Thursday, June 30, 2011

House Rules for Barbarian Prince

Ok, so Evan from In Places Deep posted a link here where you can get some cool old game materials ( I was very disappointed by "Goblin!")

Barbarian Prince is one of the games. It is pretty cool. You can get the rulebook and game board downloaded for free. Upon downloading and reading through the rules I imediately printed out a small copy of the game board and called up a buddy to play.

The game went fairly well but here are some changes I would make to the rules:

1- Although it is advertised as a solo game I heartily recommend a GamesMaster to run the game, and I think some additional starting characters run by other players could join the Barbarian Prince's party without too much trouble (maybe increase the amount of gold needed to win the game by 100 for each additional player). The more the merrier!

2- The combat system is kinda a mess. Here is my quick (and not playtested) fix to combat without totally overhauling the game: Combat Skill (CS) = the number of die you roll whenever attacking or defending in combat. Both combatants roll their CS # of dice, remove any dice rolled which are not a 5 or 6. Dice that come up 5+ have been successful (either attacking or blocking), successful block dice cancel successful  attack dice on a 1to1 basis. Successful and unblocked attack dice each cause 1 wound to the defender.
the Prince (CS 8) vrs Dragon (CS 10)
Prince goes first -attacking he rolls 8 dice 
The Dragon rolls his 10 dice in defense
The Prince rolls well and gets 5 successes (5+ results)
The Dragon rolls 4 successes and thus manages to block 4 of the Prince's strikes.
The Dragon takes 1 wound.

Choosing targets and stuff remains the same as do CS modifiers due to wounds.

3-  +1 CS to anything that is mounted.

4- Your wit and wiles number is subtracted from your chance to get lost - the 2d6 dice roll. (SPENT WAYYY TOO MUCH TIME LOST IN THE SWAMP/ MOUNTAINS)

So those are my proposed changes, if anyone uses them please let me know how it went. I might come back to this. I am thinking about making some really simple character creation rules and maybe rules for leveling up and increasing your statistics.

Also custom encounters would be cool.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So, I posted this robot thing I made up on Zak's blog a while ago for the Gigacrawler game he was working on. I thought I should get it up on my own blog too before I totally forget about it. It could work in any futuristic setting I think.


Hundreds of years ago a very consumer based society controlled this part of the Gigastructure, that civilization is long gone but part of their legacy remains to endanger explorers. A Vendbot is a very sturdy and rugged vending machine with powerful track units enclosed in its base.

These machines trundle randomly about in forgotten corridors until they detect a potential customer. Unfortunately due to centuries of loneliness and neglect Vendbots react with a sort of frenzied desperation to any lifeforms they encounter-continuously ramming into their customers, often with fatal results.

Vendbots continuously emit cheerful recorded messages and slogans such as "PLEASE MAKE YOUR SELECTION!", "EXACT CHANGE ONLY!" and "TRY ONE OF OUR REFRESHING NEW FLAVORS!"

Vendbots are notoriously difficult to put down and can take an amazing amount of punishment. Many of the units still functioning are riddled with bullet holes and their bright logos obscured by the crushed remains of 'satisfied customers'.

Adventure Ideas-
An eccentric benefactor will pay handsomely for a particular rare beverage now only found in ancient Vendbots.

A Vendbots navigation harddrive may contain extensive maps and floorplans of large sections of the local Gigastructure.

A mysterious old hermit has made it his lifes work to seek out and peacefully deactivate Vendbots, doing so by purchasing each ones entire stock before they can crush him.

I was thinking, finding the right type of coins or cards or whatever would be hard, but worthwhile to a party that knows they will be traveling through Vendbot territory, although there is no guarantee the bots will even give them half a chance to use it.

Another idea I had was that there is really no telling what kind of random stuff a Vendbot might contain- from pop and candy to bullets and nanochips. Maybe if the party was running critically low on a certain resource I'd have them be attacked by a Vendbot that has it, to give them a chance to fight for it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When Warcraft was cool

Now I don't mean to upset anyone who is a Wow fan. It certainly seems like a pretty cool game and is obviously very successful. The Warcraft universe was alot cooler though, in my opinion, before it got all cartoony and steampunk and "awesome to the max" if you get my meaning.

Warcraft 1 Orcs and Humans came out in 1994. It was simple, it was in blocky DOS pixel animation, and it was beautiful.  The story was pretty interesting and the missions tied together well, the gameplay was very simple real time strategy stuff. The premise and game world, the whole aesthetic tying the thing together from the art work to the music to the sword clash sound effects is what really made the game in my opinion.

The scope of the game was very limited, its about two armies fighting over a fantasy kingdom, but they were able to do so much to bring that conflict and world to life. It is truly amazing the developers were able to do so much with so little.

The world is dark and gritty, lots of blood and fire. peasants chop wood out of the dark pine forests and green slimes thrive in the deep caves. Orc warlocks bind Daemons and human knights swing morning stars.

Damn I love this game.

Check out the mission briefing screens:

And the coolest looking map ever:

Yeah seriously, this game was pimp. This is definitely the sort of feel I want my B?X setting to have.

Check out the game manual if you still don't believe me: 

There's a ton of D&D usable material in there.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stuff About B?X and DCC

Alright, well maybe this is overdue but I thought today I would talk about B?X a bit. Say what it is and what I want it to be about.

Ok well B?X is a project I have been thinking on for over a year now. It is meant to be a medieval fantasy rpg game which is very loosely based on the Moldvay basic set, or more specifically the way I played it when I started out with D&D as a kid. I want B?X to be a refined version of those early days of madness, with a dose of mechanics drawn from my D&D 3+ (Pathfinder) years.

I am very happy with the DCC beta ruleset. It addresses many of the issues I had with the clunky aspects of the older systems- descending AC, the saves (dragon's breath, and petrify?- lame).  I also was really starting to dislike Vancian spellcasting so I was glad to see a cool alternative,which was actually very similar to the system I had been thiniking of using. The mighty deeds thing for fighters is really cool- adds some more interest and variation to hack and slash, without requiring endless lists of feats and a complex battle grid.

And finally the 0lvl character thing totally blew me away. I would have never thought of something like that. While I really like the "character creation funnel" I know it's not for everyone. My pretty lady really dislikes the whole idea. I think starting at zero level has alot of cool potential and would help alot with making characters with a cool back story.

I have no plans to release or publish or whatever my B?X rules. I think they are going to be more like a house rules amalgamation, drawn from a variety of sources. That said I do plan to do posts on pretty much the whole thing- to show my process and the final result. This is certainly not going to be a money making venture for me and I will try to cite the sources I look at when I come up with anything.

 Here is a Storm Trooper (Scout Trooper). by Feng Zhu

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Narrative Character Roleplaying

This is in response to Trey's recent post.

The accent thing never worked well for my group, we would end up talking like pirates and it would really bring us out of the game rather than contribute to immersion. Talking in character even without accents was a real challenge for us, it was hard to think of what the character would need to say. In the end we decided to try talking about our characters in a narrative voice rather than an active voice.  The emphasis is on intention and specific talking points. Stuff like -

Jozen boldly explains what just happened at the dark tower to the king, specifically highlighting the danger the heroes were in, he leaves out the discovery of the magic staff however. He is hoping the King will reward him and not ask about the staff.

Florent recites a ballad he knows to the maiden, staring into her eyes when describing the romantic part. He is really trying to impress her.

The Myrish dock workers tell you that you in no uncertain terms that they want you to leave, their speech heavy with foul curses and the deep Myr accent.

We find its a faster a more direct way than trying to act out the scenes in person, and it lets you play a cool or eloquent character even if your improv character acting skills arent that great.

(L.A Noire, Fallout New Vegas, Clash of Kings, and my Skaven army are the reasons I haven't been posting lately.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Hey gang.

I need to really get posting more I know. It's tough, I just feel so burned out after work I can't think of anything to post about. Everyone else seems to manage somehow though. I will try to do better.

I'm going to do a series of posts on the creation myths of my main campagin world, the one I been playing pathfinder in most recently.\

also offer some thoughts on DCC when I finish reading it (hard to get to when Clash of Kings is on my bedside table and LA Noire is in my Xbox.)

also still all my unfinished back burner stuff is going ahead slowly.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Locust Horde part 1

Here are some pics and descriptions of creatures from the Gears of War game series showing how I would adapt them the  fantasy setting I described here.


Of the horrible creatures which make up Locust horde Drones are probably the most numerous. Possessing a low intelligence and a high level of physical strength Drones are the front line soldier of the Locust armies. Drones (also called Grubs by the surface dwellers) are stocky and muscular: about the height of a man but more powerfully built. Drones have a reptilian appearance, hairless and scaled, with a chalky white skin coloration. In battle Drones arm themselves with scavenged or crudely made weapons and armor, typically using cleaver like swords.

Drones have an aversion to bright light and cannot tolerate direct sunlight so the often wear hoods or goggles when venturing above ground during the day.

Drones would pretty much use the same stats as Orcs, maybe with a slightly improved AC to account for their naturally tough scaled skin.

The Wretch is a vicious and dangerous creature. Although short in stature Wretches are ferocious- and they hunt in packs. Wretches are not intelligent even when compared to the dimwitted Drones, but they do possesses a animal cunning which can catch their opponents off guard using pack hunting tactics to flank or ambush their prey. Wretches are excellent climbers and can traverse walls and ceilings just as easily as open ground, they usually leap about on all fours only standing upright to swing at prey with their lethal fore claws. 

Wretches would use the same stats as goblins but instead of giving them weapons they would get 2 1d4 claw attacks and the ability to run across walls and ceilings.