Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The goodness that is Into the Odd

There's a reason why I like Into the Odd. In the past, I compared it with early forms of roleplaying (like our homebrew system, the Landshut rules). And I came to the conclusion that, bottom line, ItO is the winner. The reason: Referees can bake the setting right into their classes, and that helps everyone at the table. And game prep is a snap, compared to what's required to run a proto-rpg. In my words:

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Kharak Kharkulanen, or: Creating like it's 1984

…and my grandma just gave me that super-awesome shiny black box with the first rpg I've ever played for my birthday.

So that's how I'm writing my campaign world.

You know, I've been refereeing for 35 years – but I never really created my own world. Oh sure, I wrote a ton of material for all the games we played, and I wrote probably even more generic material – generic fantasy, generic cyberpunk, generic what-have-you. But my own setting? I guess I never really thought about it. That's weird, and it's weirdly unsettling.

I'm writing my own setting.

And I'll start just like back in the days when I was 14 and refereed my first roleplaying game.

How did I come up with stuff?

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Apocalypse World, powered by ancient rules

My gaming buddy Wizard Lizard sent me his idea today:

Brainers & Hardholders
Take Apocalypse World's color, strip out all of the rules. Keep the playbooks as classes, or even pregens with set stats, special abilities (pick a few and keep the rest to unlock through play or XP), use D&D-or-what-not rules as needed That's a great idea because it reduces the Apocalypse World rulebook to its useful parts and gets rid of the unnecessary esoteric rules language thta plagues pbtA games.

In a way, that's what Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax, Prof. MAR Barker and all the other early (war)gamers did: use literature as fuel for their imaginary adventures.

Of course, I will hack our Landshut rules to power Apocalypse World. Because nothing says DIY gaming like combining a post-apocalyptic setting with a set of rules that are named after a Lower Bavarian city founded in 1204.

Let's convert Apocalypse World 2e to Landshut.

The Landshut Rules: now have their own page

Our ancient school, free kriegspiel rules now have their own page here on the blog: The Landshut Rules

Check back often!

Landshut Troika!


I'm no fan of adding big numbers in-game. To me, any number above 3 IS big. So, Troika! gets a new set of rules – but nothing on the character sheet changes. Thanks to Jared Sinclair, a prolific Troika! designer on the Troika! discord! I've written about Classic Traveller several times on this blog before, and the new revision of Landshut Troika! has its root in CT.

Let's begin.

Skill in Troika! is used for all saves, so it's a very important number. It's rolled with 1d3+3, so it has a range between 4 and 6. Use Skill to make informed decisions about a character's competence (positive or negative Dice Modificators). The number itself is NOT used in play.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

GLOG: the ancient-school approach

Two days ago, I adapted the original edition of Gary's game to our Landshut rules.
Today, I'm trying to do the same with the GLOG. Specifically, Skerple's Many Rats on Sticks edition.
It's a voluminous edition, with 50+ pages. To me, that's about 45 pages too long ;)

Let's do this. I'll play with a d20 instead of 2d6.

Moonhop. Said it before, will say it again: such a GOOD game

Just so y'all don't forget: Moonhop is still a perfect game. Perfect. Because it combines the sheer joyful craziness of the GLOG character classes and magic system with the sheer genius of Into the Odd. Just sayin'. Or louder: Go buy that darn game, it's gooooood.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Original edition – ancient school style

Old School Rules, or better, Pre-Gygax rules, share one quality: They are immensely flexible. You can glue almost any other system onto them, and they still won't break.

I have mentioned on MeWe that I find myself of two minds when it comes to roleplaying: for scifi campaigns and Hong Kong action sessions, I prefer our Landshut rules just the way they are: no hit points, no xp, no fixed character classes, no fixed character races, no ability scores, no damage roll.

Strangely enough, this is not my preferred way of roleplaying when I referee fantasy. For my fantasy games, I want all the bells and whistles.

I've already written about how easy and quick the Landshut rules can be adapted to play Cyberpunk 2020. Last week, we started our space opera campaign, using the Landshut rules to power Star Dogs.

Today, I want to adapt our rules to play the game that Gygax made out of Dave Arneson's rules. Let's see how this works out. For this post, I'm using the Single Volume Edition. I'm also throwing some of Campaigns Playable's house rules in the mix.

1) Roll abilities
For every 15+, I write down "very" + the adjective that belongs to the characteristic, and for every 5 or lower, I write down the opposite of the adjective. All other numbers signify an unremarkable, average stat.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Aw, the heck with it: Our rules now have a real name

Download these rules as a handy pdf: The Landshut Rules

Some of you know of my brave forays into the primeval ages of roleplaying. As a result of these beautiful journeys, I finally formulated our homebrew rules.

Still, I feel they deserve at least some kind of reference, a name that tells others where they originated from. So, I decided to stay traditional and name our rules after the place they come from: Landshut, the Lower Bavarian town I was born in. The Twin Cities had and still have their Twin Cities gamers and several variants of Twin City rules, and now Landshut has its Landshut rules, and I think it's fitting.

So, without further ado, I'd like to present to you

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Playing all the games, ancient school style: Cyberpunk 2020

This post copies the structure of my last post – but applies my free kriegspiel, pre-school Landshut rules.
Today, let's create a Cyberpunk 2020 character that will be played with rules that predate the game with the dragons.

CP2020 characters have Intelligence, Reflexes, Coolness, Technical Ability, Luck, Attractiveness, Movement, Empathy, Body Type.

Let's say we roll these stats with 3d6: