Thursday, 7 December 2017

Run From the Killer Monkeys


Characters:
  1. Princessa- Human Fighter with a bastard sword, ring mail and a shot bow. Watch out for this one!
  2. Melech Yisrael- Elf Fighter/Magic User. He carries a longsword and longbow along with his spellbook
  3. Lavi- Dwarven Fighter/Thief with leather armor,  magic longsword, and light crossbow
  4. Minion- a chaotic Elven thief with a two handed sword who has joined the party for obscure reasons
  5. Ragnar- a bastard of a Ranger with a bastard sword
  6. Moriah- a Cleric lady with a warhammer. Yay, a healer- oh wait, it's S&W so she's waiting to get some spells at second level...
Dungeon Map
Picking up from last session, the party rested a few uneventful days, then ventured out into the dungeon. They went downstairs from the tower level and opened the door to the killer monkeys. They immediately changed their minds and closed the door, securing it with a Hold Portal spell. They quickly met two new PCs, Ragnar and Moriah who were lost in the dungeon. They decided to team up in search of slaying Evil critters.

The party did a lot of exploring. They met an even greater than themselves, and found lots of good treasure, including a magic throwing dagger. That said, they don't seem to be any closer to discovering My Lady's Heart or the source of the Goblinoid invasion...

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Silver Princess NPCs

I've been attending the free Yoga class at my work for a few months. One piece of advice the teacher likes to give is to notice where your body is 'weak' and focus your efforts there. I'm going to apply this lesson to the DnD campaign I'm currently running.

So where am I weak? One place I've noticed is in coming up with fully-fleshed out NPCs. So here is a list of some NPCs for the campaign:

Cpt. Vallaria Amazonus


An officer in the Galluvian army. She is haughty and misandrynistic, yet dedicated to her job to the point of self sacrifice.

The party encountered her in session 2. What will she say when she sees them next?

Human F Law F3
HP18 AC17 AB1 Save12
Plate Mail, Shield, Spear, Horseman's Axe, Warhorse, Saddlebags with rations, 10GP

One Eyed Jack


A local bandit of some note. He was born with unnaturally lucky, such that however many times he has lost everything, he always seems to turn up again with a new lot of ruffians.

The party encountered him in session 4. He still holds a grudge over them taking his "eye".

Human M Neutral Th2
HP8 AC15 AB0 Save14
Long Sword, Leather, eye patch, horse


Mooncow the Artificer

A prestigious Gulluvian gem dealer. He old and a bit eccentric. He may give the party escort missions, fetch-quests, etc. He will also buy any gems, jewelry, or other fine relics, though he is a discerning customer. He wants his daughter home to help him with business, rather than running around adventuring.

The party gained his good will in in session 4 and started session 5 in his house..

Mooncalf

Daughter of mooncow. She is a dutiful daughter, participating in her father's business, but she is also well trained in her true passion of sorcery. A bit clumsy on occasion. She has been feeling the itch to go adventuring. As such, she may join the party or meet them after having run away.

Human F Law Mage2 slots2
HP5 AC10 AB0 Save14
Nice but practical dress, emerald necklace, 3 rings, sharp gem file, spellbook: read magic, detect magic, comprehend languages, shocking grasp, Monster Summoning I

King Gob


Big green mean Goblin King. He rules the largest tribe of goblins and has united the hordes, but to what end?

HP22 AC14 AB3 Save14
Battle Axe, armor
Intricate silver ring
Warg Mount

Palace of the Silver Princess

And finally, let's not forget the NPCs mentioned in the module;
  • Tinker and Daughter
  • Catharandamus
  • Xyzom, Boron
  • Aleigha

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Palace of the Silver Princess Season 2

With the change to Winter time, the kids and I are picking-up our Swords and Wizardry campaign again where we left off half a year ago. Not only that, but one of our neighbor's kids just got into Magic Cards, so he jumped at the chance to join our DnD game when I mentioned it. So the party as it currently stands:

  1. Princessa- Human Fighter with a bastard sword, ring mail and a shot bow. Watch out for this one!
  2. Melech Yisrael- Elf Fighter/Magic User. He carries a scimitar and longbow along with his spellbook
  3. Lavi- Dwarven Fighter/Thief with leather armor,  magic longsword, and light crossbow
  4. Minion- a chaotic Elven thief with a two handed sword who has joined the party for obscure reasons

Gulluvia

Gulluvia City
The party begin in the house of Mooncow the Artificer, a Jeweler(and his daughter) who they had previously saved from the goblins.

The three veteran members wanted to head straight for the Palace of the Silver Princess, while Minion wanted to know where he could earn large quantities of coin. They managed to convince him and the party headed out.

But before they could escape the city, a roving Goblin patrol, led by a huge Bugbear, overpowered them(despite Melech's excellent shooting and successful charming of one of the goblins). They woke up in a house that had been modified as a holding cell.

Together, the party members managed to break the lock and Minion found his sword in a pile of equipment and backstabbed the Orc guard into the netherworld. The party managed to find all their equipment, but gave up on recovering their mounts from among the goblin camp laying siege to the castle in Gulluvia. Instead, the party snuck down an alley and made for the nearest exit from the city, killing a couple wandering Goblins on their way out.

Overland

Kingdom
The party shunned the main road and took the less used path to N'Sau. They avoided fairy trickery at night and chased a bear. After two days' brisk hiking, they arrived at the village. After buying some supplies, they headed North.

While heading through the forest, the party was held up by a band of bandit archers hiding in the trees. Minion managed to sweet-talk them into accepting 10GP and leaving the party alone.


The Palace

Arriving at the palace, the party climbed back up the tower and started searching rooms. They found a room full of spare short-swords but were discovered by an angry looking bugbear. The Thieves jumped to attack him. They dispatched the beasie, but Minion was left wounded and unconscious, so they decided to bunker down in an unoccupied room and heal-up.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Norwegian Metal Campaign

Mythic Norway

While wasting time reading about Black Metal bands on Wikipedia, I couldn't help noticing what great stage names some of these guys have. Building a Norwegian Black Metal band lineup looks sort of like an adventuring party, doesn't it?

    • Fafnir- vocalist
    • Shagrath- guitarist/vocalist
    • Silenoz- guitar/songwriter
    • ICS Vortex- bass guitar
    • Winter- keyboard
    • Hellhammer- drums
"Hellhammer" is a great name for a metal drummer, isn't it? This really makes me want to run a campaign where where the party are a Dark Metal band questing through mythic Norway. What might that look like?

Soundtrack

This is easy. Play some Black Metal music from youtube to set the tone. Burzum, Emperor, and Darkthrone are a good place to start.

The Hook

A strange cultic symbol
The adventure hook is simple. The party is a black metal band. Their last gig got a little too intense. It was a show in the old Cathedral of Nidarosdomen in Trondheim. Suddenly, in the middle of the show, there was a dark flash and some sort of gateway or portal opened up and sucked you in! But to where? It looks like the Norwegian countryside, but, somehow...darker. And there is a strange cultic symbol nearby.

Game System

Pick an old school DnD of your choice.

Character Creation

This should be fun. The party is a band. Have the players create their character,


  1. Pick a really metal name
  2. choose musical specialty
  3. Starting level 3 is good
    1. Since there are no starting weapons, PCs will need to be a bit resilient...
  4. Alignment: choose between Pure Black Evil and Nihilistic Neutral
  5. Choose a class. Some of you may soon discover you've gained strange cultic ability. Choose between Viking, Anti-Cleric, and Witch/Wizard)
    1. Regarding spells, I need to go through the list and find the most metal spell list possible...
    2. DCC Spellburn and Ritual rules would be a good fit
  6. Equipment
    1. your instruments(not too helpful since Mythic Norway doesn't have electricity)
    2. your clothes(probably count as leather, studded, or padded armor?)


Adventure

As DM, you really want to sell the mystery of where they are and how they might get back. Point out how bummed they must feel unable to play their instruments. Have them run into places/people they know, but that are different. Tease them with hints at a way back to the normal world.

As for setting, have strange, run-down castles, haunted forests, bleak snow-covered peaks.

Encounters can include:

  • Huge dumb Trolls
  • Rowdy Vikings
  • Cattle-riding Huldra
  • Pale alluring Nattmara Werewolves
  • Depressive, man-eating Mermaids
  • Ship devouring Krakens
  • Cryptic Witches
  • Hungry Fossegrimen
  • Black-Metal Nøkken
  • Plague-ridden Pesta
  • Forlorn Draugen
  • Cattle-tending Wights
  • Greedy Svartálfar and Female Elves
  • Fanden- the devil himself

Friday, 13 October 2017

ICON Tel Aviv 2017

So, for the second year in a row I had the opportunity to attend the ICON festival for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Role Play in Tel Aviv. It's a yearly 3 day convention held during the Sukkot holiday next to the beautiful Sarona neighborhood(full of parks and restaurants) with fun for all ages. So, what does ICON have to offer?

Sarona

The festival is held next to the Sarona neighborhood of Tel Aviv. This was great for when we wanted to get lunch, and give the kids a break in the playground.

Cosplay

My boysencounter Pikachu!
There's a good deal of Cosplay going on during the festival. It's fun to check out the costumes and take photos with 'celebs'.







Booths

Admission to the booths area is free. The booths are hugely entertaining, with topics including board games, role playing, war games, posters, original art, occult art, 3D printing, toys, comics, and books. There is also a large 2nd hand section. I was especially impressed by the large number of Warhammer 40k hobbyists.








Sword Fighting

The sword-fighting area is also a blast. My boys had a lot of fun there. There are also staged fights between 'serious' cosplayers.






Kids Zone

The kids zone in the Tel Aviv Cinematech campus included:
  • Cardboard castles/mazes
  • Stop-Motion photography area
  • Arts and crafts area
It kept my brood busy for about a couple hours.

Board Game Area

The board games tent costs 10NIS admission. It's a place to try out all the latest board games. I was amazed at all the games being run that I've never heard of. I'm looking forward to trying out this tent one of these years, but I didn't leave myself a couple hours free for this, so it didn't happen...

Convention Schedule

Let's not forget the convention schedule. The first thing I'll point out it that you should sign-up early. This is the second year that I tried signing-up too late and everything was full. What does surprise me is that I don't see any role playing games being run. Are those in the board game section? It seems to be all lectures, films, or fantasy art/writing workshops. Strange...

Well, that's ICON 2017, or at least my take on it. We were there a good 6 hours and had a blast!






Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Supply and Demand in Minos and Airam


So here's another rule extension to our Star Wars/Cyberpunk 2020 mashup, thanks to West End Games' "Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters", published in 1994.

Chapter Four of the guide contains rules for inter-planet trade in commodities. Planets are categorized by technology level, and commodities by type. Given these two variables, the guide provides a chart with the relative availability of buyers/sellers and market price.

Finding a Seller/Buyer


To find a buyer/seller for a particular type of goods, make a Social skill check based on the availability in the chart. The five levels of availability line up nicely with CP2020's skill check difficulty levels:


  • VH- 10+
  • H- 15+
  • M- 20+
  • L- 25+
  • VL- 30+


For black market good, make a Streetwise skill check instead.

Market Price

The market price is similarly looked up in the table. I'd like to add a random factor though, so roll 1d100-50 and add/subtract that percentage to the price.

Bargaining

Additionally, PCs may be able to bargain their way to a better price. Make a Difficult skill check in Persuasion/Fast Talk. Failure results in a 5% worse price, success yields a 5% better price.

Trying Again

If players aren't satisfied with the price, they can leave the deal and try to find another buyer/seller, but that will take even more time and the availability check will be at +2. Also note that less populous planets or those with well organized cartels may not have another buyer/seller available.

So that's it. I'm looking forward to trying out these rules in next session...

Monday, 15 May 2017

Critical Miss in Hyperspace



Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star, or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it.

So, we've already played five game sessions of Star Wars 2020 with the basic space rules I posted previously. Those included travel times and fuel costs of hyperspace travel.

That's fine for when everything goes as planned. But things going as planned is boring. Now let's spice things up with some new rules inspired from Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters

CP2020 Skill Checks

Hyperdrive Mishaps


When making a jump, the PC should make a skill check for their Hyperdrive Tech skill i.e. 1d10+Tech+Hyperdrive Tech at the appropriate difficulty:

  • jumping on known hyperlanes within a sector, make an Easy roll
  • jumping between sectors on known hyperlanes, Average roll
  • under stress or preoccupied, bump up the roll by one level
  • jumping within the sector or between adjacent sectors with no known hyperlane, bump up the roll by one level
  • if they are trying to jump from within another ship while a Rathtar tries to devour their ship, make a Very Difficult roll
  • Hyperdrive Types
  • if they are trying to jump into a planet's gravity well to avoid the planetary shields, make a Nearly Impossible roll 


Hyperdrive Modifiers

The more advanced the hyperdrive, the harder it is to operate. As such, add a modifier to the roll needed:
  • x4 -2
  • x3 -1
  • x2 +0
  • x1 +1
  • x1/2 +2
Mishaps Table


Mishap Severity



If the player misses their check, a mishap occurs. First determine mishap severity

  • Minor Mishaps: Check missed by <=5
  • Moderate Mishaps: Check missed by <=10
  • Catastrophic Mishaps: Check missed by <=15
  • Fatal Mishap: Check missed by >15

Roll 1d6 on the appropriate chart to determine what mishap occurs. Unless you got a Fatal Mishap that is. In that case you flew your ship straight through a star or something similar!

Playtest


Well, we'll have to give these rules a playtest next game session. I'll let you know how it goes! Hopefully without too many fatalities!