Showing posts with label D&D. Show all posts
Showing posts with label D&D. Show all posts

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Tired Thoughts on Tired OGL

I love posts that start with the Chaos Star
The OGL has attained the maximum cultural entropy. Even my wife has a passing familiarity with OGL, which is impressive as she is a nurse and doesn't do "nerd stuff". She's still pretty hot that our children's collective initials are NPC. 

Anyway, I took on this new project to write a campaign setting. And then I busted my shoulder, leaving me to do everything with one hand tied behind my back... literally. Now that I have the immobilizer off, I can start moving and thinking again. 

Here is the long and short of my thoughts on the OGL. 

I have 6 products on DriveThruRPG: 

  1. Kobold’s Folly Mini Setting
  2. Compass Rose Inn Mini Setting
  3. The Hex Pack
  4. Swashbuckler Character Class for D&D and AD&D
  5. Zero to Hero: Uncommon Heroes
  6. Character Sheet for AD&D
Three of these products have nothing to do with D&D, the OGL or SRD: Kobold’s Folly and Compass Rose Inn Mini Settings plus The Hex Pack. I can ignore these. 

The other three are directly tied to D&D. They are nothing without the original game. If push comes to they are either going to be withdrawn or go to "OGL version whatever". I have some decisions to make, I guess. The Swashbuckler Character class really needs to be burned to the ground and remade or dumped in the historical stupidity bin. I'm ok with either. I'd like to rework Zero to Hero into OSE, so I need to wait and see what Old Games Essentials does. The character sheet is a historical snapshot that assumes the use of a couple of books, I am not sure if it needs to be connected to the SDR or OGL because it is literally nothing but an image of a collection of words and numbers that are very context specific to a certain version of a D&D game.  

I have come to the conclusion that I need to abandon D&D and ignore three of my products linked to the SRD and OGL while reworking the other three into something that doesn't remotely touch the works of Wizards of the Coast. 

I have decided to come up with a completely new game system. One of my own devising. In the best case, I am the next WotC. The worst-case scenario is no one uses it. 

What I know now: 
  • I have the basic idea of a game system. 
  • Playtesting has started.
  • It will be called "Zero to Hero", which I am 99.9% is not a copyrightable name. That's cool, I'll deal with it if I can. 
    EDIT - No, No, this is no longer correct. I think I will call it "The Hearts System". 
  • My first book, "Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners" will be worked into this somehow. I don't know how. 
  • I will press on with my new campaign setting and tool it to work with "Zero to Hero". 
  • I need to come up with a better naming convention because if I find too many things referencing "Zero to Hero" I will have to change the name. 
So here we are. 

This is a cross-post with my Ko-Fi project

Thursday, January 12, 2023

#CharacterCreationChallenge - Ruleset D&D 3.5 - Fel Sorcerer

One of my favorite tools is the RedBlade character generator for 3.5. This tool is amazingly simple to use. I was able to cook up a Sorcerer in just a few minutes. The output is in HTML, which makes it easy to post online.

In just a few minutes, I was able to cook up Fel the Sorcerer, a Half-Elf. The software knows exactly how a character is built, so I don't have to track skill points or feats or even languages. It is a thing of beauty. 

Fel character sheet, Redblade 3.5e
Fel    
CHARACTER NAME PLAYER CAMPAIGN
6 Sorcerer Half-Elf Neutral Evil
CLASS AND LEVEL RACE ALIGNMENT EXPERIENCE POINTS
 

ABILITY NAME

ABILITY SCORE ABILITY MODIFIER   TOTAL WOUNDS/CURRENT HP NONLETHAL DAMAGE SPEED

STR
strength

11 +0

HP
hit points

14     30ft.

DEX
dexterity

15 +2

AC
armor class

14 = 10 + 1 + 0 + 2 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 0

CON
constitution

10 +0 TOTAL BASE ARMOR BONUS SHIELD BONUS DEX MODIFIER SIZE MODIFIER NATURAL ARMOR DEFLECT MODIFIER MISC MODIFIER
DAMAGE REDUCTION

INT
intelligence

14 +2

TOUCH
armor class

13

FLAT-FOOTED
armor class

12
SKILLS
  SKILL NAME KEY ABILITY SKILL MODIFIER ABILITY MODIFIER RANKS MISC MODIFIER
  (cc)Appraise¤§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Balance¤ dex 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  Bluff¤§ cha 6 = 2 + 4 + 0
  (cc)Climb¤ str 0 = 0 + 0 + 0
  Concentration¤§ con 4 = 0 + 4 + 0
  Craft¤§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  Decipher Script§ int 4 = 2 + 2 + 0
  (cc)Diplomacy¤§ cha 6 = 2 + 4 + 0
  (cc)Disable Device§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Disguise¤§ cha 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Escape Artist¤ dex 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Forgery¤§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Gather Information¤§ cha 6 = 2 + 4 + 0
  (cc)Handle Animal§ cha 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Heal¤§ wis 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Hide¤ dex 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Intimidate¤§ cha 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Jump¤ str 0 = 0 + 0 + 0
  Knowledge (arcana)§ int 4 = 2 + 2 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (architecture & engineering)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (dungeoneering)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (geography)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (history)§ int 3 = 2 + 1 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (local)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (nature)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (nobility and royalty)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (religion)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Knowledge (the planes)§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0

WIS
wisdom

14 +2         TOTAL DEX MODIFIER MISC MODIFIER

CHA
charisma

15 +2

INITIATIVE
modifier

+6 = 2 + 4
SAVING THROWS TOTAL   BASE SAVE   ABILITY MODIFIER   MAGIC MODIFIER   MISC MODIFIER   TEMP. MODIFIER

FORT
constitution

2 = 2 + 0 + 0 + 0 +

REFLEX
dexterity

4 = 2 + 2 + 0 + 0 +

WILL
wisdom

7 = 5 + 2 + 0 + 0 +
BASE ATTACK BONUS 3 SPELL RESISTANCE 0

GRAPPLE
modifier

3 = 3 + 0 + 0 + 0
TOTAL BASE ATT BONUS STRENGTH MODIFIER SIZE MODIFIER MISC MODIFIER
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
Defending Spear +1 4 1d8+1 20/x3
RANGE TYPE NOTES
20   6lb, Med, twohanded wielding,
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
       
RANGE TYPE NOTES
        (cc) crossclass skill
¤ can be used untrained § apply armor penalty
                                   
POSSESSIONS   SKILLS
ITEM PG. LB. ITEM PG. LB.
Defending Spear +1   6 Backpack (empty)   2
Bedroll   5 Bracers of armor +1   0
5 x Candle   0 2 x Case, map or scroll   0
Crowbar   5 Dart   0
2 x Flask   0 Flint and steel   0
Hammer   2 Ink (1 oz. vial)   0
Inkpen   0 7 x Parchment (sheet)   0
Pouch, belt   3 Ring of Protection +1   0
Rope, hemp (50 ft.)   10 Sealing wax   1
Silver Dagger (masterwork)   1 Tent   10
5 x Torch   5  
   
   
   
   
 
  SKILL NAME KEY ABILITY SKILL MODIFIER ABILITY MODIFIER RANKS MISC MODIFIER
  (cc)Listen¤§ wis 3 = 2 + 1 + 0
  (cc)Move Silently¤ dex 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Open Lock§ dex 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Perform¤§ cha 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  Profession§ wis 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Ride¤§ dex 3 = 2 + 1 + 0
  (cc)Search¤§ int 3 = 2 + 1 + 0
  (cc)Sense Motive¤§ wis 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Sleight of Hand§ dex 3 = 2 + 1 + 0
  (cc)Speak Language§ int 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  Spellcraft§ int 4 = 2 + 2 + 0
  (cc)Spot¤§ wis 4 = 2 + 2 + 0
  (cc)Survival¤§ wis 3 = 2 + 1 + 0
  (cc)Swim¤§ str 1 = 0 + 1 + 0
  (cc)Tumble dex 2 = 2 + 0 + 0
  (cc)Use Magic Device§ cha 3 = 2 + 1 + 0
        =   +   +  
        =   +   +  
        =   +   +  
        =   +   +  
        =   +   +  
1-38lb. 39-76lb. 77-115lb. 115lb. 230lb. 575lb.   PLATINUM 134
  GOLD 5
LIGHT
LOAD
MEDIUM
LOAD
HEAVY
LOAD

LIFT OVER HEAD
EQUALS MAX LOAD

LIFT OFF GROUND
2x MAX LOAD

PUSH OR DRAG
5x MAX LOAD

SILVER 2
COPPER 4
FEATS, LANGUAGES & ABILITIES
       
Feats Sorcerer abilities    
Brew Potion Summon Familiar    
Combat-Casting      
Improved Initiative Half-Elf abilities    
Simple Weapon Proficiency Low-light vision    
  Elven Blood    
Languages Immunity to sleep spells    
Halfling +2 save vs enchantments    
Goblin      
Common      
Elven      
Sorcerer spells      
Spell Save DC LEVEL SPELLS PER DAY BONUS SPELLS      
12 0 6 0      
13 1st 6 +1      
14 2nd 5 +1      
15 3rd 3 0      
- 4th - -      
- 5th - -      
- 6th - -      
- 7th - -      
- 8th - -      
- 9th - -      
       
Acid Splash      
Arcane Mark      
Detect Magic      
Mage Hand      
Open/Close      
Prestidigitation      
Read Magic      
       
Level 1      
Identify      
Mage Armor      
Magic Weapon      
Sleep      
       
Level 2      
Daylight      
Scorching Ray      
       
Level 3      
Stinking Cloud      
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
Silver Dagger (masterwork) 4 1d4 19-20/x2
RANGE TYPE NOTES
10   1lb, Med,
 
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
       
RANGE TYPE NOTES
     
 
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
Dart 3 1d4 20/x2
RANGE TYPE NOTES
20   0lb, Med,
 
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
       
RANGE TYPE NOTES
     
 
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
       
RANGE TYPE NOTES
     
 
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
       
RANGE TYPE NOTES
     
 
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
       
RANGE TYPE NOTES
     
 
ATTACK ATTACK DAMAGE CRITICAL
       
RANGE TYPE NOTES
     
 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Taking Stock: Part One The Game

Well, the solo sessions using Old School Essentials went south. It was the wandering monster list that did the party in:

1. Bandits, 3d4 appearing.
2. Sheep, 3d6 appearing.
3. Giant Ants, 2d6 appearing.
4. Ranger, 1 appearing.
5. Troll, 1 appearing.
6. Kobolds*, 3-6 appearing.
7. Mountain Goats, 2d4 appearing.
8. Mage*, 1 appearing.
9. Wild Horses, 1d4 appearing.
10. Wolves, 2d4 appearing.

Infi, I seem to be butting my head up against the concept of Random this week. I randomly rolled the number 3 several times too many. This is a rookie DM mistake and I shouldn't be a rookie DM 40 years in. Giant ants are far too imposing for 1st level characters to encounter. 

I'm equally a willy player and a willy DM, so I tried to make it work. Time was not on the PC's side, they have limited food and no capacity to heal magically. But they had other resources. 

In the first encounter, they faced 7 Giant Ants in an abandoned mansion. This played well as the party was naturally in 3 small groups with cover and the ants needed to advance on their positions. The Fighter, Halfling, and Elf all had bows while the Clerics had slings. The third group was the Magic-User and Thief with only melee weapons and spells. The MU cast light, drawing the first group of ants towards them. 

A halfling with a bow.
The rest of the party rained missiles down on them from two different positions. I had the ants roll modified morale. If they succeeded, the ants would pursue the FIRST person who shot at them. If they failed, they plowed on toward the MU and Thief. This had the effect of splitting the ants up and allowing the party a chance to shoot them from behind. Four ants fell to this tactic. When the party saw the next wave of 3 ants coming, they escaped to their hideout. 

This worked well except for the expenditure of arrows. This came back to hurt the party the next time. 

The party realized that the Thief was a better shot than the Fighter, so the bow was handed over.  

In the next combat, they encounter 4 ants in an alleyway. They downed all four ants in a hail of stones and arrows but lost one Cleric in the process. The party was also down just a handful of arrows. This is where slings shine as you can use any old rock as a missile. The party was dismayed when they returned to the mansion and the alleyway to recover arrows. They found the ones that missed their targets, but the ants carried off their dead, arrows and all. 

Later, the Party got bushwacked on a city street when the ants caught them again. The Fighter went down after a quick exchange of swings with the lead ant. The Halfling, Elf, and Thief took off to get a better angle on the Ants while the Magic-User and Cleric saved the day. The MU had an oil lamp in his hands and hit an ant on the first try, setting it on fire. The Cleric tossed a flask on the ant to finish the job. By now arrows were raining down. The party managed to kill five ants between missile fire and oil, but the Elf and Halfling were horribly wounded and the Fighter was dead. 

The party limped back home. The party was down by a lot: 3 characters dead, 2 injured badly.

The next day was better. They ventured out and encountered sheep. The Elf and Magic-User managed to kill two for food.  

They made one final foray, trying to make for the walls to get the heck out of this place. They were armed with torches and oil as they were out of arrows. They had one final encounter with 5 ants which was overwhelming despite the arsonist's mentality. Only the Thief and the last Cleric made it back to the fountain. 

The thing I like about this scenario is the mad card-playing Game Master randomly teleporting in new characters. I think this town has hopes as a good play environment so I want to keep it going. The petty little card cheater has unloaded another batch of heroes: a Half-Elf, a Paladin, a Cleric, a Fighter, a Thief, and a Magic User. Third level this time with a bunch of magic and good gear. Of course, I used the random Character Generator (Retainers), so all I need to do is name the party members. 

This post naturally leads to tomorrow's post about taking stock of my personal goals for the next year. 

PS: You can pick up a copy of Old School Essentials CharactersMagicMonsters, and Treasures on DriveThruRPG. You can also try Wordlographer before you buy.  

Friday, December 30, 2022

A Vance A. Study in OSE NPCs

In the last post about OSE, Vance A. commented that the Old School Essentials had character generators, specifically for NPC, Travelers, and so on. He didn't know how the distribution went, so I took a shot to figure it out. 

Before I dive into that, I would like to take a moment to thank Vance and anyone else who took the time to comment. I find that comments and shares are far better than a random like or emoji that I get elsewhere. Comments let me in on the mind of the readers and they are a report of the reception of posts I share. I love the comments, thank you very much.  

The best tool seemed to be the Retainer Generator. I set it to 0 percent chance for normal humans and asked it to generate 10d10 characters at 1st and 10d10 3rd level characters. I will repurpose them for my upcoming campaign and other projects, so I didn't burn electrons for nothing. 

I used my NPC breakdown sheet as a tally sheet. 

01-02 Acrobat (5)

03-04 Assassin (7)

05-06 Duergar (4)

06-15   Dwarf (2)

16-25    Fighter (7)

26-30 Half-Elf (3)

31-32    Half-Orc (0)

33-38 Halfling (0)

   39   Knight (7)

40-50 Theif (8)

   51      Svirfneblin (4)

52-73    Magic-User (10)

73-74    Illusionist (4)

75-80    Barbian (3)

   81      Bard (18)

82-92      Cleric (6)

   93  Drow (0)

   94         Druid (10)

95-97 Elf (0)

   98   Gnome (1)

   99   Paladin (2) 00   Ranger (10)


And you know what I discovered? Random is random. 


I generated 111 characters and this is just not enough to detect anything but the most basic trends. Certain classes and races seem more popular than others. However, judging by the 18 Bards I rolled, I could just be ascribing a personal point of view to a small series of choices. 


It was an interesting experiment in Random.


While this generator was meant for retainers, the resulting characters seem just fine for PCs. I'll be using them for that and more. You can check out all of the OSE generators at this link