Category Archives: Home Brew Hacks

Just some house rules that I made up.

The Blight+Krevborna

Yes, I’m already playing around with ideas for my next campaign and brain is going to something a bit darker with more horror type elements. So as I was brainstorming, it came to me that The Blight and Krevborna could be easily combined.

I was running The Blight with Swords & Wizardry before the whole Covid thing and I’ve been itching to get back to it. You can see my more in depth review here. As a brief overview, The Blight centers around a large, corrupted city. It’s pretty grim dark. The river is polluted with alchemical waste. The fog can be poisonous. And the nobility is out right insane. Where it overlaps with Krevborna is that carries a lot of Gothic horror elements in it. There’s a Dracula uber-vampire type. There’s the Grand Promethean as Frankenstein’s monster. Lycanthropes running street gangs and so on. There’s a few elements that I’d have to adjust but I like doing that sort thing.

I just talked about Krevborna a while ago. And this part of my whole sneaky plan. You see I wanted something beyond the city of Castorhage and Krevborna as a generic setting supplement was exactly what I was looking for. Out of the ordinary. Gothic style horror. But I’m little crazy. There’s already a little Lovecraftian influence in The Blight by way of what is called The Between which is sort of like the Dreamlands. Plus I like some of those classic horror movies. So the final end kitbash is going to something like a combination of Hammer/Universal/Gothic/Lovecraftian Horror.

Ah but what game system? There in lies the rub. And it’s always kind of the hard part of finding something that manages to hit all the right notes. My first inclination is Deathbringer. It’s easy and has familiar D20 mechanics. It’s got it’s own grim dark take things so it make a good fit. Coming in second is Warlock! This one is inspired by 1st Edition Warhammer Fantasy so that makes it good fit in my opinion. It’s fairly rules light and uses a d20 system so it won’t be hard for my players to grasp. And rounding out my thoughts is some of weird old-school kit bash that will probably have some OSE and LotFP influences or maybe White Box or Shadowdark. Heck, if I want to go totally crazy I could put something together with the Cepheus Engine. I’ve got time to mess around it and if you know me always kitbash the rules. Just putting my ideas together.

White Box Wednesday: Stinkfoot Camp

I decided to something a little different this week. I’m currently running a highly modified Keep on the Borderlands with a crazy old school Franken game. So I decided to play around a bit with White Bones. A location that I added was the Stinkfoot Camp.

Stinkfoot Camp is a very small settlement. Well actually it’s more of boom town consisting mostly large tents and only a couple of permanent structures; Momma Stinkfoot’s Provisioners and The Lucky Angel. It’s the last bit of civilization before adventurers head into the wilderness.

Momma Stinkfoot runs the camp and the general store/pawn shop. While her prices are usually fair; her interest rates aren’t. She’s not above buying and selling goods of questionable origins.

Momma Stinkfoot (7th Level, Halfling, Thief)

Str: 0; Dex: +1; Con: 0; Int: +1; Wis: 0; Cha: 0 HP: 22 AC: 15

Melee Attack: +2 (Dagger 1d6-1) Sneak Attack: +4 (Dagger: 2d6)

Ranged Attack: +5 (Dagger (Thrown) (1d6-1)

Class Bonus: +4 (Thievery & Skullduggery) Hero Bonus: +2

Of course, Momma Stinkfoot doesn’t do any of the dirty work herself. She leaves that her eldest son:

Babin Stinkfoot (2nd Level, Halfling Fighter)

Str: +1; Dex: 0; Con: 0; Int: -1; Wis: 0; Cha: – HP: 10 AC: 14 (Chain)

Melee Attack: +5 (Sword 2d6+2)

Ranged Attack: +4 (Sling (2d6)

Hero Bonus: +2

Babin is always backed up at least half a dozen of this “boys” who are 1st Level Halfling Thieves. They pick pockets, run the loan sharking, and protection racket in Stinkfoot Camp.

The Lucky Angel is frequented by the tall folk visiting the camp. It’s the only Inn (with beds long enough for humans and elves) plus a gambling house and brothel. It’s ran by Fortuna, a woman with a mysterious past but lots of ambition.

Fortuana (3rd Level, Human, Thief)

Str: -1; Dex: +1; Con: -1; Int: +1; Wis: 0; Cha: +1 HP: 10 AC: 13

Melee Attack: +1 (Dagger 1d6-2 or Rapier 1d6-1 ) Sneak Attack: +2 (Dagger 1d6 or Rapier 1d6+1)

Ranged Attack: +2 (Dagger (Thrown) (1d6-1)

Class Bonus: +2 (Thievery & Skullduggery) Hero Bonus: +1

I know it’s not much detail but then that’s about how a run my games with the barest of details. Just enough to know what’s going on but not so much that I could get bogged down.

White Box Wednesday: Combat, Skills, And Such

I’m bouncing around between work, actually gaming, and various gaming projects. One of those projects is good old White Bones. I know I said it would be a couple of weeks but more ideas and thoughts keep popping into my head.

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I started thinking about combat and skills. The general consensus is d20 roll high for combat and x ind d6 for skills. It works. It’s good. It’s simple. But there isn’t much in the way character progression. It also creates a bit of anticpation in the players. When they pick up that d20, they know things are going to get dangerous. Later editions have moved to a more unified mechanic of roll a d20 high. It really doesn’t change that much when it comes to combat (other than modifiers) and it’s more granular when it comes to character progression rather than the x in d6. So skills really didn’t become a thing until the Thief class popped up and originally they used a d100 system.

I fully admit that I’ve used the x in d6 system before. Like I said, it’s easy and it’s simple. But I don’t think it will be end all. Since I’m sacrificing a few sacred cows, I might as well use what I think is best. And the answer to that is both. Here me out.

I’m a fan of having any character try anything. So that’s where X ind d6 checks come in. Based on a character’s ability scores, they have an x in d6 chance of doing something successfully. But for class based tasks, well, that goes to the d20 roll high with ability and class based bonuses. I do have to a little math to balance things out. So stay tuned.

Go out there have fun folks. And don’t worry next week, there will be some actual gamable content. Till next time.

White Box Wednesday: Monsters & Converting Them

A reader reached out to me and ask how converted monsters for White Box. We had a brief conversation over IM and I thought that it would make a pretty good post.

Sure there are a ton of old-school monster books out there. And many are pretty danged awesome. But in general, most are designed for BX and later. Remember, variable damage and multiple monster attacks didn’t come around until Greyhawk: Supplement 1.

Most of the conversion is pretty simple. Armor Class, Saves, and Attack Bonus remain the same. For Hit Points, roll d6’s rather than d8’s. However, damage and number of attacks is where it takes just a bit of gut instinct.

I really don’t make much of an effort to mathematically convert things like this. It’s more important that the monster has the same feel. Normally for White Box, I like to keep to one attack per round. Mainly for speed of play. If multiple attacks are a key feature or the most noteworthy thing about a monster, then I’ll do multiple attacks but divide the creature’s Attack Bonus as evenly as possible.

As for damage, well that’ s a bit of instinct too. As a rule of thumb, I equate a d4 to d6-1, d8 to d6+1. And just kind of go from there. If a monster does 2d8 damage then for White Box, I’d do 2d6+2. And just kind do what feels “right”.

Yeah, I know this isn’t specific. It’s more about converting the feel and abilities of monster rather than the math. Could get it wrong? Sure. Just maybe the party found an exceptionally weak or strong individual. Change it up next time.

So have fun out there!

Mental Hit Points?

This idea has bounced around inside my head for quite a while. I finally figured I’d just throw it out there and see what happened. Basically, you’ve “normal” Hit Points for physical damage. So why not some thing that affects a character’s mind?

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So let’s start with the basics. How many? Roughly, it be inversely proportional to Hit Points/Hit Dice with roughly the same style of progression except use Wisdom for a bonus rather than Constitution. We’ll call them Mind Dice or MD. For my exercise here, I’ll use the more old-school scale for HD as a base. So for our characters it would look like this:

  • Fighter: HD d8, MD: d4
  • Cleric: HD d6; MD: d6
  • Thief: HD d4; MD: d6 (Hey, they’ve got a slippery mind.)
  • Magic-User: HD: d4, MD: d8

So where and how would this come into play? The two things that spawned this idea were Charm and Fear. Instead of just the binary, make a Saving Throw and move on. Charm and Fear effects become something that can accumulate. Charm and Fear work their way into a character’s mind and begin to chip away at their resolve. You know just like Hit Points. So something like Charm Person could 1d8 Mental Damage, Save for half. A caster or creature could take a couple of rounds wear down a character. Whey the target reaches 0 points then they are Charmed or Feared. Taking the concept further (because HP are abstract too), you could add confusion and insanity effects as well. And as a bonus, Magic-users could use it a means to add some extra punch to spells.

If a character reaches 0 from multiple sources then whatever pushed them over the edge is what effects them. What exactly the effect might be will all just depend.

So what about recovery? Sure may be give Clerics a spell to “Heal” a character. And rest just like HP and just use the same rules that you would normal. And here’s where I get weird. For physical injuries, characters go to town and see a healer to heal faster. For mental strain, go to town and blow off some steam (carouse!).

So this is just a kernel of an idea. I may or may not expand it further. We’ll see.