Episode 7: Steve The Paladin & Another Difference in Old-School Games

Let me tell about how much luck that Steve the Paladin had in our last session, and yet another thing that’s different between old and new games. Plus some call-ins and shout outs.
You can stream the episode here or subscribe on most podcast services.

Big Shout Outs to The Dice Roll Zine Issue No 3 Kickstarter
Thanks to Gothridge Manor and Chgowiz for their call ins.
And I’ve updated the Tiers and Goals on the Patreon. Check it out!

Skills Revisited

The Swords & Wizardry game is going well and as you may remember I did a whole home brewed skill system. But when the dice met the table, I wasn’t that happy with it. The characters just felt too incompetent at low level. The math seemed to work but like I said I wasn’t totally happy with it. So I brainstormed a little more and came up with a little tweak to it. And you know I love tweaking rules.
The system remains basically unchanged. See the Attack Save Cheat Sheet. The only differences are how the skills bonuses are figured and reduce the Skill “Save” by two.
NOTE: What I’ve been doing for monsters and NPC’s is that if it was “good” at something then there’s advantage on the roll, if they were “bad” at then disadvantage. You know like 5E. Remember, one of the axioms of old-school gaming. Monsters and NPC’s don’t have to follow the same rules as player characters. So for the player characters:

Skills
Appeal (CON & CHA): Seduction, Dancing, Performance.
Athletics (STR & DEX): Climbing, Jumping, Acrobatics, Swimming, Grappling.
Banter (INT & CHA): Fast talking, Haggling, Diplomacy.
Healing (WIS & DEX): Treating Wounds, Diagnosis.
Instinct (WIS & CHA): Detecting Secret Doors, Avoiding Surprise, Searching, Detecting Lies.
Tinker (INT & DEX): Building Things, Locks & Traps, Anything Mechanical
Skullduggery (DEX & CHA): Picking pockets, Disguise, Deception, Sleight of Hand
Stealth (DEX): Moving Quietly, Hiding, Blending Into The Crowd.
Survival (CON & WIS): Tracking. Foraging
Wits (INT & WIS): General knowledge, Education, Lore

A character gains +1 to the starting score if either of the linked Attributes below are above 13. The starting score is further modified by Race and class as below (This part has remained basically unchanged):

Class Bonuses:
Assassin: +2 to three of the following Appeal, Athletics, Banter, Instinct, Skullduggery, Stealth, Tinker. +2 to any skill check involving poison.*
Cleric: +1 Wits or Healing
Druid: +1 to any skill check involving Nature if WIS above 13.*
Fighter: +1 to two of the following: Athletics, Survival, or Instinct.
Magic-User: +2 to any skill roll related to magic and arcane lore.*
Monk: +1 to Athletics, Instinct, and Stealth.
Paladin: +2 Bonus to any skill check pertaining to Demons and Undead.*
Ranger: +2 Instinct or Survival, gain +1 in the other. Also, +1 to Athletics and Stealth.
Thief: +3 to three of the following: Athletics, Banter, Instinct, Skullduggery, Stealth, or Tinker. +1 to the others.

Racial Bonuses (Yes, I’m using more races in home game but this gets you started):
All player characters gain +1 to skills of choice.
Humans: +1 to three skills of choice.
Elf: +1 Wits or Instinct.
Dwarf: +2 to any skill roll involving Stonework.*
Half-Elf: +1 Allure or Banter.
Half-Orc: +1 Athletics or Survival.

*These are not bonuses to a specific skill, only a bonus to a skill under the right conditions.

Skill Checks:
Roll a d20 add the skill modifier.

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Swords & Wizardry with Finesse

If you’ve kept up with the blog the you know that I’m running the Blight with Swords & Wizardry. Now most of my players only have experience playing Fifth Edition so when they saw there’s no equivalent to finesse weapons,, they questioned it. Of course, this got me thinking. Well, why not? I’ve imagined the quick swashbuckler vs the heavily armored in my own character concepts. This lead me to do a little thinking and come up with house rules for it.
First let’s talk about the bonus. Basically, use the Strength chart but use the character’s Dexterity score to figure out the modifier. Here’s a quick break down if your book isn’t handy.

3-4: -2 To Hit, -1 Damage
5-6: -1 To Hit, +0 Damage
7-12: +0 To Hit and Damage
13-15: +1 To Hit, +0 Damage
16: +1 To Hit and Damage
17: +2 To Hit and Damage
18: +2 To Hit, +3 Damage

But there’s a couple limitations. Just like Strength the bonuses are capped at +1 for non-fighters. Second, a character can only rely on finesse if they are wearing leather or lighter armor. I just can imagine a character in plate armor fighting like that.
What weapons can be used with finesse?
For right now, I’m limiting it to dagger (1d4) and rapier (1d6+1). I know rapier isn’t in the book. So I just added it. I decided to put it between a short and long sword as far as damage goes.
Like so many of rants, this is the bleeding alpha version. I’ll let you know better once the dice hit the table. Remember. Roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun.

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Playing It Wrong: Pet Peeves, Cool Kickstarters & The Dumbest Thing Ever In D&D

It’s Episode 6 and in this episode, I go on a rant about a couple of things. So if you’re publisher on Drivethru. Please categorize your products accordingly. It’s annoying. And here’s another gaming confession. I dislike crafting when the PC’s just sit around and make stuff, and domain play where they spend more time being bureaucrats then adventurers. Also, a long rant about the dumbest thing in Supplement 2: Black Moor.
And some shout outs to some cool Kickstarters.
Swords & Wizardry Boxed Set
Hunters in Death
The Phylactery

You can listen to the podcast right here or subscribe on most platforms.

Roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun!

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It’s Time For the Swords & Wizardry Rant

The Swords & Wizardry Kickstarter is going strong. I like that and I like the game. It was a no brainer to do this video. Yes, I’ve had the idea for quite a while but the Kickstarter for the boxed set made it the perfect time to do it.

Check out the Swords & Wizardry Boxed Set Kickstarter. It runs to March 4, 2020

You still want to learn more about Swords & Wizardry? Well, just hang on. Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day is making a big comeback. It’ll run February 28 to March 1 and be hosted on Tenkar’s Tavern. So stay tuned for that.

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Roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun!

Bill Webb’s Deck of Dirty Tricks


I backed the Indiegogo campaign and I’m glad I did. The Indiegogo had the option for all three decks and right now I can only find what I believe is Volume 1 on the Frog God site. But as you can see, there were three decks. A generic one. One geared for dungeons. And one for wilderness.
So what exactly are these decks? Well, each card has a little bonus or perk for a character. Bonuses, do-overs, confusing an opponent and so on. If you’re familiar with the Savage Worlds Adventure Deck or the Pathfinder Plot Twist Deck then the Dirty Tricks deck is basically the same thing. And yes I have both of those.
The Savage Worlds Deck is perfect for Savage Worlds. And the Pathfinder Deck is great for Pathfinder and 3.x. So if you playing Fifth Edition, or any retroclone then well those decks don’t exactly work. Savage Worlds is a completely different game system (duh). And well Pathfinder is Pathfinder. There’s enough similarity between most retroclones and 5E that the decks will work. So they are pretty edition neutral. Oh and there’s some pretty funny quotes on them too.

Now let’s look at a couple of cards:
Jump Back Kiss Myself: Re-roll a failed Saving Throw
It’s Only A Flesh Wound: Take only half damage
I Know Something You Don’t Know..I Am Left Handed: +2 To-Hit and Damage for 3 Rounds
You’re Going To Shoot Your Eye Out: Missile attack blinds opponent for 2 Rounds.

You get the idea. And what are the rules for using these cards? There are none. It’s up to the GM to decide how they are used at the table. Maybe every player gets a card. Or they only get a card if they do something cool. Or roll a Nat 20. Do NPC get cards? That’s up to the GM too. And that’s when they become real Decks of Dirty Tricks. Personally, I’m still bouncing around ideas how exactly I want to use them. Maybe like I mentioned before. A card for every player at the beginning of a session and then an extra card if they do something cool. And I’ll probably think pull a few for NPC use. Insert evil snicker.
These cards add other layer of randomness that can happen during an adventure. While it put strain on the GM’s well thought plot, it will drive stories into completely different directions. And I think it’s good think. I kind of like when the game reaches out to both the players and GM and throws some crazy out there. You know sort of some of the craziness of Dungeon Crawl Classics.
Heck match these up with the Hireling, Encounter, and Treasure Cards, you can have a crazy session with little prep (but a whole lot of improvisation).

Episode 5: Kickstarters, The Old West, and Blackmoor

Lots going on this week:
Coming Soon! The Kickstarter for the new Swords & Wizardry Boxed Set from Frog God Games. I’m excited. More news on that when it launches.
A recap of The Blight campaign. Say hello to Steve the Half Orc Paladin who is dumb as rock. And you’ll never guess what the Druid befriended.
I’m back to thinking about old West gaming, thanks to Mark Hunt’s Tall Tales and the podcast Ain’t Slayed Nobody.
And I start reading from Supplement 2: Blackmoor. Hello, Monks and Assassins.
You can subscribe on most podcast platforms or heck you can stream it right here.

Like this post or others? Then check out the They Might Be Gazebos Patreon.

Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!

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