Tag Archives: White Box

Far Away Land: OSR Style

Dirk Stanley is pushing out the fulfillment to Kickstarter backers and I got mine. And boy is it pretty sweet. So in case you missed it, there was a Kickstarter for an OSR version of Far Away Land. Far Away Land has been out for quite a while and uses it’s own system which is pretty cool. I ranted about it in a much earlier post. So you can read that and get quick overview on that. Let me do a little recap on the setting. To put it simply, Faraway Land is a strange gonzo setting. That may put some off but you can go as gonzo as you want. And for me personally I like coloring outside the lines of Tolkien and weird stuff. Sure it’s weird but doesn’t rely on shock to be weird. It’s weird just because it is. And it’s that fun kind of weird.

But this rant is about the OSR version and like I said. It’s pretty sweet. Setting-wise it’s still the same but many of the creatures, races, and spells have been converted over to an OSR system. And yes I know there are many OSR systems. In this case, Dirk used White Box or more specifically Swords & Wizardry Continual Light as a base for the rules. So most of the rules should be pretty much familiar to many.
The biggest change for FALOSR is the magic system. It’s pretty simple in a useful sort of way. First, there technically aren’t clerics in the game. There are Light Mages which are sort of like clerics and Chaos Mages which are more like your standard blow-stuff-up Magic-User. Spells are broken down into three categories White, Gray, and Black. Gray spells either of the classes can cast. However, a Light Mage casting a Black Magic spell takes a penalty to casting. And vice versa for the Chaos Mage casting White Magic. They can do it but there’s a penalty. Also, the number of spells a mage may cast is simplified. It’s Level+3. And no preparation of spells. If you know it then you can cast it. Basically. Once again there is a little exception and difference. Spells are broken down by level which corresponds to character level. This makes what level a spell is totally different than other OSR games that mimic the original sources. So a 2nd level character can safely cast second level spells. They can try to cast higher level spells but it’s pretty dangerous. Like I said, the actual spell levels have changed because of this and FALOSR’s own internal logic. A prime example is that Sleep is an 8th Level spell. You read that right. But there’s plenty of new and interesting spells to play around with.

Grizzle bear riding telepathic Agnun

So in case you were wondering, the other two classes are Fighter and Thief. That’s it. Just the classic four classes. For races, you have the standards less Halfling and then the Far Away Land specific races: Agnun, Blonin, Clockwork,Exions, Glacerian, Numan, Orka, Poomkin, and Simian. Plus there’s a few of the monsters you can easily convert. FALOSR has a whole host of little rules tweaks and mini games as well. Want to do 0-Level funnel. No problem. Collaborative wording building? It’s there too. Plus there’s vehicles and naval combat. Special weird powers and training montages. There’s a ton of little useful bits in there.
So if you were already a fan of Far Away Land, chances are you backed the Kickstarter. If you’re a collector of OSR rules sets. Grab it up for your collection. Heck, the art is even fun in the one. If you are an aficionado of White Box games then definitely grab this one up. There’s virtually no conversion to do. So you’re just adding to what you are already using. That’s what I plan on doing a crazy mash up of my own tweaks on the White Box rules and FALOSR.
As of this writing, the Far Away Land-OSR Version hasn’t hit the virtual shelves. You can keep track of that over on DrivethruRPG. And you can learn a whole lot more about the world and the whole product line, a wiki, and some adventures over at FarUniverse.

White Box Thieves

I just can’t leave things alone. A couple of weeks ago, I did some tweaks to the White Box Fighter and those tweaks could be used in other Old School Type games. This time I’m going after the Thief.
White Box Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game did a great job with the Thieves and their skills. They made it one skill Thievery. But in my own little mind, I want to expand it a little more and add just a whee bit of customization.
For my variant, I decided on two skills rather than one. Thievery and Skullduggery. So what does what?
Skullduggery: Disguise, Picking Pockets, Deception, Forgery, Sleight of Hand, Streetwise. When in doubt use Skullduggery when it some to knowledge and interacting with people.
Thievery: Disable and Find Traps, Climb, Pick Locks, Stealth. Thievery is for interacting with devices and the environment.
The skills still work off the x in d6 mechanic and here’s the break down.
Level 1: 1 in 6
Levels 2 to 4: 2 in 6
Levels 5 to 7: 3 in 6
Levels 8 to 10: 4 in 6
At first level, the character chooses which one they are better at and gets a +1 to the skill. And there you go. The rest of the Thief is the same.

White Box Warriors or Fighters Are Boring

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on White Box. But there was a request and I’ve got a few things in my back pocket while I was prepping for the possibility of running it. So why not do a few posts about it?

My Favorite White Box Cover

Let me start with messing with the good old fighter. Why? Because they are kind of boring. They get the best armor, weapons, HP, and to-hit bonuses and that’s it. There’s very little of what I would cool factor. You run up and you hit stuff. So how about adding a little bling to the fighter.
First, drop the Combat Fury. That’s the extra attacks against opponents of 1 HD or less. I’ve found it not very useful. Instead go for the “Chop Til You Drop” Rule. Legend has it that it was Dave Arneson’s house rules in the very early days so I say it stands up to the OSR purity test. It runs like this basically. Kill an opponent. Get an extra attack. The character can only get a number of extra attacks equal to their level. It’s much more useful over the level range of the character without being overpowered. But that’s just opinion.
Next. Why should thieves have all the fun with skills? So give Fighters a skill. I call it Prowess. I could throw in a little chart but just turn the Thief page in your rule book and look at their Thievery progression. A Fighter’s Prowess follows the same progression.
So what do you do with it? Want to do some neat trick in combat. Roll Prowess. That’s the catch all. However, I expanded it a bit more for more mechanic based effects. First, the player declares what they want to do. Most of thing time this would break down to three things. It it harder, not get hit, and make sure you hit. Mechanically speaking this breaks down to bonus to Damage, Armor Class, or To-Hit. So roll that Prowess. Fail. Too bad no bonus. Success! In that case the number rolled is the bonus. So low level Fighters won’t be getting huge bonuses and they won’t get them that often. Higher level fighters have a better chance of getting a bonus but then there’s still a chance that it might only +1 which at higher levels might not help that much.
So what do you think? Should I do more of these? Let me know folks.

And so 2019 in gaming begins…


Tonight is our groups first gaming session after the holidays and the FLGS finished up their inventory, so it’s time to get the year rolling. To be honest, I don’t remember which of the games that we’re supposed to play. It’s either Call of Cthulhu (Horror on the Orient Express) or 5E (Dragon Heist). But I’ve also my own little bit to-do.
I’ve been geared up to run an OSR game again for a long time now. I’ve done a lot of little things for White Box but then I just got my copy of Advanced Labyrinth Lord. So it’s time to put it up to the group which one they want to play. No mater their choice it’s going to be fun. Oh and in case you were wondering..They are going to start…

Man, I’ve been anticipating this for a while. I’ll let you know how it goes folks.
Til next time. Roll dice. Kill monsters. Take their stuff. And have fun out there!

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

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.