Friday, October 29, 2010

The Cannibal hobbit tribe of desert

In the desert, far from civilization there is small tribe of hobbits. They don't live in fancy and cozy holes but in tents made from leather of rare desert oxes. Everyone knows that hobbits love easy life, good food and drink and love parties and festivals. But life for these hobbits is simple and quite rough. Sun is burning in the daytime but nights are cold.

Usually hobbits are round for their love of food but these tribesmen are thinner. They love festivals though, but they are rare as their life is rough.

Food in desert is hard to get, and a great feast is hard to make. They hunt lizards and other small reptiles and if the hunters are lucky, they might get a desert ox. There aren't many of plants, but they are good at making wine from the palmtrees at the oasis they live.

Sometimes, if they are lucky a caravan goes by. Part of the desert where this tribe of hobbits lives is remote from civilization. Week's travel to next roadside inn. When there is a caravan heavily guarded, they are really shy and cautious to show themselves. But if caravan is lightly guarded, hobbits attack it robbing valuables, taking food and human.

What do they do for their captives? Cook them alive. Meat is better, when it is cooked with adrenaline. The leftover meat they dry in the sun.

Old people from the tribe (75% or more of expected living age) are eaten. They are not cooked alive, but their throats are slit. This is not an horror for tribe's members, but mere a honour. They born and live their life in the tribe, and that is their way. When hobbit is old enough, he is more than willing to nourish his tribesmen. Death is a ritual, a festival. Hobbit to be cooked is treated like a king for months. He knows what is coming up to him and how his life will end on his tribesmens plates and is happy to be able to feed this poor tribe. Even those killed in injuries are not buried, but eaten. It's a waste of a life to bury the body in the ground, or burn it, and noone wants it.


When adventrurers are far in the desert, they might find this oasis resident by hobbit tribe of cannibals. They treat their visitors the  best they can, putting up a small festival for the honour of their visitors. They do their best to feed them, and give the best of the wine they have maken from palmtree leaves. One might notice, that even if meat is red, it tastes like chicken. If this is told, they say that lizards taste like it. Aren't it good meat, sir?

They put tranqualizing herbs in wine for their guests to sedate them. When guests go to sleep, the sleep is so deep they hardly wake up in even bigger disturbance. Then the guests are tied up and carried into a huge pot to cook alive. The pain in being cooked alive is so horrible, that even the herbs won't keep their guests asleep anymore. "Screaming meat is better," goes the old saying.

System And Setting

Basically you can use cannibal hobbit tribe in any fantasy game. It doesn't need to be Tolkien as halflings or even gnomes or dwarves can do the trick. Just take some less dangerous race, what is commonly found nice and you are good to go. The race you choose to use should not be concidered as violent or dangerous, or the surprise is ruined.

How Will Characters Survive From Being A Nice Meal?

That is a good question.

Cannibal is when someone eats someone else from his own species. But I describe this outcast desert tribe of hobbits as cannibals, as they eat intelligent humanoids.

Halloween challenge from you to me!

Post in comments before 30th day of this month. (I live in +2 Time zone, if it matters). From those posts I will make a post including your idea done.

So, what I am asking, give me in comments:

  • Name (for example Crow the Nightwalker, Nightpeaks). Something horror and/or Halloween related.
  • What you want it to be (for example place, NPC, monster, item). Something you want your given name to be.
  • Optional: Genre. If you want your name and concept to be for certain genre, name it. Unfortunately I cannot do everything for particular system, as I don't obviously necessarily own every system you would like the "thing" to be in. So just genre. I include it to some system I choose, or leave it system-free.
I will make a topic about all ideas you dear readers have posted in comments to this post. (I hope there are more than one. Or EVEN one). I will mostly do this for my own fun.
This can be great inspiration for me and I am looking for what you guys come up with and what I will come up with those ideas.

AND if you are interested in similar challenge, I give some ideas to YOU! You can post in comments link to your site showing what you have created. So, here is:

  • The One Eyed Horror - Item
  • Ragged Stranger - NPC
  • Foul Maggot - Monster
  • White Blood - Place
I left genres/settings to be decided by YOU. Have fun, and give some fun for me!

Halloween = Call of Cthulhu x2

Here in Finland Halloween is not an official holiday, but it is growing as a phenomenom. There are lots of Halloween themed items in shops and I think that younger generation really enjoys it.

Halloween is this Sunday, but meh, me and my girlfriend will have a Halloween Weekend! So, starting today, continuing tomorrow and recovering on Sunday. We are cooking some Halloween themed snacks like fingers in blood (wieners with garlic slices as nails in a bowl of ketchup), monster faces (small pizzas with stuffings arranged as monsters faces), spider pies (not idea what this would be, I trust on my gf on this) and so on.

But the main fun in Halloween (with boozing) is roleplaying. I decided to run one-shot adventure with horror theme, but had two ideas so I try to go with two. I decided to use Call of Cthulhu with both my games. Actually other set in modern days doesn't necessarily need rules at all, but I decided that it might be easier to make a character with a character sheet.

So, here are my adventures:

Hollow Life

Character is an everyday person. Working in post office. He has normal life. But one day she starts to see people, who doesn't see her and who no one else seems to see either. Outside a store lady dressed in victorian dress walks by. At the old trainstation but today buss station she sees man in old conducteur's uniform.
Then, these people she but no one else saw start to see her and seem to be as surprised or confused as character is seeing them.
After awhile when character sees more these ghost people, normal people start to unsee character...
Basically the idea is, that character has died but she doesn't know it yet. She is slowly slipping to the realms of the dead, thus seeing dead people ending to the point that she is not in the realms of living anymore but faded through the border of living and dead.
In this adventure despite of character's actions it is an oneway spiral to death. Well, character has already died and when she slips more and more through the border of living and death maybe she will recall an accident or something. Point is, how will character handle the situation when she realises that she has died. And what is after death? Will she remain a ghost or accept her death and walk to the light for eternal peace?

Bad Moon Closing

Set in 1920's character is involved in astronomy (not sure yet how). One bright winter night she discovers a new distant planet. What is every night a bit closer and closer. One night she can clearly see the planet blinking a big eye. What is this planet, why is it closing up and what will be the consequences of it?

[A] nineteenth century British cult believed in [a] comet-god who sang to the stars and planets as it passed by them in its orbit. They said it destroyed those worlds it passed, by waking up demons or ancient gods ... who slept on each world.
—Kevin A. Ross, "The Music of the Spheres"
Picture from:
Ghroth (the Harbinger) resembles a small, rust-colored planet or moon with a single, gigantic red eye which it can close to avoid detection. Ghroth drifts throughout the universe singing its siren song, the Music of the Spheres. As it swings by a planet, any Great Old One or Outer God sleeping there is awakened by the song. This usually results in the extinction of all life on the planet or perhaps even the utter destruction of the planet itself.[2]
Ghroth is believed to be responsible for the periodic mass extinctions that wiped out 90% of all life on earth, including the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous era. It may also have caused the destruction of the planet Shaggai, the homeworld of the intelligent, insect-like Shan.[3] For this reason, Ghroth is also known as Nemesis, or the Death Star, named after the Nemesis Hypothesis, first proposed by American astronomers David Raup and Jack Sepkoski.

Text from here:

Can character do anything to stop this horror from singing it's song of destruction to planet death? Does American goverment know about this and hide their knowledge? Can character find information about Ghroth? What about other astronomists? Is earth doomed?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Made Call of Cthulhu fixed character sheet with alternative starting skill values

I am planning to run CoC one-shot for Halloween in 21th century, so made few minor tweaks to character sheets.
Also I wanted skills to be based more on characteristics than just pre-made %. In my Call of Cthulhu character sheet 2000 edition characters might even be a bit more skillful at the beginning. World is more advanced and information is easier to find and learning is made easier aswell.

I decided to share it for you.

So, here it is:

Also check out my "Downloads Page" for more (well, not that many yet) goods for roleplaying games. There already are:

  • All Flesh Must Be Eaten 2 to 1 one page character sheet
  • Call of Cthulhu 5th edition 1990 character sheet with big mariginal for personal notes
  • Call of Cthulhu 5th edition 2000 character sheet with fixed starting skill rates
  • Ydin N6 Mini beta introduction rules (currently only available in finnish)
Keep updated in my "Downloads page", as I add items there every now and then.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

YDIN - Basic combat phases

Combat is in rounds and turns. Round is time what takes all participants to make their actions, turn is one individual's action. Time of one turn or round can vary greatly. In fast phased gunshooting one turn can take few seconds to fire a gun, but in space combat one turn can take several minutes to manouver the spacecraft.


Initiative determines the order in which participants act. Usually player characters roll individual initiative, but gamemaster can roll single initiative roll for every NPC/monster with same basic initiative value.
Initiative can be re-rolled after every round, or first initiative can be used through whole combat. Highest initiative score gets to act first, second highest gets to act second and lowest gets to act last.
Character can also delay his action from his turn and act in any initiative turn he wants.

Basic Initiative

Basic initiative is character's Dexterity + Perception.

Rolling Initiative

Add result of D6 to basic initiative to determine each combatants phase to act in combat round. If you score result 6 with D6, roll again. Second roll is another action's turn in one combat round.

Character's Dexterity is 3 and Perception 4, so basic initiative is 7. Result of D6 roll is 3, so character's turn in combat round is 7.
Character's Dexterity is 3 and Perception 4, so basic initiative is 7. Result of D6 roll is 6, so player gets to roll D6 again to score 3. Character gets to act in turns 13 and 3. With exploding die he gets to act two times in combat round.
These extra actions don't suffer negative modifiers.

More Than One Action In Turn

Character can take more than one action in a single turn. Every additional action adds one negative modifier to every roll. Three actions is maximum to perform.

Two actions in one turns is 2 negative modifier for both acts.
Three actions in one turn is 3 negative modifier for each acts.
In each extra action from exploding initiative die you can perform more than one action, but each extra turn is dealed individually.
Character takes three actions in his combat turn. He rolls his every act with three negative modifiers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Magic set editor - Flesh your game

I haven't played Space-Jerusalem / Natural20 (homebrew D20 system), but there is one idea I like alot. That system uses cards as equipment, special skills etc. for characters.

Usually in rpg's you write down what ever equipment, weapons, spells, special skills etc. your character has. It works ok, they all are written down on character sheet. But sometimes there are problems. You might have title for skill or spell your character knows, but there is not enough space to write description how it works and what it does. Before you learn what they do, you might have to refer to rulebook quite often.

That can slow down action in games.

Currently I am Dungeons Mastering D&D 3. and my player's character is a sorceress. So obviously she has spells. She is third level now, but at this point she already has 10 individual spells. Ofcourse they are written down on character sheet, but there isn't that much space for spell descriptions.

One way would be to write down spells statistics on separate paper, but I don't like the idea. I remember when I started to play and run Vampire: the Masquerade, I did write down discipline's name and below it what that discipline can do in different levels what my character knew. Doing that I didn't have to refer to rulebook every now and then figuring out what I have to roll to success, how much blood or willpower it consumed and so on.

When my player's sorceress in D&D 3. started to learn more spells than few, I decided to download Magic Set Editor 2 (thanks for the idea, Space Jerusalem). Now when sorceress character learns new spells, I just check out the statistics needed in the game and write them on blank card template, google a picture to paste on it and save. I have a card for spell you can quickly refer during game without need to open rulebook!

We do use computers in gaming as a tool. So it's easy to shuffle between the cards with image viewer. I could also print them ofcourse.

Now I have a ambitious plan. To make card of every single spell in PHB. That's alot of work, but when it's done, it will be so neat. I have every spell in game made as an easy-to-read card!

I am also planning to make cards of weapons. Googling a picture is quite easy and it is easy to write down weapon's statistcs. And if I print them, player can actually have a deck of items and spells her character knows! No more writing own weapons and spells and rules for them, you just take your card deck and are ready to start gaming. Just put down next to character sheet weapons and items, and when deciding what spell to use, just shuffle the spells deck. Fast and easy, and you have good visual images of stuffs.

Cards are fast to do, so if character obtains something, it takes minute or two to make a card of it. And good part is also, that you can quite easily manage character's equipment list. What items your character is carrying at the moment, you take aside from the deck. No need to remember or mark on character sheet what you are carrying with and what are in your stock or haven.

Currently I am using this system only with D&D 3, as I started to making spell cards after started playing D&D. But I am planning to make cards for other games aswell. Even if I already quite well know how V:tM disciplines work, it would be neat to make discipline cards also! And bloodpool? You can use markers or die showing how much you have them, as the amount of bloodpoints is constantly changing. But I can just make bloodpoint cards (picture of bloody number maybe) what shows how many bloodpoints character currently has. So during game no erasing and marking bloodpool, but shuffling cards how many you got left (needs atleast 10 cards, from bloody numbers from 1 to 10). Advantage of using this system is that you don't accidentally turn your bloodpool die, you don't need extra space for two piles of counters (current bloodpool and extra bloodpoints to add after feeding) and you don't have to constantly erase your character sheet or you don't need extra piece of paper to mark them down.

Also for V:tM it could be cool to make weapon cards. Easy to shuffle cards with weapon statistics, and as V:tM uses real weapons, finding neat pictures is easy.

I know that making cards doesn't necessarily improve gaming at all, but I think it is a neat tool and can make gaming a bit easier. And usually my games are more about story and drama, so these cards could add a bit more "gaming" part into game.

If I recall right, Space-Jerusalem does rely on cards alot. It can be ofcourse be played without cards using traditional character sheet where you write stuff down.

So, I like the card idea. They are fun to make, fast to make and can make gaming a bit faster and easier. But what do you think? Are additional cards to games just too much more things to handle? Or can they even distract playing in some way?

Friday, October 22, 2010

What should I GM for Halloween special rpg?

I am planning to run some fun one-shot for my girlfriend in Halloween. I want it to be fun, kind of old-schoolish horror, like those B-movies or some old scary story.

But I don't know what to run yet! Here are few options and ideas:

All Flesh Must Be Eaten could be one, but well, my girlfirend is not into zombies, so I quess it would be lame surprise for her. And let's face it, even though zombies are awesome it could be pretty lame. Come on. Zombies on halloween? As I might want to have some bloody zombie-action, that's not an option.

Call of Cthulhu. Well, this is real deal. Horror almost at its best. I was concidering 20's theme instead of modern age. There is something more sinister and spooky in 20's than today (today and tomorrow campaigns tend to be more equipment against monsters than "oh shi- I go NUTS over this tentacle 7-dimensional blob of eyes!!!!). So, 20's it would be. I was thinking, that I wouldn't run Mythos with great bad god and cultists (that is cool though), but something different. Here's the idea:
Fading away. So, at first main character sees people noone else sees. Later on, some people don't see the character anymore. So, for some reason (Cthulhu, it's in the title.... um no) main character is slowly slipping into the realms of the dead. Only problem is, is that a bit too slow paced, too moody, too tragic, too artsy?
Another idea is monster found in Yer Booke of Monstres (CoC sourcebook with Mythos monsters from various authors). Cannot remember the details, but there was this elder god (or something) what looks like a moon. So, character is amateur stargazer and finds this new planet/moon... what is (CTHULHU!!! Eh, no) some frikkin' huge monster! And when character finds it out, he goes nutz.

My Life With Master. Haven't played this yet, but it could be (tragic, dark and sinister) beer and pretzel (we don't have those in Finland I quess) game. It could be something in mood like Nightmare Before Christmas. Good quality is, that MLWM rules are quite easy to use. And the game supports 100% the campaign (well, you obey your master and then try to kill him!). That could be a go.

Kult. Well... no. I want to have fun in halloween. Kult has awesome setting, but it is a bit too violent, strange, sinister, dark, pervert, and so on for Halloween when you dress like witch or ghost and drink "blood" and eat "chopped fingers". So no.

CoC or My Life With Master. Which should it be.

If someone has really, really neat Halloween rpg adventure or something, shoot me with it! You can find my games I own here *klick*.

Ammo penetration, sketch for YDIN

Characters have hitpoints. Normal durability to deal with damage, poisoning, cold, exhaust etc. Characters have plenty of those, so they can shrug minor scratches off.
Characters also have wound points, what indicate stamina for major damage.
Characters have wounds related to wound points. This is an attribute what damage needs to exeed to deal wounds.

So in short. Healthpoints represent scratches. Wound points represent major damage. Wound points are stamina to endure major damage.

If damage exeeds character's wounds, wound point is taken. If damage exeeds wounds two times, two wound points are taken and so on. Also in addition for wounds character suffers health point damage always.

Let's take an example character. His wounds value is 6 (from range 2 to 12).
Character suffers 4 damage. Player takes 4 hitpoints away. Just a scratch or a bruise.
Character suffers 7 points of damage. Player takes 7 hitpoints away, and also takes one wound point off.
Character suffers 13 damage. Player takes 13 hitpoints off and also 2 wound points.

With smaller damage (below wounds) character only suffers minor bruises and scratches and can go on way much longer than taking wounds, which represent serious wounds.

Got it? Good. Now let's go to penetration part, shall we?

So, you shoot with a certain weapon capable to penetrate a body (not decided yet what are the requirements for this, working on it). If damage is dealt more than a wounds, bullet goes through it's victims body. If bullet hits someone behind and it has damage left enough more than second victims wounds, it continues through him.
The catch is, that after penetrating the first victim, the first needed wounds for penetration are decreased from the damage.

Easier to explain with an example, so here goes:
ALFA has 6 wounds, BETA 4.
Weapon deals 8 damage.
ALFA takes 8 damage to hitpoints and one wound.
Decrease first victim's wounds from weapon damage (8-6) and you got 2 left.
So bullet goes through ALFA and hits BETA with 2 damage, just a scratch.

Weapon deals 15 damage.
ALFA takes 15 damage to hitpoints and also 2 wounds.
Decrease first wound to penetrate ALFA's body (15 - 6) and you got 9 damage left for bullet.
So bullet goes through ALFA and hits BETA with 9 damage.
As BETA has 4 wounds only, he gets 2 wound points in addition to 9 points of damage.
Decrease BETA's wounds from bullet's damage, (9 - 4) and you got 5 damage left for bullet to hit something behind BETA.
Bullet went through both ALFA and BETA and still kept going.

Let's make one experience more.
ALFA has 6 wounds and behind him is a barrel with flammable gasoline with 3 endurance* (hitpoints, armor).
Weapon deals 8 damage.
Again bullet goes through ALFA dealing 8 damage and one wound.
Bullet goes through ALFA still with 2 points of damage. Luckily the barrel's endurance is 2, so bullet doesn't pierce it and blow the whole place up!

*Endurance is general durability for objects.

Phew, now just have to write that down so, that someone actually understands it besides of me!

Armor decreases damage. If kevlar vest's armor value is 6, is decreases weapons damage by 6. Everyone has seen this before, but let's make an example or two.

Armor 6 and damage 3. No damage dealt.
Armor 6 and damage 7. One point of damage dealt. Propably just a scratch, or bruise through vest.

Simple? Yes. But in my last post Chauncey gave a really great idea, I'd like to use (gotta ask him permission). You concider armor value also in exit wound! <- brilliant!

Two setting ideas

I tried to write YDIN as whole and found, that it is quite hard task to do. I have ideas from here and there, and putting them together in write (program) can be hard. Then I figured out, that I can write separate rules within this blog in any order I feel. Easily.
Ofcourse I could do the same with notepad for example, and just copypaste them together in the end. But still, somehow writing rules in parts to this blog is so much easier and more inspiring work.

Basic rules are almost done. I need to write combat rules, do some weapons lists and write wounding and death rules and that's about it. Anything beyond that will be written in settings. Like for example rules for magic, insanity etc. setting specific.

So, as I am writing the rules down I have come up with two settings. Another is After Destruction I have written here, and also started to write it down otherwise. I found out the same problem as with rules, it's quite hard for me to write whole setting down "at once", so I decided, that after I have written the rules down in whole I can start to write this setting similarly; piece by piece. I could start post titled: Wastelands and write it down, then Equipment, then Wastelands Monsters, then Living in After Destruction, then Mutants, then Character classes etc. etc.
I don't have to worry about ideas, or in what order I try to write them, or about layout. I can write stuff as they come up to me. Piece by piece.

Another setting I want to write is called Grimworld. Dark high-fantasy with humour. Kind of like Discworld. There are so many great and popular fantasy settings, that it would be total waste of time to write yet another tolkien-ish fantasy setting. Who would be interested about it? No one. This will be the one I can put on all the stupid and funny ideas I come up with. It can be ridiculous and crazy, as it's the settings idea. To be dark fantasy with humour.

Why won't I just put this stuff in my homebrew (and growing during game) D&D setting Lankhemaar? Because I want my D&D to be kind of genre-serious swords and wizardry high-fantasy with flavour of D&D corebooks. Even though we are playing in my homebrew setting, I don't want to include Death with hobby to farm bees getting headache about the buzz when one bee gets lost inside his skull (Discworld Eric - Faust book actually has this description!!!). But in my own Grimworld I can do something similar. Flying and laughing stealing batmonkies, Gremlins like goblins (Pathfinder has those I think), cannibal tribe of elves, Grimreapers botching familiar slaves, aircrafts what are powered with magical bananas, talking mountains (ents and treants, you are challenged!), senile dragon etc, upside down dimensions, lollipop forest with evil witches who have bad teeth from sugar etc.

I also want to write this spy-thingie I have talked about earlier. Psychic investigators, commandos and spies. Not sure is there a game about those, but I can make it for my own fun. Not sure will I do it, as After Destruction is my primary setting to write and Grimworld is for laughs and random ideas. Another one I'd like to write would be wild west pulp with monsters, but there are games about it already. Not sure could I write it any better, and would I take the effort to write down something already created. Well, I know there are post-apocalyptic stuff already out there, and many play homebrew or fan-made Fallout, so writing post-apocalypse isn't that new idea. I just want my post-apo to be with hope and re-building the world instead of living in a shithole.

This post makes no sense... Too much energy drink I quess.

Gun penetration

I can't recall playing a roleplaying game where there was weapon penetration modelled. I mean, that when you shoot someone, bullet goes through him and does damage for an object or person behind him.

I am currently thinking about rule for ammo penetration for my roleplaying system YDIN. I have an idea technically how to do it, and without testing it yet, I think it will work fine. Actually, on paper (computer screen) and in my mind it sounds really good!

One thing I am wondering is, what weapons are capable to penetrate object. Is it about speed of bullet or about caliber? This I have to find out. I cannot imagine that .22 pistol can penetrate anything that well, but .50 handgun (cannon amirite?) would more easily. Or a robust rifle.

I have to find out what are the terms gun might penetrate an object or person. After I figure it out, I can write it down as rules.

Also, I have basic rules, character creation and advancement, skills etc. written down but haven't wrote yet combat rules. When I get this penetration thing done, I can start to write combat rules here also.

And that firearms penetration system... it will be the same with melee weapons. With same system you can penetrate your opponent with sword, axe or spear.

One thing in my mind developing my own system is, that you have these basics what are used for whole system. So you can easily write rules, and they will work as anything else. I don't like games, where skill checks, combat checks etc. are handled with different rules. Ofcourse there are some differences in rules in different situations, but I want the core of how things work to be similar with each other. And I want it to be that way, that if you want to mod the game, you can do it quite easily without heavily tearing apart whole system.

15 Enduring and Impressive Games in 15 minutes - my part

This seems to be "hip" now with bloggers, so I guess I'll throw my list in also.

So, here it comes:

  1. Vampire: the Masquerade - Teached me to play drama in games, and focus in greater things running around character(s).
  2. Fading Suns - My current scifi rpg what can do virtually anything I want to do in my campaign.
  3. (Tie Tähtiin 2300 AD) - Even if rules in finnish version were broken, I have so many good memories of this game.
  4. Resident Evil -series - One of my favourites of console games.
  5. Silent Hill - The mood, the setting, the audiovisual output, music, characters, monsters...
  6. ANKH (Adventures of the North Kalevala Heroes) - My first game and also first game I wrote my own stuff.
  7. Need For Speed - If not directly rpg related, because of this game I started to tune my car. And I have included in one campaign tuning culture. And the games? Great, great fun!
  8. Kult - Terrific setting. Really, really scary.
  9. Dungeons & Dragons - At first I didn't like this, but this is my choice of character developing high fantasy with adventuring.
  10. All Flesh Must Be Eaten - Basically anything you need for zombies. With AFMBE you got everything.
  11. Call of Cthulhu - Simple (BRP) rules, great mood and Mythos.
  12. Warhammer FRPG - This is what I played (as a player) alot when I was 13 - 17.
  13. World of Warcraft - Fun grinding, fun character development. My no. 1 choice for PC gaming.
  14. Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines - Awesome. I love V:tM and this PC game was just great.
  15. Monopoly - Might be old and simple, but it is fun!
This was actually hard. I did include also other games in rather than rpg-only, as they popped into my mind.

YDIN - Basic character advancement and experience

Characters have two values to indicate their experience and advancement.

  • Rank tells your character's current power level.
  • Steps indicate amount to gain to advance a rank.
Characters have ten steps. After every game session gamemaster values how well character did different tasks and how well his character handled the adventure and/or gaming session.
After gaining tenth step, character advances one rank. Advancing a rank character gains benefices; skill points to distribute on new skills or to raise current, attribute points to advance in attributes, new gifts etc.

Gaining Steps

After each session gamemaster values character's actions and achievements. Gamemaster then gives steps according to this:

  • 1 step for achieving a minor goal
  • 2 steps for achieving a major goal
  • 1 steps for each combat and or action involved situation
  • 2 steps for each victorous combat and or action involved situation
  • 1 step for gaining new knowledge
  • 2 steps for resolve minor adventure what lasted several gaming sessions (three or more)
  • 3 steps for resolving major adventure what lasted several gaming sessions (three or more)
Gaining A New Rank

When character has ten steps full, he advances a rank.

After each new rank character gains 2 skill points to distribute as in character creation. New skills cost 3 skill points. Skill points obtained in new rank can be saved for further use. Skill points can be used aswell to advance in hobbies or buy new hobbies.

After each fifth rank character gains 1 new gift point. Gifts are bought like in character creation. Gift points obtained in a new rank can be saved for further use.

After each tenth rank character gains 1 new attribute point. Attribute points are distributed as like in character creation. Attribute points obtained in a new rank can be saved for further use.

Starting A Character With Higher Rank

With gamemaster's will or permission starting character might start with higher rank than first. Usually characters start at first rank though, but in some campaigns gamemaster might want characters to be a higher rank from the beginning.
Creating a higher rank character: Create character as in character creation rules. After character is done, add ranks and benefices of each rank. Note, that additional ranks to starting characters affect to equipments only if gamemaster decides so.

Rank Table

1st Rank: Character creation
2nd Rank: +2 skill points
3rd Rank: +2 skill points
4th Rank: +2 skill points
5th Rank: +2 skill points, +1 gift point
6th Rank: +2 skill points
7th Rank: +2 skill points
8th Rank: +2 skill points
9th Rank: +2 skill points
10th Rank: +2 skill points, +1 gift point, +1 attribute point
11th Rank: +2 skill points
and so on...

Special Setting Rules For Steps And Ranks

Basically steps and ranks work similarly in every setting. There might be some additional benefices in every fifth and tenth rank though. Those are explained in settings in question.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. roleplaying game - yes there is one out!

I have read and there was recently a topic where question was, what system you could use to run your STALKER campaign with. We finnish are lucky, there is Stalker roleplaying game printed with Boris Strugatski's permission. Unfortunately currently it is only available in finnish, but there's been discussions about translating it into nordic area and also in english! I am not sure about the schedule though nor how official it is.

Here is STALKER science fiction roleplaying game's homepage (with google translate). Enjoy reading:

STALKER introduction.

Burger Game's homepage:


Ville Vuorela's desidner notes/blog:


STALKER science fiction roleplaying game uses diceless game mechanics called Flow. Read description here:


Enjoy your reading and thumbs up for english translation!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

YDIN - Modern setting skills list

This skill list is example for a modern setting.

Combat Skills:

FIREARMS+ (Dexterity)
+ Pistols
+ Rifles
+ Machine guns
Pistols to shotguns to sub-machine guns.

EXPLOSIVES (Intelligence)
Explosives and bombs.

Bazookas, rocket lounchers and granade lounchers. Also heavy military artllery.

Thrown knives, shooting stars, axes, darts.

THROW (Strength)
Grenades, rocks.

 MELEE WEAPONS+ (Dexterity or Strength)
+ Slashing/Piercing  (Dexterity)
+ Pludgeoning (Strength)

HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT (Dexterity OR Melee)
Different martial arts or styles have more specific rules. Hand-to-hand combat is basically for swinging punches.

DODGE (Defence)
Succesful dodge means that attack missed. Critical success means that you both dodge the attack and get extra action. Catastrophic failure means you take the damage and opponent gains an extra action.

PARRY (Defence)
Success means you parry an attack and no damage is dealt. Critical succes means you disarm your opponent. Catastrophic failure means you are disarmed.
Unarmed parry only works against hand-to-hand attacks. In that case with success you gain an extra action. Critical success means you can have either an extra action or grab your opponent. Catastrophic failure means your opponent gains an extra action or you are grabbed in opponents will.

Other Skills (In alphabetical order):

AEROPLANES* (Intelligence or Dexterity)
Flying an aeroplane usually is paired with Intelligence, but Dexterity is used in special manouvers.

ACADEMICS*+ (Intelligence)
+ Sub categories could be chemistry, biology, history etc.
Your general book knowledge and education.

ACROBATICS (Dexterity)
Physical manouvers to climb fences, to leap cracks and to run away a pursuer.

ANIMAL HANDLING+ (Charisma or Dexterity)
+ Riding
+ Animal knowledge
Ability to understand, train or mount animals.

ARTIST+ (Attribute varies)
Choose one field you can do arts. It could be for example painting, sculpting, dancing, playing an instrument etc.

BURGLARY (Dexterity or Intelligence)
Skill to know how to break and enter, disable alarms and open safes.

Knowledges of basic things that are learned in school, news or basic common sense.

COMPUTERS (Intelligence)
Skill to use computers, operating systems and internet.

ELECTRONICS (Intelligence or Dexterity)
Your knowledge about electronical devices, how they work, how to use them and how to repair them.

EMPATHY (Charisma)
To comfort another in need, know another's needs and to help scared or socked person. Or just convince another to be silent in stressful and dangerous situation when you need to shut up.

FAST-TONGUE (Charisma)
Skill to quickly come up with explanation or outright lying.

FINANCE* (Intelligence)
Stocks, banking, investement, echonomy

FIRST-AID (Intelligence or Dexterity
Skill to give first-aid for a victim. Succesfull first aid test stops bleeding, shock or other effect on target. Critical success gives D6 health points to target. Catastrophic failure deals D6 additional damage to target.

LANGUAGE+* (Intelligence)
Every different language learned is handled as it's own skill. In Gamemaster's will some similar languages can be understood or talked with one negative modifier. Untrained you cannot write language. Language skill is all speaking, understanding and writing.
Mother togue is not a skill, it is natural.
Languages might also be sign language or gang language.

LEADERSHIP (Charisma or Intelligence)
Your ability to convince the crowd, lead your squad or arrange and organize things. Paired with Charisma also convincing and manipulating others.

MECHANICS (Intelligence or Strength)
You know how mechanical things work, how to maintain, operate and repair them.

MYSTICISM (Intelligence)
Knowledge of occult and mystics.

You know how to give your point out and how to speak or act in public.

PHYSIC+* (Intelligence or Dexterity)
Physics is knowledge of medicine and also skill to perform medical tasks. Different fields of physics (ie. surgery and dental care are separate skills, but you know basics of every field with skill physics).

SEARCH (Perception)
General skill to finding and spotting things hidden or hid in purpose.

SNEAKING (Dexterity)
Your ability to move unnoticed and silently, or hide in the shadows or behind objects.

SURVIVAL+ (Stamina or Intelligence)
Skill both to survive in urban enviroment during night or finding water in desert.

VEHICLES+ (Dexterity)
+ Light and medium vehicles (motorcycles, cars, light trucks)
+ Heavy vehicles (trucks, semi-trucks, special vehicles)
+ Military vehicles* (tanks)

Skill to manouver boats of different types and to navigate.

YDIN - Skills in general

Skills have five ranks from untrained 0 to master 4. Some skills cannot be used untrained, they are marked with *.

Skill levels 1 and 2 cost points equal to skill level, 3rd skill level costs additional 2 points (4 points total). 4th skill level costs 8 points.

Skill lists are given in different settings. You can add skills if you feel like it. Another method is to take excisting roleplaying game and take skill list from it.

It is your choice do you want skills to be extra specific or more wide. Generally in YDIN skills are in wider area but there are few of more specific also.

Some skills have subcategories. You can use subcatogories with the main skill in one negative modifier, or buy them separately as you choose to ignore the negative modifier. Skill's subcategories are marked with a +.

When attempting a skill task, skill is always paired with an attribute. Attribute might vary depending on a situation though. Skills aren't linked specifically on one attribute, but some skills usually use one particular attribute.

Hobbies are treated like general skills.

YDIN - Basic character creation

Basic character creation is used most oftenly. It might vary in different power levels or races of a character (from elf to android). But these are a rule of thumb:

Determining Attributes

Divide points. You have 18 points to distribute to attributes. One point spent to attributes equals to one point of attribute. Value 6 in attribute costs one extra point.

Roll the dice. Roll 6D6 and put the results in attributes as you please.

Roll and divide. Add roll 3D6 to 9 and divide total result to attributes.

Determine Secondary Attributes

Health points = Strength + Stamina x4
Wound points = Strength + Stamina
Wounds = Strength + Stamina /2
Defence = Stamina + Dexterity /2
Mental points = Stamina + Intelligence x4

Buying Skills

Spend 20 points to settings skills. Third skill level costs one additional point. Starting characters cannot obtain 4th skill level at the beginning of the game. It must be earned via experience.

Buying Hobbies

Spend 5 points to buy skills out from the skill list. Thid skill level costs one additional point.

Buying Gifts

Gifts are special abilities of characters. You have 3 points to buy gifts what vary in cost.

Buying Equipment

Determine starting equipment from skills. Every skill level of 2 is one skill related minor equipment. Every skill level of 3 is one skill related major equipment or two minor equipments.
If equipment is minor or major is determined by setting or Gamemaster.
Character's starting wealth is intelligence + D6 x5. You can use them to buy more equipment or convert to cash determined by the setting.

YDIN - Basic rules - How to roll

YDIN uses simple basic rules presented here.

Attributes And Skills

Characters have 6 attributes:
  • Strength - Physical strength and power
  • Dexterity - Physical agility and mobility
  • Stamina - Physical constitution and toughness
  • Intelligence - Mental wit and education
  • Perception - Mental noticing and awareness
  • Charisma - Outlooks and personality
Attributes range from 1 to 6, where 6 is highest and 1 is lowest. Usually character's average is 3, where 4 is a slightly higher than average, 5  way above average and 6 at human limits. Also 2 is a bit below average and 1 is really poor.

Skills are listed in setting, and they are in range 0 to 1, where 0 stands for untrained, 1 is green, 2 is trained, 3 is pro and 4 is master. You can use untrained skills (everything you haven't bought) unless they are marked with * to be learned. You cannot for example do brain surgery without a skill. Skill scores are skill levels.

Attempting A Task

When your character tries to do something, you add relevant attribute and skill bonus. Skill bonuses are as following:
  • Skill level 0 - 1D6 - One negative modifier (will be discussed later)
  • Skill level 1 - 1D6 - +0
  • Skill level 2 - 1D8 - +2
  • Skill level 3 - 1D10 - +4
  • Skill level 4 - 1D12 - +6
Skill level tells both what die you are rolling to perform a task and modifier to your attribute. Basically you use your attribute as a target number and skill level to determine modifier to your target number and what die you are using against the target number.

(Thanks for blog reader Vanphil for these alternative modifiers. Really appreciate it).

Rolling Under Or Over

There are two ways to attempt a task. You can choose to roll over or to roll under. There are few differences.

Rolling under. When rolling under, you try to get with a die same result or under as your attribute + skill level modifier to success.
Example: Attribute 4 + Skill level modifier +2 = 6. You roll D8 (from your Skill level) and numbers 6 and lower are a success.

Rolling over. You might decide to roll over, where die result of higher is a success. There is a drawback though. Unsuccesful rolls are allways concidered as a catastrophic failure.
Example: Attribute 4 + Skill level modifier +2 = 6. You roll D8 and if you decide to roll over you only success with 2 die results, where other 6 are catastrophic failures.
Example 2: Attribute 3 + Skill modifier +0. Rolling under or higher you have equal changes in success, but if you decide to roll over, your critical failure rate rises dramatically.
Example 3: Attribute 1 + Skill modifier +0. You success with 2,3,4,5,6 but score critical failure 1/6 of the time. This means, with a poor character you still have good changes to success, but you also fail critically more often than a skilled character.

Why is it so, that in my system characteristically poorer character might have better change to success in same situation where better character? Reason is simple. Even if your character is not professional or even good in everything, he has a great change to success. There is no characters who cannot hit their opponents or who are doomed to fail in their jump-tests. Everyone has a good change to success. But if you are poorer character, there is also a greater change to score critical failure.
It is taking a risk. With luck poor character can perform as good or even slightly better than a skilled character, but as an unskilled character, you also fail critically more often. Do you choose to play it safe, or take a risk to loose it all?

Catastrophic Failures

Catastrophic failure is when something ends really bad. It is aftermath of botched skill task.
  • You try to swing your enemy with a sword but end up cutting yourself. (Failure would be only a miss.)
  • Your leap from rooftop to rooftop ends into a deadly fall. (Failure would be just loosing balance after leap).
  • Your gun might jam to unrepaired condition. (Failure would be just missed shot).
Catastrophic failure occurs in two ways:
  • Fail rolling over.
  • When rolling under, if you score highest result of a die, roll again. If result is again the highest number, your failure is catastrophic. If second roll result is anything else than highest number of a die, it's just normal failure without additional bad effects.
Rolling over can provide more successes in some situations or attribute + skill combinations, but also catastrophic failures occure more often.

Critical Success

Critical success is when something really good happens. You deal extra damage as you hit very well or you might get a really good edge in a chase.

Critical success occurs when you roll same or under your skill level. The higher your skill, the better you success more often.

Note, that when rolling over you cannot score critical successes.


Modifiers are added to skill tasks from different situations what affect the task. Modifiers are not calculated, but you roll several dice according to your skill and take the best or worst result of the dice (depending on do you roll higher or lower AND is modifier negative or positive). Modifiers vary from 1 to 3 and can affect each other.
Example: Fight on the rooftop. Rooftop is slick from the rain and hard to maintain balance, but opponent is fallen down. Character gets one positive modifier from fallen opponent as he does get one negative modifier from slick rooftop. Total modifier is /-0 and doesn't affect the roll.

Positive modifiers are when enviroment and or situation is really good. It might be great equipment, really easy task or blow on opponent laying on the ground. Roll dice equal to your positive modifier and take best result for the situation.

Negative modifiers are when enviroment and or situation doesn't favour in a way or another the character. It might be slick rooftop, pitchblack or fallen down. Roll dice equal to your negative modifier and take worst result for the situation.

When trying a task without a skill, character gets one negative modifier to roll.

Attempting A Task With No Skill Involved

Sometimes there are situations there is no suitable skill to use, and task is purely based on attributes. Divide your attribute by half (round down) and use it as you would normally use skill level.
Example: Character is trying to lift a fallen tree over his friend stuck below it. There is no skill to lift things as it uses pure strength. Character's Strength is 4, so he uses half of his strength, number 2, as he would normally use skill level.

YDIN - What is it and why am I doing it?

YDIN is generic roleplaying system I am creating. There are several different systems I enjoy playing, but in addition of just playing I like to create roleplaying related stuff. It might be a new character class, campaign setting or some house rules.

Reason why I started to create YDIN is quite simple. Let's take an example. There is some fantasy-based idea I want to write. But there are too many fantasy settings and rules to choose from, so why won't I execute that idea with my very own rules set then?

Main reason is that when I have one rules set to tweak around and write additional material, it's easier to just focus on writing, not deciding what system I should write it to.

Another reason is simple. It's my own system I created and what I know like my own pockets, so it will be so much easier to write stuff for it rather than another system I am not that familiar with. I might know the rules allright, and how the mechanics work but still there might be some balancing issues with power levels etc. Or there might be idea I'd like to use, but am not familiar enough with particular setting or rules to make it work smooth. With my own system I can create basically anything without trouble on making them work with that particular system.

Third reason is that I like to create. Almost from the beginning when I started to roleplay I made my own house rules, additional rules, added content to games etc. And I have to say that some of them I haven't used again, as they have been system specific.

Of course I could convert my material from game X to game Y and then maybe to game Z later on (depending what system I am using) but it's too much trouble and from original work something can be lost from the "translation" (from system to system).
You might think, that using my own system needs aswell translation and converting to other systems, but if you got this basic system to twist around, it is easier to convert things from one to others.

First when I started to write YDIN I just wanted a system what I like to develope. Something I have created from the scratch*.

Though some people I have introduced YDIN have told that it reminds them of Savage Worlds or Burning Wheels or whatever. I cannot deny that parts of my system might be similar to others as it is hard to be original nowadays. Still, when I heard referance to Savage Worlds I hadn't played nor read the product, so it was a coincidence. I have also been asked why would I write something and not use something what is already there (ie. Savage Worlds) but the point is, that I want to create myself. It might be easier to write content to already excisting game, but there would be few troubles with it:
  1. What game system would I choose, as there are several I like and all different?
  2. What about legal issues? In some cases games don't like fan-made products, some want their tags on if it's distributed via PDF etc.?
  3. Someone might claim, that using my own system as basis for stuff is not good choice because many won't use my system. But same thing goes with other systems also. If I write stuff using Savage Worlds or WoD there will be people who don't use those systems. And if I use house rules, there is even more trouble to write stuff what other people will use.
Basically YDIN is game mechanics I love to develope and it is mechanics I can easily create content to. I also want to make easy convertion rules from YDIN to other systems, so you can use all YDIN material with different games. This will be a bit troublesome though, as I obviously don't know every single setting out there. And those I play or have played, I might have house ruled heavily. For example D&D 3 what I am currently playing, I play wrong. I have stripped it to the bones, and use only basics ignoring everything that takes more than 30 seconds to figure out.

I will start to post YDIN related stuff under the label YDIN. You can find everything there. I also add new page YDIN here, so you can find all YDIN-related posts easily.

I hope, that someone will find YDIN as fun to shuffle through as I find it fun to write up.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two NPC's for my player's party (1st NPC Half-Orc Barbarian)

Gorem, Half-Orc Barbarian

From far southern deserts half-orc Gorem has ventured to northern realms to city of Lankhemaar. His quest is simple. To proof himself he is worthly. His mother was human barbarian tribeswoman who was raped by orc during an attack. She wanted to keep her unborn child, but from the very beginning of his life Gorem was concidered as evil, cursed and not worthy.
He learned his tribe's ways, but never did fit in. When he got into age of manlyhood, he decided to find his own glory in other parts of the world.

Gorem is loyal, but hates greenskinned as one of those races did make what he is. He is fiery warrior and never surrenders. If he wasn't skilled warrior, he would be long dead pursuing his true identity.

Level: 2

Strength: +4
Dexterity: +1
Constitution: +4
Intelligence: +0
Wisdom: -1
Charisma: +0

HP: 32
Alignment: True neutral

Special: Dark vision, Orc blood, Rage 1/day, Fast movement, Uncanny dodge (dex bonus to AC)

Melee Attack Bonus: +8
Ranged Attack Bonus: +5

Fortitude Save: +7
Reflex Save: +1
Will Save: -1

Climb: 3, Craft: 1, Handle animal: 2, Intimidate: 1, Intuit direction: 4, Jump: 2, Listen: 1, Ride: 1, Swim: 1, Wilderness lore: 2


Armor: Studded leather +3 AC
- Great Axe: 1D12, Crit x3, Large, Slashing
- Short Bow: 1D6, Crit x3, 60 ft., Medium, Piercing
- Dagger: 1D4, Crit 19-20/x2, 10 ft., Tiny, Piercing

Picture from:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I am alive

It's been few days now I haven't made a single post. Been quite busy in life, actually. Well, it's not big effort to write thoughts in here, but still I think it needs a bit of thinking. Still, hobby goes on. What am I up to in roleplaying related topics in my life currently?

Dungeons Mastering
At first I thought we'd play only few sessions of D&D, just to take thoughts away from more serious roleplaying. Still, we are continuing to play D&D. Currently we are at our 18th gaming session and character is 3rd level. Not bad. We both enjoy D&D. Well, we are not fantasy or D&D-ish game style fans, but this is entertaining. We shall continue. Even if we will play other games campaigns, I think we will continue to play this one character's adventures every now and then. Back-up plan. Easy entertainment.

Planning Next Game
Next game will be Call of Cthulhu and we will continue our last campaign. I have told this several times. Not sure when we start. It's beginning to be cold and dark outside now, so maybe it is beginning to be time for horror!

Posts I'd Like To Write Here
I have few posts I'd like to "discuss", but need certain mental feeling to do it. I have few ideas I'd love to share, but they will wait. Maybe next week I am not that busy and exhausted so I can start to share them.

What Will I Read Next?
Big question. I have so many rpg books I haven't read yet. And I got to finish Stephen King's Duma Key and I also bought myself new Stephen King (collecting them). But what rpg book will I read? I have two new Vampire: the Masquerade books. And still need to finish Werewolf: the Apocalypse 2nd edition. And just got my copy of Mage: the Ascension 2nd edition. I quess I will read those V:tM books first and then continue to W:tA and after it M:tAs. Unfortunately my reading time is limited, and when you read rpg books it's basically a learning process. Reading novels is totally different, and those Stephen King's aren't the lightest in page count.

So, even if there's been a small break in posting, I am here. Playing and hobbying. And of course I am reading what RPG Bloggers has to share!