I do bounce around between projects. I’m working on a little supplement for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets, a monster book for Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, an adventure for Swords & Wizardry, a system neutral GM Aid, and all the stuff that goes on her at the blog and on the podcast. So what the why not one more thing?
I don’t remember where but someone was talking about their own house rules and fantasy heart breaker and that got me thinking about YARC. Since it’s been a few years, let’s start from the beginning. YARC stands for Yet Another Retro Clone. It isn’t ground breaking in my mind. It’s just me taking the best bits from across the retroclones and adding a bit of my own spin to some things. So with any home brew idea, you have to start somewhere. Well, I have to admit that of all the clones, my favorite is Swords & Wizardry. It’s easy to convert any of old school stuff into. I’ve used it behind the screen as an easy way to do NPC’s for Labyrinth Lord and 5E. So yep it’s handy. So that’s it in a nutshell.
So where’s the best place to start? Rolling them stats, of course. There’s tons of methods and I’ve played around with bunch that popped into my head but this one has stuck. And it came from running Dungeon Crawl Classics and was something that I totally made up on the fly. The players like it, it’s easy and keeps pretty much with the old school philosophy. I call it 3d6 Hi-Lo.
Step One: Roll 3d6 in order twice.
Step Two: For three of the attribute scores the player may choose the higher. But for the other three scores the player has to take the lower of the the two. Here’s an example:
Let’s say we want to make cleric so the first choice is easy.
Since clerics get in combat a lot, we’ll want a good strength.
Now it’s a little tougher. What do you want to suck at? Maybe a cleric should have an average charisma. It might help convert folks. But that means average dexterity, constitution and he won’t be that bright. We decide that this cleric will one of war and have his deeds rather than his words speak for his god. And that will leave us with this stat block:
And that’s it. So just like so many things on the blog (like the crazy city idea I’m working on), I’ll post more as the inspiration hits. Keep those dice a rollin'[.
It’s been so long since I’ve done anything with Swords & Wizardry. While it’s been my favorite of the clones, I just haven’t had a chance to back to it. Sure I’m Labyrinth Lord now but I still miss Swords & Wizardry.
It probably has to do with the thing I have about tweaking rules and Swords & Wizardy is prefect for it. Enough crunch to cover the bases but still really flexible. And the rules aren’t built like a Jenga Tower. You know what I mean. Change one little thing and the whole game system collapses. Plus it’s easy as hell to convert all sorts of modules and resources into. Yeah, I know I’ve said all that stuff before.
But I’ve also go a hankering to do another setting. I know it’s weird. I’m already working on The City here at the blog. Don’t worry more to come on that. It’s one of those crazy things. But I want to do something more. As both an experiment and exercise. So we shall see.
It’s not I don’t have enough projects. But then I’m just whining. Oh, well. Food for thought, folks. Cross your fingers.
So I’m working on a little supplement/fanzine for Dark Streets and Darker Secrets. The current working title is Back Alleys. So I figured I share a little preview of one of things coming up.
Possession and Exorcism
Damage Resistant: When a Possessing Entity is inhabiting a host, it (and the host) take half damage from mundane attacks. If the entity is expelled/exorcised then it is immaterial and immune from damage from mundane attacks.
Possession: The entity may take over the body of a mortal and inhabit it. Can be resisted with a successful WILL Test.
Poltergeist: The Possessing Entity may hurl loose objects doing base damage based on its HD. A successful AGILITY Test halves the damage.
A New Gift/Ritual
Exorcism is an exhausting ritual that takes PL Hours to cast. It will expel a Possessing Entity of PL HD. The Entity may resist with a WILL Test (assume 10+HD Willpower). If the caster increases the PL above the Entity’s HD then the Entity resists as per the Powerful Enemy rule.
Right now, I’m working on three new archetypes, some magical artifacts and host of horrors to disembowel the player characters. And yes there’s something for Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells but more that later.
Decisions. Decisions. So I’ve pretty run the gamut on blog posts for New Bay City. I still have some NPC’s to flesh out but I won’t post those until they make contact with the player characters. But then there’s another monkey wrench that’s been thrown into the mix. I may have to postpone it for a while since there maybe some genre conflicts in the gaming group. So we meet at the FLGS and alternate GM’s between two games and we try not to do the same genre or game at the same time. It keeps things fresh and keeps the players from getting confused. So I began thinking about other campaigns that have been sitting in the back of my head that I want to run.
The group had blast with Call of Cthulhu: Horror on the Orient Express and Delta Green. So my mind wandered into that territory.
An idea that’s been bouncing around inside my head for a long time, is Pirates Vs Cthulhu. The original idea was to use Savage Worlds and mash together Pirates of the Spanish Main, Solomon Kane, and Realms of Cthulhu. Which all would work together but there’s is that distinct pulp feel to Savage Worlds. Of course, like any gamer I get distracted with shiny new things. I thought about tweaking Zwiehander, and then I stumbled across Blood Tide. Crap it’s BRP with Pirates. Just add mythos.
Keeping up with Mythos feel, I’ve been hankering to do a Wild West/Horror mash up. So once again CofC has me covered with Down Dark Trails and I might be able to mix in some Devil’s Gulch into the mix.
And lastly something modern. Not exactly Delta Green. Ok maybe the surviving characters may grow into a larger conspiracy but in the beginning…oh just watch this and you’ll get the idea.
Of course, I’ve got a few problems with the current edition of CofC. So I may go back in time and dig out my second edition or tweak with some Mythras Imperative. So we shall see. What do you think RPG group brain?
If you’ve been following along I’m converting/resurrecting the old New Bay City campaign for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. The first time I ran this setting it was with World of Darkness then I ran with the Dresden Files RPG. Each time I’ve made some tweaks to the universe based on the game mechanics. This time it ain’t any different.
Vampires and Werewolves are pretty much stock creatures and sometimes even player characters. One of the things that they usually have in common is that they were once regular mortal humans and then something happened. Some fight against their respective supernatural natures and others may relish or even be consumed by it. Plus each of these types has a buckets of folklore attached to them. So how I am going to throw this into Dark Streets & Darker Secrets? Corruption.
OK, I already did a rant on expanding the Gifted Class and in a way this is an expansion on that. Lets’ take a very common example and run with it. Vampires and sunlight. In most games/factions, young vampires poof if they even smell sunlight and older/ancient vampires can tolerate it. In this iteration of New Bay City, the opposite is true. That young (low level/HD) vampire has some of the strengths but those weaknesses are the result of Corruption. A Vampire has lots of hang ups that probably means that they are a bad ass and be thankful for those weaknesses. However, that extra that plays into why there is so much different lore out there. Each is sort of unique in their set of disadvantages.
This is only something that would apply to the “Blooded” types as I rambled about in The Gifted Expanded post not anything that’s purely supernatural. I may do some specific charts but I also grabbing something that seems most appropriate to the specific situation when things go horribly wrong. So here’s the lists of that I’ll be using for inspiration by type. And is no way complete and other changes/tweaks will be based on specific characters.
Vampires: Animal Antipathy, Aversion Holy, Addicted Blood, Allergic Sunlight, Allergic Garlic, Need to be Invited, Aversion Mirrors, Smell of the Grave/Cadverous.
Werewolf/Lycanthrope: Animal Antipathy, Allergic Silver, Addiction Raw Meat, Full Moon/The Beast Within, Feral Appearance
Changeling: Allergic Cold Iron, Need to Tell the Truth, Aversion Holy, “Alien” Appearance.
Cambion: Animal Antipathy, Aversion Holy, Addicted to Sin, Smell of Brimstone, Demonic Features.
Nephilim: Overzealous Virtue, Aversion Unholy, Angelic Features.
And that’s this week’s rant on New Bay City. Enjoy! Oh and here’s my scribbled map of New Bay City.
Just what the hell is Appendix V? Well, us old grognards know Appendix N from the original DMG. Well, Appendix V is sort of like a list of inspirations but in this case the V stands for Video. So sit back and grab a gander at some of the video inspirations for New Bay City. I won’t go into each and every one but try to hit some of the possibly lesser know or at least one’s I like a lot.
I’d say the biggest influence is The Dresden Files. Unfortunately, the short lived series wasn’t that great. The fans did make a decent trailer.
But then fans also made some pretty shorts too.
And there’s the possibility of a reboot and Jim Butcher has confirmed it on reddit.
Of course, you can’t talk about the modern urban fantasy genre without mentioning Buffy. But remember it was movie before it was a TV series. Crap, vampire PeeWee Herman.
Lost Girl was great series at least for the first season. It did go a little down hill after that IHMO.
Hey remember this Marvel Movie? Yeah, Blade. It was a TV Series too.
Let’s head across the pond for a bit. First up, Bloody Mallory. A really low-budget French film.
But if you want something just plain awesome and higher up on the way cool list. There’s Nightwatch. This is a damned good Russian film. And this is one of those few cases where the movie is much better than the trailer.
Everything doesn’t have to be serious. Everybody knows Army of Darkness and Big Trouble in Litte China but how about some Lesbian Vampire Killers. Really.
And I’m not limiting it TV and Movies. There was (or maybe still is) an MMO called Secret World. I’ve never played it but the cinematic trailers rocked.
So there you go. By no means the complete list and may some of it inspire you as well.
This is how bad I am at self promotion. I forgot to post here. Well, it’s been a couple of years since I released anything and here it is.
That’s right. It’s finally released after years of messing around and months of editing and hesitating I finally pulled the trigger. Check it out on DrivethruRPG. You’ll need the core book and the addendum to Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. Depending on the reception, I may do a hardcopy via Lulu. And oh yeah. Did I mention? It’s PWYW.