Showing posts with label Unearthed Arcana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unearthed Arcana. Show all posts

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Armor in the Movies and in Games

This week, I had two ideas collide. I finally finished The Mandalorian on Disney+ and received my order of the book, What is Dungeons and Dragons?. The book takes you through the process of how to create for not just Dugeons and Dragons, but many game systems, while the TV show follows the adventures of Baby Yoda and his newly minted father figure, The Mandalorian.

One thing that stands out in the TV show is how armor should work. Mando gets blasted and knocked around, losing bits and pieces all over the place. Like the real world.


Apparently, Mandalorians are the only Star Wars characters with fully functioning armor. I'd like to bring that into my D&D campaign.

In the original Unearthed Arcana book, there are a couple of options for this. First, there is field plate, which acts like hit points and a matching Magic Armor spell which does the same. I use a fusion of B/X and AD&D so this isn't too outside the box.

What I would like to do is create a system where all armor works to reduce damage. AD&D's armor class is nicely suited for this as 10 is a person's street clothes armor class, which is not protective. It stands to reason that I could simply create a table where dividing each minus to AC by 4 reduces damage by one.

AC
10 0/4 is nothing, so No Damage Reduction
9 is -1/4=.25 No Damage Reduction
8 is -2/4=.50 for 1 Point of  Damage Reduction
7 is -3/4=.75 for 1 Point of  Damage Reduction
6 is -4/4=1.00 for 1 Point of Damage Reduction
5 is -5/4=1.25 for 1 Point of Damage Reduction
4 is -6/4=1.50 for 2 Points of Damage Reduction
3 is -7/4=1.75 for 2 Points of Damage Reduction
2 is -8/4=2.00 for 2 Points of Damage Reduction
1 is -9/4=2.25 for 2 Points of Damage Reduction
0 is -10/4=2.50 for 3 Points of Damage Reduction

This table is nice because it naturally places armor in groups: none, minimal, medium and heavy, which is kind of what the game books do anyway. The table requires division and rounding, which is easy enough on the brain to do on the fly or I could simply make an index sized card for quick reference.

What do you think?

Now, as promised, the ads. On January 1st, I picked up some new ad sources which are very nice. Clicking a link will take you to a store based on the topics covered in this post. The first is for a set of mini-figures from The Mandalarian and the second is to Alibris, where you can get a 3/3.5 edition of Unearthed Arcana. Of course, you could click on the link on the upper right and check out one of my books from DriveThruRPG, offered at PWYW. These ads provide funds to me to keep this site going as I head back to school.

Clicking the link below will take you to the Lego store.




Clicking the link below will take you to purchase Andy Collins Unearthed Arcana @ Alibris

Friday, June 21, 2019

Crossing Thresholds

I cross a threshold, 32 downloads for a 32 year old character sheet for Unearthed Arcana.


One of the things I liked about UA was the addition of the comeliness stat as a distinct item apart from charisma. The ability to revolt or to fascinate based on appearance, modified by charisma. I liked the interplay of stats.

In my campaign, we did alter the rule a bit. First, you recorded your raw comeliness and as a DM I removed points for racial modifiers based on the race they were dealing with. I recall building a table off of the racial preferences table. Let's face it, to a half-orc, half-orcs are hot and humans not.

Having put all of that effort in, the house rule only came into play a couple of times. The problem with comeliness is that we are trying to insert a visual dimension into a format that is nearly only audio.

Every wonder what "Kennedy the DJ looks like?" No idea.

Amusingly,  a local radio station has a slot for their "Kennedy" and over the years "Kennedy" has morphed from man to woman to man again, with zero comment. Strange and slightly funny if you think about "Kennedy, the brand" not "Kennedy the DJ".

However, this is kind of what the rules imply, that your character has or has not Style and Poise, Charm and Looks. Its a great stat for Bards, but its a shame what Bards were back then.

Please let me know what you think in the comments. 

Commercial product placement:
I also have a little book called Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, over at DrivethruRPG. I am obviously thinking of writing another and Gnolls might be the subject.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rediscovering the Past - Part 1 - The Mac is not a Paperweight

Back in the day, my friends and I had dozens of character sheets but no copier. What a headache. I had a computer and thought to myself, "Gee, what if I could make this machine spit out sheets on demand?"



It could. This was the standard character sheet for my campaign. It was designed on a Mac plus e using Mac Draw. This evening, I found a copy of one jammed in the back of my Unearthed Arcana book. My friends and I were so proud of it, we put our names on every copy we printed.

Judging by the context of the sheet, I suspect this was done in 1987. I received my Mac in 1986 and probably purchased Unearthed Arcana in '87. I can assure you that I cribbed off of many different versions of the official sheets to create this document, but I have to say, this is the very best sheet I have ever used.

Isn't it amazing how much technology has changed?

But wait, my Mac plus e isn't a paperweight. It has not been lost nor replaced. It's still with me.


I still use it. But not in the expected fashion. For school, I had to do a series of podcasts and videos and I wrote all of the scripts on the good ol' mac. Why? Because I could hide the mouse off to one side and use it like a teleprompter.

This file is now available at DriveThruRPG as an unwatermarked PDF.

This product is a scan of a character sheet from 1987, created on a Mac Plus E. It has been uploaded for nostalgia. It is specifically meant for Unearthed Arcana and includes the six basic abilities, plus comeliness. I have used this sheet for decades. While not entirely error free, nor perfect for every campaign, it is a great design.

This item is offered as PWYW. It is strongly suggested that you download the sheet for $0.00 and if it works for your group, come on back and reorder it at the price point you feel it is worth. Remember, this is a scan of 32 year old sheet from 1987. The value is in the history of the game, not the production quality, so your mileage may vary.

This product is unwatermarked so as not to disrupt the old school feel. Please print as many copies as you need, but do not digitally redistribute.

For more great romps in nostalgia, visit me at These Old Games. I would love to hear how this sheet fared in your AD&D 1e setting.