All posts by Chuck

I've been a gamer, a geek and nerd for about 30 years. Any questions?

What’s Cool Wednesday: Necrotic Gnome

Yeah, I know I said I was going to talk about the little guy and maybe Necrotic Gnome is but Gavin Norman is making a big splash. First, there was BX Essentials. I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t sold. We’ve plenty of hacks, re-edits and so on of Basic D&D. But then I got my hands on the books for my current Labyrinth Lord game. Heck, they’re supposed to be a great reference. And they are. I end up using them more at the table than the actual LL rule book.
Now, the whole series is being re-edit and re-packaged as Old Essentials and the Kickstarter is kicking it. It blew through it’s original stretch goals on the first day. It’s really worth checking out.
This also says something else too. Even with mass popularity of 5E, Old School is not dead. Keep rolling those dice folks. And like I said check out the Kickstarter. And yes, I did back it.

New Bay City: A Partial Appendix V

Just what the hell is Appendix V? Well, us old grognards know Appendix N from the original DMG. Well, Appendix V is sort of like a list of inspirations but in this case the V stands for Video. So sit back and grab a gander at some of the video inspirations for New Bay City. I won’t go into each and every one but try to hit some of the possibly lesser know or at least one’s I like a lot.
I’d say the biggest influence is The Dresden Files. Unfortunately, the short lived series wasn’t that great. The fans did make a decent trailer.

But then fans also made some pretty shorts too.

And there’s the possibility of a reboot and Jim Butcher has confirmed it on reddit.
Of course, you can’t talk about the modern urban fantasy genre without mentioning Buffy. But remember it was movie before it was a TV series. Crap, vampire PeeWee Herman.

Lost Girl was great series at least for the first season. It did go a little down hill after that IHMO.

Hey remember this Marvel Movie? Yeah, Blade. It was a TV Series too.

Let’s head across the pond for a bit. First up, Bloody Mallory. A really low-budget French film.

But if you want something just plain awesome and higher up on the way cool list. There’s Nightwatch. This is a damned good Russian film. And this is one of those few cases where the movie is much better than the trailer.

Everything doesn’t have to be serious. Everybody knows Army of Darkness and Big Trouble in Litte China but how about some Lesbian Vampire Killers. Really.

And I’m not limiting it TV and Movies. There was (or maybe still is) an MMO called Secret World. I’ve never played it but the cinematic trailers rocked.

So there you go. By no means the complete list and may some of it inspire you as well.

The Gifted Expanded

I’m still working on a bunch of stuff for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. I wanted to play around a bit with the Gifted Class to define it a little more precisely for how it would fit into New Bay City. The class pretty much stands as it but where I’m really tweaking it is in the area of Supernatural Heritages. I’m putting them into three broad groups or dare I say sub-classes. The Gifted, The Blooded and The Cursed.
First, instead of rolling the player gets to choose and I’m doing a few little tweaks and changes to their specific boons too. So here’s the list.
The Gifted
Magic-User (Witch, Warlock, Sorcerer, Shaman, Wizard, etc): Same as The Witch in the Core Book. But remember player may be a bit more creative with Familiars.
Psychic: Gain the Minor Psychic ability as I blogged about before.
The Blooded
Nephilim: As Celestial in the Core Book.
Cambion: As Daemon in the Core Book.
Changeling: As Serpent Man from the Core Book.
The Cursed
Vampire: As Vampire in the Core Book.
Lycanthrope: Keen senses. Gain Positive Die to perception tests a number times per session equal to half their level/HD.
The Magic-User and Psychic run as they would straight out of the book. But the others get a few little extra setbacks and tweaks. Of course, all of this is up to the GM’s discretion. First up Powers. It needs to fit with the concept of the character. Change Body doesn’t make sense for Werewolf but Ferocity or Augmented Strength does. Some gifts should be redefined as “Self Only”. Continuing on with the previous of example, sure that Werewolf could have Augmented Strength but they couldn’t “cast” it on another character. So when a Power is redefined as Self Only, the character gains a Positive Die activate it. All other rules to using Powers apply.
Backlash and Corruption: Here’s where I think that it gets interesting. Like the Powers, Backlash and Corruption should fit the character’s theme. Werewolves get more feral, hirsute, affected by the phases of the moon, animals may start to react badly to them, silver may become a problem. And, well, Vampires will there’s a whole laundry list things a creative GM could use. There’s plenty of lore.
That’s bleeding beta of the idea. Sure there will probably be some changes before the dice hit the table.

What’s Cool Wednesday: Joe The Lawyer

Or should I say, Joe the Fucking Lawyer. But that’s the way Joe is. No holds barred and up front about he likes and doesn’t like. No warm fuzzy feelings. Just straight and to the point take it or leave it. No moral posturing or intellectual lecturing And in today’s social media environment. That’s refreshing
If the “occasional” F-Bomb sends you screaming for the hills then avoid his podcast. Of course you could run by his blog.
So go check out Joe.

Averaging is Your Friend

This is something I’ve done in my other old school games successfully. There aren’t any skills so to speak and most folks go with roll something versus an ability score. But in the past I’ve always what I felt was the best mechanic available. One good stat made a character great at a whole family of things. So I’ve gone to averaging.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the games put out by Old Skull Publishing and I’m working on a nice little review of Dark Streets and Darker Secrets, a campaign for it, and some other little goodies. The point of this is that I’m going to be adding that this to my game.
Like I said, instead of making checks against one stat, make a check against the average of two. I’ve thrown these checks into a few broad categories.
Athletics (Strength and Dexterity) or (Physique and Agility: Climbing, Acrobatics, Jumping and all that stuff.
Craft: (Intelligence and Dexterity) or (Agility and Intellect): This is for doing stuff with your hands. Skinning an animal, hot wiring a car, even first Aid.
Wits: (Intelligence and Wisdom) or (Intellect and Will): This isn’t about knowing stuff rote. It’s about understanding information and being able to parse that information.
And, of course< there are more options but use as you will. And you don't even have to add this to character sheets. It's just make check against and list them. My players already know what I mean.
And it works. It makes more than one stat important to preform an action. So min maxing is not your friend. It's easy. And generally works well with the existing system.
Like any rules hack, your mileage may vary. Remember the most important thing isn't the rules your using but the fun you're having.

What’s Cool Wednesday: MeWe

Google Plus is dead. Crap. I still need to take it off my phone. I’ll get around to it. But since it’s demise people have scrambling for a new home to yak about RPG stuff. Folks dispersed across the Internet to various sites and platforms. Personally, I’ve moved most of gaming conversations to MeWe. There’s some of the old usual folks and few new ones. I like it. Sure it ain’t the same as G+ but hey, it’s growing and new features are creeping in.
Like any “community” it’s only as good people make it and so far so good. Check it our yourself and make your own decision.
Yeah I know another really short post. Hey just check it. Really.

The World of Skarynth is released

This is how bad I am at self promotion. I forgot to post here. Well, it’s been a couple of years since I released anything and here it is.

That’s right. It’s finally released after years of messing around and months of editing and hesitating I finally pulled the trigger. Check it out on DrivethruRPG. You’ll need the core book and the addendum to Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. Depending on the reception, I may do a hardcopy via Lulu. And oh yeah. Did I mention? It’s PWYW.
Enjoy!