Tag Archives: Swords & Wizardry

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.

Episode 33: The Weirdling World of Jordoba

Episode 33: The Weirdling World of Jordoba.
OK so this is a little ramble about the Jordoba and Uncle Matt’s (Finch) RPG Studio Patreon. It’s a fun and just weird enough world without going too crazy or off the tracks. Any way sorry for the rambling on this episode.
And if you just want to go direct and check it out yourself here’s:
Uncle Matt’s RPG Studio Youtube Channel
Uncle Matt’s Patreon.
Uncle Matt on Drivethru RPG

Aeturia: The Godless Land

Another update on the World of Zoong. Yeah, so I’ve working on redoing the world maps from that hand scrawled thing that I posted a few weeks ago. But then I thought, why not update with all my notes. I made a short mention of this on the podcast. That southern wasteland continent. I had just a single note written down for it. “Post Apocalyptic He-Man/Thundarr” That’s it. So I figured that I’d put a little bit more meat on those bones.
What does the place look like? Pretty much a desert wasteland full of ruins. Sort of a fantasy mix of Ancient Egypt, Mythic Atlantis and so on. Or since a pic is worth a 1,000 words…

Now I haven’t come up with names of any cities yet. I’ll wait till I get further along on drawing the map and fleshing things out more. So why it is the Godless Land? Well, too much hubris. Too much magic. And the gods just abandon the place. This all got me thinking of the best place to start in making this place. And, of course, that’s with Races. So here’s what I thought of.
Aeturian (Human Sub-Race): While basically “human”, Aeturians cannot be Clerics, Druids, Paladins, or similar classes. They are generally Fighters, Magic-Users, or Thieves. Aeturian society is basically broken down into two groups or castes. Spell casters and non-spell casters; with the spell casters being the powerful nobility. They are all wary and untrusting of those who deal with the gods.
Tough & Hardy: The hardships of living in Aeturia means the survivors are tougher than standard human stock. Aeturians gain an additional HP each level.
Non-Spell Casters:
Wary of Magic: +2 Save vs Magic
Survival Instincts: -1[+1] AC
Spell Casters:
Powerful Sorcery: Targets are at a -1 penalty to their Saving Throws against the character’s spells.
Magic Most Vile: Aeturian wizards routinely commune with demons, devils, and other outer beings which they may call on in time of need (or want). But there is always a price to pay. This depends on the boon asked and the GM’s discretion.
OK, so I may flesh this out more later on. And I know that this seems more powerful than the standard stock human. But I’m also taking into account my House Rules (posted earlier). Aeturians won’t get the stat boost nor the ability to buy up stats.
With that, I’ll get back to brainstorming.

Episode 31: Race As Class

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

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.

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.