I kept this minimalist webjournalblogyoke for a while. Didn’t stick to it, so since I’m more or less collating all my old school gaming stuff here, here’s a huge text dump. It’ll look like shit but I don’t care.
I’ll use this space as an quick to update, easily accessed platform for game-related ideas. Specifically, my work on White Books (an epic dungeon crawling story game powered by the Apocalypse and pocketmods), Odd Dungeons (a D&D hack for Into the Odd), and Macchiato Monsters, the mutated mongrel I created by inseminating The Black Hack with some Whitehack DNA.
Also, various thoughts and experiments in procedural worldbuilding. Some of it will come from things I post on Google+.
Your hero: Assign 3 points to STRength, DEXterity, CONstitution, WISdom, INTelligence and CHArisma (maximum 2), then choose a class below.
Engine: Rolls are 2d6+Stat vs target number: 6 to 10 as determined by the DM. (Hipsters like me can also use the *World 6-/7-9/10+ framework) Roll STR or DEX to hit, INT or WIS for spells, CHA for reaction, WIS to notice, CON to resist poison, etc.
- In combat, you can attack STR times.
- Roll CON d6 for your hit points. 0 CON gives you 1hp.
- Your Armour Class is equal to 6+DEX+armour.
- If you can pay them, you can hire up to CHA followers.
Thieves can use DEX for thievery stuff, can use light weapons and armour.
Fighters get an extra hit die at level 1, 3, 5, etc. Heavy weapons and armour.
Magic-users can cast INT first level spells. At level 3 they get INT-1 second level spells, at level 5 INT-2 third-level spells, and so on. Puny weapons, no armour.
Clerics can turn undead with CHA. At level 2, they cast WIS first-level spells. At level 4 they get WIS-1 second-level spells, at level 6 WIS-2 third-level spells, and so on. Light weapons, medium armour.
Elves cast magic-user spells as if they were one level lower, and have super senses (INT to detect things). Medium weapons and armour.
Dwarves are fighters with +2 to resist alcohol, poison and magic. Medium armour and weapons.
Weapons: puny 1, light 1d6, medium 1d6+1, heavy (two-handed) 2d6. Armour: light +1, medium +2, heavy +3, shield +1. No DEX bonus to AC with medium or heavy armour. Spell lists adapted from B/X D&D. Every 10xp, gain a level and add +1 to one stat.
Samurai & Sararīmen
Old school RPG pitch
You play as agents and assets of the underdark zaibatsu Mindless, Inc. The Neo-Doyju sprawl extends to the horizon, but you know that beyond are the elemental wastes of what was the once a proud empire. As natives of Kozakura, it is your duty to restore the island to its former glory, bringing riches and honor to your masters, the Corporate Clan.
As Mindless operatives, you have vast resources at you fingertips. Call on hobgoblin strike squads to raid the korobokuru yakuza, order psyberware enhancements for yourself, get a spin empath to neutralise whistleblowers. They all come at a cost though, and your most ruthless enemies aren’t outside the corporation. The open plan of Head Office is sometimes more treacherous than the Warlord Blocks of the Neon Province. Your next meeting might well be your last.
- races including Naga-folk, Hengeyokai, and Half-bakemono
- classes like Dronemaster, Office Ninja, and Drill Kensai
- backgrounds and advantages like Board Sensei, Buddy at Payroll, Street Education, or Gangland Connections
- systems for Corporate resources, Giri and betrayal, Zaibatsu rank, and Operative experience
- Random tables to generate missions, in-house politics, dangerous city blocks, troublesome subsidiaries…
- New corporate spells!
- Over 100 Psyberware items!
(d6 x d8) dungeon generator
Procedural worldbuilding post
This one is based off Stacy Dellorfano’s protocols, which I expanded to generate room contents in the same roll. Google doc
One-sheet, one-step die-drop sandbox
Procedural worldbuilding post
Print out, drop a set of dice, create a slice of world for people to explore. Several versions of the file in this GDrive folder. If these aren’t enough, you can get Jens Larsen’s Excell sheet to generate even more content.
Random dungeons with a deck of cards
Procedural worldbuilding post
I made this procedure today. The idea is to generate random rooms with or without monsters, their purpose, and some special events with only a deck of cards and 2d6. Here is a link to the PDF.
Is my stash still there?
Generic table post
Roll d6 when returning from an expedition, wondering if the stuff you stashed is still there.
- Yes, all of it. Lucky bastard.
- Yes, with something extra (and valuable, and misplaced by someone angry and powerful).
- Some of it is missing, but there’s a clue to who took it.
- No, there’s an envelope with your name on it.
- No, and it’s booby trapped.
- No. Something slimy and blue and shivering digged inside your hiding place and ate your stuff. It’s sleeping now.
Odd Dungeons post WIP
With the planar anomalies getting more spotlight, I’ve decided most ‘normal’ monsters would come with a planar twist.
- Air: 1 fly, 2 weightless, 3 gusts of wind, 4 air sucker
- Water: 1 amphibious, 2 control water, 3 perpetually moist, 4 water breather
- Earth: 1 burrowing, 2 stone form, 3 phases through stone, 4 gem and metal water
- Fire: 1 fire breath, 2 super hot, 3
- Magma: 1 melt stone, 2 lava blood, 3
- Smoke: 1 gaesous form, 2 choking cloud, 3
- Ooze: 1 liquid form, 2 acidic blood, 3 goo spitter,
- Radiance: 1 searing sight, 2 burning skin, 3 blind,
- Steam: scalding breath
- Lightning: 1 shocking grasp, 2 magnetism, 3
- Mineral: 1 cristal skin, 2 metal skin, 3
- Positive: regenerates 1d4hp between every action
- Negative: drains 1d4hp when touche
Planar events in the dungeon
Odd Dungeons post
Drop 1d20 and 1d6 on the dungeon map.
Primary location where the d20 landed, secondary where the d6 landed. If d20=d6, there is a portal between both locations.
Duration is d6xd20 days if d20<d6, otherwise it’s d6+d20 hours.
Read the type of event on the d6 (1 monster, 2 inhabitant, 3 weather/athmospheric, 4 psionic, 5 mutations, 6 portal).
Read the plane of origin on the d20 (1 Air, 2 Water, 3 Earth, 4 Fire, 5 Magma, 6 Smoke, 7 Ice, 8 Ooze, 9 Radiance, 10 Steam, 11 Lightning, 12 Mineral, 13 Void, 14 Ash, 15 Dust, 16 Salt, 17 Positive, 18 Negative, 19 Ether, 20 Time).
For an upcoming mutation die drop table
World vs Mechanics
When I have an idea for a game, it’s often a mechanic or a specific format I’d like to use. Even if this suggests a theme or genre, the game world is very secondary. If the idea seems worth developing further, I just stick a bunch of clichés together and build from there. I think that’s why most of what I’ve been designing these last few years revolves around dungeonverse fantasy. These settings come to me naturally and I don’t have to stop in the middle of a rules-y thought to ponder about the world.
But I’m wondering how much of my final products is shaped by this. Should I spend more time coming up with an interesting angle or an original setting before grappling with the mechanics, for fear of always designing similar games? Or am I just going through a phase of building the perfect dungeon delver?
What’s your own process? Do you easily hop from one aspect of the design to the other, or do you start with one of them?
What broke up last session’s group?
Odd Dungeons post
Another quick table to help kick things into gear at the beginning of a session. My current campaign has a lot of characters and I sometimes need to explain why groups are never the same.
- Ambushed by monsters (roll on random encounter table)
- Companions left with gang or faction
- Followed something or someone
- Ran away from companions (explain why)
- Lured away by monsters (they’re still around)
- Companions left you behind (explain why)
- Got lost in the dark/storm
- Companions just disappeared
- Magical or planar event (roll on table)
Procedural Cave Delving
Odd Dungeons post
For The Lost City I am going to need a way to generate an interesting journey through a network of caves. Having a single tunnel going from the base of the pyramid to underground Cynidicea is super boring.
What I’m thinking at the moment is something along the lines of the desert map creation procedure I posted a while ago. Except the map will be a vertical side view.
Roll a bunch of varied dice (d4 to d12) on a sheet of paper, and write down the numbers. The lower the dice, the more mundane the area you’re mapping.
- Small cave
- Dead end corridor
- Large cave
- Water (link similar results)
- Vertical shaft/rift
- Cave: underground monster lair (use appropriate encounter table)
- Cave: surface monster lair (use appropriate encounter table)
- Cave: activity (fortifications, abandoned camp, etc.)
- Ancient built passageway
- Forgotten tomb/trap
- Ancient mine
- Planar influence (either its own room or a twist on nearest area)
To link these areas, drop a handful of d6s and d4s, and draw passages from their corners. Add more corridors when it makes sense (think about how monsters and other inhabitants use them).
Probable plug-in: a quick 3d20 table to dress up and populate areas.
Survival without food or water
Odd Dungeons post – backlog
When thirst and hunger are becoming an issue for your expedition, roll a STR save at the end of every day without food and/or water. If you pass, lose 1 STR. If you fail, roll 2d6:
- Would do anything for a bite or a drop of any liquid
- Desperate: lose 1d4 STR, 1d4 DEX and 1d4 WIL
- Weak: lose 1d4 STR and 1d4 DEX
- Tired: lose another 1d4 STR
- Shakes: lose 1d4 DEX
- Low morale: lose 1 WIL
- Broken: lose 1d4 WIL
- Irritable: WIL save to avoid violent responses
- Winded: lose 1d6 hp whenever exerting yourself
- Hallucinations: WIL save to come to your senses
- Iron resolve keeps you sane. But for how long?
Unfinished stuff and other notes
///Twist this for a survival table
When you suffer Ability Score loss, but survive, roll on the appropriate table for the Ability Score that you lost points in. Common sense determines if they’re permanent or temporary. If unsure, it’s 50/50.
STRENGTH (from physical attacks) 1: Gushing wound. Lose a further 1d6 STR every turn until patched up. 2: Maimed. Roll 1d6 and lose 1: Head, 2: Hand, 3: Arm, 4: Leg, 5: Ear, 6: Eye. 3: Spinal Tear. Any STR loss from this attack is permanent. 4: Whatever caused the harm is lodged inside you. It causes another 1d6 STR loss if it’s not pulled out carefully. 5: Punctured Lung. You wheeze loudly forever. 6: Brain Hit Bad. Lose 1d6 WIL permanently. 7: Concussion. You act like a dope for the rest of the day. 8: Ruined Arm. You cannot use a random arm for anything. If you lose your good arm, attacks with your off-hand are Impaired until you get used to it in d20 Months. 9: Broken jaw. You can’t talk properly until it heals. 10: Crushed ribs. If you take further STR loss before your next Full Rest, you take an additional 1d6 damage. 11: Choked. You can’t breath without assistance, and will die in 1d6 turns unless somebody helps you. 12: Flesh Wound. It’s not all that bad. Wicked scar too.
STRENGTH (from other sources) 1: You throw up a lot. 2: You have the shivers at the slightest cold. 3: Foaming mouth. 4: Lose clumps of hair. 5: Your complexion goes all gross and yellow. 6: Bad reaction! The STR loss is permanent! 7: You become so sickly that you can never regain lost STR. 8: One eye dies. 9: Half of your face falls immobile. 10: Hair turns grey/white/to-dust. 11: Impotent. 12: You shake it off! ARGH!! RARRR! I’M HARDCORE.
DEXTERITY 1: You’ve got the shakes forever. Lose 1d6 DEX to a minimum of 1. 2: You’ll never dance again. 3: You can’t stand up quickly anymore. 4: Spasms whenever least convenient, unless you pass a WIL Save. 5: Cannot walk at all without a stick. 6: Hobble for the rest of your life. 7: Comatose. Attempt a WIL Save after d20 days to restore movement. 8: Balance is shot. Require DEX Saves for things that aren’t even difficult ordinarily. 9: You can’t turn your neck anymore. 10: One eye permanently closed. 11: Slack tongue. You sound like an idiot. 12: You drool if you’re not careful.
WILLPOWER 1: Stammer. 2: You need a drink to steady your nerves, otherwise you have the shakes. 3: You have a phobia of whatever did this to you. WIL Save to confront it again. 4: Surge of idiotic heroism. You can only act if it’s suitably stupid and heroic, until you get a short rest. 5: You become an incredibly picky eater. WIL Save to avoid vomiting any meal. 6: Insomnia. You only benefit from Full Rests if you pass a WIL save and get some sleep. 7: Sensitivity. Sudden, loud noises cause you to lose 1d6 WIL. 8: Delusion. From now on the Referee rolls all your dice and keeps track of your scores, damage etc. in secret. 9: Obsession. You cannot benefit from Long Rests until you confront whatever did this to you and get revenge. 10: Anxiety. You cannot benefit from rests until you’re somewhere completely, 100% safe, and not even slightly dangerous. 11: Trigger Happy. Whenever there’s a surprise, and you’re armed, you must pass a WIL Save to avoid attacking the surprising thing. 12: Hallucinations, only when you’re alone, and you can only find out if they’re real by touching them.