Friday, November 6, 2015

The Ortix alphabetical index?


I have several pages of notes about the world of Ortix - the races, magic, places etc. Not much stuff so far but I have much more sitting inside my head ;) And due to the vast diversity of the things created so far and the things yet to come, I wonder if it will be a good idea to release it as an alphabetical index, some kind of encyclopedia?

Of course, the game book will be big one. And of course, it will grow bigger and bigger. And I think that it will be easier to add new stuff to alphabetical index than constantly re-formatting the text to add things to particular chapters.

Second idea is - alphabetical order but still divided in some major chapters, such as places, creatures, magic and so on.

Tell me what do you think about it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Crypt Crawler - Scum of the Land

No dignity in adventuring - here is a list of classes for the Crypt Crawler system. PCs are more or less outcasts. Noble ones does not crawl in the ancient mud. Fuck the broken and the poor.

Grave Robber
Plague Doctor

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Diamond Diceless - explanation of the traits

Few posts ago I posted the one-page screenshot of the Diamond Diceless mechanics. At the bottom of the image, there was a list of traits which can be bought for the character creation points. Here is the explanation of all of them.

ALCHEMY can be used to craft potions, medicine and - if advanced laboratory is available - to transmute one substance to another. Even simple equipment is required to use this trait. Works well with: Herbalism, Medic, Natural Magic, Ritual Magic.

ARTISTRY - ability to create art: sculptures, paintings, drawings and even writing poems, singing and dancing. Works well with: Magical Talent.

CATACLYSM LORE is knowledge about the Cataclysm which devastated the world in the past. Also some stories, rumors and legends about the time before the catastrophe. Works well with: Spirit-bound.

HERBALISM is lore about plants and fungi that can be used as medicine and poisons. Works well with: Alchemy, Medic, Natural Magic, Survival.

HIGH MAGIC is ability to control the flow of magic for subtle and/or sustainable effects. Less devastating than Low Magic, still it requires years of training and almost superhuman focus skills to avoid catastrophic eruption of pure energy. Works well with: Magical Talent, Sense Magic.

LOW MAGIC - most raw and powerful method of channeling the magical energy. Manifestations of Low Magic are simple, almost instant and often very devastating. Very dangerous for anyone whose Power is not on very high levels. Works well with: Sense Magic.

MAGICAL TALENT makes using magic considerably easier. It doesn't necessarily mean that magical effects will be more powerful but preparations for creating and casting the spell will be shorter. Works well with: High Magic, Low Magic, Natural Magic, Ritual Magic.

MEDIC can be used to bind wounds, heal diseases and fix almost all problems with one's health. More complicated actions will require usage of special equipment. Works well with: Herbalism, Survival.

NATURAL MAGIC is form of magic involving contact with spirits of the ancestors, natural or supernatural beings and drawing the energy from the elements. Requires iron discipline and strong will to succeed. Also, remember that this form of magic often relies on some kind of pact between the shaman and the entity he summons. Works well with: Herbalism, Magical Talent, Spirit-bound.

REGENERATION. Some creatures are able to heal wounds much faster than others, some are even able to regrow lost limbs, although the regeneration process can last for months.

RITUAL MAGIC covers all kinds of magical effects that can be achieved by performing a ritual. Safest way to achieve powerful results but often requires lots of time and efforts. Some rituals allow to contain the spell in the magical wand, ring or scroll. However, creation of such spell containers can be complicated and expensive. Works well with: Artistry, Magical Talent.

SENSE MAGIC is the ability to feel the flow of magic and presence of the magical beings (or even entities not belonging to this world).

SENSE POWER - allows to determine the values of the Power stat. Note: GM should give the brief but somewhat accurate descriptions instead of exact numbers (eg. "this Korri is pretty inexperienced and weak" or "aura of near-omnipotence is emanating from the creature").

SPIRIT-BOUND is an mystical bond between the character and the spirits of nature - and of the dead. Allows to contact the spirits during the meditation, trance or - sometimes against one's will - during the sleep. Works well with: Artistry, Natural Magic, Sense Magic.

SURVIVAL is a set of skills allowing to survive (and live) in the wild. Allows to gather food, set simple traps, build shelter and set fire.

WARFARE - ability to plan and command large-scale battles, sieges and military operations. Works well with: Weapon Mastery (can be used to build siege weapons).

WEAPON MASTERY. Many weapons are too sophisticated to be used by untrained fighters. Characters with this trait have knowledge to use almost all kinds of weapons created by mankind (and sometimes even armament designed and used by other races). Works well with: Warfare (can be used to train others).

Monday, November 2, 2015

Stat-based dungeoncrawl (Part Two)

This night I managed to write down some basic ideas for the Crypt Crawler ruleset (mentioned for the first time here). I'll post it here as ordinary (for me) assorted list. Thanks for Claw Carver for the idea of levelling the stats!
  • Only five basic character levels: Initiate (starting level), Adept (250xp), Specialist (1000xp), Expert (5000xp), Master (20000xp);
  • Two "epic" character levels are Hero and Legend. Experience points needed to reach these levels are up to the GM. Heroes are able to defy death once (without divine intervention), Legends are able to defy death three times. Remember Fate Points from Warhammer? It's something like it;
  • Base stats: STR DEX CON PER INT WIL LEA. It's highly possible that I'll add some extra statistics. During character creation, 2d6 roll (plus class bonuses) is used to determine starting level of each stat;
  • All stat checks are performed by d20 roll. If a natural "1" is rolled, character has a chance to improve his (or her!) stat:
  • Roll d20 again: 1-gain 100xp, 2-gain one point of the tested stat, 3-18-score more than your current stat level by using 3d6 and gain one point of the tested stat if you succeed, 19-20-nothing happens;
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: even if game relies on stat checks, this is not a roll-playing game! If any action can be completed if only time is required, no checks should be performed;
  • PCs are not gaining levels automatically after accumulating certain number of xp points. Experience points must be spent to gain a level! In addition, xp can be spent for spellcraft (see below) and to identify the ancient artifacts, magic items and so on;
  • Spells must be contained in some kind of magical veseel - it may be magical dust, potion or even amulet or wand. In most cases, spell container is destroyed / must be destroyed to cast a spell;
  • If all checks are stat-based and xp points can be used for other activities, why bother to level up? It's simple - better use of artifacts and - which is much more important - better resistances;
  • List of all resistances: fire, cold, electrical, damage, poison, mind, death, magic, chaos;
  • About character classes - must think about them. Most likely there will be more classes than in DnD.
Probably I'll release the ruleset along with the Darkest Hour setting, in form of small PDF booklet. Probably bigger than Towers of Krshal but still not particularily huge ;)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Revenant

The world is grim and unforgiving. Humans built their civilization on the ruins of the Old Races. First Cities are slowly dying, ridden by corruption, decadence and forbidden arts. Consortium of the northern city-states is starting to invade the midlands. King of the city of Lythia went insane and started to sacrifice humans on the strange altar made of black stone.

Magic is dark and powerful. It require lengthy preparations and lots of sacrifices. Sometimes, human sacrifices. Mages are living on the edge of society - they are feared because of their capabilities - and because of their deeds. Magic is dangerous, both for its user and the potential target.

Gods can walk the earth. They say that most - if not all of them were once human beings. Or some of them belonged to the Old Races. And because gods can emerge out of the Dark, because they can manifest in the physical dimension, they can be killed.

The Dark. Twisted, psychotic reflection of the reality. Source of some forms of magic, home to numerous beings, sometimes (mostly in the First Cities) called demons. Realm of the dead. And you've been there. But you can't recall most of it. Luckily for you.

You were once dead person. You have died, most likely in very violent fashion. But something broke the bonds of Death and bring you back to this world. Reasons may vary - revenge, retribution, desperate need to finish your Magnum Opus. Or maybe you're just a mere tool in the hands of much more powerful entities...

I promised you in my "comeback post" that I will post more things about "some game", that was in developement for several years, probably from 2007 to 2012. This is a Part One, the rough sketch of some basic ideas about the game world - and the main role of the PCs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Stat-based dungeoncrawl (Part One)

Pic slightly unrelated but I just love this game!

As you probably noticed, I have tendencies to create lots of strange and twisted rulesets. Not particularily useful but still - I just love to do it! And maybe they are not as useless as I think ;) This time I think about yet another set of rules:
  • Stat checks as the most important aspect of the game. Stats used as base to hit, to defend (I still think about active defense during the combat - not very old school but reason is simple - my players want it so why not?), maybe even stats used as saving throws - or rather as a base for saving throws;
  • I'm not sure if the D&D-derived stats will be used. Maybe I will need more attributes to properly describe characters' abilities (or lack of). Remember lots of strange stats from Encounter Critical? Maybe it was a good idea, especially if stats will remain devoid any description (more ways to interprete things is always good);
  • This means that stat levels need to be increased during the character's level progression. Most likely initial stat levels will be determined randomly and their progression will be determined by character's class;
  • I don't know what about Hit Dice, Hit Points etc. Maybe this system will require total rework of the damage system. Just Save vs. Death sounds really nasty but may actually work... Must check it once I create some basic sketch of the rules;
  • What about the basic dice used for tests? I think I'll stick with d20. It's good, big and round :D
Will it work? I'm not sure. It will require lots of brainstorming but I just love to create such things. And even if not very useful, I will use it. Or die trying :D

Tell me what do you think about it. Maybe you have some ideas / advice?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Diamond Diceless on one sheet!

Nothing really new since I mentioned this mechanics for the first (and only) time, except some additional traits. Still, I do believe it should work! I hope that I'll test it soon.

Most likely I'll add some additional information in the future but right now I'm not sure what else can be done. Traits are pretty obvious but the interpretation of exact functions of things such as Low Magic, High Magic or Spirit-bound is up to you. Of course I have my own vision of these things but I'll explain it a bit later ;)

Full-size preview is required :)

I have a special offer for you...

As you probably noticed, I released the third volume of the Underworld Kingdom. It was the last volume before the ones containing setting. And all of them are now available on Lulu in both printed and PDF format. And now we'll talk about the PDFs.

I have a special offer for y'all. Or rather, three special offers.

If you want to grab Underworld Kingdom Volumes I-III, send me $5 via PayPal (preferably as family gift) and I'll send you the zipped PDF bundle to your PayPal email.

If you want to grab Underworld Kingdom Volumes I-III plus Towers of Krshal, send me $7,50 via PayPal (preferably as family gift) and I'll send you the zipped PDF bundle to your PayPal email.

If you want to receive Underworld Kingdom Volumes I-III plus Towers of Krshal plus Bandits and Battlecruisers, send me ten bucks via PayPal (preferably as family gift) and I'll send you the zipped PDF bundle to your PayPal email.

My PayPal email is necro_cyber[at]o2[dot]pl

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Perilous Ages progress report

It's been a while. But it's really good to be writing again. And it's really good to still remember what must be done, despite the fact that so many monts had passed since I touched this project for last time! Without further ado, here's what I managed to do:
  • Stat blocks for the NPCs are finally done. I removed two of them, namely the Caravan Guard and Caravan Master, as any soldiers / mercenaries may carry these functions. I've also added the Plague Doctor. Creating these stats was a real pain in the ass and I thought I'll never complete it. But today I sat down and just did it. It took me over three hours of continuous work to finish remaining 25+ blocks;
  • Started to work on some loot lists. Nothing really fascinating about this part but it's not as tedious as the previous one;
  • I've done some formatting of the text, as usually I do it during the writing process, not after it. I know it's not very good idea but I realized that it's the only way I can do it.
What is left to do, what bothers me now and what will be ignored:
  • 25 random tables? 25 pretty complicated random tables? I think it may be another wall on my way to complete the game;
  • Castle generator. I just noticed that entry at the end of the random tables file. Fuck, I have no idea how to make a random castle generator! But it's rather neat idea and I'll try to create it;
  • Despite the fact it's rather medieval setting, probably there will be no rules about the mass combat, such as huge battles, sieges etc. I don't have any idea how to create such rules. In my games, all big battles were played almost without any dice rolls. Just decisions of players and lots of thinking about all variables;
  • Booklet size. Initially I started to prepare the files to fit the A5 format (damn me, fucking European! ;) ) but probably I'll reformat it to fit the bigger A4. Why? It's really simple - it will be much easier for me to print it, bind and use during playtesting. Which is my last concern right now...
  • Yes, playtesting. I'm not sure if I'll find anyone to test this game. My gaming circle is totally shattered right now - I've run only one game this year and lost contact (or interest to contact) with most of my players. But probably I should be able to get at least two people to test the game with them. And it should be enough.
Pretty big wall of text about the potentially dull and unplayable game :D

Further reading: #1 #2

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Underworld Kingdom Volume Three is out now!

Untold Monstrosities and Eldritch Artifacts. Over 30 monsters, shitloads of magic items, several item-oriented random tables. It took me some time to do it but it's finally out. 

Here you can find link to Volume Two and here to Volume One (which is available for free).


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Coming Soon...

Today I realized that Volume Three is ready since Jan 2014. I have no idea how I managed to forget about it...

I'll try to re-read the contents of the booklet this week, tweak it, correct the grammar (of course within my limits) and release it via Lulu. Unfortunately, I still don't have tools to prepare my releases to fit the RPGNow requirements (unless something changed within the last year), so - for now - only BandB will be available via DTRPG / RPGNow.

Once again, Volume Three will contain:
  • 29 new monsters;
  • Prehistoric beasts stat blocks;
  • Info about the Lovecrafrian monsters inhabiting the Underworld Kingdom;
  • 6 nasty demons;
  • Options for Giant Slugs;
  • 26 new magic items;
  • Useless items;
  • Disturbing standards.
Moreover - I'm more than sure that I haven't included all items that were posted on this blog, so I'll try to add them as well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Melanda - first impression

According to the amount of information available in the internet, it's one of the most obscure and hard to get role-playing games, from the past. I bought it over one year ago and yeah, had no time to even read it. Now I finally managed to sit down and skim through the rulebook. Here are the very first impressions about it:
  • Character creation rules are really simple and pretty intuitive. Direct inspiration for Fudge is obvious;
  • Playable races are divided into two sub-groups - old races and new breeds. Older ones are: Baladel (virtually dwarves), Lyradel (wood elves), Gisadel (umm, jungle elves? they say that they are similar to Lyradel so I guess so) and Wandel (amphibian race). New breeds are humans (Omenwedur) and halflings (Uridos). In fact, it's written that old races are more related to each other than to the younger races;
  • Booklet has 64 pages. Bestiary consists of 30 pages. Many generic mythical creatures, many animals and many unique thingies. Had no time to read though the list. No generic "fantasy" races such as orcs, goblins and shit;
  • There is a player guide, added to the rulebook. In fact, it's just a sheet of crappy cardboard-ish paper, printed on both sides. Or maybe not that crappy, considering the fact that rulebook, along with the guide, survived 35 years...
  • Combat system looks atrocious. It seems that is really easy to die or be horribly mutilated. Probably nearly unplayable without major tweaks.
And some pictures of definitely crappy quality:

Player's guide. Pink cardboard. Fuck yeah!
Hit location chart. Looks like shit.
Runes. I have no idea how to use them...

Monday, September 28, 2015

30% discount on my Lulu prints

For some time, all my prints on Lulu, will be available 30% cheaper. Just to celebrate my comeback ;)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Back from the... ummm...

I... Live again...

It's been a while.

Can't promise anything but I'll try to be at least bit more active than during past, well, forever.

Lots of things happened, some good, some very very bad for me. But it's irrelevant. I must admit it - I'm just a lazy bastard :D Haven't played more than one game session during 2015. I think I lost my dedication to it. But some friends of mine are getting really annoying now - they want to game and I think it may be a good moment to get back to the hobby...

What is more important, there is one thing I must tell you. There is one project I never mentioned neither on this blog nor on Geeplus. We (me and my ex-girlfriend, who is a co-author) haven't touched it for years (I guess it was gathering dust since 2010) but the game was almost complete. We never created any coherent rulebook but we have literally hundreds of pages containing virtually every aspect of the game. And lately we came to a conclusion that it may be a good moment to revive the project. We've been playing three long campaigns in it and almost all players were enjoying the game, in terms of both game mechanics and game world.

Of course, as it wasn't my personal work, all things are written in Polish so it will take fuckloads of time to translate it. Also, we want to rewrite some things, probably even everything. And still it's not sure that we will succeed. But we will try.

It won't be an Old School game. It will be pretty modern, both in terms of gameplay model and game mechanics. But probably I'll post something about it here.

What about other projects? For example, Krshal? Underworld Kingdom? I have no fucking idea. Once again - can't promise anything. But I guess that one day I'll release some new shit. Or maybe even force myself to release my stuff other than BandB via RPGNow...

I'm not dead. At least, not yet ;)