Tuesday 21 February 2023

Basic Crusades - House rules to make your BX saving throws more like Castles & Crusades


  Castles & Crusades remains my favorite d20 game, but I've always felt BX still has its place at my table. It just depends on the campaign. I do however vastly prefer the Ability score-based saving throw/skill/everything resolution system from C&C. So let's use it for BX as well! Same Saving Throws, same resolution rules, etc. All we need is to figure out the Target Number (TN) for each Ability Score according to the BX class you chose.

  For every method, the TN is determined at Level 1 and remains fixed as the character levels up. Remember that the character is still getting better since in C&C you add your level to saving throws.

  For the examples that have to do with BX stats I'll be using the ones found in Old-School Essentials.

  Quick Side-Note: Humans get special treatment when it comes to TN Saving Throws in C&C because all the Races need to be balanced with each other. For BX, Humans need no such special considerations as the Saves are attached to a Class, where the XP cost and Level Limits are the balancing factors.

  Here are the different ways to do it!

Method One: BX Primes and Non-Primes - This one is very similar to how things work in C&C but keeps that BX flavor for Saving Throw TNs. You choose Two Prime Ability Scores, the others are Non-Prime. (Same for Humans, as mentioned above.) If the Class has Ability Score requirements, you automatically have to choose those as your Primes. The TN for Prime Saving Throws is the lowest number from your BX Saving Throws list. Non-Primes are the highest.

Example 1: A Halfling has to take CON and DEX as their Primes. The TN for those two Abilities will be 8. All others will be 13. 

Example 2: An Elf has to take Intelligence as their first Prime, and can then choose whichever other Ability they would like for the 2nd Prime. Prime TNs will be 12, Non-Primes will be 15.

Example 3: A Fighter can put their two Primes wherever they want. Prime TNs are 12, Non-Primes are 16.

Method Two: A Single TN - Note down all your BX Saving Throw scores at level 1 from lowest to highest. The third value is your one single TN for all your Abilities. (Ability Score modifiers will still apply to Saves so there should be some variety anyway.)

Examples: A Thief would have a TN of 14, a Halfling a TN of 10.

Method Three: Assign BX TNs - Note down all your BX Saving Throw scores at level 1 from lowest to highest. Look at the third value and add it one more time to the list. You should then have 6 different values. Assign them freely to your 6 Ability Scores. 

Method Four: The SIEGE Engine - "Stop your nonsense, Primes have to be 12, Non-Primes have to be 18! Anything else is BLASPHEMY!" Ok, ok. 12 or 18, the SIEGE Engine. Look at your Saving Throw scores. If you have at least one Save which is 15 or higher, you have Two Primes. If none of your saves are higher than 14, you have Three Primes!

Final comment: Don't forget that the original BX Ability Score Requirements still need to be respected!

Saturday 1 October 2022

The OSR is Not One Single Group

A neutral look at the OSR's political affiliations if any.

   I will make this post as short as I can, and politically neutral. I'm just going to state facts, not personal opinions. (Unless you want to consider my conclusion from the data presented my personal opinion.)

  Let's have a look to see if the OSR has a majority political side, backed by data where gamers actually put money on what they wanted.

  First, one of the writers that some people point to when they claim the OSR is this super-Conservative group, Venger Satanis. 

  Or is it Venger Christianis?

  Anyway, moving on! This is the result of Venger's latest fundraiser (that I could find online) for his Cha'alt After Dark book:

  Now let's have a look at a definitely Progressive OSR game, Chromatic Dungeons by Rod Waibel:

    This is a screenshot from the Chromatic Dragons Kickstarter:

And the results of the fundraising campaign for that game:

  So there you have it. Between Venger Satanis-Christianis and Rob Waibel, Venger had slightly more backers while Rob had slightly more money from his backers. I consider this a tie, 1 point for each.

  This is where you could argue my personal opinion comes in, I do think a higher price value can detract a few people so it's why I separate the number of backers and the total money raised as each worth '1 point' for my judging.

Side-Note for transparency: There are bigger names in the OSR than Venger Satanis-Christianis and Rob Waibel of course. I was initially thinking of two in particular. One I would consider conservative and the other progressive. I am not using them as examples because their popularity goes beyond the scope of the OSR alone. Also, the conservative one openly tries to make his games neutral of politics -unlike Venger who writes anti-abortion adventures- and the progressive one has people who follow his work in other areas than even the TTRPG hobby. Because of that, they seemed to me ill-suited for a balanced look at the OSR by itself stripped of other outside factors. I am sure some of you can guess who I am talking about but to confirm it would send the conversation in completely off-the-rails directions I am sure.

Also of interest:

Friday 29 April 2022

Ghoul Class for Undead Malefactors - First Draft (BX Rules)


  Linnias stood there with the other Ghouls and watched the Vampire Lady Virria Xarras bathe. He and his brethren were her bodyguards and thus followed her everywhere, but the only reason they would stare at her naked body as she stood in her bath was that she demanded it. She was a cruel one, as she did so to mock them all. 

  Her husband the Vampire Lord Fangar Xarras made sure that all the Ghouls who guarded his Lady had their genitals removed. 

  Being Ghouls they would slowly regrow the lost members over the next few weeks, so it was a painful procedure that was repeated as soon as they were deemed too repaired. Linnias was a recent servant to the House Xarras and so had only gone through the 'ritual' seven times so far. He had hoped to be transferred eventually to the Ghoul Trooper squads who went out on raiding missions outside of the Xarras City-State. It was beginning to look more and more unlikely that would ever happen.

  He had been a Ghoul for a few months so it was a shock for him to learn that apparently, Ghoul regeneration had its limits. The longest-serving Ghouls of House Xarras eventually stopped regenerating what was removed during the rituals. Linnias did not know if it was due to some magic employed during the ritual or a subconscious reaction in the Ghouls who just did not want to go under that knife again. All he knew was that he wished he hadn't ended up serving House Xarras.

  Lady Virria stared at him and grinned, thinking she must have been quite the torturous sight to the new servant. Far from it actually. Linnias had always favored the company of men both in life and in undeath. He had early on considered telling Lord Fangar of this to possibly avoid the ritual, but he feared the paranoid Lord would think it a ruse and have Linnias eliminated.

  He had to find a way out, but now that he knew their secrets his Vampire rulers would never let him go. It was time to reach out in secret to the enemies of House Xarras and plot their final demise.

  These pathetic Undead of horrifying appearance live under the shadow of their Vampire superiors. Ghouls are disrespected and mistreated by the Vampire elite who command them. They crave human flesh, living or dead. Like all Undead they are cruel beings but amplified by the bitterness and frustration of how Vampires treat them. Most Ghouls would love nothing more than to lash out at Vampires, but they are supernaturally inclined to obey their orders. Still, it does happen that the occasional Ghoul attacks a Vampire in bitter frustration. Such Ghouls are often caught and executed before long. Ghouls are the soldiers, bodyguards, and enforcers of the Vampires. Their ability to withstand the sun also makes them perfect for venturing out of a City-State in search of nomadic tribes of Humans that they can capture and bring back to the City-States.

Prime Requisite: Dex, Str
HD: d6
Alignment: Ghouls can only be Chaotic
Armor: Any
Shields: Any
Weapons: Any
Languages: Common, Demonic
Combat Progression: As Fighter
Saving Throws: As Thief
Max. Level: 13

Bite: Ghouls have a natural bite attack that deals 1d4 damage.

Immunities: Ghouls are immune to Ghoul Paralysis, Diseases, and Poisons.

Ghouls do not need to breathe.

Ghouls do not eat or drink normal food, they crave the flesh of humans, alive or dead.

Infravision up to 30 ft.

Skills: Ghouls have some skills in common with the Thief at the same progression rate. They are Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, and Climb Sheer Surfaces. Note that if a Ghoul wears any armor other than leather, these skills are halved (rounded down).

Supernatural Devotion: Ghouls have a supernatural fear and devotion to Vampires, even if their true, actual feelings are bitter and hateful. As such, they suffer a -2 penalty on all attacks made against a Vampire and on all Saving Throws made against a Vampire's attack. 

Ghoul Paralysis: A Ghoul can Paralyze a target once per day. This ability works as the spell Hold Person but only on an individual and the Ghoul needs to make physical contact with the target.

Regeneration: Ghouls can regrow lost limbs in 1d4 weeks.

Ghouls can have their own Pack of Ghouls at Level 10, along with their own home base. This is normally under a Vampire's approval and supervision but not always. (Details to be fleshed out.)

Level Up Table: Starting at level 2 and every two levels thereafter, a Ghoul can roll on the Level Up Table and apply the result to their character. Note: The final version of this Class will have a much longer list.

Level-Up Table
1. Child Soldiers: You now have 1d4+1 human child soldiers at your service. Work out with your GM how this came to be. They are brainwashed into serving you and their Morale when doing so is 12. (For other situations roll their Morale as normal.) You have to pay for their equipment and any other requirements to keep them alive f you choose to do so. They otherwise share the same stat block as a Goblin but without any of the Goblin traits.
2. You have discovered the secret to becoming a Vampire! Work out with your GM how you find this out and what it is that you need to do to accomplish this. See the rules for Becoming a Vampire on page XX.
3. You now have claws. Same stats as the Bite.
4. Every time you eat someone's face there is a chance of 1 in 6 that your own face will mimic the one you ate and make its appearance. It doesn't change your overall appearance and size, not even the rest of your head. Not even your fangs change, only your face. You keep that face for 1d4 hours before it reverts back to normal.
5. (More to come.)

XP to get to Level 2 (Full XP Chart to come) - 1800 xp 

Saturday 23 October 2021

The Only Way to Kill the Monster


Just a quick random table for conditions required to kill a monster. (Either to make the death permanent or to bring it below 1 hp at all, up to you.)

  1.  The person attacking the monster must be holding a flower with one petal left. That petal must then remain attached to the flower for a whole day, otherwise the monster comes back more powerful than ever! (Plus 1d4 HD)
  2. The monster must be killed by a blade that has been sunk into the heart of someone who trusted the person who stabbed them.
  3. The attacker must keep a live wasp inside the mouth and quickly swallow it after the killing blow has been dealt on the monster.
  4. The attacker must not see the monster on the same day or night that the killing blow is dealt. Only once the monster is truly dead can the attacker look upon the monster. If the attackerlooks at the monster at the exact moment of the killing blow or while the monster is dying, the attacker will become a monster like the one that died on the next full moon. (Might be avoided with a Saving Throw if the GM wishes.)

This was just a little something I threw together for fun but if anyone wants me to make the list longer please leave a comment.

Sunday 19 September 2021

Paragon Man! A Character Concept for 'Actual Fucking Monsters'


  Concept: Carlton Clarke, an unassuming and often bullied reporter is actually Paragon Man, the only Actual Superhero! The last survivor of his home planet, he was sent to Earth as a baby... You know what, I'm sure you know how the story goes. What you might not know is that Carlton/Paragon Man is addicted to saving those close to him. His 'loved ones' if he really felt emotions such as love instead of acting like he does. You might think that's a GOOD thing, right? 
  Well, it would be if all the times he saves his friends and 'love interests' were legitimate. The thing is that to fill his Satiation, Paragon Man secretly plots to put his pals and love interests in danger! Never killing his enemies under the pretense of a 'no killing' code to make sure they can try to take revenge at him through his 'loved' ones -allowing him the chance to save them-, posing with his 'friends' in public as much as possible to make them obvious targets... Sometimes he even secretly helps his enemies escape prison without anyone knowing. (A jailed criminal might find the bars of his cell compromised, not knowing earlier Paragon Man sneaked in to weaken them with his superhuman strength, for example.)
  If any of those close to him die he is legitimately distressed and saddened, but not out of any human sense of empathy, rather because it has become harder to fill his Satiation without them.
  Although he doesn't fully understand why, he has also realized over the years that he is more powerful when he is mocked and bullied as Carlton Clarke. He hates that fact but plays the role of the meek mild-mannered man who never defends himself, acting in ways that will attract ridicule knowing otherwise he'll find his powers weakened. He would love nothing more than to kill those who torment him under his human identity but he needs them to be the most powerful version of himself.
  If that wasn't enough, he has noticed he is also more powerful when he is popular and celebrated by the masses of his city as Paragon Man, something that he does enjoy a lot. As a reporter, he writes countless articles and opinion pieces celebrating Paragon Man to make sure he is at his peak.

PARAGON MAN as a starting AFM Character

Type: Those Who Are Born (Alien)
Nature (d6): Superhero Best Pal. (Fills Satiation if he Rescues a Person Close to Him)

Mind d6
Body d12
Spirit d4

Mask (Reporter) d4: Investigaton d6, Writing d6, Persuasion d6

Powers: Armoured d8, Olympian d8, Flying d8*

Banes: Mineral from his Home World d8, Weakened if Not Ridiculed as Carlton Clarke d6, Weakened if Public Opinion Wanes d4

*Flying is a power from the AFM Companion

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Tuesday 9 February 2021

OSR Crossover


  Elevator pitch: This post is an invitation to anyone with an OSR Actual Play show (no matter the platform) to contact me to do a crossover story that would span across different participating shows.

More Context:  I have an Actual Play OSR show titled CHRONICLES OF THE CRIMSON HOUND. The quick description of the show is that it's Horror Cyberpunk instead of Medieval Fantasy and that I am the Player Character in my show, with every Serial (A game session edited into episodes) having a different Guest GM. Since most OSR out there is Medieval Fantasy, some dimension-crossing would be involved in the story to make this crossover happen.

  The goal is to have a single story that would begin on my channel, then the next episode would continue in the channel of the next crossover participant, and so on. The amount of parts to the story would depend on how many shows would like to participate, but each episode would have the Crimson Hound finding himself in the world of one of the shows that chose to participate, playing with the show's regular group under its regular GM.

  There are more details to the logistics of this of course, but I don't want to make this post too long so if you're interested in this idea or have any questions, contact me at <titleoftheshow>@gmail.com or on any of my social media which you can find on the show's blog HERE.

  Talk to you soon I hope!