Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Riftbound Keep: Races

Palladium Books' Rifts is always on my mind to one degree or another. I began thinking about a DnD 5E game where the players have to the Keep which is surrounded by the Borderlands--an area where leylines run wild and rifts open and close constantly. It is controlled by the mysterious being known as the Castellan, who offers relative freedom and a path to riches undreamt of as long as you live by the Code: No violence and no thieving within the walls, and to break the code means being petrified and placed within the Forest of Fools that visitors must pass through in order to enter the Keep.

I try, quite often, to convince myself to run Rifts with its own system (I'm not a fan of Savage Worlds because I like Hit Points), but I like 5E and so does my group.

One of the things I would do in this campaign would be to limit the races available.

Humans, Dragonborn, Tortles, Aarakokra, Minotaurs, Shifters, Leonin, Lizardfolk, Tabaxi, Yuan-Ti Pureblood, Kalashtar, Simic Hybrids, Warforged, and Loxodons would be the races I'd greenlight. I'm not saying that other races couldn't be considered this is just that I'd like some unusual choices and I'm a fan of Palladium's TMNT and Other Strangeness and After the Bomb games. For me, Kalashtar are good to represent Mind Melters and Dragonborn are a good option for Dragon Hatchlings and I'd allow the Dragon Wings feat from this Unearthed Arcana.

In terms of other changes to character creation, I'd give every character an extra Feat at 1st level.

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Plague Year

For me, it's become harder to focus on RPG material with so many terrible things occurring within the world, and obviously, the COVID-19 global pandemic is front and center for last year. I've always tried (and failed sometimes) to keep world events, especially politics from this space and I've become so disillusioned this year that I didn't know if I could do that so I took some time away.

As I've written before I have General Anxiety Disorder but I have a good support circle and Doctor so I weathered that storm better than I expected.

Our group is still playing and we are starting our final adventure in our Saltmarsh campaign. I'm enjoying being a player and honestly can't wait to get together each week. My monk died and I'm now playing a human Fighter Battle Master and we just hit 16th level. I like the Battle Master but unless you are taking short rests fairly regularly it's a bit underpowered.

I haven't worked on any new products even though I have a couple of ideas mostly because my wife's parents retired this year and we are in the process of buying our stores from them. I'm busier than ever and we are always brainstorming new ways to connect with customers.

I need to thank Wizards of the Coast for its Magic: the Gathering products that helped keep us afloat this year, especially some free products that made a huge difference for us. Sadly, I'm not sure they are on the right course for M:tG and I hope I'm proven wrong about that this year.

I got to play DnD 5E, Tiny D6, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Vampire: the Masquerade 5E, and playtested the Fallout 2d20 RPG from Modiphius.

I'm contemplating a couple of games to run online but we'll see what happens.

My intention is to give the blog more attention and I hope I am able to do that.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Guardians: White Out

I've recently gotten into 3.75" action figures and my seven-year-old and I have, in her own words, "epic battles" with them. I'm also slowly adding in a bit of rules and dice rolling here in there to introduce her to my other hobby.

Yes, this is a Kenner Star Wars Imperial Snowtrooper Action Figure

Whiteout for Guardians

Human Power (Amor) Wielder, 3rd level

Str 10 (0) Dex 14 (+1) Int 19 (+3)
Wis 13 (+1) Con 11 (0) Cha 15 (+1)
Powers: Cold Blast, Armor, Ice Slide (Flight), Ice Storm,
   Form Wall, Projectile Fire
Gifts: Rich 
Issues: Thrillseeker
AC 17. HP 29. EP 6. Armor grants AC 17 and DR 8.
Costume: White power armor.

Rex Lassiter was born as the heir to the Lassiter Logistics Corporation and was set to inherit 10 billion upon his parents death. Rex was brilliant and went to  M.I.T. at 14 and graduated at 19. It was at this point he moved to Silicon Valley and started Lassiter Cryonics and informed his parents they could leave their fortune to charity, he wanted to earn his own fortune. By 26, Rex was worth 10 billion and Lassiter Systems was a leader in computer manufacturing and cloud-based computing but he was bored and depressed. It was during a battle in downtown Denver that he knew what he wanted to do next when the Human Cyclone was trying to apprehend the Utahraptor who had attacked a Brinks truck full of cash from a prominent marijuana seller a few blocks away.

Rex used his intellect and fortune to create the power suit that allowed him to become Blast Freeze. Within a few months, he had become a popular and respected hero in Denver and its surroundings but he wasn't fulfilled and he was getting bored again. As he pondered his situation he came up with a reckless idea, he'd become a supervillain.

Lassiter moved to L.A. where he created an alternate identity, Tommy Harper, and created a new suit. Within six weeks Whiteout made his debut by actually attacking Flash Mob at a charity event where he would have killed the young superhero if his sometimes partner, Smartgun, intervened and made Whiteout retreat.

Rex knew he should have been horrified and guilty over his actions but he knew this is who he was meant to be. 

These days he splits his time between Denver and L.A. but he is slowly neglecting the Rex persona for the Whiteout persona.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Guardians: The Killdet

I've recently gotten into 3.75" action figures and my six-year old and I have, in her own words, "epic battles" with them. I'm also slowly adding in a bit of rules and dice rolling here in there to introduce her to my other hobby.

Finally, I also really like Thomas Denmark's Guardians OSR RPG and it's on sale for $6.

Yes, this is a Kenner Star Wars Imperial Commander Action Figure

The Killdet

Mutant Power Wielder, 1st level

Str 12 (0) Dex 12 (0) Int 16 (+2)
Wis 18 (+3) Con 12 (0) Cha 13 (+1)
Powers: Telekinesis, Flight, Force Field, Form Wall, Projectile Fire
Gifts: Military Contacts 
Issues: Young, Wanted 
AC 12. HP 19. EP 9. Force Field grants AC 16 and DR 10.
Costume: Black with medals from his service to WARSTAR

Kalvin Koenig IV started reading when he was two, had mastered physics at age five, and entered West Point at age eleven. He was 18 months into his time at the military academy when his telekinesis expressed itself while he was being bullied by two 19-year-olds. When the encounter ended he had crushed Henry Steward's skull, hurled Jasper Wayne's body through a plate glass window, and crippled Colonel Tara Horton as she tried to calm him down. 

The U.S. Army managed to alter the incident report to keep Kalvin from being arrested in exchange for his induction into Project Carnifex where he was trained as a super-soldier. Unbeknownst, to the Army one of his handlers was a double-agent for WARSTAR and he managed to turn Kalvin to their cause just before his 13th birthday.

Kalvin is a very confused teenager who has been let down by nearly everyone in his life and his powers and intellect make him very, very dangerous.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Nite Owl Workshop Sale

I'm a big fan of Thomas Denmark and his Nite Owl Workshop OSR releases. He postulates what DnD would look like if it had been inspired by superheroes, pirates, planetary romance, sci-fi, or pulp cliffhangers instead of fantasy. I truly admire his products and his art.

Currently, he is having a sale on DriveThruRPG where his games and one of his bestiaries are deep discounted. You can pick up Guardans, Freebooters, Warriors of Mars, Colonial Troopers, and Raiders of the Lost Artifacts have been reduced to $6 each. I urge you to check them out as they won't disappoint.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving here in the States and I wish all of you good health and holiday cheer!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Death Stars & Krayt Dragons: Ice Spiders of of Maldo Kreis for Dungeon Crawl Classics

The spiders ranged in size from very small to starship-sized, and unlike most spiders, their head was in the center of their body, hanging downward and ending in a circular mouth comprised of outer, grasping teeth and inner rows of smaller teeth, presumably to grind up their prey. They could produce and shoot webbing from their mouths and they had green blood. The species laid soft-shelled eggs in which their young would hatch. While larger members of the species were likely immune to blaster fire due to their tough, leathery skin, their young could be killed with most common weapons or even by hand. The larger, mature ice spider had eight legs, while the smaller, younger creatures had only six legs.
Init +0; Atk bite +0 melee (1d3)AC 8; HD 1d2;
MV 10’; Act 1d16; SV Fort -2, Ref +0, Will -2; AL N.

Medium Ice Spider for Dungeon Crawl Classics
Init +2; Atk bite +2 melee (1d4)AC 12; HD 1d8; 
MV 30’; Act 1d20; SV Fort +0, Ref +1, Will -2; AL N.

Large Ice Spider for Dungeon Crawl Classics
Init +3; Atk bite +5 melee (1d6)AC 14; HD 3d8; 
MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP wallcrawler; SV Fort +1, Ref +3, Will -1;

Giant Ice Spider for Dungeon Crawl Classics
Init +4; Atk bite +7 melee (2d6)AC 15; HD 6d8; 
MV 35’; Act 1d20; SP shoot web (victim must make a DC 14 Ref save or be caught), wallcrawler SV Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +0; AL N.

Init +6; Atk bite +9 melee (4d6)AC 19; HD 11d8; 
MV 50’; Act 1d20; SP shoot web (victim must make a DC 14 Ref save or be caught), wallcrawler SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0; AL N.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Universal Monster Monday: The Wolfman for AD&D 2nd Edition

The Wolfman

Climate/Terrain: Any
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Nocturnal
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Average (8-10)
Treasure: B
Alignment: Chaotic evil
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 6
Movement: 15
Hit Dice: 4
THAC0: 16
No. of Attacks: 3 (claw, claw, bite)
Damage/Attack: Claw 3-10, bite 2-7
Special Attacks: Nil
Special Defenses: Hit only by silver or +1 or better magical weapon 
Magic Resistance: Standard
Size: M(6' tall)
Morale: Elite (14)
XP Value: 450

Combat: In his human form, the wolfman may attack with a variety of weapons, generally those common to their human identity and class. Once transformed into the wolfman by the light of the full moon, the creature attacks with its fearsome teeth and horrid claws.
   When transformed, the wolfman can be harmed only by silver or magical weapons of +1 or better. Wounds from other weapons heal too quickly to actually injure the monster. 

The Riftbound Keep: Races

Palladium Books' Rifts is always on my mind to one degree or another. I began thinking about a DnD 5E game where the players have to the...