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The Battle for the Dwarven Gubbins

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My daughter (11) and I, both fairly inexperienced with wargames, decided to try and run a session using One Page RulesAge of Fantasy: Skirmish.  As if to reenact the game's cover art, we opted to run humans (her) vs. ratfolk (me).


The two sides contested among the ruins, each seeking to lay claim to pieces of the lost Dwarven gubbins-technology.

I spent the week 3D printing a vast number of tokens (only a few of which ever got used) and a few pieces of terrain pieces (all of which saw play). Unfortunately, despite my hours of printing, the table was still a little sparse on terrain. So we added a bunch of clay pieces from kids early art projects and a couple other random items crowding our bookshelves.


Member of a ratfolk patrol manages to remain upright as comrades stumble around apparently falling-down drunk. Presumably the commander should've provided better basing for the troops.

We ran just the basic game, still learning the rules, but had a blast. Kiddo is now old enough…

The Hedge Lich

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Originally written in response to:

Can a PC be a Lich in D&D 5E?

An actual lich would be pretty powerful for a typical player character to be at lower levels. So, probably successfully becoming a lich would make one an NPC in most games.  Instead I suggest a compromise for those wanting to play a walking skeleton:

The Hedge Lich Sometimes wizards try to become a lich when they just aren't well studied enough to pull off the appropriate ritual. Other times a mage creates a ritual attempting to resurrect someone, a gift which only divine power can truly provide. Often the result is simply failure, but occasionally the caster creates a lesser form of free willed undead sometimes referred to as a "Hedge Lich".

The flesh of a hedge lich gradually rots away leaving only an animated skeleton. A hedge lich has the same ability scores they had in life as well as any classes, skills or proficiencies. However, they lose any racial abilities except those which are innate physica…

Necromancy: The Hallowed Science

Someone on Quora asked:
How would you make a goodly aligned necromancer in Dungeons and Dragons? This garnered responses from a lot of folks.

Options that came to my mind included:

The Good Doctor - A humanist medical researcher who feels that it is not ideal to trust gods and magical patrons for healing and support, since they may have motives not aligned with those of individual mortals. Only a reasoned approach to magic can be trusted. Unfortunately academic understanding of magical healing and revivification is still in its infancy, but research continues!A Gray Gift - A necromantic prodigy. You didn't ask for this talent, but you can just perfectly envision how the entropic and animating forces intertwine within flesh. Sometimes you wonder how something so easy is so difficult for most folks to understand. Others view your abilities as ghoulish and unpleasant. But the gods can't have given you this understanding in vain, surely there must 11be some way you were intended to…

SKROP: Standard Kobold Rules of Play

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Anne's been running us through some pretty great sessions using Arnold K.'s GLOG rules and Skerples Many Rats on Sticks variant.  And I'm really digging both the lightness of the system and the magic rules. But as much fun as it is, I can never leave well enough alone.

For one thing, no matter how much I love the old school DIY just cobble it together and make it work nature of games like this, I'll always miss the newer roll-high type systems.  So this, and a bunch of other little fussy preferences, are what gave rise to SKROP: the Standard Kobald Rules of Play.

SKROP v1 - PDF | DOCX

Just a little bit Numenous.

Shanna Germain's link to the short movie STRAND, recently got my interest in Numenera fired up again. Which led to a discussion of the game with Anne & Josh.

In the course of conversation it came up that, while interest was expressed in the world and setting, certain things about the Cypher system hadn't set right with some of us.  In the subsequent days, this led me review my own laundry list of issues with what, at first glance, seems like an elegant system, but on closer inspection seems a bit kludgy.
This in turn started the brainstorm as to how to fix things. Or at least patch them up while still making them compatible with published materials I enjoy:
Fewer Dice and Calculations - Dice rolling seems needlessly complicated (adjust difficulty with multiple factors, multiply result, then roll against?  I tried to fix this once in the old CY6HER post awhile back and took a page from that.  The d20 is removed and uses just a d6 for all rolls instead.Cyphers - I don't p…

Armor of Agnathans

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Armor of Agathys is a D&D 5th Edition spell. One of the few that is not open game licensed (OGL) under the system reference document (SRD).  This image is a rendering of what passes through my mind every time I read the spell name.  Agnathans include lampreys and hagfish.

Also now my profile pic.

Not these guys again

This was originally in response to the question:

What are some villainous factions for a D&D campaign?

Below you'll find just a bunch of well meaning folks who believe they're on the right side of history.

The Trans-Planar Liberation Front (a.k.a. “The Egg Breakers”)Slogan: Crack the shell and let all fly free!

The Trans-Planar Liberation Front has one goal: Break down the barriers which separate the prime material plane from all the others and set all those who live here free to wander among the planes as they will.

They view the mortal realms as a prison, or at best a creche where overprotective parents have kept their children cooped up too long. This isn’t how souls of sapient creatures were meant to live! Surely everyone longs for the wild lands beyond this existence.

If this was a personal goal of the members, things might be fine. But the TPLF view all mortals inhabiting the material plane as prisoners, even if they don’t realize it yet. So members seek to eliminate …