Happy New Year: Double Crits, No Sh!ts


Happy New Year! A short little episode to get things rolling along. It’s a new year so that means a new season and more attitude. Not only is it the year of Double Crits. It’s the Shits. Oh just give it a listen.

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Every little bit helps.

Time to do the end of year navel gazing

It’s that time of year. Most everybody does it and take it as time to get back on track and set some goals and make some plans for next year. So I go into a whole long rant in this week’s episode. You can subscribe on most platforms or just stream it here.

But here’s the highlights:
Cool stuff this year goes to Old Skull Publishing (and his great games Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, Dark Streets & Darker Secrets, Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells). Also Old Essentials from Necrotic Gnome wonderfully organized and easy to use take on BX D&D. Then there’s Goodman Games. DCC Lankhmar. Hell yeah! And Frog God Games. Great Kickstarters like Tegel Manor and small print run Indiegogo campaigns for some neat adventures. And then there’s Skeeter Green and his new entry into publishing.
And then the misses of the year. Oh Ref Book where art thou? I’m not going to spend a lot of complaining. I just don’t care about it any more.
So now on to what I’m planning. First, expect more of the same here at the old blog but probably with more Swords & Wizardry. For Playing It Wrong, also expect more of the same but with more food and humor because blackjack and Hookers are just too expensive.
I’ve got some minor tweaks to do on the Patreon. That should be done before the end of the year.
I plan on doing about one video a month on the Youtube channel. Some reviews/unboxings and maybe a few little crafty/DIY type things.
Discord. Well. I keeping forgetting about that. I’ve tried to set aside a time for that. So instead, I’ll just be a random encounter there. I’ll show up and see what’s going on.

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Tegel Manor Has Arrived

Got my back copy of Tegel Manor. Sweet. This is a classic haunted house/megadungeon and well worth the money for it. So that means another video! It is pretty sweet. Great cartography and art. And since I grabbed the Swords & Wizardry version that means easy to read monster stat blocks. As I’ve mentioned before I will be running The Blight pretty soon and Tegel Manor fits perfectly into that. I’m putting just on the outskirts of Castorhage for an extra place for the PC’s to get into trouble.

And check out Frog God Games.
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Magical Research

Things are moving fast and I’m putting together even more house rules for Swords & Wizardry. Now, these have been in my notes for quite a while but I just haven’t posted them here. So here it it.
First, this uses the previously posted Skill rules. But for a recap and just use this here’s the low down. Bonus: Average of Int and Wis Modifiers (Wits Skill) +2 (for being a Magic-User doing magic stuff). Skill check number is based on the character’s level. Just check out Attack Save Cheat Sheet.
So what to roll, how long does it take and how much is it going to cost?
Scribe spell from spell book or scroll: 1 Day/Spell Level; -1/Spell Level; 10 GP/Spell Level
Scribe spell scroll of a known spell: 1 Day/Spell Level; -2/Spell Level; 50 GP/Spell Level
Research new existing (already in the rule book) spell: 1 Week/Spell Level; -2/Spell Level; 500 GP/Spell Level
Research a brand new (not in the rule book with GM approval) spell: 1 Month/Spell Level; -3/spell Level; 1,000 GP/Spell Level.
Of course, other modifiers may come into play. Found an ancient book of arcane knowledge? Summon a demon to give you a hand? It’s old-school so this part is very much based on what the player’s have done, found or previously researched.
Fail the roll? Then you just lost time and a whole lot of money. I may do some lab accident type random table but that’s for another post.

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Luck: That’s How I Roll

I admit it. I like luck mechanics. I like the Bennies in Savage Worlds, Inspiration in 5E, and Dungeon Crawl Classics Luck and Fleeting Luck rules. So as I sit here pondering various house rules and hacks for upcoming Swords & Wizardry campaign, my brain started thinking about adding some sort of Luck Mechanic.
Now I know it isn’t “old-school” I get that but I do like that extra bit of punch it can add to a session and it avoids that annoying one-bad-roll-kills-you thing. So I started thinking about those mechanics that I mentioned before plus some others that have crossed my gaming path over the years and here’s what I came up with.
At the start of each session, each player gets one Luck Point. No carryover from the previous session.
Using Luck Points: Spending a Luck Point before you roll grants Advantage on a d20 roll. Advantage/Disadvantage is pretty cool and simple bit from 5E. I like it and it’s been fun at the table. If the player spends a Luck Point after they roll then the player can reroll but must take the second roll even if it is worse and Natural 1’s cannot be rerolled. The player may only spend one Luck Point per “action”. A Luck Point may also be spent to heal one HD worth of HP.
Gaining Luck Points: The rule of cool is in force here. Do cool stuff. Keep the game and story going. Make everybody at the table laugh. That sort of thing. I know players should be doing that sort of thing anyway but if there’s an incentive to do it then it’s more likely that players will do cool things.
Losing Luck: If the player rolls a Natural 1 on a d20 (except Initiative if that’s what you use). The player gives all of their remaining Luck Points to the GM who gets to use them for the monsters/NPC’s. See Luck ain’t a free ride.

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Playing It Wrong: Too Many Choices

I took a couple of days off so this episode is coming in a little late and it’s time to rant.
We had a case of GM burnout in the gaming group so we’re heading back to 5E with a fresh GM. Time to make a new character. WOTC hasn’t put our as many splat books as in the old days but there’s still a lot of stuff. And as far as DM’s Guild goes. There’s a lot of junk. Plus the usual rants and reading from the Ancient Tomes.
You can subscribe to the podcast on most platforms or heck just stream it here.

So what do you think I should play for the 5E game? BTW we’re doing Out of the Abyss. Leave your comments below.

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More Races for YARC

Another iteration of races for YARC. Like the Races Part I this relies heavily on the house brewed Skill Rules. It’s just my take on Races that they shouldn’t have lots of moving parts but they should have some natural aptitudes. This keeps things very simple and doesn’t create too strong incentive to match certain races with certain classes to get an even more powerful character. It’s the same reason I’m overly fond of racial stat bonuses.
Any distinction between your standard human and the other races should come from role playing and any specifics from the world. Not the game rules.

Half Orc
Darkvision
+1 Damage with melee attacks
+1 Athletics or Survival

Gnome
+1 Tinker or Banter
+1 Save Vs Illusions

Kenku
+1 Appeal, Skullduggery, and Stealth

Tabaxi
Claws: 1d4 Damage
+1 Athletics and Stealth

So what’s happening next? Well, I plan on a few more races that aren’t quite “standard” and a couple more classes. I just might do the Bard and Barbarian (or at least my take on them). And maybe more.

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Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!

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