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.

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.

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.

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...