Friday, July 26, 2013

Answering the Random Wizard...

This seems to the be the latest thing going around so...
(1). Race (Elf, Dwarf, Halfling) as a class? Yes or no?
I am not opposed to race as class mechanics.  Hell, I started with Moldvay in the summer of 1980.  On the other hand, I also enjoy the variation of race separated from class that came with AD&D and I recently discovered Swords & Wizardry: Complete and that is going to be a big influence on my fantasy gaming from here on out.  Short and sweet, no.

(2). Do demi-humans have souls?
Of course.  Every sentient being has a soul.

(3). Ascending or descending armor class?
BOTH - Swords & Wizardry.

(4). Demi-human level limits?
I will know when someone gets to that point.  I am thinking they will continue to advance but suffer some sort of higher XP requirement or something.

(5). Should thief be a class?
Yes.  A thief is a specialist but not the only character that can sneak, hide, etc; but they are more proficient at those types of activities.

(6). Do characters get non-weapon skills?
Yes, they get whatever is appropriate to their race, class, and background.  I try to shy away from a long list of ever expanding skills.

(7). Are magic-users more powerful than fighters (and, if yes, what level do they take the lead)?Certainly.  Just think of some of the spells coming down the line for magic-users.

(8). Do you use alignment languages?
No.  I could fly with stuff like a Demonic or Angelic tongue but NEVER one based purely on alignment alone. 

(9). XP for gold, or XP for objectives (thieves disarming traps, etc...)?
I am leaning towards no XP for gold.

(10). Which is the best edition; ODD, Holmes, Moldvay, Mentzer, Rules Cyclopedia, 1E ADD, 2E ADD, 3E ADD, 4E ADD, Next ?
The truth is that whatever edition you are playing and enjoying is the best edition.  For me, I have to say that Moldvay is the best - not because of rules or anything else similar - because it was there at my introduction to the hobby.  Yes, I have a soft spot for Moldvay, Holmes, and AD&D because of the late nights my buddies and I spent rolling dice and exploring dungeons until we had to succumb to slumber.  

Bonus Question: Unified XP level tables or individual XP level tables for each class?
Individual tables allow the "weaker" characters to advance faster than the "stronger" characters and serves as a better balancing factor than a unified XP table.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

[Mobile Post] Swords & Wizardry: Complete Arrived

After I posted about getting Swords & Wizardry: Complete through a trade, my wife arrived home withe package in hand.  I have not done an extensive read through yet but my first impression is that Swords & Wizardry: Complete is a near perfect match for the hybrid D&D/AD&D game my buddies and I played in our youth. I will write more as I read more...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Swords & Wizardry: Complete Arriving Soon...

I have downloaded several of the retro-clones but I have never purchased a print copy.  Through a book trade with a fellow blogger I have a copy of Swords & Wizardry: Complete on the way.  I had attempted to get a copy but I could not find one because it was all sold out everywhere.  Then I stumbled on to the chance to trade some of the works by a few of the Appendix N authors and a few of my unused gaming items for a copy.  Pretty excited about checking it out since I downloaded all of the Swords & Wizardry pdfs to help with a project I am working on.  A print copy will make it much more convenient. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

To The Stars! (Ideas for a Back to the Dungeon Sci-Fi Variant)

I have been a contributor to the neo-clone rpg over at Back to the Dungeon! for several different versions of the rules.  Now that Eric seems pretty satisfied with the rules, the focus has shifted to expanding the basic game.  Some of the areas for expansion include both of our campaign settings, variant rules, epic levels, modules, and a host of other topics.  One of my favorite ideas is a compatible science fiction game that uses as many of the base rules as possible with only the changes necessary for the science fiction genre.  Eric and I floated several ideas back and forth during some text messaging - I have expanded on some of them - and the basic ideas are listed below. 

Obviously, strip out the fantasy elements from the BttD RPG and then replace the appropriate sections with science fiction elements.  My goal is a generic sci-fi game that serves a role similar to D&D as a generic fantasy game.

The introduction should start by explain that science fiction was one of the early genres to be featured in role-playing games following the success of D&D and other early fantasy games.  Maybe make a mention or two of other example games such as Traveller or Star Frontiers.

Of course, Humans will be available for play.  *maybe the humans should have no attribute adjustments but the careers might modify the attributes?*  I am thinking that the best option may be to offer only humans in the base rules while alien races will be available in the setting descriptions.  There could also be mutant humans with psionic or other powers and Robot or Android characters.

Attributes & Generation
The original six attributes will most likely be used with the possible exception of replacing Wisdom with Will.  Attribute score generation should include a point distribution method along with the random die method. 

Classes (Careers?)
Some of the classes available for play might include:

Ace, Mercenary, Mystic, Scientist, Smuggler, Soldier

That is just a small list to serve as an example.  There should be many options available in the basic rules while the settings will offer even more.  I think an attempt should be made to have the careers be more fluid and open-ended than classes. 

While Back to the Dungeon has no specific skill rules, To the Stars will need to include them.

GM Stuff
Tables for generating planetary details like atmosphere, political climate, tech levels, religious climate, etc.  A short section on using both games - Back to the Dungeon and To the Stars - together in a crossover.

The Setting
There should be many and each one different in ways.  Each galaxy could be inspired by the basic premise of well known science fiction properties;  use the root idea as the base and then expand in different and original ways.  One galaxy could be based on Star Trek, another on Star Wars, another on BSG, and so on. 

Other Areas
Other topics that should be detailed in the rules include credits, equipment, a simple ship to ship combat system, military service, the different styles or genres of science fiction (50's, space adventure, hard science, etc.), adventure ideas, time travel, travelling to other worlds & dimensions, psionic powers, organizations, and more that I most certainly failed to mention so far.

It's a start...


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Behind the Scenes...

I do not have a lot to report but here are the latest things happening in the background that will most assuredly lead to some posts in the future.
Escape from Camp Blood: I am still jotting down ideas but would really like to get some serious work done on this board game.  The truth is, I do not have a tremendous amount of serious board game experience so the going has been kind of rough.  Eric at Memories of the Mayfly has been tremendously helpful with providing insight and ideas but I just have not had any solid ideas yet.  It will come along eventually but in the meantime I want to say "Thanks, Eric" and hope that the game starts to take shape soon.  It kind of sucks to be stuck in brainstorm and research mode with no real progress to show.  Soon, I hope to have something for us to make available for download.
Swords & Wizardry: After a bit of investigation I believe that I have settled on Swords and Wizardry for my standard retro-clone of choice; as in, games that stick pretty close to the older editions of D&D.  I think S&W does a fabulous job of it and I am working on a project right now with Venger that should be completed later this year.  The DCC RPG is still my all time favorite neo-clone type of game for all of the little changes it makes in the rules.
Toldara: I have two ongoing projects for my campaign world.  First, I need to complete the B/X campaign handbook; who knows, maybe I will whip up a S&W version also?  Second, I need to update the map with some geographical changes and additions.
USR:  I am still working on the zombie apocalypse adaptation of the USR system.  Most of my work has consisted of background and setting material because USR tends to fade into the background.  The biggest change is in the name of my project.  The name, OUTBREAK, is already taken by a small press rpg and also used for the title of a supplement to another game.  I have decided to either use REMNANTS or REMNANTS OF HUMANITY. 
In case you were wondering what has been going on behind the scenes, there it is...