Saturday, April 23, 2016

"You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack... you may ask yourself, well how did I get here?"

I recently ran a game! Woo! Alpha testing my philosopher's stone (aka my own super-duper-special Fantasy RPG). 

Working title: "Broken Wilds"


In said game, there was a crazy old candle-maker, a crazy scary aelf, and a crazily vain person. They were to be an already "functioning" "team". There wasn't a dungeon so I couldn't just wake them up hungover inside.

I wanted a beginning to help draw everyone into character and tie them all together. 

So, I did something pretty simple.

I got the Players to Answer a few questions during character generation.


  • 1.a Who in the group do you kind of hate? 1.b Why do you work with them anyway?
  • 2.a Who owes you something in the group? 2.b Why can't they pay it back to you yet?
  • 3.a Who, in the group, do you like the most? 3.b How do you let them know?
  • 4.a Who in the group knows your worst secret? 4.b How did they discover this?





The procedure:

Read the 1.a question. First player to call dibs on that question gets to answer it. Whoever the first player chose in his/her response answers the 1.b question for the first player's character.

Each player may only answer a single #.a question.

Repeat until all players get to answer an #.a question.

Example

Sarah is playing Bee the Handy Jill and Sam is playing Sea the Degenerate Wizard.

Sam wins dibs and declares that Sea sorta hates Bee. Sarah tells Sam Sea owes his life to Bee.

Sarah automatically gets the next question. Obviously Sea has like a lifedebt to Bee and so both players declare that sans the formality of the procedure. 

Alternatively She could have done something weird like a demon blood oath further tying them together. Then he could be all like "we have to kill 4 demons!"

It's worked swimmingly thus far.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

#200WordRPG

Existential Wizards:

















Philosophers, poets, junkies seeing the pearlescent pus of being.


You looked behind the muddied veil of reality: no true forms, no hidden rainbows... only hungry Void.


You weren’t the first. You won’t be the last. You haven’t killed yourself, that’s a start.


Now, go fix the trouble you made.


Characters have 2 important pieces:
NUMBNESS protects from Void. BEAUTY pushes the Void away.


[Roll 1d6 twice for starting Numbness and Beauty.]


[Hitting 0 or 10 = death.]


Otherwise, characters are just folk.


The Enemy:
Void destroys reality in widening gyres.


First pets, then people go missing. Streets fade. Eventually whole cities cease.


A neighborhood dissolves in a year, a city in a decade.


Fight the Emptiness with Art, create or abnegate.


[All works against Void are a gambit. Each character wagers an amount of Beauty.]


[Players roll 1d6 + Wagers . The GM rolls 1d10. Highest wins.]


[If the players roll higher, each adds the amount of their wager to their Beauty. Void in the area goes down a step.]


[If the Void wins, players subtract the wager amount from their Numbness. Void increases.]

[If nothing is wagered for a battle, Numbness goes up by 1, Beauty down by 1]


---

My submission for the 200 word RPG challenge.

Released under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ...


---

Also I've released a PRINT RPG BOOK with a picture by noted drawer of good pictures, +Anxious P. ,

You should buy it.




[As of this post, the code LULURC, will get you free shipping and 25% off.]

[You should buy my novella, too. The best review so far, "I wish it was a whole goddamned book!"]

[Also, buy Fire on the Velvet Horizon, It is without caveat the best RPG product ever made. Pure imagination fire.]

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Kobold Work Rhyme




busily busily chew-chew-chewing away
chewing away, we say, we say
chewing away, we say.
Gnaw it near, Bite, Nip, Tear.
Bite, Nip, Tear. Bite, Nip, Tear.

Never enough, but we share, we share,
Never enough but we share.

Bite back Hard! When pushed too far.
Bite back Hard. and Run!

[translator's notes: ]
[I have to the degree possible, in association with a not unfamous poet, attempted to preserve the onomatopoeic and alliterative trappings of the dogmen poetic tradition. Working rhymes such as this are whispered in a musical round. The final line is only sung in the final repetition coinciding with the work's end.

Nearby each note and word may be discerned; however, with any distance it becomes a strange echo. It sounds a bit like heavy breath, shifting stones, and running water. Such sounds are haunting but not unfamiliar in cavernous environments.]

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Playing at Sticks

So I decided to participate in an RPG contest [clickable link, y'all]...

“Old King’s got ‘er locked up now, real sharp.

“Got ‘imself a bobbing pair, he does.”

---

“Been a decade ago, His Majesty Oerick, long live, decreed catastrophe, dismissed the Council of Earls, and remade the Laws of Murder and Assault.

“Carry an implement of war, outside called levies and the constabulary, and you now are attempting murder. Assault is to be charged even in mortal self-defense with ‘yron’ implements. So a felling axe may fell a tree, but should it fell a thief, the woodsman is so charged.

“The penalty? Ten years in fetters or two years conscripted, of course.

“Kingdom’s military is currently better manned than at any point in history. The roads have never been so free of bloody knives. Long live.

“What of the men who play at sticks? A gentleman, freeman, or servant may of course carry a staff or cane or walking stick. The farmer must transport his heavy flail. A woman oft carries a distaff and spindle.

“Such implements, not made of ‘yron’, only carry with them the charge of assault when employed with violent intent, wrongful death rather than murder should it so fit.

“Wrongful death? Why execution with time for repentance, of course… or ten years conscription.”

---

Public Domain Photo




Keep in mind this was laid out in Word, which is a bit like arranging mosaic tiles with a hammer: doable but unnecessarily rough. Theoretically it would have been quicker to just do a lazy run through with proper layout software... but when I have a bunch of knobs to adjust, I WILL ADJUST THEM. (I guess I could have just left it raw and unfanagled for an even quicker turnaround, but have knobs will adjust.)



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So I've added a tip jar to the blog, in the form a Patreon Campaign.

If you've gotten any worth out of these monsters, wizards, and classes and stuff, please consider donating. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and help to ensure I am able to keep doing this (seeing as this is now one of my few sources of income).


Thanks,

Edward

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Scattershot

A Smattering of LotFP ideas...
One of which has been tested.

Starting Equipment
(Especially for short term games) 
Very quick turnaround from dropping 3d6 a few times to murdering/being-murdered.

Choose 3 items from the following 4 categories.
Helmet (+1 AC)
Shield (+1 AC)
Weapon (assume 6-12 ammo if appropriate)
Useful Item (Grappling Hook and Rope, Lantern and Oil, Hammer and Spikes, etc.)

Additionally: 2 torches, Flask of Water, Day’s Worth of Shitty Food, Appropriate Clothing, 1d4 Silver Pieces.

You want three helmets? Ok. Two grappling hooks and a shield? Fuck yah.

(For a more nuanced version of this idea CHECK THIS SHIT OUT!)

No. It's cool... I got this.


New Skill – Rough Medicine:

Medical care in the form of half-remembered folkways, dubious herbs, and bloody experience. On a successful skill roll, Rough Medicine heals 1 hp of damage; on a failed roll it causes 1 damage.
“Imma just chew this root, boy-o. That’s right… now I’m gonna just spit that into yar wound. Yahp. Just like me sainted mother.” [horrible infection intensifies]
(Especially useful if all healing magic is the result of Faustian bargaining. All healing magic should be the result of Faustian bargaining.)



Dealing with addictive substances:

Rather than dicking around with specific quantities - and since getting properly trashed is an inexact science - drugs (drug-like potions, all things in Narcosa) are purchased in abstract quantity of a stash.
When using, roll a Save vs Breath Weapon (hah) to avoid burning through an entire stash.







---

So I've added a tip jar to the blog, in the form a Patreon Campaign.

If you've gotten any worth out of these monsters, wizards, and classes and stuff, please consider donating. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and help to ensure I am able to keep doing this (seeing as this is now one of my few sources of income).


Thanks,

Edward

Monday, February 8, 2016

(fuck) The Obedient Place




"There, once and ever, lay a place of perfect obedience. A park-like land of rolling greens, golden oaks, unbreakable fealty, it shall not ever change. It cannot ever change.

"There will always be a vulpine Queen. Two ursine Dukes will bristle and binge. And the cygnine Countesses? Four castled ponds require four of them too. How could less than eight feline Barons hope to adequately hate their master Swans? Still will there stand sixteen equine Knights, in violent defense of the realm. Not even murder may keep these mares from their duty.

"But what of the coal-eyed slaves? 

"What of them? They could not count themselves; they could not care unless you asked them to… why would you bother?"

----

Would it be fun to adventure in a place of perfect, unbreakable order?

Of course! Adventuring is fun by nature: hyperviolent pseudo-medieval tragicomedy, always fun.

Besides, the unbreakable is meant to be broken. In the semiotic slippage of communication, there is always room for error to become reward. 

The agile minds of players not in actual mortal danger, become the furnaces of insane genius, wild improbable risk yielding unthinkable reward. (Failure results in dire and preposterous consequence, of course.)

The players will find that slip in your words and twist until the whole engine snaps. The murdersome vagrants will throw themselves bodily into the machine until its gears are choked in bone, 

Or maybe they won't. I don't know, but I bet they'd have more fun if they did. 

Watching the world you started burn by the time they finish it, is a rare and wonderful thing. 

There's just nothing more D&D than busting through a wall and skipping most of an adventure. There's nothing more D&D than a botched roll killing the prince the violent fools were sent in to save. 

With D&D, et al., you never know until everyone is dead or kings or Jethro can't make it to the next game.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

SHARKMAN Dreams...

I dreamt I was playing D&D.

I was about to run a game set in some sort of underwater Gnome civilization. There was a big desalination machine that looked from my map (and my dream imagining of the place) to be totally mechanical rather than magical.

In fact, the whole complex looked scifi-star-trek sleek.

I was trying to run a by-the-book 3.x game for some fucking reason. About five minutes in to me helping the players with chargen, I was just like, “Fuck this! Everybody roll 3d6 in order, we’re going B/X style.”

My buddy Ty kept interjecting, “I wanna play a shark!”

Finally, I was just like “You know I can make up a fun R.C.C.* type class, right? Do you wanna be a sharkman??”

So I started coming up with a class, then there came wakeful noises in real life.



SHARKMAN for LotFP

There may be more sharkman somewhere, but as far as anyone knows there is just this one sharkman. Sharkman can’t really say.

Sharkman looks a bit surprised all the time. That’s just shark eyes, though he?she?it? is usually surprised. Sharkman does not understand our dry world.

He? is gullible, easily confused, and utterly alien.

Her? big flipper feet are cumbersome. His? strangely still flipper hands couldn’t be dexterous, could they? It’s never unarmed, not with that big dopey, dangerous grin. It seems curious but this is difficult to discern. That frightening, inhuman, kind of goofy expression never changes.

It’s no wonder the possibly innocent or possibly bloodthirsty thing fell in with the worst sort of crowd…

HD – d8
Saves – 18 across the board. All drop by 1 every other level.
Advance as Dwarf.
Sharkman does not start out with the usual 1/6 in skills.
Sharkman is never disarmed. 1d8 bite attack. In water, he adds his level to the usual +1 BAB. On land, she adds ½ her level rounded down.
Sharkman’s cold, thick, unfeeling flesh essentially functions as leather armor.
Sharkman moves at ¾ of normal speed, but swims twice as fast.
Sharkman can smell blood from 100 yards away on land, 1 mile away in water.
Sharkman can sort of talk, in a gurgling, raspy, disconcerting way. Player must choose and abide by a 10 word speaking vocabulary for the character. Each level, add another 1d4 words.
Sharkman does not understand.






*Apparently I dream in Rifts lingo.