Schedim's Blog

RPG meandering and stuff

The funnel of realisations

While tinkering and toiling with the Nifelhel version of the Dungeon’God concept, I was struggling with the starting point for the characters. I had some vague idea that they where Thawed that suddenly waked up to their destiny, but it never sat well with me, it lacked … something. It caused me to wander away from it for a while.
But a couple of days ago when I was sitting and reading the fabulous “5th edition funnel” I realised, that this was how people and heroes was introduced into the world!

Dungeon’God was fishing them out of the limbo where the abandoned population of Nifelhel went, resurrects them with the absolute minima of functionality and equipment. Then have them run the gauntlet of a Dungeon to create som conflict-power that Dungeon’God subsist on. The terms forced upon them to gain their freedom and life renewed was either to find keys hidden away in a weird dungeon complex or be the last surviving of five.

My thought is that with, say, five players, there are twentyfive zero-levels characters that are divided between them. Either randomly or by drafting, or something in between, this becomes the players “team”. When a character is killed all remainder team members may raise a physical stat (evil yes) but as the dungeon proceeds witteling them down there will probably be assymetric deaths, one player may lose more of the team than other players. To adress that the player with more characters must than another player, must chose one character to be transferred. The up side is that the gifting player may raise one non-physical ability one step in all the remaining characters. Lastly, if the player has more than one character left when the five keys are found and used, the key wielding character may raise Cha with one point per remaining character, and the remaining characters becomes the henchmen of that character.

The continuation of that campaign would be something “OSR-standard” sandboxy thing for level 1 to 9. Focusing on bringing back the world of Nifelhel by carrying it piece by piece from the depth of the Dungeons. The world would be formed by decisions made by the players, what magic to release, what creatures to bring with them, what spirits to assist and what practices to support. Also above ground there would be numerous other adventure parties forming factions and pusing their own agenda. One important thing would be to rescue others from graves, creating more population (and possible henchmen).

And THEN at level 10, it turns into an application of Kevin Crawfords fantastic Godbound. Not only influencing the world but becoming the worlds actual creator (or one of them at least). Here the players will face old enemies and new dilemmas, and perhaps the great question it self, what to do with the Dungeon’God and the contract made with him by the old gods.

An epic journey!

But I think I start with the funnel …

About Elven Hair and Digesting Cellulose

What has these to things to do whith ech other? Well I was driving a long stretch the other day and I was idly thinking about my elves in Forgotten Space  and their  peculiar digestion tracts. As I may have mentioned earlier the Elves are actualy the seed pods of a great tree and thus have a metabolism very different from humans. One of many apparent differences are that the lack intestines, the oesophagus ends in a stomach like cavity in which the food is treated with strong enzymes and sharp rigdges. Anything that isn’t digested or unsuitable as a nutrient is reduced to a fine grained particles and covered in cellulose crystals. These microscopic crystal nodules  are transported through the elf body (waste products from cells are treated much the same way) and are in the end deposited on the skin of the elf.

This  means the elf leaves a trail of a fine white glittery powder and explains why all elves prefere loose and little clothes as the poweder otherwise builds up under the garments and creates uncomfortable and unhealthy cakes. The powder is a psychoactive substanse and highly after sought.

The elves thus prefere food that is easily digestible and is high energy in content, alcoholic beverages are more or less staple food, the ethanol not effecting them in the same way as humans, being high in energy and seldom having a lot of undigestible pollutants.

Which in the end brings me to the new realisation about the elves digestion, as they eat a lot of fruit and vetabilic matters (cellulose is readily digestable to them and acts much simlilarly a protein to humans) they need a way to get rid of excess cellulose matter. And this is of course the hair! Elf hair is actully thin strands of polycellulose, and can grow extremely fast when a cellulose rich diet is had. Also it is easy to colour by ingestion different types of food containg certain pigments and the most self conscious elves creates spectacular effects by ingestion of food in series that creates patterns in the resulting hair.

A Larch … No a Goblin!

After a day with tutorials and a couple of false starts I have successfully created my protagonist, the Goblin. I used UMA (for Unity3D) as I also can use it for the horrible Adventurers that will plague the dungeon.

image

There certainly is some things I want to adjust later on (like edit away the belly button) but for now I have a goblin that runs around. Anything fancier than this will have to wait until a couple of higher priorities are knocked of the list.

I also have decided to use the demo scene from Decrepit Dungeon Lite as the base for Goblins First Dungeon. It saves an awful lot of time and the layout is actually quite good. I just make the props movable and put in some more stuff to make it a bit more interesting.

The priority thing rigth now is to create a simple inventory system so the kleptomania afflicted goblin can pick up stuff and put it somewhere.

I was going to use a ready for use system that look like exactly what I wanted, but at a closer look it seems to have trouble with Unity 5 and if I have to comb through code anyway, I can do it from the ground up myself and learn some C# at the same time.

So whats up?

Well, as I have mentioned before I have been engrossed in programming lately. While the more tangible stuff will appear over at schedim.com in form of useful applications I was thinking of discussing the more farfetched and rambling stuff here.

I want to keep this blog alive, and as my RPG creativity is funneled into algorithms and  functions I can at least write about the worldbuilding parts and some design decisions.

The project I want to share is a little RPG demo project, the name changes from time to time, but lets call it Goblin Grove for now. The concept is a game in the Dungeon Master/Dungeon Lord genre, but from a goblins view. A pesky goblin crawls out from under a stone in a small disused dungeon and tries to make a living and build a goblin kingdom there, despite disruptive adventurers and quarrelsome monster hirelings.

Some ideas I will recycle from my earlier Dungeon’God ideas, but the greater span of that concept is not my goal to cover here. Instead this will be a Goblin, a small dungeon and a piece of landscape around.

So, some practicalities; I will use Unity3D as the game engine and as far as possible use free assets and tutorials to create the physical framework and focus more on the gameplay instead. I was thinking on creating a 3D model of a goblin myself, but realised two things, 1) I’m not a 3D artist in budding and 2) it is not actually what I was most interested in doing. So I leave the goal of learning the Mechanim importing part of Unity3D for now and instead use UMA, a ready for use (well nearly so) Avatar creator to create my Goblin protagonist. I’m working through a series of YouTube tutorials and hopefully have something to show in a couple of days or so.

So, until then, take care out there!

 

I do play some still…

Actually we have played Rappan Athuk for .. two years(?) now. We started using Pathfinder, but it wasn’t really suited for the task so now we have switched over to 5e. It wasn’t really to my liking as I love to tinker with my character and explore the boundaries of systems. But 5e suits the rest of the group better and the aim of the campaign in general, that I have to admit.

Anyhow, it meant that my supertinkered Pathfinder character (a grendelblooded, crossblooded Earth Giant Sorceress) had to be converted. As the 5e system is sleek and quite elegant it wasn’t so difficult, but the DM and I had to create mor or less the whole  character idea from scratch (within the 5e framework).

So I start with my Sorcerer origin:

Deep Earth Magic

From the deeps below the Underdark the Giants brought forth a magic as slow and strong as the roots of the mountains. Those with a drop of Giant blood may now and then learn to use these powers.
You can speak Giant and use other alphabets (e.g. Dwarvish) to read and write. Additionally, whenever you make a Charisma check when interacting with Giants, your Strength bonus is added to the check.
Voracious Glutton: You do not regain all your Sorcerous points after a long rest. Instead you regain two points every sixth hour if you take a short rest and consume a large meal (and digest it properly afterward). If you get no food for 12 hour you have disadvantage at all applicable rolls.
Strength of the Mountain:Your resilient body provides you with (starting at first level) increased hit point maximum with one point per Sorcerous level. Your thick hide also have a AC of 13+Dexterity, if you wear no armour.
Hammer of the underworld: From the 1st level you can treat any two handed weapon causing bludgeon damage as you where proficient with it, in addition you add another dice to any critical you roll with that weapon.
Hide of Stone: At 6th level you may spend 3 Sorcerous Points as an action to gain Resistance versus Piercing and Slashing damage for one hour, in addition, when you cause bludgeon damage in combat you add your Charisma modifier as damage.
Assume ancestral form: When reaching 14th level you may Polymorph into a Stone Giant by spending 2 Sorcerous points as a bonus action. This size can be kept for an hour and be maintained for longer time by spending one Sorcerous Point per hour. Only clothes and equipment of organic and stone materials increases in size with you.
Travel the Stone: At 18th level you may pass through uncut stone as it was water by spend one Sorcerous Point each 10 minute, if still encased in stone when the times is up, se the spell Stone Meld for effects.

 

Really, really long time no writing

Since summer I have been completely focused on improving my skill in dealing with computers. As the assignments are soo boring that my brain kind of turns to dust by just reading them I have had not achieved a decisive victory so to say …

Instead I started to write my own little app and now after a week of work of learning how to set up a webserver and connect that to my little application I can proudly present the grand opening of ….

Srchedim Production

That is the place I will place the products of my imagination that I deem be of some use for general consumption, while this will be .. well … a bit more meandering.

My first product placed there is this little app that produces the data for a family tree. It simulates a family for 50 years and creates some data about their life (more details forthcoming). My thougth is that it will be suitable to put into one of these family tree programs that are freely avaiable and used as backgroud for a character or NPC in a roleplaying game.

An elvish interlude from Forgotten Space

It should be noted that one of the most widespread and still enigmatic lifeforms also are one of the oldest and wellknown. Of course I refer to the members of the Eldaceae-family, more commonly known as Eldar or in vulgar language Elves.

Read more…

The regulars of Dungeon’God

Inspired by the always amazing Scrap Princess this happend…

Although Dungeons are populated by hired, rescued, liberated and indentured entities and groups often unique to a singular complex, there are some creatures that seems to be always present and is described here in no particular order.

Clawed Librarians (Giant Book Scorpions)

This peculiar creature is charged with managing books and libraries in the Dungeon. Not only do they gather books that has been moved by visiting Adventurers or Dungeon inhabitants, but books actually grows from their bodies. By consuming Adventurers they turns their XP into books, the content of the books formed comes from the mind of the consumed as well as things that the Dungeon’God finds. This gathered knowledge is usually shared and spread over all the different worlds that is connected to Dungeon’God, but sometimes some facts or piece of knowledge is just irrelevant to the adjacent world and gets edited or adjusted.
 

You will find them filling empty sheles with newely extruded books almost anywhere in the Dungeons.

As the books extruded by the Clawed Library only can be in languages known to consumed meals these creatures sometimes crafts deadly ambushes when they discover a speaker of an unknown language.

One kind of book that the Clawed Librarian stay clear of is Grimoires and other magical books. To them these are not true books but rather a kind of dirty animal in the guise of a book, they accept their existence but ignores them and flat out refuse to touch them.

Clawed Librarians vary in size from a large dog to a small elephant, but as they have the magical ability to turn two dimensional and change size to slip between the pages and travel to another book in a nearby location.

They are not capable of speech but instead writing can be seen running over their carapace conveying their will through citations from books.

Books are deftly handled by their seemingly clumsy claws (that induces paralysis in everything living, smartly ridding books of vermin). It consume literate adventurers by hosing them with digestive acids and slurping the resulting goo, this revolting spray can also be used to defend against those not paralysed by claw attacks.

  

(Img source wikipedia)

No End Of Thinking Classical Over Here

Thinking of tailoring OSR classes after players gaming style/interest rather than game icons (Fighter, Rouge etc) my brain has tumbled and turned endlessly for days and this (simplified) grouping turned out:. 

Less Rules: You maybe have a demanding day job frying your brain, or just don’t like to push numbers around, but have’t the energy to focus on fiddly rulesets. You comes to just play and enjoy yourself and the company.
A new level should only have a couple of options but significant improvements. 

No prep: Perhaps you have three jobs and/or a muggle for partner (seriously, ditch that looser) leaving you little time for dealing with gaming stuff when you are away from the altar … err I mean gaming table. Maybe you see the RPG as just another game, stuff happens at the table and thats it.
But when you are at the table you like to have plenty of tactical options and effects to apply on yourself, the party, the enemy and in general anything within reach.
A new level should have lot options to tailor to your flavour, but when chosen there shouldn’t be a need for more work to do ruleswise. 

Fiddling: The character is a hobby in itself, when you are away from the game you love to tweak and fiddle with you character, always coming to the table med new twists and tweaks. Your character has more background than the game and each new level is approached as a research paper.
I am certainly of the last type… 

I do not measure in the roleplay in itself here, just a bit on the rule approach, and of course you have to also fit the Gamemastering to cater for the different wishes of interaction between game and rules. Although my thinking here will be focused on the class and whats on the character sheet, there is an another dimension of rules-weight that  will be affected.  At table the player of a rules-smooth fighter must feel as much included as the rules-sprouting-bending-special-cases-swashbuckling-chandelier-swinging-etc characters player. And the opposite must also be true, one player can’t be restricted by rules that don’t effect others at the table (unless there are in game reasons of course).

More Classy thinking

After a fruitful duscussion (on the net, I’m flabbergasted) with Ed Dove I got the some ideas (and a link to someone who already been thinking about these things, I’m not first AMAzing!)

The geist is, perhaps classes shouldn’t be as much about gaming Icons/Archetypes as Gamer style of playing. The generalised player of a Fighter is someone who not want to fiddle with rules as much as roll the dice and have fun, the Wizard is someone who likes to game the game and play with themselves as much as with others and the Rouge is essentially someoe who makes the massive rule bending hit someone else. The two latter don’t mind fiddling with rules but the last one want the rules to interact with the other players/NPCs/world while the Wizard one is satsified if just the result of the fiddling hits the world and amaze everyone. A kind of Introvert/Extrovert distinction.

So I was thinking of designing three classess with different mechanics general mechanics and then general building block relating to the classic Adventure Icons applicable to any of the three classes of play. As a working model and for concretisation of my thinking I made this picture:

  
It is absolutely not finished or absolute in anyway, more of a starting point for thoughts and dissection. Remember the classes as presented in RAW can be played in any of the three styles, I not claiming they can’t, just that some fits a certain style a bit better than others…

I seethat I left the Barbarian out, it is a bit unfortunate, but I think it belongs in the same place as the Monk, Rage powers and that or maybe with the Assassin as the Rage is just something you apply to others mostly…

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