Category Archives: Home Brew Hacks

Just some house rules that I made up.

Even More Thoughts on Lamentations of the Flame Princess

That last whole kerfuffle with Lamentations of the Flame Princess really fed my urge to run a campaign. And now it looks that there just may be a chance that it might happen in a couple of months so that means putting on the old thinking cap.

First, let me do a little rant about rules. I do feel guilty if I house rule and hack the original TSR era texts. I get over it but I feel a little guilty about. But for any retro-clone. I want to hack the hell out of it. And there’s not much really to do because there’s already so much cool stuff. First and most obvious to most are those 2nd Edition play test rules in Vaginas Are Magical and Eldritch Cock. There’s some gems in there like rolling to case, more skills, and some tweaks on the Ability scores are used. The second neat thing is an oldie but a goodie. That’s Green Devil Face No 5. What does that one have? Random character progression. You may not get more HP every level. Ouch. And pretty grim. Then there’s my own warped imagination. I’ve really gotten inspired the last couple of weeks and started scribbling all sorts of ideas down. Stayed tuned for more on that but the previews of stuff will show up over on the Locals community. And finally, there’s a few OSR style supplements that have given me some ideas but more on that later.

Now for setting. Let’s be honest. If you look at the whole line of Lamentations Adventures, they are all over the place but most center around historical eras and locations and put a weird twist into the mix. But for me, I just can’t leave well enough alone and I brought up my original memories when I read through the Grindhouse rules. A setting that’s an odd mix of Warhammer Fantasy+Evil Dead+Hammer Horror. You know grim dark gothic weird fantasy with a dark sense of humor. So got to put some notes down on that.

The best I can say is stay tuned. More stuff will here and my other hangouts on the Internet. It going to get interesting.

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Blighted Krevborna: Session 2.5: Wandering in Castorhage & New House Rules.

Oh the best laid plains. We were supposed to have a session two weeks ago. Well, we sort of did. Having my players spread geographically that means VTT time. About an hour into the session, I lost power. I know you’ve heard lots of bad things. This time it turned out somebody ran into a transformer and blacked out a decent hunk of town. That meant the session was interrupted and didn’t get that far. And it was a bit difficult to get the momentum going again.

On the bright side, the final player got to join. So here’s the new character. Elisa the Plague Doctor. She’s a farmer from a decaying backwater town and her parents were wrongly executed. Her true love ran off to live a life of crime. So that rounds our party.

The party did release an evil sorceress but they are tying to kiss to her. They realized that they a fake inheritance. And made friends with one of the local thieves. All fun in Castorhage. Like I said, it wasn’t that exciting of a session. Sure there was lot of role play and getting to know the city a bit more.

But the extra time between sessions did let me digest some stuff. I’m using Deathbringer as primary rules source. There are now skills just attributes so those go up quicker than a lot of other games. Compared to other d20 systems, you just used the “modifier” and don’t even write down your good old 3 to 18. The core rules is that you get +1 every odd level. The players weren’t happy about that so I made them offer. Fine you gain a +1 each level but it’s random. They ate it up.

The other rule that I added was something that was bugging me for a long time. And I think I finally came up with a solution. We’ve all watched the movies where there’s an epic sword fight but the characters are also kicking and punching. But we don’t really do that in gaming. I wanted some of that element added. So if they miss their attack roll by 1 then they still hit but with an unarmed attack.

So there you go. The biggest thing was some adjustment to house rules and laying the foundations for more plots and troubles.

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An Often Forgotten Tome of GM Wisdom

You hit the internet and you’ll see all sorts of posts about “This is a great for GM’s.” And there are some really good ones out there. The Tome of Adventure Design, The Lazy Dungeon Master, and ICRPG’s GM section just to name a few. But here’s that doesn’t get talked about much. Listen Up You Primitive Screwheads!

There’s a couple of reasons that folks don’t talk about it much. Mainly, IMHO, is that it’s designed for Cyberpunk. So if you aren’t playing that game why would you look? The other is that it’s kind of “old” as far as RPG supplements go.

So only play fantasy RPG’s? No problem. There’s plenty of advice that is generic to running an RPG campaign. From getting the party together to dealing with back stories and running combat. There’s plenty of advice for setting the tone of a Cyberpunk game too. This is still good advice that can be easily molded into a darker style fantasy game. Even quite a few of the cyberpunk inspired articles are easily carried over to other genre’s.

And remember when I said running a campaign? Yeah, it’s more than just game mechanics. What if somebody quits? Or if all the players or some players want new characters? And so on. This is a really good book to sharpen up some game mastering skills that often don’t get covered in other books.

I said it was old but it’s not so old that you can’t get it on DrivethruRPG.

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Using ICRPG for Ritual Magic

Yes, I’m a homebrewer/rules hacker sort of guy. It’s what I enjoy doing. Tweaking all sorts of various rules to fit what think would be the best a campaign. Now, my current campaign is mostly based on Professor DM’s Deathbringer with some ICRPG elements and my own weird imagination.

I’m not using all of ICRPG. I might do a campaign for it later on but right now I’m just using it as one of my favorite GM Tool Kits. One of the things that I’m not really using is EFFORT. Well, not completely any way. Normally, EFFORT is basically damage. It’s used to complete dramatic or time sensitive tasks. Make a d20 roll and if you beat the Target Number then you do “damage” to the task. What you roll for damage depends on the character and whatever equipment that they might be using. For this campaign, I decided to use EFFORT only for some very special circumstances. That is for magic. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to only focus on a couple of uses. Summoning demons and banishing/exorcising them.

OK. Here’s where you’re going to learn more about ICRPG. First, the GM will set the Target Number. This should be from about 10 to 18. Sort of the overall difficulty. It’s part art and part science setting that number. Then how much EFFORT will it take? That’s the easy part. It’s Hit Points. So how EFFORT do you do with a successful roll? Well, if you’re just using magic words and waving around your hands that’s d4 (Basic). If you’re using better and better spell components, materials, tomes, or whatever then work you’re way up the die chain; d6, d8, d10, and d12. What about bonuses? Since I’m not using the full ICRPG rules that would be INT bonus to casting but the magic using types would add that to their EFFORT. Roll that Nat 1 along the way then things go bad. Roll a Nat 20 then that’s a crit.

This will probably freak out the folks who are used to ICRPG and folks who don’t know it, will be scratching their heads. Think about it. Apply it how you want. And have fun.

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Blighted Krevborna: Session 1

Our little group kicked off the Blighted Krevborna campaign. So setting wise I’ve kit bashed The Blight by Frog God Games and Krevborna by Dolorous Exhumation Press. The primary chassis of the rules is Deathbringer with other mechanics from Index Card RPG and Shadowdark.

Let’s start off with the characters because that’s the main thing that we did.

Millianna (Grimscribe) A former nun who found an ancient tome and discovered magic is a quicker path to power than prayer. She fled the church after her blackmail plot against one of her superiors went south in the process she incurred a large debt to a crime lord.

Then there’s Stryn (Deathbringer). He’s on the run from the law for allegedly murdering his father. The law and his siblings aren’t too happy about it.

Highlights of the session:

After a roadside ambush, Stryn will now be known as “Righty” since a Chaos Cannibal Mutant gnawed off his left hand. This left the party really banged up and not a healer in group. It’s Deathbringer so that healing is really slow.

Most exciting encounter was the fight with headless zombies atop a speed coach. Zombies jump on the coach. Characters barely hanging on. It was fun and exciting.

I’m not going to write really long session summaries with every detail. But here’s a bit of analysis of the mechanics. Get ICRPG. That really kept the game moving. Get Deathbring too. You have fast simple character generation and some ready made random tables for a grim back story. And, of course, I did use some house rules on it too.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.