Friday, April 26, 2013

Marquis of Sorca

My Traveller 5 package arrived yesterday.

For now on I prefer to be called Sir James, Marquis of Sorca in Chant of the Core (1921 Sorca B545740-9).

I am also a knight of Chant and a member of TAS at Chant.

I was half hoping that I would be way out in the stellar boondocks, but I guess a forgotten piss-ant  farm system right in the middle of everything might be cool, too.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

So This Is What I Am, I took the quiz (pretty sure I've taken similar things in the past but I don't recall the results) and here I supposedly am:

I Am A: Chaotic Neutral Human Wizard/Cleric (3rd/2nd Level)

Ability Scores:

Chaotic Neutral A chaotic neutral character follows his whims. He is an individualist first and last. He values his own liberty but doesn't strive to protect others' freedom. He avoids authority, resents restrictions, and challenges traditions. A chaotic neutral character does not intentionally disrupt organizations as part of a campaign of anarchy. To do so, he would have to be motivated either by good (and a desire to liberate others) or evil (and a desire to make those different from himself suffer). A chaotic neutral character may be unpredictable, but his behavior is not totally random. He is not as likely to jump off a bridge as to cross it. Chaotic neutral is the best alignment you can be because it represents true freedom from both society's restrictions and a do-gooder's zeal. However, chaotic neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all authority, harmony, and order in society.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Secondary Class:
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron's vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity's domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric's Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Not sure how I feel about this...I mean, really?!? Only Fifth Level?!?  Come on...Ability scores seem about right, maybe Dex should be a point higher...

On the other hand, the last game I actually played in I was playing a Favored Soul/Sorcerer/Mystic Theurge since our party had no spell casters or healers...hmmm.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SWAD: Special Hirelings

Hirelings and "Special Hirelings" - this is one of the hallmarks of my Back in the Day memories.  As a player, my character wasn't anything without a proper support staff.  How I shiver to think of all the lives lost through the years.  It only took one stray arrow, or a goblin that breaks through the line, or a wandering anything to comes up from behind, and there goes another porter.   And how many traps have claimed my torch bearers?   From a metagaming perspective, I suppose  that is just another facet of resource management.  But does it have to be?  What if the lowly commoner that faithfully servers at your side could be elevated to something "Special"?

So here is my offering in the first annual Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day: The Special Hireling* class!

The Special Hireling

After a successful adventure as a common hireling (torch bearer, porter, or whatever) the character may choose to become a professional adventurer's follower.  Without the skill or courage to strike out on their own these followers gain some perks but remain noncombatants and are only precariously viable.  You never encounter a Special Hireling - they are cultivated through adventuring.  If a Special Hireling ever leaves their service they loose all their levels and abilities through despair.

Prime Attribute: all attributes lower than 13 (+5% experience bonus)
Hit Dice: 1d4 (Gains 1 hp/level after 5th level)
Armor/Shield Permitted: Leather armor only, no shield
Weapons Permitted: Dagger, club, oil
Race: Human or Halfling

Special Hireling Class Abilities

Cannon Fodder: Special Hirelings save as a Fighter of the same level and gain +2 bonus on saving throws against traps.

Loyal: Special Hirelings are especially loyal to their employer and gain a +1 on all moral checks.

Noncombatant: Special Hirelings attack as a Magic-User of the same level.

Skilled: Special Hirelings gain experience as a Thief.

Focused: Special Hirelings are dedicated to their service and cannot multi-class.

Strong as a Mule: Treat the Special Hireling's strength as  +1 per level (max 18) for the purpose of determining Carry Modifier and Base Movement Rate.

Firestarter (1st): At first level a Special Hireling is gifted at starting fires and may light a torch or lantern even without a flint and steel or tinderbox if given enough time (1 turn or less depending on the environment).

Torch Craft (2nd): At second level a Special Hireling becomes skilled at keeping a fire going.  Any event or action that might extinguish a torch or lantern is allowed a saving throw to remain lit.  Furthermore, they can cobble together a torch from dungeon debris and detritus (pending GM approval, takes 1 turn) that will burn for half as long as a normal torch.

Efficient Packers (3rd): At third level Special Hirelings become experts at packing and load balancing.  They can increase the carrying capacity of containers by 10% without penalty.  Furthermore, once per day there is a 10% chance that they can "unpack" any reasonable mundane item not listed as equipment on their inventory ("I knew you would need that, sir!").

Firemaster (4th): At fourth level a Special Hireling can extend the life of a torch to twice as long as normal, included those cobbled together with the fire keeper ability.  Furthermore, a torch master can wield a torch as a club doing an additional 1d4 fire damage.  The life of a lantern can be extended by 25%.

Master Hireling (5th): At fifth level a Special Hireling gains an additional +1 to moral checks and can Hear Sounds like a first level thief when on watch.

Check out the Blog Role and don’t forget the awesome Frog God 25% off S&W products sale today only at their store HERE - you must use the coupon SWApprDay**.  The ever amazing SRD web site also has a S&W PDF sale too - use SWAD252013 at checkout.

* not to be confused with the reference to special hirelings meaning classed hirelings…

**The coupon excludes items less than $1, S&W Cards, Pre-Orders, and Subscriptions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What Day Is It

No, I do give a rats ass about that...I'm talking it's only 2 days until the huge Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day blogathon!

If you're not sure what I'm talking about (really?) click on the big logo looking thing over to the side...

And if you're not sure what all the hubbub is about you owe it to yourself to check out this FREE stuff:

You know what we desperately need?  A super high quality FREE intro module that we all play so we can relish in the shared experience (Keep on the Borderlands or The Wizard's Amulet kind of thing).

Personally, of all the myriads of offerings out there, this is probably the best choice: Grimmsgate's not FREE, but if you can wait until Wednesday, the extraordinary folks over at Frog God Games with store front is offering a super 1 day only 25% sale on S&W goodies.  Check it out!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

S&W Gnomes

There are no gnomes in Swords & Wizardry, just tantalizing hints...

White Box (3rd)
Dwarves can speak gnomish (page 16)

White Box (1st)
Halfling is a broader category of wee folk, including gnomes (page 10)

Core (4th)

Complete (Kickstarter)

There is no entry for Gnome, but they are mentioned in some of the encounter write ups - beware of spoilers.  A type of armor is described that specifically calls out sizes for halflings and gnomes being smaller than dwarves (page 14). Officially  gnomes use halfling stats (page 66, 70).  Most telling, a couple of entries outline the gnome village of Nomengarten. We get all the standard fare, including mushroom houses, earth-tone clothes, red, cone hats, peace-loving friends of small forest animals (think Pink Floyd), smurf-like singing and dancing, gold and pastries.  I would also add that gnomes seem to attract a certain category of monsters...

Finally, here is a thorough exposition on the broader subject by Matthew James Stanham.

And this is just genius: The Backpack Gnome by tony dowler

Monday, April 8, 2013

Feeling Lucky?

aldeboran has a post about the Luck attribute in Goodman Games DCC RPG.  If Luck is a one time pool of  Save Your Bacon karma points does that change the way you play? Can it impact your fun knowing that you  can thwart fate?


I see Luck being used in a lot of adventures as a Perception mechanic, but I really like what Purple Sorcerer does with it.  The character with the highest luck is the one that usually benefits from activities - everyone searches a room and the jackpot goes to the luckiest character (instead of everyone rolling).  Conversely, if anything bad is suppose to happen, the character with the lowest Luck is doomed.  There is a beautiful example in the latest release, Lair of the Mist Men.  If one character does something, the result causes 1d6 damage to the unluckiest character.  There is a similar unlucky blow in DCC #70 (Jewels of the Carnifex).  "Why does this always happen to me?!?"

I like that this puts a price on spending Luck.  Like those Final Destination movies, you avoid falling to your death only to be constantly harassed by a cold and strangely vindictive universe.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Atramentous Man

My Petty Gods divine item:

Atramentous Man

Alignment: Neutral
Save: Special
XP Value: 20,000

The ultimate Deus ex Machnina, an atramentous man is sometimes given by petty gods for special acts of service or devotion.  Sometimes given by petty gods for special acts of service or devotion, an atramentous man is an enigmatic boon waiting to happen.  The vaguely humaniod form is made entirely of solid darkness, a protomatter capable of assuming anything.  It has no features and does not interact with anyone.  It cannot be harmed by any mundane or magical means.

Once given, the atramentous man will unobtrusively follow the recipient.  It cannot be restrained or forced to move.  Any attempt to loose it will cause it to reappear in 1d4 turns, hours, or days, as is appropriate.  For example, if the recipient teleports away the atramentous man will simple show back up in 1d4 days.

The purpose of the atramentous man is to precipitate into any item that the recipient most needs to achieve an otherwise hopeless situation.  For example, if you fall naked into a 20' pit the atramentous man could suddenly form into a perfectly serviceable ladder that just reaches to the top.  When defensless and backed into a corner by a wight, the atramentous man may turn into a silver long sword to give you a fighting chance.  The GM should chose any mundane or minor magical item (including potions), but the choice must mean the difference between certain failure and possible success.  Once formed into a specific item it is a typical specimen of that item.  The atramentous man is spent and there is no trace to associate the item with where it came from.

edit requested by the publisher so as to not conflict with existing awesomeness :)