House Rules: Season To Taste

Yep. House Rules. They’re like in every recipe you read. Season to taste. My philosophic rambles I’ll put in the Playing It Wrong Podcast. As mater of fact, here’s Episode 28: House Rules: Season To Taste. But then you’re here on the blog to read. So a reading you shall do. I’ve come up with a couple more house rules for my White Box campaign.

Why are you cool? Each player character gets a +1 bonus to something specific (HP, Attack, Save, AC, etc) or an extra “skill”(Roll 1d6: 1=1 in 6, 2-5=2 in 6, 6=3 in 6). Talk it out. Up to GM approval. Just a little boost to make the player characters been more special and customized without being overpowering.

Death & Dying: Save or Die=Dead. Level drain and so. Still dead. If “Normal” damage takes a character to Negative CON score HP then dead. Otherwise the character is at 0 HP. Make a System Shock check*. Failure means the character is dead. If successful then character then the character is still alive but will bleed out in a number of rounds equal to the number rolled on the System Shock check.

* System Shock: That’s in the Version 1 of the house rules. Here’s the quick version. X in d6 Chance based on character’s Constitution score.
3 to 5: 1 in d6
6 to 8: 2 in d6
9 to 12: 3 in d6
13 to 16: 4 in d6
17 to 18: 5 in d6

For reference: Here’s a link to the free PDF of the Third Printing of the Swords & Wizardry version; or the Fantastic Medieval Adventures by Seattle Hill Games. They’re both great and nearly identical. So get both…

Swords & Wizardry Decks

I haven’t done a review in a long time but I got a request for a review of these on the podcast. Speaking of which, if you really don’t want to read this I say basically the same thing in Episode 27 of Playing It Wrong. Of course, there’s my rambling aside on the podcast and pictures here so check out both. You’re sort of getting a twofer here.
In odd way, I sort of have a history with these. Way back when Frog God did the Kickstarter for Swords & Wizardry Complete (Note: The Otus Cover), I backed it. I got all sorts of stretch goals. Character sheets, adventures, and even a set of dice. And a bunch of PDF’s. I didn’t back for hard copies of the decks at the time. Instead I took the PDF’s and printed them out on my old and really crappy printer. Let me put this way, we didn’t stop using until HP stopped making ink cartridges for it. Yeah, we’re that cheap. Fast forward to present day. I hit up the 5E Humble Bundle and part of it was a coupon for Frog God’s store and I was and still am planning on doing a White Box campaign. So I figured that would be a good use of the coupon.
Here’s what I ordered: Encounter Decks I and II (54 Cards each); the Treasure Deck (52 Cards) and the Hireling Deck (36 Cards). As you can see above, they have the later cover. No biggie. Also, as compared to the PDF there isn’t a graphic (although same graphic) on the usable side of the card just the text. This isn’t complaining just facts.

OK, let’s talk about the physical product. First, you’re going to need sort of alternate storage solution. The larger decks just won’t fit back into their boxes. No problem there. I had couple sitting around that I have no idea why I bought in the first place. So yeah. They are cards. Plastic coated with a lighter card stock. I don’t know the technical specs but it does feel thinner than a high quality deck of standard playing cards. And yes they are the same size as standard cards not poker sized.
So how useful will they be at the table? Pretty darned useful mostly.
The Hireling Deck will probably see the least amount of use. It’s handy for the good old “Who’s in the bar..” type encounter. But if you’re looking for a specific type, it’d probably be just as easy to make it on the spot. But it is a good source of ready made NPC’s that you may or may not tweak to your individual needs. The NPC’s have their ability scores, vocation, equipment, a quirk, a wage, name, race and gender. The Hireling Deck also includes Dogs In The Dungeon in case the players want a canine hireling except for the cow.
The Encounter Decks and The Treasure Deck go together in my mind as a pair that is really useful in tandem. The Treasure Deck contains ready made treasure hoards. Not amounts but also how they are stored. And there’s all sorts of odd ball treasures too like a 1,600 lb copper nugget, or standard adventuring gear or even magic items. The Encounter Decks are just that Encounters. Most just aren’t 1d6 Orcs. It can be more of fleshed out encounter like a party of monsters or adventurers. And yes there encounters that are individual monsters. But the mutli-type monster ones are more interesting. In true OSR fashion, the Treasure and Encounters are not scaled for the any character levels. So what you draw is what you get. A quick guess on my part is that most encounters would be fatal to a 1st level party but a party hitting about 3rd or so should be able to deal with most of them. I should also mention that the encounter cards do contain the monsters’ stats so no flipping through pages of the book.
Do I recommend them? Yep. Will they be useful for a GM? Yep. Heck, you could go thru the decks and put together a dungeon real quick and populate with monsters and treasure. Random encounters that are more than just a monster on the chart. Check.
You can pick these up at Frog God Games site.

Skarynth For Sharps Swords & Sinister Spells Part 2: Races

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.

White Box House Rules Version 1

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.

It’s a crazy week. So here’s a crazy monster.

Hey a long weekend but not for me. That still means a crazy week of catch up and work at the day job. So yeah. It’s a crazy week so here’s that crazy monster.
Carrion Slime
Carrion Slime are pink amorphous blobs that reek of rotting flesh and bile. They are not intelligent and view everything as food. Some believe that Carrion Slime were created by a mad sorcerer as means of waste disposal. The slime ate the sorcerer then escaped into the world.
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 2 Pseudopod (1d4)
Saving Throw: 14
Special: Acidic Slime, Immune To Sleep And Charm, Regenerate
Acidic Slime: On a failed Saving Throw, a character struck by a Carrion slime takes an additional 1d6 damage.
Regenerate: A Carrion Slime regenerates 1 HP/Round until dead.
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240

Who’s Passing Through Town?

I had this idea pop into my head about a simple little random table about random folks passing through whatever town or village the PC’s might be in to add a little extra thing that they could do or encounter and then decide put a little twist on it to keep things interesting.

Who’s Passing
Through Town.

Who Are They

(1 in 6 Chance They
are something else.)


Traveling Merchants






Religious Pilgrims




Scouts for an Army



An Evil Cult




So my HTML ain’t that great and it’s a quick little post. It’s Monday…

Roll Dice. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff. And Have Fun!

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