I played around with a rules hack for White Box last week. I’m still playing around with it. No idea where I’m going to end up on it. Let’s see where my craziness takes me. But I started thinking about classes.
Sure you can have plenty of fun with the basic four classes. I’ve even advocated that you really don’t need a class for every possible variant of the basic four because that’s what they end up being. One of the basic classes plus some special other ability and sometimes they have some sort of limitation.
But it’s still nice to have a way to customized that a character just a little bit more without an overpowering or burdensome system. Right now, I’m running franken-game and it’s going pretty well. I’ve stitched together a whole bunch of stuff and I’ve kicked in a couple other ideas that crawled out of my head. So as I was thinking about extra classes and customization for a White Box game, I realized that I had the start of an idea in my own house rules. You want those extra little tricks or benefits. It will cost you. XP.
Right now, I’m using a simplified XP system. Characters get 3 to 5 XP per session. It’s quite arbitrary based on how much they got done, how much fun was had, how many challenges they faced, etc. It takes 15 XP to level up. But if you want something special it costs you 7 XP or about half a level. So why don’t players just stack up on special abilities? They lose those XP and it will take the character longer to level up and that means fewer HP.
Right now, I’m just kicking around ideas to throw into my White Box hack. I also need to come up some sort of cool name for it.
So what you do think?
I talked a little about my d30 Random Encounter charts last week. That d30 range provides me plenty of room for good, neutral, and dangerous encounters as well as just having nothing happen. I just roll on it each day to see if anything interesting happens. But I needed so more inspiration so I went digging through DrivethruRPG.
So yes. This is another “old” product that I’m ranting about. The full title is Twenty Encounters on a Haunted Road in the Carpathians of Old. And the title says what it is.
This little 8 page PDF isn’t just a 20 Monsters on a table. Nope. Most of the encounters could easily act as an adventure seed or a side quest. While it’s designed for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, don’t let that be a deterrent. Since actual game mechanics are minimal, it’s easy to convert any game mechanics on the fly to the rule set that you are using at the time. The overall tone is very much Hammer Horror ala Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. This is the sort of thing that I really like. Simple, useful, inspirational, and to the point.
This little PDF is a good buy at less than $1. And be sure to check out a bunch of more Gregoris21778’s small PDF’s. I’ll probably rant about a couple of more later but they are worth.
I’ve thought about trying my luck and putting up a few PDF’s on itch.io. And well. Now seems like a great time.
Maybe you’ve heard or may be you haven’t. There’s an OSR Jam happening on itch.io. So in case you don’t know what the heck itch.io is. Well, it’s a simple sales platform originally for computer games but it’s grown to include more stuff. You know like table top RPG stuff. That’s why you’re here, right?
So what the heck is an itch.io jam? Basically, a bunch of creators just start making stuff. We’re not talk huge projects. Small and simple things. And there’s usually some sort of theme. The one I’m talking about here is for OSR supplements. Not a game. Just some little supplement to support whatever OSR game you want.
So go ahead and check it out and follow along. Want to try your hand at making a little PDF. Go ahead. Join the fun. I’ve plenty of partially used notes cluttering up the old hard drive. It’s time to let some of that stuff out into the wild. So stayed tuned and see what I manage to cobble together. It’s real easy to create an account. Heck, even I managed to do it.
Let’s have some fun out there. You know roll the dice and kill the monsters.
Second session of what should become the infamous “Border Keep” campaign! I could also name this post, how are these guys still alive?
Real world bad luck hit two players, so we were down on headcount again. That left the group as two magic-users. Their current favorite tactic is cast sleep, rush in, and stab anything that’s asleep. See how long that one continues to work…
For some odd reason, they just don’t want to talk to a couple of NPC’s. Sure they want to run out and hunt bandits for the bounty but they still won’t talk to the guy who’s actually putting up the bounty. And listen to the rumors. Nope. I tried to be nice. They are first level. So if a rumor says, “Don’t go east. It’s dangerous over there.” Just maybe you should listen to it. At least, they did talk to one NPC in the Hungry Raven Tavern and (at least temporarily) a thief joined up.
Yes, they nearly got their clocks cleaned by a wandering gang of evil orcs. But they kept going east until they finally came across the Mutant Gnome Mine.
They didn’t question why a bunch of bugbears would be working as guards/mercenaries for a gang of gnome miners. Sure, they attacked with the murder sleep combo and decided to delve into the mine. Things got dicey. As in, they should have gotten killed a couple of times but when the DM rolls poorly then stuff happens. They ran across some caged up psycho-mutant gnomes and fought an Alchemist who should have burned them to a crisp but nope. They did find a stash of weird magical mutating drugs in the Alchemist’s Lab.
If this sounds kind of familiar, it should. I’ve taken a bunch of inspiration from Dungeon Craft’s Caves of Carnage.
Of course, other stuff happened too but that’s kind of the highlights. Fun times and hopefully, the other players will be able to attend. As far as any special game mechanics thoughts? Well, I did decided not to do the “milestone” method. It’s time to earn some XP. Why? Just as a simple way of rewarding attendance. Sure, I know life can get in the way but those do attend should get a little more. And progression will be slower in this one. Two sessions and the best is two PC’s half way to 2nd level.
Stay tuned for more fun!
The Great Franken Game began this weekend. Sure there were some setbacks but we worked through it and even had some time to throw some dice and get into trouble.
Our first problem was the damned weather. When you get ice and snow in Texas, bad things happen. What that meant was two of the four players had to make up work from earlier in the week. One thing that I did tell the players and myself is that the game will go on. And it did. This also illustrates why I opted not to use the now famous “milestone” leveling up method. We’re going with XP. Can’t make it. Sorry. You’ll just be a little behind the other player characters.
Next up. We had to deal with Kanka. This is what I’m using for campaign notes and ideas and for a place for the players to back up their characters. I had all the templates created before and did some screen sharing in Discord to help them get it set up. Sure there were hiccups but it should be valuable in the long run.
So what did the party end up looking like? Well, I know that the players who couldn’t attend are planning on a Druid and Cleric. For the pair that made it. We’ve got a Magic-User (Witch), based on the Witch Class from Cursed Scroll Zine. And a Magic-User (Warlock). For this I’m not basing Warlocks on the 5E variety rather on those from Hyperborea. That is to say masters of Sword and Spell (once they get a few levels under their belt). So all spell casters. No Fighter. No real rogue. But I am offering the players to roll on the Benisons & Dooms tables from DCC Lankhmar and the Witch got a Criminal Background so there’s some thief-type skills available.
So how did our session go playwise? Our two mages decide to wander into the spooky woods and try to make a few gold collecting on that bounty on bandits. I guess they did have a solid plan. Cast sleep. Run in and club the bandits into unconsciousness and tie them up. But they ended up wandering in the wrong direction. They did run into a few gnolls. They did survive and use their basic plan in combat except for the pair of gnolls who weren’t slept. So that meant things got really touch and go. But they prevailed in the end.
It did go well over all. Nothing seemed to go wrong with all the wonky game mechanics that I stitched together. The players had blasted and even complimented it at the end. So that’s the first update. And there will be more to come as the party gets into more trouble and more of the crazy YARC ideas get bounced off players.
And crazy quote of the session, “Did you just put human poop in your pocket?”