recent sale. I have a feeling it might be a good fit.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Mangling of the Classics

musings on the rules for my BX campaign. 

Ive been working my way backwards with the way Ive been playing and reading games, delving deeper into the whole old school scene. And quite frankly it has been liberating experience. I started with 3.0 then 3.5 and for the longest time Pathfinder along with some other games on the side like D20 Modern, True20 and others. Looking back at my pedigree of gaming I can understand where and how I got certain lessons.

First lesson is that 3.0 up to PF made me afraid of balance, everything was sterile and systematic in its approach there was this perceived notion of order and balancing, and it stuck with me until I encountered OSR which abhors such notions if one is allowed to be dramatic about it.

Second lesson is this, turns out I dont like D&D because of the whole D&D part in it oddly enough. Every class is loaded with bunch of stuff that implies how world works. There are bunch of stuff in the rules that implies how the world works. Turns out I hate that. That might be why I think of all the Wotc stuff D20M is my favourite because of its less then implied and generic nature and why I dislike 5e for its implied nature and specific setting. If Id have to do run in it the way I want Id have to build down, get rid of the stuff I dont like and go from there. And this is the bit all this was leading up to. I like BX and whole of OSR for its build up nature. You are given absolute minimum of rules that at some times dont even make sense or clash and are expected to make it your own.

Now with 2 successful BX games under the belt its time to think about what I think works, what doesn't and look at the feedback that Ive gotten from my players so far. Overall its been a very positive experience as you can read here part I and part II of my Ultan`s campaign. Even then while I wanted to run it as straight as possible for now to get acquainted with the rules I did add few extra rules right out of the gate. Ive detailed any current rules active and some possible ideas for future here. While the whole experience was very satisfying it has not been without some small issues in the background. A list of things that my players has brought up so far in to particular order. 

  • Outside first elf in the game rolling sleep spell( and not even getting to use it) limits of spell casting are kinda meh, 1 spell per day is kinda harsh.
  • Turns out people are surprised clerics dont get spells ar 1 level. 
  • Magic makes magic unmagical, but that has been true for most of the games with spell lists. 
  • "Can I play a halfling rogue?" Not really you can play either halfling or thief but not both. Its probably surprise to no one that people are still confused about race as class. While the player did get around to liking her halfling, this is still something I might look into later. Without some extras people are accustomed to in later editions, some classes can feel a bit samey.
  • Thief skills. There is the whole issue about 2 different sets of traps turns out I did not realise at first. Chances for success is abysmal in early levels. Percentile chance stands out compared to rest of mechanics. 
  • Minor one and easy to fix, but probably still worth mentioning, an old beast the encumbrance. Keeping track of items by value is weird and constantly have to look up prices. Also im not sure about revealing treasure value before stuff gets sold off, If players know the prices, part about figuring what is worth taking and what is not gets lost. 
Surprisingly enough that is not a big list but it contains a lot of holy cows like skills and magic.
So lets talk about skills first.On multiple occasions  I used roll under ability to determine success for certain actions. Right now I have two options, one stick with roll under abilities with maybe +X/-X for traits character has which would help differentiate characters somewhat, which has an added bonus for magic I will get back in a bit. Or second where I unifying all/most/some skills in a single mechanic. I remember discussion about this sort of thing by Mark Craddock on G+ and in post on his blog here. If I remember correctly ACKS did something similar with thief skills. I kinda like this approach because of already existing mechanics in place and there intuitive nature. There are of course other neat ideas out there. Lotfp and Dungeon World are things that come to mind.
Now on to the magic part. One of my favourite magic systems as of late might be Nightmares Underneath - neatly sorted into domains, classless, levelless, but with increased risk for more advanced stuff. Which you still can cast right out of the gate. And best of all anyone has access to magic if they are willing to take risks. And this is where we get back to ability rolls. NU uses roll under stat or half stat for skills, saves and casting. If Im using ability rolls its easier to integrate this magic into my games. But I kinda like skill throws a bit more if it werent for compatibility for magic.
Decisions, decisions.

And here in lies the beauty of OSR, I can make a Frankenstein, unholy abomination unto the rules  and it still works.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Ultans Doors - Pigs,snakes and ladies in the mirror.

Antonius Alexander Agrippa

Large sentient three headed swine of gentle persuasion and love for ancient Greek Poetry. While booklearned has little in way of life experience. Will work for food.

Stats as a very large elf?

Dryads of the Silver Grove ( Forest of Law)

Born of runaway Zyan magic and elven blood. Adheres to long forgotten laws, so trespassers beware. Has no noticeable presence in the Inquisitorial Theatre yet.

AC 5
HD 2* (9hp)
Attacks 1 × magic(charm), 1x silver blades ( 1d6)
THAC0 18,
Movement Rate 120’ (40’)
Saves D10 W11 P12 B13 S14 (F4)
Morale 8
Alignment Neutral
XP 25
Numbers Encountered 1d4 (1d6)
Treasure B

• Bound with Grove: Spiritually connected with the Silver Grove. Dryad dies if the grove dies, or if separated from the Inquisitorial Theatre.
• Meld with Mirrors: Can disappear by walking through nearby mirrors or reflections in silver.
• Defensive: Distrustful of strangers. Attempt to charm anyone who approaches or follows.
• Charm: Victim compelled to approach the reflection, vanishes inside it (save versus spells with -2 penalty). If not immediately rescued, the victim is lost forever.
• Treasure: Hidden in roots of the trees.

Red Tempters

Born of runaway magic and greed. Distracts victims by tempting them with promises of fulfilling their desires and eats the victims eyes. Dont listen to their sweet lies of you will be blinded by your greed.

AC 6
HD 1* (4hp)
Attacks 1 × bite (1d4)
THAC0 18,
Movement Rate 90’ (30’)
Saves D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (F1)
Morale 5
Alignment Chaotic
XP 25
Numbers Encountered 1d8 (1d8)
Treasure 10% chance of Red Ruby.

• Infravision: 60’. (Pits in the head allow heat sense.)
• Initiative: Always tempt first, attack last.
• Voice of Greed: Causes target to be fascinated(save vs magic).

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Ultans Door s2, Never eat a silver fruit.

We ran our second session for Ultan`s Door earlier this day. I dont think I had a session run me out of juice that fast in a while. Got home and went for a nap immediately.

For this game we had :
  • Thief
  • Cleric(different then last one)
  • Halfling
  • Dwarf (Could not make it today)
  • Elf
along with some hirelings and retainers
  • 3 Dwarven Mercenaries (also different from last time)
  • George E. Burney- a 2nd level fighter in charge of the dwarves
  • The Falcon guy everyone forgets about.

Part I

Shrines and basements.

This time there was no mucking about. Off to the pub to pick up 2 new characters Cleric and Elf, find replacements for the 3 dead dwarves. Do a sleepover in safe house from before, this time tho with the help of new shiny elven eyes they find  secret room, apparently a long forgotten shrine of Garnax, which some thieves has adopted as sort of a patron. There are few offerings at the feet of the shrine, but non of the party dare take them, on the opposite, players put some minor offerings of their own. First one was an apple from elf, a most iconic target of all street urchins. A simple sermon from cleric. Thief bothers to steal some coins and a curio (there was contingently no need to figure out what it was, since player said that it goes straight to the altar, also I could not find my whats inside someones pocket sheet). All is deemed as a worthy offerings. Halflings offering of a dead dwarfs armor was not. They still did not put shrine and visions together tho. They specify that they store the all the looted gear in safe house after handing out some to the new chars. After this short intro, they get their new meatshields pay Ultans fee (still 10GP) and head into straight into the dungeon. After the last time Ultan has hired some extra security.

Part II

Dungeoneering happens 

After figuring out that their goal for this session is to find locations that Sholtromo indicated contains knowledge, they head to large inverted tower(2), last room they explored in the indicated direction. Checking next room(3) they see no danger and proceed to loot it,finding a lock box containing incense way past its expiry date and a fancy beaked half-mask, black with silvery floral patterns. Grab some dusty old music instruments still in good shape among all the clutter. Take note of the red path built into road leading in both unexplored directions, sewage smell from one direction. They decide to head that way. Progressing slowly along the corridor(4)checking for traps, they loot some decorative glass panes from candle alcoves. At the end of the hallway is large room with 2 visible exits. One is a ceremonial dock, marked by the red path, Second is way to sever docks(25). Conveniently they decide this is the time to check for secret traps, lo and behold there a third door, leading further into the dungeon. They have managed to find the arsenal, among the rotten shelves there are still some useful equipment here for a whopping 1100GP! Finding the second secret entrance to arsenal they push on finding that next room(22) is overgrown with roots.

Part III

Rotten Library and Silver Grove( Legal Forest?)

Party finally reached their goal, an old ruined library, which the entrance to was overgrown, so halfling was sent in scouting ahead and no one else really wanted to crawl first. Turns out they had no reason to worry (because my encounter dice still came up empty) What they found was triangle like room with what used to have two small side rooms, now almost completely overgrown by roots and a massive tree bursting out of one of the side rooms and burrowing thru ceilings into a a different cavern slightly above. In the middle of all of this is a toppled altar, a mouldy old tome containing baroque and draconian Zyanian Legal Code, now mostly ruined save two clerical spells not seen before - Testify and Chain of Evidence. All the ink of the magical writing has leaked out and seeped into the ground, leading to the forest above long time ago and a small puddle of silvery ink. Dumping contents off an oil flask and taking samples of the silvery puddle.  They scramble up the hollow tree party finds themselves in a cavern, larger than they had seen before 50m wide and roughly 3 times tall. All the silvery trees here are branches of the larger tree below.  Off in the distance party hears munching sounds of  someone or something eating. Crossbows are drawn, swords are readied and sound approached. The party had stumbled into the lair of mighty Antonius Alexander Agrippa  the tree headed swine. Almost ready to unleash righteous murderhobboery on the unsuspecting swine, halfling goes "excuse me?", promptly startling the poor sod, he was reading a book and did not notice the party approaching. Sensing no danger party decided to parley. Some information was had but most importantly some magical legal fruit were had and ink drank with total disregard for safety.

Most of the members of the party decide to partake the magical fruit, while contemplating the origin of the forest ( Most likely grew from ink below ) and realised that fruit grants knowlage of old Zyan Legal Codes and grants a +1 boost to intelligence. And then all the melons eaten hit the fan.

Best bits in no particular order

  • Players realised +1 int and start gobbling as much fruit as possible, eventually someone had the bright idea to start drinking magical ink as well. 
  • Elf One was the first to try drinking ink while initially abstaining from the fruit.Since this threw me off I did what every good DM should, made up shit as I went along. Thank the gods for Logans Miscast Tables. First thing that popped into my mind. Elf One promptly dissolves into a glob of silvery goo and turns into an insect swarm.
  • Party still does not realise its not "Get your super powers now " Table.
  • Thief Drinks hits the limit on fruit for corruption while not getting next int point.
  • Some one has the bright idea that extra heads and love for greek poetry is due to extensive magic diet Tripple A had.
  • Thief suffers no immediate effects but would suffer a doppelganger attack later when he would be alone. 
  • Thief decides to chug the rest of ink. Horrible headaches and his eye crawls out along with a red snake that offers to fulfil any wish.
  • Party careless starts throwing out wishes.Thief  a new eye. Done.(-1HP)
  • Thief wishes for a level. Done.(-1HP)
  •  Halfling wants 1000gp, from trees a 10000 silver leaves fall. Done(-1HP)
  • Thief wishes for the Elf One to be returned to human. Elf is now Human. Done.(-1HP)
  • Thief runs out of Hitpoints and dissolves into a swarm of snakes. 
  • While this was going on Elf One Human Now had reached a new miscast roll. She will soon become a reverse meat vending machine, in goes the meat out comes the coins, until. Boom!
  • Tripple A is horrified and reconsider eating any more fruit.
  • A new character is spawned from one of the seed pods, naked and in the middle of the dungeon. Meet Elf Two Still Elf. This makes a good origin for Silver Dryads idea I had for this place - Pod Persons.
  • Dwarves in unison refuse the offer of having a bite out of fruits.
  • Halfling takes the magical ring.
More or less that was it. Party explored the grove and finding out that one end merges into the Sewer River and other goes above the Theatre(aka location 26 before) along with some more abandoned guild apartments on the side. 

At this point we kinda did run out of steam. So party decided instead of finding the second way to forest as indicated by Sholtromo but decided to backtrack the way they came.At this point I rolled maybe 6 dice for every room they had to go by. Finally the encounter dice gives something. A spoor, while party was mucking about in the forest something has taken residence deeper in the arsenal leaving slime trail along the ceiling. Taking a quick sample, party decides to by pass the encounter and stealthily move on. No further incidents and they are out. Party settles on idea that they should put all their cash somewhere safely so a joint bank account is opened. Exact Details on that will be settled later. 

And that is where we left off for the night and most of us had a quick dash to public transport.

If anyone has the zine at home and was paying attention,they explored sections 3,4,24,23,22,21,26(21 and 26 heavily modified by me)
End of session tally
  • Thief
  • (1share)Cleric
  • (1share)Halfling is now a proper Froddo with magical ring and all.
  • (1share)Elf x2
  • (1/2share)George E. Burney 
  • (1/2share)3 Dwarf Mercenaries
  • (Falconguy- Everyone forgets about the falconguy
  • Fancy Mask from the lock box
  • some worthless musical instruments
  • 2 censors (2x30GP)
  • 4 glass panes (4x40)
  • 6 lacquered scale mails(6x100GP)
  • 8 shortbows(8x40GP)
  • 4 spears(4x10GP)
  • 6 scimitars(6x25GP)
  • 6 Books (6x20GP)
  • 6 Magical Legal Fruit(6x50GP)
  • Seeds of said magical Fruit
  • 1000GP worth of silver leaves.

  • No combat :(
  • Total XP from treasure 2750
XP per share 344

Additional notes.

Make some sort of handouts for all the extras,because we forget about them most of the time, and I want to offload some bookkeeping to players.

Now there are 2 new monsters on the encounter table red snakes and silver dryad.
I want to play triple A badly, since chances of me playing him are slim, I might stat him as a hireling.

Thief who died now has a doppelganger who had to kill the thief to become a real boy. Now he is disembodies entity who hunts snakes? 

Time to figure out if I want to use carousing rules or not since players managed to score a good haul.
Also how XP works for Clerics, donations for churches etc.

During downtime halfling wants to identify the ring.