Sunday, September 30, 2018

Combined London NPC Generators

A combination of this and this for the full NPC experience. Some entries won't make sense, but there are no refunds available. Made using this for the most part, with a little bit of javascript magic for good measure. Let me know if you've got a neat idea for a generator!

You know he's already got your wallet, right? Credit Andrei Stef

Friday, September 28, 2018

Mat "The Magnificent" vs. The Dervish of War - Chambers of God AP

The following was the culmination of several months of one-on-one play by post over Discord with a friend of mine. His character, Mat "The Magnificent" Rench, travelled solo through the entire first floor of the Chambers of God, a megadungeon I am currently in the process of being murdered by finishing. Mat was an early version of my Thief, and that character was played to the bone. Quite literally, after he lost an arm. The Tricky and Opportunist rules have gone through a fair bit of adjustment since then, as Mat was a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut when played "correctly":

For reference -
Gambit: Bet something beneficial on a hit (e.g. knock prone, disarm, shove), in return for something detrimental on a miss (e.g. drop your weapon, enemy gets a free attack, fall prone). You cannot use this to deal damage.
Opportunist: Whenever you Gambit, deal +1d6 damage
Tricky: When you Gambit, you can replace a miss condition with a tactical advantage.

Mat's player cottoned on to a a neat gameplay loop - if you can use a Gambit to set up a different tactical advantage, you could use that advantage for your next Gambit, and so on... resulting in a significant power-boost. If Mat could keep hitting attacks and staying on the ball, he could continuously deal +1d6 damage and inconvenience his enemies. This eventually resulted in Opportunist changing to: As a Gambit, deal +1d6 damage. And yet, Mat's shenanigans live on!

I didn't make that change during the campaign (of sorts) as they were the just reward for a crafty player, and likely the only thing keeping the solo character alive down there. By the time Mat reached the Dervish the second time, he had lost an arm, gained a mechanical replacement, made a friend (from a brain-eating demon gem and a wizard brain-in-a-jar) and discovered the meaning of love...ish.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

What The Fuck Did I Do Last Night?

"You were in a bar fight with... three dwarves. And you won but take 1d6 damage, and now you can't go back to that bar."

"Ok. Do I still get the experience?"


And perhaps a little contrived, but whatever, my point still stands. A bar fight? How do you know? Black-out drunk, wake up with bruises on your face and shin, a fistful of someone else's hair in your mouth, and the other guy is in the cell over trying to pick your pocket through the bars.

Now that's what I call Carousing. Sure, if you narrate it well it can be interesting. But players and DM-alike get all the information at once, and there's an easy temptation for it to just... slide away. Excellent and impactful Carousing mishaps should be something you can't just ignore. Here's my take: until you know exactly what happened, is it safe to ignore it? Sure, it might've just been a bar-fight... but who with? Where? What happened? Enter, stage left - What the Fuck Did I Do Last Night?

Rather than dictating exactly what happened, the results are both concrete and freeform. You may never know exactly what happened, but you're very unlikely to get out of it scot-free! Roll each of the following questions in order, but only when the character has a moment to take stock of the situation. Assuming you failed a Constitution roll to end up in this situation, make a note of the value. Some of entries have two options (odds is left, evens right)

Where am I?
  1. In a gutter
  2. A closet
  3. On someone else's floor
  4. In the lockup
  5. Still at the bar
  6. Rolled up in a rug
  7. In a sewer
  8. A gibbet / the stocks
  9. In the dark
  10. In a wizards tower
  11. In a nice bed
  12. In a palatial suite
  13. Falling down a large hole
  14. The top of a building
  15. The cupboards of a busy tavern
  16. In a sack, carried
  17. A wagon of vegetables heading out of town
  18. The middle of the street
  19. On a stage, about to give a speech
  20. An operating theatre

What am I wearing?
  1. No pants
  2. One shoe, not yours
  3. Socks bearing strange formulae
  4. A suspiciously damp shirt
  5. A beard
  6. Painful bruises everywhere
  7. Lash marks
  8. A helmet, horns optional
  9. Blood, probably not yours
  10. Wizard hat, nothing else
  11. The tanned hide of a bear
  12. A crown
  13. A sword in an ill-fitting sheathe
  14. 1d20 copper coins in odd and uncomfortable places. Very uncomfortable, in some cases
  15. Dapper suit
  16. Peanut butter
  17. Children's clothes
  18. Ballet slippers
  19. Mascot costume
  20. Toga

Who am I with?
  1. Two clowns
  2. A gorilla / a sleeping tiger
  3. A pile of spiders / a snake
  4. An attractive woman/man
  5. Your lawyer
  6. Someone's wife/husband
  7. A rival adventurer
  8. A mercenary/bandit (hard to tell)
  9. Four dwarves in various states of inebriation
  10. A half-elf with a frightening mohawk
  11. A notably rich merchant
  12. An heir/ess with a contagious disease
  13. A different party member
  14. A talking skull/book
  15. A hidden voice
  16. Three slaves, chains broken
  17. An apprentice wizard, in the middle of casting a spell
  18. An inebriated paladin
  19. Someone who looks suspiciously like you
  20. Nobody. You can’t find anyone at all…

To demonstrate, I kludged this out of my list to HTML translator. However, for maximum enjoyment I would recommend that the DM roll on the d20 table only when the player actually asks the question. Embrace contradictions wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"It's still magic even if you know how it's done" - Wands and Scrolls, Spells and Staves

Everything has it's price. Nothing comes for free. Magic Users of all sorts have spent years of study or made a considerably one-sided deal to acquire only one or two lesser spells. Only Sorcerers acquire additional magicks solely through the development of their potential, and they suffer for it, just like the rest of us.

Warlocks have a somewhat complex relationship with their spells. Technically, the spell they acquire at level 1 is, to some extent, part of their patron. In order to collect more spells, they must first meet the necessary arcane creatures and arrange an additional contract, with their patron acting as a broker. Expect blood and confusion.

Acquiring more Wizard spells can be equally challenging, but is a much more orderly process. The blood of intensely magical creatures is awash with them, as are the outer reaches of the ethereal plane. Many Wizards spend their lives perfecting the art of capturing spells, to mixed success. This can be trapped in scrolls and sold for considerable profit, or cunningly converted into wands or staves (heretofore known as implements) and used with little-to-no risk from the wielder themselves.

Except everything I told you in that last sentence? A lie.

Don't buy spells from reputable scroll-saleswizards. Don't even look at disreputable scroll-saleswizards. And never, ever buy a wand till you know what you have to do in order to maintain it's magical properties.

You really don't want to know.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

"And Taborlin the Great said to the stone: BREAK! and the stone broke..." - Truenamer v.1

In the beginning, language and reality were indivisible. The word and the object were one and the same. Saying something, describing something, immediately brought it into being. As you can imagine, small-talk was exceptionally difficult. Nowadays, this ancient language has no bearing whatsoever on the flapping lip-noises the pretentious monkeys make. It's been locked away, for the good of everyone. The Authority no longer makes use of it, the angels are forbidden from touching the stuff. From now until the end of time, the fabric of reality is a solid bedrock upon which everyth- Oh. Oh it's you. Never mind then.

To a Wizard, it appears that you are seconds away from casting a spell with at least three Magic Dice. No physical effects. No one else will notice a thing. But to those that can see the truth of the world, you are blinding. You have no idea what all the fuss is about.

To a Cleric, you are beyond heresy. They can't even categorise you, they just hope you'll eventually blow yourself up.

To an angel or a devil, you are a lowly thief, an up-jumped cretin with access to ancient powers you are completely unworthy of, and they all want what you've got...

Monday, September 3, 2018

"These are not the murderhobos you are looking for" - Psion v.1

There are dozens of wizards. There are three or four different types of cleric floating around out there. I know of one psion for OSR usage, but I haven't seen a proper mentalist (beyond this one, which is very good but not quite what I'm looking for) designed specifically for GLOG.

I've never felt power/ki/mojo/whatever points felt all that differentiated from spell charges or MD, so they don't show up here. Instead, the Psion is about maintaining spiritual, mental and physical equilibrium in order to allow access to an array of permanent, reasonable strong abilities. Strict diets, blindfolds, silk clothes and meditative regimes are all well and good on the surface, but by the time they are 37 rooms deep into the dungeon, I'm sure it'll be a different story.

In contrast to Psi Points et. al., one mechanic that's been cribbed from mainstream D&D is the idea of Psionic Focus. This is halfway between a new ability and a unique item slot. A fresh Psion starts with three options for them to activate through Focus, and each new discipline adds/modifies the Foci to allow for new tools.

Hooking into the tropes of mystics and yogis, Psions also start with Third Eye, a very loosely designed move. I'll include some examples below, but as a general rule, each restriction should have both gameplay and narrative effect. The first Surge is slightly more potent than an effective skill check, and the second Surge is equivalent to a basic spell.

This version of the Psion hasn't been playtested since its most recent changes but the main differences are reductions in the ease of which new Disciplines can be acquired. Originally, they were acquired at level 1 and every template thereafter, completely for free, PLUS any extra Disciplines learnt from masters. A Psion could do what a Thief OR Fighter OR Cleric could do, and sometimes even better than the original class!

Gasp! It was the 3.5e Wizard all along!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Automatic List to HTML Translator

For new features and fewer (?) bugs, see here.

EDIT: Max Cantor has earned the 30xp bounty for finding a bug in the soup my code. If you have used this, add 1 to the number at the end of the code i.e. [Math.floor(Math.random() * 5)] > [Math.floor(Math.random() * 6)]. In addition, if you are using multiple generators on the same page, or on the same blog you are likely to run into issues. The new version will scramble some of the variables slightly, and should fix that issue.

EDIT 2: If you have multiple random tables that you would like linked together to one button, let me know! It takes only a few moments for me to get that up and running. Version 2 will have this as a feature, stay tuned!

EDIT 3: Version 2 is live! It's a bit more complicated and buggy than this one, but has options for concatenated and nested tables. If you liked this one, I would thoroughly recommend giving mark II a look.