All posts by Chuck

I've been a gamer, a geek and nerd for about 30 years. Any questions?

White Box Wednesday: Fighters

I figured I’d start looking at White Box classes a little closer and just maybe share and extra idea or two along the way. I think there’s no better place to start than The Fighter.

Let’s face it The Fighter does take a lot of crap for being an uncool class. You don’t get spells or any neat abilities. The Fighter can use any weapon and wear any armor. They have best HP and Attack progression and an average Saving Throw. They can plow through a mob of less than 1 HD monsters. That’s it. At first glance, any way.

There are no cool maneuvers, abilities, or feats. There’s that old saying about the difference between newer and older games, “The answer isn’t on your character sheet.” I’ll throw a little addition out there. You don’t need your character sheet’s permission to try something. So you want to try that maneuvers or tricks or whatever. Just ask the GM and probably something will be made up on the spot. That’s the easy part.

Previously, I’ve thrown out lots of ideas on “improving” The Fighter. See. I’m guilty too. But I wanted to throw another idea out there that’s even simpler. Whenever a Fighter gains +1 to their Attack Bonus they may opt to take a +1 modifier to their Armor Class or Damage instead. Simple and to the point.

And what about the Ranger, Barbarian, and all those other fighter subclasses. Well, those are out there and available so I’ll probably cover those later. But for now, if you want to just use the core book classes my personal suggestion would be to grab up the Skill system from Lamentations of the Flame Princess and make a few little modifications to it to suit your campaign.

Fighters are very much about what the player makes of them. There’s no extra rules and stuff like that. Sure playing a Fighter could each session into nothing more than “I roll to attack.” For old school games, especially White Box, it’s really up to the player to add that flavor to the character not the rule book.

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Lamentations of the Flame Princess Re-Redux

I stayed away from LotFP for a long time. I was annoyed by the whole Ref Book things and there were a few things that I just didn’t like. But I kept going to back the system and adventures and saying to myself, “Damn, that’s neat.” So I guess this was inevitable.

The old school scene has changed greatly since the fall of G+. Folks scattered to various platforms. All sorts of little communities popped up and IMHO there’s been a lot of gatekeeping and a whole bunch of name calling. Old School Essentials is the go to game for lots of folks. Personally, I like it but mainly as a reference book. It’s really well organized and I still have hard copies from in the days when it was known as BX Essentials. But LotFP has stayed there and bounced around inside my head as great game to bring to the table.

I’ll be honest. I do favor the earlier adventures. I’m not all into the nega-dungeons or the wild and crazy stuff that was made later. My personal take on LotFP is to put it as a weird mix of Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith with a heavy dose of Hammer Horror.

I know this take isn’t how most folks currently embrace LotFP. But here’s why I’m heading back to it. My guess is that the current bevy of fans won’t care. Most the LotFP chatter that I’ve been watching has been in the Facebook Group and I don’t see all the “You’re playing it wrong!” dribble that you see in so many places. I feel it’s the kind of place where I can mess around with the game and the vast majority of fans won’t dive a damn.

On the flip side, I know there are a lot of people out there that just hate LotFP and any body who has anything to do with it or even likes it. So in a simple way it can act as a bit of a litmus test. If somebody loses their shit over which game I like then well too bad and it can serve as a bit of a red flag based on how somebody reacts at even the idea of daring like one of those “wrong” games or people.

So if you’re still reading then you might have already guessed something else. This my end of year navel gazing post. I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do and/or rant about next year. And this is my first stop. So yep. You’re going to see more LotFP posts probably and I might actually just get something published again.

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White Box Wednesday: Zombie Turkducken

Time for those holiday monsters. So here you go for your White Box games. It’s the Zombie Turkducken.

The bizarre product of mad necromancer/chef. The Zombie Turkducken haunts many a forbidden holiday gathering. A strange creatures the players will have to “kill” three times.

Zombie Turducken

AC: 3[16]

HD: 6

Attacks: +6 1d6+2

Save: 13

Special: Undead, Half damage from non-magical weapons. When reduced to 0 HP, comes back again next round as a Zombie Ducken.

Zombie Ducken

AC: 4[15]

HD: 3

Attacks: +3, 1d6+1

Save: 16

Special: Undead, Need +1 or better weapon to hit. When reduced to 0 HP, comes back as a Zombie Chicken next round.

Zombie Chicken

AC: 7[12]

HD: 2+2

Attacks: +1, d16

Save: 18

Special: Undead, Need +2 or better weapon to hit. Will this thing just die?

So there you go. A fun little creature to throw at your players. And just have fun with.

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Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

People Skills Vs Social Skills

Ok, yeah. I know. This topic has been probably beaten to death. But I feel like taking another swing at it and throwing a couple of ideas out into the ether. Generally, when you start talking about social skills in RPG’ there are two camps. One, you must role play it out. And the other, just roll.

I’m a weirdo. I sort of fall some where in the middle. I want the player to role play it out and well say the things that the character is saying. If it’s creative enough or right no the spot then there isn’t a need to roll or they get a bonus. And sure there are times when they roll but it’s not just “I roll Persuasion.” They still have to do something. Yes, player skill. The roll and the character skill come in for those things that are hard to simulate at the table. Whether it be body language, intonation, timing, or possibly even eye contact.

And let’s face it. Gamers have reputation of not having the best people skills. Heck, you can see in that most online RPG Groups. But what about that low Charisma player with a high Charisma character. Well, those same ideas above still apply. Sure the way the player says it, it sounds don’t right creepy but the character may be a smooth talker. I view it as way to strike that happy medium between player skills and abilities and character skills and abilities.

This isn’t a super crunchy rules because it can basically work with any game system. But a down side may be what if the GM is totally lacking in people skills? Yeah, there’s a chance for that too. But if the GM lacks those skills then chances are the gaming group is going to have bigger problems than how to run social encounters.

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And take the time to check out the video. A pretty fun song.