Category Archives: News, Rants & Reviews

White Box Wednesday: White Box Gothic and Sabres & Witchery

I just had to mention these two at the same time since they are kissing cousins and you can easily throw them into your GM blender and hack together a game base on what you want.

Let’s talk about White Box Gothic first. First, it’s a supplement to tack onto whichever White Box rules that you happen to like. We’ve got new classes. The Monster Hunter: Not a Ranger. More along Solomon Kane and Van Helsing. Good at fighting against a specific type of supernatural monster. The Metaphysician: You know forbidden lore, languages, and you can copy magic-user and cleric spells into your Academic Journal. So they cast both. Plus Turn Undead. The Spiritualist: An interesting class. You can turn some types of undead. Use your contact with spirits to get spell-like effects (if it doesn’t kill you). And detect undead. The Wanderer: A sort of Jack of All Trades. Both handy, resourceful, and luck.

Then we get into “racial” Classes. I’m not fond of these. The Dhampir (almost a vampire) and Reanimated. They’re just too close to being monsters. Buy hey! Everything is optional. Do what you want.

Next up, we’ve got some special rules for Corruption which eventually leads a character into insanity or making them an inhuman monster. It uses a simple Save system as the characters falls into the abyss. Then Dread is a mechanic for evening up the power of big bads. It’s still a fantasy game with all the extras. This makes them even more nasty. So that’s a good thing.

Rounding out the book, you’ve got a whole section on Curses, new spells and magic items and of course monsters. All in all, it’s a good addition to your White Box library.

Sabres & Witchery is very similar. It however does use a broader attribute modifier range (-3 to +3) and it’s a whole game. So it’s got your base classes: Fighter, Scoundrel (Thief), Woodsman (sort of a Ranger). Then there’s the Magus which is sort of a cleric/magic-user hybrid and very close to the Metaphysician. Then the Hunter which is similar to the Monster Hunter from White Box Gothic. It’s rounded out with equipment, spells, monsters, and rules of play.

Like I said at the beginning, these two are very close and there’s plenty of inspiration for cross pollination. It’s chocolate and peanut butter time. Make the game you want to play/run. And have fun out there. You can grab up White Box Gothic on DrivethruRPG. You can get Sabres & Witchery for free over at Beyond Belief Games’ website.

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Random Character Generation. Why Not Random Character Progression?

Let’s face it. Random character generation ruffles some folks feathers. Well, what about random character progression? Think about that one.

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I know there are more examples than I remember. So yeah. I’ll forgot a game. The first time that I remember the idea actually stuck with me was from Jame Raggi’s Green Devil Face No. 5. Just a simple set of class-based charts of what your character gets when they level up. More recently, the idea has resurfaced from the depths of brain with Shadow Dark. Once again, random tables based your class. And the newest thing that’s dug its way into brain like some sort worm, Index Card RPG where it’s random loot that powers up your character.

So why do I think this is a cool idea? Back in the day of playing 3rd Edition/Pathfinder, I really got tired of the idea of character builds and min maxing your build. Sure you technically could take whatever Feats or Features you wanted but you’d just screw yourself over. So personally, I found it annoying and not that much fun. However, something random just seems more interesting to me. It’s more of challenge for the times where you might not get the best ability to match your vision of the character. Adapt. And maybe the dice would just screw you over. It’s just like living with bad stats. Building those random tables isn’t that easy either. It may seem so on the surface but they do have to a bit balance and fairness.

I know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. I got that. But you know, I’m thinking that there’s some secret sauce in there just might be fun to play around with. Food thought. And maybe some weird ideas on the horizon.

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Sending Stone Virtual Table Top

I like searching the odd and out of the way. I like supporting small independent folks too. And that’s why occasionally I go surfing for an odd VTT now and then. I stumbled upon Sending Stone this time.

Sure, I do use Owlbear Rodeo but in case something goes wrong then I like to have a back up. That’s some what simple. I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Sending Stone gives you what you need. You have a simple VTT set up very similar to Owlbear Rodeo and die roller. But It also throws in text and voice/video chat. Now, there is a bit of catch. For everybody to be on video, you need to pay up. But they did some thing different, it’s not a monthly or a yearly subscription. Instead, it’s $3 for an 8 hour session. So if you don’t play for a month then it doesn’t cost anything. It’s an interesting business model.

This doesn’t mean that there’s something that I do find kind of annoying. You can put video filters on. Hey I look like an elf! I know my players some are going to play around with that way too much. But that’s just my little corner of the universe.

Any way, Sending Stone is another one of those easy and potentially inexpensive virtual table tops that are out there that are worth a couple of minutes to check out.

White Box Wednesday: Magic, Mayhem & Murder

This one has bouncing around my brain for a while. So why not throw it out there with a little bit plan. I’ve had an idea to do some ultra-hack opus. Something fun, simple but still having enough crunch to make it have some personality. Yeah, I know. I already have plenty of projects. Heck, there’s some that I haven’t blogged about.

I know I just used that pic but it came out cool. Anyway, the working title is Magic, Mayhem, & Murder. What is it? Well, I’m going to build on the White Box chassis for rules. After that I’m going crazy. Turn off that internal censor and go nuts. I’m talking delving in dungeons, murder hoboes, chain mail bikinis, corrupted sorcerers, and crazy ass stuff. Characters life fast, and die fast. It’s all about the over the top action.

The goal is also to make this pretty much compatible with most old school adventures and supplements. Of course, what folks choose to use will determine how much of job that will be for them.

Do I have a time table? Heck no. But I do have a bit of plan. Sure over here there blog there will be the rare update. But as far design diaries and sneak peaks. Well, I’m going to put those up in the RPG Pig Pen. If you’re interested head on over there and join up for free. And, of course, you can tip and subscribe if you wish. Thanks.

Avast! Pirate Borg!

Yes, I know I ranted about the beta of Pirate Borg previously. And that stuff pretty still applies. But just last week I got the final PDF in hands. It’s much better than I thought.

So for a quick recap, it’s basically Mork Borg but with pirates. There is a new attribute, Spirit, that used for magic. But other than the core system is Mork Borg. And yes it’s art punky but not as bad as Mork Borg. And chances are if you’re already a Mork Borg fan either you backed the Kickstarter or have this one your wish list already. So this post is more about using Pirate Borg if you happen prefer some other set of old school rules.

So what could you use it for? Let’s start with big picture. The default setting is the “Dark Caribbean”. It’s pseudo-historical with plenty weird magical and supernatural elements added in. Like Mork Borg, it doesn’t go into nauseating detail but has enough to guide and inspire the GM. The setting information is pretty much system agnostic. Just the slew of random tables. You’ve got character backgrounds and flaws. Then you’ve adventure generators, map and island generators, NPC generators and even pirate names. There’s a little system information here but nothing that can’t be easily handled. All of this can be handled with little or no conversion.

But wait there’s more. There’s plenty of stuff that would just a little bit on conversion but not so much that you’ll claw your face off. Most importantly, there’s a good naval combat system which could easily be applied to rules of your choice. Plus there’s plenty of interesting monsters. This would be a little more difficult just because of system differences but it’s easy to take inspiration from them and build away! And if you go that far you could get inspired by the classes as well. There’s also an adventure/mini-campaign in the book, The Curse of Skeleton Point. And, like the monsters, it’s good inspiration.

Reading through the book, I couldn’t help but think about what other system I would adapt it to. Well, my first thought is Lamentations of the Flame Princess. There’s plenty of overlap here on tone (at least from perspective). And it make an LotFP campaign something a bit different than most of the currently published stuff. In case some wonders, this isn’t meant that the current stuff is bad but that this idea hits on my tastes better.

If you haven’t looked at and have any interest then you can still pre-order via the Kickstarter. If you don’t play it then at least there’s some cool and inspirational tools in there.