Saturday, 21 November 2015

The B/X Rogue: Out Now!

I have written a thing and you might like to buy it! It has illustrations by the esteemed Nicolò Maioli. Here is what it says on the back:

Climbing walls, hiding in shadows, moving silently, removing traps... There must be more to the adventuring life than this!

Explode the talents of your sneaky characters with this book!

More than simply a thief, the rogue class has access to talents drawn from a wide array of archetypes, all integrated into a single class. Scouts & spies, burglars & tomb robbers, charlatans & con-artists, swashbucklers & explorers, brigands & highwaymen, assassins & thugs. No need for all of those specialised sub-classes any more!

Within these pages you will discover:
  1. Complete advancement tables for levels 1 to 20
  2. 36 adventuring talents
  3. Themed packages of talents for a quick start into the game
  4. Guidelines for other classes attempting roguish feats
  5. Rules for song magic and dabbling in arcane secrets

Buy the PDF at RPGNow

(Print version coming soon.)

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Wormskin Issue 1: Delayed But Not Dead!

Back in August, the Gorgonmilk and I made an (in retrospect rash) announcement of the impending emergence of a zine known as Wormskin, in which the mythical Dolmenwood would begin to be revealed. Since that day, all has been quiet on the Dolmenwood front...

What's going on?

Well, as often happens with such things (when one is doing this as a hobby, not as a job, at least), writing was delayed, layout was delayed. In this case, the only thing that wasn't delayed was illustration! Hurrah!

But! I have this very evening put the finishing touches to the text of issue 1 and will be embarking upon the layout process in the coming weeks. I'm not going to be foolish enough to say anything like "it should be ready be the end of the month!" (again), but wanted to put the word out: it is still happening!

Finalised contents of issue 1 are:
  • The grimalkin race-class (witnessed in sketch form here).
  • Three new spells of cat-kind, including the terrifying (?) furball.
  • The moss dwarf race-class (glimpsed as a wisp here).
  • One (1!) new forest-creeping monster: the root-thing.
  • A hearty article on the fungi of Dolmenwood: edible, psychedelic, and poisonous. How to identify them? What are their names? What shall come to pass upon consuming one? All this and more is answered!
 Coming soon(ish). Keep 'em peeled!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

LL/5e Mashup: Arcane Trickster and Arcane Champion

I just came across some notes related to the ideas I had for a 5e-inspired Arcane Champion (Warrior) class and Arcane Trickster (Rogue) class.

It's just simple lists of spells, but I thought I might as well type them up, for completeness, rather than entirely discard them. So here we go.

Arcane Trickster
1st Level Spells
  1. Auditory illusion
  2. Dancing lights
  3. Darkness globe
  4. Doppelganger
  5. Charm person
  6. Feather fall
  7. Comprehend languages
  8. Jump
  9. Read languages
  10. Spider climb
  11. Unseen servant
  12. Ventriloquism
2nd Level Spells
  1. Invisibility
  2. Phantasmal force
  3. ESP
  4. Knock
  5. Levitate
  6. Locate object
  7. Detect invisible
  8. False gold
3rd Level Spells
  1. Blink
  2. Haste
  3. Hold person
  4. Nondetection
  5. Suggestion
  6. Infravision
4th Level Spells
  1. Arcane eye
  2. Charm monster
  3. Dimension door
  4. Polymorph self

Arcane Champion
1st Level Spells
  1. Light
  2. Magic missile
  3. Burning hands
  4. Protection from evil
  5. Shield
  6. Shocking grasp
2nd Level Spells
  1.  Detect evil
  2. Scare
  3. Strength
  4. Pyrotechnics
  5. Mirror image
  6. Ray of enfeeblement
3rd Level Spells
  1. Dispel magic
  2. Fireball
  3. Lightning bolt
  4. Haste
  5. Hold person
  6. Protection from normal missiles
4th Level Spells
  1. Enchant arms
  2. Fire shield
  3. Ice storm
  4. Wall of fire

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Basic vs Complete Vivimancer Spells

I've thought about trying to do this for a long time and, as the Halloween sale at RPGNow is on, I thought now would be an appropriate juncture.

So, just for fun, here we have the list of spells which The Complete Vivimancer adds on top of the spells in the basic vivimancer class in Theorems & Thaumaturgy *.

  1. Absorb equipment
  2. Accelerated reproduction
  3. Adapt appendage
  4. Animate vegetation or fungus
  5. Anthropomorphism
  6. Appendage growth
  7. Arcane sight
  8. Bind familiar
  9. Blood rupture
  10. Bonewarp
  11. Cannibal holocaust
  12. Cannibal rage
  13. Carapace
  14. Chaos mind
  15. Charm plants and fungus
  16. Clone monster
  17. Clone plant or animal
  18. Clone self
  19. Creeping homunculus
  20. Decay
  21. Decode genome
  22. Detach
  23. Dispersed mind
  24. Echo location
  25. Elasticity
  26. Enlarge breed
  27. Face absorption
  28. Flesh pocket
  29. Flesh shape
  30. Fluid absorption
  31. Fungal zombie
  32. Gelatinous transformation
  33. Genetic conduit
  34. Genetic location
  35. Genetic memory
  36. Genetic resequencing
  37. Genetic spell encoding
  38. Homing instinct
  39. Hormone control
  40. Hyperolfaction
  41. Immortality
  42. Infestation
  43. Insanity
  44. Insect messenger
  45. Instant adaptation
  46. Instinct
  47. Leech blast
  48. Leeching touch
  49. Meld flesh
  50. Mind mask
  51. Mind slave
  52. Muscle control
  53. Mutagen
  54. Mutagenic zone
  55. Mutate breed
  56. Nature's secrets
  57. Nauseating stench
  58. Neural absorption
  59. Neural encoding
  60. Neural surge
  61. Ooze
  62. Organ transference
  63. Organ transference, greater
  64. Overgrow
  65. Pair bonding
  66. Paralysis
  67. Pheromone surge
  68. Progeny
  69. Psionic awakening
  70. Psionic surge
  71. Replicate life-form
  72. Repulsive scent
  73. Revert biology
  74. Scentlessness
  75. Skein
  76. Slime blast
  77. Spark of life
  78. Speak with plants and fungus
  79. Spider skein
  80. Spying homunculus
  81. Stabilize mutation
  82. Synaptic reprogramming
  83. Synaptic trigger
  84. Transparency
  85. Vats of creation, greater
  86. Vats of regeneration
  87. Vats of reincarnation
  88. Wall of claws
  89. Wall of ooze
  90. Web walk
  91. Weltmark
(* At least as far as my linux command line file comparison skills can determine.)

Friday, 23 October 2015

B/X Rogue Class: Coming Soon!

A few weeks back, I wrote a post which sketched out an idea for a rogue class to replace (and subsume) the classic thief and its various subclasses. Here's the original post.

Well, I've been thinking about it a lot more, refining the ideas, adding more talents, adding rules for magic use (in the arcane dabbler vein of the Gray Mouser or the song magic vein of the traditional bard class), etc. It's developed into a fully written-up class in the form of a 20 page PDF! Having come this far, I plan to give the class a proper publication -- illustrations and all.

I'm not yet sure exactly when it'll be ready for publication, so this is just a heads up that it's on the horizon. (Also that I'm still out here, working on stuff, even though this blog has been nigh silent of late!)

More news when it comes...

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

OSR Rogue Class: Part 1

Periodically, in my musings on D&D, I feel the need to create a new thief / rogue class, often mixing in elements of other rogue types such as assassins, acrobats, and bards. Well, the stars have aligned just right, and the following has been bouncing around in my head.

Rogue Class
Instead of a fixed set of skills advancing at a predetermined rate (like the standard thief class), the character has an expanding set of largely non-advancing skills. A 1st level rogue knows four of the skills below (player's choice). One more skill is learned at each level increase. From 5th level, the character may choose from the list of advanced skills (those marked with an asterisk). Learning an advanced skill requires that the rogue first learn the associated normal skill (e.g. move silently requires move quietly).

Pick pockets: requires a successful DEX check. The victim may save versus spells to notice the attempt.

Sleight of hand: used to surreptitiously manipulate items, perform tricks of legerdemain, delicately extract or swap out objects from pressure plates, etc. A DEX check is required for success.

Mimic voice: general accents can be mimicked with ease. To convincingly mimic an individual, you must listen to them speaking for at least ten minutes. If there is any uncertainty, listeners may make a saving throw versus spells to detect the ruse.

Move quietly: when lightly encumbered, you can sneak quietly. (Other characters may attempt to sneak, but without guaranteed success.) In an environment with no ambient noise to mask your movement, an attentive listener may notice you -- save versus wands.

Move silently *: when lightly encumbered, you can sneak absolutely silently.

Back stab: when attacking a humanoid victim who is unaware of your presence, you get a +4 bonus to attack with a dagger. If the attack succeeds, the precision of your strike inflicts extra damage: 1d4 + your level.

Sniper: works the same as back stab (above), but for fired missile weapons (bows, crossbows).

Garrote: when attacking a humanoid victim who is unaware of your presence, you can attempt to strangle them with a garrote or similar weapon. Make an attack roll. If the attack succeeds, you have the garrote in place, causing 1d4 damage. Each subsequent round, the victim suffers 1d4 damage and must save versus paralysis or fall unconscious (if you garrote an unconscious victim for one more round, they die). While conscious, the victim may fight back with their fists, small weapons, or by wrestling. All such attacks are at -2, but success indicates they've broken free of your garrote (in addition to normal damage, etc.).

Black jack: when attacking a humanoid victim who is unaware of your presence and who is not wearing a helmet, you can attempt to knock them out with a cosh, black jack, or similar implement. Make an attack roll. If it succeeds, the victim suffers 1d4 damage and must save versus paralysis. Failure indicates that they're knocked unconscious.

Tight rope walking: expert balance allows you to easily walk or dash across narrow beams. With a DEX check, you can walk across right ropes or beams of less than 6 inches width.

Blind fighting: training in the unusual art of fighting while blindfolded reduces the penalty to attacks against foes whom you cannot see. Instead of the usual -4 penalty, you only suffer -2 when making melee attacks.

Climb rock faces: when lightly encumbered, you can climb rough rock faces with a successful DEX check. You can climb easier surfaces without a check.

Climb rough walls *: your climbing skills are so advanced that you can scale sheer surfaces with only minimal handholds such as the cracks between stone blocks. This requires a DEX check. You can climb easier surfaces without a check.

Find hidden mechanisms: your chance of detecting secret doors or mechanical traps when searching is increased by 1 in 6. (Note that you may be able to find such mechanisms without a roll by describing to the referee exactly how you search.)

Pick locks: with decent lock picks and a turn of work, you can attempt to open locks without the appropriate key. A DEX roll is required. You may retry, if you fail.

Disable small mechanical traps: with a set of thieves' tools and a turn off work, you can attempt to bypass or disable small mechanical traps such as those found on locks. A DEX roll is required. If you fail, save versus wands to avoid setting the trap off. You may retry.

Decipher foreign text: with an INT check, you can figure out the gist of a text written in foreign languages which are related to a language you know.

Decipher obscure text *: as above, but applies to ancient or obscure languages, at the referee's discretion.

Read magic: you can decipher arcane inscriptions, including those on magic-user scrolls or in spell books. There is a 1 in 6 chance of your understanding being inaccurate. This skill does not allow you to cast spells.

Activate magic scrolls *: you can cast spells from magic-user scrolls with a 90% chance of success.

Detect magic: with a turn of concentration, you have a 2 in 6 chance of detecting the presence of magic in a 10' area or on a specific object. You may retry.

Hear noise: your chance of hearing noises when listening at doors is increased by 1 in 6.

Coming In Part 2
More skills...

Mimic behaviour
Hide in shadows *
Escape bonds
Identify common poisons
Identify rare poisons *
(...and anything else that comes to my mind in the meantime)

Thursday, 20 August 2015

AD&D 2nd Edition Proficiencies List

The release of the AD&D 2e players handbook in PDF the other day has got me thinking about that edition of the game -- the one I've played the most of, after Basic / Expert.

I'm not sure if it'll come to anything, but I'm seriously considering running some 2e games, with a few small house rule tweaks. One such tweak is that I'd eliminate the non-weapon proficiency groups which limited the selection of proficiencies by the character's class. To that end, I wanted to create a master list of all the proficiencies in the PHB.

Here's a rough PDF of it.