Sunday, December 30, 2012

Alternate Sneak Attack rules when there are no HP rules

Sneak Attack - roll an extra amount of your weapon damage dice equal to the number of d6s you would have rolled for sneak attack. Keep only one attack dice from those rolled. Every time you rolled max value, past the first, you divide the DR by 1 plus the no. of times you rolled max value on a die.
Use the 1d notification to show how many additional dice you would have rolled.

Ex. With a long sword and +2d sneak attack, a rogue rolls 3d8. He rolls 8, 8, & 3. He takes the 8 and deals max damage but since he rolled another 8, he divides the DR by 2.
With daggers and low value die there is a higher chance to make an armor piercing strike vs larger weapons which bigger die values.

A very skilled rogue uses a shorts word or rapier and has +3d, he has the feat deadly precision. He makes a successful sneak attack - he rolls 4d6: 3, 1, 6, and 1. He retools the two 1s: 3, 4, 6, & 6. So the rogue deals 6 damage and halts the DR.

It's funny that smaller characters with their smaller die like d2, d3, d4 and d6 have much higher chance to make an armor piercing strike. If the character has rapid shot, and two weapon attack there are numbers to play.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Monetary Option for D20 DnD 3.5

Home brew excerpt regarding the value of gold. I know the ratio of gold to silver and to copper is based in modern market value, but I want players to transfer their appreciation of gold to the setting.

1gp = 10sp = 100cp is still the same, I just changed the weight.

I tried converting the prices
This version keeps the prices more or less intact. A backpack costs about $40 in this system,
○ 1 silver piece is 2 grams of silver (about USD $2) 20mm diameter but 0.5mm thick, 1lb of silver has 240 silver pieces.
○ 1 gold piece is a 0.36 gram bead. a 3.2mm diameter bead (half the size of a BB; USD $20)
○ 1lb of gold has 1250 gold beads.
○ 1 copper piece is 13.2 gram (USD $0.2), 1lb of copper has 34pcs. 30mm
diameter and 2mm thick. 1 copper piece if called a Farthing.

in this system, a backpack costs about $120 sounds about right.
○ 1 silver piece is 12 grams of silver (about USD $6) 20mm diameter but 0.5mm thick, 1lb of silver has 240 silver pieces.
○ 1 gold piece is a 2 gram bead. a 6mm diameter bead (half the size of a BB)
○ 1lb of gold has 225 gold beads.
○ 1 copper piece is 80 grams (USD$0.6), 1lb of copper has 5pcs. 47mm diameter x

A pony costing 3,000 farthings or 30 gold costs about 75,000 pesos is about right.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sample Characters for DnD d20 SRD Game

Home brew rules can be found here
As an authors note, since I have no setting to base this I'm basing this in the setting I know best: 1000s Europe. I draw mostly from my byzantine history knowledge, and I'm imagining the capital begins in a kind of Constantinople headed south east to Manzikert.

Sample Character

Thrash’Dun Garsh’Thoom Blood of Ul’da-goom Barbarian
Orc, Male, Age: 22

Med Humanoid (Orc); 4d12+8 (56 hp); Con: 14; Init:+1; Spd: 40 ft. (8); AC: 15 (+4 BAB; +1 Dex), ff-15; DR: 3/- (Studded Leather) ; BAB/Gr:+4/+10;


  • Falchion +10 melee (2d4+9/18-20) or
  • javelin +5 ranged (1d6+6);

Full Attack:
  • Falchion +10 melee (2d4+9/18-20) or
  • javelin +5 ranged (1d6+5);
S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: Fast Movement, Uncanny Dodge, Trap Sense, Rage 2/day ; SQ: Darkvision 60 ft., light sensitivity; Saves: F17, R12 (13 vs Traps), W10; Abilities: Str 22, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 6; Skills: Survival +7; Ride+1; Feats: Power Attack, Cleave; 
Alignment: *The Strong Rule, 
*Violence is Respect,
*Action not Words

Rage Mode (7 rounds, brought to half HP after 7 rounds):
Con 18; AC: 13 (+4 BAB; +1 Dex; -2 Rage), t-13, ff-13; DR: 3/--
Attack: Falchion +12 melee (2d4+12/18-20) or javelin +5 ranged (1d6+8);
Full Attack: Falchion +12 melee (2d4+12/18-20) or javelin +5 ranged (1d6+8).

Fatigue Mode (can’t run or charge):
Con 14; AC: 14 (+4 BAB), t-14, ff-14; DR: 3/--
Attack: Falchion +9 melee (2d4+7/18-20) or javelin +4 ranged (1d6+5);
Full Attack: Falchion +9 melee (2d4+7/18-20) or javelin +4 ranged (1d6+5).

Medium Animal (WarPony); 2d8+4 (18 hp); Con: 14; Init:+1; Spd: 40 ft. (8); AC: 12 (+2 BAB; +1 Dex, -1 Size), ff-11; DR: 2/- ; BAB/Gr:+1/+3; Attack: Hoof +3 melee (1d3+2); Full Attack: 2 Hooves +3 melee (1d3+2); S/R: 10 ft./5 ft; SA: -- ; SQ: Low Light Vision, Scent; Saves: F16, R15, W11; Abilities: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 4; Skills: Per +5, Athletics +5; Feats: Endurance; Alignment: None;


Human; Male; Age: 32
Med Humanoid (Human M Fighter 4); 4d10+4 (44 hp); Con: 12; Init:+3; Spd: 30 ft. (6); AC: 16 (+4 BAB; +2 Dex), t-14, ff-14; DR: 4/- (Mail Shirt); BAB/Gr:+4/+6;

  • Sig MW Lance +8 melee (1d8+4/x3)
  • Sig MW Lance +8 melee mounted  (2d8+8/x3)
  • Shortsword +6 melee (1d6+2/19-20)
Full Attack:

  • Sig MW Lance +8 melee (1d8+4/x3)
  • Sig MW Lance +8 melee mounted  (2d8+8/x3)
  • Shortsword +6 melee (1d6+2/19-20)
S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: -- ; SQ: -- ; Saves: F17, R15, W12; Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8; Skills: Handle Animal +5, Athletics +8, Ride +8, Knowledge: History +8; Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Combat Reflex, Combat Expertise, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus: Lance; CR: 3; Alignment: A bought mercenary stays bought, your word is your bond, put your money where your mouth is.

Special notes: Treats Lance with interchangeable Properties with Longspear.

Combat Expertise
AC: 24 (+4 BAB; +3 Dex, +4 Shield, +3 Expertise), ff-21; DR: 4/- (Mail shirt);
Shortsword +2 melee (1d6+2/19-20)
Combat Expertise + Fighting Defensive
AC: 26 (+4 BAB; +3 Dex, +4 Shield, +3 Expertise, +2 Dodge), ff-23; DR: 4/- (Mail Shirt);
Shortsword -2 melee (1d6+2/19-20)

Shortsword, Lance, Dagger, Large Shield, Mail Shirt.

Large Animal (Heavy WarHorse); 4d8+6 (30 hp); Con: 15; Init:+1; Spd: 50 ft. (10); AC: 13 (+3 BAB; +1 Dex, -1 Size), ff-12; DR: 6/- (Studded Leather) ; BAB/Gr:+3/+11; Attack: Hoof +6 melee (1d6+4); Full Attack: 2 Hooves +6 melee (1d6+4), Bite +1 (1d4+2); S/R: 10 ft./5 ft; SA: -- ; SQ: Low Light Vision; Saves: F14, R12, W12; Abilities: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6; Skills: Listen +4, Spot +4; Feats: Endurance, Run; Alignment: None;


Alexios of House Ducain
Elf; Male; Age: 160 (early 30s)
Med Humanoid (Elf M Diviner 3/ Fighter 1); 1d10 plus 3d4 (22 hp); Con: 10; Init:+1; Spd: 20 ft. (4); AC: 21 (+3 BAB; +2 Dex, +4 shield), ff-19; DR: 8/- (Fullplate); BAB/Gr:+2/+4;

S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: Summon familiar (Brilliant) ; SQ: Immune to Sleep, +2 vs Enchantment, Low-light Vision, +2 to Perception, Detect Secret Doors in 5’ ; Saves: F13, R12, W12; Abilities: Str14, Dex12, Con10, Int16, Wis8, Cha12; Skills: Concentration +7, Knowledge: History +9, Spellcraft +9, Ride +8, Athletics +1, Perception +4; Feats:Scribe Scroll, Still Spell, Mounted Combat, Ride-by-attack; Alignment:
Spells (11 left /11pts):  
1st level- *True Strike (V,F)*,
2nd level-*Detect Thoughts (+5 vs Will)*


  • Lance +4 melee (1d8+3/19-20)
  • Mighty (Str14) Composite Shortbow +3 ranged (1d6+2/x3)
  • Longsword +4 melee (1d8+3/19-20)

Large Animal (Heavy WarHorse Familiar); 4d8+12 (44 hp); Con: 15; Init:+1; Spd: 50 ft. (10); AC: 13 (+3 BAB; +1 Dex, -1 Size), ff-12; DR: 9/- (Mail Shirt) ; BAB/Gr:+3/+11; Attack: Hoof +6 melee (1d6+4); Full Attack: 2 Hooves +6 melee (1d6+4), Bite +1 (1d4+2); S/R: 10 ft./5 ft; SA: -- ; SQ: Low Light Vision, Share Spells, empathic link, Improved Evasion; Saves: F14, R12, W12; Abilities: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6; Skills: Listen +4, Spot +4; Feats: Endurance, Run; Alignment: None;

Scroll of True Strike, Still

House Ducain

Grandmother: Lady Ursela of House  Baccaryn (age 370; Late 60s)
Father: Lord Konstantine (age 280; Early 50s)
Mother: Lady Anne of House Angelous (age 230; Early 40s)
Older Brother: Sir Viktorion (Heir) (age 170; Early 30s)
Older Sister: Lady Bella (165; Early 30s)

The Ducain Lands.
9,000 acres

*He was Duke Tytos’s squire, and Tytos abused him and is very much still infatuated with him.
*Betrothed to Lady Yliani of House Baccarynn; disapproved by her brother Sir Malique
*Squired with Sir Jeremane, who has a constant rivalry with him, bordering on hatred. They stay far from each other to maintain an easy indifference.
*Duke Tytian (knows his secret, and is his current lord as a hostage exchange), and wants Alexois father, Lord Konstantine’s lands through Lady Bella and his vassal Godwin the Bastard.  
*He is inlove with Lady Alyss (bastard daughter of Lord Quentin of Hous Qish)

Rulfarr of Clan Dunnum
Dwarf; Male; Age 118 (early 30s)
Med Humanoid (Dwarf M Ranger 4); 4d8+4 (36 hp); Con: 12; Init:+2; Spd: 20 ft. (4); AC: 17 (+3 BAB; +2 Dex), t-17, ff-15; DR: 2/- (Leather); BAB/Gr:+4/+6;

  • Shortsword +6 melee (1d6+2/19-20)
  • Sig MW Mighty (Str14) Composite Shortbow +7 ranged (1d6+3/x3)
Full Attack:
  • Shortsword +6 melee (1d6+1/19-20)
  • Sig MW Rapid Shot Mighty (Str14) Composite Shortbow +5/+5 ranged (1d6+3/x3)

S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: Favored Enemy: Giants (+2 to dmg, perception, sense motive, survival), Wild Empathy, Animal Companion, Spell Casting; SQ: Darkvision, Slow, Stability, Stone Cunning, +2 vs Poison, +2 vs Spells, +1 attack vs Orcs, +4 dodge vs Giants, +2 on Appraise, +2 in Craft, ; Saves: F15, R17, W12; Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 8; Skills: Stealth +10, Survival +8, Ride +10, Handle Animal +6, Perception +8, Craft: Traps +10, Knowledge: History +8; Feats: Track, Endurance, Combat Style: Rapid Shot, Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery; Spells (1pt): Entangle x1; Alignment: .

Pepper, Bay, Basil, Onion, Rosemary
Medium Animal (WarPony); 2d8+4 (18 hp); Con: 14; Init:+1; Spd: 40 ft. (8); AC: 12 (+2 BAB; +1 Dex, -1 Size), ff-11; DR: 2/- ; BAB/Gr:+1/+3; Attack: Hoof +3 melee (1d3+2); Full Attack: 2 Hooves +3 melee (1d3+2); S/R: 10 ft./5 ft; SA: -- ; SQ: Low Light Vision, Scent; Saves: F16, R15, W11; Abilities: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 4; Skills: Per +5, Athletics +5; Feats: Endurance; Alignment: None;

Clan Dunnum

Grandfather and Chief:
Father: Gritter’mane (age 230; Early 60s)
Mother: Dalia of Clan Boffin (age 240; Early 60s)
Twin Sister: Rallyah (*Heir*) (118; early 30s)
Younger Sister: Katlane (age 94; Late 20s)
Younger Sister: Bethany (age 82 ; Mid 20s)

The Dunnum Lands.
123,000 mountain acres (not flat land)

* Loves his sister, Rallyah and wants her to have a chance as the Clan Shield Mother (the female equivalent of Chief). She stands a better chance with him in self exile.  
* Secret: His Father Gritter’mane has broken down since the breach of the Dunnum Hearth, 5 years ago. His claims that it was his “faulty intelligence” that made his father decide to the Clan defenders to hold the eastern wall, which resulted for a successful enemy feint and an attack from the south. He has taken the duty and self exile of frontier patrol as a result.
* Secret: His father let a young orc warrior live, an attack of compassion. The orc was a young warrior, who was crippled and blamed him, Gritter’man, for all the suffering of his people. Wanting to prove a bigger man, he let the orc escape... not knowing he was bearing valuable intelligence. In the frontier, Rulfar has lost the taste for killing orcs (he has no bonus against orcs).
* 3 year ago, when he left he went as far east as he could. He went so far as to find lands unknown to dwarves and elves. His brief stay earned the fierce hatred of an enemy who will cross the great steppes and deserts for revenge.
* Upon return, he got the most disliked assignment any dwarf could ever concieve - being oathbound to serve an Elven Lord (Duke Tytian).    


Sister Danae, Knight of the Order of the Lady of Pelor
Half-Elf; Female; Age: 50 (late 20s)
Med Humanoid (Half-Elf F Paladin 4); 4d10-3 (37 hp); Con: 8;
Init:+2; Spd: 30 ft. (6); AC: 18 (+4 BAB; +2 Dex, +2 Shield), ff-16; DR: 4/- (Mail Shirt); BAB/Gr:+4/+5;
  • Shortsword +5 melee (1d8+1/19-20)
  • Lance +5 melee mounted  (2d8+2/x3)
  • Sig Ma Mighty Composite Shortbow +7 ranged mounted (1d6+2/x3),
Full Attack:
  • Shortsword +5 melee (1d8+1/19-20)
  • Lance +5 melee mounted  (2d8+2/x3)
  • Sig Ma Mighty Composite Shortbow +7 ranged mounted (1d6+2/x3),  

S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: Detect: those with no compassion, Lay on Hands 12hp, Smite - those without Compassion, Aura of Courage; SQ: Elven Blood, +1 to Perception, +2 Diplomacy and Gather Information, Low Light Vision, Divine Grace, Aura, Divine Health; Saves: F16, R16, W14; Abilities: Str 12, Dex 14, Con 8, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 16; Skills: Diplomacy +10, Sense Motive +7, Ride +3, Handle Animal+3; Feats: Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery; Alignment: the Strong Protects the Weak, Compassion, and Fairness, Humanity.
Spells (1pt/1pt)
1st Level: Restoration, lesser x1

Mount is Double Move (100ft or 20 spaces)
Sig MW Mighty Composite Shortbow +5 ranged mounted (1d6+2/x3)
Mount is Running (150ft or 30 spaces)
Sig MW Mighty Composite Shortbow +3 ranged mounted (1d6+2/x3)

Fighting Defensively
AC: 22 (+4 BAB; +2 Dex, +4 Shield, +2 Dodge), ff-20; DR: 4/- (Mail Shirt);
Shortsword +0 melee (1d6+1/19-20)

Large Animal (Heavy WarHorse); 4d8+12 (44 hp); Con: 15; Init:+1; Spd: 50 ft. (10); AC: 13 (+3 BAB; +1 Dex, -1 Size), ff-12; DR: 7/- (Mail Shirt) ; BAB/Gr:+3/+11; Attack: Hoof +6 melee (1d6+4); Full Attack: 2 Hooves +6 melee (1d6+4), Bite +1 (1d4+2); S/R: 10 ft./5 ft; SA: -- ; SQ: Low Light Vision; Saves: F14, R12, W12; Abilities: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6; Skills: Listen +4, Spot +4; Feats: Endurance, Run; Alignment: None;

Order of the Lady of Pelor
This is an Order founded in the Year 820 when the town of Celestine was devastated by Plague and a Siege. The women were instrumental in the survival of the Town and an unnamed Lady performed a miraculous defense of the town, and convinced the Duke of Xeen terms of peace. It is said that she took into herself all the suffering and plague, cleansing the town. The act obliterated her, brightening the spot where she disintegrated in a halo glow. Her show of courage, compassion, and leadership created a following seeking to emulate her. There are girls touched by the Lady’s gift exhibit qualities that allow them to Divine Spellcasters or Holy warriors.
Agents of the Order, go to war torn lands and provide aid and succor to victims of war. They try to act as 3rd party peace negotiators.
Celestine is a thriving Citadel in is a very poor region, which survives by refugees and trade.    

Holy Order Vows
(Not in Order of Priority)

  1. Celibacy
  2. Chastity
  3. Poverty - Wealth is turned over and handled by the orders bureaucrats. Personal Property, limited to what can be carried.
  4. Observe a Vow of Silence on Sunday
  5. No Flesh (Vegetarian)
  6. Protect the Weak, Avoid Killing (follows Self Defense and War protocol)
  7. Always extend Kindness, Compassion, Fairness and Generosity to strangers and even enemies. Of course caution still observed around threats.


Vasil, default personality with PCs is Mendel
Half Elf; ???; Age: >60 (???)
Med Humanoid (Half-Elf ? Bard 4); 4d6 (24 hp); Con: 12; Init:+2; Spd: 30 ft. (6); AC: 15 (+3 BAB; +2 Dex), ff-15; DR: 2/- (Leather); BAB/Gr:+3/+2;

Attack (as Mendel): AC 19 (+3 BAB, +2 Dex, +4 shield), ff-17; DR 2/-- (appears to have mail, but is infact leather)

  • shortsword +2 melee (1d6-1/19-20) (mostly commands)

S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: Spell Casting (spontaneous), Bardic Lore +4, Barding Performance 4/day, Countersong, Fascinate 2 creatures in 90ft, Inspire Courage +1 morale bonus to attack & dmg, Inspire Competence +2 competence bonus; SQ: Elven Blood, +1 to Perception, +2 Diplomacy and Gather Information, Low Light Vision, ; Saves: F16, R14, W12; Abilities: Str12, Dex14, Con10, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 16; Skills: Performance +10, Disguise +10, Perception +7, Gather Information +12, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +12, Stealth +9, Sense Motive +6; Feats: Dodge, Mobility ; Spells (10pts; known: 6 0-lvl, 3 1st-lvl, 2 2nd-lvl); 
0-lvl: Detect Magic, Read Magic, Message, Lullaby, Ghost Sounds, Mage hand, 
1st-Lvl: Charm Person, Disguise Self, Silent Image, 
2nd-lvl: Invisibility, Suggestion; Alignment: .

Role-Playing notes.
The trick to this character’s persuasion is always being someone else. The Basil knows only enough to temporarily pass off as someone else. he/she never reveals her underlying personality and has many layers of roles and personalities. Each personality is used to keep their own “credibility and expectations”. It allows Vasil to use any avenue. It appears that player has multiple NPCs.
John Merkant -The Honest Merchant (Diplomacy and gather info). A mustachioed man who knows his crafts and wood work. Has little words and serious about business.
Sister Mary Weather - The Flirtatious Nun (Diplomacy and gather info). A dirty minded old nan, who likes the boys and men.
Brother Gold  - The Proud and Avaricious Elderly Monk (Bluff and Gather info). A monk with so many “relics” and a greedy and miserly horder.
Fish Sticks - The wandering street urchin (stealth and perception). Scruffy independent and headstrong youth of indeterminate gender.
Greentooth - Cowardly Mercenary (stealth and bluff). A weakling of a mercenary, will do whatever to please.
Mendel of House Kirynn - Ascetic Noble (Inspire Courage and Competence). Balding One eyed Veteran Knight. Speaks very well and a inspiration.
Vasil - the Unrequited Poet (Gather info and Perform). A handsome youth, who loves the ladies and men.


Lady Alyss
Half-Elf; Female; Age: 55 (Early 30s)
Med Humanoid (Half-Elf F Rogue 4); 4d6 (24 hp); Con: 12; Init:+3; Spd: 30 ft. (6); AC: 16 (+3 BAB; +3 Dex), ff-16; DR: 2/- (Leather); BAB/Gr:+3/+2;

Attack: AC 16 (+3 BAB, +3 Dex), ff-16; DR 2/--

  • Shortsword +6 melee (1d6-1/19-20)
  • Comp. Shortbow +6 ranged (1d6-1/x3)

S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: Sneak Attack +2d6, Evasion, Trapsense +1, Trapfinding; SQ: Elven Blood, +1 to Perception, +2 Diplomacy and Gather Information, Low Light Vision, Uncanny Dodge; Saves: F12, R17 (18 vs traps), W12; Abilities: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 13; Skills: Perception +8, Gather Information +10, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +10, Stealth +10, Sense Motive +8, Acrobatics +10, Use Magic Device +8, Disable Device +9, Sleight of Hand +10; Feats: Point Blank Shot, Weapon Finesse; Alignment: .

House Qish
Father: Lord Quentin (age 290; Early 50s)
Mother: Lady May (died at the age 50; 20 years ago; A human concubine)
Older Sister: Lady Celine (170; Early 30s)
Older Half-Brother: Sir Perxival (Heir) (age 150; Early 20s)
Older Half-Brother: Squire Tenton (age 130; Late teens)

The Godwin Lands.
4,000 acres

*Her blood elf siblings, except Tentons want her dead, if opportunity permits. To erase the stain their father has made on the honor of their mother.   
*She was raised by Lord Godwin “the Bastard” (110 years; Late 50s) as a “hostage”. She sees him as his father, while complicated as a property of her biological father Lord Quentin.     
*Pestered by Sir Alexios of House Ducain.
*Her mother was a courtesan, who died committing suicide. The mystery surrounding her death haunts her.
*She has a human brother she does not know his whereabouts

Brother  Gon, Follower of Pelor
Half-Orc; Male; Age: 28
Med Humanoid (Half-Orc M Cleric of Pelor 4: Healing); 4d8+8 (40 hp); Con: 14;

Init:+0; Spd: 30 ft. (6); AC: 17 (+3 BAB; +4 shield), ff-17; DR: 3 / -- (studded leather); BAB/Gr:+3/+5;  

  • Spear +5 melee (1d8+2)
  • Javelin +3 ranged (1d6+2)

S/R: 5 ft./5 ft; SA: Turn Undead; SQ: Orc Blood, Dark Vision 30ft; Saves: F16, R11, W17; Abilities: Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 6; Skills: Knowledge: Religion +0, Heal+4, Concentration +2, Diplomacy+6; Feats: Endurance, Skill Focus: Diplomacy; Alignment: Protect and Comfort the Weak, Value Life, Bring Light in Darkness.
Spells (0/15 points)
1st level - *Cure 13HP*
2nd level - *Cure 21HP*, Lesser Restoration x2, Calm Emotions, Enthrall* (uses prayer and meditation)   

Templar of Pelor
(as the standard Pelor doctrine)

Holy Order Vows
(Not in Order of Priority)

  1. Celibacy
  2. Chastity
  3. Poverty - Wealth is turned over and handled by the orders bureaucrats. Personal Property, limited to what can be carried.
  4. Observe a Vow of Silence on Sunday
  5. No Flesh (Vegetarian)
  6. Protect the Weak, Avoid Killing (follows Self Defense and War protocol)
  7. Always extend Kindness, Compassion, Fairness and Generosity to strangers and even enemies. Of course caution still observed around threats. (Vow of hospitality)

Medium Animal (WarPony); 2d8+4 (18 hp); Con: 14; Init:+1; Spd: 40 ft. (8); AC: 12 (+2 BAB; +1 Dex, -1 Size), ff-11; DR: 2/- ; BAB/Gr:+1/+3; Attack: Hoof +3 melee (1d3+2); Full Attack: 2 Hooves +3 melee (1d3+2); S/R: 10 ft./5 ft; SA: -- ; SQ: Low Light Vision, Scent; Saves: F16, R15, W11; Abilities: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 4; Skills: Per +5, Athletics +5; Feats: Endurance; Alignment: None;


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gaming Some Systems

Gaming our Telco's local Phone Plan. The wife is great at this. Planning to get a "Phablet" a Note II. I was checking out my brothers hardcopy of Pathfinder Core Rules and it really makes me want to draw. I was checking it out and was going "How would I draw all the weapons in one page?". Launching off points make for drawings easy, anyway I need to do art for my Open RPG system.

Q: Why note Draw then scan?
A: Electronically its easier to clean up and salvage mistakes. Its now in a medium where i can easily alter the BG, that saves a lot of time.

Allows me to squeeze in Art in Luls at work. this will make me also put up art more often in my G+ account! maybe I get lucky and get more press :)

Damn are plans expensive in the Philippines. Internet bandwith here is expensive, and we don't have the consumer prices for electronics many enjoy in "freer" trading countries like HK and US.

Back to working on GURPS MIddle Ages LITE

Looking at what there is left, I think it will be another 20 more hours to finish it. I need to test it and see if people will find it "complete enough".

The book is arranged in a way you can easily create a character that will fit Harn, Song of Ice and Fire aka Game of Thrones, or a historical game. I will have so add on docs for templates, lenses, random character generators, and load outs. Ideally following the templates and lenses, if the player takes a split second per decision ( because we know what we want) it should take 30mins. It would take an hour with the GM guiding the process.

Bringing down GURPs character creation for newbies to 1 hour should be a milestone. Even faster if you take away 90% of the decision making. Of course from 0 knowledge of medieval feudalism it would still take several conversations and maybe sitting in to watch Game of Thrones, Rome, or series of the like to know what you want.

Note to self
- add signature gear for "ancestral weapons"
- manor generation
- Warband generation ( the common large combat fighting unit ) a handout to be used with mass combat.

Note that I have some rules tweaks, which have a superscript of non-canon or non-raw.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Finished Game Prep

20 hours of writing. I write slow and I zoneout while writing, a mixed blessing if there is anything positive to gain from that. It needs a little bit of polish, but if you have a chat, skype, or hangout i can give interested GMs a low down if they want my notes.

I'm ready for the game, and its uploaded in my Gdrive. I'll make it available, after I run the adventure.

I'm ready if the Players basically destroy the adventure.

  • Ton of Moral Dilemmas
  • Everything is into as they seem, and even if the players go into the adventure trying to second guess things there is enough wiggle room for me to continuously change things.  
  • A lot of scary combat, if they go that route.
  • A lot of RP opportunities. 
  • enough flexibility that I can change the theme of the entire adventure depending on the players: Political, Strategic, Combat/Tactical, Problem Solving, Mystery, even some deep Philosophy stuff and other I dont want to give away.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Spent 5 hours modifying an adventure

Slept at 3am, finishing up an adventure. It needs some polish, but I learned a couple of things to short cut. I learned new uses of certain spells and relearned old combos. Combos like how to get 3 attacks before level 6. There are finite amount of combinations in the system at this point, which is great. It makes NPCs follow a dominant pattern of a kind.

I just made a ton of NPC classed NPCs. Players are special, and only main bad guys are equal, which is also elite array with class levels. I'm converting an OLD module through my harnic/historical lense. I plan to use harn sources as a map of the village and the name of NPCs since its very unlikely a gamer here in the Philippines would have played it. It's an OCD problem for me to correct many of the economic and historical inaccuracies in the module.

I have some inspiration where the adventure can go. A lot of clues and ideas that come from psychology, particularly indoctrination and belief system in an post war ravaged country side that has slowly begun to rebuild. Economic reasons for growth and greater prosperity means digging into my history lessons almost forgotten.

Toned down the fantastic... A bit. You can probably say, I ratchet it a notch by what I have in store. I'm aware about what the players may do, like something completely reckless and meta games (killing all NPCs) so I've prepared for that. Even if they miss all the clues and plot hooks, as long as they can communicate to me what they find interesting and fun I can work on that and improvise.

Lessons from milsim and work - prepare for the worse case scenario, decide on an objective to makes prep easier. Also have a method and plan by which you read the direction the players want to go. I'm pretty much ready to run this game once I get a decent amount of sleep and 3 hours more to prep.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

from 2010, Axial Age Setting and D20 based system.

I was really inspired to play or run a game set in the Axial Age. So I made a fantasy setting that is pretty much the great powers of the Axial Age to make it more appealing for people who are not into history.

I don't know what came over me, but I made a d20 based system which is roll below your stat (follows DnD stat ranges) as the Core Mechanic. I only need to draw heavily on D20 statistics and mechanics, but I expounded using Save Based Wound/Damage system, Work and Effort Mechanics also based on the Save-Based system. It was essentially a very simple system with 1d20 and d6s for character creation (for bell curve statistics). So much has happened that I can't remember what I did.

Part 1 Character Creation.
Part 2 Adventuring

The major inspiration was Kenneth Harl and Robert L. Dise Jr works for the Teaching Company.

Friday, December 21, 2012

More Lethal D20, some learning from tests

D20 SRD without HP is pretty fun. I didn't have a game to test it out, just a little of scenarios and statistics about the lethality of the game. I stumbled on my D20 Fading suns book (3.0 DnD) and checked out of curiosity how many of my homebrew rules applied. It also appears to work fine without hit points.

In fact I find the game more enjoyable with the lethality. A sword blow or a gunshot able to kill a character, regardless of power level is grounding. If you wonder "How do I avoid killed" the simple answer is "Avoid Violence" . There are so many other resources and means to overcome challenges and obstacles. Its an RPG game, there is "no right answer" I'll run with what you've got or I'll help you collect data to come up with an answer, or facilitate the basic problem solving mindset.  

Guns in D20. Pulling a trigger should be easy enough to allow multiple shots, Ill be checking on some rules regarding that. Suffice to say, I'm open to running some other d20 settings and games to ease players into other systems.

"encounters that consume X% of the Party's resources" I can imagine how to capture this data, but I think there is a better way to visualize an encounter or scenario. I'll just come up with a flow chart and how as a dedicated post.

My brother tells me he has Savage Worlds, so I got that covered. He also has Warhammer Fantasy, Rogue Trader, and 40k books. I could try those out, but I'm tempted to either use GURPS or D20 to ease the learning curve.  I hope this new year, I can run some games.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Finished D20 SRD homebrew Prep

It just need some polish, but it is practically finished. I was able to construct some characters and test out how the encounters can be deadly. They are deadly, as deadly as an L5R, GURPS, or SoIF. So ideally people avoid combat.

Level 1 characters are pretty formidable, even non-elite stats, if the players are not careful. The dominant strategy is to avoid combat or a terrain that does not favor the character a lot. Against greater numbers a PC can't just tank, they have to fight and move. They have to use terrain and mobility prevent swarming opponents. 

Orcs are an extremely effective opponent, too bad their limited vision at night and especially at day makes them poor archers. I'm sure they can do archery, its just that 60ft or about 20m is about throwing distance. Maybe I'll just get them point blank shot and make their dex better and not their con (+3 to attack +4 to damage). 

True Strike might be powerful in this homebrew modifications because it is a +20 but there is no called shots table handy. I've made some quick house rules and based it on GURPS statistics. 

Eye or Neck -20
Head and Extremity (hand or foot) -10
Limb -5

Mage Kights
Given how lethal this system can be, there is a feasible strategy of a Mage Kataphrakts (F1,W2). They can use Archery or Lances, charging against opponents and striking at high value targets. Its a Feat of Concentration to cast True-Strike while galloping allowing them to Hit a Vital and kill the opponent and move safely away.  

Setting Sketch
My preliminary Sketch of the world is like of the Dark Ages. The elves have a dying empire, they ruled over men and dwarves for thousands of years but political strife and invading terrors has weakened the state and economy. The Dwarves were their Federated Allies, inhabiting the buffer zones of the empire's core. Men have begun ruling former Elven provinces and providing levies and allied troops for their defense. 

Elves are the center of the economy that allows the Dwarves and Men to thrive. The Elves are made up Houses that produce magical spices and seeds that provide essential medicines, food that can grow in salted earth, and extend the life and quality of food. 

Giants, Orcs and Goblins come from the East, pushing west.  Where humans and dwarves are not able to hold, these creatures settle. 

Players begin in the setting Capital: Valentium but will be setting out to the East to meet the oncoming threat to the Empire. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Faith is a vice to some philosophies (NWOD)

Faith is a virtue in NWOD but I have to point out that to some philosophies it is a vice, especially to people who value reason or compassion of faith.

Checking it out, I realize that it is more about how your priorities and ideals allow you to follow through with your convictions and how compromise or straying from the path weakens ones resolve. Hats perfectly natural, and it's perfectly normal for people to find strength in their ideals. Without going into a really deep psychological discussion, the virtues should be something the players should define for their character. Those in the book can serve as guides, but it something that should be easily abandoned.

As a role playing meta rule or story based mechanic, let the players describe and reflect on their characters virtues, vices, ideals, and as to why it has been successful for them in their characters background.

Characters are not static, and there should be no premium on characters who stay the same... Regardless of experience that challenge their firmly held beliefs, characters may transition, they may doubt and change their mind. There are some beliefs that hold change as a vice, but as the GM and to accommodate more beliefs and point of views accommodation and understanding is priority (especially if it serves to further the game and fun).

If you are a contemplative aka spiritual GM I guess this can be fun for you, but don't let this take away from the fun of people who are not ready to dig deep. Anyway it's a game, and down the line examples are the best teachers - eventually players figure out they get what they put into the character.

Ally or Contact - complexities of relationships

I was wondering about if one had only limited character currency what one should spend on, and I found allies quite interesting. How much can you tap from an ally? How much would an ally tolerate, and what kind of relationship is that if you tap an ally for a resource and how often does the character returns the favor.

This is one of those instances where players can act in a way that is unrealistic or socially in appropriate. One of my problem with this is that it sets a wrong impression and the danger of someone carrying that knowledge to the real world.

Having a friend in high places, has some very limited benefits - invitation to a great party or vacation you cannot normally afford (plus great company) but don't count on your friend doing anything that would making moochers out of his friends.

For starters, the GM should use allies as a source of plot and adventure hooks. These friends in high places will interact in a way where there is a limited amount of conflict of interest. He would help his friends with a lead, put in a good word, upper circles gossip and hearsay, provide insight about the higher ups of a institution (which speaks about the corporate culture - an organization becomes what it's leadership is like), etc...

As for the cavalry or being the big guns, financial backing, and some patronage power... That requires some detailing. characters is positions of power don't get there risking all that just for anything... His friends, the PCs, should consider how they might screw up the life of their powerful friend.

Definitely, when considering how much to spend on an ally (a peer vs a patron) consider how much of his own resources has the PC invested in himself. It kinda looks bad having invested more points in the ally than your self. The PC might become a retainer and not an ally.

Making your boss your ally - this is a conflict of interest. People who value their friends are in a better relationship if they don't trip over professionally their friends. Money between friends is complicated. Having experienced retrenching people and having been named in a labor complaint reinforces how this can be a really big problem.

Allies and contacts are complicated, the fast rule is use your empathy and your personal relationships as a guide. It's better to use them as adventure hooks, than for the players using them as resource you can just tap at any time.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I finally checked out Pathfinder; Story Teller Meta-Rules

Its Nice... but its So much to learn. My brother commented "why not just use Pathfinder" and I was worried about it having a steep learning curve... and there is one. A very big learning curve and data to crunch.

I want to go back to Low-Powered Fantasy, where what is powerful makes sense. So I'm sticking to D20 SRD. Its simpler, and some rules are still flawed or doesnt make sense... BUT i have the power to over rule and make certain details and reason come into play.

Story Teller Meta-Rules.
A set of rules that can be placed over many game systems.

Game Currency - Action Points, Drama Points, Destiny Points, Bennies, etc... and even some Character Points or XP can be used in this way  anything that can influence success and survival in the game. Typically it requires some story telling aspect, as to "WHY" or "HOW". The way game currency works is that it allows the GM to have a means to give the players an option to Voluntarily Complicate their lives at the potential gain of the currency.

In a given situation a GM offers the Player unit(s) of currency to RP a flaw, a disadvantage or background, or to Elaborate/detail an aspect of the Character's past that may be relevant. If the player refuses then no harm, although it looks bad, if they accept there is a chance they can RP the situation into something more interesting and valuable for the group OR worse case is they burn the currency to negate the ill effects. Best case scenario it leads to more interesting story telling AND some success aids in the future.

Story over Rules: Elaborate, Detail, and Tell a Story and we bend the rules.
There are a lot of things Possible but disallowed by the rules or not in the books. Ex. the difference between a Lance and a Long Spear in DND3.5. if your a history buff, then you know the BIG problem with how the game "balanced" out these weapons. There are various details at your disposal that shoves games rules aside to allow for common sense. Why can't a long spear be effective as a lance or vise versa on horseback or readied against a charge...
The GM has the ability to bend the rules, heck he is expected to use common sense FIRST and rules second. Blind adherance to rules, especially RPG rules falls into many reasoning traps.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Updated my D20SRD Homebrew Rules

D20 SRD has

  • no power creep, 
  • accessible, 
  • easily define-able

You can find it here.

  • Combat is Lethal with Con being the arbiter of life and death. 
  • It is EASY to be hit. 
  • HP is Fatigue Points; an important Logistical Tool and for Spell Casting
  • Creativity and Detail allows characters to make surprisingly clever or lethal solutions. I allow called shots and 
  • Survival is a strategic challenge, as XP is from cleverness, RPing, and visualization. 
  • Low Powered Game but has a lot of milage. 10 being the highest level allows for Easy NPC creation. 
  • Magic  and Supernatural is Scarce and has a Role-Playing Demands (because of the detailing Codes of Conduct, Vows, etc...)

i plan to just convert modules for this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Risk and XP

As a scout in airsoft with the killer instinct of a pacifist geek so I get killed a lot in game. Being a scout is an important part of the learning process. Being a scout means being great in improvising, observation, stealth, inference... A lot of things I suck at, in return what? Honestly, scouts get a lot of crap - there is no big press release about how important their contribution is, they just barely survive or get maimed. I don't have to point out the psychological disads of being a scout.

A scout goes where data is very limited and there are no buffers that reduce lethality of the project. When I compare my role as assault vs scout, I have more risks as a scout and way less buffer room - even when I'm charging into a room being shot at.

So what is the benefit of being in the position of great risk - lessons burn into your memory. Pain and hardship makes the lesson more practiced and exercised. I should not generalize to just scouts, but to positions of high risk and high ability demands. Espionage operatives have the same problem and the same risk and experience multiplier in their position.

Applying to gaming, I will point out risks to players and provide more character development rewards to those who put them selves in high risk. The rewards is regardless of success or failure, it's purely a matter of exposure and seeing the player become more crafty and intuitive.

I've moved up a bit, I'm in more command and assault opportunities now but still see I have a lot to learn and actually want to do more scouting and flanking missions. To be incredibly tired and still be able to think straight is what I want to build up to.

I guess it's great I have airsoft until I find player, the world is my GM and I am it's player.

So Many Communities what to do

A lot of Communities have sprung up. I joined most of them, particularly those that are System Agnostic. I guess the key is who can drum up more discussion and build a body of knowledge for me. With google docs or sites, you can build a wiki of GMing skills and Techniques. with Gdocs you can draw up a flow chart of the decision making process. 

I wonder if the lessons in strategy would pay off here, as a community develops. Which one will set out to clearly define their voice and color first. The community that differentiates and addresses its character and content. Who will differentiate, and will raise the bar?  

i'm closely watching the stats on how many threads and discussions and content. Google is what a lot of GMs have in common, the office tools do a lot to make Gaming Prep and Collaboration Easier. There are some groups out there that easily have a lot of people joined, but which one can have the entertaining discussion. 

Again, i'm thinking there would be hang outs to meet the moderators and contributors. in the flavor of HJ's an amiable and Irreverent discussion. I could really do a style analysis of what I like about HJ's explicit and non-PC method of discussion. Its a great way of opening up a lot of data and being un-inhibited in saying what you think... even they are uninhibited their ability to respect how you have your fun is quite impressive (as a gamer who likes detail and logistics I'm not offended at all).  

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Wiki of GM skills and wisdom

There are so many skills and knowledge that goes into the hobby, and a lot comes from everyone's own unique experience. You'd wonder if there is a Wiki where everyone discusses the gaming skill sets.

I've been listening a lot to happy jacks and the content is great, so much that i feel I wish the core skills or lessons are on paper or documented. There are many aspects of the skill or technique that can be elaborated so that it makes the most impact.

  • Gaming prep - Diagrams: Mind Maps, Ven, Gant, 
  • Prop Creation - Cards, 
  • Improvisation: Yes And or Yes But! let the PCs build the world, etc...
  • Group Organization - Electronic Calendar Events, Communities, Groups, etc... 
  • How to detail your world - various approaches...

False Dichotomy - Complex Rules vs Simple Rules.
Some say rules are getting more complex, i find that an over generalization. its like as you refine a technique, you have more data that supports a particular pattern of activity. More knowledge and experience BRINGS data into the picture. Now how we interpret the data, how we make elegant rules of thumb, formulas, etc... all make for how we present the tools and how we can easily use the tools. All that data can be compressed and made elegant - thats what we all are trying to aspire. We are trying to get our experiences about life and compressing it into a set of rules that allow us to better simplify it. Life is so complex, but we can simplify it condensing information in a formula, pattern or intuition.

Its not a Dichotomy of complex vs simple rules. its Complexity arising from Experience and Learning, and we try to Simplify it. We simplify it but we encounter challenges to our formula, technique or heuristic and we make stop gap measure... then after a while it gets complex... then someone comes along and Simplifies it all with a new approach and theory. This is the evolution of technology and knowledge, its not a bad thing - we are in constant transition.

if you make a Wiki about all that knowledge, you put it in a place where EVERYONE can comment and make an inquiry. Someone will try to simplify it, and Viola a more elegant solution... then the cycle repeats itself.

I COULD start it, but I'm not the guy with a lot of PULL lol. The heavy weights who have hundreds of followers and a handful of active followers are in the best position to start this. I actually think Happy Jacks should move the data from their forum into a Wiki. Since they hit the essence, the underlying philosophy, so well I think they have the most fertile ground to start.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Google RPG Communities

I think communities is just like Groups. Anyway here are the RPG related ones I found and joined. There are SOOO MANY! Its a free market of general RPG places. I hope to narrow it down to those with the most active and interesting discussion. I'm biased to the Happy Jack's explicit and non-PC mode of discussion.

Philippine Table-Top RPG - scheduling and looking for Philippine gamers.
G+ Tabletop RPG
World Building
RPG Session Prep 
Role-playing Games
Hangout RPGs
G+ RPG Hangout
RPG for Kids 
Fans of 
The Dungeon World Tavern  
Fate Core 
Table Top Forge