Showing posts with label B/X. Show all posts
Showing posts with label B/X. Show all posts

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Seeking Zeros (Product Plug)

I'm looking for a few zeros and not in the way you'd expect.

Today I did a review of my products on DriveThruRPG and realized I am pretty close to some thresholds I'd like to hit. Here is a list of my total downloads for all 5 of my products.

AD&D Character Sheet For Use with Unearthed Arcana - 91
Compass Rose Inn Minisetting - 135
Kobold Folly Minisetting - 122
Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners - 244
Swashbucklers Character Class - 87

What I would like to see is at least 100 for my Character Sheet and Swashbuckler Character Class. I wish I was at 250 for Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners.

Let me recap what each product is:

The Character Sheet is just a character sheet with the 7 stats from AD&D and Unearthed Arcana, 1st edition.

The Swashbuckler Character Class is a gimmick character class, someplace between thief and fighter. The Swashbuckler does little to no damage per round, attempting to set themselves for killing strike on a roll of 20 or better. They are fast and adventurous, but perhaps not the greatest warriors. Very Errol Flynn.

Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners is a framework for creating NPC characters with specific non-combat abilities which balanced for D&D and AD&D 1st Edition. The booklet can also be used to create secondary or professional skills for PCs, which don't push the limits or make them OP.

The Compass Rose Inn Minisetting and Kobold's Folly are two maps sets for a generic campaign setting and are rules agnostic. They come with maps that can be printed as 1 inch=5 feet battlemat. Character backgrounds are provided to make these locations come to life with gossip and intrigue. 

I would like to invite all of you to download these products. Each is Pay What You Want. In this time of crisis, the "Pay" and "Want" should go away. Download them at $0.00. It's cool, that's how this works. Help me reach these goals, even though they are probably silly.

I appreciate every download.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Character Buffs - Zero to Hero

D&D and AD&D had a system of allowing characters to be buffed by adding some sort of skill to one of the regular classes via professional skills. Noticeably short on details, it encouraged DMs and players to think outside of the box. AD&D had the ranger and monk classes which featured two hit dice at first level while clerics were buffed with not just first level spells, but bonus spells based on Wisdom scores.

With the release of Unearthed Arcane, players received a model for having a character start below 1st level in the form of the cavaliers. Magic users received cantrips which hinted at powers before first level. Weapon mastery made fighting classes much stronger while pushing other classes into the non-combat skills.

Obviously, the cavalier and thief acrobat were nods to the cartoon. Clearly TSR wanted to change and update their product long before 2.0.

At the time, 2.0 wasn't available to me and by the time it was, I was already too invested in AD&D. Basically, I was unwilling to change. I had a large group of players, between 5 to 12 players per session, a few of them running 2 character at the same time.

What made this possible was an embryonic idea to codify low-level, non-combat oriented characters. While much of this was roleplay for my players, a bit of it dove into the skills possessed by these secondary characters.

Fast forward 33 years to 2018. That stack of notes, rules of thumb and memories of the fun were transformed into an actual pamphlet so that others could implement these types of secondary characters into their campaigns. Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners was born.

It started with a list of 50 professions from the middle ages. In January 2019, the list increased by 9 and later reached 61 in October of the same year. The professions are broken into 3 groups: Sedentary, Active and Laboring which determines their hit points. The characters are average people, so they have ability scores generated by average dice, numbers 2-5 weight towards 3 and 4 or collectively as 9 to 12. Combat skills were limited to using the tools of the trade, which are poor cousins of real weapons. Each new "class" has its own abilities, which are flexible and sometimes overlapping. The classes feature their own levels, from 1-5 which have nothing to do with combat or treasure hunting.

These rules were meant to flesh out NPC classes and includes a table of modifiers for hiring them. But I also wanted to make rules for converting a non-player character to one the main classes in D&D and AD&D.

Once a professional becomes a fully fleshed out player character, I needed to include rules for the tools of the trade. Can a mason turned magic user use a hammer? Sure, why not. Within limits. Stats for mauls, hammers, woodworking axes, zaxes and various other implements were created. These improvised or unusual weapons were define in such a way so as to delineate them from traditional weapons of war. In the right hands, they are powerful tools, in the wrong hands they are poor cousins of their martial variants.

Due to the use of average dice for these characters, a path to "rescuing" a hopeless character was created. All of these rules were designed with the existing D&D and AD&D classes in mind. While not entirely balanced, because the regular classes are not balanced, they are not overpowering. The intent was to flesh out bit part NPC and color player characters with a background.

I hope you will take the time to read Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners and incorporate it into your game. I also have a character sheet for use with characters designed with Unearthed Arcana. Both are available at DriveThruRPG at a suggest price of $0.99 or PWYW.