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General Discussion » 2d or 3d Dungeons? » 12/05/2017 10:10 pm

Galadrin
Replies: 10

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I recently jumped in to Dwarven Forge. I absolutely adore them, but I have no plans to use them as my go-to mapping method, despite the big investment to get in DF. To me, they are for special occasions... major, final fights that wrap of story arcs, or just big and complex fights that have too many moving parts for theater of the mind. I use them to set up a single room (I would never build the whole dungeon) to give a clear picture of what is going on in the battle, and use miniatures and a tape measure to keep track of movement and ranges.

Most of the time, however, I just describe what is going on and we don't use miniatures. If questions do come up, I'll sketch a quick map with X's to represent enemy and player positions.

Hyperborea » Winter is coming » 10/17/2017 9:29 pm

Galadrin
Replies: 27

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Isn't Hyperborea basically an island? I assume the seas swell unnaturally with fish, deep ocean creatures and other strange and unspeakable things during the winter, so that the ocean's bounty becomes the main food staple of the large coastal settlements in the dark years (perhaps the Elder Things need regular appeasement for this to happen). There are some smaller settlements inland of course... I assume ritual cannibalism becomes the fashion in these parts, at least to supplement food brought in from hunting and trade.

Rules Discussion » House Rules? » 9/05/2014 7:45 pm

Galadrin
Replies: 74

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chrisj wrote:

5. Combat runs like B/X rather than RAW. RAW are pretty good, but I always unconsciously revert to B/X.

To be honest, I think this may end up happening for me as well. Actually, that brings up a good point. Can someone clarify the philosophy behind AS&SH's Combat Phases? I'm sure there is some cunning thinking behind it all, but from the initial flip through of the rules it came off as seeming a little superfluous. Do you use them, and what is the gain of doing so? What are they intended to model?

And that reminded me of another house rule I might employ (stolen from gamebooks):

Encumbrance Slots: Instead of calculating the weight of all carried goods, each character has a number of inventory slots for carrying equipment on their person equal to their Strength ability score. Each slot holds one permanent item (such as plate armour or a sword) or a given number of expendable items (a quiver of 40 arrows, 6 torches etc.). A character can also stow smaller items in backpacks and bags (which each take up an inventory slot), but the additional number of slots that are provided by baggage may also not exceed the character's Strength ability score. Thus, a Thief with Strength 8 may have 8 slots for his ready-to-hand equipment as well as 8 slots of baggage for stowed away items. Worn clothing never takes up inventory slots.

Rules Discussion » House Rules? » 9/02/2014 3:56 pm

Galadrin
Replies: 74

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Ynas Midgard wrote:

...all hit dice are re-rolled and the new total is kept (unless it's lower than the previous total, in which case you simply increase your HP by 1).

Neat, this is always how I interpreted OD&D. The result was that high level characters always had pretty decent hit points, since a poor roll would always be replaced by a better one at a later level.

Everyone's house rules also reminded me of something I always do for Ability Scores, but never really thought of it as a house rule. Each player rolls 3d6 in order, but may roll as many sets as they want until they are happy with a set of scores. They can't "go back" or "save" a set, mind you—if they are fairly happy with a roll, they are better off settling on it and keeping it!

I actually got this from many roleplaying computer games, where you roll your stats in the beginning of the game but nothing is really stopping you from rerolling continuously. I figure if I often do it on a computer game, who am I to keep my players from doing the same. It also ends up with players really liking the characters they make, without sacrificing the old-school "3d6 in order" format.

Rules Discussion » House Rules? » 9/02/2014 3:52 pm

Galadrin
Replies: 74

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Yora wrote:

Spellcasting and spellcasting clases are almost completely replaced with the magic system from the D&D 3rd Edition Expanded Psionic Handbook. There is only mage (based on the framework of magicians) and warmage (based on cleric).

Ooh, how does this work? I'm not familiar with 3rd Edition.

Rules Discussion » House Rules? » 9/02/2014 10:56 am

Galadrin
Replies: 74

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I am generally loathe to indulge too greatly in house rules, but I have a couple I like for AS&SH (more or less swiped from DCC). What house rules do you maintain?

Starting Hit Points: Each character starts with a roll of their class hit die (plus Constitution modifier) and a bonus 1-4 hit points for being a zero-level character prior to adventuring.

Starting Weapon Skills: Each 1st level character may begin with one new weapon skill of their choice. Additional new weapon skills are gained at the regular intervals (q.v. Weapon Skill).

Rules Discussion » Making Magic Items Weird » 9/01/2014 11:38 am

Galadrin
Replies: 11

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Judge Khan wrote:

There's a book from Goblinoid Games called 'Realms of Crawling Chaos' that has some great Weird Artifact generation tables in it. Fits right into Hyperborea.

Gah, that's great advice, thanks. I have RoCC and I completely overlooked it. That does have some weird items in it, particularly in the d100 tables in the appendix. That might be all I need to keep players on their toes.

Rules Discussion » Making Magic Items Weird » 8/31/2014 9:41 pm

Galadrin
Replies: 11

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Thanks all for the replies and welcome! The AD&D DMG is a good suggestion—I'll have to check it out. To clarify, of course, I'm not just looking for magic items that have negative side effects when used. I'm actually most interested in magic items that are so powerful that they change the way a player plays the game. This is a dumb example, but a magic item that slowly made a character become ethereal would change how one plays his or her character.

To be honest, I got the idea from flipping through an old-school gamebook (basically a choose-your-own-adventure book with dice rolls) and I noticed how the player character would always treat new magic items with caution, stuffing a ring in his pocket until he could get it identified. Of course, this has everything to do with the limitations and style of gamebooks—every new item would come up for use at some critical point later on in the story, when suddenly the true purpose of the ring is revealed... Oh, you don't have the ring? Go to page 86...

While I'm not interested in simulating the mechanics of gamebooks, so that magic items just become keys to unlock predetermined obstacles, I am interested in capturing that sense of hesitation and wonder gamebook characters have when they stumble across something new and unknown. In my experience of D&D, most players respond to new magic items by just "throwing it on the pile" with the rest. Magic items should be very rare (without precluding other ways of supplying characters with +1 swords) and very weird. I'm not sure I can come up with sufficiently weird effects that also do not break he campaign, however...

Rules Discussion » Making Magic Items Weird » 8/30/2014 9:34 pm

Galadrin
Replies: 11

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Hail Krimmr! Long time PDF-owner and lurker, I just got the box set in the mail yesterday (it's gorgeous! The people who get the next book edition are going to miss out!) so I thought I'd post. My first thought when digging into the rules more deeply is that I wanted to make magic items more magical or weird.

Firstly, I am considering taking a page from HackMaster 5th Edition and saying that +X doesn't necessarily mean magic. Thus, a +1 shield simply becomes a Kimmerian masterwork item crafted from the pure iron of the Spiral Mountain Array (a skill forgotten by all but a few), a +2 sword is simply an Atlantean cold-forged blade fashioned from a lost antediluvian art of underwater steel-working and a +3 chain shirt is of original Hyperborean-make.

These items would of course remain as rare as their magical counterparts were. A magically enchanted (cursed?) item could be one of these exceptional creations or could be something more mundane, but in any case magic would be something far stranger than a bonus or a buff for combat. But this is where I need help developing the idea.

I think AS&SH does a good job at the magic-weirdness in general (viz. Robe of Eyes etc.), but I want magic items to be rare and to be real game-changers—as in, they change the way the party responds to the world. Magic items in my mind should always come at a price, with positive and negative effects built into a single item. For instance, imagine a ruby amulet that (once worn) instantly sucks the wearer's soul into its gem. On the downside, your soul is no longer part of your body (which falls limp whenever you're not wearing the amulet). On the other hand, as long as your amulet is safe, bodily destruction won't be the end of you. Maybe you can even dominate and subdue other souls (and commandeer their bodies) by putting the amulet around their necks. In any case, the way that player plays the game is instantly changed. I want magic items that are powerful and ambiguous enough to give p

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