DCC – Funnel with scratch off 0-level character sheets

Last weekend I finished running a funnel with the DCC scratch off character sheets. This will be a bit of a review of the sheets and a bit of a review of the new, brutal, way you can handle characters in the funnel if you have these sheets.

First, the sheets are aesthetically pleasing, but they are not made with the best scratch off stuff. I don’t play the lottery or any of that parasitic shit, but I’ve scratched off some stuff in my time and it was better than the sheets– the stuff was challenging to get off without scratching the crap out of the paper underneath.

Secondly, the size of the type in the scratch off areas made it difficult to read the text, especially for the lucky signs and some of the equipment.

Last, I think these should have been a quad of four character sheets and not just one. There is a lot of space on the sheet wasted and frankly 0-level characters aren’t worth a full sheet of paper in the first place!

We followed the suggestion that came with the pack of ’emergent’ stats, that is: when you have to use a stat on a character, you scratch it off the sheet and reveal it. Only when you use a stat do you get to see what it is and what the bonuses are.

While this was fun, a couple of the players felt like they were bit upside the ass by it when their front character turned out to have a 16+ in some stat and they didn’t know and doomed the poor fellow to some trap.  Make sure if you do this that you have ample opportunity for tests (PER especially doesn’t come up often).

That said, my funnel turned out not to be a very dangerous one, and with careful play (in most instances), the players came out with multiple characters.

Overall, it was fun to use the scratch off sheets, but they could be better and there were some complaints about reading the entries at times.

Info on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition

I’m keen on the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay developed by Cubicle 7, having played 1st extensively and 2nd edition a few sessions.  In my middle years, I see many, many flaws in both 1st and 2nd’s system, but the game had some high quality short adventures and, of course, the Enemy Within Campaign which I never got to run players through because they— became like chaos itself, spiked off into random directions mostly due to crimes, and I had to start giving them chaos attributes until we quit playing halfway through college.  Others had similar experiences.  It could be that the nihilism inherent in the late 80’s that seeped entire into the Warhammer world view made players inherently nihilistic as well, or maybe Slaanesh is just that attractive…

That brings me to 3rd edition WFRP and… my worry that any of the things in 3rd edition make it into 4th.  3rd was the prototype for the much refined Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight, yet it was a total mess and completely unmanageable at the table.  I played it once as a player and was astounded at the number of chits and cards and stuff, as well as how long it took to finish a small combat with beastmen.  In Mythras or D&D the fight would have taken 30 minutes of combat time, where 3rd WFRP took well over an hour.  Yet, 3rd edition had quite a few excellent adventures (Witches Song and the new Enemy Within for starters).

Here is a published list of features so far:

The d100 system used will be broadly familiar, but a new implementation designed to offer three ways of resolving actions:
1 – a decision based on the characters’ abilities

2 – a simple pass/fail test

3 – a more nuanced dramatic test giving a range of outcomes and success levels

  1. GMs are encouraged to tailor their use of these to suit their group’s preferences.
  2. The combat system has been designed to be quick, dynamic and exciting, with something happening as the result of every roll.
  3. Careers remain an important feature. Dom waxed eloquent about how careers help immerse characters in the world, and give them something to fight for. He also talked about how that was reinforced in the new edition by Ambitions – personal goals that characters work towards.
  4. You can initially play a Human, Dwarf, Halfling or Elf, and that range will grow through future expansions.
  5. Dom did also talk about our ambitious plans for expansions. An expeditionary approach to Lustria was mentioned, as was his excitement about Dark Elf politics and how he always wanted to go to Ulthuan.

Influence from 3rd aside, what I worry most about here is that WFRP 4e will be a ‘story game,’ leaning far towards something like FATE than anything my players and myself would ever want, but let’s see how this shakes out.   There is always the option of running WFRP with Mythras, which can’t be beat system wise.

LotFP – the Lay of Remy Pardue

While Rol20 13th Age is in hiatus, I decided to bust out a LotFP adventure I have been working on and we’ve pulled a handful of sessions off.

PC’s
Aleric the Pious (cleric) – played by mouth
Fred Fucher (specialist) – played by maat
Jaques Van Dam (fighter) – played by steve
Richard Quigley (fighter) – played by john
Titus Sphnchta (magic user) – played by maat the younger (the only character that speaks French in the group)

Spring 1619, London. The adventure begins with the two fighters and the cleric being hired to find a strange cube rumored to be at a monastery in southern France by a representative of the new Lord of Manchester who wishes to gift the thing to a friend. They are given a map in a water-tight tube to the monastery, ample supplies and petty cash to spend on the way as well as a ride to the continent via a river boat that can make the crossing captained by one Remy Pardue. They were warned not to go to Paris (as the country had just been in a small civil war between the Queen of France and the heir apparent).

The group met the boat captain and his crew on the Thames the next morning. All went swimmingly until the boat was moored at Ramsgate after a day coming down the Thames. The group stayed at an inn and the next morning the boat, Remy and his crew and the map, and all of their supplies and monies were gone. They punched out the barkeep (who told them Remy was a bit sketchy) until he told them to check another, seedier, inn on the wharf for news of Remy. Just then Titus and Fred Fucher arrived with a message from the Lord of Manchester (or rather, his man), that they were given the wrong map and to send the original map back post haste. Of course, they didn’t have the original map any more…

Checking the seedy Inn (the Dried Boar), they found one of his crew, Giles Jegou, who our of guilt, could not go along with the theft and became summarily drunk instead. He told the group that they might find Remy at his mother’s house west of Saint-Omer, otherwise he had no idea where he was off to.

With help from the bartender, they got passage across the channel that day and walked to Saint Omer from the coast, not quite penniless, but certainly not in style.

Saint Omer was having a market day and the town was crowded with merchants and shoppers, even early in the morning when they arrived. After some inquiry and paying of bridge tolls, they found the farm of the Pardue’s and approached. Two of the characters waited in a flowering apple orchard overlooking the main house and the other three went straight there. They found an old woman cracking nuts on the stoop, a young woman with long black hair hanging laundry on a line (mostly diapers) and another woman with long black hair carrying a swaddled baby. The old woman was Remy’s mother and she spoke the English, though with a rougher burr native to Bristol and such unsavory places. Somewhere in the house another baby was crying.

Titus told her they had something for Remy and were trying to find him. She told them the price to find him was the same whether giving or receiving. She brought out a gaggle of children of many ages from inside and around the house and that they must pick one to take with them as their ward, since the farm was poor and there were constantly new mouths to feed as Remy brought his impregnated wives to the house with or without other by-blows.

They selected the eldest boy (11) and she told them that they could name him as well if they wanted (they named him Timmy). Then she told them that Remy had been at the house just yesterday and had gone on about finding a crew quickly and he had an opportunity that would make him rich. She said he then went to Paris and they should not have trouble finding him on the way there if they hurry (!?).

The party left the farm with the child in tow and went north to the nearest livery stable to purchase some horses. They had very little money and asked the stable master if there was anything they could do to procure some horses. With the chaos in the country those days horses were not easy to come by, and he offered them a few horses if they burned one of his competitors stables down without hurting any of the animals. After some debate, they agreed and got directions.

On the road south, near again to the Pardue farm, they came upon one of the women from the house (Lucienne), one of Remy’s ‘wives’ who told them that the old hag was lying and if they took her with them, she would tell them where Remy really was and take them there. They again reluctantly agreed (“Should we still burn the stables down?”) and Lucienne took them into Saint Omer in front of the Hotel D’Ville, a three story Inn with a brewery and stables.

Losing stuff with ideas in it !

Well, I found my notebook with my FASERIP BPRD notes in it in my daughter’s room after a few weeks of looking and even starting over in another notebook! I have a lot of notebooks and they have random ideas in them all over the place. I realize that most of them are places of dead roads that nothing will come out of except the fervent act of creation itself in the moment and that’s just dandy, but sometimes I have stuff written down that I aim to do things with, like finish a LotFP module the cartography of which ALSO was in the lost notebook! (one demand I have of my non work notebooks is that they are all graph paper). So now I need to finish off the maps and get this thing done.

Another issue is playtesting. I’ve had the thing read over by a few people and it’s been playtested once in 5E, but I haven’t done it, mainly because my roll20 group does not generally like the character thresher that is LotFP. It’s something I gotta do. It’s not a long adventure: 3-4 set pieces and some ‘connective tissue’ between if the characters take the bait.

This points to an organizational issue of keeping everything straight paper wise when you run and play 5-6 different RPG’s in a given year (13th Age, Into the Odd, lotFP, Mythras, FASERIP and Dungeon Crawl Classics in 2017). What I’ve started doing after my ‘trapper keeper’ idea sorta failed (it got filled with stuff from all sorts of games and it’s a fuckin mess) is get one of those zipper folders and put all of the crap for that game you are running inside. It has to be totally self contained except for the rulebook (which shit for most games you don’t even need if you’ve played enough), but if you have a small rulebook like the LotFP or Into the Odd books, throw it in there too. So, that’s all character sheets, the module, any previous module the characters have run through (trust me on that one, you’ll need it),  and all session notes. The key is to have EVERYTHING there, even if you have to throw a 95% empty notebook in there (what are they? 2$?), it’s worth it so you can grab and go even if it has been years since the last time you’ve run it.

Zipper thingy with the Kid’s campaign modules and notes, cat.

Garycon 2018

Always a fun, mellow con where you can get food and drink no problem, from where ever you are in the Hotel.  We showed up on Saturday only and hit the board game library and then commenced to playing DCC until my kids nearly fell asleep at the table.   This is one Convention where you can just basically show up and fairly easily get into games.

This con is getting … bigger.  We’ll have to see how long it remains at the Grand Geneva which itself is huge– I think it would not be as unique or fun if it moved.  Hopefully it stays a smallish/medium con in the next few years and doesn’t approach the monstrosity that Gencon has become.  However, if you want to experience what GENCON was like in the early years– Gary Con is definitely it.

The GM’s view running People of the PIT!

The Golden Sword – A Guardian Heroes inspired adventure for 13th Age

We had a weekend-long 13th Age session this past weekend with randomly rotating GM’s and character level ups between each session.  I got to go first and had a bit of time to prep before the session.  Some of the GM’s did not know when they would be up, which is admirable. I wasn’t admirable.

I had a  WFRP-like plot set up and written into a pocketmod the week before, but then a bunch of kids were at the house and they were playing Guardian Heroes and I STOLE THE BEGINNING COMPLETELY for the first session …and would do it again.

I built the following adventure based closer to Feng Shui style than to any standard D20 dungeon crawl, which I think 13th Age fits perfectly.   The adventure consists of three fights with connective tissue in between (read as the INTENTION of railroading if not railroading during the session itself).

I used a trick to start the session off that I read in some 13th Age book or module somewhere, where a dark elf pays the characters for their memories… this is to cut down on all the “this is how I know X character” bullshit that bogs down the first sessions!

Dramatis Personae

Sauvanne the Red
Baron Arceneaux
Cantacuzene the Sorcerer
Rolfia of the blackguards
Zul the Advisor
Aarwon the inkeeper
Blavot Couvier, sergeant of the blackguards
Golden Swordsman

Battle 1 – Inn and Streets

The characters are sitting at a table at an inn (The Unicorn and Badger on Harlot’s Chase in the town of Mudfair are the names I used) and a beautiful dark elf is handing them a sack of silver and jewels and says she would like to pay them for their memories.  The characters will likely say stuff like “mine aren’t that interesting” or “it will cost you more than that,” but of course she means the memories that she has already purchased and in fact they can’t remember anything for the last few weeks except that they have an affinity for the other characters with no memory exactly of why.

She then snuffs a bit and looks around and say’s ‘oh it’s time to go’ and disappears into ash. The characters then smell smoke and have a chance to look around themselves.  They are on the second floor of an Inn and on the table along with the silver the dark elf just left them, is an open stack of gems and gold coins as well as a well-appointed golden sword.

[Characters stole a bunch of stuff including the golden sword from a nearby temple (Zeliel, God of Coins!) and are celebrating after delivering what they were requested to steal to their employers; the sword was INCIDENTALLY stolen.]

Suddenly, a woman in ornate crimson armor (Sauvanne) bursts into the inn and points to the sword and warns the characters that they are about to be attacked and ‘don’t let them get the sword!’ Guards start flowing in to the building and it is set on fire. Characters can run or fight but the building burns around them and becomes increasingly dangerous. The woman fights with the characters vs the guards and suggests a retreating withdrawal.  She will help to pick up any characters that drop to zero, but won’t stay long in the burning building because that would be stupid.

Four guards will scale the walls or come up the inn stairs into the second floor room each turn.

Archers will stay outside ready to shoot anyone they see that isn’t another guard.  They have pushed bales of burning hay to the sides of the Inn as well as setting fire to a few on the first floor.  Bolgar Mangstein and Chamas Mazor lead the group of guards tasked to get the sword.  The named characters will not engage until after escalation 3 and will go into the building until escalation 5 after which they will wait outside for the building to burn down or the characters to jump out.  The Sword is a big deal and all the named characters will take risks to get it, but these two won’t fight to the death.

Stats and Mechanics

After escalation 3, everyone in the inn takes 5 ongoing damage with no save.  After escalation 6+, everyone in the inn takes 10 ongoing damage and must save AFTER they leave the inn as well or continue to take damage.

There are 12 guards and 6 archers plus two named characters.   This would be an easy fight for first level characters, except for the burning building.

Town Archers Town Guard
Mook     Level 1     Archer Mook     Level 1     Troop
Initiative +5 Initiative +5
HP 5          AC 13      PD 10      MD 10 HP 7          AC 14      PD 13      MD 13
R: Crossboiws +9 v AC (1 enemy engaged ) – 4 Damage M: Short Swords +9 v AC (1 enemy engaged ) – 4  Damage
     Hit Natural 16+ – Reduce the escalation die by 1.
Bolgar Mangstein Chamas Mazor
 Level 3     Leader   Level 2     Caster
Initiative +5 Initiative +5
HP 45          AC 16      PD 12      MD 12 HP 25          AC 16      PD 14      MD 14
M: Huge Mace +9 v AC (1d2 enemies engaged), 8 Damage R: Spirit Blaster +10 v MD (1d3 unengaged enemies), 4 Damage
     Special: If escalation die is even, can repeat this attack one additional time      Hit Natural 16+ – Creature pops free and can move as a free action.
     Miss – Gain +2 bonus to next attack      Miss Odds – Gain +2 bonus to next attack

Connective Tissue 1

Allow a short rest when the characters escape from the Inn.  If they get captured, you’ll have to wing it from there.

Assuming the characters escape, the lady introduces herself (Sauvanne) and explains what they accidentally did by stealing the sword: set off a hunt based on a known prophecy about the local baron and the true power behind the barony: the sorcerer Cantacuzene involving the sword.

If they aren’t too hurt and the inn fight wasn’t too long, on the streets/ running away from the inn they can be confronted by more guards. Just a few should work fine here and if needed one of the surviving named characters from the first fight. This should be easily overcome.

They run (force this part) to the nearby grave yard which is ancient and larger than the village itself.  It has ancient barrows upon which gravestones and mausoleums have been built.  Sauvanne will suggest this as very few people frequent the graveyard…

I had many guard parties to be avoided in the town as well as knights riding winged mechanoid wasps searching through the town from the sky.

Battle 2 -Graveyard

While Sauvanne is convinced the graveyard is safe to hole up in for awhile, but the group is confronted by Rolfia, the head of the Black Order of the baron’s guard.  She calls Sauvanne a traitor and says that she is going to let them play with one of her toys first if they won’t hand over the sword to her.  The toy is a 12 foot tall mechanoid that cannot really be damaged by the characters. The characters fight around a large barrow.

The core thing here is that the mechanoid should only be superficially damaged from the character’s weapons and spells.  First level 13th Age characters can do some amazing shytte, and there are a lot of different classes to deal with (like the chaos mage) but you should be able to make it believable that the mechanoid isn’t really damaged, though they are doing damage to it.   The critical point is when someone tries to use the golden sword on the mechanoid, stuff happens.  As soon as the sword is swung, the barrow nearby bursts open and a warrior in golden armor (very dead looking) appears, and the sword throws it’s current wielder into the nearby grave stones (4 damage) and teleports to his hand. The golden warrior crushes the mechanoid immediately.  The head of the black order and her guards run away in fear as the dead rise from their graves around them (influenced by the presence of the golden warrior, but not controlled or any concern of his).

The characters are then attacked by the golden swordsman, but make sure they aren’t hit–if they tell him to STOP, he stops and they learn they can issue commands to him. Have Sauvanne do this and be attacked if you have a lot of damaged characters after the mechanoid battle.

Stats

Don’t bother statting the mechanoid except Init +5, Attack +5, Damage 15.  This won’t hit often but when it does– ouch.  It’s a story element (players won’t know this and that’s OK).  It will go for the sword and try to wrestle it away if possible.  If they attack Rolfia, see below.

Connecting tissue 2

Sauvanne can say “That sword… This golden warrior must have wielded it long ago. Legend has it that the sword possesses the power to wipe the darkness. I had no idea it would summon the golden warrior. The Baron has been desperately seeking this sword and now I know why they are afraid of it. This warrior has the power to end the Sorcerer Cantacuzene’s reign over the Barony, forever.”

I did not plan to involve all of you… But when the Baron Arceneaux discovered I was going to revolt, I did not think he would use so many troops.
I cannot fight this battle alone. Do not be fooled by Baron Arceneaux or his family. Whoever has the sword will be captured and executed! From now on, all of you will be targets as well. We must leave here immediately!

The dead start to rise out of their graves within a radius of the Golden Warrior.  Any that get close to him he destroys, but it is a constant threat until the characters leave the graveyard (for the final battle).

Sauvanne suggests they go to a nearby village (Crowyard) as it is friendly to the rebels against the Baron Arceneaux and the Sorcerer.  The characters may want to hide in a nearby woods or go kick some ass at the Baron’s keep.

Battle 3 – Baron’s Keep, Woods or Village (Crowyard).

They can raid the Baron’s keep, or go to a nearby village friendly to rebels against the Barony (the Arceneaux’s), or head to the woods to hide among the rebels there.  Whichever place they decide to go, the fight is the same, though you will need to make up the getting there part on your own and frame the fight.  My players went to the keep and snuck in.  The keep I used had an access tunnel beneath it for supplies and was otherwise unguarded.

Depending on what they do, they are likely attacked, or must fight through, more guards and the Baron’s adviser (Zul) who traps them with magic in an ‘arena’ with a giant summoned troll via three witches in mauve robes.

Stats

 

Blue Ogre thing Witches
Large     Level 3     Wrecker Normal     Level 1     Caster
Initiative +5 Initiative +5
HP 126          AC 16      PD 12      MD 12 HP 19          AC 18      PD 13      MD 13
M: Meaty Fist +10 v AC (1 enemy engaged with monster), 23 Pummelling Damage R: Lightning fork +6 v AC (1d3 nearby enemies), 3 Lightning damage
 Hit Evens – Target is weakened      Special: Witch can pop free from target. If engaged with any other enemies in addition to target, can immediately roll to disengage with +2 bonus.
     R: Floor Tile Toss +10 v PD (2d3 nearby or faraway enemies), 6 Crushing damage    Miss – Disengages from any engaged enemies
 Limited Use: Escalation die 3+       Natural 16+ – Ogre heals 5 HP
  Miss Natural -5 – Gain +2 bonus to next successful attack (can stack)

Zul, when captured, can give information as to where the Baron is or Cantacuzene the Sorcerer…Connective Tissue 3 really depends where the characters have this fight. If they are in the Crowyard village or in the woods, they should go to the keep to finish the job. If they are already at the keep, then the second wave of antagonists should show up after Zul’s ogre and witches are defeated.

Battle 4 – Confront the Sorcerer

This is a fight that has a pre-determined outcome.  The characters will attack either the Baron to get to the sorcerer or find the sorcerer.  They will fight minions and either the Baron, Zul or any of the named characters that survived the first fights.  The setting for this could be anywhere but inside the keep is probably best.

While the characters are fighting, the Sorcerer Cantacuzene shows up and the Golden Warrior gets super pissed off and those two battle, destroying each other, and the sword in the process.  In our session, the final battle was in the keep and it started to collapse–the characters ran away and the whole thing came down on top of the golden warrior and the sorcerer.  After the Sorcerer is destroyed, the other named characters will snap out of it and be sorry for what they’ve done as they were geased by the sorcerer…  FIN!

Stats

House Archers House Guards
Mook     Level 1     Archer Mook     Level 1     Troop
Initiative +5 Initiative +5
HP 5          AC 19      PD 15      MD 11 HP 5          AC 17      PD 15      MD 11
R: Arrow +6 v AC  – 4 Damage M: Short Sword +9 v AC (1 enemy engaged ) – 4 Flavor Damage
 Hit Evens – Choose one ally. The next non-critical hit against that ally this battle is a miss instead.
Zul Rolfia
Normal     Level 2     Caster Normal     Level 3     Leader
Initiative +5 Initiative +5
HP 36          AC 13      PD 11      MD 11 HP 63          AC 16      PD 14      MD 10
R: Magic Missiles +8 v MD (1d2 enemies engaged with monster), 5  Damage M: Big Mace+9 v AC (2 attacks), 6  Damage
Hit Fives – Target is confused      Hit Natural 18+ – Attack is a critical hit!
Miss Evens – Increase damage of next successful attack by 25%      Miss Fives – Gain +2 bonus to next attack
 Natural -5 – The target sees odd colors at the corners of its vision until it has taken a full heal-up (–2 penalty to skill checks to see things).      Natural 16+ – Target can’t use recoveries until its next turn.
C: Sonic Deluge +10 v MD (1d3 enemies in group), 4 Fire
 Hit Evens – The creature teleports the target next to one of its nearby allies that it can see, who engages it as a free action. It can’t teleport the target to a location that causes it direct damage (so can’t drop it into traps or lava).    Limited Use: When escalation die even Nastier Special – Blood Frenzy: Make a note of the escalation die when Rolfia becomes staggered. She gains a bonus to her melee attacks and damage equal to that escalation die value for the rest of the battle.

 

Baron Arceneaux
Normal     Level 2     Spoiler
Initiative +5
HP 25          AC 18      PD 14      MD 14
M: Heavy Axe +10 v AC (1 enemy engaged), 7 Damage
 Hit Odds – Attack is a critical hit!
     Miss Natural -5 – Gain +2 bonus to next attack

Favorite RPG module of 2017

I didn’t run a lot of modules this year or pre published adventures but my favorite that I did run was a zero level funnel for DCC called FT0: PRINCE CHARMING, REANIMATOR.

I ran this with a mixed group of kids and adults and they all loved it.  Some of the then drunk adults even composed and recorded a song: Chuck Schick and the Shield of Truth, even though I think the shield is actually a sword.

The adventure revolves around Prince Charming (who is an asshole) acquiring another bride of a certain type, that is– a beautiful girl who has recently died that he then brings back to life with his reanimator serum.  Since this is a funnel, the horde of PC’s are tasked with bringing the bride back to the prince from the very dangerous castle that she sleeps in.  Things go horribly wrong, as they are supposed to in any funnel game, and only a few characters made it out alive.  My son made the mistake (in his opinion) of making one of his 4 pack of characters a female and naturally that was the character that survived to first level.  While he continues to complain, he is playing in the follow up Adventure, F1: Creeping Beauties of the Wood.

A great little adventure, with kids or not.

RPG – my favorite books of 2017

Here’s my list of my favorite RPG books of 2017.  Not all of these came out in 2017 though!  These are books that have been at my bedside table or working desk most of the year.

How to Write Adventures that Don’t Suck

This is a great book of essays on adventure design from a lot of the greats, with short adventures to go along with each essay.  Fantastic stuff!  All GM’s should have this one.

FASERIP

This is an OGL redux of the Marvel Heroes RPG from TSR that had a LOT of expansions and material that my brother and I basically ignored after getting and playing the yellow box set a few times.  We were CHAMPIONS kids and that meant pointbuild and brokenness and combat that took forever.  Frankly I wish we had looked at TSR’s superhero game at the time a bit more OR they had the common sense to realize that kids wanted to make their own characters!  Faserip has character creation (which I would dub semi random).  Also, this shit is FREE.

We got to play FASERIP once this year (thanks to Lordlobo) and I intend to run it soon.

Veins of the Earth

This is great shit-reading.  Probably one of the best shit-reading books to come out in long time.  While the campaign itself is nothing compared to World of the Lost or Better than Any Man (it’s more of a gazetter), it has oodles of weirdness and unique ideas for your OSR, D&D5e or even 13th Age campaign.  While not a fan of the author’s writing generally (“get to the fucking point man!” is the constant comment running through my head) this is worth suffering through the rough spots.  After purchasing the lackluster Deep Carbon Observatory, I thought this guy needed an editor and he got one when publishing Veins: it really helped.  Hopefully he can tighten up his tendency to overwrite and wordiness even further for the next thing he does because the bones of it this are fantastic.  Art is great.

Silent Legions

This is older but I just picked it up this year.  It is likely an essential book in any GM’s library (like Dungeon Dozens!).   Why?  This has one of the best world building generators I’ve come across for both modern and fantasy stuff.  Not only that, it has a unique adventure builder that, while set up to work in the Early Modern to modern settings, could be used in any Fantasy Universe as well.  And this fucking guy really can write!

Runner Up:

Vagina’s are Magic!

This is the new magic system for Lamentations of the Flame Princess!  People have a lot of work to do getting all the spells in line with the new set up, and this also means the game is no longer backwards compatible with old D&D (sorta).  What’s most important is the system brings it closer in line with DCC’s (and likely the new WFRP’s) magic systems which are superior to the vancian system in oD&D and 5e).

HOB!

Hob is out as of yesterday. I put an hour in tonight and it reminds me of… Mario 64.  Remember that?  It was awesome.  If you like that type of game, you will love it.

The game is a total departure from Torchlight 2, the only things similar are some of the aesthetics and the scale of the game.  That said, there are some item management aspects as you can power up your sword and your arm.

WFRP using Mythras

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a great game with some pretty glaring burrs on the system in actual play (yep, in all three editions).  For First and Second edition, the combat system is very whiffy, far too whiffy for low fantasy in my opinion and despite the funny critical hit tables in first edition (the 2nd edition ones were not as fun), pretty damn boring.

However, I have a soft spot for it and it’s milieu, despite what it’s become since with GW and Fantasy Flight’s strange 3rd Edition.  Third is… very odd and to me unplayable with my group, impossible to play online as well.  It’s great it has died and hopefully Cubicle 7 will do something great with the license (there are some EXCELLENT adventures written for third edition though that beg conversion to a better system).  With the Humble Bundle giving access to all the 2nd edition material recently, I wanted to post this thing I worked on for a bit about a year ago: creating characters in Mythras using a WFRP style career system.  This assumes that you know a bit about WFRP (or just got the books) and you know Mythras or Runequest 6.

Mythras core is all system and can work for all sorts of genres, especially low fantasy. It’s got an explicit Sword and Sandal feel to the main book but it’s not really pushing any type of world on the players. It’s a massive toolkit game with an amazing combat system, and easy levelling /XP system and while difficult to grok in some cases (Animism), a very rich magic system.

What it doesn’t have is easy character creation. It takes a bit of time to build characters, and I’ve built about 10-15 of them so far myself and for my players and con games. Players have a lot of choices in skills and the points buy system gets a bit tedious when you spend a set of 100 points 3 times during character creation to build up your skills, and man that is tiresome when you want to grease up and get playing! I first got this idea while running Thulian Echoes (from Lamentations of the Flame Princess) with Mythras.  I had to make pre-gens for the … diary characters in Thulian Echoes, and while that was OK for me in prep, actual Character generation took a bit of time and my players are impatient, especially when they know most (non 13th Age) adventures I run have a 20-90% death toll (per session). They didn’t know for the first 2 sessions, Thulian has no possible death toll to the original characters…

What I wanted to build on top of Mythras is a career system like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for starting characters only. The XP system in Mythras is perfect so once the initial career is set, the rest of the WFRP career stuff is not useful, however quaint, and you don’t have to look back or be bound by your career (which you don’t do anyway since you are a murderhobo now).

The reason to run WFRP with Mythras is obvious: it’s a better system, but why do this to Mythras? It will be easier to make characters. It will be faster. It will still define the character (more in some ways) than the base careers/culture in Mythras without having to roll on all the family and background charts.

let’s get some Russ Nicholson up in here.

What you lose: the age of the character won’t give bonus points like in normal Mythras, you just roll your career and all selection is taken care of except for a couple skills. You also lose the WFRP signature ‘skills’ in the game, like Strike Mighty blow, Dodge, Flee!, etc.  If you play Mythras you will realize that these are no big loss at all since they are handled by the skill and combat systems more elegantly than WFRP 1,2 or 3.  Also lost are the advanced careers. If you use the Mythras XP and guild system, this won’t be missed.  Yes, I know some people loved jumping around from Pirate to Pirate Captain, from Rat Catcher to Bodyguard to Student (?!), trying to become a wizard after hundreds and hundreds of spent XP, but that all can be handled via the normal Mythras XP system and Guilds/Affiliations.

Here is how it works:

1) Create a character up to the step where you start picking skills (roll or points buy as normal), you will need to pick a RACE at this point (dwarf, wood elf, human, halfling) and create that according to the rules in Mythras
2) Pick a Class – warrior, rogue, academic, ranger which defines the set of careers you were BEFORE starting on the murderhobo career of an adventurer
3) Roll on that Classes Starting Career table see below for the list (or pick if you must, you wuss)
4) Add the bonuses listed in the Career description for all skills listed to your base skill.
5) Add the bonus and any listed professional skills
6) Add the bonus points listed to the combat skill (or skills)
7) Take the spells listed for that career if applicable
8) Take the trappings for that career listed
9) Name the character
10) Passions (if you use them) -work these with your GM.
11) Go play!

Example Career

Ratcatcher from 2nd edition WFRP was the basis for this conversion example.

Rat Catcher (of course!)
Skills:

Professional
Mechanisms +15
Track +30

STANDARD Skills
Willpower +15
Stealth +15
Perception +15
Native Tongue + 40
Locale +25
Endurance +15
Conceal +10
Lore (RATS) +30
Craft (Dog Training) +15
Rat Catcher combat (dagger, short sword, sling) +15

Add an additional professional skill from the following:

Folk Magic, Lore (home city), Lore (gang politics), Brawn, Evade, Unarmed

Bonus:
Add 15 points to the skill selected above.

Trappings:
Weapons: Dagger, Short Sword, Sling

Trappings:
Sling, Dagger, Short Sword
Pole
4 Animal Traps
Small but Vicious dog!

So the next steps would be to do this for all the Careers that you would want.  Here is the first edition list.

Warrior Class (d16)

Bodyguard, Laborer, Marine, Mercenary, Militiaman, Noble, Outlaw, Pit Fighter, Protagonist, Seaman, Servant, Soldier, Squire, Troll Slayer, Tunnel Fighter, Watchman.

Ranger Class (d17)

Boatman, Bounty Hunter, Coachman, Fisherman, Gamekeeper, Herdsman, Hunter, Muleskinner, Outrider, Pilot, Prospector, Rat Catcher, Roadwarden, Runner, Toll-keeper, Trapper, Woodsman,

Rogue Class (d15)

Agitator, bawd, beggar, entertainer, footpad, gambler, grave robber, jailer, minstrel, pedlar, raconteur, rustler, smuggler, thief, tomb robber

Academic Class (d15)

Alchemist’s Apprentice, Artisan’s apprentice, druid, engineer, exiseman, herbalist, hypnotist (!?), initiate, pharmacist, physician’s student, scribe, seer, student, trader and the oft-sought after but never-rolled Wizard’s Apprentice.

I also have the excellent WFRP 2nd edition career compendium from Fantasy Flight with hordes of careers that are crying out for some sort of use, that would be a LOT of work to convert all those careers.

There’s the base system for character creation, now someone has to bust out the remaining 62 career templates in their spare time.  I’ll throw up a magic user type next week as an example with some ways I was thinking of doing battle magic spells. Really it’s just the same as creating a ‘cult’ in Mythras that gives magical knowledge/power to it’s members. Some of the WFRP hedge and battle magic spells are iconic however.