Now that I’ve gotten a few bits done, it’s time to talk about races and classes because with old school games you can’t talk about one without talking about the other. Since the first go around for YARC is going to be The Blight. characters may seem a bit under powered compared to your standard character. The Blight is grim and gritty so that’s why I’m going in that direction. And this is the point where inspirations from other editions and variants of Swords & Wizardry kick in.
I did an episode last year on Playing It Wrong about job versus class. To put it simply, just because it’s a character’s job that doesn’t mean that it’s their class. The big one is usually the assassin. I supposed technically any class can be an assassin but it takes somebody special to be an Assassin. The whole idea is if it’s a class is just a fighter who can track. Well, that’s not a Ranger. So the classes need have some distinct abilities that make them special.
Here’s the tentative list of classes:
Fighter: The most standard and yet IMHO boring class.
Cleric: Yes there will specialty priests.
Thief: Cat burglar or smiling con artist. I suppose later editions got it a little better by calling them Rogues.
Magic-User: Magic is supposed to be mysterious and interesting. Once IHMO even the original edition make them sort of video gamey. Cast the spell and boom. But things still need to be simple at the game table.
Assassin: Good at killing a single target. But still different than a Fighter or Rogue.
Druid: Hmmm. I don’t have any inspiration yet to tweak them.
Paladin: This isn’t you daddy’s prince charming noble knight. These guys are religious zealots hunting down the unclean and heretical.
Sorcerer/Warlock: Oh just check out Dice Roll Zine No. 2. That’s my primary inspiration.
I know. I always do a Bard and Barbarian. I think most of those class abilities can be easily wrapped into other classes. What about Monks? Once again I just don’t think they fit this setting. And lastly because I know someone out there is thinking it, what about Race as Class. I would say that I like both. It all depends on the campaign. If I’m emphasizing old-school play then I’ll do race as class. If there are only a few races then sure. But in this case there’s lots of possibilities for The Blight. So no race as class but races will be limited on their choices. I haven’t even gotten close finalizing that list but it will include the usual suspects as well as a few familiar faces plus a take on the one’s presented in the Swords & Wizardry version and just maybe a race or two that just captures my imagination. But more on that later when I get to races.
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If you’ve been following along I’m converting/resurrecting the old New Bay City campaign for Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. The first time I ran this setting it was with World of Darkness then I ran with the Dresden Files RPG. Each time I’ve made some tweaks to the universe based on the game mechanics. This time it ain’t any different.
Vampires and Werewolves are pretty much stock creatures and sometimes even player characters. One of the things that they usually have in common is that they were once regular mortal humans and then something happened. Some fight against their respective supernatural natures and others may relish or even be consumed by it. Plus each of these types has a buckets of folklore attached to them. So how I am going to throw this into Dark Streets & Darker Secrets? Corruption.
OK, I already did a rant on expanding the Gifted Class and in a way this is an expansion on that. Lets’ take a very common example and run with it. Vampires and sunlight. In most games/factions, young vampires poof if they even smell sunlight and older/ancient vampires can tolerate it. In this iteration of New Bay City, the opposite is true. That young (low level/HD) vampire has some of the strengths but those weaknesses are the result of Corruption. A Vampire has lots of hang ups that probably means that they are a bad ass and be thankful for those weaknesses. However, that extra that plays into why there is so much different lore out there. Each is sort of unique in their set of disadvantages.
This is only something that would apply to the “Blooded” types as I rambled about in The Gifted Expanded post not anything that’s purely supernatural. I may do some specific charts but I also grabbing something that seems most appropriate to the specific situation when things go horribly wrong. So here’s the lists of that I’ll be using for inspiration by type. And is no way complete and other changes/tweaks will be based on specific characters.
Vampires: Animal Antipathy, Aversion Holy, Addicted Blood, Allergic Sunlight, Allergic Garlic, Need to be Invited, Aversion Mirrors, Smell of the Grave/Cadverous.
Werewolf/Lycanthrope: Animal Antipathy, Allergic Silver, Addiction Raw Meat, Full Moon/The Beast Within, Feral Appearance
Changeling: Allergic Cold Iron, Need to Tell the Truth, Aversion Holy, “Alien” Appearance.
Cambion: Animal Antipathy, Aversion Holy, Addicted to Sin, Smell of Brimstone, Demonic Features.
Nephilim: Overzealous Virtue, Aversion Unholy, Angelic Features.
And that’s this week’s rant on New Bay City. Enjoy! Oh and here’s my scribbled map of New Bay City.
Another day and another episode. Yes, I recorded this yesterday morning and wasn’t quite awake yet. Which makes it a little entertaining in train wreck sort of way.
I go into another of those OSR debates and stand foolishly in the middle. Race as Class is OK but also shouldn’t be the only option and should be cool. Plus I go into a short little ramble on Zoong and maybe an odd idea to mess around with clerics (again). Any here you. Listen. Subscribe. Roll Dice….
Episode 31: Race as Class
It’s been a while since I did an update and the play test goes on. I’ve got my scribbled notes on the print outs and things keep changing. And that’s why I haven’t put too many crunchy bits in these posts. But this post I want to talk to talk about races. This isn’t to be confused with cultures that I posted about last time.
By races, I mean in the traditional fantasy RPG sense. But since this more Sword & Sorcery, I didn’t go with any of the standard one(elf, dwarf, or halfling). These races are specific to the world but as always, the GM can do what they want. Another different twist that I took, was that all of the “non-human” races were one human. Some turn of events changed them forever.
Another thing I wanted to do is keep them in line with the philosophy of Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells. So it will be up to the game master to decided if they want to do the races as a Vocation or an Archetype or even use the multi-Archetype rules from the Addendum (which one of the play testers is having a blast with).
So onto the Races:
Beast Kin: In ancient times, a primitive tribe dare defy the will of the gods. The gods cursed the tribe to be half-man and half-beast. Beast Kin have a feral beast-like appearance. Some many even have feline, canine, ursine, or simian features. They are still defiant and strong-willed mixed with the cunning natural instincts and senses.
Lemurians: There is a legend that an alien eldritch race were stranded on the world. This race interbreed with a local tribe and gave rise to the Lemurians. The chaos and corruption of magic flows through their blood. They can attempt to manipulate and bend to their will magic that is cast against them. They can easily sense the presence of magic and can occasionally see through illusions or invisibility. Lemurians are humanoids with oddly colored skin, hair, and/or eyes. They often have other worldly features. Most have two to four tentacles. (Yep. Tentacles.)
Tuatarans: When mankind still lived in caves and barely understood fire, the Serpent Folk ruled the world. The Serpent Folk used the primitive humans as slaves and their Lizard Man army to enforce their rule. Then a plague struck the Serpentine Empire. It killed many of the Serpent Folk and worse yet it drove the disciplined Lizard Man legions into primitive savages hell-bent on destruction. In a desperate attempt to save their empire, Serpent Folk sorcerers performed vile arcane experiments on humans in order to create a better and plague resistant army. Unfortunately, it made things worse. While the resulting hybrids were resistant to disease, they also had independent spirit of the humans. Tuatrans have human features (and usually dark or black hair) with reptilian skin and eyes. A few even have forked tongues and/or tails. Tuatrans heal quickly and are resistant to poison and disease. As a side effect of their arcane origin, many can consume the life force of the dying to heal themselves.
So there you go. An overview of the nonhuman races. Next up will be a little rant about some new Archetypes. Man. I so want to call them classes. And like I said, everything is still in play test to the actual crunchy bits are in still in flux and changing every couple of weeks.
Yes, I’m still working/prepping for a White Box (Swords & Wizardry/Fantastic Medieval Adventures) campaign. But if you’ve been around this blog more than one then you know that I just love house rules. So I put together my Version 1 of them. Because I know I’m going to change up some the stuff in there before I start. Ideas will come up and some feedback (Hopefully) will happen. So this is very much a living document.
I’m also hacking the basic classes and putting together my own versions of the “Advanced” classes plus some others that I just think are cool. And since I’m messing with classes I’ll probably do some other races too. And do some versions of the classic spells that are from Supplement 1: Greyhawk. Chances are that will end up as a cheap PDF on RPGNow. It’s been way too long since I’ve published anything but then I’ve said that before. Sigh.
White Box House Rules Ver 1
Like I said. Changes will happen to it. And remember folks. Roll Dice. Have Fun. That’s always a house rule.
I ranted about elves before way back when but I still wanted a little extra something to make them more alien and just a bit different. Nor your tree hugging wild elf or that mysterious high/gray elf or whatever you want to call them. Somewhere in the bowels of the internet someone made the comparison of old D&D elves to Elric. I like that. Then this little idea popped into my brain that focuses on the standard fighter/magic-user type elf.
In ancient times, the elves make a pact with an ancient being whose name has been long lost. They wanted the power magic and immortality. The elves were granted both but not at the same time. The elves learned the power of magic and would each live for 1,000 years. They had magic but using would cost them years off their lives. The elves created an empire and rules the world for millennia but due to their arrogance and decadence their empire has crumbled. Many elves venture out into the mortal world out of boredom.
The Game Mechanics:
When the elf casts an arcane spell, roll 1d20. If the result is less than or equal to the spell’s level then elf permanently losses HP equal to the spell’s level.
And since I’m on a Dungeon Crawl Classics kick, there’s a little variation for those rules. Elves do not suffer from Corruption. Instead, any time a Corruption effect occurs, the elf loses permanently HP as above plus suffers the effects as if the character had Spellburned a number of points equal to the spell’s level (but doesn’t gain any bonus to the spell check). Additionally, Elves may voluntarily “Spellburn” HP at rate of 2/1 (1 HP=+2 bonus to the spell check). These HP are permanently lost.
It’s been a long time since I messed around with Savage Worlds. Well, here’s the first alien race for player characters.
Imagine a cross between a monkey and an iguana with a sick sense of humor, warped knack for technology and a love of money. Then you have the Gremlox.
Gremlox Ingenuity: Gremlox gain a +1 bonus to Repair skill rolls. However, any other character (including other Gremlox) have a -2 penalty to attempt to repair or maintain that equipment.
Tough Little Bugger: Gremlox have -1 Toughness but also have the Hardy Edge.
Gremlox Technology: Gremlox love gadgets and tinker around with “new and improved” ideas. They are the only race with the AB (Weird Science)*
Quirk (Sick Practical Joker)
*It may sound strange to use Weird Science in a space opera game since there’s already so much technology. But unstable nature of Weird Science and those possible Glitches make it perfect pulpy fit.
There will be more on the way and some house rules too.