Category Archives: Home Brew Hacks

Just some house rules that I made up.

Bard and Barbarian for my Labyrinth Lord Game

Here’s the first draft of my own take on Bards and Barbarians for my upcoming Labyrinth Lord game. I wanted to put my own spin on these. Heck, there’s a lot of other very fine versions out there. They just didn’t quite do it for me. Yeah. I’m weird. I like bards as jack of all trades and barbarians without armor and that’s the way I roll. I want to keep them simple but still give them their own feel. Or course, these are beta versions so there might be a change or two before the dice hit the table. Hell, there’s probably a typo in there too.
barbarian and bard

And The Players Have Spoken. Labyrinth Lord It Is


I talked last week with the players in our little group and they decided they wanted to totally old school and go with Labyrinth Lord! So here’s a bit of a rambling post about what I need to do, some thoughts on the new Advanced Labyrinth Lord book, and other stuff! Yeah I got the Orcus cover because Orcus.
First up some thoughts on the book itself. Glen “Old Man Grognard” Halstrom reviewed on his Youtube channel and it’s pretty spot on. Now there is one thing about it that kind of bugs me. And that’s the spell section. The most minor beef that I have is that the spell list is at the end of the spell chapter. I know that’s minor but hey it just makes a little more sense to me to have at the beginning. Another and more annoying thing is the layout of it. OK, spells are alphabetical by class. No problem. But if you open up the book in the middle of the spell chapter, it’s hard to figure out where you are in the spell lists. Am I looking at Illusionist or Magic-User spells? There is a header at the beginning of each section but I don’t think that it stands out enough if you’re quickly flipping through the book looking for a spell. Which is one of the many reasons that I grabbed up a hard copy of Necrotic Gnome’s B/X Essentials Magic-User and Cleric Spells. BTW, I got the monster book too.
So what else do have to do? Well, I need to tweak my White Box House rules and make them more in line with Labyrinth Lord plus pull a couple of other things from other games like Swords & Wizardry. I happen to like the Swords & Wizardry two-weapon fighting rules better along with a little tweak to those. Don’t worry you’ll see these posted here when I get them done. I’m going to pull some of the classes from James Spahn’s Class Compendium. I’m not planning on doing race as class but there may be a exceptions for really odd races or unique racial classes. Still working on that list too. And James West’s Black Pudding is just awesome for so many things.
And speaking of classes, I want to home brew a couple. I’ve got soft spot for bards and an odd fascination with barbarians. I’ve got various versions of each and none quite did it for me. Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them or that they didn’t emulate former versions of the classes. I just have a different idea in my head. So there’s another thing you have to look forward to.
I’m starting them off with Keep on the Borderlands but I want to spruce it up a bit and throw in some extra encounter areas from other small adventures that I’ve collected over the years. Additionally, I need to get off my butt and flesh out my world of Zoong out more. The good news is that I found my ancient notes form many years ago at the bottom of box. So there’s a bunch of nearly forgotten old stuff that I’m going to mix in with the new. Once more blog fodder, folks. Stay tuned for that.
And there’s a host of other little things that I want dust off and/or improve. Like finally getting around to clearing out and organizing my gaming bag.

Along with that I just have to bring my little box of index card wonders. I just love this box.

Of course, I still have to put together my GM Screen and Notebook. So yeah. Dozens of little projects to get done. And before any one asks, we haven’t really decided on when we are starting so I need to get to work on this along with all other projects on my plate.

Fleeting Luck: Not Just For DCC

Lankhmar for Dungeon Crawl Classics will be hitting the shelves some time soonish. The PDF’s have gone out to Kickstarter backers (Yep, I’m one) and the physical copies should be in my grubby hands in a couple months or so. One of the new mechanics added was Fleeting Luck which has been around a while for public consumption and comment for a while. I’ve used in Dungeon Crawl Classics and Mutant Crawl Classics and the players loved it. Then I got to thinking why not use it other games.
So here’s a real brief outline how Fleeting Luck works. The PC’s each get a Fleeting Luck Point at the beginning of the session. If player rolls a Natural 20 or does something cool then they get another point. If any of the players roll a Natural 1 then ALL of the players lose all of their Fleeting Luck.
Since other games don’t have a Luck Score like DCC, I looked around and thought what could I use? Oh yeah. Hello, Fifth Edition. Inspiration Points. So if you don’t Inspiration Points let the player roll two d20’s and take the better for checks. And there you go. Use Inspiration Points with the Fleeting Luck mechanic.
There is one change that I would make for Fifth Edition, I wouldn’t let characters use Fleeting Luck to heal. There’s plenty (almost too much) healing in 5E.

White Box House Rules Version 2


Still working and tweaking and brainstorming. You know that feeling. So here’s the bulk of the House Rules for my White Box Games. And like many things it’s still a work in progress. And helps explain the character sheet I did last week.
I like using the x in d6 for lots of different things and I think that it works well. If you go back in the blog archives, I talked about other systems too like using Saves As Skills and using an x in d12 system. Those things I’ll probably keep in my back pocket for Swords & Wizardry Complete/Core hack.
Plus I’m still doing some tweaks on races and classes. So stay tuned for that.
So here’s why you’re here: White Box House Rules V2
Also go ahead and check out the Downloads Page for other stuff. Yes, I know there some typos in some old stuff.

Version 2 of the White Box Character Sheet

The actual house rules that go with this are still a crazy mess that only I can understand. So that will hopefully get posted next week. But I made some tweaks based around my own ideas. YMMV. And could work for about any of the versions of the Swords & Wizardry. Once again YMMV and depends on the house rules.
Enjoy folks!
White Box Character Sheet V2

Episode 40: Know When To Hold ‘Em. Know When To Roll ‘Em

And we’re back with a new episode. I decided to a little break. Both because of the happy holidays and because of stupid Internet drama. Just didn’t feel like doing an episode.
But here it is and back into the saddle again. This episode is about when to roll dice. When not to. When to roll in the open and when to roll in secret. I also continue with my readings and thoughts from the 0E Little Brown Books and give notice that I’m already thinking of some changes and making plans for the New Year.
Here you go. Episode 40

Even More Variable Weapon Damage for White Box

So yep still playing around getting ready to run a White Box game. We’ve talked some scheduling within the group and it looks like it will be just after the New Year. Yep, we plan that far ahead. Anyway, on to the subject at hand. I’ve been thinking about weapon damage and making a little variable or swingy as some say. My first gut instinct was just port in the variable weapon damage and HD from Supplement 1 or Basic. While it would probably work, it just doesn’t keep with the vibe of White Box (just needing d20’s and d6’s). I thought a bit and then I remembered some bits from Open D6. Hey that might work.
So here’s the low down. Each +3 bonus becomes an additional die. For example:
A fighter with 15 Str (+1) with a +2 Sword (d6+2). Normally, that would be 1d6+3. Under this it becomes 2d6.
Let’s take the same fighter but this time give him a +5 Great Sword. Normally, that be 1d6+7. Under this that become 3d6+1
Now let’s take these two examples and look at averages:
1d6+3: 6.5; 2d6: 7
1d6+7: 10.5; 3d6+1, 11.5
And now damage range:
1d6+3, 4 to 9; 2d6, 2 to 12
1d6+7, 8 to 14; 3d6+1, 4 to 19
Averages are close enough for my tastes. The damage ranges are more variable and have more of a bell curve. Which can put the idea of a crit that does more damage based on the damage roll rather than the to-hit roll. And it let’s the players roll more dice which most enjoy. Of course, the same would go for monsters and NPC’s too. So the PC’s might be on the receiving end of that damage.
Once again, the dice have not yet met the table on this one and YMMV.
I just talked about a Frankengame on the podcast. And this is an example.