Friday, April 29, 2016

Fantastic Friday

   Some people become obsessed with making that they love perfect. I had been hacking AD&D since the mid-90's. Even after writing my own fantasy heartbreaker, I still felt the need to fix D&D, to perfect it.

   The first time I read Fantastic Heroes & Witchery I knew I could scrap all my previous attempts to re-write D&D. Fantastic Heroes & Witchery is the crown jewel of the OSR. In it Dominique Crouzet has taken the best, most elegant features of all the retro-clones that preceded it and Dungeons & Dragons from B/X to 3.5, and melded them into a fantastically streamlined and rational version of the game. On top of that, FH&W adds a plethora of weird-science fantasy options.


   In my opinion Fantastic Heroes & Witchery is the best edition of D&D ever written. Henceforth this blog dedicates Fantastic Fridays to FH&W.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mythras Monday - Houserules and Character Creation Notes

Here are some house rules and character creation notes for my RuneQuest 6 game. 



Characteristics

Roll 4d6, drop lowest and assign as desired. Prior to rolling, the player can designate any die result as a "4".
Alternatively roll 1d6 + 1d8 + 4 and assign as desired.

Strength
Strength and Size - A character's Strength rating cannot exceed his Size rating by more than 3 points.

Female Strength - Human females have a maximum Strength rating of 15.

Size
A character's Size rating is a function of his body mass. At character creation the player may choose his character's Size rating, and being either larger or smaller has different benefits and hindrances.

Size, Strength and Feats of Agility - A character's Size can affect his ability to perform feats of athleticism (such as climbing, jumping and running) and acrobatics (like gymnastics and tumbling). For every 3 points a character's Size exceeds his Strength, the difficulty of skill tests requiring bodily agility made one grade harder. If the character's Strength is greater than his Size, such difficulties are one grade easier.

Size.....Weight
1.........up to 10 lbs
2.........11 - 20 lbs
3.........21 - 30 lbs
4.........31 - 40 lbs
5.........41 - 50 lbs
6.........51 - 65 lbs
7.........66 - 80 lbs
8.........81 - 95 lbs
9.........96 - 110 lbs
10.......111 - 125 lbs
11.......126 - 140 lbs
12.......142 - 155 lbs
13.......156 - 170 lbs
14.......171 - 190 lbs
15.......191 - 210 lbs
16.......211 - 240 lbs
17.......241 - 270 lbs
18.......271 - 300 lbs
19.......301 - 340 lbs
20.......341 - 380 lbs
21.......381 - 420 lbs
22.......421 - 460 lbs
23.......461 - 500 lbs
24.......501 - 550 lbs
25.......551 - 600 lbs


Intelligence
Mental Retardation - Any character with an Intelligence rating of 7 or less is mentally retarded.

Attributes

Damage Modifier
A character may shrug off some minor wounds, effectively ignoring damage equal to his Damage Modifier for each non-lethal attack he receives.

Magic Points
Characters may regain Magic Points through normal rest (1 Magic Point per night) and meditation (1d4 Magic Points, with a successful Meditation roll).

Skills
A character's maximum skill rating cannot exceed 5x the base rating of that skill.

Passions & Personality Traits
In addition to the Passions listed in the RuneQuest rulebook, characters also posses Personality Traits (otherwise treated as Passions). Each Character must have at least two Passions and two Personality Traits, and may choose their starting values.
Example Personality Traits (and their opposing Traits):

  • Optimistic / Pessimistic
  • Serious / Frivolous
  • Reliable / Capricious
  • Friendly / Taciturn
  • Even-Tempered / Moody
  • Reserved / Gregarious
  • Well-Mannered / Uncouth
  • Brave / Cowardly
  • Loyal / Treacherous
  • Trusting / Suspicious
  • Honest / Deceitful
  • Energetic / Lazy
  • Forgiving / Vengeful
  • Pious / Irreverent
  • Cautious / Rash
  • Peaceful / Violent
  • Modest / Proud
  • Generous / Greedy
  • Courteous / Rude
  • Will to Live / Death Wish

Sanity
A character's beginning Sanity rating is equal to his POW x5½.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Warhammer Wednesday

   IMO "the Old World" is the greatest D&D setting ever published. It takes the trappings of renaissance Europe, with its complex and believable societies, combines it with the most iconic staples of fantasy (dwarves, elves, halflings, wizards and orcs), and filters it through a lens tinged with dark, British humor.
 
"Forge of War" by Stanley Lau

    In addition to the Tolkeinesque, Warhammer adds the setting's defining element - Chaos. Chaos provides the existential threat and underlying theme of the world of Warhammer. Chaos corrupts and destroys.

    Chaos is manifest in the Old World through its minions and those it touches. Disease-ridden Skaven infest the sewers under even the greatest cities, animalistic beastmen stalk the dark woods for human prey, and mutants and cultists attest to the power of Chaos to corrupt Man's body and soul.

    No fantasy role-playing setting is complete without vikings, and the Chaos-worshipping Norsicans of the Old World are more savage and brutal than any medieval chronicler of Scandinavian pirates could have imagined.

    Finally there are the Chaos Warriors. Chaos Warriors are FUCKING METAL incarnate.
"Death and Chaos" by Kendrick Lim

    In honor of the sheer awesomeness that is the Old World, this blog hereby designates Warhammer Wednesday.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mythras Monday - Sanity for Mythras / RuneQuest 6

For those who want a Sanity mechanic in their RuneQuest game, there are several options to choose from.

"Fear and Madness" - Necromancy for RuneQuest II from Mongoose
"Sanity" - Renaissance Deluxe from Cakebread & Walton
"Psychological Stability" - Luther Arkwright for RuneQuest6 from Design Mechanism

And of course the first RPG to feature a Sanity mechanic - Call of Cthulhu. From my perspective using CoC's Sanity system has an important advantage - every creature from the "Cthulhu Mythos" is already stated for it.

Here's my tweak on the CoC Sanity system. Link to the pdf - Sanity

Characters have a number of Sanity Points equal to their POW x 5 ½. The actual Sanity check is made with a Willpower roll.

   Since beginning characters will typically begin with a high Sanity rating (POW 13 = Sanity 72) and relatively low Willpower rating (POW 13 = Willpower 26), this has the effect of new characters being well-adjusted, but somewhat soft and vulnerable to psychological trauma. As a character becomes more experienced he tends to become both mentally hardened and scarred by his travails, accordingly his Willpower increases and his Sanity erodes.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cthulhu Cthursday

 "Cthulhu" by Douzen


   I've recently been listening to an outstanding Call of Cthulhu actual play podcast - How We Roll. The quality, editing, sound effects and incidental music are all exceptionally well done, and the whole cast is very entertaining. IMO How We Roll is one of the best AP podcasts on the web, give 'em a listen.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mythras Monday - Combat Styles for Renaissance Europe



Here are some Combat Styles I created for my Renaissance Europe campaign, along with some unofficial houserules how Combat Styles grant Combat Traits. "By the book" each Combat Style seems to be limited to a single Combat Trait, whereas my variation assigns multiple traits to a single style, but with some restrictions (see "Learning Combat Traits" below). 

Links to relevant pdfs - Combat Styles, Combat Style Traits



Learning Combat Styles



Cultural Combat Styles

Cultural combat styles are broadly available to any character of the appropriate cultural background and social status.



Brawling, Common Defense, Knightly Art of Combat, Peasant Levy, Pugilism, Stick Fighting – Quarterstaffing, Swordsmanship – English, Swordsmanship – French (Lutte des Épée), Swordsmanship, German (Fechten), Swordsmanship – Hungarian, Swordsmanship – Italian (Arte della Spada), Swordsmanship – Scottish, Swordsmanship – Spanish (La Verdadera Destreza), Trained Militia – Archer, Trained Militia – Infantry, Woodland Hunter, Wrestling



Professional Combat Styles

Professional combat styles are related to a particular vocation, and generally are only learned by characters of the appropriate career.



Brawling – Sailor, Coraiocht, Knightly Art of Combat, Swordsmanship – English, Swordsmanship – French (Lutte des Épée), Swordsmanship, German (Fechten), Swordsmanship – Hungarian, Swordsmanship – Italian (Arte della Spada), Swordsmanship – Scottish, Swordsmanship – Spanish (La Verdadera Destreza), Trained Guard, Trained Mercenary – Balkan (Stratioti), Trained Mercenary – German (Landsknecht), Trained Mercenary – German (Landsknecht – Doppelsöldner), Trained Mercenary – Scottish (Gallóglaigh), Trained Mercenary – Swiss, Trained Militia – Archer, Trained Militia – Infantry, Trained Militia – Turkish (Akinci), Trained Militia – Turkish (Sipahi), Trained Soldier – Turkish (Janissary), Woodland Hunter



Specialty Combat Styles

Specialty combat styles are unusual fighting arts that typically must be learned by studying under a particular weapons master.



Arte dell'Abbraccio, Arte del combattimento del Maestro Fiore de Liberi, Dagger Fighting – Italian (Arte della Daga) or German (Dolchfechten), Fechten und Ringen von Meister Liechtenaur, Knife Fighting – Italian (Arte del Coltello), Knife Fighting - Spanish (Lucha con Cuchillo), Manus Nigrum



Learning Combat Traits

A character may choose to learn one Combat Trait for every 20 points he has in the relevant Combat Style. Some Combat Styles prioritize certain traits over others. Traits accompanied by a number must be learned in order, from lowest to highest, before traits without a number may be chosen.



Combat Styles



Arte dell'Abbraccio

Weapons - Unarmed

Traits - Cautious Fighter, Excellent Footwork, Iron Holds1, Joint Locking2, Knockout, Unarmed Prowess2



Arte del combattimento del Maestro Fiore de Liberi

Weapons - Unarmed, Dagger, Falchion, Flail, Longsword, Mace, Poleaxe, Quarterstaff, Shortspear, Shortsword, Buckler, Heater Shield

Traits - Defensive Minded1, Excellent Footwork, Joint Locking, Swashbuckling, Unarmed Prowess1, Unarmed Throws2



Brawling

Weapons - Unarmed, Club, Hatchet, Knife

Traits - Do or Die, Impromptu Weapons1, Knockout, Knockout Blow



Brawling, Sailor

Weapons - Unarmed, Club, Cutlass, Gaff, Gaff Hook, Harpoon, Hatchet, Knife, Net, Sabre, Buckler

Traits - Excellent Footwork1, Impromptu Weapons, Intimidating Scream, Swashbuckling, Throw Weapons



Common Defense

Weapons - Unarmed, Bill, Club, Flail, Hatchet, Quarterstaff, Thrown Rock

Traits - Defensive Minded, Impromptu Weapons1, Throw Weapons, Unarmed Prowess



Coraiocht

Weapons - Unarmed, Club, Great Club, Shillelagh, Viking Shield

Traits - Batter Aside1, Berserker, Intimidating Scream, Knockout1, Shield Wall1, Shield Splinter, Skirmishing



Dagger Fighting, Italian (Arte della Daga) or German (Dolchfechten)

Weapons - Unarmed, Dagger

Traits - Cautious Fighter, Defensive Minded1, Joint Locking, Unarmed Prowess1, Unarmed Throws



Fechten und Ringen von Meister Liechtenaur

Weapons - Unarmed, Battleaxe, Dagger, Flamberge, Flail, Longsword, Mace, Poleaxe, Sabre, Smallsword, Buckler, Heater Shield

Traits - Batter Aside, Defensive Minded1, Joint Locking, Unarmed Prowess2, Unarmed Throws



Knife Fighting, Italian (Arte del Coltello)

Weapons - Unarmed, Knife

Traits - Cautious Fighter1, Excellent Footwork, Joint Locking, Unarmed Prowess2, Unarmed Throws



Knife Fighting, Spanish (Lucha con Cuchillo)

Weapons - Unarmed, Dagger, Knife

Traits - Cautious Fighter1, Daredevil Matador1, Excellent Footwork, Flamboyance, Swashbuckling, Unarmed Prowess2

 
Knightly Art of Combat

Weapons - Unarmed, Ball & Chain, Lance, Longsword, Mace, Poleaxe, Military Pick, Heater Shield

Traits - Batter Aside, Mounted Combat1, Mounted Lancer2, Swashbuckling, Trained Beast, Unarmed Prowess



Manus Nigrum

Weapons - Unarmed, Club, Dagger, Dart, Garotte, Light Crossbow, Shortsword

Traits - Assassination, Cautious Fighter, Hidden Weapons, Knockout Blow, Poisoner



Peasant Levy

Weapons - Bill, Club, Dagger, Great Axe, Flail, Shortspear, Shortbow

Traits - Impromptu Weapons, Shield Splinter



Pugilism

Weapons - Unarmed, Knuckledusters

Traits - Batter Aside, Cautious Fighter1, Do or Die1, Excellent Footwork, Knockout1



Stick Fighting, Quarterstaffing

Weapons - Quarterstaff

Traits - Defensive Minded1, Excellent Footwork, Knockout Blow



Swordsmanship, English

Weapons - Dagger, Longsword, Rapier, Smallsword, Buckler

Traits - Defensive Minded1, Excellent Footwork, Swashbuckling



Swordsmanship, French (Lutte des Épée)

Weapons - Main Gauche, Rapier, Smallsword

Traits - Cautious Fighter1, Excellent Footwork, Flamboyance, Swashbuckling



Swordsmanship, German (Fechten)

Weapons - Broadsword, Dagger, Longsword

Traits - Batter Aside, Defensive Minded1, Excellent Footwork, Swashbuckling



Swordsmanship, Hungarian

Weapons - Sabre

Traits - Cautious Fighter1, Flamboyance, Swashbuckling



Swordsmanship, Italian (Arte della Spada)

Weapons - Club, Main Gauche, Rapier, Buckler

Traits - Defensive Minded1, Do or Die2, Excellent Footwork, Flamboyance, Swashbuckling



Swordsmanship, Scottish

Weapons - Broadsword, Dagger, Great Sword, Target Shield

Traits - Batter Aside1, Do or Die1, Swashbuckling



Swordsmanship, Spanish (La Verdadera Destreza)

Weapons - Rapier

Traits - Cautious Fighter1, Daredevil Matador1, Excellent Footwork, Swashbuckling



Trained Guard

Weapons - Halberd, Mace, Shortspear, Shortsword, Buckler, Light Crossbow

Traits - Knockout Blow, Mancatcher, Spear Phalanx

 
Trained Mercenary, Balkan (Stratioti)

Weapons - Dagger, Lance, Sabre, Recurve Bow, Heater Shield

Traits - Formation Fighting2, Mounted Combat1, Mounted Lancer, Skirmishing



Trained Mercenary, German (Landsknecht)

Weapons - Heavy Crossbow, Flamberge, Longsword, Shortsword, Pike, Buckler

Traits - Crossbow Handling, Pike Phalanx1, Reload Drill2



Trained Mercenary, German (Landsknecht - Doppelsöldner)

Weapons - Halberd, Partisan, Great Sword

Traits - Batter Aside2, Cautious Fighter, Formation Fighting1



Trained Mercenary, Scottish (Gallóglaigh)

Weapons - Dagger, Great Axe, Great Sword, Longspear, Morningstar, Javelin, Short Bow

Traits - Batter Aside, Berserker, Pike Phalanx1, Intimidating Scream, Shield Splinter, Skirmishing



Trained Mercenary, Swiss

Weapons - Heavy Crossbow, Halberd, Pike, Shortsword

Traits - Crossbow Handling, Pike Phalanx1, Reload Drill2, Siege Warfare



Trained Militia, Archer

Weapons - Shortsword, Shortbow, Target Shield

Traits - Longshot2, Ranged Marksman, Reload Drill1, Skirmishing



Trained Militia, Infantry

Weapons - Broadsword, Glaive, Pike, Shortspear, Shortsword, Buckler

Traits - Pike Phalanx1, Skirmishing



Trained Militia, Turkish (Akinci)

Weapons - Battleaxe, Dagger, Lance, Scimitar, Recurve Bow, Buckler

Traits - Formation Fighting, Longshot2, Mounted Combat1, Mounted Lancer, Skirmishing



Trained Militia, Turkish (Sipahi)

Weapons - Dagger, Mace, Scimitar, Recurve Bow, Buckler

Traits - Formation Fighting2, Longshot2, Mounted Combat1, Mounted Lancer2, Trained Beast



Trained Soldier, Turkish (Janissary)

Weapons - Unarmed, Dagger, Falchion, Mace, Scimitar, Recurve Bow, Buckler

Traits - Formation Fighting1, Longshot2, Ranged Marksman, Reload Drill, Siege Warfare



Woodland Hunter

Weapons - Hatchet, Knife, Short Bow

Traits - Longshot, Ranged Marksman



Wrestling

Weapons - Unarmed

Traits - Excellent Footwork, Iron Holds1, Joint Locking, Unarmed Throws