Saturday, April 16, 2011

Now with added features

Apparently the latest rage in the OSR blogosphere is a widget that allows users to print posts to pdf. This was all started by Jeff Rients of Jeff's Gameblog.

I don't know if anyone will use it here, but it was easy enough to install.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

As I read through the Ready Ref Sheets...

As I mentioned in my last post, I acquired a copy of the Ready Ref Sheets (2nd Edition) yesterday. I've since gone through it a little, and thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

The first section is on city encounters. The charts are a bit on the crowded side, but there's some usable stuff in here. There's even a page explaining what some of the charts are intended for.

Up next is a section on npc women, starting with social status and profession. There's an interesting system on gaining favor with women through a mixture of communication and buying expensive gifts, which might actually dovetail in nicely with the infamous 'Random Harlot Table'.
There's even some complications that randomly crop up and make things more interesting for PCs.

After that, it talks about the likelyhood of women being trained as fighters in a militaristic society (just over 50%). It goes on to give a few locations where they might train, and then talks about daughters of nobles, including such things as their social rank, and circumstances revolving requests that will involve her father's intervention.

Turning the page, there a lot of tables for generating female npcs, ranging from disposition, their inclination towards the PC (and modifiers towards it), Houri garb, and physical characteristics.
Here's where it gets interesting.

The tables range from things like height, dress sizes, alignment (only 5 here covering Law, Chaos, Good, Evil, and a single Neutral) and finally complexion. It's complexion that really caught my attention. It starts off with with some realistic skintones, then moves into some SF/S&S/S&P inspired colors (red,blue and yellow). After that it's Downy Golden Fur, Feathery Down, Scaled, and Transparent to Bone. The first three of these have a asterisk after them denoting additional traits to the complexion. They are;
  • also has feline tail
  • winged
  • half mermaid (?)
I was fairly surprised to see that one could very easily roll up a catgirl! Here's a trope/meme that really took off in the last 20 years, and yet I came across it in a supplement written in the 70s, over 30 years ago. Now I admit that there was a female Kzin crewmember in the animated Star Trek series, and Batman foe Catwoman dates back to the 40s (and there could even be something in the pulps that I haven't heard about yet), but this came out of nowhere.

Admittedly, this took a lot out of the discovery that they had also put in Lieber-ian ghouls (people with transparent bodies save for their eyes and bones).

Well, that's all for now. I'll come back later and give further impressions about the RRS.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New addtions to my gaming library

I went to the local game shop (I hadn't been in since last year) to look at the used gamebooks, and got some useful books. My haul consisted of an orange spine 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide and a Ready Ref Sheets vol. 1.

The DMG's a little beat up (and bears the name of two previous owners on the inside front cover), but when I flipped through the Ready Ref Sheets, I found a map of Arkham tucked inside that was in really good shape!

It'll take me awhile to go through these books, but it should be interesting.

Rethinking the party

I've been thinking alot about adventuring parties, and how most of the basics have been used since the origins of rpgs in the 70s, with a few set classes, and races such as dwarf, elf, halfling and gnome in addition to humans that make up said parties.

Now, I realise that this is set in stone for many people, and that they tend to rail against any changes to these basics, yet I think it would be fun to mix things up a bit and use some new racial archetypes to have in a party.

My first idea was to have a sort of armored bear, like the panzerbjorn in The Golden Compass, who would fill in the fighter's position, as contrast to the Dwarf. The bears would be black bear-sized, so as to be able to fit into the tunnels and passages that make up dungeon exploration. Since these bears aren't intended to be mounts, I envision them as having forepaws with opposable thumbs that would allow them to not only put on their own armor, but to wield ranged and melee weapons as well.

The idea would be to have a strong, hardy warrior that was versatile enough to switch between natural weapons and 1-2 handed weapons.

Here's a rough draft of an NPC/Monster version that might be met in the wilderness;

Armored Bear
AC: 5 (2 when wearing armor)
Hit Dice: 6
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 claws or with weapon
Damage: d6/d6 or weapon damage
Number Appearing: d4
Save As: Fighting Man level 3
Morale: 7

These bears, which can be up to 11 feet tall, tend to wear armor made in an unknown process that gives the protection of plate, but weight and mobility or leather. They are highly intelligent and have been known to trade or hire on with groups once reasonable (to them) negotiations have been met. Unless attacked first, their first response is to parlay, and deal with strangers verbally.

The fur color differs upon the terrain where they tend to live, ranging from black to brown to white. However, it is not unusual for Armored Bears to live in areas that starkly contrast their coloration.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot Halfling Chicks


I figured, why not?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Unusual Patrons part 1

A lot of adventures start with the party being given a treasure map, or being asked to recover a stolen item or a maguffin of some sort.

"Of course, my clients require the finest ingredients. I trust you will have no problem acquiring them." --Head chef of the 'Exquisite Delights' restaurant.

Decadent tastes call for dangerous ingredients. That's how many parties come to hired to collect such items as gelatin from Gelatinous Cubes and clutches of Griffin Eggs.
Simply put, the best food comes from the most dangerous of places.

This, of course, leads to some interesting logistical problems, like how to collect the gelatin without being burned by its acid, or how to bring back that Carrion Crawler before it starts to rot. But that's part of the fun of a food collection scenario.

Even more exciting is the prospect of having them escort a cook to the creature's lair so that it can be prepared on the journey back. Those groups of bandits, goblins, orcs and kobolds can become major complications that can lead to some interesting plans on the parts of the players.

Where does one find such dens of Iron Cookery? typically in larger cities and royal courts that have sizable amounts of nobles and other eccentric and wealthy types.
Sometimes 'underground' eateries open from time to time, moving from location to location in order to keep the clientele extremely exclusive.

Perhaps there are competitions where great chefs face off to show off their skill in the preparation of the rare shrieking ginger root.

In all of the cases someone has to collect the ingredients, who will it be this time?

I'm not dead yet.

It's come to my attention that I haven't done anything with this blog.
Which is true.

I guess that means I should get back into this once more.