There’s literally nothing wrong with the B/X elf but I’m going to fix it anyway because I’m bored. Elves are pure and undying. The world is decaying, and the treasure of ancient dungeons is your birthright. At least, that’s what they all say in the elven taverns. Elves combine the abilities of Magic Users and Fighters, able to cast spells in armor and use any weapon. Elves definitely start with 1 spell and never get extra attacks. Elf facts: All elves must roll on this table to get a matched Feat, Modifier, and bonus starting gear. D6 Feat Modifier Free … Continue reading Quirky Elves
In B/X, Polearms, Two-handed Swords, and fucking Staffs are SLOW and their users always go last. In my crusade agianst the B/X balance paradigm I do not enforce slowness for those weapons. As far as I’m concerned, there is only one SLOW weapon type. The Stupidly Big Weapon COST 100, WEIGHT 500, DAMAGE 1D12 | 2 HANDED, ALWAYS GOES LAST, MELEE, CAN BE BLUNT, POWER ATTACK The shape of a stupidly big weapon is unimportant except for personal preference. You’re waving around a 50 pound slab of metal or stone. This is the only weapon with a d12 hit die. … Continue reading THE STUPIDLY BIG WEAPON + POWER ATTACKS
I do have an education in IT but those actually aren’t worth as much as you might think. You can trust me a little more than the average pulp scifi writer, but no further. Actually don’t trust anything that doesn’t have citations you’ve read and understood. Actually don’t believe anything you read. I’ve been thinking about those computers, for a scifi project that might not get off the drawing board. Current “AIs” are toys only fit for goofing around and learning about computer science. Maybe the ones big tech uses to violate everyone’s privacy and make them addicted to social … Continue reading Three Possible Futures of AI
The most powerful feature of a tabletop RPG is the Game Master. A human referee can adjudicate better than anything else that hobbyist gamers can ever realistically have access to. Simply copying design patterns from card games, board games, and video games without that in mind sells humans short. A game mechanic can be like a Key. A key is a thing that interfaces with something specific. I’ve seen people grip keys as the world’s worst self defense tool or use them to open boxes, but they’re shitty for those purposes. Game mechanics that interface with something specific are fine, … Continue reading Keys and Tools: Two Types of Game Mechanic.
The clothing you wear matters. It is symbolic of your rank, power, and prestige. Fancy clothes also grant you saves against certain saving throws when you’re unarmored, in addition to your increased movement rate. Yes, you should have an outfit for every occasion. You don’t get the bonus unless you describe your fit. A set of fancy clothes costs about d6 x d6 x 10 gp. Roll after picking a color, material, and style and if you don’t like the price you’ll have to try another settlement. Outfits outside the given colors, materials, and styles should just be matched to … Continue reading Unarmored Save Bonus for fancy clothes
The Gygaxian Model of the Planes The OSR is an orthodoxish movement. We look to the past and say that new stuff isn’t for us. But actually, after moving away from the nuschool D&D I found less setting baggage and more freedom for what kind of settings I can actually make. Less so with AD&D but in B/X or OD&D I can say that something doesn’t exist or works a different way without even contradicting the rulebook I’m actually using. And in general the OSR has a DIY friendly atmosphere. So I’m happy to tinker with the classic AD&D cosmology. … Continue reading The Gygaxian Model of the Planes
The greatest collaboration in the DIY OSR scene, the big middle finger to layout snobs, a raspberry at people who think 5 room dungeons are hot shit, a labor of love and loathing, the No Artpunk II is live on Itch.io and I am one of the lucky contributors. It’s bigger, better, and hopefully more controversial than the last one. Download it, read it, drop some of the adventures in your west marches campaign. Unless you’re too chicken? And the first comments I’ve seen in the wild (since I’m an internet addict and stuff) include words like Cringe, or Ick. … Continue reading No-Artpunk II has launched! + Why I wrote Slumbering God
The DISPLACER BEAST is one of the few monsters that you can’t write about when using the OGL. It’s brand identity. However, the beast was stolen from the story THE BLACK DESTROYER by A. E. VAN VOGT. He wrote a science fiction story but accidentally didn’t write it with prose as dry as a sawdust biscuit and he forgot to go on chapter long tangents about hyperdrives, so ultimately the story was a disgrace to his entire community. In a wasteland of black stone under ancient gothic cities that were destroyed in apocalyptic resource wars there is a Coeurl and … Continue reading Classic Monster anyalysis: The DISPLACER BEAST (FUCK YOUR PRODUCT IDENTITY!)
The three pillars of Dungeons and Dragons are Exploration, Socialization, and Combat. In theory, a campaign should give equal and thrilling attention to all three. In practice, an equal balance is too artificial and a designer should just make sure they’re all present. In practice, certain game designers fail at giving every pillar proper attention. And maybe these pillars needed overhauled anyway. This post is not about the three pillars. I’m pretty sure they were an entirely nuskool thing and they suck anyway, compared to what I have now. Forget what you know. I relabeled the model, and it is … Continue reading Topple the Pillars! 3 Obelisks of OSR.
Worldbuilding fun: I have used this same world in four previous campaigns, but not in the same time and place. I’ve never explored central Quao that well, but I do have a lot to build on or just copy over from old composition books. So if this seems high effort yet disjointed, that’s because it’s mostly a few years of half-assed ideas I stapled together. The World there are five continents. Among them are Illicidon, a southern continent: land of giants and the iron city. Quao, land of empires and collapse. And Chriosis, home of dragons, and the wide pit … Continue reading GYGAX 75: WEEK 5 – The Continent