Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Witness the Carbarian

So I just wrote up vehicle rules, and was rightly pointed out that this is perfect for a Mad Max game. Then I heard the pun, and this followed.

Berzerker Conduit: Carbarian
The smell of nitro in your mouth. The stolen blood in your veins running as hot as detonating gasoline. Your vehicle shudders beneath you, itching, revving, screaming for you to wield it, to maim, to kill, to be Witnessed. You will oblige the machine, even if it means your death. Shiny and chrome, you will ride eternal on the Fury Road.

(Quick reminder for the Berzerker rules: You have a conduit, and gain its Passive benefit. You have Rage Dice, which are d4s. When you want to enter a rage, roll any number of your Rage Dice. THe rage lasts for (sum) minutes. Rage Dice burn out on 3s or 4s, and only return on a daily or long rest. When you roll doubles or triples on your Rage Dice, you get the related effect from your Conduit.

While raging, you get an extra attack each round, (sum) bonus temporary Hit Points, and can use the Active benefit at the cost of cutting (dice) minutes off your rage. You can't take any actions that don't contribute to you brutally murdering things while you're raging, and it automatically expires when all enemies are dead, subdued, or driven off, regardless of how much time is left. You can try to end your rage early on a 1-in-4.)

Your conduit is your vehicle. Begin with a vehicle of a randomly-determined type (1. Bike, 2. Car, 3. Van, 4. Truck, 5. Light Mech, 6. Heavy Mech); roll for all its stats with advantage and pick 2 Accessories.

Passive: One With The Machine
You pass all saves to mitigate damage from Breaches. Whenever you would restore HP from a rest, you may instead restore that many HP to your vehicle.

Sacrifice 1d4 of your own HP to do one of the following:
- Restore that many of your Vehicle's HP
- Step up your Fuel die, or restore it to a d4 if you're out of gas
- Increase your Speed by that much
- Pass a Handling test to move further
- Make a Charisma check. If you succeed, Stunt (as per the human-scale combat rules).

1. Triple your Speed. Automatically Breach.
2. You can pick which Breaches or Wounds your attacks with your vehicle deal. Halve your Speed.
3. Increase the range of squares you can move to by 1. Successful Handling tests increase it by a further 1. Anyone else in the vehicle while you're moving has to save or take d4 bludgeoning damage.
4. Take no damage from Ramming attacks. You can't reduce your Speed.

1. Whenever you deal damage to a vehicle, you can move your Speed again in any direction. You take damage with advantage from Ramming attacks.
2. Treat your Vehicle as if it had an additional Accessory of your choice. Using that Accessory costs 1 Vehicle HP.
3. Whenever you attack with your vehicle, you must make a Charisma check to perform a Stunt of your choice. Whenever any of your Stunts fail, you suffer d4 Psychic damage.
4. Roll twice on the Doubles table.

by Shane Molina

Introducing the All-New 1019 Toyota Barbarian

I'm playing in a 5e game right now broadly styled after (I am told) JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 7: Steel Ball Run. It's a race, run rather loosely (incredibly so by the standards of 5e), and the party has a battlewagon that I take great joy in using as my primary weapon. I'm not quite satisfied with just rolling endless Athletics tests, however, so I decided after seeing the excellent pen-and-paper game Racetrack that I could write up some proper system-agnostic (though GLOG-intended) Vehicle rules. These aren't as rules-light as some of the stuff I've written, instead intended for a game in which vehicles play center stage.
by 47ness
Vehicles are treated similarly to characters and have the following stats, which can be tested like player character stats in relevant circumstances. All stats are determined by the vehicle's Chassis, which gives typical ranges for the stats.

POWer: top speed, acceleration
HANdling: maneuverability, stopping distance
DURability: withstanding damage, pushing limits
CAPacity: the number of people/stuff it can hold comfortably (1 CAP ~ 10 inventory slots, or one person)
FUel: the maximum size of the Fuel die.
Hit Points: as player HP, though measured on a different scale. Damage from person-scale weapons is always minimized unless it's really strong, by the same token damage to people from a vehicle-scale attack is always maximized.

This system of vehicle movement requires a grid, and broadly follows the rules of Racetrack. Vehicles are marked at intersections of grid lines, not in individual squares, and they move between these points. On its turn, a vehicle can move once. From a standstill it can move to any adjacent point; while in motion it moves almost the same distance and direction it moved the previous turn, but its trajectory can be altered to one of the eight points surrounding the point it would move to if it maintained course and speed. These can be affected further in various ways, detailed below.

Your Speed is the number of grid squares you're traveling in height+width (if you're moving 4 up and 2 across, your speed is 6). Your Power is the upper safe limit on the vehicle's speed. You may make a Power test before moving to increase or decrease your speed by up to the amount of points you succeed by (must follow same ratio as to keep direction of movement constant, rounding down).
If you want to increase speed past Power, make a Durability test. If you fail, take d4 damage from the strain. Whenever your Speed is above your Power, you make Handling tests at disadvantage.
You can make a Handling test to increase the range of squares you can move to by 1, and an additional 1 for each 5 points you succeed by.

Every hour, or whenever you make a move that would deplete Fuel, roll the Fuel die. On a 1, it downgrades. When it's a d4 and downgrades, you're Out Of Gas and need to refuel.

When a vehicle would collide with another vehicle (whether by intentionally ramming or spinning out of control), both take damage equal to the other's hit die, +1 for every 5 POW each vehicle is traveling at (DUR save for half).
Vehicles use DUR to defend against attacks. Any damage that causes a Vehicle to fall to or below 0 HP causes a roll on the Breach table. When a vehicle is reduced to -max HP, it's Slagged; roll to see how.

Breach Table
1. Slowed; lose Speed equal to 2*damage taken, all occupants take d4 damage (DEX save halves)
2. Hull Breach; random occupant takes max damage from breaching effect (CON save halves)
3. Chassis Cracked; -4 DUR, random occupant must save or be thrown from vehicle
4. Popped Tire; -3 HAN, -3 POW
5. Fuel Tank Breached; take FU Die fire damage; everyone inside takes half that much damage (CON save negates)
6. Steering Cut; must pass a HAN save to not move at random; additional Breaches of this result give -3 HAN

Slagged Table
1. Flipped; vehicle is overturned, move vehicle 2 points in random direction and all occupants take vehicle's HD bludgeoning damage (DEX save halves)
2. Shredded; nothing of the outer chassis remains. All occupants take half damage from the attacking weapon (DEX save negates)
3. Burnout; engine block and all interior systems catch fire, all occupants take d8 fire damage (CON save negates)
4. Out of Control; vehicle will continue moving in current direction at increasing speed (making DUR tests to do so each round) until it either crashes or shreds itself from failed DUR tests.

Bike: d4 HD, 4d6 drop lowest POW, 4d6 drop lowest HAN, 2d6 DUR, d2 CAP, d6 FU
Car: d6 HD, 3d6 POW, 3d6 HAN, 3d6 DUR, 2d4 CAP, d8 FU
Van: d8 HD, 3d6 POW, 4d6 drop highest HAN, 4d6 drop lowest DUR, 2d6 CAP, d10 FU
Truck: d10 HD, 3d6 POW, 2d6 HAN, 4d6 drop lowest DUR, 3d6 CAP, d10 FU
Tank: d12 HD, 3d6 POW, 1d6 HAN, 4d8 drop lowest DUR, 2d4 CAP, d6 FU
Train: d10 HD, 5d6 POW, 1d6 HAN, 4d6 drop lowest DUR, 6d6 CAP, needs tracks, d12 FU

Light Mech: d6 HD, 3d6/2 POW, 4d6 drop lowest HAN, 3d6 DUR, d2 CAP, d8 FU, Crawler
Heavy Mech: d10 HD, 2d6/2 POW, 3d6 HAN, 4d6 drop lowest DUR, d4 CAP, d8 FU, Crawler
Titanomech: 2d12 HD, 1d6/2 POW, 2d6 HAN, 6d6 DUR, d6 CAP, d4 FU, Crawler

Ablative Armor: Reduce damage taken until first Breach by 1 for each attack
All Wheel Drive: Can move twice per turn, at half distance each move
Autobrain: Doesn't need a pilot, will follow simple orders (a short program of directional and acceleration instructions) input through levers in pilot's seat and continue executing them until complete or OVERRIDE switch thrown. 1-in-20 chance to fail to execute any particular order.
Crash Bags: On first Breach, prevent all damage dealt to occupants
Crawler: Legs instead of wheels. Halve POW, but increase range of altering trajectory during move by 1.
Ejection Seat: Can eject pilot in case of Breach or when manually triggered. Launches occupant 2d10*10' away from vehicle. Seat has parachute, deploys on a 5-in-6.
Extra Fuel Tank: Step up maximum FU die size
Extra Seats: Max out CAP
Jump Booster: Deplete FU 1 step to vertically jump (HAN test)*10' up. Test DUR on landing, on fail take HD damage.
Living Quarters: It's got amenities which (CAP/2) people can take proper daily rests in.
Monster Wheels: Advantage on HAN tests to cross rough terrain, ramming also lets you run over the target and make an additional ramming attack
Mounted Weapon: Vehicle-sized weapon; typically some sort of mounted crossbow or cannon, perhaps something more exotic. Deals damage as appropriate human-scale weapon, but sized for vehicles. Always deals max damage to human-scale targets. Takes up 1 CAP.
Muted Engine: Roll over your POW+current Speed to drive stealthily.
Pressurized: Fully sealed environment; unless ruptured, immune to smoke/gas/water/etc
Ramming Prow: Deal ramming damage with advantage, when ramming with prow you take damage at disadvantage
Spiky: Step up damage die for dealing damage ramming or when rammed
Tow Cable: Make an attack against another target to latch onto it, POW test to pull target along with you, only 1 latched target per cable
Trailer: Roll CAP dice and add them to total CAP, anything in those slots are open-air
Treads: Halve POW, but ignore terrain penalties
Turbocharger: Roll to deplete FU to automatically succeed on POW test (if speeding up, roll until you succeed)

Delilah's Different Dealership's Fantastic Selection of Assorted Conveyances
Melf's Magnificent Manacycle (Bike)
POW 18, HAN 13, DUR 5, CAP 1, d6 FU, HP 2
Crash Bags, Ejection Seat

General Magicks 1013 Adventurer (Car)
POW 6, HAN 14, DUR 11, CAP 5, d10 FU, HP 4
Extra Fuel Tank, All Wheel Drive

Kitbashed Battlewagon (Truck)
POW 7, HAN 4, DUR 14, CAP 12, d10 FU, HP 7
Turbocharger, Ramming Prow

Scrapper Unit 01 (Light Mech)
POW 5, HAN 11, DUR 9, CAP 2, d8 FU, HP 5
Crawler, Mounted Cannon, Tow Cable

Some Terrains
Paved Road: No effects
Ice: Handling test to alter trajectory; if you fail alter it at random
Rough Terrain: Make all Power tests with disadvantage
Heavy Precipitation: All tests that require visual acuity are at disadvantage within sight range, and impossible outside it, also may make terrain count as Ice
Thick Brush: All increases in Speed are halved, all decreases are doubled
Back Alleys: Speed-in-100 chance of hitting something important you didn't see whenever you move (examples: cabbage stand, steam valve, flock of dire pigeons, scaffolding, iron fence, pedestrian)
Traffic Jam: Top Speed capped at 3 (if you're lucky)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

+1.5 Magic Weapons

+1 magic weapons are a staple, but really just not particularly interesting unless they've got something else going for them. Sometimes that's a unique history, sometimes that's the story of how you acquired them, and of course sometimes there's just another magic effect included. To roll up a +1.5 magic weapon, figure out why it's got that +1 bonus to damage and accuracy, then give it another ability that's flavorful and slightly obtuse.

by Guro

Why's it +1?
1. A clockwork mechanism runs through the weapon and aids its balance
2. An oracle told you when it would fail you, and so until that time comes you can wield it with reckless abandon, sure of its potency
3. Bathed in hearts as it was forged, it seeks hearts or the closest similar thing
4. Blessed by a high priest, covered in prayer-glyphs that mark you as a believer even if you aren't
5. Enchanted to flawlessly keep its edge, blood and viscera wicks off it like water off a duck
6. Exists across multiple realities, brings the one where you hit the hardest into truth
7. Extends an extra second forward in time, wounding targets across the fourth dimension
8. Fell from the sky, still reflects starlight even in day
9. Forged in dragonfire, still warm to the touch
10. Former training weapon, moves your hand for you to help you find an opening
11. Gems embedded in the weapon's hilt give it perfect weighting and also look really nice
12. Hexes the enemy you're attacking with it with self-doubt, making them slip up just a bit more
13. Inscribed with a mathemagical formula that calculates the best strike in any situation
14. Iron imbued with a grain of occultum in the crafting process, gives off magic radiation (don't worry about it)
15. Made of giantbone, the giant's still looking for its bones
16. Mastercrafted with superior techniques lost to all but one smith, might be able to re-engineer the smith's process
17. Soul of famous soldier was melted into the metal, their visage peeks through and offers whispered advice
18. The weapon's really confident in itself ever since it was complimented by a powerful warlord
19. Tiny hooks and grooves in the business end tear and slice at flesh in just the right way to make its wounds incredibly painful
20. Wizard tried to explain the arcanodynamics behind the enchantment, but lost you at "terrauric micro-fluctuations," as far as you can tell it's just better

d66 Magic Weapon Effects
11. Alarmed, screams when someone besides you is nearby
12. Antimagic, its effects can't be undone or influenced by magic
13. Banner, can be seen from up to a kilometer away regardless of obstacles
14. Bestial, design resembles an animal and attacks imitate that animal's perfectly
15. Branding, leaves unique mark on hit
16. Cold Iron, extraplanar creatures can't heal wounds from it
21. Collectible, there's d10 other copies of the weapon out there and when you have them all something neat happens
22. Edible, counts as rations (3 per inventory slot it takes up, each consumed part gives -1 damage until it's all gone)
23. Fashionable, always pristine, counts as formalwear
24. Fissile, splits into two half-size weapons which can be reunited into one
25. Floating, hovers in place when released
26. Friend to X, passes harmlessly through X (suggestions: animals, believers, party members, walls)
31. Glowing, emits light as torch, runs on oil as lantern
32. Gory, all wounds inflicted create ten times the mess
33. Gripping, can latch onto whatever you hit with it
34. Hollow, can hold 1 slot of stuff inside it
35. Hunting, always points towards last creature you injured with it
36. Imbued, has an inscribed spell that can be cast once as a scroll, may be reimbued with the right materials
41. Invisible, doesn't turn blood coating it invisible
42. Keening, makes loud noise as you swing it
43. Key, opens a particular lock
44. Kitbashed, roll (slots+1) times on the random equipment table to find its component parts (you can still use them!)
45. Liquid, can be liquefied or congealed back into weapon on touch
46. Living, needs food but can crawl under own power
51. Oversized, twice as large but just as maneuverable
52. Sanguine, absorbs blood from its attacks and can spray it as an action
53. Shieldbane, automatically forces shields to be sundered instead of dealing damage if possible
54. Shielding, counts as a shield as well as a weapon so long as you wield it with both hands
55. Sparring, only wounds when its wielder intends it to
56. Sundial, tells time, date, and phase of moon
61. Tome, has a novel's worth of easily legible text written on it
62. Trick, can switch into a weapon of a different type (2-handed vs 1-handed, large vs small, melee vs ranged)
63. Trophy, is respected by those who know its provenance
64. Undead, has been destroyed and reforged, undead recognize it as one of them
65. Undersized, half-size but hits just as hard
66. Unsheathed, always in your hand when you need it

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Holding Out For A Hero

There's a challenge in the GLOGosphere this week - Cursed classes! You don't start Cursed, but become Cursed during play. When you're Cursed, you start gaining templates of the Curse rather than any other class. These aren't necessarily good for you.

Other Curses
Words for Yellow: Vampires, Wendigos and more! 
Archon's Court: Nanoweapon Poisoning 
Walfalcon: the Skablin
Anxious Mimic: The Oath
The Benign Brown Beast: the Restless Dreamer
Princesses and Pioneers: Mirror-Struck
Parasites and Paradoxes: The Doppelgänger 
Bugbear Slug: The Abattoir God
Nuclear Haruspex:  The Undying
Meandering Banter: Wizzard Bidness
The Whimsical Mountain: The Fading

Slugs and Silver: Ogre

The curse I've decided to tackle is that of the tragic hero. Destiny is a curse, not a blessing. When Fate chooses you as its actor, you are beholden to its whims, no longer in control of your life, choices, or goals. Welcome to the greatest ride in the world. You can't get off.

When you receive a Grand Destiny from pulling a sword from a stone/being visited by a deity/the stars being right/etc, you instantly receive the first level of Hero. You cannot level up in any other class until you have completed your Grand Destiny. Casting off your destiny in any other way would require a grand quest in and of itself, perhaps knocking on the doors of Fate, or blackmailing a god into returning your free will.

Grazia Ferlito
"... I wish that the people who sing about the deeds of heroes would think about the people who have to clear up after them." - Terry Pratchett

Hero 1: Grand Destiny
Hero 2: Heroic Charisma
Hero 3: Twist Origin
Hero 4: Climactic Confrontation

Grand Destiny: Roll on the Destiny list (or have one assigned by your GM). Death shall not come for you 'til you complete your destiny, at which point you will likely die to achieve it. When you would die before your time, you must avoid it by sacrificing someone or something and taking on a commensurate burden to avenge them. You cannot advance in Hero or enter the Climactic Confrontation until you've avenged everyone you've sacrificed this way.

Heroic Charisma: You're a master of the impassioned, heroic speech. Treat your CHA as 18 whenever trying to convince someone to play a part in your destiny.

Twist Origin: At a suitably dramatic moment, you can (once) reveal a new fact about your parentage or ancestry that gives you an ability of your choice from any template of any class. This fact has retroactively always been true (thanks Fate) and will have repercussions. If you suddenly reveal that you're descended from a dragon, expect that dragon to make an appearance. If you're the king's illegitimate child, expect royal relatives to start trying to kill you.

Climactic Confrontation: You are on an inexorable path to confront your Destiny. You have advantages on rolls you make to approach the final confrontation with your Destiny (though not during the confrontation itself). When you complete your Destiny, you either die, or lose all your levels in Hero and regain all templates that you lost to gaining templates of Hero.

Sample Destinies (roll twice, you must do the first to cause the second)
1. End your bloodline.
2. Topple an empire.
3. Supplant a great evil.
4. Become king.
5. Defeat a great evil.
6. Bring order to the realm.
7. Activate a powerful relic.
8. Save your people from catastrophe.
9. Spread new knowledge to all.
10. Set right a great injustice.
11. End an ancient conflict.
12. Avert impending catastrophe.
13. Recover a long-lost artifact.
14. Unite warring peoples.
15. Reveal a long-buried secret.
16. Accomplish a feat deemed impossible.
17. Lead your people to victory.
18. End the current era.
19. Bring about a prophecy (roll again to see what was prophesized).
20. Follow in the steps of a prior hero, but succeed where they failed (roll again to see what they tried to do).

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Biohazard Warning: the Plague Conduit Berzerker

I joked about not having disease rules, so Max of the Oblidisideryptch and I collaborated to throw together not only disease rules and a table of devastating plagues, but also this Berzerker conduit! Meet the Plaguezerker, malaria-ridden and oh-so-willing to give you a taste of their power. Let them in, and become host to something far greater than yourself.

Plague Conduit Berzerker
ceSar art
Death comes for all, floating on the wind or crawling up the river, in a million beady eyes and biting jaws. The greatest civilizations of the world all bow to the plague when it knocks on their door. Once you were infected, the plague decided you're more use to it alive than dead, so long as you fulfill your duty as its holy emissary. Your conduit is every drip of disease running through your veins, sloughing your skin and bleeding you dry. You revel in buboes, call yourself friend-to-rats, give mucus-alms to the hungry and wretched. The gift you bring is one of freedom; how dare any resist your plague.

(Quick reminder for the Berzerker rules: You have a conduit, and gain its Passive benefit. You have Rage Dice, which are d4s. When you want to enter a rage, roll any number of your Rage Dice. THe rage lasts for (sum) minutes. Rage Dice burn out on 3s or 4s, and only return on a daily or long rest. When you roll doubles or triples on your Rage Dice, you get the related effect from your Conduit.

While raging, you get an extra attack each round, (sum) bonus temporary Hit Points, and can use the Active benefit at the cost of cutting (dice) minutes off your rage. You can't take any actions that don't contribute to you brutally murdering things while you're raging, and it automatically expires when all enemies are dead, subdued, or driven off, regardless of how much time is left. You can try to end your rage early on a 1-in-4.)

Passive: A fatal disease has claimed you as its own. You cannot contract other diseases, and you cannot die from the disease so long as you spread it to (Berzerker level)^2 new carriers per week. You still suffer its negative effects.

Active: Force a creature you've damaged to CON save vs. contracting your disease; or if they're already afflicted force them to CON save vs. the disease worsening.

1. Ichor floods from your mouth, eyes, and pores, creating sticky pools around you. Anyone who walks into one must STR save to unstick themself; also works as a potent adhesive. Also sticks everything you touch during your rage to you.
2. Your attacks leave poxy buboes where they land, even on surfaces. Anyone who's hit by one popping (through even the most minor of pressures) must CON save or contract the first stage of your disease. If you're hit by one, though, your disease worsens one stage (no save).
3. Your exhalations spread plague. You enter a coughing fit, gaining a breath weapon that deals 1d6 acid damage in a 30' cone and forces a save vs. a symptom of your disease. Symptoms given this way expire when your rage ends. This also deals damage to you, and you can't move on a turn where you do this.
4. The plague sees, and feels, and hates. You can sense the presence of the uninfected for 100' around any carriers you can see (including yourself). While raging, you must relentlessly attack the closest uninfected to you until they are infected, then move on to your next target.

1. Your active ability forces infected creatures that you damage to instantly save vs. the last stage of the disease, instead of just the disease progressing. This takes an equivalent toll on you; you must also save vs. your disease worsening whenever you force a save this way.
2. Your disease tears itself from your body as a ichory double that follows your orders (so long as those orders will spread the plague). It has all your abilities and is raging; all of its attacks inflict a symptom until your rage ends. You lose all bonuses from your disease while the duplicate exists, but retain the penalties. At the end of your rage, it schlorps back into your body. If it cannot rejoin you, save vs. death to your disease every daily rest.
3. When you kill someone with your disease, they rise as a plague zombie. Creatures killed by the plague zombies also rise as more plague zombies, even after your rage has ended. These zombies only differentiate infected/uninfected, so they'll attack whoever's least infected nearby. This will almost certainly include your allies, and may include you.
4. Roll twice on Doubles, both effects occur.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Artificer

There's been a recent influx of inventors in the GLOGosphere. B44L's Inventor, Arnold K.'s Kludger, and now I'm throwing my hat in the ring with something I've been working on for a while. Tinkering with it, with allen keys and tiny tweezers, tightening bolts and gluing joints, alloying inks and bytes into a well-oiled machine.

"Deus ex machina? Then what does that make me?"

Level 1: Fixer, Inventor, 2 Blueprints, d6 Creation Die
Level 2: Overcharge, Rigger, +1 Blueprint, d8 CD
Level 3: Kitbash, +1 Blueprint, d10 CD
Level 4: Strange Mood, +1 Blueprint of choice, d12 CD

Hit Die: d4
Starting Equipment: Toolkit (inc. screwdrivers, chisels, handsaw, tweezers, wrenches, etc.), crowbar, sketchbook of diagrams, charcoal pens, large backpack (+3 inventory slots) full of 3 slots of materials (roll on table)
Skills (roll 2): 1. Alchemy, 2. Architecture, 3. Art, 4. Clockmaking, 5. Engineering, 6. Lore, 7. Mathematics, 8. Merchantry, 9. Natural Philosophy, 10. Sculpting, 11. Tinkering, 12. Use Rope

Fixer: With the right parts, you can repair mundane items to brand-new. Takes an hour at least if the original parts aren't all there; longer for larger or more broken objects.

Inventor: You've studied how to build complex machines from raw materials. Each machine has a Blueprint, a list of Descriptors, and some Functions. When you roll to learn a Blueprint (either at character creation or on level-up), roll your Creation Die on the Blueprints list.

Blueprints define the basic structure of the creation. Use your CD if you need a damage die or some other measure of effectiveness, roll CD with disadvantage if you're using it outside its functions.

Descriptors are adjectives and phrases applied to the creation, based on the materials used in its construction.

Functions are things the creation can do by default. All creations have a base function listed on their Blueprint, that you can modify. Adding additional functions requires more materials.

When you want to build a creation, select at least as many slots of raw materials as the Blueprint requires and roll your Creation Die for each one. If you roll a 6+ for that material, you can add a Descriptor based on the material to the creation. If you roll a 1 or a 2, you can add an additional Function based on the material to your creation. No matter the results of the rolls, you create it and consume all the materials you used in the process.

Building a creation takes 1 hour per CD. You can choose to do a rush job and complete it in 10 minutes per slot of material, but it will break irreparably within 24 hours or the first time you critically fail while using it, whichever comes first.

Sample Materials
1. Base metal (iron, copper, tin, etc)
2. Refined metal (steel, bronze, etc)
3. Precious metal (silver, gold, platinum, etc)
4. Wood
5. Clockwork
6. Preserved animal parts (leather, bladders, bone, etc)
7. Cut gems
8. Raw gems

1. Tool (3+ materials): Held, lets you apply force to objects. A shovel, a sword, etc.
2. Garment (3+ materials): Worn, gives you a passive bonus. Armor, a cloak, etc.
3. Vessel (1+ materials): A bottle of something. Consumed on use.
4. Gauge (2+ materials): Measures something. An hourglass, a telescope, a thermometer, etc.
5. Launcher (4+ materials): Fires something at range; whether that be a material used in its creation or whatever you put in it.
6. Apparatus (5+ materials): Exists in place, can be disassembled and moved. A shelter, a workbench, a printing press.
7. Transport (5+ materials): Moves under its own power, is directly controlled.
8. Material (2+ materials): Fuses the properties of its components. Always provides a descriptor or a function (your choice) to follow-up creations.
9. Homunculus (4+ materials): Moves under its own power and follows simple directions.
10. Prosthesis (4+ materials): Is fused with a living creature and acts as a limb or organ.
11. Life (6+ materials): A nonsapient creature that moves and acts of its own accord.
12. Mind (8+ materials): An inanimate thinking machine with the reasoning powers of any mortal.

Overcharge: You can destroy an item as you use it to vastly increase its efficacy. Make all rolls involved in its use with double advantage (roll three times, take highest).

Rigger: You can set up networks of tripwires and pressure plates (etc) that activate your creations in response to the environment. 1 slot of materials becomes CD triggers. The materials are consumed, and the triggers break on activation.

Kitbash: With 1 slot of relevant materials to bridge the two, you can combine two of your creations into something greater than the sum of their parts. Each additional creation you add costs additional slots of materials equal to the number of creations already kitbashed together.

Strange Mood: You are Inspired. The plans for something brilliant and utterly new spring into your mind, and from your mind to a dozen notebooks. It is your life's work, your ultimate ambition, an idea so powerful that because it does not yet exist you must work tirelessly to bring it into being. You get to invent something entirely new of your choice. It will work. The GM will tell you what you need to make it. Go forth and do so.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Violence is Never the Answer but Always an Option

My Turning People Into Corpses post is popular and gets linked around every so often, but is actually pretty outdated. I've overhauled the combat in Mimics & Miscreants a few times now, and I think it's at the point where it's stable enough for me to make a new post. It shares the chit initative, multiple choices defenses, and dismemberment tables of the original version, but has been refined in several important ways that I comment on below.

Everyone in the combat gets a chit. Draw chits out of a bag at random; whoever’s chit is drawn takes their turn. When the bag runs out of chits, put all the chits back in and start a new round.

This doesn't depend on DEX anymore, and everyone gets a turn every round. If you want to go first, get a surprise round; otherwise it's anyone's game.

On Your Turn
Can attack and move, or do something else and move, or attack and do something else. Casting a spell or spell-like ability takes your whole turn.

This hasn't changed. Speed is whatever makes sense for your game, I always run combat in theater of the mind (or with minimal visual aid) so actual distances don't quite make sense for me. If you want, use the default 30ft walk/60ft run distances, modified as appropriate by folk and calling.

Attacking: Roll d20+your attack ability (Strength in melee, Dexterity at range, Intelligence for spells, Wisdom for miracles). If your enemy has Armor, you have to meet 20+Armor instead of just 20.

Mimics & Miscreants is now modifierless and sum-to-20. Roll a d20, add the whole appropriate ability score, and see if you meet or beat 20. If you do, you succeed.

If you hit, roll damage. If your enemy has taken more damage this round that their Armor, Wound them. If you fail, they can Take It or Dodge. Natural 1s always miss, and natural 20s roll double damage dice.

Armor now also negates Wounds, in a way I borrowed from the excellent card game Keyforge. Once you've taken more damage than your Armor, you'll start getting Wounded; this refreshes each round. Heavy armor is good against one person, but you'll be overwhelmed by hordes or barrages.

Stunts: When you attack, if you want to do something more complicated with your attack (like tripping, shield sundering, pushing, called shots…), you can Stunt. To Stunt, attack with disadvantage, but inflict that extra effect if you hit (in addition to damage).

No one Stunts in my games. I don't know how these rules hold up in play.

Unarmed Attacks deal d4 bludgeoning damage by default. If you're dual-wielding, you can make 2 attacks per turn, but you step down your damage dice.

Defending: Roll d20+Dexterity+Armor. If you succeed, you can Dodge or Take It. On a 20, you also get to take an extra turn afterwards. On a 1, they crit you for double damage dice. If you fail, the enemy rolls damage and Wounds you if the damage is greater than your armor.

Only the players roll in this system. If you want enemies to be more accurate, you can impose disadvantage or other penalties on Defense rolls. One of my philosophies is that players shouldn't just be sitting there listening to the GM recite numbers, because I've been both a player and a GM in that situation and it's boring no matter which side of the table you're on. Players also like rolling dice, no matter what OSR theorists like to say about rolling as few dice as possible, and I'm here to give them their polyhedron fix.

Dodge: Take no damage and move 5'. If you can’t move 5’, you can’t dodge.

You can choose to either evade all the damage or take some of it. If you're surrounded, you'll have to start taking damage. Making Dodging a viable but not ideal option is one of the trickiest problems I've faced in this system, and I'm still not convinced I've cracked it.

Take It (melee): Both sides deal damage, rolled with disadvantage.

This is why you'd choose to take damage - you get to hit back. It's less likely to Wound, but still can chip away (or, with a lucky roll and large enough weapon, inflict some serious damage). Gives players something to do when attacked, which is nice.

Take It (ranged): You take damage (rolled with disadvantage), and can shoot back if you have a ranged attack. This can keep going until someone dodges or dies.

I haven't tried this yet in play. Might need tweaking to prevent endless ranged duels, or maybe those are fun enough to keep this as part of the system.

Parrying: If you’re wielding an item that lets you parry (like a rapier or a buckler) when you Take It in melee, you can make a regular attack back. If you hit, you deal damage and take no damage; if you miss they must Take It - or parry back!

This now extends Taking It, and gives faster characters a choice instead of just dodging every attack. Obviously if you can't parry (hi Wizards), you'll just dodge, but thieves and rangers and everyone addicted to rapiers because they're so powerful in 5e are going to have a good time.

A short rest takes 10 minutes of downtime and consumes 1 ration. You may spend a Hit Die to roll it and restore that much HP. Heal 1 ability damage. -d4 Stress.

A daily rest takes 8 hours of sleep and downtime and consumes 1 ration. Roll any HD you have left to heal HP, then regain all spent HD. Heal 1 HD of ability damage. -d8 Stress.

A long rest takes a week of sleep, shelter, downtime, and full meals. Set your HP to maximum, roll all HD and heal that much ability damage, set Stress to 0.

One of the big changes to Wounds is that they're all based on damaging ability scores now. Instead of healing discrete wounds (which made little sense with lost body parts), you now just heal the mechanical damage.

Hit Points and Wounds
HP represents your ability to shrug off major damage. You can keep fighting until your wounds become incapacitating. You might not want to. At character creation, you start with 1 Hit Die, which by default is a d6. You spend and roll Hit Dice to restore HP. Some Callings or Folk modify the die size. Some Callings also gain more Hit Dice when you level up.

When you’re wounded by a hit, if it reduces you to ≥0 HP and you've taken more damage this turn than you have Armor, take a random Minor Wound from the appropriate damage table. If it reduces you to <0 HP, take a random Major Wound instead. Whenever you take a Major Wound that you’ve already taken this combat, save vs. death.

Wounds now aren't based on the amount of damage dealt, they're rolled on a table (because I love me my random tables) and you don't instantly die at -10 anymore. Instead, you have to abrade your opponent's hit points, then overwhelm their armor to inflict Major Wounds and finish them off.

Physical Wounds
1. Knockdown. They fall prone; can’t dodge, crawl half speed, disadvantage on attack/defense, take move to stand
2. Disarm. Knock their weapon out of their hand. If they can’t be disarmed, reroll.
3. Fractured arm. -1 DEX, disadvantage on attacks (hit ends)
4. Hobbled leg. -1 STR, CON save to move (save ends)
5. Rattled. -1 INT, -1 WIS
6. Sundered. -2 Armor, this breaks shield if they have one (if they have no shield or armor, reroll).

1-2. Concussed. -2 INT, -2 WIS, -2 CHA. Save vs. unconsciousness.
3-4. Bones shattered. Leg or arm becomes unusable. -2 STR. Save vs. knockdown and halve speed if leg, -2 DEX if arm.
5-6. Organs pulped. -4 CON.

1. Bleeding. Next attack deals damage with advantage.
2. Pinned. If you leave your weapon in, you can disable their arm/leg while it’s in. Removing it gives -2 CON.
3. Punctured guts. -1 CON, -1 STR.
4. Eye gouged. DEX save vs. blinding (save ends). Disadvantage on attacks (hit ends).
5. Laceration. Hurts like hell, take 1 fewer action next turn or d3 damage.
6. Armor penetrating. -3 Armor against your attacks.

1-2. Lose an eye. -2 DEX, -2 CHA, disadvantage on tasks that need depth perception.
3-4. Punctured lung. -1 CON whenever you make a physical test.
5-6. Skewered. -3 CON, pinned to whatever’s behind you, whatever’s behind you takes half damage from the attack.

1. Tendon severed. Disadvantage on attacks or CON save to move (your choice).
2. Laceration. Hurts like hell, take 1 fewer action next turn or d3 damage.
3. Finger loss. DEX save vs. disarm, -1 DEX.
4. Sliced. Chunk of them falls off. -2 max HP (heal as ability damage).
5. Cleaved. Attack keeps going to adjacent enemy, deals half damage to them.
6. Facial scar. DEX save vs. blinding (save ends). -2 CHA.

1-2. Lose an arm. -2 DEX, -2 STR, one fewer arm.
3-4. Gaping wound. -3 CON; each turn it goes without medical attention take -1 STR and -1 DEX.
5-6. Lose a leg. -4 STR, knocked down, one fewer leg.

1-2. Holed. Next attack deals damage with advantage.
3-4. Deafened. Save vs. deafening (save ends), -1 INT, -1 WIS from ringing in ears.
5-6. Embedded. -1 DEX, CON save to move (save ends).

1-3. Organ ruined. -3 to a random ability score, gain d6 Stress.
4-6. Blown apart. Lose a (d6: 1. hand, 2. arm, 3. leg, 4. eye, 5. ear, 6. jaw).

Elemental Wounds
Minor: Etched. -2 Armor, can go into negatives. Healed as ability damage.
Major: Scoured. d3 items are melted away.

Minor: Chilled. -1 DEX. stuck to whatever you’re touching. STR save to break free.
Major: Frostbitten. -2 DEX. STR save to move, attack, or defend until rest.

Minor: Scorched. -1 CON. 1 random flammable object burns away.
Major: Blazing. Inflict Scorching each turn until fire is put out.

Minor: Shocked. STR save vs. disarm. -1 STR and -1 DEX. -2 STR and -2 DEX if wearing metal armor.
Major: Paralyzed. -2 STR, CON save vs. paralysis (save ends). If wearing metal armor, fail the first save.

Minor: Withered. -1 STR, -1 DEX, -1 CON.
Major: Aged. -1 to each ability score.

Minor: Panicked. -1 WIS, gain d6 Stress.
Major: Traumatized. -1 INT, -1 WIS, -1 CHA, gain d6 Stress.

You can adapt my Esoteric Wounds simply by making the 0-4 wound the Minor Wound, the 5-9 one the Major Wound, and the 10+ one an effect on death.

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