Schedim's Blog

RPG meandering and stuff

Inspirational reading right now is:

The Queens Cavaliers: not only are the world building excellent, exciting and full of great ideas, the dice system is intriguing and my main focus right now is the near perfect character creation system.

Beyond the wall: a OSR clone with a unique and very interesting character generation system using innovative play books.

and last but not least:

Ambition and Avarice: another take on the OSR in which I take a particular interest in the the mechanics of Dungeon Rolls and Saving Rolls.

Lot of stuff on my mind …

… but here is a random inspiration of a defence system modifying the hit point system. Damage is measured in wounds (that are applied according to my wound matrix system that I still have to write an explanation that is acceptable to the human mind).

Weapon do their dice damage as ordinary, but defence work as folows:
the defendant allocate defensive dice from their HD pool and subtract that from the damage. The defendant may allocate the dice sub-sequentially after seen what roll their get. To each dice is the damage reduction from armour added.
The HD pool refreshed with rest and some dice may be recovered during the combat through special advantages and such stuff.

A outline of an XP independent Level system

While the XP still is used (in one way or another) to acquire skills, feats and stuff, the levelling in itself depends on other factors, namely the stations of the Hero’s Journey. To go from level 0 to 1, for an example, would be something qualify as Arming and Allying encounter (open to interpretaion). Depending on which station exactly performed could opens up different “classes”, options or magic.
It would take some work to do….

Of to google and see if there are any good collations of different Hero cycles.

Vancian Magic

I have always loved the Vancian magic system, and thus I (of course) tinkers with my own version of it.
In order to test it I have to dream up some spell, and here is a first one:

Agolixi’s Lengthy Blast
Strange translucent purple flames erupts from the palm of the magicians hand. The flames sears a cone shaped area, burning but never causing spreading fires, thus it can relatively safely be used indoors.
The drawback is that the range is quite short and the flame are too weak to cause any damage beyond a handful of steps.

For two combat rounds, 4d6 [fire] damage in a 60 degree cone from the Magicians hand, dropping 1d6 every other meter. The cone do not need to be in the same direction for both turns.
The flames do damage in every way as fire normally do, except that they never set anything aflame.

Probably about magnitude 3

Half-baked thoughts

The dungeon is actually restoring Nifelhel by memories dredged found drifting in the Place Between Worlds. The questing energies the delving parties expens in the dungeon, overcoming the challenges are mainly used to feed its dragon at the centre, but the part going to growing the dungeon in it self uses these memories to “stock”. This in order to further motivate the inhabitants of Nifelhel to Dungeon Delve more.
A dungeon grows in distinct layers, not unlike the growth rings of a tree. It starts with a seed lair (which is actually the dragon putting up some annoying and dangerous creature in a simple cave or ruin. When two of that Dragons lair has been cleared out by some lowly adventurer aspirants with enough sezt and gusto, they grow a linking “second level” and the Dragon scrape up some dregs there to give enough opposition to enterprising adventurers and thus create some feed for the Dragon.
When enough energy has been generated a third level of the Dungeon grows and connects three of Second levels dungeons (and they connects to in all six Lairs). These lairs may or may not be in this close physical relation, and the deeper the levels progress, the less likley are there that all Lair entrances to the same Dungeon are even located on the same world.
As a rule of thumb.
 Lair entrances connected to the same Second level is located within a hour or two march of each other.
 To the third Level the Lairs (through its three second levels) is located within a days march.
 The Fourth level usually has all entrances on the same continent.
 …
And so on.
Of course the deeper you get, the more possible it is that the local DungeonLord possess magic strong enough to create shortcuts or monsters powerful enough to bend reality, which may make the layout and structure less straight forward. Add to this secret doors, constructed dead-ends, accidental modifications and deliberate expansions and every Dungeon gets unique and Labyrintine.

I plan to use Inkwell ideas Geomorphic Dungeoncards (or something similar) to create the nodes at each level. Possibly by having each level having the level number of nodes (a bit apart) and each node being one or two cards in connection. I want to separate the nodes a bit and making each node into a more distinct place. The reason for this is that I want to get away from the trouble of “alarming the whole dungeon with one battle”-effect, or rather avoid needing a meta rationale to myself.
Also thinking about: when and why are the energy enough to grow a new level, and how do the growth manifest? Do it just blink into existence? Is it built by imps? Do stairs just appears where it was just a floor before? Though questions!

Notification!

I just discovered that the editor I use to blog don’t send notifications in a correct way. Sigh, why cant’t I find an editor that both suits me and works as inteded!

Not that I have produced that much lately, but I have begun to find my way out of the murky darkness now! So perhaps I can produce a bit more from now.

Erudtion on combat

I feel that the combat in my campaigns are to mechanic and drawn out. I want a more abstract but still involving and realistic. I want to get away from the blow by blow count that has become the standard. 

But my players range a big spectrum from the rules illiterate to the rules lawyer and I want to make them all comfortable.

So here is a sketch using a dice pool to simulate a exchange, a combat round in the time range of minutes rather than seconds. After a exchange there is a short pause in thein the fighting, time to make some decisions before join into the melee again. Time for check morale and poisons to take effects.

There are two topics still to address before I feel it can be tested for real, namely ranged weapons and helping each other (in the melee).

But here is the skeleton of the system:

Dice Feast Combat System

An abstract combat system summarising a multi-round melee.

A normal combat round

  • Decide up on weapon
  • Mark combat style choice/mandatory move.
  • Roll to check style success
  • Sum up number of dice from style and weapon, equals Combat Pool.
  • Roll dice and line them up versus opponent.
    •  Start with highest die result to left go down to the right.
      • If weapon die is equal to other die, put it in rightmost position.
    • If unequal number of dice, start shorter line with lowest die versus opponents highest die.
  • Apply eventual strike rank bonus (default is to remove one of opponents unpaired die, i.e. Speedy Defence Advantage).
  • Apply eventual bonus result of weapon max or min roll.
  • Apply shield.
  • Apply eventual Combat Style effects.
  • Calculate strikes (i.e. higher die minus lower die) and mark on the losers side.
  • Calculate wounds i.e. how many strikes are higher than targets DR
  • Check for Critical strike i.e. sum of Strikes are higher than targets total remaining Wounds.
  • Narrate the result!

Common Combat situations

Usually a combat occurs between two forces, the Players side and a group of The Game-masters minions. The GMs pool can be divided into two types, a pool of mob dice that are divided equally between the Player Characters entering the Melee (symbolising the low level mob, Goblins, zombies etc) and a Boss Pool that can only be divided between a limited number of player characters (not uncommonly only focusing on one PC at a time).

Weapons

Each weapon used is represented by a card placed at the appropriate place in the combat board. On the card there are instructions for any special effects of the weapons, in general there is at least two: effects of 1s and a Lucky Number. In addition to this is also a die noted, this is the die added to the combat pool, this die should stand apart from all other dice as this is the die which the Lucky Number is generated by (I plan to use a Barrel die for this).

Effects of 1s

Almost all weapons has a drawback and that is resolved as is instructed under this heading. One of the more common instruction is to remove every other dice showing 1s, but it can be much more severe than this.

Lucky Number

This is what number at the Weapon die that causes the weapons special effect to trigger, sometimes this effect may affect other dice in the pool and not just the weapon die.. This special effect may also be triggered by using special combat manoeuvres.

 

Still empty of words …

But here is a link with a interesting plot inspiration topic :

http://www.damninteresting.com/the-phantom-time-hypothesis/

Later

Map Symbols: Landforms & Terrain

Schedim:

Fantastic cartographic source of inspiration!

Originally posted on Making Maps: DIY Cartography:

00_opener_invert.jpg

Erwin Raisz is among the most creative cartographers of the 20th century, known in particular for his maps of landforms.

In 1931 Raisz outlined and illustrated the methods behind his landform maps, in an article in the Geographical Review (Vol. 21, No. 2, April 1931). Excerpts from the text and graphics in the article are included below.

Raisz’s approach is to create complex pictorial map symbols for specific landform types. Each specific application, of course, would have to modify the symbols to fit the configuration of particular landforms.

One of the limitations of Raisz’s work is that it is so personal and idiosyncratic that it virtually defies automation or application in the realm of computer mapping. Thus digital cartography has, in some cases, limited the kind of maps we can produce.

Raisz writes:

There is one problem in cartography which has not yet been solved: the depiction of the scenery…

View original 427 more words

MTU, my Traveller universe

I really like the one who coined this term. I don’t know who it was and haven’t really made any effort to find out either. But it is such a practical label. If you start with that, you avoid any confusion that may lead to flame wars with Canon Preachers and such ilk. 

Anyway, in My Traveller Universe, I aim to have a bit more rigid life-path system, the first example follows here with the “Growing up in Aeterna Respublica Galactica Humanitas” document.

This illustrates the beginning life-path for the majority of the humans. There will certainly exist other starts, but this is for those who grows up in civilised environments.

Character Life start.pdf

And I really need to do a conformation of skill lists. There are too many of those zipping around in my head now.

And as a bonus here is a flowchart I’ll use to plan how the different careers connects, it will probably be too unvieldy to use quite fast, but it is a starting point.

Describing the Life-path structure of character development

 

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