Tag Archives: ICRPG

Blighted Krevborna: Session 2.5: Wandering in Castorhage & New House Rules.

Oh the best laid plains. We were supposed to have a session two weeks ago. Well, we sort of did. Having my players spread geographically that means VTT time. About an hour into the session, I lost power. I know you’ve heard lots of bad things. This time it turned out somebody ran into a transformer and blacked out a decent hunk of town. That meant the session was interrupted and didn’t get that far. And it was a bit difficult to get the momentum going again.

On the bright side, the final player got to join. So here’s the new character. Elisa the Plague Doctor. She’s a farmer from a decaying backwater town and her parents were wrongly executed. Her true love ran off to live a life of crime. So that rounds our party.

The party did release an evil sorceress but they are tying to kiss to her. They realized that they a fake inheritance. And made friends with one of the local thieves. All fun in Castorhage. Like I said, it wasn’t that exciting of a session. Sure there was lot of role play and getting to know the city a bit more.

But the extra time between sessions did let me digest some stuff. I’m using Deathbringer as primary rules source. There are now skills just attributes so those go up quicker than a lot of other games. Compared to other d20 systems, you just used the “modifier” and don’t even write down your good old 3 to 18. The core rules is that you get +1 every odd level. The players weren’t happy about that so I made them offer. Fine you gain a +1 each level but it’s random. They ate it up.

The other rule that I added was something that was bugging me for a long time. And I think I finally came up with a solution. We’ve all watched the movies where there’s an epic sword fight but the characters are also kicking and punching. But we don’t really do that in gaming. I wanted some of that element added. So if they miss their attack roll by 1 then they still hit but with an unarmed attack.

So there you go. The biggest thing was some adjustment to house rules and laying the foundations for more plots and troubles.

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Using ICRPG for Ritual Magic

Yes, I’m a homebrewer/rules hacker sort of guy. It’s what I enjoy doing. Tweaking all sorts of various rules to fit what think would be the best a campaign. Now, my current campaign is mostly based on Professor DM’s Deathbringer with some ICRPG elements and my own weird imagination.

I’m not using all of ICRPG. I might do a campaign for it later on but right now I’m just using it as one of my favorite GM Tool Kits. One of the things that I’m not really using is EFFORT. Well, not completely any way. Normally, EFFORT is basically damage. It’s used to complete dramatic or time sensitive tasks. Make a d20 roll and if you beat the Target Number then you do “damage” to the task. What you roll for damage depends on the character and whatever equipment that they might be using. For this campaign, I decided to use EFFORT only for some very special circumstances. That is for magic. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to only focus on a couple of uses. Summoning demons and banishing/exorcising them.

OK. Here’s where you’re going to learn more about ICRPG. First, the GM will set the Target Number. This should be from about 10 to 18. Sort of the overall difficulty. It’s part art and part science setting that number. Then how much EFFORT will it take? That’s the easy part. It’s Hit Points. So how EFFORT do you do with a successful roll? Well, if you’re just using magic words and waving around your hands that’s d4 (Basic). If you’re using better and better spell components, materials, tomes, or whatever then work you’re way up the die chain; d6, d8, d10, and d12. What about bonuses? Since I’m not using the full ICRPG rules that would be INT bonus to casting but the magic using types would add that to their EFFORT. Roll that Nat 1 along the way then things go bad. Roll a Nat 20 then that’s a crit.

This will probably freak out the folks who are used to ICRPG and folks who don’t know it, will be scratching their heads. Think about it. Apply it how you want. And have fun.

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Blighted Krevborna: Session 1

Our little group kicked off the Blighted Krevborna campaign. So setting wise I’ve kit bashed The Blight by Frog God Games and Krevborna by Dolorous Exhumation Press. The primary chassis of the rules is Deathbringer with other mechanics from Index Card RPG and Shadowdark.

Let’s start off with the characters because that’s the main thing that we did.

Millianna (Grimscribe) A former nun who found an ancient tome and discovered magic is a quicker path to power than prayer. She fled the church after her blackmail plot against one of her superiors went south in the process she incurred a large debt to a crime lord.

Then there’s Stryn (Deathbringer). He’s on the run from the law for allegedly murdering his father. The law and his siblings aren’t too happy about it.

Highlights of the session:

After a roadside ambush, Stryn will now be known as “Righty” since a Chaos Cannibal Mutant gnawed off his left hand. This left the party really banged up and not a healer in group. It’s Deathbringer so that healing is really slow.

Most exciting encounter was the fight with headless zombies atop a speed coach. Zombies jump on the coach. Characters barely hanging on. It was fun and exciting.

I’m not going to write really long session summaries with every detail. But here’s a bit of analysis of the mechanics. Get ICRPG. That really kept the game moving. Get Deathbring too. You have fast simple character generation and some ready made random tables for a grim back story. And, of course, I did use some house rules on it too.

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Neatest Game I Discovered This Year: Index Card RPG

Ah yes. It’s that time of year for that naval gazing and best of the year type thing. Well, I’m no different because there’s a lot of cool stuff that came across by path. So the neatest game that’s already been out a while that I just started looking at closely is ICRPG.

My history with ICRPG is odd. I had heard about grabbed up the Quick Start and just didn’t get around to looking closely at it. Then I back the Vigilante City Kickstarter and got the ICRPG version of it and still didn’t look closely at it. So far it’s all been due to my own laziness and then I stumbled upon The Dungeon Craft Youtube channel and binge watched. Which in turn lead me to the Runehammer Youtube channel. And then well I was hooked and ordered up a copy of the Master Edition. BTW, the Master Edition is the latest and most complete version currently.

If I piece together history correctly, ICRPG started off as house rules for a 5E game and then evolved into it’s own thing. So it’s basically D&D. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and easily hackable. These are things that I love. Sure I lean into that old-school vibe and love those games. But ICRPG let’s me take those cool bits from whatever game I want and work them into a more efficient way. I know one of my grognard brethren will note that is started off as a 5E hack. True but the final product has a lot more in common with old school than 5E. No skills. Rulings not rules. And general attitude of that’s it OK for the GM to tinker with the rules.

I think it’s put best right there at the beginning of the book, “ICRPG is a way of thinking.” So if you’re an old hand take a moment and put aside much of what you’ve learned and read the book and understand where it’s going and what it’s doing then go back to your favorites and start tinkering to your heart’s desire. It’s a solid framework to build on or just draw inspiration and add on to whatever rules you happen to be your favorite.

Go ahead and check out the free Quickstart on DrivethruRPG.

Honorable Mention goes to Warlock! by Fire Ruby Designs. Ever want an easier way to play Warhammer Fantasy Role Play. Well, here you go. It even inspired me to do a Grievous Injury house rule for current campaign and that rule is going to be added to the next one.

Like this post or others? Want to see more behind the scenes rants and stuff. Want to support the blog? Check out the RPG Pig Pen on Locals or the Patreon.

White Box Wednesday: White Box+ICRPG?

OK, I know this is a weird one. So just hear me out before you go scrolling by.

I admit that I am pretty much a late comer to the whole ICRPG scene. As I’m playing around with it and the pieces are coming together in little brain, there’s some weird connections that happen. Like this one.


Yes, ICRPG does have a lot of its own jargon and feel. And there’s lots of cool things in there even if you don’t actually play the game on its own. And that’s basically the meat of this post. And the meat in this case is EFFORT.

OK, Effort is one of those in ICRPG that at first I wasn’t overly excited about. I liked but I wasn’t what you call excited about it. Fast forward. And here I am ranting about it. So what is Effort? At its most basic, it’s damage. You know hitting the orc with your sword. But you can use it for time sensitive dramatic tasks like the Thief has to pick the lock before the room fills with poison gas. Characters get bonuses to Effort during character generation and/or busy using cool gear. It breaks down pretty simply: Basic (Hands and Brain), Weapons/Tools, Guns, Magic, and Ultimate (Crits and really, really good gear). These normally use the standard RPG dice; d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12 respectively.

Now enter White Box. All of them use d6. Heck all weapons already do that with a small modifier. So the only actual change in that case is a character based bonus. Note Attribute Modifiers don’t add to Effort/Damage.

Once again this is one of those rules hacks to get you thinking. Kit bash all that stuff together the way you want. I’m throwing out an option for you to think about and play around with. And there’s a bunch of ideas for you to play around with too. Do what you want.

You can grab up the Free ICRPG Quickstart on DrivethruRPG and get to hacking.