Tag Archives: World of Zoong

Episode 16: World Building Part 1

Here’s a pretty lengthy rant about how I’m going about making my D&D/OSR/whatever world.

And here’s the “working” map of Zoong including mistakes and other sloppiness. But it works for a DM’s notebook. Where are the Elves and Halflings from? Hasn’t came so haven’t worried about it yet.

And here’s the zoom in hex map from the 5E Campaign. You may recognize some thinly veiled hints about what modules I had on tap.

And you know the drill. Subscribe to the podcast. I don’t always post every I say over here and vice versa. And if you’ve already subscribed. Thanks.

Skills in the World of Zoong

I talked a bit about this in previous podcasts and it happens to be where my mind is right now. Contrary to my OSR folks, I do like some skills but not too many. I think even 5E has too many skills. So for the upcoming White Box game, I want to do some sort of skill system. This is all still preliminary and will probably change down the road.
First, there’s Attribute Checks. You know roll under the score with a d20. I’m going to use that for some things. Mainly, things that rely on solely on a characters abilities with no sort of training. The prime example is the good old “Bend Bars/Kick in the Door” type roll. I know a lot folks use that for pretty all skills but I still have some memories back in the 2nd Edition days of using it and the Magic-User happened to better at sneaking than the Thief.
The rest of the skills would rely on the x in d6 mechanic inspired by the White Box Omnibus, White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventures, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
Everyman Skills: Let’s face it there are things that all the characters are going to try regardless of their class. Right now, I’m looking at just three or four skills.
1. Sneak: Because everybody wants to move quietly at some time. This starts at 1 in 6 and may be modified by Class or Race.
2. Athletics: Climbing, Jumping, and Acrobatic type maneuvers. This also starts at 1 in 6. If Strength or Dexterity is greater than 15 then add one (2 in 6). If both are above 15 the add two (3 in 6).
3. Sixth Sense: This is used for avoiding surprise, searching, and finding secret doors. This also starts at 1 in 6 and may be modified by Race and Class.
4. I don’t have a name that I like for this one. But I want some sort of social skill. I understand the whole Role Play vs Roll Play. I do want the players to role play out any social encounters but I want something simple that simulates subtle social cues like body language, intonation, and reading the mark. Like the others, this would start at 1 in 6 with a +1 for a Charisma greater than 15.
Improving Everyman Skills: When the character gains a level the player chooses one Everyman Skill and rolls a d6. If the result is higher than the current rating then increase that skill by one.
Everyman Skills Vs Class Skills: If a character has a class skill that would also include an Everyman skill then use the better of the two. Thinking mainly of the Thief here.
Unskilled Attempts: This is going to be judgement call on the GM’s part. But these attempts would fall into three categories:
1. No Way: The character just doesn’t have the training to attempt.
2. Snowball’s Chance: Sure try. Roll 2d6 and only succeed on the roll of double 1’s.
3. Sure give it shot: 1 in 6.
I know there’s a bunch of this will probably change when start really digging into classes. So stay tuned for that and Episode 11 of the podcast should be coming soon!

What The Heck is Thieves’ Cant?

This is one of the things I love about new players. They ask questions like that. Sure there have probably been dozen of articles already written about the subject I mean since there’s been a Thief Class, there’s been Thieves’ Cant. All that stuff that I had read years ago just didn’t pop into my head when I was asked. So I let a little instinct and logic step in and come up with sort of good explanation.
First (according to Wikipedia anyway), the concept is based on reality. As spoken language, I imagine it to use “Common” but with meanings of some words changed as well as disguised much like rhyming slang. So the individual words may recognized by the uninitiated but their true meaning or their context won’t make any sense.More detailed meaning is gleaned from context and the use of hand gestures or sign language.
So yes a language with somatic components. It can be used to communicate covertly while others are listening to better disguise what exactly is being communicated. Plus it’s really handy when you’re sneaking around and trying to be quiet. You know like in every movie you’ve ever seen with commandos in it.
And what about a written form? Why, yes of course. Once again let’s dig into the world and there it is Hobo Signs. Thieves don’t want to leave behind incriminating evidence but it is a matter of professional courtesy to leave little bits of information behind to warn or aid the next thief who comes along.
So there you go. A little about Thieves Cant. Now go out and kill a monster and take its stuff.

Meet The Band & Malloc Gets A New Fan Girl

The Dungeon Crawl Classics game is steaming ahead and it’s time to meet the band and hear about some of their misadventures. The last session, we were missing two players so more on their characters later but here’s the roll call for the one’s who braved Madazkan’s Court (Sunken City)!
Bill The Fighter who probably isn’t going to have a long life considering he has 2 HP and a crappy Luck score.
Jade/Jace The Witch (from Tales of the Fallen Empire. First on the whole Jade/Jace thing. For Mercurial Magic for Flaming Hands, Gender Bender was rolled. Look it up. Now I did do a couple of tweaks on the class. First, The Witch gets a Lay On Hands ability very similar to a Cleric’s. But it’s based on the phases of the moon. I’m lazy and really didn’t want to keep track of that. Also, I really enjoy embracing some of the crazy randomness of DCC. So the Lay On Hands table has 5 columns. Good. Roll 1d5 each time it’s attempted. The column may shift based on any powerful ambient magic in the area for good or ill. Also, the class has an ability called Temptress. Add your Personality Modifier to any social checks. Uh, I’d do that any way so it’s not much of a class ability. So what the heck. Add Level.
Kinder The Halfling (Don’t blame me. Let the player name their character how ever) and probably one the unluckiest Halflings around.
Nelson the Clumsy Elf. The one elf in the world, you don’t want to hand a bow to.
I won’t go into a long blow by blow rant on the session, only the good parts. And yes before you say anything, I ignored some rules here and there. But it was all for the fun of it.
Let’s start with poor Nelson who needs to get some armor so his AC gets up to 10.
“I don’t want to get near the monster. Can I use my 10 foot pole as a weapon sort of like a spear.”
“Sure why not? It’s blunt so it does 1d3.”
“Cool. I crit.” And every encounter after that Nelson crit’ed at least once with his 10 foot pole.
Now on to Kinder the Halfling. The party just made 1st level. They haven’t had a chance to go to town to buy any gear. The only pair of weapons they had were a couple of Long Swords. I don’t care that the swords are as long as the Halfling is tall. Just the visual of the psychotic little Cuisinart made me chuckle. So what the heck. After Bill the Fighter spends most of his time unconscious.
Now for the highlight of the session. And yes SPOILERS AHEAD. STOP READING NOW. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

It’s the final encounter in Madazkan’s Court. It’s more a trap than a monster. But somehow, the party got it into their heads that it was more of a monster. They kept attacking and throwing spells at the statue for absolutely no effect. Jade The Witch gets desperate and realizes with a good enough roll Charm Person could work on a “monster”. And the DCC Dice Gods said, “Nope! Spell Misfire!” The result. Caster falls in love with the target of the spell. Add into this the player rolled well on Mercurial Magic. First, everyone within 10 feet gets a little healing. It kept Bill alive. Second, all looking at the caster must make a Will Save or be entranced by the caster for 1d3 rounds. The only one to make that save was poor Bill who was being pulled into the maw of the statue. So while the Witch was putting her moves onto Malloc, Nelson the Elf and Kinder the Halfling watched. Yeah, there were a lot of jokes…