Category Archives: My Gaming Projects

Carla (of Cpt Kronos) for YARC

Yes, it’s a rare Saturday post. Why? It’s Caroline Munro’s birthday. The Queen of Hammer Horror. I think it’s odd for me to do two birthday posts in one week so I decided to do Carla from Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter as a character.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much about Carla in the movie but there’s a Captain Kronos comic where the character is much more developed. I admit that I haven’t read them but like Hollywood, I’m going to let not reading the source material stop me. The internet gives me enough.

Another thing I’m going to do here is roll the character and built her according to whatever the dice decide. I’m going to assume that she’s at a level where she’s had some training by Dr. Grost so I’m doing her as 3rd level. For a class, I decided on Rouge/Bard. Decent at combat and a flexible path to use knowledge and other tricks to win the fight and stay alive. So here we go.

Carla (3rd Level Human Rogue/Bard) Alignment: Neutral

ATTRIBUTES: STR: +1 DEX: +2 CON: +1 INT: +1 WIS: +1 CHA: +2

SAVES: Poison/Disease: +1 Magic: +2 Reflex: +3 Luck: +2

HD/HP: d8/13

AC (Leather Armor): 14

Attack Bonus: +2

Weapons (Damage): Brass Knuckles (d4+1) Hand Crossbow (d4+1) Sabre (d6+1)

Special Abilities: +2 to Thievery and Skulduggery rolls. Advantage on rolls to uncover Rumors & Information and recall odd bits of Lore.

And there you go. Happy gaming!

YARC Behind the Screen: Monsters & NPC’s

Everything I’ve posted about YARC has been player facing stuff. This is where the whole tone of any game really happens in my opinion. It’s the options that are available for the player character that make things move. And that part is basically done. The players have a draft of the rules and it will be time to start rolling some dice in the near future. But now I want to start looking behind the screen and stuff to make the life of the DM easier.

One of the most useful axioms is that monsters and NPC’s don’t have to follow the same rules as player characters. Sure a DM can use that to cheat and just outright kill or outshine the PC’s but the true intent is to make the DM’s job easier. The less time that the DM has flip through rule books or try to puzzle out a page long monster stat block is time away from actually keeping the excitement up. This where so many of the old school games shine. Easy and to the point monster stat blocks.

If you remember from the early posts, another goal of YARC to make it so that the DM could grab just any old school adventure and quickly and easily convert it while running it.

If we boil monsters down to their most basic, there’s three things that become the core mechanics of monster: HD, AC, and Damage. Hit Dice are basically a monster’s level. It’s how many Hit Points they have plus how powerful they are overall. Sure you could roll for HP but I’m running a standard of 5 HP/HD. As far as Attack and Save Bonuses. That’s the HD. Armor Class can be just from what’s listed or compare it to what the AC might be for a player character and if you’re using a source that only has Descending AC the just take 19-AC to get the Ascending AC. Damage same thing. Just use it or think of it in terms of the what’s available to the player characters. Then adjust or run any special abilities as needed. No this isn’t a scientific approach. It’s a lot of instinct and what feels right. So let’s make a freaky swamp monster

It’s pretty tough for single low characters but it’s going to go against a whole party. Let’s give it HD : 3. So it’s got 15 HP and +3 to Attack and make any checks and Saves.

It’s got a tough rubbery hide. Let’s say that’s about leather armor so AC: 12.

Its got long nasty claws. Those are sort of like daggers but it’s really strong so let’s make damage: 1d6.

It’s a Freaky Swamp Monster so it needs a couple of freaky powers. It lives in a swamp so it should be aquatic. I know let’s make it a stealthy predator so give it Advantage on Stealth type checks in a swamp. And last let’s give it a Swamp Gas power. It’s a fog that blinds and disorients everybody but it.

Now, I know that for higher HD monsters the HD as bonus thing breaks. So I’m running with a max bonus of +10. So a HD 18 Demon Lord would have only a +10 and 90 HP. It’s a good max while it does make the monster powerful without being overpowered plus anything with that many HD is going to have really nasty special abilities that really won’t depend on hitting high level characters in combat.

And those special abilities are where a lot of monsters shine. Don’t even thing putting those into a paragraph or a sentence for use at the game table.

  • Just
  • Use
  • Bullets

IMHO, too many monster books are just too damn wordy.

I call them Death & Taxes

Let’s talk about NPC’s a bit. Unnamed, and unimportant NPC’s basically use a monster stat block. That city guard, random pickpocket, tavern keep, or merchant. They are all going to be 1 to 2 HD and might not ever be seen again or you might need even any combat stats for them. And that’s an important note right there. If an NPC isn’t going to get into combat then you don’t need stats for them.

Here’s a confession. Vasha of the Night Market is an NPC that I’ve used in two campaigns. At the very least, the player character know up front that she’s a powerful magic-user. With even the smallest bit of research, they learn that the city elders let her do pretty much whatever she wants. She’s the only person that the head of local Thieves Guild actually fears. It’s clear to the players that if they do something stupid then eight kinds of hell is going to come raining down on them. I’ve never made any kind of stat block for her.

But if that NPC is the big bad. Oh hell yes. Go crazy and make that cool stat block. And make one’s for NPC that are reoccurring that you just need to have them go into combat either with or against the player characters.

Then there’s that special time that you want make an NPC with a whole sheet just like a player character. Always keep one of those in reserve.In case a player doesn’t show up or even if there happens to an extra player show up.

I know this has been a rambling post. So it’s time for me to shut up. I’ve got a game to prep for this weekend.

And here’s the Freaky Swamp Monster

HD: 3 (15 HP)

AC: 12

  • Aquatic
  • Advantage on Stealth
  • Swamp Gas: Blocks vision further than 10 feet. Save Vs Magic or Confused.

The Year in Review: 2021

Man. It’s been one hell of year. We thought that just may be things would get better but a lot didn’t. But enough about that. What happened here on the blog and it’s associated places on the web?

Let’s stick the more positive things that happened. Two Copper Bestsellers on DrivethruRPG. That’s pretty good for me. Blog traffic steadily increased from last year by about 15%. The odd part of that is that I just gave up cross posting to various Facebook Groups in July and it didn’t make any difference. I took a little time and started looking more closely at the posts in groups and the activity. In general, if a post was actually about gaming like a review or actual gamable content then it was crickets. If it was about the outrage of the day then people would come out screaming. And it just isn’t things I posted. It didn’t matter who posted it. Outrage click bait just seemed to drive Facebook.

Wizards just want to have fun.

What else happened over the year? Well, I pulled the plug on the podcast. Yeah, that’s kind of negative but the amount of time I was spending doing that took away from blogging and just didn’t seem to be the most efficient use of my time.

I also want to give out some shout outs to the things that I think were the coolest.

The coolest game that I stumbled upon has got to be Barbaric! It’s quick, easy and simple.

The coolest RPG App is Owlbear Rodeo. I know it’s been out a while and fought going virtual for way too long. But it’s become my go to VTT.

And finally, an honorable mention goes to Kanka.io. Once again, I’ve fought going online with a lot of my RPG stuff. After playing around with it for a couple of months, it’s the one I like. Handy for getting the campaign fluff out to a geographically challenged gaming group.

I know that this is short post. Like others, I ‘m getting ready to kick 2021 ass to the curb and give 2022 a stern, warning look. I got crazy plans and some even crazier predictions for next year but you’re just going to have to wait until next week for that.

Till then HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What the heck is YARC?

I’ve been posting about YARC a lot so I figured I should make this Sticky Post to explain what the heck it is.

First, it’s a neat little acronym: Yet Another Retroclone. And it’s a little call back to “Bree Yark!” Google it. It started years ago as a little side project to put together different parts of various retroclones that I thought were cool but it’s evolved over the years.

YARC is now my own fantasy heart breaker, garbage punk rock, basement dweller Franken-game. I figured why not? Grab whatever mechanics that I liked from whatever game or whatever edition. Go ahead slay a couple of those sacred cows and mold it into what I and, hopefully, my players will enjoy. Astute readers will see the DNA of various ideas and concepts pop in there.

It’s very much an attempt to make play fast, efficient, and fun! And it’s very much a living project. I don’t think that it will ever be “done”. New rules and ideas pop up all the time. Things that might have worked get replaced with other things. And sometimes. Things just don’t work.

So hang on and have some fun. Roll the dice. Kill the monsters. And laugh.

There Comes A Time…

You get to a point in your life where you just don’t care what the in-crowd is doing or their opinions of you. You’re comfortable with yourself and you aren’t afraid to go off and do those things you just want to do.

I was sitting back and catching my breath the other day and I thought, “I really don’t care about editions or whatever the cool thing of the moment is.” I don’t that if a specific retro-clone is the hot thing of the day. I don’t care if this this thing that all the cool kids are playing.

Sure I’m willing to look and take interest in a new game. Heck, I may even be inspired by some of its mechanics. I’ll even run it or play it and enjoy it. But where does all of my real passion rest?

It’s in hacking rules and making a Franken-Game that may not be perfect but it’s got the stuff that I think is fun. I don’t need to apologize or justify this. But if you’re not playing by a specific edition’s rules then you’re not really playing D&D. Yes, I am.

Through out the editions, the very basic mechanics have remained basically very close or at least with recognizable origins if you take the time to look close enough. With the rise of the OGL, there have been hundreds if not thousands of new and interesting ideas. You just have to go out and find them and bend them to your will and take the good ideas that you like and put them all together for that game that’s just right the fit for you and your group.

Go out. Do it. Never apologize for it. The only people you owe anything to are those that at your table not some gang on the Internet.

Remember. Have fun. Roll dice.