Saturday, 24 May 2014

Quick Class Breakdowns

Here they are, all the tweaked/new classes in one package.
And it's a PDF so you know I'm a class act. Get it. Hohoho.

 
Click here to download





To make it easier for people, particularly newbies, to pick a class I created these handouts. 
Each has a quick summary, a larger bit of inspirational text to get them in the groove, and then the special rules they have. It's nice for people to have a sheet of paper next to their character sheet for them to look over at their leisure, and it insulates people from learning all the rules at once.
If you're a fighter you don't need to know how magic works mechanically, and it can be a nice surprise when somebody does something like Cleave and everybody else goes "woah you can do that?" because they haven't seen those rules yet. 

For explanations as to why I made the changes I did, look to the posts I've done on classes this past couple of months.

In more detail,
Cleric
Fighter
Magic-User
Specialist 
Dwarf
Elf
Goblin
Halfling
Muscle Wizard
Necromancer
Barbarian
Ratman


Dwarven Lorebonds. 
Elven heartspell stuff (updated when necessary - ie. a player's elf gets near that level)

Also necessary, the Chaos Burst tables. I use Excel roll a d20000 and look up the result!
Chaos Burst 1
Chaos Burst 2
Both Elves and Magic Users are affected by Chaos Bursts (Muscle Wizards never get interrupted, Necromancers just blast out uncontrolled death)


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Devils Embody Virtue AND a devil-based murder mystery

Devils are beings of paradox.
While demons are the horrible alien monsters from beyond the veil of magic that come out of a Summon spell, Devils are beings who tempt people to Sin.

I call them devils rather than demons because it seems as good a differentiator as any, especially with the traditional D&D demon/devil split. They feed upon the sin of intelligent beings, and each Devil resembles and feeds upon a particular Deadly Sin above all others.
But is very difficult to breed Sloth if you yourself are Slothful, and very difficult to drive a man mad with Lust if you allow him to satisfy that Lust.
You've got to tempt them, you've got to build it up and never give them the moment of catharsis they crave. 
A Devil of Wrath is actually very patient in its work to fill people with anger and hatred.

So while they beget Sin, they embody Virtue.

Lust - Chastity
Gluttony - Temperance
Greed - Charity
Sloth - Diligence
Wrath - Patience
Envy - Kindness
Pride - Humility




They look like the guy on the left, but act like the guy on the right.

 
The other thing with devils is that they start off small (like the little devil on your shoulder, or an Imp), and as they feed on Sin they grow larger.
In the beginning they can be satisfied by the sins of one man, but as they feed and grow they need more. The greatest devils are many storeys tall when manifested, sustained by the collective sins of an empire.

The most powerful devils outsource the actual tempting to armies of lesser devils, but never of the same sin as themselves. You don't want your minions sucking up all the Greed when you're a Greed devil so you let some Envy devils to go around doing their thing on your turf in exchange for playing up the Greed angle too. If you can get your minions to feel Greedy while they're at it you've hit the fucking jackpot.

Sloth and Wrath devils don't work together very well.
Lust and Envy devils get along like a house on fire.

If you meet a devil he might ask you to do good guy stuff and make the world a better and more virtuous place in this particular town because he wants to starve out a rival.


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To round this post out, here is a devil from my game who was a the centre of a vampire mystery.
The setup was that people in this village were being found dead with their throats ripped out and everyone suspected a vampire. An angry mob was going around killing anyone they suspected of being a vampire, but the killings kept happening.
Every time they were about to give up a baby would die or something and they'd be riled right back up into angry mob mode.

There were a bunch of extra red herrings and stuff, like the parish priest and a nearby hill where the original vampire was meant to live but actually contained an unrelated powerful old mad wizard (a relocated Willibald Schwartz), but that's the gist of it.

It's not a vampire, it's a devil of Wrath who is patiently riling up the townsfolk and getting fat off of their anger. 
His main deal is he spreads into people, and he can manifest by tearing his way out of their throat. He spreads into anybody in the area who witnesses an atrocity being commited and does nothing. Needless to say, everyone alive in the village is infected. The only way to truly kill the guy is for the whole party to slaughter every man, woman and child in the village.
Anybody who goes "I can't take part in this" and watches their fellow party members wipe out the village is a new and unwitting host.
Not that they've got any easy way to find this out, although at some point the parish priest might be found dead from suicide in front of an old tome from the church archives containing said information.


If you're patient enough to line this many dog turds up along a footpath, you deserve to be a devil.



Gangrelheart - Wrath Devil

MV man HD 2 AC 12 ATK 1 DMG 1d6 ML 10
Aura of Wrath - Everyone nearby must save vs Magic each round or attack a random target with whatever they have to hand.

If it gets down to combat, Gangrelheart's whole deal is he just sits there in the middle of a crowd of villagers and giggles and gets fatter and fatter while everyone beats the shit out each other. When someone kills him he just bursts out of someone else's throat and keeps doing the same thing.

Hopefully this will be infuriating. Give him a really annoying accent and a cruel but high pitched voice. He makes weird noises in his throat a lot too like he's constantly hoiking up the same bit of phlegm then chewing it a little and swallowing it back down.


Also be sure to emphasise that the villagers are fucking mad
Like killing is usually hard because inside all of us is this core of empathy which makes it difficult to straight up kill a man, which is why in the modern day we have to hide behind a gun and boxers have to learn to punch through their target and soldiers are taught to dehumanise their enemy.
Make it clear that these villagers think of their friends and neighbours as useless fucking bags of meat and bone and skin and they will smash the shit out of them until they stop moving then smash them some more and no remorse will be felt by either party.


In my game he struck a deal with the party (that is, a devil's bargain. ho ho.) to leave the citizens of this particular village alone as long as the party would help him spread to other villages on their travels.
But Devils of Wrath are nothing if not patient, and it's not like a devil to stick to the intent of a bargain.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Barbarian

This is the last of the classes on offer (currently) in my home game.
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Base class: HD, saves and exp track of the Fighter.
Unique: Even more so than any other class, every barbarian is different. At first level, and each level thereafter, the Barbarian gets their hit points as normal then rolls twice on the Barbarian Level Up table.
Fuck armour: Barbarians never wear armour. Luckily their toughness, luck and/or protective tattoos grant them a natural AC of 14 makes them immune to the effects of extreme weather.
Fuck magic: Barbarians hate magic. Back home all sorcerors are evil and old habits die hard.
A Barbarian’s fists count as magic vs creatures immune to mundane weaponry.
They may save vs any spell from a Chaotic source, especially those that usually grant no save.
Rolling a 20 on the save means the barbarian temporarily “eats” the spell. This negates the spell’s effects completely, makes their tattoos and eyes glow a cool thematic colour, and lets them unleash the spell on the next person they hit in combat. They may not necessarily know what the spell does though.
Fuck pain: Barbarians don’t feel pain. Once per day they can go berserk for one round/level. A berserking barbarian gets+3 strength, -3 AC, adds their strength modifier to damage and cannot die.
If taken below 0HP they take death crits as normal, except that all negative modifiers due to pain are reversed and they feel no effects from injuries until the rage ends.
If they run out of enemies to kill while raging they will attack anything else nearby at random.
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The Barbarian is meant to be your now-usual raging smashy man (or lady), rather than your classic sneaky Conan type. Specialists have that niche locked up tight.
They are also a sort of equal-and-opposite counterpart to the Muscle Wizard. Both are a bit gonzo compared to the other classes and both are geared towards close combat, but the Muscle Wizard uses magic where the Barbarian actively resists it.

The Barbarian is Unique in another way, they use Zak's Barbarian table to see what they get whenever they level up. The idea being that Barbarians all come from somewhere Far Away and are all somehow different to each other.
Gamewise, a 60% chance to get a to-hit bonus per level means they tend to stay behind the Fighter in terms of raw fighting ability, and means they get a bunch of cool variant abilities too.
The first guy to roll a Barbarian in my game got a +1 to hit and a bonus to armour which meant he had 16 AC at first level, not bad.

Fuck Armour is to keep things traditional. Real barbarians don't wear armour, although spiky shoulder pads and various accoutrements are ok I guess.
Due to their beefy toughness, luck, and/or status as favoured of the Gods they have Leather Armour levels of natural protection, which as an extra perk it can't be ignored by firearms and crossbows, etc.


Fuck magic is to make the Barbarian a wizard killer and because barbarians versus sorcerors is pretty classic pulp fantasy. And because I felt a need to balance out the extra magic classes I added. If you've got sorcerer problems you're definitely calling in a Barbarian.
Punching magic-immune enemies is due to Joesky. That's a good rule and no mistake. Barbarians also save vs any spell, including the ones that give no save like Sleep, which is how you know your job is to ruin a wizard's day.
Eating spells is because I hope that one day I will witness somebody will charge at a wizard, negate his Lightning Bolt, and smash it back into his puny wizard jaw.

Fuck pain because berserking Barbarians is a thing now. Get bonuses to fighting and kill-killing for a short time and become IMMUNE TO DEATH ITSELF. Even if you are fighting someone in a lava pit or something you will destroy whatever you're attacking until your last breath.
You still take damage and Death & Dismemberment effects like arms getting chopped off or stab wounds to the heart still happen but crucially do not affect you and in fact, with the whole pain-reversal thing, make you more angry.
And then when the rage is over you collapse to the floor dead from many wounds but god damn did you make that beast choke on its own acid blood before you succumbed.
This could mean that you keep on fighting after something's chopped off your head but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Of course, if everything's dead you start attacking your friends until you calm down which is also pretty standard as far as barbarian rages are concerned.