Posts Tagged ‘ Swords & Wizardry ’

A Great Cause & Little Baby Sings

Did you know that you can buy both Erik Jensen’s Bonespur Glacier and Jason Paul McCartan’s The Tomb of Bashyr as an OSRIC game system, double-feature module? Well, you do now.

Best of all, this double-feature module helps fund a worthwhile charitable effort: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This link takes you the pay-what-you-want version. There’s also this $4.99 version. I’ve purchased my copy, and you should too. It’s a great pair of adventures written for a great game that help support a great organization.

And now, a new magic item!

Little Baby Sings

This strange toy, cast from metal into the shape of a crawling infant and painted with bright colors, features eight oblong buttons on one side. The first seven buttons are numbered; the last is labeled with a musical note.

The toy’s holder can press a numbered button and then the musical note button to produce a magical effect. The exact effects vary as it seems as if no two of these items are identical.

Possibilities could include such effects as these:

1. A single humanoid creature of 4 or fewer Hit Dice within 30 feet is dazed and loses its next action.

2. For one round, the use can make a rope move as commanded.

3. A single creature of 5 or fewer Hit Dice suffer from severe fear for 1d4 rounds.

4. An illusionary duplicate of the holder appears and lasts for 1d4 rounds. The duplicate mimics the holder’s actions.

5. Secret doors within 30 feet are revealed.

6. For the next minute, the holder can walk across water or other similiar substances as if they were solid ground.

7. Ignite a flammable object within 30 feet.

May 23rd, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

X is for X-tra Time

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(See what I did there?)

Took advantage of some extra time this morning while my students were in computer to start writing Unenägu. First step: Start to clarify how these new rules differ from that on which they are based. Here’s a sample:

Unenägu, like Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox, requires two sets of players who differ in kind. The first is the Referee, and the second are the Players. The bulk of the first part of what follows aims primarily at the Players, who each must create a Player Character (PC), who becomes one of the characters in the shared story played out at the table during a game session.

What’s the Same?
If you’re reading these words, I’m assuming you have your own copy of Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox. You’ll need to refer to it. Unenägu doesn’t repeat information from Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox any more than necessary. For example, you’ll not find much in the way of items and equipment in what follows. Those guidelines are in Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox, and I didn’t feel the need to retype them. Still, I do want to point out briefly what Unenägu doesn’t change, so here goes.

Rule Number One is still rule number one. This is your game now. Feel free to change it, add to it, subtract from it, et cetera. One of the beautiful things about old-school games is that they are about rulings not rules. This is especially important for the Referee. When something happens in the game that the rules don’t cover, make a ruling and move on.

Unenägu also uses all the same dice as Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox. Attribute scores remain the same, and experience point (XP) calculations are unchanged. Likewise, hit points, starting gold, and alignment remain the same (unless, of course, you want to change them).

What’s more, the three basic character classes — the Cleric, the Fighter, and the Magic-User — work in Unenägu just like they do in Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox. So, too, do Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings.

What’s Different?
Unenägu adds new class options related to PCs who are Visitors, those special children who have left behind the real world and entered the Realm of Dream. As Visitors, these children are aware that they now live in a dream, and they can manipulate reality, which, in game terms, is reflected in the use of Oneiric Points.

In addition to Humans, Dwaves, Elves, and Halflings, PCs who are not Visitors may be Talking Animals. The fables and fairy tales from which Unenägu draws inspiration often include animals with human intelligence and characteristics. Some Talking Animals appear very much like normal animals, while others are more anthropomorphic (such as Puss-in-Boots).

Lastly, a few non-Visitors PCs who have exceptionally high ability scores (14+) may perform Legendary Feats. A Fighter with an exceptional Strength might be able to twist iron chains asunder, whereas a Halfling with an exceptional Dexterity may be able to race up a wall.

April 28th, 2015  in Product Development 1 Comment »

Jasper’s Starfish Dragon

In my last post, I imagined Jasper, son of Laryssa and John Payne, as the superheroic Crayola Kid. I also explained that Jasper needs ear surgery to help improve his hearing. At the time of this writing, the Payne family has raised $2,050 of $4,300 needed for Jasper’s medical bills. Check out the Paynes’ GoFundMe page. I’m planning on another donation by Spes Magna Games at the end of this month once my March sales receipts are deposited to my PayPal account. I’m also hoping that the little bit of exposure my posts bring might inspire others who can to be generous.

Of course, I need something gaming related for this post, and so this time I’ve statted up Jasper’s starfish dragon (click on the pic to embiggen the image).

The Starfish Dragon

Deep beneath the waves of the vast sea lurks the starfish dragon. The size of a galleon, supernaturally strong and invulnerable to all but the most powerful weapons, it seldom surfaces except to protect its territory against hostile interlopers. When the starfish dragon attacks, it stirs up massive waves and then tears the hull open from underneath. It usually then descends back to its depths, leaving the sailors to the mercy of the elements.

For Dungeon World

Intelligent, Magical, Hoarder, Huge, Solitary
Tentacles (b[2d10]+5 damage, +2 piercing)
20 HP
4 Armor
Forceful, Messy, Reach
Special Qualities: Aquatic, know the deeps, nigh-invulnerable scales
Instinct: To terrorize the weak
* Crush with tentacles
* Exhale unquenchable fire
* Toss massive waves

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 10; AC 1 (18); Atks 3 tentacles (1d8), 1 bite (3d6); SV 5; Special +1 or better weapon to hit, 35% magic resistance, breathe cone of fire (10d8 with save for half damage), control ocean waters; MV 6 (Swim 21); AL N; CL/XP 14/2,600

March 22nd, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

The Terror of Toys

So, I started reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s Roverandom last night. I’ve long maintained that all good children’s stories must have an element of fear, darkness, et cetera, in them. Tolkien obviously agreed. Rover, after being turned into a toy, complains that he wants to run and bark and play. Other toys chide Rover, telling him to be quiet because the more a toy gets played with, the quicker it wears out, breaks, gets discarded and so forth.

In other words, the very thing that a toy is made for is the thing which a toy dreads.

Excellently dark.

Of course, I could not help but think of the fantasy game implications of Tolkien’s tale. In short:

1. Toys are sentient, capable of communication, and are motile. We don’t know they’re sentient because we can’t hear them talk or see them move. Toys can’t move when they’re watched, and even when not watched most move very slowly, especially if they aren’t appropriately articulated. A block of wood carved into the shape of a horse can perhaps wobble a little bit and fall over, but that’s about it.

2. Toys don’t like being played with. They want to be left alone, kept in mint condition on display on a shelf out of reach of children’s fingers.

3. Toys fear death at the hands of children. They also fear being discarded or lost, which likely leaves them at the mercy of the elements, nibbling rodents, and so forth.

Thus, the life of a toy tends to be limited and full of dread. Toys are created by thoughtless craftsmen to endure torture and eventual destruction, all to amuse children who are oblivious to the terror they inflict.

Quite understandably, many toys become quite bitter, even hateful, especially of children. Rarely, one of these toys entreats whatever powers might listen for aid, and Cro† infrequently decides to intervene. In his mercy and his cruelty, he grants the toy magical powers, almost always including the ability cast Animate Object, but in such a way that it can affect dozens of toys at the same time. Individually, few of these animated toys pose much of a threat, but acting in concert against a terrified child alone in his playroom….

†Cro, the God of Truth, Chaos, and Opposites. Cro always speaks the truth. Cro always lies. Cro stands firm against what is evil. Cro revels in evil, his hands stained with innocent blood. Cro is all things, and all things are Cro.

February 4th, 2015  in RPG 1 Comment »

Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes

The dreaded Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes, a cursed magical mirror, hangs on a mildewed wall in Myrrha, a ruined villa once home to an exceedingly wicked senator named Woodruff. A man of perverse tastes, Woodruff’s reputation for cruelty has only grown since his death. His slaves were the most frequent targets of his vile appetites.

Of these slaves, the most famous is Cloe, who Woodruff forced Chloe into being his mistress after cutting off one of her ears. As revenge against Woodruff, Cloe baked a birthday cake containing extract of boiled and reduced oleander leaves, which are extremely poisonous. Her plan backfired.

Only Woodruff’s wife and two daughters ate the cake, and all died from the poison. Woodruff had Cloe hanged by her wrists from the vaulted ceiling in the front hall so that she could see her slow, torturous death in the mirror. Shortly after Cloe finally expired, Woodruff’s other slaves revolted and killed their cruel master before escaping into the hills around Myrrha. The Fenestra functions much like a crystal ball, allowing its user to see distant places and even times. Doing so is not without risk, for the mirror’s magic taps into Vioo, that barren, dark realm that exists on the other side of mirrors and mirror-like surfaces.

For Dungeon World:

When you use the Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes, roll+INT. *On a 10+, choose 3. *On a 7–9, choose 2.

* You see what is transpiring at the place you want to view.
* You see what is transpiring at the time you want to view.
* You do not take -1 forward the next time you use the mirror.
* You do not attract unwelcome attention.

For Swords & Wizardry:

The Fenestra of Baleful Ectypes functions much like a crystal ball. Its user may see what is transpiring in whatever location he desires to see, over a considerable distance and even through the veils of time. When a user taps into the scrying powers of the mirror, he must make a saving throw. Failure means the mirror’s magic ripples uncontrolled, and the user attracts the attention of one or more of Vioo’s wicked denizens. Certain spells and other precautions may be used to prevent being seen through the Fenestra. Usable by: Magic-Users.

December 26th, 2014  in RPG No Comments »