Saturday, October 26, 2013

My RPG Person Profile

Tim took this from Zak. I thought I would run my information through the meat grinder...

I'm currently running (at home):  13th Age, in my own setting

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (at home) include: nothing

I'm currently running (online): nothing

Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (online) include: nothing, but there may be a Night's Black Agents game in my future

I would especially like to play/run:  Night's Black Agents, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, a modern, supernatural, investigative game (mix the TV shows Law & Order, CSI, Miami 5-0, Angel, and Supernatural)

...but would also try:  Legend using the Skyrim setting (with or without Dragonborn as player characters), Gumshoe as medieval fantasy town guardsmen (ala CSI:  Pavis), 
one session of Microscope, and maybe even Action Cards - all it takes is me finding the time

I live in: South Bend

2 or 3 well-known RPG products other people made that I like:  Night's Black Agents, a|state, Eclipse Phase

2 or 3 novels I like: Hammer's Slammers, The Godwulf Manuscript, The Coming of the Horseclans

2 or 3 movies I like:  Snatch (for the comedy), Excalibur (for the overall majesty of it), In the Mouth of Madness, Cabin in the Woods (oops, that's four)

Best place to find me on-line: G+, but I have and use on occasion, FB and twitter

I will read almost anything on tabletop RPGs if it's:  There's nothing I read everything of exclusively anymore. I simply do not have time. Yet, I do have a lot of sci-fi and horror material.

I really do not want to hear about: Your 15th level paladin, politics, religion

I think dead orc babies are ( circle one: funny / problematic / ....well, ok, it's complicated because....): Not as funny as you might think, outside of special circumstances

Game I'm in are like (link to something): something big and over the top, you may not realize it, I may not realize it, but there is a giant meta-plot or perhaps more gonzo and sometimes a little more down to Earth

Free RPG Content I made for Unisystem and various other games are scattered about the Internet. Much of it is under the screen name, "oaxaca."

You can buy RPG stuff I worked on DriveThruRPG, RPG Now, or at your FLGS

I help play-test
  • Eden Studios
    • AFMBE (line)
    • Angel (line)
    • Army of Darkness
    • Beyond Human
    • Buffy (line)
    • City of Heroes
    • Conspiracy X (2nd ed. line)
    • Eden Odyssey (d20 line)
    • Ghosts of Albion
    • Terra Primate
  • Contested Ground Studios
    • Cold City
I talk about RPGs mostly on my blog and Google+ under the name Derek Stoelting or oaxaca (if you use the way-back machine). 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Film Friday

Kin - a fable

Batman:  Puppet Master

Monty Python and the Holy Grail with a modern trailer

Alternate Escalation / Dungeon Dice for 13th Age

In this month's "See Page XX" over at the Pelgrane Press website is an article discussing elements that can be added to a game of 13th Age which will help it feel more "old school." Those elements include how mapping out dungeons could provide a bonus to die rolls to the players, how to include alignments and accoutrement related to alignments from past D&D style games, as well as, giving the enemy NPCs an escalation die of their own, and a few other ideas.

The basic idea of "The Meat Grinder" portion of the ideas (I'll wait here while you go read it), is as more enemies enter the fray or are encountered, the enemy escalation die (called the Dungeon Dice) number increases. It is not done every round. The article lists six ways to increase or decrease the number on the dungeon dice. I like the ideas presented here. I think it adds more crunch in a simple way. It also forces the players to play smarter, not use their characters to hit harder.

Reading through the article, I was struck with another idea on providing the enemy with an escalation die of their own. Instead of using what the article provides, my dungeon dice would be the goatee'd twin of the players' escalation dice. At the start of a combat, wherein the enemy has the advantage or elements of surprise, the dungeon dice starts at "6." Every round after this, as the escalation dice increases, the dungeon dice decreases. It represents the changing tide of battle. The enemies are losing steam, they no longer have the element of surprise, and the heroes are working their way towards another win.

So, what happens when the dungeon dice hits "0?" Nothing. The dice stays there, at "0." There is only one way for the dungeon dice to re-set in a combat. If a Big Bad or Level Boss enters into the combat after it has begun, the dungeon dice re-sets to "6." This is meant to represent their ability to encourage or rally their troops on to victory.

I have not used this rule in the game, yet. I think I may try it out during my next session. I have a scene where it would be appropriate by the standards of usage that I have set.

I also need to re-read the mook rules to see if I can use those anytime soon.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Classic Unisystem Rule thought and Witches from Elf Lair Games

Classic Unisystem:  In an effort to reduce the number of skills, without hitting the Cinematic rules system, I think I have a way. What if the Skill Type rules were changed so that you buy that skill and choose a single Skill Type. The skill level purchased is for all skills within the cascade. The Skill Type is written next to the Skill on the character sheet. Anytime the Skill is used, the player receives a +2 to the roll.

So, Science (Biology) 2 means that a chemistry roll is 1D10 + Int Attribute + 2. Biology tests would be 1D10 + Int Att + 4.

This is already alluded to in the rules. However, to me it comes across more as, yes, the player can use Science (Biology) for a chemistry test, but they receive a big penalty. I think by spinning it in to a positive situation where the player gets a bonus, it makes it a better experience.

I think it may also play into another idea I had. The further along someone moves into becoming a specialist or Ph.d, the more they know about their one thing. 

Yes, this also crosses over to Guns and Hand Weapons. It does not involve Special Skills like Medicine.

Thoughts? Does it break the system?

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The latest book from Elf Lair Games is now available:  Eldritch Witchery. I helped a bit with this one. It's a steal at only $5!