Slowly, Slowly, Progress

More work has been done on Chance Encounters, a growing collection of new monsters for Swords & Wizardry. Here’s another sample:

At first blush, zymotic ants appear to be a common variety of giant ant, but closer observation shows otherwise. Zymotic ants not only have powerful mandibles, but their abdomens sport sharp stingers. Worker zymotic ants “harvest” living creatures, overwhelming them by sheer numbers and dragging the unconscious and dead back to the hive’s incubation chambers. Therein, the toxic pathogens injected via stinger are cultivated, for these horrible insects feed primarily on the effluvia of illness. The unquestioned ruler of a zymotic ant hive is its huge queen. Bloated and slow, the queen commands the hive via telepathy. Once per day, her telepathic energies act as an Animate Dead spell, summoning 2d6 zombies. One in 20 of these undead monsters cause disease with their attacks.

Hit Dice: 2 (worker), 3 (soldier), or 10 (queen)
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Attack (Damage): Bite (1d6), sting (1d4 + disease)
Move: 18, 15, or 3
Save: 16, 14, or 5
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60 (worker), 4/120 (soldier), or 12/2000 (queen)
Special: Cause disease, immune to disease and poison, queen abilities (Animate Dead and telepathy)

As you’ve seen if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve also been tooling about with new character classes for The Black Hack. I’m thinking of compiling them into a PDF, either for sale or for free (or both via DriveThruRPG’s pay-what-you-want option). One of the aspects of The Black Hack approach to character classes is how easy it is to make a class that fills a specific campaign niche. Say, for example, your campaign features downtrodden goblin anarchists who fight the power….

Goblin Bomb-Lobber
Starting HP: d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: Any and All
Attack Damage: 1d8 Bombs / 1d4 All Others

Special Features
A Goblin Bomb-Lobber makes his own bombs, producing several each day from available materials. He has a d4 Bomb Usage die. A bomb may be thrown to affect 1d4 Nearby creatures, each one taking damage from the explosion.

A Goblin Bomb-Lobber rolls with Advantage when working with explosives and chemicals, to include avoiding the effects of things that blow up.

Due to his revolutionary beliefs, a Goblin Bomb-Lobber rolls with Advantage when testing CHA during interactions with radicals, chaotic beings, et cetera. He suffers Disadvantage to the same sorts of tests when dealing with law-abiders.

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll twice for DEX and CHA.

Every odd numbered level, step up the Bomb die as well as the number of Nearby creatures a bomb may affect.

August 2nd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Jester for The Black Hack

I might be having too much fun with these classes for The Black Hack. Mea culpa.

Jester
Starting HP: d4 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapons & Armor: Any One-Handed Melee and Slings, and Gambeson and Leather
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising

Special Features
A Jester rolls with Advantage to determine initiative. He also rolls with Advantage when performing delicate tasks, acrobatics, and jokes.

When making a DEX save to avoid a suitable projectile, a Jester may choose to roll with Disadvantage. If he succeeds, he catches the projectile without harm to himself (assuming this is possible).

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll twice for DEX and CHA.

Arcane Spellcasting
A Jester can cast a number of Arcane Spells per day. See the Spellcasting section. A Jester always tests INT with Disadvantage after casting a spell.

Spellbook
A Jester starts with a large spellbook containing 1d3 spells from the Level 1 and 2 Arcane Spell lists. A Jester’s spells never inflict direct damage, involve other planes, or consorting with the undead. Some things just aren’t funny.

July 29th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Singerie for The Black Hack

The art genre called Singerie (“monkey trick” in French) shows monkeys aping human dress and behavior. Often these paintings satirized human fashions, trends, and foibles, as in “Allegory of Tulip Mania” from the first half of the seventeenth century by Jan Brueghel the Younger. Click here to see this painting.

In The Black Hack, a Singerie is a racial character class for those of us who might enjoy playing a talking monkey adventurer. Agile, imitative, and clever, a Singerie ought to be a welcome addition to any adventuring party.

Singerie
Starting HP: d6 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d6
Weapons & Armor: Any One-Handed Weapon or Thrown Weapon, and Gambeson, Leather, and Small Shields
Attack Damage: 1d6 Thrown Weapons only / 1d4 All Others

Special Features
A Singerie rolls with Advantage when performing delicate tasks, climbing, spotting details, moving silently, and performing acrobatics.

If a Singerie takes a Moment to a Minute and observes someone (or something) perform a task, the Singerie may attempt that task the next within the next Minute, rolling with Advantage so long as the task requires a DEX, INT, or CHA save. Esoteric tasks, such as spellcasting, may be rolled, but not with Advantage. Especially unusual or difficult tasks may be impossible or may be attempted with Disadvantage, at the DM’s discretion. After each imitative act, a Singerie rolls his Monkey See Monkey Do Usage die, which starts at d4.

A Singerie makes Ranged Attacks with Thrown Weapons at Nearby targets with Advantage.

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll with Disadvantage for STR. Roll twice for DEX and INT.

Every odd numbered level, step up the Monkey See Monkey Do die.

Nota Bene: The painting at the top of this post is Sebastian Vrancx’s “Singerie with monkey soldiers taking a cat prisoner, backgammon playing monkeys to the right”, from the early 17th century. Your can read a bit more about Singerie paintings over at the Public Domain Review.

July 28th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Berserker for The Black Hack

Another stab at a character class for The Black Hack. I’m not sure I like this one as much as my previous stab at a Monk class, but here it is regardless.

Berserker
Starting HP: d12 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d12
Weapons & Armor: Any and up to Chain & Shield
Attack Damage: 1d8 / 1d6 Unarmed or Improvising

Special Features
With a DEX save, a Berserker can move somewhere Far-Away as part of an action, performing that action at any stage of the move.

As part of his action, a Berserker may make a number of additional attacks equal to half his level (drop fractions).

A Berserker flies into a fearsome blood-mad rage by failing a WIS save, doing so a number of times per day equal to his level. A Berserker’s rage lasts for 4 Moments plus 1 Moment per level. A Berserker’s rage has the following effects:

* The Berserker is immune to charm and fear effects.
* The Berserker makes STR, DEX, and CON saves with Advantage.
* The Berserker makes INT, WIS, and CHA saves with Disadvantage.

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll twice for STR and CON.

July 27th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Daily Bread

And it came to pass, that as he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” And he said to them: “When you pray, say….” (The Gospel According to St. Luke 11:1-2)

Daily Bread
Spell Level: Cleric, 3rd Level
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 day

The Cleric casts Daily Bread on a common loaf of bread, breaking the bread during the invocation. The Cleric may then distribute the blessed bread to six people, plus one additional person for every two levels after 6th level the Cleric has earned. The effects of the bread depend on the recipient’s alignment:

Lawful: The bread cures 1d6 hit points of damage. For the remainder of the day, the recipient enjoys a special blessing. Up to three times, the recipient may call upon this blessing to receive a +1 to any attack roll or saving throw.

Neutral: The bread cures 1d4 hit points of damage. For the remainder of the day, the recipient enjoys a special blessing. Once, the recipient may call upon this blessing to receive a +1 to any attack or saving throw.

Referees who have a specific pantheon of deities for their campaign worlds are encouraged to tailor this spell’s object of blessing and effects using the above effects as a guideline. For example, a Chaotic Cleric devoted to a god of slaughter might bless a cup of blood that cures Chaotic recipients and grants a +2 bonus to damage three times per day.

July 25th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »