Saturday, July 12, 2014

A 5E Hit Die House Rule Idea



I have finished reading through the 5E Basic Rules I had printed out at Office Depot.  Although I was very skeptical before the release of any 5E product, I am very happy that my initial suspicions were unfounded.  I am looking forward to getting the Starter Set in several days and I have been coming up with ideas for adventures when I get a home campaign up and running. 
 
This is the first Wizards edition of D&D that I want to play by the book.  The course of D&D has been righted with this release and I am very much looking forward to getting the PHB.  I had originally intended to wait until I evaluated the Starter Set and played a few sessions but I am enjoying the Basic Rules enough that I am ready to dive in.
 
I am in no rush to get started on a big list of house rules.  I have not even played a session yet.  It seems like a pretty solid rule set and I do not want to go messing around with it before I give the rules as written a good workout.  That does not mean I have no ideas for any house rules at all.  I do, in fact, have an idea or two that I may implement in the future to see how well they work in actual play.

Hit Die
I think the Hit Die for Fighters (d10) and Clerics (d8) is perfect.  I think it makes sense that the Rogue and Wizard both use a smaller Hit Die than the Cleric and Fighter; they both use a d6.  I am thinking of changing the Hit Die for Rogues to a d6 and for Wizards to a d4 for no other reason than to fit my perception.  

Page 7 of the Basic Rules state that “…hit points define how tough your character is in combat and other dangerous situations.”  It makes more sense to me to have the Rogue less tough than the Cleric because the Cleric represents a type of warrior priest instead of a devout member of the clergy.  It makes sense for the Wizard to also be less tough than the Rogue and the other classes as well.  I wonder if a d4 is too low.  I did double check the B/X rules and both the Thief and Magic-User use a d4 for hit points.  Interesting.

Final Thoughts
Who knows if I will implement this change any time soon.  I can see a few things that I could start working on right now.  New races, classes, backgrounds, and trinkets come to mind pretty quickly.  I believe I will wait on most of these to see what is in the PHB.  Why duplicate something that is coming out in an official write up in a short while?  If I work on anything else it will probably be trinkets because that would be a small investment of time if something was duplicated.  Have any of you experimented with any house rules yet?  Do you have a new race, class, or a rules mod you would like to share?     
 

[Steampunk Saturday] The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello


I was searching for steampunk stuff and found this short film from 5 years ago.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

5 Quick Adventure Ideas



I have been reading through the 5E Basic Rules I had printed out at Office Depot.  The Starter Set was not readily available early in my area and I did not pre-order from Amazon but I am getting one as soon as it hits the stores.  In the meantime, I have been writing down ideas for adventures when I get a home campaign up and running.  These are just quick fire ideas that are not fully fleshed out.  I am keeping this list here for future use and maybe someone else can use them also.

Quick Adventure Ideas

A local trade caravan has recently fallen victim to several raids.  The characters have been hired to guard the caravan on its trade route.

Rumors have been circulating among the town folk about the dead rising from the grave.  The local law enforcement has dismissed it as drunken ramblings but when they investigated further there were disturbed graves with foot prints leading away from them.

The local gold mine has hit a dry spell so the miners have started digging deeper for a new vein.  The miners that have been down to the lower levels speak of “something” lurking in the dark that attacks some of the workers.  Recently, several of the workers have disappeared during their shift.

The last surviving member of a local, wealthy family has not been seen for months and their manse has been silent.  Suddenly, people have seen sporadic lights and movement in the windows.  Has a member of the family returned?  Are their squatters staying in the place?  The magistrate has posted an announcement looking for a group of people to investigate further.

A local lord’s daughter has come up missing.  Did she run off with her boyfriend? Was she taken for ransom? Did she run off and join the new cult in town? Is the answer something even more sinister?


I am ready to start playing ASAP!

Discussion of Adventures in Fantasy (Arneson & Snider)

Just a heads up here, but it you are interested in discussion of the mechanics and/or possible house rules for Arneson & Snider's Adventures in Fantasy role playing game then head on over to The Comeback Inn and join the discussion.  Currently, the efforts seem to be on house rules for cleaning up and clarifying the game.  I hope these are gathered together in an unofficial supplement at some point.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

[Toldara] The Fractured Faith of Humanity



Reading over the D&D Basic Rules has got my creative juices flowing.  I had a few ideas about religion in my campaign world of Toldara but I never got past a few notes here and there.  I tapped into that creativity and was able to jot down more than just a few simple notes.  This is just an initial attempt at detailing the most practiced human faith of Toldara but this is a good starting point for expanding at some point later in time.

--------------------------------- 

The faiths and religious movements of Toldara are just as varied as our modern world.  Even among members of different faiths there are often shared themes, doctrines, and other similarities.  The religion with the highest number of adherents when doctrinal differences are ignored is the Fractured Faith of humanity.  Even when each denomination is considered separately the number of followers is still rather large.

The Fractured Faith
The Fractured Faith began as one movement, The Faith, among the various areas of humanity in the First Age.  Towards the end of that age and on into the Second Age, The Faith began splintering due to regional differences and then various doctrinal differences began surfacing.  Eventually, these disagreements led to new factions to splinter off from the original church.  

Many of the religious paths share several similarities – holy books, holy sites, practices, holidays, etc. – but are separated by some prominent differences such as prophets, holy day, translations, and even more areas.  Nearly all of the various factions in the Fractured Faith are in complete agreement about the following subjects:

  • A belief in one god responsible for the act of primary creation.
  • The adherents often refer to this god as "The One" or "The Creator".
  • They believe the name and nature of The One is incomprehensible.
  • The One uses minor gods to interact with the mortals.
  •  Approximately one-third of the minor gods were led in a rebellion by Grax to overthrow The One.



Some of the more prominent divisions in the Fractured Faith include:

The Combined Path: This faction believes that no single fragment of the old faith has all of the answers so they look to the teachings and beliefs of all the various factions of the Fractured Faith to guide their spirituality.

The Scripturists: This faction believes that only the words of the Holy Scriptures should be their guide in determining matters of the faith.  Simply put, only scripture can guide or lead to understanding of other passages; the words of men may be able to enhance but can never supersede the words of The One.

The Purists: This faction believes that only The One is worthy of worship or adoration and do not recognize the minor gods as anything other than something comparable to angels.

The Orthodox Branch: This faction is an attempt to revive the early form of the religion in the modern era. 

The Revelationists: This faction believes that a prophet who receives revelation from The One guides their sect.  These teachings and revelations are gathered together and added to their Holy Scriptures as time passes. A new prophet is selected when the current prophet dies.  There has been several disagreements on who the selection of the new prophet at times.

Church of Grax: This is the movement that has sided with the rebellious minor gods and they work in direct opposition to the Fractured Faith.

Every human city has a temple or meeting place for one of these factions.  It is very common for the larger cities to have several of these sects represented in their community.  Some of the factions are peaceful towards each other while others are very nearly hostile when it comes to interacting with the others.  Obviously, the Church of Grax is in direct opposition to all of the other groups.

CURSE OF THE DRAGON SLAYER Trailer

I stumbled upon this low-budget fantasy movie on Netflix about a week ago.  It reminds me of the fantasy films from the 1980s and it's still better than any of the D&D movies.  I know I have seen it mentioned in my G+ feed a time or two but I have yet to see the trailer shared so I decided to share it.

Friday, July 4, 2014

5E Basic Rules - Short and Simple

Like many in the role-playing blogosphere, I downloaded the free 5E Basic Rules document yesterday.  After a few minutes of browsing the information I got on the Office Depot site and looked into getting the document printed and bound to make it easier to read further; I am one of the old guys so I prefer physical books in my hand.  The price was right - just $14.06 for card stock covers and coil binding - so I ordered it and it was ready two hours later.  I have been reading through it off and on ever since I picked up yesterday.

I am not going to bore you with any details or a complete review in this post but I am going to keep it short and simple - Wizards, you have my attention and I am interested in seeing more.  My original intention was to get the Starter Set and evaluate from there.  That changed when I discovered that character creation would not be included in the boxed set.  Then I decided to go with these Basic Rules after it was revealed it would include character creation rules.  Now I WILL be getting the Starter Set when it hits my FLGS.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Playing Catch Up

Well, it has been almost a most without a post on this blog.  For anyone interested, I am not shuttering the windows and barring the doors.  The bus manufacturing business really picks up in the summer time and this year has been particularly busy so far.  While my pocket book might not be hurting, my free time has taken a hit so the blog had to be put on the back burner for a bit.  I suspect I will be posting somewhat regularly in the near future so here is a summary of what I have been doing and what is coming in the future.

Forums
While I have not had a lot of spare time to devote to blog posts, I have been reading and posting at OD&D Discussion and The Comeback Inn sporadically here and there.  I have become quite interested in further investigating gaming from the Arneson perspective.  I was even able to track down a copy of Dragons at Dawn through these boards.

A Second Look at Adventures in Fantasy
All of the discussion about Arneson and his gaming methods has prompted me to delve back in and take a second look at Adventures in Fantasy.  The main focus will begin on pointing out problem areas in the rules that need addressed.  Once that is completed, the solutions will be gathered together in a Book of House Rules & Clarifications.  From there, I plan on at least taking a serious look at assembling a game built in reaction to the problems I have had with AiF similar to the way T&T was developed as a reaction to D&D years ago.  Other posters at the forums above have expressed interest so I hope this little project takes off.

SteamCraft Kickstarter
The funding for the SteamCraft supplements has been successful with $2,077 of the $850 goal raised.  There is only 58 hours left to buy in.  If you are interested, then follow this link for details.  You can get the entire product line from core rules to all of these supplements & adventures in pdf or print through this offer and the prices are very reasonable.

Themed Posting
At some point in the future themed posting - Toldara Tuesday, Steampunk Saturday, etc. - will return to the blog on a consistent basis.

Vacation & MagiQuest
We recently went on a family vacation to Six Flags Over Texas and The Great Wolf Lodge for a very relaxing time away.  Among the various things to do on our stay, my 7 year old son noticed the live-action role playing game MagiQuest from all of the other young males wandering around pointing their wands at jewels, paintings, and treasure chests scattered around the resort. I am pretty confident about what my son enjoyed the most about vacation.  More details in a later post. 

Reading
I am currently reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin and Dragons at Dawn by D.H. Boggs. 

That should have all the bases covered.  I am going to return to enjoying the first Friday off in a while... 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

BBC Radio 4 Extra: Dicing With Dragons

This radio broadcast from BBC Radio 4 was recently brought to my attention.  I had never listened to it before.  In case anyone else is interested in hearing it, the show can be found at the BBC Radio page.

SteamCraft Supplements Kickstarter Update

This is just a quick update on the SteamCraft RPG: The Supplements Edition kickstarter that I backed and mentioned a few posts ago.  The initial funding goal was met pretty quickly and by the third day or so the first stretch goal was reached!  The funding currently sits at $1,307 pledged on a $850 goal with 29 days left to pledge.  I have my fingers crossed that at least a few more of the stretch goals will be met.  This is their second kickstarter and it follows their successful kickstarter for the SteamCraft core rule book. 

For anyone interested in steampunk role-playing this is a great opportunity to go "all in" at two very reasonable price levels: $40 for pdf products and $75 for print products.  The products you will receive for funding at either of these levels include the SteamCraft RPG core rules, the Wake the Dead adventure parts one to three, and the Shadows Over Newport supplement. With either of these you will also receive a pdf of the Ironskeep Introductory Adventure that will teach the game to new players as they explore the city of Ironskeep and the nearby areas; this is the first stretch goal.  Either way you decided to go you will get six products for a very good price.