Big Day for Gaming

Today was a big day for the nerd gaming with Free RPG day which included a new Runequest quickstart, new DCC adventure, the intentionally controversial Vaginas are Magic from lotfp and while I’m not a Pathfinder fan, there was a quickstart for STARFINDER, a new space game from Paizo.

In addition to the RPG goodness, it was the official release of the new version of Warhammer 40,000 in it’s 8th edition.

The 40K book looks incredible, as you would expect from 2017 GW. I had a short talk with Dan about the rules and they look good–it does not seem like they age of sigmared that shit up as was feared. I’m looking forward to breaking out my 1987 beakies and having a go at some point.

The Free RPG stuff Matt and I grabbed up was a trove of goodness. Swords Against Owlbears for 13th Age looks boss, the new Runequest adventure is SOLID Glorantha, though I wasn’t able to make heads or tails of the magic system after a short perusal. The DCC adventure is cool, but what’s best is that the quickstart has the character creation rules in a module format! So I won’t need to lug around the big book all the time nor pass it around the table to get all sorts of greasy hands all over it and spilled beer/bong water.

Finally there is Vagina’s are Magic. While it’s silly and fun, the important bit is the update to the LotFP magic system. It’s similar to the playtest packet that came out awhile back in that no spells have levels. In addition, spellcasters can keep casting spells but have a danger with every cast over their level each day to have a miscast, which can be horrible as you would expect from LotFP. While the spells in the book are cool, what has to happen now is that ALL the other spells in the game will need a miscast chart appended to each one. This will make the LotFP book nearly double in size with 1 page for each spell in the game (much like DCC). VAM may be just testing the water before going that far with the magic descriptions for the core lotfp spells. Looking forward to trying this out.

For me, I got a chance to run Feng Shui 2 (with a new adventure I wrote that will get posted to the blog eventually) and today I got to play FASERIP after a gap of about 30 years!

DCC magic in LotFP

This is a precursor to a couple of brewing posts about our Scenic Dunnsmouth run about a month ago.  We used the Dungeon Crawl Classics magic system along with LotFP.

First, I recommend trying this out if you don’t mind a bit more chaos in your magic to a more cartoonish, gonzo level. DCC takes the spirit of LotFP’s beloved Summon spell and applies it to everything. The system reminds me fully of Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th edition’s magic system, which is fantastic and dangerous and explosive.

The biggest differences are:

  1. Spells don’t always work. MU’s have to roll a D20 to cast their spells and then the GM looks at a table to see what happens. It’s about 65% chance that they will work if you have a MU with an INT bonus. Without an INT bonus, you will be suffering as an MU
  2. Unless you fail bad, you keep your spell. So this disrupts Vancian magic completely
  3. You can get REAL fucked up if you fumble your spell rolls, permanent like via corruption and miscasts
  4. MU’s can spell burn their stats to increase their spell rolls. They can loose these stats permanently.
  5. Very high rolls on spell casting of some spells can destroy entire villages and TPK the party.

Good stuff:

  1. Magic users can be badass, or they could be stuck with total shit for spells. The combination of random spell rolling with the mercurial magic from DCC left one of our spellcasters with a light spell that can only be cast in broad daylight and other crap. This is part of DCC’s ‘balance through randomness’ game theory. That sorcerer’s goals will be focused on getting better spells at nearly any cost! What better motivation.
  2. Dice are your friend? My MU used DCC’s flaming hands and always rolled super high (and my character’s version of Flaming Hands caused all animals to flee in terror as well). I burned all the enemies, all the time. While awesome for the party, coming from the LotFP paradigm, the GM was displeased by this.
  3. Spellburn: MU’s can burn their stats to increase their spell rolls. This can leave them puddles of goo that have to be carried around if they burn high. I like this mechanic a lot as you can have a character that is at -2 for every statistic for a period of time. It gives the MU interesting choices before the dice are rolled.
  4. Players don’t have to look up or memorize spell effects.  They just need the name of the spell and then roll for it!

Bad Stuff:

  1. You need the HUGE DCC book handy (or PDF). I had to carry the DCC book on the plane to CO. and it was like it’s own piece of luggage. The rules are only a few pages, but the spell lists are required and take up most of the book.
  2. Clerics. Our GM was not happy about the cleric being able to heal up characters and not losing the spell. I don’t think he will allow DCC Cleric rules again. Having played straight DCC a few times since, the Cleric does get balanced out because each time a roll fails, they increase their chance of fumbling the cast and displeasing their god that gives them spellcasting ability in the first place, which can mean no more cleric…
  3. We couldn’t fit the Summon spell into the DCC paradigm, so we left it as LotFP RAW and during the sessions, and we cast it a LOT.
  4. To fully use the DCC system, you’d have to add a LUCK stat to the stat list, and we just didn’t do that. I think that would get too far away from the current LotFP rules.  You could add it, or use Wisdom, or just tell casters they can only spell burn.
  5. Other classes may feel outclassed.   The Fighters in LotFP won’t get their init bonus for level nor the deed die.  While my character rolled crazy good to destroy nearly all enemies, the fighters could still be marginalized.

Overall, we muddled through and our GM was very enthused about it until there was a Cleric in the party, then Steve was not too happy. It does spin the Gygaxian dislike of spellcasters off into the ether and you have to be cool with that.

Pocketmod character sheet for Lamentations of the Flame Princess

I put together a Lamentations of the Flame Princess pocketmod character sheet based on the Dyson Logos pocketmod for B/X D&D (and with strong influences from the Badmedo character sheet for LotFP).

You can download it here.

Encumbrance and skills

I built this out mostly because I wanted pocketmod character sheets to play with my kids and the Dyson Logos sheet (while awesome for LL and B/X) just wasn’t quite cutting it with the LotFP rules.  LotFP has no THACO, and has very unique rules for skills and encumbrance. So, this one has the pages and info needed for LotFP AND it has what most modern character sheets are sorely missing: a space to draw a character picture.

I realize that the encumbrance item page is after the ‘encumbrance level’ page, this may seem out of order to derive encumbrance, but it is more important for the encumbrance rank to be found earlier in the booklet during play.

Original Build

After reviewing online pocket mods that weren’t Dyson Logos B/X one for ideas and finding that the rest were totally function over form (especially the soul-less 5E one), I did the first layout in, gulp, MS WORD.  I don’t have indesign or photoshop handy any more, and just ended up starting in Word to see if I could do it. To give it credit, Word has gotten a lot better in the last few versions to do fairly simple layouts like this and it looks like the original lotfp sheet was built using it.  The shape tool helped a lot, as well as tons of text boxes everywhere.

After layout was done in Word, I saved as a PDF and then used the pocketmod creator to parse the 8-page PDF into a pocket mod.  If you notice, the Dyson Logos B/X sheet was laid out by hand on the pocketmod format that he himself built, doing it his way means margins are more controlled than the ones parsed out by the pocketmod program.  After many tries, I couldn’t fix the fact that the pocketmod parsing program skewed the whole layout unbearably going from a PDF to a the pocketmod format.  If you are making a pocket mod with your notes from school, the pocketmod program is great, if you are actually trying to control exact placement and margins, it’s not worth bothering with.

Second Build

I have some of friends that are pro designers and one of them (Jenica!) generously said the equivalent of —fuck let me do that shit for you– after seeing what I was doing in Word, and so she did.  The result is FAR better than my MS Word original.  I recommend this approach, but the exercise of doing it first in Word helped me really see where everything would be  on each of the new pages and whether I could fit all the things. That prototype helped the designer’s job to do the real deal.

A guy named Whidou Whadou hooked me up with a vector-based dead sign for the spell page.

Anyway, enjoy!  Now who’s going to do one for MYTHRAS?

littlemute

Genconnery 2016

we are at the last real day of the con, Sunday being mop up and all that.  It’s crowded as fuck, with long lines and smells and bumping into huge backpacks.  We are staying at the Alexander which is a hike from the con, but real shi shi and has tons of room for gaming.  I made the mistake of getting new shoes before the con and my feet are fucked with blisters– so bad I have to wear flip flops for likely a week!

image

We got in a great Runequest game with a Roman legion in pre colonization North America.  I got to play the Others for a bit (should be at my house today!) and picked up Bloodborne the card game which plays ok.  Otherwise I haven’t bought much stuff, instead we’ve been eating like kings of the earth.

I ran my Lamentations of the flame princess event yesterday and it was good.  I had only one player who was pretty much half asleep the whole time who did manage to wake up and free Calcidus the bad wizard from his salt circle.  He then left the game shortly after as the other players then had to clean up that mess which nearly ended in a TPK.

We played LotFP later that day with steve, but that deserves its own write up.

Mountainous

I was off to the West for a long training and there’s been no time to really post so this is going to be a splatter of crap on the side of the bowl.

Steve and I went to the new Games Workshop (now WARHAMMER) store in Boulder to get some paints and saw a bunch of AOS crap but amidst it was the new Heroquest style Silver Tower game.  Miniatures looked great, the card board pieces that came with it are up their with Rackham’s Hybrid and Nemesis (read: good) and while not as cool looking as those, it looks to be a more playable game.  Though everything fantasy related from GW these days is really, really, really:

he-man

While out west, I didn’t get inside any headshops or smoke them tweeds as the saying goes. The thought was there, but it didn’t really count for much in the end.  I saw a place called “Starbuds” and thought that was clever and likely going to be sued soon!  I did walk through MANY clouds of THC both indoors and outdoors.  For a little while at least, I could pretend we were (collectively, instead of just Western CO) living in the better times imagined during the mid/late 90’s rather than a billionaire dominated, post citizen united, Swift boat veteran style country.

Blood Bowl is coming out.  There are pictures of people playtesting and some of the miniatures.  This is the first thing I’ve been really pumped about from GW that wasn’t a video game since Warhammer 8th Edition.  While AOS is garbage compared to the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle game and Warhammer proper, with the announcement of a new Epic, Blood Bowl and Necromunda, things may turn around for my interest in their stuff at least.

Blood-Bowl-Human

The BB miniatures look… awful chunky.  I’m not sure I dig the look of the orks, but the humans, especially the human catchers, look great.  The dwarves I’ve seen are very very blocky, and not the drunk, bearded short-fatties we’re used to. It’s not the olde worlde style, since they blew it up and all that.  I’m VERY glad the humans aren’t Sigmarines.  That helps a lot.

For weeks now, Warhammer Total War has been out and it’s gotten good reviews. …and I am going to wait to buy it, not because it isn’t great (it’s been the fastest selling TW game to date) or buggy (reports are that it’s a cleanish release by CA, which is a ..second?), but because I want to get a new video card first and play DOOM, then dish out the cash for Warhammer TW. Plans, plans– all go to ruins when I just start up Torchlight 2 again, or Fallout 4, or Darkest Dungeon.

I started playing LISA before I went off to training.  Wow.  Some broken people are responsible for that shit.  While I haven’t gotten anywhere, I want you to share my pain.  Highly recommended.  Buy it.

lisa

Other stuff along the RPG front:

There are two new releases from Lamentations of  the Flame Princess. One is by the guy who did Dwimmmmmermmmmmount and the other is by some English bloke set during the English Civil war.  Remember that shit?  I got them in the mail and plowed through Cursed Chateau, which reminds me a bit of Castle Amber (a good thing) and started on England Upturn’d. With World of the Lost, Towers Two and these new ones, I’m going to need to run some LotFP again soon.

SLUGS is coming on Free RPG day.  Look at that purdy cover.  It even has the GENCON booth for this year.

SlugsPromo

And this is from an interview here:

The inspiration for LotFP is the basic belief that the life of an adventurer is a hellish thing that nobody sane would want – full of danger and violence with no real home, no real family, no certainty, ever. Think of the classic RPG adventure form: You’re going into some dark hole with a sinister history, fully expecting to encounter death traps and supernatural monsters and all sorts of things that want nothing more to kill you and probably eat you, and you’re doing it for some money. …
That’s LotFP.”

GRENKUTS

This weekend is TALISMAN Weekend with Keneda.  We will drink, play Tobal 2 and play a massive couple of games of Talisman with (nearly) all the expansions.  This will include the new board, which is quite a work of art and a full on deconstructionist version of the original 4E and 2E’s boards.

tm16_board

While the 4e board is good, it really needed the FF artistic touch, so here it is!

 

 

13th Age session, Interview with Raggi, other stuff

It’s been 10 months and we finally got back on Roll 20 for some 13th Age.  Unfortunately, the group was right in the middle of a dungeon, so the break between sessions sucked for everyone.   I blame this on 1) Summer 2014, 2) Runequest 6 which most of the same group played in person after summer 3) people not showing up on Thursdays on Roll20 (myself included!).  4) Me taking it too seriously and building a huge campaign area and series of prepared adventures (whether original or pulled from wherever) instead of going the lazy route, which 13th Age allows. 5) Moving.

I think it was a good getting back into the game session, but I still have problems spending player’s Icon rolls in these short 2 hour sessions, especially when they  roll well and I’ve got a bunch of 5’s there.  5’s are the hardest.

More RPG stuff to read.

Interview with Raggi and the guy that finished the new TOWERS TWO adventure after the GWAR guy died:

– Provocation is the entire purpose of fiction

Raggi always has a lot of really interesting stuff to say and ways to say it.

also an erection

As the Runequest name goes back to Chaosium and Gloratha for good, we have Design Mechanism’s new name for their BRP D100 game following the RQ6 ruleset: MYTHRAS.  While I won’t need to buy this since I have RQ6 already, I likely will.  Best thing is that any supplements based on Mythras will be RQ6 compatible, and that’s fucking awesome for you and for me.

Mythras
Mythras

What’s more, DM is coming out with Classic Fantasy, a hack of RQ for dungeon crawling old school style. Here is a preview of it.

For those playing/GMing 5e, below is an article detailing that you can stack your D20’s (like 3D20 and take the worst one or vice versa) and it works. Say someone is wounded, turning to stone, being eaten alive, etc.  you can double down on the disadvantage roll and the math doesn’t turn to shit. Overall Advantage/Disadvantage is a great mechanic that has definitely trickled into my games.

Stacked disadvantage in 5E with maths.

Lastly, the Shinobigami translation will be ready for playtesting in about a month.  This is a ‘get together for about 5 hours’ type of game like Carolina Death Crawl, so look for that on your calendars in May.