Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Downloads & Links

I have this small downloads section in my blog. Currently there are some stuff I've made to use in roleplaying games, but I also added a possibility for links.

What does it mean? It means, that if you want link to your rpg related downloadable stuff included in my downloads & links page, I can add it (if I find it suitable).

So, do you have something homebrew you share over the internet people can download? Give me email to doomproducts [at] gmail [dot] com and if it's cool, I'll add proper link to that downloadable file.

It does not cost anything. I myself like products people do and find it good for this hobby. Thanks to internet, basically everyone is able to share their products with other hobbyists.

So again, if you have something people can download, I find it appropriated to add and you would like to share the link in my blog, please let me know. I will be glad to do my share of your sharing!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How to take advantage creating RPG quests and campaigns using MMORPG quest model?

This is not about playing MMORPG instead of playing RPG because you as a GM just haven't got anything prepared. This works best for those Game Masters who are familiar with MMORPGs and haven't got anything spectacular prepared for next or current session.

MMORPG Quests to RPG Quests And Their Differences

Kill certain amount of monsters, talk to NPCs in order, deliver items from one place or NPC to another, find resources for quest... Really basic everyday MMORPG things to do. Actually, similar quests we run into roleplaying game campaigns. NPC in distress, monsters to kill, items to obtain and return.

But what is the difference between an average MMORPG and RPG quest?

"I don't care why you lost your whatever to where ever."

That's sometimes what I in my mind tell to MMORPG quest giver. If the quest is not related to main plot, but just a side quest, I usually don't bother to read all the nonsense wall of text.

"You need this to give me XP and gold and possibly an item? Fine, I'll get ya that but just stop talking!"

What is the difference between similar or exact same MMORPG quest versus RPG quest is the NPC and interaction. In MMORPG you just listen or read tl;dr and can view the quests point in simple description. In RPGs characters can interact with this said NPC. Talk to him back.

Also, in MMORPG after you get this quest, for example kill 10 orcs at nearby forest because they cause harm or danger, you run there, click your mouse button and sometimes use special attacks or spells until all these orcs are dead.
In RPG in the other hand GM can create the mood. He can describe the surroundings better, what orcs are doing (instead of standing still like in MMORPGs) and create atmosphere. If there are 10 orcs to kill, in MMORPG you just run there and hope that other orcs' aggro doesn't reach to you. In roleplaying games if orcs see you, they attack you.

Is your playerparty strong enough to run there waving swords and casting spells attracting all orcs at once, or do they need some tactics to do that?

You can also add story elements more. In MMORPGs everything is scripted. Things happen if it's ment to happen. Usually in these kill enough of them quests there are no surprises. But in RPG there might be some. Orcs might blow horn to call backup, some of them might slip away, they might have information of texts about bigger plans. It is easier to develope from this simple quest to further and make it more advanced.

Also in MMORPG when you talk to NPC girl and read text:

"*Sob sob* I lost my puppy in the forest."

It is just text. Well, you might relate to that if you will, but with storytelling GM can make whole situation more dramatic.

So, if you do play MMORPGs and know what kind of quests there are in your MMORPG(s) of choice, feel free to rip those quests. They might feel a bit too simple or straightforward for roleplaying games but with a little tweaking, fleshening out, creating right atmosphere by great descriptions, you can do well. You can also link separate quests together to make series of quests, or even mini campaign.

One village might have separate looking quests (wolves eat sheep during night and shepherds are too afraid to stay there at night, orcs have warcamp nearby, village elder's daughter has lost her precious ring) but you might time them together.

What common does these wolves, orc warcamp and lost ring have? Maybe orc spy stealed the ring to give trained wolves the scent of village elder's daugter's scent and wait wolves to kill village elder's daugter. When whole village is in sorrow because of the death of the daughter, they will attack as village is in it's weakest?

You can make this linking part easier using mindmap. Here's how:

1. Write down concepts of each quests on paper well separed. (One section for wolves, another for lost ring, third for orc warcamp).
2. Draw lines between these separate concepts and write next to lines, how they are connected.
3. Do some finetuning
4. ????
5. PROFIT (You just made in few simple test a mini campaign using MMORPG stereotypical quests!)

MMORPG quests are similar to basic RPG quests. No next time you play your MMORPG, pay attention on the quests and possibly you might not freeze anymore when there is "nothing to do for the characters". There always are things to do in the game world. Everyone always needs help from heroes, there are always bad guys and monsters roaming free and making their evil plans on destroying crops or taking over villages. And while you run this so called basic MMORPG-ish quest on your roleplaying session, you might find out how it developes into something bigger.

This works with every genre, not only fantasy games. Just make fine adjustments to suit the setting you use.

5 plots for Dungeons & Dragons or fantasy setting

This is my second post on the "5 plots for..." series. First was for Vampire: the Masquerade, I am currently running. Earlier I did run D&D 3rd edition game in generic fantasy setting I made up during the course of play. Anyways, here are 5 plots for Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy genre games.

1. Death Penalty By Drowning

Characters are captured and accused to be spies or other henchmen of evil out of no reason. The village they are in just finds characters outsiders and vile. They are in the jail of this city and are judged to face death by drowning. There is nothing they can do, no escape, no reasoning to get free as the villagers have set their mind.

The last evening before drowning, an elf slave gives the last meal for characters. In her eyes characters see deep sorrow and fear, as she gives the soup and tea. If any of characters refuse to feast, she insists them to eat, or at least drink the tea (make sure characters do).

Night comes, and characters are forced to nearby lake chained to a heavy rock pulled by mules. They hear their final judgement, how the evil must die and are cast to the lake.

When they cannot anymore hold breath, they realize they can breath underwater (the tea was actually "breath underwater potion"). Guards and villagers think that characters are done and leave the place.

Underwater, chained to rocks characters are alone in the night and now is their change to escape. Give every character a change to get free, or those who got free to help their comrades. Powerful warrior might with successful roll force himself free or rogue might use debris from the bottom to picklock the chain.

When characters swim out of the lake, they get a ghastly vision of this elven slave.

"I am elven princess' cousin, and was captured to be slave.
I freed you, as I saw your soul and you are not evil.
Help me free, as I helped you free yourself."

Now it's up to characters, will they help elven princess' cousin from these narrow minded villagers, who are the true bad guys, or will they just escape the whole place.
How will they plan the freeing? Their equipment are in guards hut in the chest. They might sneak in and kill a couple of guards off-guard or what ever DM seems fit or what ever players find their plan to be.

2. Snakes On The Plane

In big central city, everything has been normal to this day, until in dusk sky turns greenish purple like a vortex and these mighty snake-man warriors attack it. They kill guards and men who resists and plan to make others slaves for their evil reign. Characters might encounter one or two, but they soon realize these vile snake-man monsters are tough opponents, and there are hundreds of them. City cannot defend, nor can characters.

In the disorder city's mage's guild's officer pulls them aside and leads them to secret dungeons below mage's guild. There he tells what is going on.

"From another plane, these snake-men cape to conquer our realm. They are powerful here, as their Plane's laws are more powerful than ours. You heroes are our only hope. You must travel to this Snake Plane and destroy what ever force keeps the vortex open and gives Snake Men power to function on our Plane."

Mage officer then gives magical items for everyone (one item per player) to help their task and opens Plane vortex what leads to this Snake Plane where Snake Men reside.

In Snake Plane player characters are as powerful as these vile creatures and can fight them off. They find it out, as where they are teleported by the vortex there are few guards they can kill easier*. They must travel the  palace of Snake Men and destroy the crystal what powers their vortex and allows them to roam free.

* Fix Snake Men stats. At players' realm make their stats insanely powerful, but at their plane downgrade them to meet characters' level.

3. Sickness in Camp

At their travels, characters find a big camp. It's more like a village, but inhabited by nomad tribe. As they go closer to find better shelter than just their tents and campfire, or restock their rations, they soon find out that every single villager is sick and dying. Nomads ask for help.

The sickness is caused by poisoned well's source underground in the mountain or hill. In the source of well the water is green and there is magical crystal what makes the water poisonous. When the crystal is removed, water is restored to healthy.

They find some kind of hint or clue, where the crystal might originate. The clues lead them to nearby village. The leader wants nomad lands for himself, but nomads refused to leave their ancestors place. So the leader decided to poison and kill the villagers to gain their lands.

Will characters help the nomads?

4. Lost Books

There are books lost from mage's guild and one apprentice with them. He was known as power hungry and wanted to learn dark and harmful arts, necromancy in top of it what did not suit guild as he was too young and naive for that kind of power.

Lost books and power hungry apprentice can be found nearby in the mausoleums of cemetery deep underground guarded by undead monsters.

5. Too Big

Thousands of years ago, evil wizard destroyed the mighty dragon and was severely wounded after the battle. With his last powers, he only could cast a sleep spell on the dragons progeny. Now the dragon is awaken, adult. Too weak to do barely anything and stuck overgrown in his cave. Telepathically this dragon asks help from characters to get free.
People remember the tale, but are cautious about dragons. Is this ancient dragon evil or good? Will characters try to free him and how will they get him out of whole mountain?

But the dragon knows where his mother hide the great treasure and is willing to share it with his liberators.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Changes on Cradle of Rabies blog

If this is not your first time visiting here, and you remember this blog, you immediately noticed that colors are changed. I like dark and black, but for my opinion last template with black backgrounds, white texts and red headers was a bit too heavy to read. And as everyone knows, light colors make the effect of more room.

I think, that this more white template and color setting blog doesn't look so stuffy anymore.

Also you see the header. Originally it was a huge wall of tl;dr manifest about what roleplaying games and -gaming is. I think, that people who visit here already know what roleplaying games are and roleplaying is, so I deleted it and added simple welcome note.

Also, I had 7 posts visible at the site what was too much. Decreased it to 3. Not so darn long page anymore and more clear on blog texts.

I had some Google Advertisement also for some reason, but hated it. Made changes to it. In some posts I will still Include link about the product in question. Easy to find legal picture (and hoping that someone will order the product from that link -> profit).

One thing I have always hated was my Labels. I cannot find a good labeling system what I find good. So, again... new labeling and this I find pretty good.

New labels are at the moment (new will follow same formula):

How to make JRPG to PNP RPG?

I am playing Chrono Trigger, and it is awesome. Great example of JRPG. Awesome story, sense of humour, turn based combat system, items what make you a bit better, skills and spells. Similar to earlier Final Fantasy series.
While playing Chrono Trigger I started to think, what kind of pen and paper roleplaying game would be, and what elements it must include to be JRPG style. Here are some points.

Deep Characters

Player characters are deep. And unique. There is not necessarily race restrictions, but almost anything is possible. Even though there are only one or two main races in the game, your player character (or some NPC) could be of rare or unknown race.

Characters have background, but usually player characters just happen to be there. They might be normal persons who just happened to be in the wrong (or right) place at a time when the adventure starts. Still, they know how to fight or use spells. Or they learn it easily during the experience they gain.

Outlooks can be whacky. Red pointy hair is more a rule than exception. Player characters are individual, even strange or crazy looking.

Weapon of Choice

Player characters are good with one weapon, and they like to use similar weapons from the beginning. Some use swords, some bows, some javelins, some fists. They usually stick to this one type of weaponry, because they are good using it.

Special Skills, Spells

Everyone has special skills. Mostly special attacks. They use some kind of power similar to magic points or mana. They can learn better and more powerful skills during the adventure. With experience levels they might unlock new skills, buy new skills or even gain access to special skills from items.
Same way with spells. Usually spell users know more spells, as fighters know special attacks. In some conditions also non-mages can learn spells, but spellcasters have wider access to them.

(Similar to D&D feats.)

Attributes and Skills

Attributes raise after every level. They have no limit and numbers must be big. First level character might have attribute of 10-40 but at level 30 these values might be hundreds. Bigger the skill number, better the character is. Usually there are no skills at all, but everything is attribute based (I'd make some kind of different system for this though).
Attributes are usually combat, defence, initiative based, dexterity for dodge, maybe change for critical hit, and resistance. Also some other attributes may be present.
Attributes are what determine how well character can perform.

Problem here is, that JRPG use character Attributes only to determine character's power in combat, but in PnP roleplaying games attributes and skills are used in many other things.


No limit to levels. Every level grands bonuses to Attributes. It might be +X every lvl. Usually in JRPG you cannot choose what Attributes you develop as it is automated.

In PnP JRPG I'd give an amount of points player can divide to his character's Attributes.

Weapons, Armor and Items

Weapons are bonus to Attributes to deal damage, hit better etc. Same goes with Armor. Some equipment give better bonus overall, some give specific bonus but are not as good overall. Also, there is no limit to how good bonuses from equipment can be.

In JRPG items are usually affecting to character's status. Healing, MP restore, poison or other effect remove etc. Potions and magic scrolls are everywhere.

For PnP RPG use there could be also other items, what give other bonuses. Like a scope might give bonus for sniping, map and compass for traveling etc. JRPG items are designed usually just to buff character, not to help him in tasks.


Many of them. Different kinds of roam the world. Also variety of races can be diverse. Monsters are easy to create, just use your imagination. Huge blue chicken with bombs? Four handed monkey with wings? Aracnoid robot? All possible.


Combat should be tactical but fast. Different powers, special attacks and spells to use, also normal attacks. Items of course to use.
In one turn you can choose one action to do. No multiple actions (well, maybe if you got special power for that).

Initiative is a hard one. You might want to use basic initiative concept from other games, as usually there's initiative bar growing in games. Just roll initiative in the beginning of the battle. Or you can make pre-made initiative what determines the course of battle, which could be better in my opinion.

Setting World

History is important. Make it. Usually they mix up fantasy, science fiction and steam- and cyberscifi. There might be samurai warriors, robots shooting lasers, elven with bows and sniper rifles. Be creative. Nothing is impossible.

J-Tacchi, Concept For My JRPG Style PnP Rules

I was thinking, that I'd like to do quick and simple JRPG rules to fit PnP gaming. Just for fun, not so seriously.

Character creation:
Choose or pick up ready made concept. It determines your starting Attributes, Powers, Magic, Skills, Equipment. I might add some points to add and share for a customization effect.
Calculate HP, MP (or other "power points"), resistance etc. based on Attributes.
Write character personality, history etc. and describe his appearance.

Task rolls:
Trying to perform something? Roll dice equal to your every 10th of attribute value (and possible bonus from skill?). Dicepool system. There might be target number to gain success (similar to Storyteller system). Different tasks need different amount of successes to be successful. For example easy would be 3, hard 5 etc. or what ever would be balanced.

Another possibility could be fixed D20 system. For every 10 points of attribute (or skill bonus or similar) you get +1 to your D20 roll against DC.

Which would be better? Remember, there can be "Attack value" of 300! Dicepool of 30 is ridiculous, but similarly is D20+30. Though "Attack value" of 300 might be über-tough anyways ;)

Combat goes similarly to Task rolls... but how to emulate big amounts of damage here? We are talking about JRPG, not 1D8 for a sword attack. Sword can do 5-50 damage at lower levels! It's not same to just downgrade damage values if we want to do JRPG, isn't it?
If enemy has 300 HP and character does 30 damage average, it's same as 30 HP vs. 3 damage... Easier to calculate though with smaller numbers. This is something I must think harder. How to make damage work.

One way could be, that damage has multiplier based on character. So, this normal sword has damage of 1D8 what is rolled, character's multiplier is x3 so final damage is 3-24. How to make sword better?
Rusty old sword is 1D8-2 when Sharp sword is 1D8+1.

Critical hits are 2x damage. Plain and easy.

Before damage is decreased from opponent's HP, you decrease defense from it. Different defense values could be for example:
- Physical (cutting, slashing, piercing, smashing)
- Fire (magical fire, firebreath, torch)
- Water (magical water spells)
- Air (magical air spells)
- Earth (magical earth spells)
- Natural (poisons, sleep, paralyzis)

And of course special defenses for example Thunder Turtle halves damage of lightning weapons.

Character might have 1D8+2 Silver Sword of Thunder with x1 damage multiplier. He is fighting Infant Thunder Turtle, what's defense values are:
Phy: 6
Fir: -
Wat: 12
Air: 6
Earth: 7
Natural: 6
½ to thunder attacks.

So character rolls damage against physical - Phy defense and remaining damage is halved. Fire based attacks are best against Infant Thunder Turtle. But when monsters are stronger, they need stronger weapons to fight. If Defense values are high, damage is hardly dealt without great multipliers. So here's another option:
Another possibility is, that Defense value is reduced from attack value. So if character has Attack of 31 he could roll 3D OR get +3 attack bonus. If Defense is off from Attack value, it's 25 what means 2D OR +2...

If the rules are fixed D20 system, against what is attack rolled to success? DC/AC of an opponent? Are defense values separate from DC/AC? Is there some fixed number to roll against and opponent doesn't affect it but only defenses against it?

So many questions with rules system still. Must write down to paper, and start to manipulate dice and numbers.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pictures of huge monsters for inspiration

What is more terriffying than huge monsters? Dragons make even experienced party nervous and humongous monsters are something 21th century people are not used to. It doesn't matter how big your laser weapon is if your opponent's is bigger and it's armor thicker. Here are the monsters, that make your player's characters weep.

Disclaimer: I found this neat picture somewhere around internet. Unfortunately I don't know the source for image compilation nor who the original artists are.

So, I apologise for violating copyrights, but these pictures are so awesome. So, who ever you are mr. or mrs. artists, thank you for inpsiration!