Thursday, December 29, 2022

Dragonbane or Drakar och Demoner: Tiefling Kin

  



Appearance: Choose 1d4 + 1 of the following features: small horns; fangs or sharp teeth; a forked tongue; catlike eyes; six fingers on each hand; goat-like legs; cloven hoofs; a forked tail; leathery or scaly skin; red or dark blue skin; cast no shadow or reflection; exude a smell of brimstone.


Ability: Devil's Tongue
• Willpower Points: 3
You gain a Boon on a Bluffing or Persuasion skill roll. This is a free action.

Ability: Infernal Resistance
• Willpower Points: 3
You reduce the number of dice rolled for fire damage by 1. This is a free action.

Names 
1d6
1 Lucien
2 Lilith
3 Malice
4 Fortunato
5 Erebus 
6  DyTyllio

Monday, December 5, 2022

Kzin for Dragonbane or Drakar och Demoner

 



Kzinti are bipedal digitigrade felines with orange fur, yellow eyes, pronounced fangsears resembling bat wings, four-fingered hands, and long tails. Males stood over two meters tall, with broad hunching shoulders and comparatively slender waists and limbs. Their internal anatomy included ribs with vertical bracing and multiple hearts. They breathed atmosphere similar to that of Humans. As carnivores, they were acutely averse to the consumption of plants. Their physical attributes made them powerful combatants.

Ability: Forceful
• Willpower Points: 3
You can use this ability to roll your melee weapon damage twice and take the best result (not an action).

Ability: Claws
• Willpower Points: -
Your unarmed attacks deal 1d8 damage.

Names 
1d6
1 Ayow
2 Liram
3 Raf
4 Vilo
5 Lyw 
6 Ferfi


Saturday, December 3, 2022

Spotlight On Dragonbane or Drakar och Demoner Beta


First, I've always been a fan of ADnD's D20 roll equal to or under an Ability score and have brainstormed about expanding it into a full blown game for decades. Second, I love how easy it is to teach someone Basic Role Play/Call of Cthulhu/RuneQuest' percentile system. Third, I think DnD can be a bit daunting for new players with some of its concepts.

Dragonsbane (here in the States) or Drakar och Demoner's newest edition addresses all three of those things for me. I think it is an excellent RPG to teach to new players and yet rich enough to hold the interest of veterans. It has the roll under mechanic that older editions of DnD and ADnD utilize and while it doesn't use a percentage system I like how it sets base Skill chances and Trained Skill ratings.

DB or DoD for short, has six Attiributes: Strength, Constitution, Agility, Intelligence, Will, and Charisma. They are rated on a scale of 3 to 18 and are rolled using the classic 4d6 drop the lowest die. Your Ability score sets your base chance to perform a Skill, which range from 3 to 7 and if you are Trained in a Skill you double that amount. 

The game features six Kin: Humans, Halflings, Elves, Dwarves, Mallards (apparently DoD borrowed from Chaosium's RuneQuest and therefore uses that game's Ducks) and Wolfkin or wolf-like humanoids, Dog Men, if you will. Each kin has a Heroic Ability which requires Willpower, a pool of points equal to your Will Attribute, to be used. They are a lot like Feats from DnD and can have a broad spectrum of effects.

After choosing your Kin you choose a Profession, which is not a Class, but a group of Skills, Heroic Ability, Gear, and some form of Personalization such as an object from your past or a series of scars. You must choose to be trained in four of your Profession Skills during character creation and there are currently 16 which range from Swords and Marksmanship to Spot Hidden and Survival. The number of starting Skills is dependent on your age with younger characters being Trained in 5 Skills but a +1 to Agility and Constitution, adult characters being Trained in 6 Skills and old characters being Trained in 7 Skills but taking a -1 to Strength, Agility, and Constitution and a +1 to Will. The developers are planning to add more Skills, going to 25 of them, in the next Beta update and instead of each Profession have a specific Heroic Ability you will be able to choose the one you want.

Character creation yesterday took me about 15 minutes which is ideal, in my opinion and I really enjoy that this is a Skill based game so that while I might not start out with one of the three Magic Schools (Animism, Elementalism, and Mentalism) I can choose to study them at a latter point in the game. Experience is similar to BRP's you put a check next to any Skill you used that session that rolled a 1, called a Dragon and a Critical Success, or a 20, called a Demon and a Critical Failure. Additionally, you also answer the following six questions and put a check by a Skill of your choice at the end of each session. 
   Did you participate in the game session? 

   Did you explore a new location?

   Did you defeat one or more dangerous adversaries?

   Did you overcome an obstacle without using force? 

   Did you roleplay according to your motivation?

For each Skill checked you roll a D20 and need to exceed the Skill Rank with a success adding +1 Rank to it.

If you want to learn certain Skills you will have to seek training for a period of time. Additionally, you gain a new Heroic Ability every 5 sessions.

Armor subtracts from damage unless its from a spell and weapons range from 1d6 to 2d10 with a damage bonus (a D4 or a D6) from exceptional Strength and Agility Attribute scores.

To cast spells you make your Magic School's Skill check and spend the appropriate amount of Willpower Points even if you fail your Skill roll. You can decide to inflict damage upon yourself to gain WPs ranging from D4 to a D20 but you also take damage of the same amount.

I really, really like this game. I'm hoping to run some newer gamers through it and I am really glad I backed it. I even upped my pledge after reading the Beta.

I think it has a lot of charm and really flows into the background during play. 

Late Pledges are currently available on the KS page.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Modiphius' Conan RPG Rights End 12/31/22


I'm a huge Conan the Barbarian fan and, by extension, a Robert E. Howard fan and in fact, Cross Planes is a play on Two-Gun Bob's hometown of Cross Plains, TX. My first exposure to Conan were 3 Comic Packs at our local Zayre store and in many ways Roy Thomas and John Buscema's work for Marvel is my definitive experience. I backed the Modiphius Kickstarter for their Conan RPG and they have produced a very cool game line for my favorite Cimmerian. 

They announced today that their license is coming to an end on December 31, 2022 and Monolith announced they will be brining another Conan RPG to make maybe as soon as next year.

I'm a fan of Modiphius' 2d20 house system, which looked a bit too fiddly for my current gaming tastes, but it's one of those systems that plays much better than it reads. In fact, within about 30 minutes, my group and I had mastered it and you'd have thought we'd have been playing it for years. 

I wish Monolith luck, but announcing a new Conan RPG in the same press release that we learn Modiphius is moving on (or being moved on) felt tacky to me. My further concern is that I expect this new edition to use a variation on the DnD 5E system and I have two problems with that: One, 5E will be old news in 2024 and two, and not all 5E games are created equal. Cubicle 7's Adventures of Middle-Earth wasn't a great version of 5E and time and again I've seen licensed RPGs just kludge some poorly thought out ideas into an existing system, often merely copy and pasted, and just push out as a money grab.

I hope Monolith doesn't do this, but I am concerned. If it were up to me I think I'd like to see a Savage Worlds version but I don't need an official product to pull that off.

I will check out Monolith's Conan RPG and maybe 30 minutes in it will feel like we've been playing it for years and years.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Race vs Species in D&D



The newest One DnD playtest packet, featuring the Cleric and the Goliath Species, dropped today. Wizards of the Coast also announced that they would drop the word "race" and start using the word "species" going forward. I don't think this change surprised anyone as WotC is just the latest in a long line of publishers within the "DnD genre" to do this and I'm sure many saw this "grand conspiracy" coming and its yet another reason to be outraged about a game of make believe with math.

I doubt I'm going to change anyone's mind but I'm going to roll with this change because I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable about the lingo DnD uses. If it were up to me 8 Billion souls would be playing DnD so I'd like to be as accessible as possible.

So, in short, I don't want to be a Dick and I encourage all of you to not be a Dick either.


Monday, November 21, 2022

Mechanisms: Sunderbolt for Savage Worlds Adventure Edition

 I love Transfomers. A lot. I picked up Morphtranserbots and I'm working on a one-shot for the eventual future so I'm making some pregenerated characters. Sunderbolt is the first. 

Sunderbolt is a member of the Covenant, an ancient order of Mechanisms who seeks to protect the Polyverse from Escahtron and his Exarchs who wants to reshape reality into a single universe ruled by him.



Sunderbolt devoted to the protection of the Polyverse and wants to honor his Mother's memory as a general within the Covenant's forces. He is a bit immature and believes that he has been cursed by the Exarch warlock Witchlight.

Sunderbolt

Wild Card

Seasoned

Race: Morphtransorbot


Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, 

                   Strength d12, Vigor d6


Skills: Athletics d4, Common Knowledge d4, 

           Fighting d8, Focus d6, Intimidation d6, 

           Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Piloting d10

           Shooting d10, Stealth d4


Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 13 (4)


Edges: Arcane Background (Gifted), 

            Combat Reflexes Fleet-Footed, 

            Hover*, Flight*


Hindrances: Bad Luck, Curious


Gear: Laser Rifles x2 (30/60/120, 3d6, AP 2, ROF 3, heavy         

          weapon), Mk67 Grenades x2 (5/10/20, 3d6, MBT, heavy 

          weapon)

Vehicle Mode: F15 Eagle 


Special Abilities:

• Armor: 4 (heavy armor)

• Powesr: Havoc, Smite

• Power Points: 15



* Found in Morphtranserbots 





Saturday, November 19, 2022

Shadowdark RPG: Dogman

I'm currently at Cryptid Con in Lexington, KY and so I felt like I should spotlight some of them.





Dogman for Shadowdark RPG

Solidary humanoids who haunt roads.

AC 14, HD 2 (9), ATK 1 bite +2 (1d6), MV double near, S +2, D +1, C +1, I +0, W +2, Ch +0, AL N

Hunter. They have Advantage on WIS checks to detect an ambush or spirits and to track a creature.

Territorial. They have advantage CHA checks to intimidate other creatures.




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Thursday, November 17, 2022

Spotlight: Shadowdark RPG Quickstart




I've written a bit about the Shadowdark RPG from The Arcane Library so I thought I'd highlight what I think sets it apart from other OSR products I own.

The game's author has mentioned she wanted to build the game from B/X DnD's foundation and obviously, with the success of Labyrinth Lord and Old School Essentials, B/X DnD seems to be the most popular, at least within the OSR. Shadowdark does use a unified roll high mechanic, as well as, a Difficulty Class system that we've seen since DnD 3, but I also think Call of Cthulhu, Basic Role Play, and other percentile systems are inspirations too. DC's in Shadowdark are 9, 12, 15, and 18 and since Ability modifiers are the focus (skill just grants Advantage) in it, those map to a 60%. 45%, 30%, and 15% chances of success before Ability modifiers come into play.

When a Wizard or a Cleric casts a spell they roll against a DC of 10 + the Tier (level) of the spell and if successful the spell is cast and some spells have bonus effects on a Natural 20, but if you fail the spell doesn't go off and is lost for the day. I think adding spellcasting to the unified approach to the rest of the system makes far more sense, especially to new players, than the various exception-based and sub-system approach to B/X, its clones, and DnD's "vancian" spell casting as a whole. This also eliminates Saving Throws as a separate sub-system because when a spell requires some kind of roll on the Target's part it is merely another Ability Check.

One of my favorite parts of the game is that when rolling damage you don't add your Strength or Dexterity modifiers to damage. If you gain a bonus it comes from a class Talent or a magic item. I think this slightly speeds up combat as even people that are excellent at addition can take an extra bit of time totaling the die and adding something to it. 

The final bit that appeals to me are the Class Talent tables mentioned above, at 1st and every odd numbered levels you roll 2d6 on table with specific Talents for your class. These tables give you bonuses to attacks, ability scores, Advantage with particular spells, and additional uses of class abilities. I know that Shadowdark didn't come up with this idea but I'm really glad they included it and I like that the advancement rate it uses has that Old School feel. I remember when Wizards of the Coast began talking about "dead levels" when your Hit Die was the only thing you got and while I do appreciate mechanic abilities I also like rulings over rules and the mindset behind a game where what I do as a player and a character can be as much as what I and the DM think should happen and not "rule for everything" approach. As a new gamer having a rule for everything did help me out and we have millions of new DnD players that want and need that kind of structure but the OSR's allure, for me, was the DYI approach. With those Talents only coming every other level I think it keeps a lot of what makes a character unique specific to the player and their adventures. This is the kind of game where let's say there is aa character that bargains well through role playing, I'm comfortable not requiring a dice roll to succeed or at the very least give them Advantage on their roll. The fact that the bonuses are fairly bounded and most bonuses will never go above +4 combined with the chance of success the DCs  represent gives me a very tight engine where the math is very clear and I love that.

I know that the Shadowdark RPG is yet another game in a crowded area featuring a number of B/X D&D clones and derivative works but I really feel that the game's author Kelsey Dionne had a similar goal to Joseph Goodman when he published Dungeon Crawl Classics. Their aim was rooted in older editions of DnD as a guidepost and the end goal of both games honors that era while blazing new ground.

Do I own a bunch of OSR clones? Yes. But. I'm going to run the Shadowdark RPG while many of them gather dust.

Right now you can purchase the Shadowdark RPG Quickstart in print or digitally, there will be a Kickstarter for it in March of 2023.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Spotlight: Horror at Headstone Hill for Deadlands & Savage Worlds Adventure Edition



Horror at Headstone Hill is a sandbox campaign for the Deadlands Weird Western RPG for Savage Worlds Adventure Edition.

It presents to you the entirety of Uinta County, Wyoming beginning Mid-May of 1884. The County's important areas are broken down for the Game Master and important people are introduced and statted out. A timeline of the settlement is also presented to help the setting take shape. While there is a central adventure presented here, like many Savage Worlds products, several dozen Savage Tales are included as well. These Savage Tales help the GM fill in information about certain areas, groups, personas, and critters and give them handy smaller adventures.

The level of detail for the setting is pretty perfect for my habits as a GM, which means the basic information is well presented but there is enough left open to easily customize the campaign area. To help bring my tastes into focus I can get very bored of dry descriptions of room after room or dense background information and this product has none of that. I think I spent less than an hour reading over the County and main campaign or Plot Point in SW terms. I then spent another 30 minutes skimming Savage Tales and where they might intersect certain NPCs or locales. I took some notes of less than a page for use in the game and at the table. My prep was less than two hours but when our first session began I felt very prepared. As a 50-something gamer with not enough free time I love that Pinnacle Entertainment Group gets what is important for a busy GM and what isn't though your mileage may very.

Horror at Headstone Hill works so well for me because it gives a light, but solid foundation to use as a springboard so that when my Players inevitably (within an hour of the first session) went for something I wasn't expecting I had enough information sketched out for me that I could roll with it pretty easily. And while about half of the first arc of the Plot Point has been central to the Character's actions I have not missed a beat filling in the other half they didn't pursue.

This product is literally perfect for my GMing style. I'm not overwhelmed but still informed with this area and I can easily pull in or drop out portions of the area depending on my needs that session. The box set and its maps are wonderful and I use my MacBook at the table to quickly look up something in the PDF if I haven't noted it.

I could not ask for a better tool to help wade into Deadlands for a long term Campaign, my first attempt a few years back didn't go as well and HaHH lets me confidently adjudicate unforeseen situations.

I'd also like to state that while I've owned every edition of Savage Worlds, it's newest edition, known as SWADE, communicates information far better than any previous core rules and all of the SWADE products I've purchased have been top-notch. In a lot of ways, I think it took technology and our industry to catch up to what Shane Lacy Hensley originally envisioned with SW (I remember his original format was going to be three-hole punched products that you could print off a new change when errata was made. I'd also like to take a minute to call out how much I enjoy having the SW Power Cards and Status Cards at our table. I tend to forget who is Shaken or Wounded or has what Condition and the cards make that so much easier to remember while communicating the appropriate rules, as well.

HaHHH succeeds as a great product for any GM wanting to run Deadlands. While I think it could be used with other systems I don't think it would succeed as well if the setting did not have magic, weird tech, shaman, and undead desperados. Before choosing Deadlands I did look at Chaosium's Down Darker Trails and I'm sure this would have been a solution if I had chosen those rules. I also love that it is a box set for the nostalgia that brings me from my AD&D 2nd Edition and Role Aids days.

I heartily recommend Horror at Headstone Hill and I'm excited that a similar product will be Kickstarted for Savage Rifts by PEG on Black Friday.  I will wholeheartedly back that project.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

State of the Planes: Pushing Myself



One of the things I enjoy most is making Monsters for RPGs. If you've read this blog you probably know that. I like adapting outside properties and creating things whole-cloth, but I struggle with two things: One, Monsters don't get a ton of views these days and I get it, as much as I love making them there are already a lot of antagonists for most RPGs, especially for DnD and the OSR; Two, I think I've retreated to making Monsters so I don't have to actually write down my ideas, be they new mechanics, response to stuff I've read elsewhere, sessions reports, etc.. Its become a kind of crutch a way to keep the blog going but with the barest minimum effort.

I've decided I'm going to push myself to write more, to convey my creations beyond the Monsters you find here, things I've realized I've actively been avoiding. It's weird to realize that I've been hiding behind Monsters to some degree for awhile and that I need to attempt to stop doing that. 

I want to challenge myself and this post is mainly about calling myself out and pushing myself creatively in ways I used to do on this blog.  I've been playing it safe and I want to do more than that. 


Monday, November 14, 2022

Dungeon Mastering 101: Its okay to not be okay


I have always dealt with Gaming ADD and as the primary Game Master for most of my groups it really bothers me. Between November of 2021 and about May of 2022 it was my turn to be DM for our Friday group and I ran 3 or 4 different games because I just couldn't stay focused. On top of that, I ran a game off of the rails because I decided that the direction the players took in sessions 1 & 2 were wrong and I railroaded them on a different path. After that 2nd session ended I knew I had just f#cked up. Hard.

Most of my inspiration as a Game Master has come from action movies and comic books. I like high action with explosive results that focus on the players and their characters. I want the players and their characters to be the stars of the show. But somewhere in the last few years, I started focusing on "challenging" the players and in all honesty started trying to kill their characters. I worried about Encounters Per Day and Challenge Ratings and The Math Behind The Game, things I'd never focused on before. If you grok those things or love things that is awesome, I just lack the brainpower to figure it out, I just don't find it fun, and it was contributing to my lack of focus in its own way to the games I was trying to run.

As I handed my time off to another DM in our group I honestly felt defeated. In the past I had run one 5E game from level 1 to level 20 and a second from level 5 to level 15 and I felt like I'd never have that experience again. 

It was then I decided that I would just start running a game and only focus on the first adventure. No promises beyond that. I also took a smaller number of players from our Friday Group to help make things more manageable. I love our Friday group. All of the players are amongst my best friends and having them has helped through some truly dark times in my life in the last several years. Unfortunately, there are eight of us and sometimes that is a lot. So I just saw who could make the other night and kept a cap on 5 of us.

I've been playing and running 5E for over 10 years now and it's a great game but I'm bored of running it. I have always loved Deadlands and while I had disliked Savage Worlds for not having Hit Points in the past, I have found that no longer bothers. That first adventure took about 5 sessions, about 2 sessions per month and it felt SO good. We had very little combat in those sessions and that adventure's success reinvigorated my interest in running games. However, while I kept notes about future plots I still focused on this one adventure here and now. When I finished that first adventure I took a week to see if I had another adventure in me and I did. So we started the 2nd adventure next.

We are approaching the finale of the second adventure soon. After that we will break for the Holidays and I'll see if I had have another adventure I want to run.

For the finale I'm really focusing on the player's goals and their accomplishments. There are things I'd like to emphasize and throw at them but those haven't been priorities to their characters and so they stay in the toolkit, possibly for the future. 

I'm a lot happier as a GM again.

Yes, I had reached a point where I just wasn't sure if I could be a GM any longer and it really hurt my soul. I take pride in being a DM and I've always felt like I was a pretty good one and these little victories means an awful lot to me.

DMing is hard just from creative, organization, and logistics issues and its even harder as an adult running a company with ja wife, kids, and grandkids now. Not that being a player is easy for the same reasons. I'm really blessed that my group meets mostly once a week and that I've been able to eke out another session about three times per month with all of it in person.

If you are having a tough time as a DM you are not alone and while Critical Role has given us millions of new DnD players it has also asked many of us to be compared to Matt Mercer and most of us just aren't him.

And that is okay. It is okay.

If you are primarily a player feedback to your DM is essential and please keep in mind that there are things about the game that require a lot of time to work out and that means your GM is taking that time from something else in your life. And don't forget to let them know that you are appreciate them or that you are having fun.

My solution to all of this was just to break it down into smaller chunks and be honest with myself about my own shortcomings. That is never easy and it took time to have the courage to do it.

One last thing, sometime no gaming is better than bad gaming. I'm blessed in that I haven't had that issue in close to a decade, but sometimes you need a break and that is okay too.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

I Ran a Shadowdark RPG One-Shot



Our regular DM had to work late and only about half of our group could make it so I ran a Shadowdark RPG one-shot last night. What drew me to ShadowDark were several features:

1) After playing a lot of Shadow of the Demon Lord versus DnD 5, I've come to enjoy rolling damage with few if any modifiers. I think it speeds things up at the table.

2) The Difficulty Classes are clearly given and they map to straight-forward percentage chances and range from 9 to 18.

3) Ability Scores drive the game and "skill" gives a PC Advantage on a Check.

4) It uses Ascending AC and a unified roll high system.

5) Spellcasters have to roll to cast a spell and as long as they succeed they continue to be able to cast that spell until they fail a check and it lost for the rest of the day. This also means that if a "Saving Throw" is required it is merely an Ability check by the targets.

6) Random Class Abilities, called Talents in ShadowDark, are gained as a PC levels on class-specific tables.

7) The game is easy to House Rule.

I think the adventure was a hit and my players, who are most familiar with 5E, grasped the mechanics faster than they did with Hyperborea 3E.


I made a 5th Level Witch, Warlock, & Knight of Ydris regenerated characters from Cursed Scroll 1: Diablerie!

My intention was to combine two adventures from Goodman Games' Chained Coffin for Dungeon Crawl Classics however, about three minutes in the PCs threw me a curve ball. They were hired to take the corpse of the son of a powerful member of the local Syndicate to a pool in the middle of the Nightwing Forest to resurrect him. Tancred Locke, however, was a real bastard and the PC's decided they didn't want to help him come back. Luckily, I had a bit of side stuff planned, including a meeting with an anthropomorphic raccoon with bifocals named Theodocious Took, who ended up becoming a forest spirit who could take over the body of any creature that ate his current body or who put on his bifocals. 

A good deal of the adventure, initially, was Theo promising them a place to live while the PCs discovered creatures whom Theo had grifted. We had a small combat that went well and the spellcasting system performed even better than I expected. Since this was a one-shot, the group's Witch ended up using various Forest animals as agents, spies, and assassins to eliminate and take over the Locke Syndicate. It got kind of absurd but the end, but we were all laughing a lot so I consider it a win.

Because our group is so heavily invested in 5E, I have trouble justifying an older version of DnD or its clones because at the end of the day they are all very similar in what they do. While I don't know that I could this group to switch to it over 5E long term, it is a game that I hope to use with some newer players in the future. 

I really like the blend of old school and new school that Shadowdark RPG offers and I look forward to the Kickstarter for it coming in March of 2023.

If you like any of the system choices I cites above I think you will love this game. If you appreciate streamlined designs and don't have a set favorite DnD-Adjacent game I think this game is for you. While I prefer ShadowDark over say B/X DnD, Old School Essentials, or Hyperborea 3E and I do think you could find things to add one of those game, I don't know for sure that you will find it that useful, but since the QuickStart is free and the Cursed Scroll 1 offers a great dungeon you can't really go wrong picking both up.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Now on Sale: Folk Lore Additional Races for the Shadow Dark RPG on DriveThruRPG



I've really been taken with the OSR-Adjacent Shadowdark RPG from The Arcane Library and I've launched a new product to support it: Folk Lore: Additional Races for the Shadowdark RPG. It's a slim volume that adds Aasimar, Dragonborn, Ducks, Genasi, Tieflings, and Warforged Ur-Forged. Its only 7 pages and it cost .99¢ 

If you can spare a few sheckles please check it out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

ShadowDark: Manacaonda Race & Manaconda Shaman

 


Manaconda for the ShadowDark RPG
The subjects of the Nagarajah are always guarded and weary. Many cultures view serpents and the snake folk with fear and suspicion. They are lithe, but powerful with scales colored white, red, brown, yellow, or green in myriad patterns.

You know the Common and Primordial languages.

Serpentine. You get a +2 bonus to grapple a creature. You can climb at your full movement. 



Manaconda Shaman for ShadowDark RPG

Shamans are the sacred guardians of temples devoted to Mother Naga.

AC 12 (leather), HD 2 (9), ATK 1 spear +1 (1d6), MV near, S +1, D +1, C +0, I +0, W +2, Ch +0, AL C

Shaman. Know the blind/deafen (DC 11), cleansing weapon (DC12), shield of faith (DC 12) and silence (DC 12) spells. They cast spells using WIS.

Slighter. Climb at their full movement.

Strangle. Has a +2 bonus to grapple a creature.




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Monday, October 31, 2022

Shadowdark: Headless Horseman




Headless Horseman for Shadowdark RPG

The Headless Horseman is a despicable and cursed traitor who haunts the highways and byways.

AC 13 (leather), HD 5 (27), ATK 1 greataxe +4 (1d8/1d10), MV near, S +2, D +2, C +3, I +1, W +1, Ch -2, AL C

Greater Undead. Immune to morale checks. Only damaged by silver or magic sources.

Hell-Born Steed. The Horseman's MV is Far when riding it.

Terrifying. When a creature first sees the Horseman they have Disadvantage on all attacks, checks or spells cast while he is in sight unless they pass a Hard WIS check.





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Friday, October 28, 2022

Shadowdark: Death Knight

I've recently discovered the Shadowdark RPG and I've really been taken by it.

Death Knight for Shadowdark RPG

Death Knights serve dark gods who have allowed them to defeat oblivion for their very soul.

AC 16 (enchanted plate mail), HD 8 (48), ATK 3 greatsword +8 (1d12+2) or 1 spell +4, MV near, S +4, D +0, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +0, AL L

Dark Templar. Tier 2 cleric. They know Holy Weapon, Shield of Faith, Blind/Deafen, and Smite.

Death's Embrace. 1/day can ignore the effects of a spell cast upon them.

Greater Undead. Immune to morale checks. Only damaged by silver or magical sources. 

Marshal the Dead. The death knight and all undead that are Near it have Advantage against being turned.


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Thursday, October 20, 2022

BXRP: Conflict Resolution


As I work on BXRP I'm torn on which combat system I want to use. I've been planning to use the system where a Character's Chance to Hit is rolled and if it is successful their target's Armor Class would then be rolled as well. If the AC roll was also successful, the highest roll would win, unless Critical were involved (rolling doubles). However, in using BX DnD as an engine I keep thinking about letting a target's AC be the base chance to hit and modify it with a the Attackers Chance to Hit--essentially using the Ascending AC system that has been in place since DnD 3E.

I do think that which ever way that I go I will present the alternate version in an Appendix.

At the moment I think the latter approach is winning since it sticks with a foundational piece of modern BX retroclones, but I like the attack vs. defense element that BRP's D100 system employs.

If you have a strong opinion either way then please share it with me.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

BXRP: Armor Class & Thief Class

Armor Class

Armor

AC

Cost (gp)

Weight (Coins)

Leather

60%

20

200

Chainmail

70%

40

400

Plate mail

80%

60

500

Shield

5%

10

100



Thief 

Requirements: None

Prime requisite: DEX

Hit Dice: 1d4

Maximum level: 14

Armour: Leather, no shields

Weapons: Any

Languages: Alignment, Common


Thieves are adventurers who live by their skills of deception and stealth. Their range of unique skills makes them very handy companions in adventures. However, thieves are not always to be trusted.


Back-Stab

When attacking an unaware opponent from behind, a thief receives a +20% bonus to hit and doubles any damage dealt.


Combat

Because of their need for stealth and free movement, thieves cannot wear armor heavier than leather and cannot use shields. They can use any weapon.



Read Languages

A thief of 4th level or higher can read non-magical text in any language (including dead languages and basic codes) with 80% probability. If the roll does not succeed, the thief may not try to read that particular text again until they reach a higher level of experience.


Scroll Use

A thief of 10th level or higher can cast arcane spells from scrolls. There is a 10% chance of error: the spell does not function as expected and creates an unusual or deleterious effect.


Thief Skills

Thieves can use the following skills, with the chance of success shown opposite:

  • Climb sheer surfaces (CS): A roll is required for each 100’ to be climbed. If the roll fails, the thief falls at the halfway point, suffering falling damage.
  • Find or remove treasure traps (TR): A roll is required to find a treasure trap and then another to remove it. This may be attempted only once per trap.
  • Hear noise (HN): In a quiet environment (e.g. not in combat), a thief may attempt to listen at a door or to hear the sounds of something (e.g. a wandering monster) approaching.
  • Hide in shadows (HS): Requires the thief to be motionless—attacking or moving while hiding is not possible.
  • Move silently (MS): A thief may attempt to sneak past enemies unnoticed.
  • Open locks (OL): Requires thieves’ tools. A thief can only try this skill once per lock. If the roll fails, the thief may not try the same lock again before gaining an experience level.
  • Pick pockets (PP): If the victim is above 5th level, the thief’s roll is penalized by 5% for every level above 5th. A roll of 100% is always a failure. A roll of less than half the percentage required for success means that the attempted theft is noticed. The referee should determine the reaction of the victim.


Thief Skills Chance of Success


Level

CS

TR

HN

HS

MS

OL

PP

1

87

10

35

10

20

15

20

2

88

15

35

15

25

20

25

3

89

20

50

20

30

25

30

4

90

25

50

25

35

30

35

5

91

30

50

30

40

35

40

6

92

40

50

36

45

45

45

7

93

50

70

45

55

55

55

8

94

60

70

55

65

65

65

9

95

70

70

65

75

75

75

10

96

80

70

75

85

85

85

11

97

90

85

85

95

95

95

12

98

95

85

90

96

96

105

13

99

97

85

95

98

97

115

14

99

99

85

99

99

99

125



All skills are rolled on d%, with a result of less than or equal to the listed percentage indicating success. Thief Skills allow for extraordinary feats such as climbing a sheer surface instead of merely climbing or hiding within a shadow instead of ducking into an alley. If the action is something that any creature could try then the Thief gets to roll the appropriate Skill first and then may try the general test if their first roll was a failure.


Player Knowledge

The referee should roll for hide in shadows and move silently on the player’s behalf, as the thief always believes the attempt to be successful. If the roll fails, the referee knows that the thief has been noticed and should determine enemies’ actions appropriately.


After Reaching 9th Level

A thief can establish a thief den, attracting 2d6 apprentices of 1st level. These thieves will serve the character with some reliability; however, should any be arrested or killed, the PC will not be able to attract apprentices to replace them. A successful thief might use these followers to start a Thieves’ Guild.






Saving Throws

Level

XP

HD

CTH

D

W

P

B

S

1

0

1d4

55%

40%

35%

40%

25%

30%

2

1,200

2d4

55%

40%

35%

40%

25%

30%

3

2,400

3d4

55%

40%

35%

40%

25%

30%

4

4,800

4d4

55%

40%

35%

40%

25%

30%

5

9,600

5d4

65%

45%

40%

50%

35%

40%

6

20,000

6d4

65%

45%

40%

50%

35%

40%

7

40,000

7d4

65%

45%

40%

50%

35%

40%

8

80,000

8d4

65%

45%

40%

50%

35%

40%

9

160,000

9d4

80%

55%

50%

60%

45%

55%

10

280,000

9d4+2*

80%

55%

50%

60%

45%

55%

11

400,000

9d4+4*

80%

55%

50%

60%

45%

55%

12

520,000

9d4+6*

80%

55%

50%

60%

45%

55%

13

640,000

9d4+8*

90%

65%

60%

70%

55%

65%

14

760,000

9d4+10*

90%

65%

60%

70%

55%

65%

  • Modifiers from CON no longer apply.

CTH: Chance to hit, STR Modifier applies to Melee attacks and DEX Modifier applies to Ranged attacks.

D: Death / poison; W: Wands; P: Paralysis / petrify; B: Breath attacks; S: Spells / rods / staves.


Smaller Savage Worlds Stat Block 2: Electric Boogaloo

I had quite a bit of input from yesterday's post (a huge thanks to all of you who responded) and I've got a bit of a hybrid between ...