Friday, May 1, 2015

Partial Psionics Pamphlet

Interested in a simplified psychic rules for early edition D&D?

Based on the Swords & Wizardry rules, and drawing inspiration from Microlite20 magic system, it may not be the Complete Psionics Handbook, but its the:

This has actually been created for awhile, but never got around to posting it up before.

For completists, an older and simply more poorly edited version can be found here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Swords & Wizardry: Warlock Style

Standard spell slot casting never sat right with me: too little magic at low level, too much at high level.  And why fire and forget everything for the rest of the day?

After playing the D&D 5th Edition Warlock class a bit, the magic system there seems like a good start as to how to go about things:  Only a couple spell options during a crisis, but more ability to make other choices when things aren't going nuts.

This was what I had in mind while cobbling together the following hack:


Spell Availability
Casters from standard classes obtain spells through the normal means (books or divine inspiration), and may learn spells of spell level equal to 1/2 their character level (rounded up).

Spell Retention
However, keeping multiple spells prepared and "left hanging" at the same time, ready to cast at a moment's notice, is a precarious balancing act and demands a certain amount of constant attention to keep from screwing things up.  As a result, spell casters can only retain one spell prepared at a time at first level, plus a number of additional spells equal to their level/3 (rounded down).

Preparation Time
The time required to prepare a spell is 5 minutes per spell level.  Wandering monsters and other time constraining events should be checked for every cumulative 10 minutes of spell preparation in a dungeon or other hazardous environment.

Preparation time for each spell is reduced by 1 minute for every two Ability score ranks above 10  (minimum 1 minute to prepare a spell).  Low Ability scores similarly tack on extra minutes.

Ritual Casting
Spells can also be cast from a book (or clerical meditation) as rituals.  A ritual is simply a spell which is cast immediately at the end of its preparation.  Ritual casting does not require a spell slot.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Coarse Light System - A Microgame

I've been tinkering with something along these lines for awhile now, trying to put together a light universal RPG mechanic along the lines of get something like Seth Zaloudek's Folklore, but without dice pools, or borrowing from Michael Wolf's Warrior, Rogue & Mage, but more generic.  So when I noticed Kyrinn (of Urutsk fame) participating in David Schirduan's 200 Word RPG Challenge, it seemed the perfect time to give it a serious try.

The resulting Coarse Light System was cranked out in only a couple hours, though fiddling with the word count and formatting took a bit longer.

You can find the game here:

Coarse Light System

It could probably use a couple supplements to clarify some missing details and provide settings.  But if this is your thing, hope you have fun with it.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lithic Trove

In a recent G+ post, Eric Fabiaschi pointed out a few interesting things in a Lithic vein recently:

  1. The above picture.
  2. Random caveman mutations.
  3. OD&D Setting map and terrain description, much of which could be used directly for a dawn of humanity game.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Stele of Yig

Apparently St. Patrick was involved in the writing of Swords & Wizardry, since there seems to be a paucity of snakes in the product.  As Andy Vann pointed out this is sort of a problem when casting the Sticks to Snakes spell.

As a remedy to this oversight, please examine the inscriptions on the Stele of Yig.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sword +1!

Why do so many +1 magical swords exist:

Roll 1d8:
  1. They were much more powerful swords, but the enchantments have worn thin over the centuries.
  2. Many swords become enchanted through use or user.  A warrior of minor renown will eventually find her sword acquires +1 effectiveness.  A sword that has seen a hundred battles in a dozen hands might also become +1.  Greater bloodshed or a more legendary wielder can contribute higher bonuses.
  3. In the Elder Wars, 5000 years ago mage-smiths were stamping these things out like hot-cakes for the rank and file.  Things were different back then and the rapid sword-enchanting rituals of that age are now lost.
  4. Mages can temporarily enchant a weapon at +1, but every now and then the enchantment sticks and the sword stays +1 indefinitely.
  5. It's just the result of certain alchemical minerals infused in the coal or iron from which the sword was made.
  6. Weapons from the planes beyond, are often a physical extension of the creatures who wield them.  So the captured sword of a celestial or earth elemental warrior has some portion of his power residing in it.
  7. Perfect enchantments rarely work on the first try.  Not all failed weapon enchantments result in curses though.  Some just end up as lesser weapons, a few +1 swords are included in the high cost of most other magic weapon smithing.
  8. The flesh of some creatures, orcs for instance, exude oils in their sweat which gradually dirty and pit the blades they carry, while paradoxically giving them extra bight against the armor and flesh of others.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gimlet-Eyed Worm

No. Enc.: 1d2
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 1 (puncture)
Damage: 2d6
Save: F6
Morale: 4
Hoard Class: (special)
XP: 820

These large, 30' long worms adhere to the ceiling, and have natural camoflage to blend in to rock surfaces.  Their "head" consists of a large (500gp) diamond where a mouth would normally be, surrounded by a ring of a dozen or so piercingly intelligent eyes.  They will normally not be seen unless someone intentionally looks at the ceiling.

Their presence in dungeon environments, derives from the extreme boredom of their natural place in life (rending rock to make food with their oversized diamond).  They are there for the entertainment.  Watching.  Just watching, with a wry and piercing gaze.

Although they have no natural mode of speach, any method devised to speak with them reveals rapier-like wit and caustic sense of humor.  Although a gimlet-eyed worm will be perfectly happy to converse, adventurers have little to offer them when bargaining.  Occasionally one may make the deal that if the adventurers make an interesting go of the dungeon, the worm will tell them the location of another dungeon.

Gimlet-eyed worms normally avoid combat unless pressed.  If attacked the gimlet-eyed worm will attempt to puncture foes with it's diamond agar.  If it looks like it is losing, the worm will drop from the ceiling, crushing foes beneath.  Save vs. breath weapon or take 3d6 crushing damage.  Their tireless, disillusioned view of the world grants them immunity to all illusion and charm spells of 3rd level or lower.

The only treasure carried by a gimlet-eyed worm is it's diamond, worth 500-750gp.

The gimlet-eyed worm was statted for Labyrinth Lord based on an offhand comment made in Gus' ASE session.