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!

  

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

New BX Class: Dhampir Vigilante

 




For those who don't follow my other blog, I made a new BX Class that you can find HERE.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

CHRONICLES OF THE CRIMSON HOUND (OSR Cyberpunk Horror Pulp Serial)

 




 WHAT IT IS


  Chronicles of the Crimson Hound is a Pulp-style Cyberpunk Horror online series, told via recorded Tabletop RPG sessions using OSR-style rules.


WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING


  While I will always be playing the titular character of the Crimson Hound in every episode, the show will welcome a rotating cast of different Game Masters, all with their different styles, stories to tell and even house rules. Each of these sessions run by a Guest Game Master will be split into many episodes to create a Serial.


WHAT THE SETTING IS


  The setting this series takes place in is a Cyberpunk world inhabited by humans mostly unaware of the supernatural. It is not set in our future and is its own different world, in the same way that most Medieval Fantasy settings are not set in our past. 

  The stories will mostly take place in the gothic city of Glumengrad, a rainy mix of Gargoyles and Neon. Its citizens, desperate for the distractions of the coolest new tech and upgrades, ignore the dangers of the Supernatural that lie in wait in the shadowy alleys and corners. 

  That is where the Crimson Hound, masked man of mystery, hunts down the monsters and other unnatural dangers to humanity. 

  (For more on the titular character, there will always be an updated Character Sheet after every multi-part Serial is done.)


Inspirations: Batman, The Shadow, Blade, Hellboy, Blade Runner.


IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE


  Read the full post HERE.

  The YouTube Channel for the show is THIS ONE.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

OUR OSR WORLDS AT WAR!!!



Here's an idea I had just now that really amused me.

  I was grabbing a few OSR/system neutral books to read for later, most of them Setting books, and couldn't help but notice that some of the authors of different books I own have had online arguments in the past  where it would be safe to say they dislike each other strongly. 

  For the sake of good taste, I shall not divulge the titles of the books or the names of the authors. FOR THE SAKE OF BAD TASTE HOWEVER, I had a really fun idea!


  If like me you have different Setting books from authors who don't like each other, grab their respective lands, put them in your Campaign World and have them go at war with each other! It actually seems to me like it would make for a great campaign. 

  First of all, wars always make a campaign more interesting, thrilling and dangerous. One only needs to look at movies like Yojimbo or A Fistful of Dollars to see how even a small-scale conflict between two groups opens up many possibilities for adventurers looking for coin, a full-on war even more so. That said, when that happens both sides are normally created by the same author and so even if  there is a strong attempt to make both sides different, there's a certain artistic similarity that cannot be shaken off between them. In other words, the two sides share the same DNA and inclinations of the author so to speak, either because both sides are just too similar or because in an effort to not have that happen, the author made sure to avoid any similarities between them. I'm not saying there are no exceptions mind you, just stating the creative pitfalls of such a project. 

  Anyway, you don't really run into that problem if each side was created by a completely different person with completely different goals and inclinations in their writing. These days these Setting books are not full worlds as much as a land or part of the world to be inserted into already existing campaigns so the work to have them both co-exist in your world should be minimal. All you have to do is extrapolate why they went to war and how each side would react. All those NPCs, locations, magic, etc, how would they react/be used in a war? If these settings were created by authors who disliked each other, it should be fairly easy to find how their worlds, their very creations, also would not see things the same way. In some cases the very real-life conflict that took place can even be projected into the NPCs. 

  Let them fight!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Playing with Saving Throws in 'Machinations of the Space Princess'

  When playing any type of OSR/OGL game I pay close attention to Saving Throws. They're not a casual thing in my games, players often need to roll them and failing them can mean something really bad happens to a player character.



  I do think low-level characters should struggle somewhat with saving throws but as they level up they should get to feel a bit more confident about them overall.

  I think 'Machinations of the Space Princess' is a good OGL game but I have an issue with the saving throws. The way they work is that you take the related Ability Score, divide it by two... and that's the target number you have to roll under.



  That means that someone with a Strength of 18 (!) would have to roll a 9 or under to succeed a Saving Throw. Yeah, dudes who are as strong as a beginning Human character with no cybernetics can get... have a less than 50% chance at succeeding on an unmodified Saving Throw. Not the end of the world for a low-level I suppose, but those numbers stay the same as you level up unless you put skill points into them. Skill points in Machinations are skills, feats, class abilities, saving throw advancement and ability score advancement all rolled into one, and some classes get very few of them. That's just a bit too harsh in my opinion.



  When I house rule something, I like to not have to change what appears on the page. That is to mean, I don't want to have to recalculate NPC stats because my house rule is different from the official book, I prefer if possible to do it in a way that doesn't give me extra work when reading material and using it at the table.

  My solution in the end was to use modifiers to the existing target numbers and then roll under those modified results, that way I can still use the same numbers as the book and fix my nitpick with the rules as they are. I made it so someone with a target number of 5 to roll under would have a 50% chance at a Normal roll. (So it's 5+5= Roll 10 or under.)

Very Easy: +15
Easy: +10
Normal: +5
Difficult: +0
Very Difficult: -5
Inhumanly Difficult: -10
God-like: -15


  Thoughts are welcome.


Saturday, 14 April 2018

What Happens to Joe the Farmer Now? You Tell Me


  So I made a post about a simple farmer finding a Vorpal Sword in the woods the other day. It was to discuss certain aspects of magic items in a campaign world and how different people would react to them. Discussions were had that I thought were interesting and people elaborated on what they think should actually happen to such a simple farmer finding such an item. 
  The original idea itself wasn't what I'd call interesting, nor was it meant to be since it was all tongue-in-cheek. But if anyone wanted to elaborate and tell their version of what happens next, here's the place; Simply leave a comment as long or short as you want with your version of the following events in Joe's life. Anything goes, you can add details to how the sword works or behaves (if you decide it should be sentient), you can choose what happens with the cousin, add characters, etc. 

  The story's beginning itself as presented in the original post is extremely simple, here it is: Joe the Farmer is a Level 0 Commoner with 4 HP. While walking in the woods yesterday, Joe has found himself a +4 Vorpal Sword!  Joe knows it's magic because he's swung it around a few times for fun and he notices that with the magical bonus granted by the sword he somehow seems to know what the fuck he's doing with it. His stance is good, the swings are aimed right. When he tries the same with a tree branch just to see if he somehow picked up fighting skills thanks to his daydreamings, it doesn't work. 'Tis a magic sword alright!Joe is very lucky in that he has a nephew in the city who trades and sells things to adventurers and criminals in the black market. Joe could sell this magic sword, even with the cut his nephew would take it would certainly be enough to retire!

  Since previous posts were about discussing everyone's personal views of how such a thing would take place and counterargue each other, I want to clarify that this post is rather for the fun of sharing exactly how YOU would see it go down. Feel free to use gaming terms like I did if you want or to go into full fictional writing mode.

  I hope some of you will participate, as the previous quick comments on what would happen to Joe (wether for or against my own arguments) were fun and I would like to read more and see how different people have different expectations for this sort of thing. 



Thursday, 12 April 2018

In defense of Magic Shops and Vorpal Swords

   So from the comments in my previous post, it would seem that some players snob the Magic Shop and the Vorpal Sword. The latter has been accused of being 'boring'.

This is my rebuttal of those two attitudes when it comes to my own personal preferences and what I think is a world's internal logic. I think in the end it's a matter of personal taste and there is no wrong way to do it; either magic shops fit in your campaign world or they don't, either you and your players think Vorpal Swords are cool or you don't. I'm just explaining my point of view.

  When it comes to magic shops, I agree it is kind of weird to expect shops to carry more than mere potions when it comes to my sensibilities, but let's apply logic here; if in your games you have NPC Magic-Users pop up at least once every five sessions (excluding monsters and the like), they are not a rare thing in your campaign world. (Unless in your story players happen to interact with the very few Magic-Users who are all in the same place for a story-specific reason, I dunno.) And everything has a price.
  It is NOT far-fetched that some of them would choose to gain LOTS of gold from their skills in big cities or in small towns that see a lot of traffic from warriors, nobility, mercenaries and adventurers. It even makes lots of sense that they would be high-level, as much as some might scoff even more at the notion. A high-level Magic-User with a magic shop has found an easy way to make money without endangering oneself in dungeons all the while being able to deal with most (if not outright anyone) who might try to rob them. Many might claim a high-level Magic-User might have better things to do like study arcane research or take over kingdoms. Well, I'm sure evil Wizards try to take over stuff, that's why adventurers have to go stab them and then loot their Tower of Evil. And what better way to fund your research than by having a business that brings in lots of money? Commoners won't be able to afford what's in there so they might get only a few visits per week, if not per month, but when those visits happen they made countless gold already by selling potions and yes, magic items. (Even if I myself might have trouble coming to terms with it I cannot deny the internal logic of such a situation.) Plenty of time left for research.

  If you want a good RPG book that deals in how a D&D medieval society with access to magic would behave, check out THIS ONE.

  Now, on to those BORING Vorpal swords!

*Yawn* So boring... Not exciting at all!

  Look I get it, it's easy to dismiss the notion of a +<insert numerical bonus> weapon. I myself (influenced by Lamentations of the Flame Princess' take on magic items) have often created weapons that do useful stuff but also have an interesting drawback. But that's mostly just because I like to watch my players struggle. But that's just the thing, are you really gonna tell me the Vorpal Sword is boring?

  I mean, sure you can, to each their own. But as a DM with a long-running campaign I can tell you that even to this day, the excitement at the table when a 1 or a 20 comes up is still there. Players still shift in their seats, exclaim something or even stand up for a moment. Now imagine if that 20 means you decapitated a motherfucker. (So it's not just that numerical bonus btw.) How is that boring? Yes, the Vorpal Sword is simple, but to me it will never be boring. I think people mix those two things.

  In many ways I believe it's because the OSR is in such a creative moment in time that we all look to subvert some old standards while also venerating the basics, so we shift from one attitude to the other regarding those standards. These days a lot of people seem to have a dislike for simple magic items, they all need to be really complex. The LotFP players who commented in my last post seemed to be behind magic items that REALLY mess with players as the norm for what magic items should be. (And if I misread your meaning, dear commenters feel free to comment again to debate me.) To which I'd point, from the start The Game had cursed items if you want to make players wary of magic, and even as someone who includes magic items with drawbacks let me tell you, if the items basically just fuck with the players all the time that's not really cooler than one who just does good stuff. 

  It is in my personal opinion extremely valid to have simple magic items and even ones that do just good stuff, the same way you can find cursed items that basically just mess with players. Yes I'm aware of the context of Weird in LotFP and how it has different goals, but even with that context I'd keep those points in mind personally.

  I know this might be different for other groups but in my personal experience players tend to venerate magic items more from the story that's behind them and less so by their magical effects. I've seen them treat a 'boring' +X Weapon like a big deal because it had a cool visual description and they looted it from a Demon who had killed a long-time ally NPC. Killing the demon had been sweet revenge and to this day they call it 'The Demon Sword'. Not the most original name, but it's a name that came naturally between the players as they discussed it. Sure they also keep magic items that do other more interesting stuff effect-wise, but because those items were taken in less memorable ways they don't even give names to the damn things!

  The story effort behind magic items has in my experience a lot more to do with how interesting a magic item ends up being than a lot of people give it credit for. And to be clear, I'm all for weird and original magic items! I just like to combine both the simple and the complex, the overall good with the overall dangerous and I think that approach has more value in the end in making magic mysterious than it being mostly always useful or mostly always fucking with you.

  Another thing that makes a magic item memorable at the table is the story that it ends up telling when all the dice have stopped rolling. And decapitating your enemies is a memorable thing; They made a franchise out of it.