Saturday, September 29, 2018

2d6 OSR games: Make monsters special

Brian Harbron wrote a very good and inspiring blog post yesterday. His goal is to make Into the Odd monsters, even the average, familiar and boring ones as memorable as possible. His solution is elegant, and it helps all you referees out there even when you're tired: Use critical damage to make your critters memorable.

In other words: Whenever your monster rolls a crit, have it do something to the player character that's gruesome, feral, disgusting, and (fill in your word here). One word of caution, though: A critical hit in Into the Odd means that a character has lost all of his hp, and damage has eaten directly into his STR, and now he's failed a roll-on-or-under save against his STR and loses consciousness.

In games like Blood of Pangea, Barons of Braunstein and Pits&Perils, there is no such critical hit. But in my Tatzelwurm game (a variant of Blood of Pangea), I included it. Take a look.

From OD&D to Pre-D&D: Short play report

(liberated from my G+ feed)

The adventure:

So my players and their characters (3rd level) continued their misadventures in Yoon-Suin. After helping a village fight orc hordes (beautiful battle, using our simplified Chainmail-ish system), they found out that they had been caught in a full-sensory illusion the entire time. After the sorcerer had tried a sleep spell against the mayor of the village and failed, and after the "thief" had experienced curious perception shifts after a couple of strong schnappses (the beautiful little homlet looking rotten, devastated and foul), they managed to break the spell and kill the being that was responsible for it. Oh yes, and they found good loot in a small dungeon hidden behind a subterranean temple room.

The rules:  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

What you have is what you are

So if I'm using Into the Odd as my go-to system for OSR fantasy gaming and I roll this character: (STR14, DEX11, WIL14, HP4 (pistol d6, saw d6, spyglass, animal trap), I'm starting with a someone who might be a trapper.

My next character is STR11, DEX10, WIL11, HP3 (speargun d8, oddity), and this is interesting, too. I like to combine all sorts of things with all other sorts of things, and that's why I decide to roll not on Chris's Oddity table, but on the Index Card RPG's Starter Loot Table: I get Meditation Beads ("by counting the beads, the mind settles. Senses heighten, intuition improves", +1 WIL). What do we have here? A monk living by the sea? A deeply religious fisherman?

Let's shake things up and stay with this guy.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Republished: Abenteuer! 2. Auflage

I uploaded my second professional rpg (originally published in 2012) just minutes ago. Abenteuer! is a full OSR game in German language. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Professor MAR Barker's rpg rules, in full: Perfected

Modify to taste. Introduce hit points, if you want. Play it RAW. But, in a nutshell: This is all you need to play like the founding fathers of our hobby did.

To quote Chirine ba Kal: 
"Doing it by the book" was impossible; the book - and the game rules - hadn't been written yet. The GMs of the day came up with adventures and worlds that they were set in, and we played our Faferds, Grey Mousers, Conans, and Belits in these new worlds with all the gusto and swashbuckling vigor that we could. It was, as I've suggested, 'lighting in a bottle'. We learned to run our own campaigns by being apprentices, and we in turn had our own students.
I will say this: I made the same experience with this style of play. One of the best rpg campaigns we ever played (it lasted five years) used similar rulings.

The image you're seeing IS the entirety of the rules. Have fun.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Black Hack: turning it into a roll-high system

Okay, so this one is really simple. As the headline says, let's turn TBH into a roll-high system. If this is what's floating your boat.

Situation: You haven't rolled TBH characters yet.

Suggestion 1: Do it like the "Stay Frosty" hack does it:

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Principle of Narrative Truth: for traditional rpgs

I'm a fan of Dan Bayn's Wushu rpg. As I've written before, it's a criminally underrated game, and neglected way too often. One of the reasons might be that it's demanding. Wushu actively engages you, it forces you to come up with tons of descriptions -- if you don't, your character is not very good at what they're doing.

Wushu is special. It uses the so-called Principle of Narrative Truth: