Category Archives: Home Brew Hacks

Just some house rules that I made up.

Finally Did My Character Sheet for Sharp Swords

Still working on all the bells and whistles I want to prepare for Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells. Today’s little project my own little character sheet. Since the rules are pretty lite there aren’t that many differences. The one thing I did want to add is a Luck Track plus this serves as a little cheat sheet for the die chain. I know it’s pretty simple but but some folks find that extra little bit of reference handy. Enjoy.
My Character Sheet

Some Hacks on 5E

Yep, I like OSR stuff and I like 5E D&D too. (Pathfinder 2nd Ed. Meh.) Anyway, I was thinking of some hacks on 5E to make a little more OSR-like. Now, I know on a lot of these things I colored outside the OSR lines. But those are things that I’m willing to live with so YMMV. Nor am Edition Warring or any of that other stuff. I like to hack rules and this is just list of ranting ideas. So there I know I’m ranting
Ability Scores: Just use whatever old-school method you want. 3d6 in order. Go for it.
Races & Classes: I got nothing against the horde of races and classes. Heck, the LBB’s even say it’s possible to play a dragon with GM approval. The subclasses in 5E do add some flavor however even this early in the game’s life it’s getting a little bloated. Keep to the core and be very selective on what’s allowed.
Skills: So yeah, Skills aren’t old school except for thieves. But you know that’s one thing that I’m totally willing to live with. And once again there’s a “but”. Cut them down even more. Merge Arcana, Religion, and History into one skill and call it Lore. Merge Nature into Survival. Merge Deception, Persuasion, and Insight into one. Call it some like Social.
Feats: OK. Feats got really crazy in 3.x/Pathfinder. A whole chain just to gain the ability to find your ass with both hands. Don’t have the feat tough. 5E is better but still Feats are not old schoolish. But I do like the idea behind them as a way to customize a character more. So here’s the deal. Totally drop the humans get a free feat at first level. Take the core option granting the Attribute boosts. But every player character gets a Feat at 1st level but it’s the only Feat they are going to get. That’s right one Feat to help specialize the character.
Proficiency Bonus: This is a simple little mechanic but lacks some personality. The answer is right there in the DMG. Use the Proficiency Dice option. Plus it reminds me of the Deed Die for Fighters in Dungeon Crawl Classics so that’s cool too.
Cantrips: Spamming spells is not old school. So a simple fix. If it deals damage then it ain’t a Cantrip any more. The others are fine. I would make two exceptions to this. The Warlock’s Eldritch Blast because it’s like their thing. And the Bard’s Vicious Mockery. Take the damage away but let it still but the target at Disadvantage.
Hit Points: This is if I really want to go hardcore. OK, fine you get max HP at 1st level. But after that go with a “White Box” method. Instead of rolling your HD and adding each level. Re-roll all of the HD apply the modifiers. If it’s more, then congrats, you gained some HP. If not tough luck, kid. Things are going to get dangerous.
Like I said. YMMV and this is just a bunch of ideas that have been bouncing around inside my head. Play how you want and have fun. That’s cardinal rule.

The Lair of Lennok The Wanderer Part II

This last week the party of adventurers finished up The Lair of Lennok. Here’s what went down.
The Alchemy Lab: No monsters here but the PC’s got to play around with some potions. For loot, there was 500 GP worth of alchemical materials (See Make Potion in your DCC rule book) plus a spell book containing Make Potion. Additionally, there was a”portable” alchemy lab. By portable, I mean a large trunk that required two character to carry. Additionally, there were some curve ball potions that they messed with. Here are the fun ones:
The Little Blue Potion: Yep basically Viagra.
One Shot: One shot and you’re drunk.
Up All Night: The character stays awake and alert all night but gains no benefit from “rest”.
Sort of Invisibility: Drink it and you’re invisible but you’re also blind at the same time.
Stunt Flying: Like a potion a Flying but the drinker flies in a random direction each round.
Invisible Potion: What is says. The potion is invisible. That’s it.
Meteor Shit: Ever see Creep Show? Yep. Make DC: 14 Fort Save on a fail make DC:12 Fort Save each day or lose a point of Stamina and Agility.
Corruption: Make a Stamina Check: On a 20+ gain Minor Corruption. 11 to 19: Major Corruption. 10 or less: Greater Corruption.
Chaos Blender: Make a Fort Save until successful. The DC’s in order: 16/14/12/10/8/6. For each failure re-roll a random ability score and take the new number.
I also threw in some common things just to see what the PC’s would do. They included water, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, soap, and pee.

The Summoning Chamber: A large room with a summoning circle in the middle, a book stand with a large magical tome, and a woman chained to the opposite wall.
The Tome: Contains Demon Summoning spell.
The Circle: Contains the Chitinous Toad Demon with a Snake Tongue. The toad demon is invisible and any character breaking the circle causes it to appear and attack.
The Toad Demon: Init +0; ATK: +6; Damage: Snake Tongue (Reach 10′) 1d3+make DC: 10 Fort Save or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds. Bite: 1d6; AC: 12; HP: 36; Saves: +3 for all; Move: 35; Special: Invisible, Snake Tongue, Swallow Whole on a crit, Demon Traits.
The Woman: She’s really a succubus. She’ll maintain her disguise and play a victim to get the PC’s sympathies. She’ll maintain this disguise until the PC’s don’t fall for it or she comes face to face with Lennok. Then her rage and hatred of the mortal wizard who bound her causes her disguise to drop. She cannot attack Lennok directly as a side effect of her summoning/binding but she can help or encourage the characters in other ways.
Lizza the Succubus: Init: +3, Atk: +5 Damage: by weapon or Claws -: 1d6+1; AC: 14, HP: 28, Saves: All at +4; Move 30/40 (flying); Special: Disguise Self, Charm, Demon Traits.

The Inner Sanctum:
Lennok’s Chamber: Richly furnished apartment. No monsters here but loot. Some spell scrolls (which were randomly generated thanks to the Purple Sorcerer site), miscellaneous swag worth 750 GP, and some really good food and wine.
Lennok’s Wizardly Chamber: And here’s the Boss Fight. We have the girl who was the subject of the quest tied to an operating table. I just generated a 0-Level character which I at the end of the fight I handed the questing player. “Here you go. You found the girl. You just need to keep her alive.”
Lennok: Once again thanks to Purple Sorcerer. Just generated a 6th Level Magic-User.
The Demon Golem Guardian: A Stitched together flesh golem with many demon parts. Init: +0; ATK: +7; Damage: 2d5; AC: 13; HP: 48; Saves: Fort: +6′ Ref: +0, Will: +2;Move: 30; Special: Demon Traits, Golem Traits.
Loot from the fight: Lennok’s spell book.
Also in the room is a magical portal. Press various crystals round its edge and portal opens to somewhere. As soon as Lennok dies, Lizza the Succubus goes to the portal, activates, and goes through. If the PC’s don’t pause to think, “What would be the first place a freed demon would go?” and follow her through the portal. Then congrats. The party just walked into Hell. Nope, my players didn’t fall for that one. The portal now becomes pretty much a plot device. Let the PC’s play with and make some sort decision to go thru and leads to the next adventure/dungeon. Remember, they have a 0-Level kid they have to keep alive.
As a final rant about this adventure, the final fight was more dramatic and exciting both for me and the players than I thought it would be. Between Choking Cloud and Ray of Enfeeblement, Lennok managed to take out everyone in the party except for the Elf and the Thief. The Thief used the Choking Cloud as cover, downed a potion of Invisibility and moved into position for a Sneak Attack. The Elf charged Lennok and used the nasty power of the magic sword they had found previously. As a refresher, the wielder may turn a normal hit into a critical hit but it costs one point of Personality and 1d3 HP (both permanent losses). This simulates the sword consuming the soul and life force of the wielder. The one-two punch of those two characters took out the Wizard quickly. There were many cheers around the table.

Next up. I need to write up some notes for their next adventure.

Knacks And A Couple Of Other House Rules For DCC

Started up my new Dungeon Crawl Classics game last week. Unfortunately, we had to run out early so I’ll give the low down on the band of mighty adventurers later. Being the kind of grognard that I am I can’t help but do some tinkering. So here you go.
Fleeting Luck: We used it for Mutant Crawl Classics and the players loved it. So pulling form what info is available (Google it) on DCC Lankhmar. We’re running with that.
I also have new love affair with Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells so I’m lifting a couple of things from that.
Complications: This is a fun. Some quirky and bad about your character. Roll on the little chart and see what it is. To make it DCC friendly, calling in your complication gets a point of Fleeting Luck.
Pushing the Roll: To make this more DCC like it applies only to Spell Checks and Attack Rolls. You’ll see why. IF a character fails their roll, they may attempt to re-roll. But if the second roll is also a failure then it is assumed to be a roll of a Natural 1. Say hello to more Corruption and Fumbles. That makes things more interesting.
And lastly:
Knacks: This is a little idea I’ve bounced around for a while. Roll on the chart and get to apply an Ability Score Modifier in some other way. It’s sort of like the Luck Boon/Birth Sign that DCC characters get. It may be really beneficial or not depending on the numbers and the character’s class. Just like Luck. And here’s the PDF of the Knacks Chart.
Keep the dice and heads rolling. And mind your coin purse.

Returning to Zoong!

Starting off the New Year by returning to Zoong. OK so Zoong has evolved into my DCC/OSR setting. It’s what I ran last time and it’s what I’m running again. Most of the players will be the same so they’ll be know a few things already about the world and a few things there.
This time around I decided on a couple of things. First, we’re starting of with Sunken City and it would be easy to have Escape from the Shrouded Fen sitting in the wings. I also have In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer close at hand. This time around, I want to run shorter adventures and give the players more time to just get into trouble on their own.
I’ve also thought about classes. Of course, there will be the standards from the core book. But the players have asked about others too. So from the wonderfully fun-dark-grim Hubris, the Druid, Blood Witch, Shadow Dancer, and Half Demon. Then from Crawl! No 6, the Ranger, Paladin, and Bard. And my own Barbarian which I just redid to make it a little simpler. If somebody really, really wants something then I’ll worry about then. It’s same thing for gods and patrons. There’s a plethora out there and I ain’t afraid to mix things up.
There’s a few other little things I’m going to throw in there but that’s for a later post. And here’s the new Easier Barbarian. Barbarian EZ Final DCC
Time to roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun!

Spell/Glow Burn Cheat Sheet

I decided to make this little sheet for players in order to speed things up a bit when it comes to Glowburning and Spellburning. I went ahead and added a Luck row for those classes that can recover Luck. If I was really industrious I’d make a Character sheet with this on it. But feeling a bit lazy on that front. I know I could have fit more on the sheet but I wanted it big enough to use tokens to mark the character’s current score in an affected ability score.
So here you go: Spellburn Cheat Sheet
Have a happy Sunday and keep those heads and dice a rolling.

Alternate Starting Occupations For Mutant Crawl Classics (Beta)

Like many I can’t wait to get my mutated little paws on Mutant Crawl Classics. And you’d be right on target if you were thinking I’d start kitbashing right off the bat.
Primarily, I’m loot stuff from Crawling Under A Broken Moon (and the upcoming Umerica Survival Guide). But of course there’s even more good stuff out there namely Crawljammer and Hubris.
So to start things going, I did a little alternate starting occupations table. Yes, this is still very much the beta version and it’ll probably get changed when I start running MCC (probably soon after the PDF gets released to Kickstarter backers). So there will changes as inspiration strikes. But here’s the first draft. Enjoy.
MCC Occupations