Tuesday 9 October 2018

Putting G+ to Death

It's here. The death of Google+. Long prophesied.
To jump on the back of Chris' post here, even though I doubt I've got as much reach as him, here's some options.


We've got an OSR Discord. It's pretty chill.


There's a possibility that the scene gets more blog-heavy again, just like old times!
There's an OSR Blog Roll building up in Sheets, add your blog there. Contrary to what you might believe, the OSR blog scene is still pumping and there are new authors all the time, so get on it!
My blog roll on the sidebar there has a bunch of blogs, but it's hard to keep up!


There's a possibility that there will be a migration towards MeWe, another obscure social platform nobody cares about.
Is another obscure site the real way forward? Should we be worried about the weird free speech bent to the site? So many questions!
Anyway, I'm there as James Young for now.


A number of people are on Facebook, but the signal-to-noise ratio in facebook groups is fucking abysmal. Either way, I'm James Young there too.

Monday 1 October 2018

Dungeon Masterchef - A Cooking Subsystem

As my campaign world slips ever-closer to its inevitable end, a very mundane question has arisen.

What the fuck do we eat?

With the precipitous decline of the human population as a consequence of a third of all plants dying and all water being fucking poison and, you know, all the demons and undead stalking the land, a fundamental pillar of the standard D&D game has been shattered - the humble home base.

No longer is there a convenient village within walking distance of the dungeon entrance where you can flip open your equipment list and buy some rations and ropes on the cheap. Because everybody's fucking dead.

And so my players huddle in a cave just inside of Dwimmermount, hoping that they'll be able to obtain the azoth they need to maybe stop the apocalypse, their supply of iron rations slowly dwindling, hoping that the various dungeon creatures here will be edible enough to stave off starvation.

A perfect time to become a DUNGEON CHEF!!!

- Rules Summary
- Deliciousness table
- Dinner Perks table
- Known Recipes
- Known Ingredients
- Exotic Ingredient Side Effects


The world's smallest taco

Hors d'Oeuvres

The key concepts in tl;dr:

You can eat food to heal.

Take a break. Minor HP recovery during the day.
Long rest. Major HP recovery overnight.


You can eat food for buffs.

Dinner Perks. A delicious dinner grants you a boost until your next long rest!
Exotic Ingredients. Monster flesh and other weird stuff can grant strange powers and mutations!


There are two types of food.

Iron Rations. Basic bitch adventurer food. No use-by date. Calorie-dense but unappetising and you'd never eat this if something else was available. Dry nuts, chewy meats, hard cheese and stale biscuits. The Huel of the D&D culinary world.

Proper Meals. Now we're talking! Fresh ingredients cooked into a hot meal, from fortifying and hearty stews to tender brisket and leafy greens! A good chef can concoct a delicious meal from even the lowliest of ingredients, filling adventurers with good health and good cheer!

Stackable wheat crisps topped with soft cheese and chorizo

A Quick Bite

Eat food to heal during the adventuring day!

Taking a break takes a ten minute Exploration Turn and involves eating food, adjusting your bags, hyping yourself up, and treating minor wounds.

Iron Rations
Heal 1d6 HP.

Proper Meals
Heal 1d6 HP by default, but get improved healing up the dice chain based on how many unique Ingredients the meal has and how Delicious it is.

Dice chain:
0 > 1d2 > 1d4 > 1d6 > 1d8 > 1d10 > 1d12 > 1d12+1 > 1d12+2 > etc

The primary means of improving the meal's Die Size is to add more ingredients:
+1 Die Size per unique ingredient.
The secondary means of improving the meal's Die Size is to improve its Deliciousness.
Up to +3 Die Size based on Deliciousness (see Get Cooking below)

Food takes the place of standard Healing Potions in my game.
Cheap mid-delve healing at the risk of a Random Encounter.
Iron Rations are perfect for this because you don't need to cook them. Bringing a lunchbox of cooked food in the dungeon is even better though!

Crumbed chicken with salt-tossed sweet potato strips

The Main Meal

Eat food to regain HP rapidly overnight, and get a boost the whole next day!

A Long Rest is a night of peaceful sleep.

Overnight Healing
As per my house rules:

Importantly, if you have food and shelter you upgrade from Vagrant to Comfortable conditions.
Tents and food are important on wilderness trips - tents are easy shelter, rations are easy food.

Iron Rations
Easy but uninspiring. With shelter, upgrades you to Comfortable conditions as above.

Proper Meals
A sufficiently delicious meal unlocks an additional Dinner Perk!
These range from further improving overnight healing rates to temporarily boosting an ability score.
Dinner Perks last until your next Long Rest, so you get them for the whole next day.

This has already led to players getting back to their base camp and cooking up a nice meal for all their friends, which I really dig.

Naturally it's also led to one player becoming obsessed with harvesting meat from dead creatures to taste their exotic flavours. Just as planned...

I was going to illustrate with amusingly nicely arranged oven food, but I was legit proud of this salmon with balsamic glaze on quinoa salad.

Get Cooking!

Now that you know the benefits, you'll want to know how to cook!

Ready Steady
Cooking a meal requires fire and half an hour.
In a dungeon, cooking doubles the chance of random encounters
Enterprising gourmands might use this to their advantage.

Each Ingredient is a standard ration. You make as many servings as standard rations you put in.
Iron Rations can be used to bulk out a meal - an extra serving per Iron Ration - at the cost of flavour.

Don't Ask How the Sausage is Made
If you're a player, this is all you need to tell me:

1. What Ingredients are you using?
2. Do you apply any modifiers?
3. Tell me the final deliciousness and we'll see what happens!


Here's the backend.

A unique combination of ingredients is a Recipe. If you're the first to make it, name it!
Each recipe has a Base Deliciousness (2d8). Some dishes take more work to make them tasty.
Each recipe has a Dinner Perk (see d100 Perks table). You'll get the same perk each time you make this recipe.

Anyone can make a tasty meal with a well-stocked kitchen and a bit of effort.
Those without the proper equipment will just have to do their best.

Take the Base Deliciousness and apply these modifiers:
Then look up the result on this table:
The more delicious the better!

Dinner Perks
The big gimmick, Dinner Perks.
Have a tasty or delicious meal for dinner and you get a Dinner Perk.
Eat a truly superb meal for dinner and you get an upgraded version of the perk!

The big one for chefs is the bonus per time you've cooked the meal before. The more you cook, the better you get! 
The good part is that we've got one person who's bang into this cooking system now and they're doing most of the cooking... but the downside is when they're not there everyone's like "fuck we don't have our chef!"

Halflings are naturally better cooks. Obviously that's why they have so have so many elevenses and second breakfasts.

Yes, there's a 1/100 chance of taking minimal damage from fire because you ate something yummy for dinner last night. It'd be amazing if that's the recipe that involves a lot of risky exotic ingredients!

You may have seen "weather effects" in the 21-30 result and wondered what those are.
Fog, rain, high wind: Half overland speed, double chance of getting lost off-road.
Extreme heat: 1 Con damage per four hours of travel.
Sheer cold: 1d6 Con damage per four hours of travel unless wearing cold weather gear.
Four hours of travel lines up with the time between encounter rolls.
These feel a little boring so if someone has better weather mechanics out there I'd love to see them!

The apocalypse might go six-dimensional weather soon with Raining Blood and Lacerated Sky and shit on there so it'll get more interesting soon I promise!

I actually ate this bad boy - legitimately delicious cooked, like a bacon sausage.

Experimental Dishes

Exotic Ingredients are those from strange sources.
Living plants, mutant beasts, the flesh of sentient beings.
There are even rumours, some say, of a Fifth Meat...

Monster Mash
Exotic Ingredients have weird and wonderful effects, unique per creature.
When you eat an exotic ingredient, roll 1d10 on the respective table (See: Exotic Side Effects) and see what happens...

I want Fugu!
Some creatures can be prepared properly to reduce the risk or get some extra bonus - like boiling Green Slime to make it edible or grinding up dried Fire Beetle glands to make Beetle Spice.
Such things are noted in the Ingredients section.

This is straight from the Monster Menu-All, obviously.
Eat monsters to get weird powers.

Black mole best mole

Local Produce

Last but not least - hunting and gathering!
Now that fresh food grants boons and healing, it's beneficial to go hunting for fresh food even if you've got iron rations to spare!

When you spend the day foraging, roll Bushcraft with a modifier based on terrain.
On success, gain 1d4 Standard Rations of the following type:
These are broad categories of Ingredient, but you can choose exactly what it is you found if you like. 
Common forage could include nettles, dandelion leaves and berries.
Special forage might be plump mushrooms or wild onions.
Small game includes hare, grouse, duck and other small animals.

When you spend the day fishing, roll Bushcraft with a bonus equal to your Sailing score.
On success, gain 1d4+Sailing score Standard Rations of fish.

Every ten minutes spent butchering a creature yields 1d6 Standard Rations.
Maximum butchering rolls are based on the size of the creature.

Terrain table directly from LotFP.
I was going to do a Foraging table but it's so season- and biome-dependent that it didn't seem worth it, especially since I've got no experience of foraging myself! I figure if a player is into it they'll be able to do a better job of saying what they found than I ever could!

LotFP has a thing where you reduce your overland speed if you're hunting... but in practice people only bother hunting for food if they're waiting for their friends to heal up so they tend to come back to base camp anyway.

Fishing gives some ROI on Sailing score - mostly because I feel guilty about that skill being so very niche. People tend to put "Sailing" as one of their skills if they roll a fisherman Failed Career so this works for me.

Butchering takes some time if you want to use the whole beast, so you're best lugging corpses out of the dungeon and butchering them at the camp.

Battered goujons with tomato reduction schmear


Last but not least, the chefs who inspired me.

This subsystem owes most of itself to the Unified Food Theory post by Dan (aka Dandyman on Discord) over at Throne of Salt. Drawing together a multitude of food-related posts into one place is what made this happen!
Primary amongst these is the Eating Good in the Dungeonhood post at Occultesque which has the more-ingredients-mean-more-healing bit.

The other big hitter is the Monster Menu-All  over at Coins and Scrolls. Of course it's Interesting to eat monsters! They're monsters!