Saturday, February 29, 2020

Joe Average (NPC for Apocalypse World)

Joe Average, a mass of humanoids. Bland faces, but with an expression of morbid curiosity. Regular, average clothes. They are drawn to disaster and misery. 3 in 6 chance to replenish lost harm (calling reinforcements). Cause damage with their stare (1-s-harm).

Joe Average (monster for Dungeon World)

Friday, February 28, 2020

Into the pbtA

Two days ago, I created a Dungeon World character randomly, using nothing but Johnstone's Class Warfare, random.org and 3d6.

This was the result:

GUNTHER, Warrior
STR (18) +2
DEX (12) 0
CON (9)0
INT (12) 0
WIS (9) 0
CHA (13) +1
hp: 10
Load: 12
Recruiting for the causeWhen you recruit, also pick options equal to your CHA. On a 10+, all of them are true. On a 7–9, only one of them is true, GM's choice. On a miss, none of them are true:
  • You gain the support of the locals, and my carouse in town before leaving.
  • You recruit a small squad of hirelings who do not have skills.
  • You recruit an additional, skilled hireling.
  • You requisition a piece of equipment from the locals.
Loyal CrewYou run a gang. They could be soldiers, pirates, thieves or mercenaries, but they're yours and you are their captain and commander. By default, your crew is a medium-sized group (12-15 people), cautious, intelligent, and organized. In the normal course of operations, they obey your orders. Your crew are elite troops, a small-sized group (5-10 people). Roll +WIS to command them. They run a caravan. They're poor, with shoddy equipment and no money.
The Weight of CommandWhen you issue a command to your crew during a charged situation, roll +WIS. On 1 10+, your crew obey you. On a 7–9, you have a problem to deal with first. Either they demand rewards, fight back, or try to back down until you make an example of one of them or convince them some other way. On a miss, eitehr one of them makes a concerted effort to supplant you as leader or they fall prey to their poverty.
Charge!When you lead the charge into combat, those you lead take +1 forward.




Now, a couple of days ago, Voidlight came up with this idea:










Today, I'll do some Into the pbtA magic:
- Use a pbtA and plug it into ItO

Like so:




GUNTHER, WarriorSTR18 DEX12 CHA 13, hp10 
Moves (roll w/Advantage): 
Recruiting for the cause (CHA),  I have a Loyal Crew (CHA), Command my Crew (CHA), Lead charge into Combat (crew rolls w/Advantage for the first d6 rounds)




Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A randomly created character... for Dungeon World

What we need: Class Warfare (the book). And random.org.

Step 1: Roll Archetype.
In Class Warfare, there are adventurer, disciple, magician, rogue, and warrior. Random.org picks one for me:


I'm playing a Warrior archetype.

Step 2: Go to the Warrior archetpye section in the book, page 401. Right now, my Base Damage is d10, Load is 10+STR, maximum HP is 10+CON.

For Starting Moves:
1) Pick three warrior specialties (sub-classes) and all their starting moves, OR
2) choose only two warrior specialties, get their starting moves, and 1 level-2-to-5 move from either of them, but no other bonuses.

I let random.org decide:

So option 2 it is.

There are 21 Warrior specialties in Class Warfare.
This is what random.org picks for me:



A War Leader and a Captain.

My War Leader starting move is:

Recruiting for the cause
Wehn you recruit, also pick options equal to your CHA. On a 10+, all of them are true. On a 7–9, only one of them is true, GM's choice. On a miss, none of them are true:

  • You gain the support of the locals, and my carouse in town before leaving.
  • You recruit a small squad of hirelings who do not have skills.
  • You recruit an additional, skilled hireling.
  • You requisition a piece of equipment from the locals.
My Captain starting moves are:

Loyal Crew
You run a gang. They could be soldiers, pirates, thieves or mercenaries, but they're yours and you are their captain and commander. By default, your crew is a medium-sized group (12-15 people), cautious, intelligent, and organized. In the normal course of operations, they obey your orders. (random.org) Your crew are elite troops, a small-sized group (5-10 people). Roll +WIS to command them. They run a caravan. They're poor, with shoddy equipment and no money.

The Weight of Command
When you issua commands to your crew during a charged situation, roll +WIS. On 1 10+, your crew obey you. On a 7–9, you have a problem to deal with first. Either they demand rewards, fight back, or try to back down until you make an example of one of them or convince them some other way. On a miss, eitehr one of them makes a concerted effort to supplant you as leader or they fall prey to their poverty.

I pick my Advanced Move from


the War Leader specialty:


Charge!
When you lead the charge into combat, those you lead take +1 forward.

Oh yeah, the stats:
I roll them with 3d6 and assign them the way I like:
STR (18) +2
DEX (12) 0
CON (9)0
INT (12) 0
WIS (9) 0
CHA (9) 0

So, my final character looks like this:

_____________________________________________________
GUNTHER, Warrior

STR (18) +2

DEX (12) 0
CON (9)0
INT (12) 0
WIS (9) 0
CHA (13) +1

hp: 10
Load: 12

Recruiting for the cause
When you recruit, also pick options equal to your CHA. On a 10+, all of them are true. On a 7–9, only one of them is true, GM's choice. On a miss, none of them are true:

  • You gain the support of the locals, and my carouse in town before leaving.
  • You recruit a small squad of hirelings who do not have skills.
  • You recruit an additional, skilled hireling.
  • You requisition a piece of equipment from the locals.
Loyal Crew
You run a gang. They could be soldiers, pirates, thieves or mercenaries, but they're yours and you are their captain and commander. By default, your crew is a medium-sized group (12-15 people), cautious, intelligent, and organized. In the normal course of operations, they obey your orders. Your crew are elite troops, a small-sized group (5-10 people). Roll +WIS to command them. They run a caravan. They're poor, with shoddy equipment and no money.

The Weight of Command
When you issue a command to your crew during a charged situation, roll +WIS. On 1 10+, your crew obey you. On a 7–9, you have a problem to deal with first. Either they demand rewards, fight back, or try to back down until you make an example of one of them or convince them some other way. On a miss, eitehr one of them makes a concerted effort to supplant you as leader or they fall prey to their poverty.

Charge!
When you lead the charge into combat, those you lead take +1 forward.















Sunday, February 23, 2020

Into the Odd: Corporate Warfare, made easy


















Into the Odd is a genius game.
Its rules just invite you to tinker with them.

Today, I'm thinking about Corporate Warfare. Yes, organizations at war. How do you emulate that?
With Into the Odd, of course. Because it's really that easy.


  1. Turn your corporation into a character: STR becomes FINances, DEX becomes MArket MObility, and CHA becomes CONnections. Roll 3d6 for each stat. Roll 1d6 for Hedge Profit (HP). 
  2. Weapons:
    d4 Ham-handed disinformation campaign
    d6 Usual sting tactics etc
    d8 Data-theft campaign
    d10 Supply-chain attacks
    d12 Concerted Eradication Offense 
  3. Each turn of CorpWar is about 3 months or so.

Friday, February 21, 2020

A monster.

A spider with 4 legs. If you look closely, it looks like a tiny human being crawling on all fours, but with eight eyes in its face. If you listen closely, you can hear it singing ragged songs of bloody vengeance. Last year, they found the maiden, dead in the attic. The doctors said she got stung, but the wounds looked like miniature bites to you. And they just didn't stop bleeding, even after she was buried. Everybody in town is still talking about it.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Variable damage: an optional rule for Landshut gaming

My Landshut rules are our go-to rules for everything, really. For every setting. For every idea.

One thing that pops up every now and then is the question: Are there rules for variable damage? Or do you guys handwave it?

Truth be told, yes, we handwave this. But there’s also a simple add-on to solve this:

If you hit, determine the damage you inflict:
unarmed - roll  2d4 and pick the lower result.
lightly armed - roll 2d4 and pick the higher result.
heavily armed- roll 2d6 and pick the higher result.
extremely heavily armed - roll 2d8 and pick the higher result.

Fragile characters start out with 4 hits. Resilient characters start with 6 or even more.
Armor absorbs between 1 and 3 damage.
If damage leaves you with below zero hits, roll above average to avoid critical damage. 
If you end up with less than minus 3 hits, you're dead-dead. 


Quick and decisive combat with Into the Odd

We're playtesting the Into the Odd/Electric Bastionland combat rules for a cinematic cyberpunk game… and they're BEAUTIFUL. The last situation we tried was this here: a hired killer (STR8 DEX 13 CHA 11, 17 hp) with an assault rifle against 7 goons (4hp, daggers d6). Location: dark warehouse. They spot him, and start to run towards him. He gets one chance to spray them with bullets before they arrive. We're using the "Into the Jungle" autofire rules. Player: rolls a d20 – he has to roll 18 or lower for the first burst, 15 or lower for the second, and 10 or lower for the third. He makes all three rolls, so he can now roll damage three times. After this attack, three goons were dead. Goons: Now they've reached his position, and we roll group initiative: The goons win. I roll damage: 4d6, highest die: a 6. The player character (killer) is down to 11 hp. Next round, player wins initiative. Player: There's still four of them, shiiiiat! I let myself drop onto my back (a move we learned in Russian military combatives), and try to squeeze the trigger! (He's the one most at risk, so I have him make a DEX save, with Disadvantage – and he aces it!) Again, the player goes for three bursts of fire; two of them are successful, then, he's out of ammo. These shots kill another two gangsters. Two left. Now's the goons' turn. Goons: roll 2d6 for damage, and again, highest die is a 6. The player character is down to 5 hp. New round. The gangsters win initiative. Goons: roll 2d6 for damage, and ANOTHER 6 pops up. The player character is down to 0 hp, and STR 7. He makes a STR save to avoid critical damage, but misses. Holy SHIT, that was AWESOME!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Disappointed: Over the Edge is political propaganda

So I finished reading Over the Edge 3rd edition. While I'm a huge fan of the prior two editions (I have every book and adventure ever published), I'm extraordinarily disappointed with the new book.

To me, it's disappointing on several levels:
  1. The player characters only get one main trait and one side trait. In the prior editions, they had more. But OK. Your character MUST be human, which is a ridiculous change and a huge disappointment when you compare it with the old edition where you were allowed to play everything and anything you could imagine and explain.
  2. Jonathan Tweet constantly, and I mean constantly, pushes his political (left-leaning) agenda on the reader. He mentions Trump. Of course he mentions Trump. Of fucking course he does it. Cheap. And Boring. But, oh, there's so much more: There's "genderqueer" and "non-heteronormative" and similar artificial political language all over the place, and to read something like that in a rulebook just makes me go "bleh". There is so much virtue-signaling going on, it makes it a really hard read.
  3. The setting! What in the holy hell has Tweet done to the setting? The Throckmortons are gone? What. The. Fucking. Fuck. Also, everything now is grimdark. Everything. Grimdark. So edgy. And so unbearably boring. Tweet has turned the weird and wonderful and crazy island of Al Amarja into a police state, for fuck's sake. This isn't fun to play, like the old editions were. This is a fucking political statement.
  4. The only good thing about the new edition is the new gaming system. Player-facing (which I normally don't like), but without hit points, just a three strikes rule (this works for me, even with player-facing rolls).
I'll keep the system but forget about everything else. 1st and 2nd edition are still the best.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Stop the presses! These rules are positively Over the Edge



Daaaaaaayyum.
I trying to avoid the F-word, so that's that.
But: Daaaaaaayyum.

When the 3rd edition of "Over the Edge" hit the shelves, I bought the hardcover immediately. Today, I finally started reading it. I've loved every edition of OtE, and this latest one is no exception. Gawd, I loves me some Over the Edge!

AND.

Third Edition has the best rules system I can imagine. This includes, and that's not particularly easy for me to say, my Landshut rules.

What's so special about it?

A few highlights, neatly packed into a nutshell:

  • 2d6, player-facing rolls
  • compare player character's level of competence (purely subjective) with the opposing force's level of competence or difficulty; both on a 1 to 7 scale
  • if I start a conflict, I need a 7+ to succeed, if the other side initiates it, I need 8+
  • the difference between competence levels dictates if I'm allowed to reroll one die, or if the ref can force me to do that
  • a difference of 3 or more means either autosuccess or autofailure
  • rolling a 4 means a "good twist" on top of the success or failure
  • rolling a 3 means a "bad twist" on top
  • double-4 is called "Crazy Eight", and is a really good twist
  • double-3 is called "Lightning Bolt", and is a really bad twist
  • a 3-4 is called "Twist Tie", and is one good and one bad twist at the same time 
It's absolutely amazing how much narrative punch this little rules engine is packing.

Consider this:

Your rhino capoeira ex-soldier is surprised by 4 experienced barroom brawlers. He is competence level 2, but the goons are no slouches either (and there's four of them). The ref says that's a difference of 1 in the goons' favor – and he can force one reroll on you if he doesn't like your dice result.

You narrate how your rhino soldier goes in attack-mode almost instantly, after all, that's what he has been trained for half his life. Taking initiative means you have to roll 7 or more to defeat the goons. You roll... a 4 and a 1: 5. Oof. That's a failure, and because the ref feels it might be appropriate, he forces the reroll on you, saying "Hey choomba, please reroll the 4". This move is NASTY because she's taking the "good twist" (4, remember?) away from you. You roll the die again, and: score a 2, for a total of 3. That's a really, really bad defeat, your soldier is getting hurt really badly, possibly with fatal consequences.

Replace this conflict with anything you want. It'll work, and it'll be rich and narrative and interesting and as crazy and bad and good as you want it to be. So so so good. 

Now, I finally KNOW what system I'll be using for our next games. Thank you, Jon. Thank you, Chris.




Saturday, February 1, 2020

Troika! as dice pool system

I simply love tinkering with rule systems. As a result, every now and then, a new ruleset emerges. This is one of them.

I wrote a few Troika! cyberpunk backgrounds yesterday. Then, I thought about Risus. And that led me to ponder the beauty that is the Prince Valiant rpg system. And that resulted in the following system:

You have two stats, Body and Mind. You distribute 7 points between them. Now, choose a Troika! background. When you're using a Skill, simply add the skill points as d6s to the appropriate stat.

When doing something, roll your dice. Each even result is a success. You have to either beat a certain number of successes (3=moderate, 4=slightly difficult, 5=difficult, etc), or beat the number of successes your opponent rolls. In combat, the difference between the numbers of successes is the number of dice the loser... loses. Weapons and armor simply add more dice to roll.

To illustrate, let's take the following background:

______________________________
17 HACKER
Those cyberware implants are not harmless- they are killing machines. And you, poor unfortunate, have one of them inside your head. It is diminished, your fleshy body barely able to maintain its most basic functions, but it is there, and you can hear it. It’s supplanted your own Skills with those it desires, seeking a new, more fitting form. Possessions: Laser pistol (1d10 uses per day). Skills: 5 Technology, 1 Laser Pistol Fighting. Special: If you die, the core lives on. It emerges, a metal insect the size of your fist. If placed upon the skull of a helpless or willing humanoid, it burrows in, sealing the entry wound as it goes. They are now your character, losing all Skills but gaining those you had. Stamina, skill and luck values remain as the host.
______________________________

I distribute 3 points on Body, and 4 points on Mind.
When I hack (using my Technology skill), I roll Mind+Techology = 9d6. If I'm in a cyberfight against another hacker, I roll these 9d6 against his dice.
The laser rifle would add 3d6 to my Body dice.