Friday, January 25, 2013

[Quest writer] Nuurori, Natural20, Space Jerusalem, virtual gaming...

Hey! Thaumiel must be running on fumes since he asked me to write an artocle for Cradle of Rabies. Sorry, can't say no since I've got no readers of my own (don't got blog either, but who cares about blogs without readers anyway, eh?)

At first I'm gonna talk a little about myself.

Now that we got that covered, I'll talk about my project Space Jerusalem (not to be mistaken with the band you've also never heard of). I hail from Mentzer's red box and D&D fantasy has always been close to my life. After all, life is just a Dungeon with T-junctions, leading to new T-junctions. AD&D, 3rd edition and lvl 19 eldritch knight who could deal average of 500 damage to any target. Which she could do outside her turn. Which was nice, because it took more than hour to wait for one to come after 19. level cleric, wizard and druid had grinded throught their... microcosmic... experiences. 

Well every gamer has this childhood dream of that super epic bosscharacter, and after we got what we asked for, we started to make new questions. Like, what if we make a game that would also like work and go somewhere. That is what we asked and we started to tweak with modern d20 originally, eventually evolving into our natural 20 system. I'm not going to talk about our game design approach, our goals and how we reached them only to ask why?. Because. Srsly. Who hasn't been there and done that? I started making my own versions of board games when I was like 10, but my son makes up new rules for Kimble on the way to his quite inevitable victory. So it's in the blood and if you are interested in Again an Another System Made by Someone Else you would care, but it's also in your blood that you won't, so I will supress the fact that the Will to Tell Everyone about Our Great System is too.

So what I'm going to tell you is a short story related to gaming, making a game, having a dream and then waking up.

I liked VT's. That stands for Virtual Tabletops. We tried some, but settled to use Maptool. (You really need to know what VT's are to get this, so if you don't you've got to have a google moment NOW). Virtuals have many virtues over actual tabletops, but in the end it became clear that current tools available were only able to vaguely emulate the experience as it should be. I'm not even talking about bugs and similar glitches, but the sheer clumsines of how things are handled on every level of the gaming process, not just during the actual play event. It's like using rocks and buttons instead of abacus for running an complicated set of calculation. Or like trying to run a combat for 20. level party in 3. edition D&D. I mean, doing those things over phone while driving a taxi in Bombay. Or more accurately, doing those things by twitching your left eyelid for communication while otherwise lying helplessly in your hospital bed.

But still! I'm not here to rant how VT's suck. I'm here to tell that I knew that all along, but I wanted to see what could be done with them. And much could that far surpassed limits of battlemats and miniatures (I'll only hint Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V). In the end, it was just not important. At least to me, it happened that every achievement and method of pushing the limits of VT's further away also took a bit from fun. It became too much work and no play for me too. 

I mean, what does it matter, if your method of play may now handle 100's of orcs instead of previous record of 10? I suppose it's better if the system is streamlined and your way of handling maps and enemy tokens improves, but what is the point if it only shows in increased numbers? Only epicness achieved will be in downtime. Hereby I declare the Law of Epic Round Durations:

"Every game expands to the limits of it's system"

Then you get players drooling over their motionless chest, idly staring into a silent emptiness. Or perhaps those fortunate enough to have a handheld will entertain themselves with a game of tetris. In any case very few have the willpower to force themselves to watch interestingly as the game lags forward (It seems still, when you watch at it, but looking after an hour you'll notice it's moved!)

Well I don't rly know if that rule is correct. I do know I like writing them though.

Playing the game is just one point of view to the whole process. GM's view of running the game is another. Preparing adventure, updating rules and surfing for hot elf babes make up others. Theres even more, but the point is that role playing experience is not limited or included into what happens during the actual play event. You will notice the difference between one-shots and campaign style of play comes in no small part from this extracurricular sphere of hard to grasp influence. 

I'm not actually going deeper into that one either! Whew, dodged that one.

Anyway, as a VT oriented GM I was thinking about a community sharing adventures, rules and related material openly over an site, because, it would have been possible. That was what Space Jerusalem was actually about. Now this aint news. There are lots of sites for sharing stuff. Obsidian portal comes into mind. You can also find lots of stuff available from maptool forums (such as total pathfinder rules script package). I'm sure things are no different on any of the 10's of VT's forum communities. I think roll 20 VT even has some programmed features for sharing links. 

Apart from similar idea, those other sites actually had a community as well! 

"When building a community, start by already having a community"

Lesson is you can't build a community. One could say it builds itself, but in reality there even isn't one. There are only people who are getting something out of something (or if they are not, they usually go looking for it from somewhere else). In Finnish RPG scene there hasn't been very succesfull sharing communities, but those who are almost worth mentioning formed around some other service, namely forums. The current placeholder would be
, and they also offer some wiki and file sharing services. 

Our had forums, wiki and even our game system freely available, but no one outside our regular gaming group ever became interested in what we had to offer apart from community we didn't have, forums for only 3 active people (but we were active!), system that was supposed to be played in a way that wasn't yet technically even possible (and not particularly good in even that, mind you). In a nutshell, we didn't have anything anyone could hope to get, so everyone moved away. If the cheese moved, I didn't notice. It never stopped by Space Jerusalem.

We made our mistakes, and all in all, those other sites and services are making tons of coold stuff WHILE ALSO having those awesome communities built around them, which is like the whole point of actually building anything for those communities to begin with. But apart from having those enthusiast communities, they are actually doing the same FAIL in the product that we did. The product still sucks. (Actually it sucks more than a vacuum; we were far further into the emptiness of space and still it didn't stop sucking). You know this when you try out that Pathfinder module for Maptools, or try to play any miniatures heavy scenario in any medium without actual things to move around the actual map. Even if using a tool would handle that part, using the tool would probably render some other tool unusable, forcing you to cope with some subpar replacement feature, such as, say, using one mouse for 4 players to move tokens around a map, instead of being physically able to fart on the general direction of a real dinner table. Or instead of speaking, you would have to resort using a chat. And don't get me started about dicerollers. Rolling a dice _cannot_ be simulated with current technology. One needs his trusty dice that are as old as the superstitious belief of the right wrist motion required to score the needed 20 on a critical saving throw. (well I did. Get me started.) Its emotional stuff. Satan may have invented dice, but we were too happy with them so he had to invent dicerollers. All in the name of fairness, objectiveness and easy of useness in a game that's supposed to be about fun in a world of poor UI's (another credit of Satan's btw). Here's Law of the Bones:

"Dice rollers totally take control out of players hands!"

(And give it to Satan!)
Don't repeat your or anyone else's mistakes. Don't build communities, kingdoms, cults or empires. Do stuff, but don't wail if you fail.  Some Sales guy said once, that the good guys are not paid well for good sales. They are being paid because they handle bad sales well. And as even the best salesman in the world can't force a sale (Mafia insurance salesmen count as an exception), neither can you force a success in anything you strive for. That's a turf of God (Unless you are Satan). But if you are not Satan, do something worth getting done. Don't do it for achievements (Satan should've a gold medal for this!), they would only keep in coming as wave after wave of zerglings become obliterated under your Siege Tank fire. 

And most importantly, don't give up to Satan, keep on a roll!

[OSR] Pneumatic limb
If your character looses his hand or foot it can be replaced with artificial pneumatic limb. The appropriate mechanic/doctor must be found and the cost for the limb and its installation is 2000GP.

Every time the pneumatic limb is used for special actions (not ordinary like handling objects or running without a rush etc.) roll 2d6. If the result is "snake eyes" (two 1's) roll the chart below:

1. It explodes and is lost. 1d6 damage
2. It breaks down and cannot be used before replacing or repairing it. (cost 100gp)
3. It doesn't respond or work for 2d6 turns
4. It acts stiffly. What ever character was doing doesn't success.
5. Minor malfunction. Results 1-1 and 6-6 calls for this chart until repaired (50gp).
6. POWER BURST! Double effect or other appropriate bonus.

I got this idea from Google+ where +Zak Smith wrote:
Dear Diary: Went in with one hit point, left with one hit point, 250 gp, a magic arrow, a serrated gnoll sword and one leg.

 +jason gielbasa talked about pneumatic limb and I just had to blog it!

Will work great with:

Friday, January 18, 2013

[Mutant Future] Monstermutantree


No. Enc.: 1d3
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 20'
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 11
Attacks: 5 (branches)
Damage: 2d10
Save: L3
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: I
Experience Points: 2000

These horrific tree monsters are rare and usually move in small packs. Their origin is unknown but their hatred for all living creatures is guaranteed.

Every time these monstrous mutant trees attack with their talon filled branches the victim must roll Save versus poison or death or get the horrible mutating poison in their system. The poison will mutate the victim in 1d3 hours. After that the victim dies slowly in great agony.

In addition after a successful hit by monstermutantree the victim falls back 2d6x3" and looses his next turn.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

[MF] Joni Rampe is dead

Here's a NPC I created to accompany player character in her journeys. Meet Joni Rampe. Young hothead living in a secure village who wanted to experience the hazardous world. That happened and it didn't end well.

Joni Rampe and character Cassandra left Siikainen to track the sick people who tried to get into Siikainen. There's this horrible disease what kills people. No cure.

They move to the east and encounter some giant weazels. Joni Rampe wanted to test his shooting skills but Cassandra thought it's best just to keep going. Next they find a secured area with really suspicious people, but buy a horse for Joni so they can travel faster (Cassandra is android capable to transform into an unicorn). They keep traveling until they get to a crossing.

North and south are the directions the sick most probably went so they decide to split. Cassandra goes south and Joni north.

Cassandra finds an old farm where there are sick people inside. One comes out and seems to be in good condition, immune possibly. They talk and Cassandra notices movement in the outhouse and decides to check it out. When she turns around the guy he talked to attack her and hits her with a shovel. Being an android shovel says "clonk" but Cassandra registers "ouch".

One armored guy with shield made of car door and a board with nails as a club storms out. She sees that inside the outhouse someone goes upstairs. Cassandra turns and kicks the guy who hit her with the shovel. The guy whimpers and falls down incapacitated (0 HP, not dead but out of the combat). The armored man attacks and they share hits when from the upstairs someone starts shooting with a rifle.

Two against one. One in melee and another shooting, Cassandra dashes back and takes the incapacitated shoveler to be a shield. Attackers calm down as they don't want to hurt their buddy.

Some talking and Cassandra leaves. The plan of those three healthy uninfected guys was to head on to the east and burn the building with their sick companions.

That is solved, so Cassandra goes back to the crossing to wait for Joni. Joni doesn't come back as they planned and Cassandra decides to go to search for him.

North there is Honkacenter, a big trading place. It was hard to find a missing person in the crowd but with a help of waiter-android and some guards it seems that Joni wasn't there. In the east there was a fortress Cassandra was turned around immediately. And no Joni there.

She gets a hint that maybe Joni went to the west and Cassandra heads there. She finds Joni's horse in a horrible condition. It spasms on the ground and a fifth leg is growing from its belly. Cassandra finishes the poor and suffering animal.

Not far away there is Joni horribly mutated and suffering. Cassandra kills Joni as there is nothing she could do to help him but ease his suffering. Nearby is a tree with twisted human face on it. The tree is slow and it's branches have thorns what dribble poison. Cassandra realizes, that the mutant tree's poisonous sap causes horrible mutations what slowly kill. Time to turn into an unicorn and gallop away!

Player's doodle of what happened. The mutant plant wasn't there, but it's a nice little detail.

[Mutant Future] My player starts to understand how it works now

This post is copy from a reply I wrote in Google Plus conversation so it might be a little silly as a blog post. But the idea is what I want to share here for my readers.

Now I am Game Mastering Mutant Future and my player-girlfriends starts to understand the gist. She can do stuffz and doesn't have to rely on character skills and knowledge (as there is none). Also she starts to be really suspicious about encounters and tries to evade them (got beaten by HD6 Zunicorns pretty bad). At first I think she thought that if I put an encounter on her that's something she is supposed to fight. Now she understands that it doesn't work that way.

Last time we played went like this:
She talked to one person and then saw movement in another direction and decided to turn and check it out.
The person she talked to now behind her back decided to attack her and from the inside one guy heavily armed (melee) ran out and someone climbed upstairs. She attacked  the guy behind her incapacitating him (HP to 0 doesn't mean someone necessarily dies but is out of action in my games). Then she started to fight the armored guy but from the upstairs that third guy started to shoot her with a rifle.

The fight could have been roll d20 to win person attacking me directly then go to roll d20 to kill the next opponent...

Even though her character did very good fighting the armored guy and the guy above didn't hit her with his rifle only after two rounds player decided that it is too risky to fight this way (in MF her 1st level character has 50 HP so it's not as risky compared to D&D and other clones). She didn't check her character sheet what she could try to do with best probability to success (as she usually would do and for inspiration from skill names) but she told that she takes cover behind the incapacitated dude.

That solved the situation. The guy upstairs didn't want to shoot anymore and risk to hit his comrade and the guy with an armor couldn't attack as player's character had an advantage to kill his hostage in addition to the risk hitting his comrade.

This combat wasn't only rolling d20 to see if someone hits nor it was using character sheet's skills and some die check to resolve the problem. Nope. It was player's actions.


The point is, that in Mutant Future (as an example of OSR game here) there are no skills. There is a suggestion that if Game Master wants a die check for a character activity he can rule player to roll d20 below ability (climb a tree d20 below DEX for example). My player is used to:

  • Describe what his character does and then wait if any skill roll is needed
  • Check her character sheet for inspiration what skill roll or action she could use, then the above
  • Ask Game Master what she could do in he situation and possibly the aboves
So I think this is a great improvement in roleplaying skill here. Naturally she has always known that characters can do anything but thanks to other games there's always been skills involved even though the roll isn't needed (easy enough for character for example). Now she doesn't have that skills list to rely on in Mutant Future, so everything her character does is up to her only.

If she decides to stand still and hit rolling d20's that's ok, but she has found out that is not good option to fight. Even if there are no special combat manouvres or other combat actions to choose from it doesn't mean you cannot do special actions. Actually special actions are encouraged in OSR (as far as I understand it). Especially in games where you roll for HD. 50% change to get hit and 50% change to die from damage, you don't want to roll d20 in turns with GM and just see who wins this gamble.

This is great in OSR games (Mutant Future and LotFP in my experience). When there is a possibility for a combat or other hazardous scene player first starts to think how to outwit or get around it.


Side note: World of Darkness games (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling etc.) are Storytelling games. Yes, the system is called that. But why the fuck in a Storytelling game there are more rules than in d20 retro games? Tell me that!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cleric players can create their own religion

In many fantasy rpg settings there are religions Cleric characters can choose from, but there are also games without a setting in a core book (i.e. Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Labyrinth Lord only two to mention). If you are using your homebrew campaign or generic world where the adventures are location based (i.e. running LotFP or LL where characters operate from the village you have created to do adventure modules or your own adventures) there might be one or few religions you have created. But does that have to restrict what religion(s) the Cleric character can follow?


If there are options of religions to choose from don't restrict you player creating his own order to follow.  It might not be big in your campaign setting but rather a small order/religion/cult. There already might be dozens of gods so there might very well be a lesser god to follow. It's just that there aren't too many followers but the character happens to be one of them.

The religion/cult/order should have a name and a deity naturally. Player can also describe the practices. It is good that player checks his idea of this smaller custom religion with his Referee to be sure that it fits the campaign setting.

The good part is that from the player's idea of his Cleric's religion/order/cult the Referee can add a new religion/cult/order in his campaign setting. The Cleric player's own little custom religion/cult/order might be just that; a small generally unknown and not with much influence or it might grow to be a bigger thing in the campaign setting.

There might be also other flavors to the game. The character might want to convert others in the setting towards his own little religion/cult/order and he might spend his hard earned loot to make it stronger. In a high enough level (Labyrinth Lord) the character might even build his own temple for the religion and start to be a major player in his religion/cult/order.

If the game goes that far that the character is wealthy and experienced enough to establish something for his religion and then retire his character might become a NPC in the campaign world making the religion an actual bigger thing in a game world. Wouldn't that be a great reward for a player? Starting as a 1st level Cleric worshipping this minor deity but when retiring he has achieved something bigger for his religion/cult/order?

And if the players play together well they might create something bigger! Cleric making a temple, Fighter creating a stronghold etc. This way the party might even create a micro nation!

Here's another idea. The deity character worships is a weaker god. It might be new or just awaken from a long idling. Player's Cleric would be actually only one who has a vocation for this new god. What ever the reasons are why the player's Cleric was chosen are beyond human understanding. But the character has a mission directly from his god; to make his god stronger. This way the character would be the prophet for the god and the god's power would depend on the character's actions. Building temples and shrines and proclaim places holy in addition to convert people to this god could be a mini-campaign inside of the real campaign.

What would be better starting point for this Cleric than to get his fellow adventurers to support his and his god's cause?

Referee can also make custom rewards. For every x people Cleric converts and for every shrine, holy place, temple etc. the Cleric makes there could be a reward from the god. And those in the party who actively help the Cleric to do his god's will will also benefit from the rewards. The rewards might be bonus XP or something supernatural like blessings or even enchantments on their equipments (Fighter who slays enemies in the name of his fellow Cleric's god's name gets his blade enchanted against undead etc.).

With a custom religion/order/cult of the party's Cleric there are unlimited possibilities and motivations for party to quest. It's simple to make party to go into that dungeon because god said they to go there. McGuffin at its best.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Let's look back at the year 2012

This is the post about my gaming year of 2012. I'll write here about things that affected my gaming the most.

Old School Reneissance And Clones

Old Dunegons & Dragons never was the game I enjoyed when I was a kid. I already played RuneQuest and Warhammer 1e so when testing some red box D&D and AD&D 2e those didn't feel fun for me. The main reason propably is that I didn't start gaming with d20 (well, my first game was ANKH what is inspired by D&D) so D&D just didn't feel special anymore.

Last year I started to get really interested in OSR thanks to several blogs. At that time I enjoyed mostly Vampire: the Masquerade and was totally bored in fantasy because it was almost exclusively fantasy that I gamed when I was a kid (some scifi and cyberpunk too, but less of those).

But reading all neat OSR stuff I realized that fantasy can actually be cool if you do it right. Also I found out that actually some old-school games are rules simple and you can focus on the adventure instead of hundreds of pages of different rules.

I do enjoy storytelling games where characters are in the center but I also found out that games where the adventure is the main thing are awesome. Also the fact that it is so easy to write universal material for old-school games is awesome!

Lamentations of the Flame Princess

It was late 2011 when I bought the Grindhouse Edition box but I started to read and like it in early 2012. The rules are simple and I like the weird/horror themes of the game as I am a horror fan. It was easy step to start digging OSR with LotFP because it did hit the spot where my interests are. Also the Referee book is good read.

I liked the rules how they played like 3.0 but still old-school. That's ascending AC there. When I played D&D 3.0 I stripped the rules and when got into LotFP I realized that its rules are what I wanted 3.0 to be.

I never was that interested in pre-made adventures because I wanted to create and control my own games. LotFP adventures are so good that they actually made me appreciate pre-made adventures for the first time.

Of the 2012 games for me LotFP must be one of the most influencing game. It was the final hit for my OSR interest and it is a great game with great adventure and sourcebooks.

Also whole year 2012 LotFP products (Vornheim, adventures, Isle of the Unknown) were only gamebooks I wanted to buy new. That's something.

Labyrinth Lord

When searching for a real retro-clone (LotFP is like house-ruled version of traditional D&D-esque fantasy games) there were several game PDFs I checked out but none of those felt right for me. Then I found Labyrinth Lord and with some background research I realized that this is the real retro-clone for me.

I love how simple the rules are even though I am not a fan of Thac0 type combat (it fits LL perfectly though).

Labyrinth Lord is like old D&D for me now.

Most of the year I only owned the no-art PDF of Labyrinth Lord but in the autumn I won the softcover book in one competition. That was super awesome!

Creating Material

Now with OSR it is super easy to write fantasy (and other genre) material for roleplaying games. I don't have to worry what system to use, because OSR is universal system. Raggi in LotFP showed how to easily write stats for monsters and NPC compatible for both ascending and descending AC (armor as leather). And it's pretty fun to write little fantasy stuffs in the blog (and easy as I said).

Mutant Future

Interested in OSR and liking Fallout 3 videogame a lot and hearing about Gamma World I started to find out about that game more. Soon I found that Gamma World 1st and 2nd edition would be most interesting for me but unfortunately those are out of print now. Then I found Mutant Future and I was happy!

With Mutant Future you can play totally gonzo or more realistic Mad Max style. Or Fallout game with black humor including mutants. Mutant Future easily found its way to my favorite games. Rules are simple, mutations are whacky and post-apocalyptic setting is neat. I love playing this game and I am looking forward to buy the book.


This is not roleplaying game, but I have enjoyed watching movies when I go to sleep (some movies might take even 5 days to finish). TV series I haven't watched that much but with Netflix coming to Finland and being compatible with Xbox 360 I've watched also several series.

When I watch movies I always thing roleplaying. How this scene, background story, character, gadget and so on could be awesome in a rpg.

Netflix is not only an awesome passtime but also great resource for endless inspiration for roleplayer.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Labyrinth Lord - Fighter # of attacks quick fix

In the character class rules section it's told that Fighters get an additional attack every 5th level after level 15.

That's stupid, because several levels earlier all characters already have an option to get stable with own castle, stronghold, wizard's tower etc.

And other classes have these other knick knacks they can perform while fighters only swing swords.

That's why fighters get an additional attack every fifth level starting from level 5.

Opitonal: instead of increasing # of attacks Fighter can optionally gain another d20 when rolling to hit (# of hit dice). The best (highest) result of these additional dice is kept.



11th level fighfer could have:
A) 1+2 attacks per turn
B) 1+1 attacks per turn and second hit die
C) 1 attacks per turn and two bonus hit dice

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My RPG collection beginning of 2013

My RPG collection today. From left to right, up to down (core books in bold):

Vampire: the Masquerade Revised
Ghouls: Fatal Addiction
Children of the Night
Clanbook Nosferatu 1e
The Players Guide to the Sabbat
A World of Darkness 2e
Victorian Age Vampire
London by Night
Vampire: the Dark Ages
Werewolf: the Apocalypse 2e (x2)
Ways of the Wolf
Project Twilight
Axis Mundi: the Book of Spirits
The Werewolf Players Guide
Monkeywrench: Pentex
Umbra: the Velvet Shadow
Werewolf Storytellers Handbook
Werewolf Chronicles Volume 1
Litany of the Tribes Volume 1
Litany of the Tribes Volume 2
Litany of the Tribes Volume 3
Litany of the Tribes Volume 4
Werewolf: the Dark Ages
Mage: the Ascension
Hunter: The Reckoning
Vampire: the Requiem
Lancea Sanctum
Ordo Dracul
The Invictus
Werewolf: the Forsaken
Changeling: the Lost
World of Darkness: Shadows of Mexico
World of Darkness: Slasher
Geist: the Sin Eater free quick rules & adventure

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2e Dungeon Master's Guide
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2e Player's Handbook
AD&D 2e Complete Psionics Handbook
Dungeons & Dragons 3e Player's Handbook
Dungeons & Dragons 3e Gamemaster's Guide
Dungeons & Dragons 3e Monster Manual
Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3e
Ravenloft Campaign Setting 3e
Races of Renown: Wrath & Race A Guidebook to Orks & Half-Orcs (3e)
Labyrinth Lord
Blue Rose
Mutants & Masterminds
Path of Deception
Barsaive at War
H.A.R.P. (High Adventure Role Playing)
Pendragon 4e
RuneQuest (Mongoose)
Stormbringer (Finnish translation)
Call of Cthulhu 5e
Ye Booke of Monstres
Metropolis Sourcebook
Legions of Darkness
Spooky: The Definitive Guide to Horror Gaming
Unknown Armies
GURPS Monsters
GURPS WWII Return to Honor
Cyberpunk V.3
Fading Suns

Code/X (printed PDF)
Etherscope: Just a Delivery
Ork! the Roleplaying Game
Star Wars SAGA
All Flesh Must Be Eaten
Itran Kaupunki
Cthulhu Live (LARP handbook)
Kätyrin Osa (My Life With Master Finnish ed.)
Ikuisuuden Laakso
Myrskyn Aika

Lamentations of the Flame Princess Grindhouse Edition
Vornheim: the Complete City Kit
Isle of the Unknown
Death Frost Doom
Death Love Doom
The Monolith Beyond Space and Time
The God that Crawls
The Magnificent Oop van Jooms
Green Devil Face #5

d20 house rules for damage and combat

You can easily decide what options you use and what not to use. You can also easily mix these options.

Option 1. Hit Often And Deadly (HOAD)
Best for games with lots of hit points if you want game to be more deadly and combats to be quicker.

To hit result over opponent AC = weapon damage + STR (full)
To hit result less than opponent AC but 5 or over = weapon damage
To hit result 2-4 = a miss
Natural 1 = botch or how natural 1 in your game works

Option 2. Exploding Damage (ExDa)
For those who want even smaller weapons a change to be deadly with a luck.

When you roll highest possible result with any damage die roll again as a cumulative damage result. Strength damage bonus only applies once as other bonuses. This only affects the dice.

Option 3. Exploding Damage v2 (ExDa2)
A little more effective.

As above but as you score the highest possible result instead of rolling the die again add one step higher die to the damage. This extra die can also explode.

Option 4. Extra Action (Exact)
For those who want more to combat with luck but still want to keep some randomness in.

With natural 20 character gets another action to perform immediately.

Option 5. Extra Hit (Exhit)

With natural 20 character has a change to hit the same opponent again. If the opponent dies this change is lost.

Option 6. Extra Hit v2 (Exhit2)

With highest possible damage result from a die character can perform another attack against the opponent. If the opponent dies this change is lost.

Option 7. Instant Kill (InKill)
For those who want the change of death in every to hit roll.

When attacking natural 20 opponent must roll save versus death or die instantly.

Option 8. Killing Spree (KSpree)

When opponent is killed by the character he gets another action right away to attack the nearest opponent (if possible, move action possible to include or something.)

Option 9. Killing Spree v2 (Kspree2)

Same as above but after every kill character also gains +x1 damage multiplier after each kill. This damage multiplier lasts as long as the killing spree.

Option 10. Killing Spree v3 (Kspree3)

In every encounter after character succesfully kills the opponent he gets +x1 multiplier to damage. These multipliers last as long as the encounter lasts.

Friday, January 4, 2013

[MF NPC] Joni Rampe

Joni Rampe - Pure Human

Joni Rampe is young around 23 years old eager to be an adventurer. He has spend virtually his whole life in his hometown with not much contact outside. He has heard all these stories about wastelands and wants to experience it himself. Joni Rampe is eager to join adventurers to see the world.

ALIGMENT: Neutrality

Strength: 11 (to hit/damage/forcing doors 0)
Dexterity: 13 (AC -1, missile attack mod. +1, Initiative +1)
Constitution: 18 (poison save 0, radiation save 0) = roll modifiers
Intelligence: 13 (technology roll modifier +5%)
Willpower: 9
Charisma: 15 (reaction adjustment -1)



Energy Attacks: 15
Poison or Death: 12
Stun Attacks: 14
Radiation: 13

Adventuring gear
25 rifle bullets

Rifle, carbine - dmg 1d10 - 500ft./1000ft. - 20 rounds
Dagger - dmg 1d4

Leather armor - AC 7

[Quest writer] Think locally, act globally by Sami Koponen

Think locally, act globally

I was given a task to write on "globalization". My take on it reflects my position as a Finnish roleplayer: a gamer from a small language area but with steady connections to overseas roleplaying scene.

Global from the day one

Finnish roleplaying scene has always been global. Lauri and Jyrki Tudeer started to import roleplaying games into Finland back in 1980s. Frank Mentzer's edition of Dungeons & Dragons (1983) was translated into Finnish in 1988. By the mid of 1990s we had 13 translated roleplaying games with loads of supplements. There was a decade of pause, but finally in 2004 translations were published again, this time the best picks from the indie scene.

Finnish scene was slower to go over the border. As far as I know, Taiga (1996) was the first Finnish game published in English. Others have followed in recent years so that today there are about eight RPGs in the global market made in Finland.

There were also roleplaying magazines which provided articles about playing the games, but also about international gaming conventions, corporation reports and news of untranslated RPG products. We had our own conventions, publishing houses, gaming stores and arguments about the right way to roleplay equivalent to the international scene – all this before the internet, which connects the whole gaming world today.

What it is for you?

One could argue that global roleplaying market has ruined local gaming cultures. Everyone is playing Dungeons & Dragons and cannot think of roleplaying in any other terms than those introduced by D&D. However, the same could be said about pretty much every facet of entertainment: cultural industry in the US provides the Western countries with music, television shows, movies, genre literature, games and even food. But instead of seeing it as a threat one could see it as a chance.

As local gamers we can only thank the roleplaying industry in the US. Without it we would never have been introduced to roleplaying in the first place. Sure, some folks would have invented roleplaying anyway, but it wouldn't have become a whole subculture. We received a ready-made product, the tools for creating cool campaigns and memorable gaming situations. A couple of decades later there was the Forge forum. It raised strong opinions and some Finnish roleplayers abhor it even today, but none can deny the great influence it had. Re-thinking roleplaying, new ideas about it and thriving self-publishing scene were all national consequences of connections to the international forum. Not everybody plays new games, but at least there are new and different games as alternatives.

Global market works both ways. Smaller national scenes separated by the language barriers haven't been just receiving but also giving. Oftentimes some of the most innovative games rise from small scenes and are made known through the global market. From the game designer's viewpoint, the global audience is a whole lot bigger than the local one, so it's easier to find the ones interested in a particular game. I'm pretty sure that Archipelago or De Profundis or Zombie Cinema are not the standard ways of gaming in their countries of origin.

Still thinking locally

In the end the mainstream way of roleplaying is face-to-face. Internet applications for remote gaming are gaining a good foothold, but I hope that also tomorrow the global gaming culture is made of local gaming cultures.

Therefore we should still be working for our local gaming culture. We should borrow the best ideas from abroad, but keep on developing them instead of just following them. In a balanced and active gaming culture we don't have to reject global gaming trends, but neither should we lose ourselves to them.


I have written about the global roleplaying culture from a Finnish perspective. I have dealt with the issue in favourable terms. However, I'd be interested to hear whether my opinions are shared by others from other small language areas: have Polish, Swedish, Czechish or Hungarian roleplayers similar experiences?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mutant Future - Character's experience bomb leveled her up

New Year's eve we played Mutant Future and within one situation character leveled up for being clever. This is what happened:


Facility that burns trash, corpses and everything else for electricity to nearby fortified farms. 4 kilometers west from the facility is the farm of Thaumielsamael, a mutant NPC, their dog and horses. Between these two places is a big field surrounded with forest.

Related Background

In the field there were a pack of zunicorns (monster-zebra-unicorns of 6 HD) which player character Cassandra One (1st level android) went to check out but soon realized that those are really hazardous so she joined Thaumielsamael who were after their escaped horses. Zunicorns did not follow too much so they got to Thaumielsamael's farm in safe.

After Cassandra repaired herself she left the farm to get back to what she originally was doing.

The Encounter

Cassandra sees that there is a big pack of zombies around the backwall of the facility. She gets inside to the facility to check the situation out, but there's not much to do. Zombies can't get in so it's a waste to use ammunition to kill them.

Then for some reason zombies get "bored" and leave taking the direction where Thaumielsamael lives. Cassandra asks facility guards to help her and Thaumielsamael against the zombies because she is worried that the zombies could do some serious harm to them. Facility guards say it's not their problem. Cassandra tells the guards that they should remember their response when they need help. Guard captain considers this and agrees to give Cassandra some leftover fireworks (New Year's Eve we were playing) and tells that the zombies are easily distracted with noises, bright lights and such things.

Cassandra turns into unicorn form (yes, she is an Android capable of transforming in an unicorn - mutation table result) and gallops to warn Thaumielsamael about the zombies. While Thaumielsamael is  fortifying their farm just in case Cassandra has an idea.

She leaves back to the field where zunicorns were. They are still there, but now hiding in the forest line. She carefully advances and puts the fireworks down and lights them. Fireworks start and zombies see those and start to head there. Zunicorns are not amused and start to attack Cassandra but she gallops away leaving zunicorns and zombies attack each other.

Cassandra watches the battle lighten by the fireworks and enjoys 2460 points of experience for defeating a bunch of monsters!

She already had those around 1000 exp and second level needs 3001, so she leveled up and got one point of Charisma for that. (She now has CHA 14, lacking one point for any changes).

It was fun and I liked how player dealed with two monster situations at once without being directly involved in it. It's not always how you beat or shoot enemies to death but how you use your wit to deal with them.