Yes, I backed that Kickstarter because Pirates! But since I’m backer that means I just got the beta pdf in my grubby little hands.
OK, the game mechanics are pretty much straight forward Mork Borg. I know some folks aren’t that keen on it mainly because of the crazy layout. Since this is the beta and there’s still much that will be changed, I won’t go too much into that. But there probably will be a bit of that insane layout at least.
The default setting for Pirate Borg is the Dark Caribbean. It’s an interesting mixture of undead, mythos, and good old pirate mayhem. Like I said, this is an early beta release, so I’m just going to mention a few of the coolest things that I noticed and liked.
The game doesn’t take itself too seriously. I love that! You’ve got two optional classes. The Haunted Soul and the Tall Tale. The Haunted Soul basically you start off as undead or otherwise corrupted. But the fun one is the Tall Tale. Roll randomly to see what you are. And it’s pretty wild. Everything from a Merfolk to a magical chicken. Yes. A magical chicken. This fun continues in the monster section with Necro-Swine and Three Headed Monkeys. Hey, it’s fun. Get over it. And have a laugh.
Also, there’s a good and easy naval combat system. Because you can’t have pirates without some naval combat. And, of course, tons of system neutral inspirational random tables. Both of these could easily be used if happen to have a different favorite old-school system. If you want a more detail breakdown, you can head over and see what Ben at Questing Beast had to say.
So what am I going to do with it? Well, I do want to run it but I’ll pitch it to my players and let them decide if we want use as is or have me adapt to a system that they are more accustomed to. So I stay tuned in for a much later post on that.
The good news is that if you’re still interested but happened to miss the Kickstarter then you’re still in luck. You can still (as of this writing) head over to the Kickstarter and pre-order.
Ah yes. Another crafting post. I’m having fun doing this stuff and it’s quite relaxing. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up this little gem at the local Dollar Tree.
When I saw this, I thought, “Heck, I could make a decent bridge or two out this.” Now, not only am I cheap. I’m a bit lazy as well. So the first step was to break the good old Dremel with a cutoff wheel and split this bad boy. Then I trimmed off the any excess. Now, here’s where I get lazy. It’s already wood so I decided not to paint it. I went straight for the Minwax American Walnut Polyurethane. Three coats of that. Then hit it with Minwax Matte Polycyrlic. And here you go.
But wait there’s more! First, there’s my water under the bridge. Long time readers will remember cork Dungeon Tiles. I still had a bunch left and decided to do a little experiment. Since it’s thinner than the XPS, I could paint to look like water (in this case), lava, or even a river of slime. Part of being cheap is that nothing goes to waste. Then there’s the water elemental. I don’t care that the package said fire elemental. I did my own thing.
White Box gaming is great. It’s easy, simple, but still covers the bases and is flexible. I know some folks hate skills. I kind of like them but in moderation. Just enough skills to cover the most common of situations but not a skill for every danged possible thing.
God knows that I’ve done my own share of hacks on White Box and the good old X in d6 system. It works. It’s easy. And keeps with the vibe of White Box Gaming. And like I said, I don’t want a lot of skills. Most actions can be resolved with simple Attribute checks.
First let’s look at what skills that are really needed and/or used. There’s two main classes that have their sort of niche skills. There’s the core Thief with their suite of skills. And the Ranger for the tracking and survival. But let’s face it there a couple of things with those two classes that every character might want or need to do.
Stealth is big one. Just about every character regardless of class will at some time want or need to sneak up or passed something or someone. It’s the same for foraging for food in the wilderness. The other thing is Professional skills. These things might not have a direct effect often but they do come in handy when the needs arises.
The main problem I’ve had running this with just Attribute checks is that low levels a character’s Attribute check might actually be better than their actual class “skill”. So where does that leave us? At first, we might want to divest Skills from Attributes but the Attributes represent a characters base aptitude.
So how am I going to build this system? First, let’s start with x in d6 Attribute checks. Since White Box has a modifier range of -1 to +1, let’s run with that: -1=1 in 6; 0=2 in 6; +1=3 ind 6. Now just right down on your character what the character is “good” at or possibly a background. When some falls into that category then they get a +1. If it’s something that falls under their class skills then just use the better.
This ain’t all. While the X in d6 is sort of the standard for White Box. There’s no reason not to use an alternate system. This first that comes to mind is Saves as Skills. Pretty simple. Just use the Saving Throw. Thieves, well, they get +2 to do Thief stuff. The Save will improve as the character levels so there’s no need to worry about anything else. Want to throw in those Attribute modifiers. No problem. Just go ahead and do it.
I know this isn’t completely fleshed out. My goal here is to get you thinking out there. My hacking those rules just a bit to fit your tastes. Or thinking of different ways to have fun in your game. And that’s the most important part. Having fun.
It’s weird to review a free one-page dungeon but this one is worth it. So yeah. It’s going to be a short review too.
Let’s get the mechanical bits out of the way. It’s a generic old-school. It isn’t for any specific edition or game rules. Monsters are just AC, Bonus, Damage, and anything special. Other mechanical bits are just what they say. Read it then let it happen.
Now here’s where more adventures should take notice. Bullet points. Quick and simple random tables. No huge blocks of text. Just what you need. I think this little review might end up being more words than the actual adventure.
I make a lot of analogies with food and RPG’s. This one has been sitting there in the back of my mind for a while. So, I might as well rant.
Some like pineapple on their pizza. Some don’t. Some think it’s a total abomination. If you go to your favorite pizza place and they tell that all of their pizzas have pineapple and if you don’t like it then you can pick it off when you get home. Or they tell that they won’t put pineapple on any pizzas. What would think about that place? If you’re ordering or even sitting down to eat your pizza, and a stranger walks up to you and yells at you, calling you names, and generally being a jerk just because there’s pineapple or no pineapple on your pizza. If you’re allergic to pineapple. Should you demand that no one else have pineapple on their pizza. If you like pineapple, should you demand that everyone have pineapple on their pizza.
And this is what turns so many RPG groups/forums/communities into cesspools. It boils down to people and even publishers screaming about what someone else has on their pizza.
I know what some folks might say. But about people who say or do bad things. That’s why I said putting pineapple on a pizza and not rat poison. Now, if you can’t distinguish between what’s pineapple and what’s rat poison then there’s very little that I can do for you with a simple blog post.