Category Archives: Mail Bag of Holding

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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.

Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery: Options!

It’s no secret that everybody plays differently especially when it comes to old school games. I love that and embrace it. That’s why I added lots of options for Forgotten Tales of Sword & Sorcery.

I admit that these aren’t as play tested as the core rules and may need a little tweaking to fit your individual tastes but it gives GM’s a starting point and/or some inspiration to tailor the game to their group.

The attached examples don’t have all of the optional rules. I only added the ones that I personally found kind of cool. And if you’ve been following closely, there have been a few minor changes to the core rules since I started sharing previews. Here’s the optional rules used on these characters:

Static HD: Instead of the White Box staggered HP system, these characters us a HD as later editions but still some what faithful to the White Box philosophy. Warriors: d6+1, Wanderers: d6, and Sorcerers: d6-1.

Improved Prime Ability Score Modifiers: This only affects a character’s Prime Ability Score Modifiers based on their class. This makes them a little better at the things that they are supposed to be good at.

Five Saving Throws: I personally like the Single Saving Throw but some people don’t. That’s OK. So I added the option. For the example, I did use the five “new” categories that I created to better emulate the genre. Most are self explanatory except Luck which I’m billing as a When In Doubt/Catch All Save. Who has the bad thing happen? Who steps on the trap trigger? That sort of thing. And the Traditional Five Saves are in the core book.

Checks As Percentages: I was inspired by the original Thief class and its percentage based skills. There are a few places where the math works out differently but I still think that it’s a fun option and offers more granularity than the x in d6 method.

Here’s how it works. Checks begin at 3 x the Ability Score. At first level, increase one Prime Ability Check by 2d6. Each level after that increase one Prime Ability Check and one non-Prime Ability Check by 1d6. Specializations can be either a re-roll at 30% or act as +20% bonus to the Check depending on which option the GM wants to use. If you remember, Ability Checks also have other uses in the game. A character’s score in an Ability Check can be used as modifier in some cases. Under the percentage system, it’s an easy conversion. Divide the tens digit by two. So a 35% Check would mean +2 modifier. (3 dived by 2). There are also cases where the result of a successful Check is the effect. For example, a CON Check is used to bind wounds. Under the X in d6 system, if the Check is successful then the number rolled is how many HP are healed. For the percentage system, a similar mechanic is used. Simply divide the tens digit by two for the effect with one slight exception. For really good rolls like 03% count the 0 as 10 (or 10/2=5).