Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Severe Lack of Creativity (But Also 3 New GLOG Classes)

You all know about D&DWiki, right? Home of strange, unbalanced homebrew in absurd amounts?

I've got a strange nostalgia for the place: it was where I first learned you can make new things for RPGs.

However, most of the classes, items, and monsters can be of... variable quality. And given that they have 1031 CLASSES FOR 5TH EDITION (oh my), most people don't want to look through all of them. Because there's a lot of them.

So, I decided (thanks to a staggering lack of creativity after working on Infra-Red and Sunless Horizon) that I want to bring some of them into the light of the OSR.

All of these classes are in the GLOG format, and have links to the originals.

Sacrae

The Sacrae are bound to the Wheel: a world-connecting energy: they manipulate the Wheel's connection to their opponents to effect them.

By https://www.deviantart.com/anotherwanderer

A: Veni

B: Caeci
C: Spero
D: Terra

A: Veni
As an action, target an opponent: they must make a Charisma save or their Wheel bends, unbalancing their body in return: they lose -2 AC. The Sacrae regains use of this ability once per long rest.

B: Caeci
Once per long rest, the Sacrae slightly tears the top of the target's Wheel: they must make a Charisma save or be blinded for one round.

C: Spero
Once per long rest, the Sacrae mends the target's Wheel, removing any effects (such as poison), and restoring 2d4 HP.

D: Morta
Once per long rest, the Sacrae shatters the target's Wheel, damaging themselves in the process. The target must make a Charisma save or take 3d8 damage: the Sacrae takes half of that damage.

Fencer

The Fencer is a melee glass cannon: it's able to do way more damage than seems reasonable, but a single good hit could get him rolling on your favorite Death & Dismemberment table.

The Fencer rolls 1d4 instead of 1d6 when generating HP.

Face net not mandatory.


A: Improved Critical
B: Challenge, +1 Critical Margin
C: Bleed Out, +1 Critical Margin
D: Nimble Strike, +1 Critical Margin

A: Improved Critical
The Fencer's experience makes it easier for them to accurately strike: they Critical Hit on rolls of 19 or 20, decreasing with each Fencer template. (On Template D, a Fencer would Critical Hit on rolls above 16.)


B: Challenge
The Fencer can challenge opponents to duels: in combat, the target must Save or be goaded by his calls. Outside of combat, nobles, knights, bandits, mercenaries, and similar will begin combat: if the Fencer wins, he gains +3 to Charisma when persuading the duel's audience.


C: Bleed Out
Successful attacks by the Fencer deal 1d4 CON damage as well as their normal damage.

D: Nimble Strike
When using a one-handed weapon, the Fencer can make 2+DEX mod attacks per round.

Daemon Eater

The Daemon Eaters are an order of paladins that bind daemons into their own bodies: a pious body makes the greatest cage for a creature of hell. As the daemons grow, they warp the Daemon Eater's form.

By https://www.deviantart.com/aditya777


A: Malevolent Form
B: Daemonic Art
C: Growing Corruption
D: Spreading Malevolence   

A: Malevolent Form

The daemon within you has corrupted one of your body parts. Choose one or roll 1d4 to decide which.

Arm
One of your arms is no longer your own. It's covered in a shifting set of armored scales, and ends in a set of long talons. You do 1d4 damage with your unarmed attacks, and can make an immediate grapple check if you hit. Your STR increases by 2.

Leg
Your movement speed increases by 10 ft, and your DEX increases by 2.

Eye
Your eyes fill with fire. You can see normally in darkness up to a distance of 60 feet. Your WIS increases by 2.

Heart
Your heart pumps black oil through your body. You gain +2 on all Checks and Saves caused by poisons. Your CON increases by 2.

B: Daemonic Art

Arm
Once per short rest, the scales on your arm shift into a pointed tip as you make an unarmed attack, dealing 2d4 damage.


Leg
Once per short rest, you can either make a leaping attack dealing 1d4 damage and flinging the target backwards.

Eye
Once per short rest, you can target someone who then must make a Wisdom save. On a failure, they are charmed for 1d6 minutes.

Heart 
Once per short rest, your blood begins to boil, returning 1d6 health instantly.


C: Growing Corruption 
The daemon's influence over your body increases. You gain a new bonus based off your which body part was corrupted.

Arm
Your arm's talons grow, and start to drip a burning venom. Unarmed attacks deal 1d4 damage and the target must save or take 1d4 damage from poison.


Leg
You can anchor yourself on vertical surfaces and ceilings, although your movement speed decreases by 20 ft while on them.

Eye
The fire brightens, giving you +2 to hit with ranged weapons.

Heart
Your blood hardens, giving you +1 natural AC. 

D: Spreading Malevolence  

You can either choose or roll for one additional limb, which gives you the benefit of that limb's Malevolent Form.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Infra-Red: Memories of the Past

The Wound opened in late 1952, in a rural portion of Brazil. after nearly decade of unproven stories of strange, crystalline creatures wandering through Brazilian towns, the Brazilian government announced an incredible discovery: a gap in reality, named The Wound, that the creatures had been coming out of.

Image courtesy of Scrap Princess, who is better than me in every way.
In the space of a month, war broke out in Brazil as the United States invaded, planning to take control of The Wound. As the war continued, sanctions mounted against the U.S., with much of Europe cutting trade off completely.

After the Brazilian takeover ended, the American government built Facility 1: a titanic complex of reinforced concrete atop The Wound. 

The creatures emerging from The Wound - known as Infrals - were captured and John F. Kennedy created the ICRA (Infral Containment and Research Agency) and Project Highrise to find a way to use Infrals as weapons and stop opposing nations from acquiring them.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The City of Gateway, Part 1

Gateway is part of Age of the Ecclesiarchy, an abandoned setting where the ur-god, Ilephoth, looms above the world, wearing the sun as a crown. The world is (mostly) ruled by the Ecclesiarchy: worshippers of Ilephoth, Archon Above Heaven, He Who Struck Down the Hateful Moon.


The city of Gateway is placed just on the edge of the Desolation, where the Ecclesiarchy's territory ends. Gateway is so far from the capital that the Divine Legion can't reach it without months of marching, meaning it's left almost entirely alone (as well as being almost the only place you'll see an elf).

Major Figures of Gateway

The most important person in Gateway depends on who you ask. If you ask a loyal Ecclesiarchist, they'll say Governor Tiberius, a weak-willed pitiful man terrified that Gateway is slipping out of his control.

If you ask anyone else, they'll probably say Sashiseth Iazelmei, one of the 4 prospective leaders of the Hand of Acor, a criminal organization/rebellion/cult. The last leader, Solana Aelrue, died in the Rain of Embers, where the Divine Legion burned down half the city in a demonstration of force. If anything, the Rain of Embers made the problem worse: the death of Solana lead the rest of the Hand to collapse into infighting as Solana's officers made a grab for power after her death.

As unstable as it is, the
Hand of Acor is the government in Gateway, as far as the people are concerned: the Watch spends most of its time being manipulated by Commander Acosta as she tries to climb the ranks of the Ecclesiarchy, leaving Sashiseth's private security the job of keeping the town from sliding the rest of the way into anarchy.


The other three prospects for leader are less well-respected. One, an illiterate ogre Solana kept as an enforcer, took the name Tagnor Bonecrusher after being told people would find it intimidating. (Most people just laugh.) Elissa Grove, one of the Hand's spies, wants to be leader, but she knows her followers couldn't win in a straight fight against Sashiseth or Tagnor's.


Imbril Arasys is the last candidate, and one of the few magic-users in the Ecclesiarchy to have escaped conscription into the Divine Legion. In Solana's time, he trained her wizards for use in the Hand. Since the Rain of Embers, he's dug a 5-story basement into an abandoned home, where it is said he works with the Lich Queen Amara Naumys to overthrow the Ecclesiarchy: a cause he wants to turn the Hand to.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hack & Slash (No, Not the Blog)

If you're here because of the link on the cover, welcome! Hack & Slash is far from the pinnacle of RPGs (trust me), but you can add to it easily: if you want a new mechanic (a chance to miss attacks, overland travel, or rules for ranged weapons, perhaps?), new weapons, new monsters, and especially new adventures, MAKE THEM. If you want to tear the entire thing apart and write your own, do that!

But one thing: if you do add something to the game, tell me about it! Send new rules, enemies, and whatever else you come up with to archonscourtgames@gmail.com

For everybody else:

Hack & Slash is incredibly simple: it's a classless 2d6 system without AC or experience, and a basically handwaved equipment system, intended to bring RPGs to more people as simply as possible. The entire game is 6 pages long (7 if you include the cover.)

Isn't it adorable?

I plan to expand on the system with Total Hack & Slash as well as Between the Stars, a sci-fi version, both in a very short format.

You can get the pdf for Hack & Slash here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Barony of Gault: A Rhombuscrawl (Crawlhex? I dunno.)

A Whatnow?

The Rhombuscrawl was created back in March by d4 Caltrops. Along with being one of the least pleasant words to say I've ever seen (though I take the blame for it), it's an excellent way of making a smaller scale of hexcrawl.


A rhombuscrawl is made up of a standard 6-mile hex, tessellated into 12 rhombuses (or diamonds if you want to be boring). Each rhombus contains... something, and you travel between them as you do hexes (just a bit faster).

The second motivation for this project was one of Dungeon of Signs' old articles about Castle Caldwell, where he went into detail about how to generally improve the module, at least to his taste. So, between the two, I decided to give d4 Caltrops' system a practical test.

Rhombus Entries

1. A giant cave holds the frog queen Taga's "kingdom"; 40-odd frogpeople in a shoddily-built set of wooden shacks. Taga herself has a throne stolen from Castle Gault, worth a large amount of money (and even more to the Daughter).

Taga is indifferent to the PCs and to the collapse of the barony; she just wants to take as much as possible before it's reinstated. However, she does have something she needs from them: one of her raiding parties hasn't reported back from the castle in a few weeks. She doesn't care about the raiders (although they are still alive), she just wants the loot back.

2. 4 of the baron's old knights, turned into test subjects by the Baroness, stand around the ashes of a fire in a destroyed camp. All 4 want the Baroness dead, but their augmentations make them unstable (rage 1/day, 1-in-12 chance of occuring randomly each turn).

3. The village of Hea is dying. The people have been afflicted with an unnatural disease that makes the swamp's water soak into the villager's skin, weighing them down until they collapse. The town's apothecary knows it's being caused by the Watching Lady.


4. A single spire, the remains of the church of Naab the Verdant, pokes out of a marshy lake, inhabited only by the High Priestess of Naab, whose name has been lost to time, and her flock, held together with scrolls imbued with the life-granting prayers of their order.

The High Priestess has sat in her church for hundreds of years, insulated from the outside world. She is not violent, unless she find out how long it's been (and more importantly, that nobody worships her god anymore), at which point she leads her worshippers to Rhombus 8, in an attempt to take over the castle (and afterwards, the barony.)

5. A single watchtower, overgrown with vines, used to watch over this patch of land. Now, a few of the Daughter's soldiers try to hold it.


6. An old farm, half-sunken into the swamp, is inhabited by a small group of the baroness's creations, who tore through the area before settling down. They plan to launch an attack on the watchtower at Rhombus 5.


7. The Watching Lady, an experienced witch, lives in a hut made of live plants and inhabited by a swarm of stinging beetles. She acts nice and attempts to draw the PCs into her house before attacking them. The curse on the town of Lea is powered by a fragment of her soul: killing her removes it.


8. The crumbling Castle Gault, half-sunken into the swamp, looms over its Barony. The Daughter's army has surrounded it, ordered to let nothing in or out, but not only is there a side building with an old escape tunnel leading into the courtyard, many of the Daughter's soldiers disagree with her methods, and would gladly allow the party inside, to clear the castle.

The barony's near-collapse has emptied the castle of everything but outlaws, Taga's frogperson looting parties, and the Baroness's abominations. In the castle's catacombs, the Baroness continues to work on her husband's twisted form.

9. A nearby lord has built an outpost here, manned by a group of conscripts. They don't know what's going on in the barony, and the Daughter or Taga would reward you for getting them out, so one of them could take over.

10. A wagon of new soldiers and supplies trundles along a poorly built road on the way to Castle Gault. The detachment orders the PCs to stay away from the cart: they've been having some problems with bandits recently, and don't trust anyone.

11. The small town of Soum, and the new capital of Gault, sits above the swamp on stilts. The Daughter rules from here, overcome with paranoia. At night, the streets are patrolled by a militia, in case any of the Baroness's creations have escaped.

They have.

One of the Baroness's more humanoid abominations roams the streets at night in a heavy cloak, ambushing the militiamen and leaving them dried husks. It lives in a badly-maintained house on the outskirts of town, where it's known as an eccentric foreigner by the name of Mr. Winston.

The militia are so worried the news of Mr. Winston would send the Daughter into one of her fits, they haven't told her about him. They would pay nicely for you to help kill him, especially if you can without the Daughter hearing about it.

12. A group of Taga's frogpeople have captured Marquis de Pont, a minor noble and old friend of the Daughter. He's being kept in a "cage" made of sticks, guarded by a pair of inattentive frogmen. The rest of the group had gone back to Taga's cave to get reinforcements: they'll be back soon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Reviewing Zines, Part 1 of ∞: Phasic and Broken System

ZINES
 
"I got some zines. A lot of zines. So many zines. And I need to put something on the blog. Hmm..."

So, I'm going to start reviewing RPG zines as filler content between things people actually care about. Both of these are free PDFs, and both are no longer being released.

Phasic 

Phasic is an Encounter Critical zine by Jeff Rients, with its fifth and last issue released in 2012.

Issue 1
I don't have much experience with Encounter Critical, but the first issue is almost entirely useless, containing a d6 table of why the Shunned Towns are shunned (containing terrible fashion sense as an entry), a short description of a Challenge of the Superfriends episode from 1978, and 100 Damnation Van accessories (most of which are the kind of thing you could come up with almost instantly, and besides, how often are you going to buy a Damnation Van?).

Two of the articles, however, are (somewhat) useful: one is a 20 entry list of "Tradeable Limbs", which could make an interesting addition to character creation in a gonzo post-apocalyptic game, and half of a set of rules for sanity. Perfect.

Issue 2 is an adventure: Raiders of the Mercenary Coast: Epilogue. It doesn't actually make sense, has terrible formatting, and is 50% statblocks.


Issue 3 includes an article about the city of Tidy Island Bay, which details a few locations. It also has a d100 mutation table and a 1d12 "Devilishness in the Details" tables, which has 12 other character-changing possibilities, including working for the antagonist Darth Viraxis, which it details in the next article. The final article is a d8 table of extra chronometer functions.

Issue 4 is a crossword puzzle.

Issue 5 is the final issue, marked as the "Special Damnation Issue". The first article is a set of random tables for creating a war locomotive, which is one of the best articles in the zine's run. The second is a small essay about the Damnation Van, along with a statblock for one in Risus's system.

After that is an overly complex method of determining the damage dealt from a Damnation Van collision, and a 3-page campaign setting ending in "To Be Continued..."

Broken System

 

Broken System was a 1-issue zine created by ANT-LERR, in the same style as the Blasphemous Roster. It's incoherent, but in a good way, and full of evocative images and concepts. It includes things like a d8 table titled "IF YOU DIG UP THESE BONES, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU SHOULD DO" and a collage-like map of the territory of the Fog Barons.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

OSR: GLOG Class: Tech

The Tech is a caster/skill character for my SF GLOG hack. It works using the spellcasting rules, with a heavy focus on utility rather than combat. Techs are all wired with a Remote Interface; a small computer connected to their brain, allowing them to... interface remotely.

Most of the Programs the Tech has reference Synthetic or Hybrid targets; Synthetics are robots, androids, whatever you want to call them, and Hybrids are augmented humans. Organics are... organic.
Image result for cyberpunk
Yeah, you definitely need that many eyes.
The Tech uses CD (Charge Dice) instead of MD, and Programs instead of spells. This means absolutely nothing, it just makes more sense.

Skill Rules
I'm using Lost Pages' 1d6 skill system, minus use magic items. The PC gains these skills with 2 Tech templates.


A: Remote Interface, +1 CD
B: Skills, +1 CD 
C: +1 CD
D: +1 CD 

Perk: Phone calls are directed into your Remote Interface.

Drawback: When hit with a crit, your Remote Interface is damaged. It automatically reboots itself in 1d6 turns; if you manually fix it, it takes 1d3.


Cantrip-type Programs
1. Turn an electronic device (lightbulb, computer, etc.) on or off.

2. Flash colors into a Synthetic or Hybrid character's face, giving them a -1 to hit on their next attack.

3. Change the image on a screen to anything you want. This does not take an action.


Program List

Terminal: Collect
R: 50' T: 1 computer D: 0
Tear through the defenses on a target terminal, extracting [dice] pieces of information (passwords, bits of map, etc.).


Camera: Loop
R: 50' T: [dice] cameras or other sensors D: [sum] rounds

Loops a camera for [sum] rounds. While the camera is looped, it displays whatever was in front of it when it was first looped.

Camera: Takeover
R: touch T: [dice] cameras or other sensors D: concentration
Your Remote Interface connects to cameras and sensors, allowing you to see through them until you break concentration.


Synthetic: Lockdown
R: 80' T: Synthetic creature D: [dice] rounds

Target a Synthetic opponent. They must save or be unable to move or act for [dice] rounds as their servomotors halt violently.

Synthetic: Hallucination
R: 80' T: [dice] Synthetic creatures D: [dice] turns

Target [dice] Synthetic or Hybrid creatures. They must save or begin hallucinating copies of you and the other PCs. Each turn, they get another save.

Device: Honeytrap
R: 80' T: Electronic device D: [dice]x10 minutes
The next person to use a Program on the target device suffers a Mishap, and you are given their location. If more than 3 dice are used, the effect never times out.


Door: Force Open
R: 50' T: one mechanical door D: 0
A targeted door is forced open.

Door: Lock
R: 50' T: one mechanical door D: 10 minutes
A door closes and locks itself, requiring a Str check equal to 10+[dice] to open. If someone is standing the door

Door: Electrify 
R: 50' T: one mechanical door D: [sum] minutes  
Reroute power into a target door; anyone touching it during the duration of the effect takes [sum]x2 damage. If [sum] is above 12, the door audibly crackles.

Release Capacitors
R: self T: self D: [dice]+1 rounds
During this program's duration, any dice you expend on other programs return to your pool on a 1-5, rather than 1-3. When this program's duration ends, you must Save or suffer a Mishap.

Emblem-type Programs

Logic Bomb
R: 100' T: [sum] electronic devices D: [dice] minutes
Take control of [sum] devices you can see. You don't have much time, but you've got a lot of power: doors, turrets, cameras, computer terminals, it's all yours.

Synthetic: Dominate
R: touch T: Synthetic creature D: concentration, must stay within 10' of the target

Physically wire yourself into a Synthetic creature. The target must Save or be completely controlled by the PC. The PC must end their turn within 10' of the target, or the connection is broken.

Mishaps
1. You accidentally ran into a countervirus. It's filling your vision with nonsense, giving you a -2 to hit and to Perception for the rest of the day.
2. Your Remote Interface sparks. Your program fails, and drains the rest of your CD.
3. You're hit with biofeedback, your Remote Interface electrocuting your brain. Take 2d6 damage.

Dooms
1. You trip an alarm. Someone's going to be coming, and they won't be happy.
2. Your Remote Interface fails. You'll need to pay quite a bit to fix it.
3. Biofeedback from your Remote Interface reaches a critical level. Your head explodes.

Your Doom can be avoided by stealing a military-grade Remote Interface from a government blacksite. Which sounds so safe, doesn't it?

A Severe Lack of Creativity (But Also 3 New GLOG Classes)

You all know about  D&DWiki, right? Home of strange, unbalanced homebrew in absurd amounts? I've got a strange nostalgia for the ...