Saturday, May 23, 2020

El Páramo de la Cobra

This is the map I gave the players on my last session. The game never went past the first session but I wanted to share it here. The whole zone west of the bridge is an old battlefield filled with restless dead. The rumors talk about a bandit lair hidden on one of the buttes, which's leader has a bounty over his head, payable on the town at 3B (the shit at 2A is a factory). The southern road is practicable (only 1/20 encounter rate, thats where the caravans come through) but any square north of it has it at 1/2.

The old battle destroyed the town at 1E and there are rumors of a temple dedicated to a snake god (door at 1G) which is actually guarded by giant snakes.

The treasure at H3 is actually already stolen by the bandit to whom this map belonged, and taken to his lair.

The random encounter is arranged so the first time you roll a number you get the first thing listed, and all the other times you get the second thing.

1 - Ghost fire, will guide you to another encounter if followed / Wraith (will posess and turn you into a zombie if he defeats you, with lots of HP)

2 - Recent corpse with bite marks, you find this map on him / possessed giant wolf (zombiefied by wights, very tough, covered in arrows). Going over the stairs north will automatically lead you to him.

3 - Foreign thieves looting corpses / Possessed thief with ancient sword, bathed on the other thief's blood

4 - Local thieves performing ritual burials of the ancient dead to appease their wraiths / Local thieves heading to their lairs

5 - Local goth kids. They want to record evidence of wraiths in a cassette tape recorder. / 1d4 zombies

6 - Creepy musical mutterings. If investigated, will attract the pcs to a small radio receptor playing this music, in the roots of a tree (the bandit king is actually broadcasting the session live, as he does every night). The device it's covered with poisonous snakes as the music seems to attract them (It works on giant snakes too) / Old corpse with treasure, a wraith lurks nearby.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Minimalistic D&D-like (how many abstractions are too many?)

Art by a guy called Shroom Arts.  Do not be fooled by the flashy stolen gifs, this blog is dedicated  to finding the ultimate half-page D&D clone

Inspired by this blog entry, This is a full disclosure of what I have in mind these days. D&D is full of abstractions, and I (think I) understand the idea behind all of them, but I think that some of them are redundant with some others:

- Levels provide both a sense of goal and progression, and a way to size up characters and monsters for spell/effect purposes
- Fighters get extra attacks with levels, or sometimes better chance to hit.
- Classes give you niche protection and diversity, with attributes giving you a better picture of your character.
- HP are a mixture of toughness, luck and kung fu
- Spells are given to the wizards in exchange of having poor HP and other pointless restrictions
- Skills are an add-on to make thieves have something of their own

I've devised a way to simplify this by making all things dependant straight into the Hit Points / Mana Points: Let me explain.

You get 2d4 HP at the start, or 1d4 HP and 1d4 MP (the average person has 1-4 Hit Points, so if you get more you can consider yourself a kind of experienced fighter in-world)

Classes/Attributes/Spells/Skills are all subsumed into something called Specials (because sounds better than feats). Some of them provide passive bonuses and some are active and require MP. There is a maximum of 4 which can be learned (taking this straight from the pokemon moves), though 1 or 2 more can be stored in magic items.

In the beggining, you must choose/roll one in a table of basic specials. The rest of them must be unlocked through play (once you've come in contact with the special through a source of inspiration/book/master you can pick them at level ups).

1. Monk (1d6 damage with fists or small melee weapons, +2 hp)
2. Strong (You can attempt feats of strenght; and can carry 2 extra items. Re-roll all 1s in melee damage. +2 Hp)
3. Agility (+1 AC when unencumbered, you can attempt agility feats )
4. Marksman (spend a turn aiming to add 1d4 damage to the next bow/sling attack)
5. Fend (with staves and swords, you can ditch a failed/low damage attack for a +1 AC bonus, just as if you wore a shield)
6. Healer (1 MP. Heal 1d6 hp; spend 3 MP instead to roll 2d6, one for HP and other for # of targets)
7. Divination: ( MP: 2 per Y/N question; requires quiet time)
8. Charm: 1 MP per d6 rolled. On every 6, improve by 1 the reaction roll.

(this list is veeeeeery provisional, but the idea is to have each Special embody a "type" of character)

Once all this is set, your starting character should be something like: 3 HP, 2 MP, Healer, 1d6 staff + Inventory + Name. You should not have to worry about more until you level up a bit.

You start as an Adventurer. Having HP 6 qualifies you as a Warrior, which may entail certain weapon uses. At 10 (Champion/Warlord) and 14 HP (Hero/Heroine), you get +1 extra attack or action per round

Having any MP at all makes you an Initiate. At 4 MP (Seer/Priest), at 8 (Enchanter/Enchantress) and 12 MP (Wizard), you get +1 Magic Rank (Adds to magical attacks AND magical AC against psychic damage; you can get some by buying amulets though. At Seer/Priest level, this power up is symbolized by a magical staff or symbol)

It will be all OK because the booklet will be written in this font: