Sunday, November 10, 2019

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Lightning Giants


According to Sargoo the Sapient lightning giants were originally storm giants who due to age or illness have their flesh and blood violently and painfully explode around them and only leaving a sentient lighting bolt. Sargoo further postulates that lightning giants only have a matter of hours (2d6) before their form is pulled into the sky, ending their existence.

Giant, Lightning (30' tall, 500 lbs.) for Dungeon Crawl Classics

Init +6; Atk lightning bolt +26 melee (7d8+12, range 300'); AC 20; HD 18d10; MV 60’; Act 4d20; SP immune to electrical damage, spells (+12 spell check: fly, haste, and lightning bolt , crit on 20-24; SV Fort +15, Ref +10, Will +10; AL C.



If you like this post and others like it and have an extra $1 a month, please consider becoming a Patron of Cross Planes on Patreon.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Playing vs Game Mastering



I'm pretty lucky in the fact that, at the moment, I'm playin in three very good games, two DnD 5 and one Vampire: the Masquerade 5.

Something occurred to me while playing last night. I'm not used to all the free time at the table as a player.

I've been primarily the Game Master for close to 27 years, and obviously that means that I was 100% involved with someone the whole session.

Depending on my mood, I'll draw while the spotlight is off of me and I've tinkered a bit with my phone, but I find that the former still keeps me focused on what's happening while the latter causes me to miss things.

What's funny is that I've always been a bit annoyed when players who aren't in the spotlight seem disinterested and it's taken me this long to sympathize with them.

I guess an old dog can learn some new tricks.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

BX What If?


Recently, Mark Hunt released BX Gangbusters, a version of Gangbusters using BX DnD's rules. This led me to discover that he did something similar earlier this year with Tall Tales BX Wild West.

While I know we've seen different genres powered by Swords and Wizardry, I don't recall BX being used in different genres.

Additionally, it made me wonder what would our hobby look like if earlier versions of DnD had been available to build games on? Would Call of Cthulhu be a class and levels game? TSR's Marvel Super Heroes? The World of Darkness?

Or would these designers embrace their individuality and keep their own systems?

I don't know for sure.

I do know that TSR tried using ADnD 2E's system with Buck Rogers and Gamma World, but was that too little too late?

And, of course, we had the d20 glut after DnD 3.X and the OGL and maybe that would've occurred 15 to 20 years earlier?

I find it an intriguing game of "What If"?

Regardless of any of that though, I urge you to check Mark Hunt's BX Gangbusters and Tall Tales BX Wild West.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Review: Frayed Ends for Shadow of the Demon Lord




Robert Schwalb released Frayed Ends for Shadow of the Demon Lord on Monday. Rob and Schwalb Entertainment have been juggernauts with releases, often weekly, and the support has made Shadow of the Demon Lord a phenomenal game.

Rul, the setting of Shadow of the Demon Lords, is a dark realm that is about to face its end. One side effect of the horrors that adventurers face is Sanity loss. Frayed Ends provides six random tables filled with random Quirks to relieve a character's mind of the madness they have endured. In the core rules, a player would work with GM to determine what Quirks would develop from gaining madness. These tables replace that interaction.

First you roll a d6 to determine what table to use. Then you roll a d20 to gain a Quirk.

Let's say that my d6 roll is a 3 and my d20 roll is a 7, my result is "You believe you can fly and might try to prove it when given a chance."

Or this time my d6 is a 2 and my d20 roll is a "Whenever you see a shiny object, you must get a success on a Will challenge roll or, when you are next able, be forced to move toward that object."

I like the Quirks as an option for the GM and player to fall back on in case ideas are not forthcoming.



Monday, November 4, 2019

Monstrous Monday: Maulwurf




No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d6)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (30')
Armor Class: 7 (12)
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 2 (claw/claw)
Damage: 1d6/1d6 
Save: T2
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XIX
XP: 20

Maulwurfs are omnivores from land of Faerie who cross over to Prime Material planes to observe the local flora and fauna and to pursue alternative meal to sate their strange appetite. Typically, they are most active around New Moons and there are reported sightings going back to several hundred years. Keto Battaglia, author of the Meanderings of Monsters and the highly controversial I Married a Werebadger claims that Maulwurfs are torn between voyeurism and hunger, but voyeurism wins 60% of the time.

Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants


Earlier today, Wizards of the Coast released a new Unearthed Arcana focusing on Class Feature Variants for playtesting.

I am really keen on the idea of having options to choose from when it comes to Class Features, allowing you to trade in one feature for another. I think this is a better way to help some unpopular classes (I'm looking right at you Ranger) than redoing the whole class.

However, the article also offers Class Enhancements which are buffs to that do not cost anything. It can be spells, skill options, all kind of stuff. And I'm definitely not cool with them.

I've never felt underpowered or a zero in DnD 5E. Not once. Yes, the math to encounters can be weird (in the early days, useless even) but a group of tactically minded players who understand what their role in a fight and what options work best are hard to beat in 5th Edition.

I simply view the enhancements as power creep and if they do appear in a product, I doubt I'll let them be used.

However, I urge you to take a look yourself and judge for yourself.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Mythras Imperative Superheroes



I've been on a D100 system kick for a bit now, mostly due to my ideas to develop a variant D100 system. While looking over what is available, I was very pleased to see that The Design Mechanism, whose RuneQuest 6th Edition became Mythras, have a pretty good collection of settings available. They are chugging along quite nicely and honestly, I'm not that used to such a schedule from D100 game publishers.

They released an adventure, Agony and Ecstasy, which focuses on modern superheroes and must have been a bit of a test for a forthcoming full superhero game using Mythras.

For those who have not purchased Agony and Ecstasy, the free Mythras Imperative has been updated with Magic and Super Power rules. The rules are abbreviated, but they work quite nicely.

One of my dissatisfactions with superhero games are that, generally, buckets of dice are required for damage. I love Champions but you have to roll buckets of dice AND count them for Stun, Body, and Knockback. When I was 19 I had time to do that. Even at 35, I could make the time. At 47? Naw, leave it to the whipper-snappers.

As an example, the Mythras Imperative superhero rules for Energy Blast default to 1d6 to 1d12, depending on a character's POW, but the character may spend 2 Power Points boost the Energy Blast by an additional die.

It's EXACTLY what I have been looking for. Or at least, based on these rules it is.

I'm really looking forward to this project, which at this time is being called Destined.

I've been rereading my own copy of Mythras recently and I'm pretty psyched.

Hopefully this project will be out before the end of 2020.

Dungeon Crawl Classics: Lightning Giants

According to Sargoo the Sapient lightning giants were originally storm giants who due to age or illness have their flesh and blood viol...