Wednesday, February 29, 2012

[LotFP] Example monster: Vampire

I just want to say this. I love Vampire: the Masquerade and last 10 years it is the game I've played the most. So example monster of vampire in Referee's book I advanced with caution. D&D vampires are kinda lame in my opinion, but LotFP vampire was kick ass! Well written, great gaming mechanics and powers and fluff writing was just awesome. I like what mr. James did there.

And basically there's an option to make player character vampire also... That could be one adventure seed. Character is turned into a vampire and he wants a cure! Some old tales tell that killing the master vampire will break the curse but what if after slaying him doesn't turn player character into human again? Time for plan B... but what is it? Plan B is a campaign to find a cure for vampirism while struggling with dark desire of blood.

I [insert f-bomb) love it!

Also started a topic on this at LotFP forums here:

[LotFP] My world of weird fanasy

I will use pseudo-history for my LotFP game. It takes some parts of real history but I will mix dates as I feel fit. So I wont be historically accurate but create my own fantasy world based in Europe. Setting year would be 1600 something but I will take inspiration also from earlier times.

Generally Europe is human populated. Elven are from northern Europe and focused in Finland (Kalevala). Elven have lost their ancient glory though. Dwarven are located to Russia and focused in mountains of Ural. Far  East is human populated and Asia is generally unknown for average people (take Marco Polo's discovery in here). Generally Asia is not included in my game but it is land of mystery and magic. And weird.

Africa is continent of weird. Deserts to jungles it is dangerous but full of adventures. There are strange demi-human-monster tribes and old gods. And monsters humanity hasn't seen before. Ancient ruins are good locations for treasure hunting and there are great mysteries (Egyptian pyramids for example).

I will use my game setting as a sandbox. Well, I can write places and quests and so on but generally I keep the map clean and add items there as the game goes on. Basically I fill my setting with details during the play. Maps are inaccurate in that time period so it is easy setting wise to add details when those are discovered.

In my last post I got some maps for this setting:

Resources I will use in addition to Lamentations of the Flame Princess are Vornheim Kit (I include city of Vornheim somewhere) and Ravenloft campaign setting (White Wolf edition) to eastern Europe.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Maps for LotFP

I was thinking I will set my LotFP game in pseudo-fantasy-Europe. It will be like Europe in 1100-1600 depending on the area. I won't be historically accurate but can use historical information to flesh it up.

I will also use Vornheim City Kit and possible city of Vornheim and from the beginning of getting Lamentations Of The Flame Princess Grindhouse edition I was thinking that maybe I could include my Ravenloft (S&S edition) campaign setting for it.

So I think I'll use LotFP + Vornheim + Old Europe + Ravenloft combo.

But here are a couple of maps I will propably use:
Old Europe map. Source: Wikipedia

Germany historical map. Source:
The walled town of Nurmberg, Germany 1648. Source:

Cradle of Rabies downloadable content

Now you can download rpg stuff I create. Currently there is only one item but I will update more as I get my hands to them.

First item to download is Werewolf: the Apocalypse 2nd Edition character sheet in Excel (Openoffice version) format.

You can find downloads in upper bar in this blog or by following this link:

LotFP basically read and ready to go!

I've finally read LotFP and I am ready to run it. Also planning to write a review of it. But here are pre-review initial thoughts about the game:

It looks great. Small box is awesome as I don't own any boxes sets currently (except ANKH but it's box is now destroyed long time ago). Three books with clear focus on what they do and mini-dice and character sheets included so you can play it out of box if you only get few pencils and other minor tools. There is enough space in the box for few additional booklets also. My Dead Frost Doom fits in well.

I am really enthusiast about the game. Unfortunately I did read Dragonslayers 3.x before finishing LotFP and really liked the system where damage is included in to hit roll. That I liked a lot and I wasn't sure would I like  to hit and after it separate damage roll any more. But it works for LotFP so my fear did not come true to start to combine these two games! I want to use LotFP as it is and not start to make my own system right away.

Rules are easy to learn and don't took much space of the books. Most of the rules book are magic and clerical spells listed and the core rules are easy and fast to learn. In Referee's book there are mostly handy tips and other material to run the game. It's more like a guide for Referee to run a game than a rules book. I like this. Tutorial is nice book what you don't need to play. It basically helps roleplaying games virgins to understand what LotFP and other roleplaying games are and how you play them. There are two different level of rules used tutorial solo adventures and also a long example of play. This is great tutorial and you can easily lend it for your first time player without loosing anything you yourself need as a Referee.

I like how Raggi writes. This doesn't feel like a fluff book (how for example World Of Darkness books are written) but is more like how Raggi explains LotFP for you. He kind of explains everything and tells it rather than tries to write it more complicated way trying it to feel like book in the gaming world. Texts and explanations are short and directly on the topic without blabber. The books also include valuable information on Refereeing roleplaying games and include small but great details for game like sea combat and investing money.

Basically this is my only boxed set (I got ANKH somewhere but its box is destroyed, dice lost etc.) and I haven't played roleplaying games like this that much (meaning oldschool or OSR). This game is cool! I love horror and the "weird" part of LotFP is like made for me. But there is a small problem. As LotFP books are like rule and gaming manuals there isn't that much fluff for the "weird fantasy" part. It's up to you to make LotFP adventures and campaigns weird. There are suggestions how to do this but actually nothing ready to use. This is not a sourcebook. LotFP could be just an oldschool clone with stranger illustration and the idea of Raggi of game about weird.

There are no monsters listed. It is Referee's job to create them himself. That does add the "weird" feel to the game as monsters are strange and basically more unique than common. Monsters' game mechanics stats are simple and easy to use so creating those isn't hard at all.

LotFP looking for adventure writers since 2011

This announcement is from late 2011 but I guess it's still valid. It's well written and James Raggi IV tells exactly how you should do it and what he expects from an adventure.

I have never written an adventure to publish it even free to share, but I have to admit this looks like a great opportunity for all great adventure writers who don't know how to publish them.

I would like to know what LotFP adventures were published this way.

Savage Cyberpunk pdf from Shaper and Maker

In comments to my blog post here I got link from Shaper and Maker for

Fast, Furious & Fun rules for cybernetics and hacking


You can find the rules here:

I downloaded it. It's really small one page set. I have read it but haven't used it. And I am not experienced in Savage Worlds rules or game in action so cannot say much about it. But it looks quick and simple enough to easily take in use.

I suggest you to check it out.

Monday, February 27, 2012

[D20/D&D/OSR] 20 Quick questions for rules AND sharing posts

First post about this topic was here:

From that link I got here: 20 questions about rules you are going to use in your D20/D&D/OSR/anygame session, adventure or campaign. Those questions seem to be focused on D&D styled games but you can use it with other games also. This list of questions will be especially useful in games which are really popular and which are known to be houseruled a lot. Or games which have already different rules in main rulebooks (some editions of D&D give different means to determine character attributes for example).

Really handy small tool to avoid confusion and rules arguments pre-game.

Combat survival guide for Savage Worlds

Reading (Finnish roleplaying games forum) I found from one topic this:

Cool Combat Survival Guide for Savage Worlds. It gives you problems and how to solve them. For example hitting your opponent it gives several different options to make things easier from Agility Trick to Taunt etc. This is good for players who usually play rpg combats by just "hitting, hitting, hitting" giving them other options to perform.

Really handy little tool. And don't forget to download Savege World Test Drive V6 rules here: It is free introduction rules set for Savage Worlds.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A to Z challenge of 2012

I planned to join this also this year. Here you can find all posts for my last years challenge:

Last year I couldn't keep up with the challenge and some of my post were delayed. But this year I take the challenge again and my goal is to keep in schedule.

Dungeonslayers almost rewritten for Saints Row 2

I actually started writing this. Dungeonslayers is rewritten. Only need antagonists, equipment and modified spells. Also rules for vehicles. I got rid of fantasy magic system and replaced it with influence. Influence is basically buffing. Gang lieutenants can buff others for bonuses.
For now I don't have a clue how I will write this reputation. I have an idea how it is rised and lowered by actions and equipment but don't know yet what is the effect of reputation. What could be the benefices of higher reputation? Here are some things I have thought:

- maximum number of homies following. There's a talent which can be bought three separate times for three homies to follow you. But each additional homie needs certain amount of rep.
- higher reputation might give experience bonus.
- reputation might also affect money flow. More reputation you have more money you gain.
- with high reputation character could indimitate opponents so low thugs and goons flee rather than fight so player can focus on big guys instead of little ones. But if you use reputation to not to fight it is lost. Your reputation makes enemies flee but it's kinda uncool in the other hand.

How reputation is gained:
- doing missions for gang player gets both experience and reputation
- from cool outfits and general style and possessions (awesome crib)
- outstanding other gangs

How reputation is lost:
- wearing heavy armor is not cool. Armor's AV is negative for reputation
- actions affect negatively own gang
- missions are failed

Reputation can also be roleplayed. You play cool you gain it. You play wussy you loose it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Saints Row 2 + Dungeonslayers?

I have played Saints Row 2 a lot. It is an awesome game. Lots of fun and lots of things to do. While playing it I keep thinking how cool it would be as a pen and paper roleplaying game. In my previous post I wrote about Vampire: the Masquerade sanbox campaign inspired by Saints Row 2 but I want more. I want Saints Row 2 roleplaying game.

Lately I downloaded Dungeonslayers rpg (a couple of posts back I write about it) and like its simple system resolution. Last night I kept thinking about Saints Row 2 roleplaying game. It didn't help me to get some sleep because I played it before going to sleep. Then I started to think about Dungeonslayers and got an idea. Make a Saints Row 2 roleplaying game using Dungeonslayers as an inspiration. And it clicked together.

At first I was thinking modding Mobsters (download from Burger Games homepage here). It is a roleplaying game about mafia in USA what I thought could be modified to modern days. But I didn't find it's skill based system suitable for videogame to roleplaying game convertion good enough.

In video games you shoot, run, jump, talk and so on with simple system. You shoot and you hit or not and so on. I think the action doesn't need several different skills. Because of that Dungeonslayers system would be easy. You have 9 attributes and abilities you combine to do stuff and several different talents to do certain things better. Basically there are no skills but to make a difference you do it with talents. Sounds great.

There are firearms rules for Dungeonslayers but even though I haven't yet read them I bet if they don't suit my taste they are easy to re-write. Basically firearms use ranged attack value with weapon bonus from weapon as in rules. Few extra rules to write are three round burst, full auto and aiming. Some other basics in addition you usually use in roleplaying games.

Range modifiers would be easy (if needed). Just give short, medium and long and possibly extreme ranges for weapons and add modifiers of difficulty. Aiming can be done with modifier to certain hit location (very difficult to hit head with bonus damage) or to make shooting easier (one difficulty rank easier per turn aimed). Three round burst would be modifier to all three shots at difficult modifier -2. Full auto I have to figure out.

Also I am not sure how defence value should be handled with firearms. Should both attacker and opponent roll as in melee fight? Or when shooting does only attacker roll but opponents armor is decreased from attack? You could dodge but it means you jump down and gain negative modifier unless you stand up.

Some rules should be added though. I was thinking morality system from World of Darkness. But it wouldn't be morality but respect. You gain and loose respect during the game based on your actions. Some actions may rise or decrease your respect. Winning other gang members or burning down their property will give you respect but loosing fights will decrease it. Cool clothing will rise it when armor will decrease it and so on. But what is the effect of respect in game system other than player knows how cool his character is ( your opinion on this is highly valued)?

Leveling up and experience would be from Dungeonslayers as it is. But talent could be followers also. How many other gang members you can take as retainers to help you out. These are player used NPCs to help out in combat. Possibly low hitpoints but good help in fights. Talent could be bought three times for example. One step for one possible follower. But maybe respect can affect this? First follower needs 5 respect, second 7 and third 9. If you have three talent ranks for three followers but only got 4 respect no one will follow you. This could be one use for respect.

Money is important. You can buy cool clothes to get respect, buy ammo and weapons, lofts and invest in business to gain income. And buy cars. Cars give you respect if they are cool. You can also pimp your ride for extra respect. Rules for vehicles are needed. Vehicle combat and pursue rules. I also was thinking that more your armor protects you more respect it lowers. If armor gives you 3 protection it decreases your respect by 3. It's not street credible to wear tough armor is it? Also additional respect can be gained from special weapons. .50 Desert Eagle is indimidating but if it's golden respect is ensured.

Respect would be big deal so it needs other rules than just how many followers you get.

Character's gang would need its own "character" sheet also. How big the gang is, how many turfs it owns etc. to keep track of. Maybe resources to be used and so on. I was also thinking about mission generator possibly. There are several small missions in Saints Row 2 what can be used in rpg. In downtime player character could do an extra mission (street race, fight club etc.). In Saints Row 2 manual these are introduced and I just have to take what suit best for p&p. Could respect affect how many downtime missions you can do and how often? One downtime mission per three points of respect? These are basically for extra money and extra respect.

I think this will be easy to accomplish. Dungeonslayers needs a little re-writing to suit modern gang world. Respect needs its rules. Equipment list must be written. Downtime quests executed. Gang statistics worked out. Not that much work.

Basically game would be a sandbox gaining experience, wealth and respect for your character. Also making your gang more powerful. But it wouldn't be hard to make a campaign for this with a plot and actual role playing. There could be rules to create a gang for player character. Like point buy system to use to get area, retainers, better leaders, resources etc. Getting big area is away from other things and so on.

Saints Row 2 wiki (found here) could be used converting things in game into rpg. As Dungeonslayers rules are easy the main focus wouldn't be in actual rules but more in fluff and content. Also some ready made gangs could be good addition for own gaming purpose and also if this would be shared for ready-to-play content.

I think this is not impossible to do and could be pretty fast to write. Most of the work would be writing equipment and fluff. Rules are there to just re-write with some additions.

Now the problem is should I use my time and energy writing this? I really, really would like to play Saints Row 2 as a roleplaying game so this would be written to be used asap. So it would be material for myself. But when writing material for myself could I just use some extra effort to make it in a form to share it with others who could be interested in it? I see this as a write through but when I start writing something it takes much more time that I initially estimate. I really should think about this because I really want to play this. Usually I play games with minimum preparation so this would be different for my usual games.

Now the big question is will I write this or not.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saints Row 2 and Vampire: the Masquerade

I've been playing Saints Row 2 for Xbox 360 for some time now. It is an awesome game with more GTA styled crazy fun than GTA IV has. Basically I'd say Saints Row 2 is more GTA than newest GTA is. Anyways, point of the game is gang wars and growing your turf and being The gang of the city getting rid of other gangs. In addition there is many smaller tasks and quests to do.

Anyways, when I play a videogame, watch a movie or read a book I usually think about them how they would suit for a roleplaying game, what inspiration they can give and so on. As a roleplayer I think like a roleplayer. Playing Saints Row 2 I started to think about Vampire: the Masquerade.

For V:tM there would be this city. City is in a struggle of who will be the leading clan. Each clan has their own area (or areas) and influence and power. And they want more. This would not be your average Masquerade campaign's Camarilla city struggling against Sabbat, or Anarch city trying to remain independent from general politics. This would be more like a mini setting.

Each clan would have their leader or leaders. Those are most powerful vampires in the city. Elders and Primogen. There would be also lieutnants which would be important and the rest are "troops." Those who do the dirty work, attack, protect and maintain more or less.

For example clan Lasombra would have Primogen of Lasombra clan as a leader. But his right arm I would see as Tzimische warlord. Lasombra would be all about politics and Tzimische about combat and protection. Troops would be few neonates or even ancillae but most of them are just shovelheads. Not that powerful compared to others but they are many.

Brujah would be your average biker gang who rule by power and Ventrue would own small personal army but are more into politics than raw power.

All clans, their turfs and members and description of troops would be roughly written and then player(s) could choose in what clan (gang) they would like their character to belong. My first example with Lasombra showed that not everyone in a clan (gang) must be of same clan. So clan Toreador's protection executive could well be Ventrue, for example (why would a Ventrue not be with his own clan?). Also not every clan necessarily has their influence in the city, but they could be "support" clans for bigger cause. Would clan Tremere have their individual influence or are they support clan for a bigger clan? Clan Ravnos necessarily doesn't have interest in political struggle but an individual might work for a clan.

I do own Prince of the City board game based on Vampire: the Requiem but haven't played it. I have to check it out how it handles the political aspect as a light strategic game. I think that the political and influence map of Vampire: the Saints Row should be a bit more strategic than just Storytelling method. So influence and actions actually have some other impact than just make-believe.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Creating a test character for Dungeonslayers

Like I said in my last post I found Dungeonslayers and decided to download and print it. Shuffled the main book and liked it on paper. System is fast, simple yet elegant. Character creation should be quick so let's try it out.

Rulebook for version 3.X can be found here:

Let's begin.

1. Choose Race
There are three races available. Human, elf and dwarf. Races have slight differences for character creation. As there is no setting in the rules I have to choose my race by feel. Choice is really hard as every race is basic fantasy race and as there are no settings it's only my imagination what races are like. I'll go with a dwarf this time. Race dwarf grants me the following racial attributes: Darkvision and Longevity (only slow aging after adulthood). There are no special rules for these but I write them down. Note: For dungeon dwelling darktvision is priceless!

2. Choose Class
Classes are Fighter, Scout and Spellcaster divided in three what basically affects your spell learning. I want to hit things so I choose fighter.

3. Assign Attribute Values
Attributes are Body, Agility and Mind and I get 18 points to share between them. Minimum is 2 and maximum 10 and value must be even number.
Body: 8
Agility: 6
Mind: 2

4. Assign Ability Values
Abilities are under Attributes. Strength and Tougness for Body; Reflexes and Dexterity for Agility and Reason and Aura for Mind. I divide Attribute by two to get points to share between corresponding Abilities.
Body 8------Agility 6-----Mind 2
Strength 2--- Reflexes 2--Reason 1
Toughness 2-Dexterity 1--Aura 0

5. Race & Class Bonuses
For dwarven fighter I get the following: Strength, Toughness or Dexterity +1. I choose Toughness so it is now 3. Fighter gives Strength or Toughness +1 and I choose Strength what is now 3.

6. Initial Spells
As a fighter I skip this.

7. Equipment
All starting characters have basic equipment but no armor or weapons. I got 10 gold pieces to buy stuff and I decide to arm my dwarven fighter. Leather jerkin is cheapest armor what costs 4 gold pieces and with remaining 6 gold pieces I get Axe. If I want both armor and weapon there are not that many options to choose from because 10 gold pieces is really small amount of money. Axe gives me +1 to combat and Leather jerkin +1 to defence.

8. Combat Values
Little calculation based on my Attriutes, Abilities and Equipment.
Hitpoints: Body + Toughness + 10 = 21
Defense: Body + Toughness + Armor value = 12
Melee Attack: Body + Strength + Weapon Bonus = 12
Ranged Attack: Agility + Dexterity + Weapon Bonus = 7
Dodge: Agility + Reflexes - Armor Value = 7
Spellcasting: Mind + Aura + CB = 2
Targeted Spells: Mind + Dexterity + CB = 3

9. Speed
Speed is half my agility +1 so I record 4 meters per turn down.

10. Finishing Touches
This would be description and other not rule related information.

Printed Dungeonslayers 3.X thanks to

Before I close my eyes in bed I have a habit to read forums with my mobile phone. Lights are already out so cannot read a book anymore. So reading with my phone is the finishing touch before Sandman pays me a visit.

Anyways reading it I opened this topic: [Dungeonslayers 4e] Wow. I got really curious about this Dungeonslayers game and decided to check out their homepage (Dungeonslayers homepage here, go check it out). With my mobile it wasn't that enjoyable to read but I found out that the previous version 3.X is free PDF.

So today at work before starting things up I went back to Dungeonslayers homepage and printed 3.X rules! I will also print those adventures and other material provided.

Thanks to topic about this game I got really interested in it and at least one person who had never heard of it before (this is me) got into it, downloaded it. And after reading it might even suggest people to check it out themselves (aren't I already doing it?).

So basically I now have new game in my collection. Reading the forum I found out that it is really easy to learn (someone said 20 minutes) and it is really fast to play one-shots with. So maybe if the premise is right I can with minimum effort try it out. Core rules are not that big. 20 pages with tables for equipment etc. and a starting adventure.

So, without even reading it yet I encourage you to check out!

I also found a review here: and

(I labeled this OSR and I hope no grognard comes and murders me for it).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Created To hit table inspired by old Finnish RPG ANKH

ANKH (Adventures of the North Kalevala Heroes) is old Finnish roleplaying game. Unfortunately my copy of ANKH has suffered major damage over the years and I am not sure where it is located. It was a boxed set but my box is long destroyed. ANKH came with three books. One for Game Master, another for players and third was adventure module.

ANKH was the first game I played, bought and Game Mastered so it has very special place in my roleplaying history and heart.

ANKH had this to hit system similar to Dungeons & Dragons' Thac0. Character had three combat values:
Taisteluluokka (TL for short) what is Combat class.
Jousiluokka (JL for short) what is Ranged class.
Suojaluokka (SL for short) what is Armor class.

To attack and determine attack's success you compare your TL or JL (depending do you melee or ranged attack) against opponents SL and see from a chart what is your change to hit.

Turn your video game collection to random generator

I was listing my console video games and had an idea. I got list ready for some dice action. To create plot, adventure, campaign, setting, location or what ever roll dice three times and see what video games it shows and improvise combining those to gaming material. Just go with the ideas you get from a video game. Graphics, setting, mechanics, title... what ever tickles your creativity.

Not sure how many video games you need for great variety, but I'd say at least 30 sounds good. I have 54 titles (did not include PC games) what I'll use for examples here (list to my games will be posted HERE tomorrow). But how to easily roll 54 sided die? Go here for virtual dice roller:
You can find list of my console games here:

I will create these examples for generic fantasy Dungeons & Dragons styled games. Let's begin!

Random Encounter NPC

Games: RalliSport Challenge 2, Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, Wii Fit Plus
Description: This NPC driver carts delivering rare goods and treasurer even to harder locations. He is not much of a fighter himself but he has a party of three henchmen with him; one caster, one fighter and a scout with bow. He is basically fantasy version of FedEX. His special ox of rare breed is faster than normal and almost impossible to exhaust.
Explanation: From RalliSport I got idea of travelling cart. Lord Of The Rings is turn based RPG in fashion of Final Fantasy series so I thought about a party to support NPC and Wii Fit Plus gave idea of that well built ox.

Random Encounter Location

Games: DancingStage SuperNOVA 2, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Manhunt
Description: In the wilderness there is old forgotten ruins of the city. The ruins are big and mostly destroyed to labyrinth like compound. In the middle there is part of a palace in relatively good condition; the old ballroom. When characters find the location they are approached by older man with dark hood and light leather armor. Even though old he looks to be fit. He has a proposal for characters. They must get into the middle of labyrinth of ruins and bring him one crystal from old roofcrown (that big fancy lamp). Reward will be good (what characters possibly would appreciate in addition to experience points). If characters as why the man tells it's a test but should be easy for adventurers like that (or what ever explanation suits players' style to take random quests).
Actually this is a test for old man's school of assassins. He sends adventurers and his assassins try to kill them. If assassin fails (is killed, captured or something else) he wasn't good enough. If assassins success to kill adventurers old man lures there they have had their real life lesson. If adventurers bring crystal to old man assassins have failed their lesson and their training continues as normal (maybe harder). Characters do have their reward if they success as promised.
There are different types of assassins to encounter from different lines. Lines are basically race or multi-class. Bloodfangs might be orc fighter/assassin when Deathfeathers elven assassins and Nimblefingers halfling thief/assassins. There might even be dangerous Wizard/Assassins Shadowmythics.
Explanation: DancingStage gave me idea of this dancehall, as a main location. Hitman for assassins and Manhunt for the labyrinth part where you must go further surviving attacks of assassin lines.

Town You Need To Create Quickly

Games: Resident Evil Outbreak File #2, Obscure II, Dynasty Warriors 5
Description: Getting into the city is not easy. It is walled in and heavily guarded. Sieged by undead warriors. It is practically impossible to fight way into the city but it could be possible to sneak in. Characters mind find supply delivery and join them to get into the city by secret passage. Characters learn backgrounds for the situation. There were two clans in war. Clan Reofod and clan Dywar. But because of a cataclysm clan Reofod's city was destroyed and most of them died. Clan was extinct. But clan's very powerful wizard survived and thought that the cataclysm was clan Dywar's act and turned into necromancy. Hundred years passed, wizard gained immortality by a deal with death god and got power to rise undead. He summoned bodies of his clan warriors to destroy clan Dywar. Now city of Reofod is in siege against undead wrath of clan Dywar.
Necromancer has also some control for demons and in some nights city Reofod streets are attacked by strange demonic creatures. City really needs help to survive.
Explanation: Resident Evil gave idea of zombies and Outbreak of demonic monsters in nightly streets. Dynasty Warriors gave idea for war, siege, armies and clans.

Extremely Powerful Magical Artifact
Games: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle: Echoes Of Time, Fallout 3, Quake III Revolution
Description: Staff with crystal too powerful for mankind. It can bend time, bring great destruction and shoot magical rays of different types.
Explanation: I made this really simple. Final Fantasy gave crystal and power to bend time, Fallout destructive powers and Quake shooting rays. It doesn't always have to be complicated.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What are good games made of

I have played lots of different systems and in many different settings. I have also Game Mastered lots of different systems in many different settings. But what is it what makes a game good for me? I open some aspects here what those things are.

1. I like rules that are simple enough to run with minimum preparation but do also offer options for advanced gaming.
2. I like rules what are easy to strip to make them more simple if needed.
3. I like rules what are easy to modify and if there is no rule for something it is really easy to made up.
4. It doesn't matter if game uses only one type of die or all possible as long it is fun to roll the dice.

1. I like games where you see when character makes advancement. I like to see the difference instead of just next to no advancement or so slow or small advancement it doesn't make any difference.
2. There might be dozens of arch types or classes to choose from or only few but I like some customization to make my character my own not just a copy of book.
3. I don't like characters who get beaten up from peasants or die fighting rats and insects. I want my (and player's) character to be able to adventure and be a hero at the beginning, not after 10 gaming sessions preparing to be a hero. (Of course characters should be able to do more difficult deeds when they advance but I want to skip that beginning where your character is noob).
4. I also like games where I can make choices for my character build. Even if I start with one type of character I would like the option to make him something else during the game. It doesn't mean that my character should be good at everything, but I don't want my character to be tied in a certain build for the rest of the game (or his lifespan which ever comes first).

1. I like monsters scary. Even though they were easy to beat they should be intimidating. Look strange or scary, act strange or evil, be weird. Monsters should be something else than just next encounter to gain some experience.
2. I like simple but detailed monsters. It must be easy and fast to use a monster but still there should be something else than just roll a die to see does it harm player character. Easy to use but with some tactical benefices in combat.
3. Monsters should have something else to be there but only to be beaten for challenge. I want a reason why monster is what it is, why it does what it does and why is it there where it is. This can be covered in rules, or GM can write some reason for himself. If monsters just stand there at the dungeon waiting for player character it is a little stupid. Even a good background for the location might explain the monsters.
4. Defeating monsters should be fun.

1. Bad villains should be really bad. I like black and white oldschool setting in some campaigns a lot.
2. But still usually I want villains to be more in gray area. Are they that bad actually or is their agenda just twisted for the norm? Also villains who are not what player characters thought is fun.
3. Villains should have plans of their own. A life. They are not out there just to annoy player characters or grant questing for them. Villains should have more feel into them.
4. If you bring villain back later on game or in a different campaign do it once. That is enough. Unless the villain is not actually defeated or confronted majorly and campaign is about getting rid of what villain has done. But if the villain is main plot, I don't like that you have to defeat him several times (because GM likes him doesn't mean that players like him).

1. Static NPCs are boring. I want to feel that there are other things in the world than what player characters directly affect.
2. One to three features are nice touch to make unimportant NPC feel like a person. It doesn't take much time to tell that blacksmith has a black beard and strange sight but he is funny person. Without that blacksmith would just be a vending machine.
3. I want to have feelings for NPCs. To like someone, to be annoyed by someone, to feel pity and so on. Otherwise I just feel that my character is there alone or only with his group.

1. Short or long it should be interesting. What makes an adventure interesting is a harder thing to describe. It just is or isn't. If adventure is not interesting I hope GM will hear players' wishes how he could make it more fun to play (as a GM I also want to hear this from players to develop their experience).
2. Adventure should be somehow interesting for the character. Motivation why character would do it is a must. Otherwise it just feels like I created a tool to work things out in a game. I play my character and want my character also to experience the game. Otherwise I could play a board game or video game. "You are here and now you must do this" is boring without reason.
3. I like action but I also like social situations. Dangers and investigation are great. Even though campaign was combat focused I'd like to have something else there. Also even though campaign was drama focused I'd like some action or danger.

1. I am a big horror fan and would like games to include horror in a way or another. One night games might be hard for this if they are focused on one quest to be finished in a limited time but for longer adventures or campaigns horror theme is welcome. It doesn't mean I want zombies in every game, but some dread is always great.
2. I am open for different kinds of games from fantasy to science fiction but the theme should be interesting if the genre isn't my favorite.
3. Theme should also touch my character somehow. Otherwise it just feels that my character happens to be there adventuring.
4. I want to smell, taste, see, hear and feel the game. It is always great when Game Master spends effort to build up theme.

Those are some things I appreciate in roleplaying games.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weapon damage is basically ammunition type

When started my project YDIN I was thinking how will I do weapon damage. Just put guns in order from smallest to meanest and rate them approximately how much one shot should take health points off? Should I just make common types or wider list with brands and more details? What would be the difference other than availability, looks and price?

At forum I asked about weapon damage some time ago and got a suggestion about making damage according to weapon caliber and ammunition type. That sounded cool, so that's what I will do.

I was also linked this website with lots of weapons and statistics. I just have choose what weapons I want to include. Three shot bursts,clip sizes, weights and all these details are included so I don't have to decide those myself.

When I have a set of weapons I want to include in rules I just have to put ammunition in order from smallest to biggest. Then put damage on those ammos.

I also thought there could be some basic damage with each weapon roughly based on different variables like speed of bullet. This could make small difference. For example shooting Parabellum 9mm or Glock 18 even though they use same ammo. Basically I like this basic damage idea also because when you already have hit you want to deal damage.I dislike games where you score awesome to-hit roll and then deal lame 1 points of damage. So weapons have this basic damage what is dealt and rolling dice is the additional "how badly the bullet actually hit you". Same thing is with melee weapons in many games. Melee weapons have this basic damage - strength bonus of wielder (Sword d8 damage + strength bonus). So why cannot firearms have this basic damage (Bullet d8 damage + weapon bonus)? Also if more detail is needed optional rule could be that weapon in weaker condition its basic damage is reduced.

How to decide how much damage bullets do then? Simply I take initial characters lowest and highest possible health points and the medium of health points. Then I take bullet size from the middle and decide how deadly I want it to be dealing average damage. Then move up and down the list downgrading and upgrading damage values to less deadly and more deadly. I think it's simple pattern to follow.
For example medium bullet (9mm perhaps) needs three shots to kill average character. .22 pistol needs 4-5 shots maybe and powerful sniper can deal damage way over possibly even one shot killing maximum health points character. Remember, this is average damage so lucky character could survive that sniper shot if dice are favorable. Although, really bad-ass sniper could have horrible base damage what is the killer.

Same way with explosives. If explosives basic damage is huge it kills character if it is a hit. The difference comes when explosives are used against armored vehicles or buildings or giant robots or other big targets.

I think that this is a good idea. And simple and follows certain pattern. And if there is certain logic in firearms I think I could write small easy tutorial how weapon damages were determined so different Game Masters could easily write their own weapons in similar pattern.

I think I will use this commonly if I find it good idea in practice and test. I also should shuffle my rpg books through to find out what logic they use in weapon damage and can I find a pattern there.