Posts Tagged ‘ The Black Hack ’

Evil Trees & Temptations

Now that I’ve finally finished The Four Color Hack, it’s time to finish The Grimm’s Fairy Hack, my second spin-off from The Black Hack. I’ve got one more section of essential rules related to the dark fairy-tale setting, and then the playtest rules are ready for upload to DriveThruRPG. This final section includes some special rules applicable to the fairy-tale world of TGFH along with some sample creatures, such as the Evil Tree below. After the Evil Tree comes rules for Temptations.

Evil Tree

The wild, wooded places between walled villages threaten travelers in a variety of ways. Even the trees themselves may seek to grab, tear, and crush.

Hit Dice: 7
Damage: 2d8
Special: An Evil Tree appears very much like a normal tree when it wants to (roll with Disadvantage to spot). It doesn’t move quickly, but its branches and roots have an extensive reach (attack anyone Nearby). An Evil Tree fears fire and axes (roll with Advantage when applicable). Some Evil Trees possess magical powers, such as the ability to animate normal trees or swallow a creature whole.

Temptations

Temptations abound in the fairy-tale world. Temptations exist to lure the unwary and thoughtless into danger. Temptations take a variety of forms, anything from delicious apples to piles of gold to beautiful ball gowns. No matter it’s form, a Temptation has four parts:

* A HD Equivalent: Temptations do not have HP, but they do impose a penalty on Stat checks to resist them.
* A Preferred Target: Temptations are often targeted against a specific type of character.
* A Preferred Stat: Temptations target a specific Stat that is used to resist the Temptation.
* An Effect: What happens if a character fails to resist the Temptation. This effect can range from something as simple as “The character opens the door” to powerful magical effects like “The character turns into a talking frog.”

For example, while traveling along the road, the characters sees stylish sunglasses resting on a fence post. The sunglasses are a Temptation.

Sunglasses (3 HD; Popular; Upbringing): The character takes the sunglasses and wears them all the time. The sunglasses allow the Goblin King to know the character’s whereabouts.

There is often a way to undo the effect of a Temptation. The method for undoing the Temptation may be simple or complex, easy or hard. In the case of the sunglasses, another character may take them away and break them, for example. On the other hand, perhaps a character transformed into a talking frog may regain his original shape only by receiving a willing kiss from a princess who holds a lilypad retrieved from the Marsh of Lost Heroes.

July 1st, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Dread Warrior

For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my familiar friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived, then we can overcome him, and take our revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me. (Jeremiah 20:10-11)

The Dread Warrior fights to defend holy causes against infidels, scoffers, blasphemers, and other evil-doers. He lacks the raw power and martial skill of the Warrior, but his righteous devotion grants him the ability to inspire dread in those he faces.

Dread Warrior
Starting HP: d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: Any and All
Attack Damage: 1d8 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising

Special Features
Once per hour while in combat, a Dread Warrior can regain 1d6 lost HP.

When confronting evil-doers opposed to the Dread Warrior’s holy cause, the Dread Warrior inspires fear using his Dreadful Mien Usage Die, which starts at a d4 at 1st level. This fear affects a number of Hit Dice of enemies equal to the die’s roll plus the Dread Warrior’s level. For the next few minutes, the Dread Warrior rolls with Advantage against those foes.

The Dread Warrior rolls with Advantage when resisting effects that affect his emotions or loyalties.

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

Every odd numbered level, step up the Dreadful Mien die.

June 26th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Normal Kid

While I put the finishing touches on The Four Color Hack, which consists of adding three dozen to the end of the rulesbook, I’m also working on The Grimm’s Fairy Hack. (By the way, you can meet one of those villains by clicking this link.) I’ve already written a little about The Grimm’s Fairy Hack here, and I’ve posted a few times about it over on G+.

There are seven classes in The Grimm’s Fairy Hack, each based on a stereotypical sort of child whose age ranges from about 8 to 13. At the G+ link above, you can find a rough-draft version of the Bully. Below is the rough-draft version of the Normal. The other five classes are the Dreamer, the Jock, the Nerd, the Outcast, and the Popular. Each class has its advantages, its Imagination-based features, and its special vulnerability.

Normal
Starting HP: 1d4+4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapons & Armor: None
Attack Damage: 1d4 Weapon / 1d3 Improvising / 1 Unarmed
Starting Imagination: d6

Special Features

Normal’s Advantage: The player chooses at 1st level any two Stats with which the Normal rolls with Advantage.

Jack of All: Roll Imagination, and pick one of these class special features: Taunt, Happy Thoughts, Adrenaline Rush, Flash of Inspiration, Fight Dirty, or Cheerleading. If the Normal’s Imagination before rolling was at least equal to starting Imagination of the class from which the feature is chosen, then the Normal gets to use the feature as normal.

Unusual Heritage: The Normal isn’t really all that normal. Choose a special heritage at 1st level from this list: Descended from Kings, Fairy Kin, Forest Friend, Knight, Monster Within, or Prince/Princess. Roll Imagination. For that number of Minutes, the Normal benefits from his special heritage in ways appropriate to the heritage and the situation as adjudicated by the Referee.

Target: The monsters and threats of the fantasy world seem to instinctively realize the Normal is really something special. Whenever the Referee should pick a character at random to suffer some negative effect or attention, the Referee picks the Normal rather than rolling to see who the unlucky character is.

March 4th, 2017  in Product Development No Comments »

Read All About It!

The Bishop’s Secret, written for White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game, was released to my few Patrons yesterday. This short adventure was written in hopes that it could dropped into your Old School game with minimal changes.

This marks my third release of Dangerous Places for OSR Systems. The first, Narvon’s Stair, is available to everyone for nothing more than the time it takes to download. Last month saw the arrival of Goshahri: The City in a Cave, a ruin in the process of being restored by miscreants under the iron fist of the Bandit King. I plan to return to Goshahri for at least one more adventure.

For March, I’m going to shift away from fantasy into horror with The Strange Case of the Bell Witch Bootleggers, a one-shot descent into madness and terror written for The Cthulhu Hack. I also still plan on fleshing out Goshahri a bit with The Harpy’s Nest, a more detailed description of a location in the aforementioned release that go short shrifted because I didn’t manage my time well enough.

You can get in on the Old School action by becoming one my patrons. It won’t ever cost you more than $1 a month.

In other news, I think I’m nearly ready to release The Four Color Hack. It’s changed quite a bit from its initial pay-what-you-want release. I’ve got one last section to write in which I’m including an assortment of villains and threats. I’ll also probably include a short, introductory scenario. Part of me would like The Four Color Hack to be available print-on-demand, but I’m not sure I can figure out how to correctly format, et cetera, the necessary files. I’m looking at Lulu, which seems to have a pretty user-friendly set up. Maybe during the downtime of Spring Break I can give it a go.

I have two other major (for me) projects that I need to finish. The first is the long-neglected Boogie Knights of the Round Table in which the heroes fight the Man with the powers of song and dance. No, really. I’ve run one playtest of the system to rave reviews. I’ve also dusted off an idea I had for a fantasy game involving real-world children transported to a world of twisted fairy tales very much inspired by Grimm and Little Fears. Unfortunately, my original work on it quickly displeased me, and I abandoned the project, but it’s back now with a simpler system built on The Black Hack.

So, in short, I’ve got some big (for me) plans for 2017, and I seem to be off to a good start. Huzzah.

The Grimm’s Fairy Hack

Some time ago, I toyed with the idea of an OSR system for playing children transported into a fantasy realm. I abandoned the idea. It just seemed like a whole lot of work, and I couldn’t really keep excited about it. I’ve recently returned to the idea using a much more user-friendly system, specifically The Black Hack, about which I’ve written here before.

Thus, I’ve started work on The Grimm’s Fairy Hack.

In this “based on The Black Hack” game, the players take on the roles of children from our real world. In addition to The Black Hack, I’m also referring to Grimm Lite and Horizon: Grimm. The character classes are based on childhood archetypes/stereotypes. Players choose from six character classes: Bully, Dreamer, Jock, Nerd, Normal, Outcast, and Popular. Each class has certain special abilities and a special weakness.

Since the characters are children, they do not have Stats like regular fantasy characters. No STR, DEX, CON, et cetera to be found here. Rather that the familiar six made famous by Dungeons & Dragons, characters have seven Stats, each one defining a particular facet of the character’s childhood:

Academics: Covers arithmetic, reading, writing, et cetera. In short, Academics reflects how good a student the character was.

Explorer: Covers survival, first aid, reading a map, et cetera. Explorer includes the sorts of things one might learn in the Boy Scouts.

Hick: Covers rural life. A character with a good Hick stat would know how to milk a cow, dig fence post holes, cook, et cetera.

Lore: Covers knowledge of myths, legends, and fairy tales. Where Academics is knowledge of the real world, Lore is knowledge of the fantasy world.

Shenanigans: Covers lying, stealing, being sneaky, et cetera. A character with a high Shenanigans Stat is good at making trouble and getting away with it.

Upbringing: Covers being polite, fitting in with adults, knowing the right thing to do, et cetera.

Zip: Covers strength, dexterity, toughness, athletics, et cetera. Children lack real experience and training in actual combat, but Zip helps them attack and avoid getting hurt.

The success mechanic from The Black Hack remains. For a character to succeed with an action, the player must roll under the character’s relevant Stat on 1d20.

All characters also have a special ability called Imagination. Imagination is not a Stat, but instead is a power governed by a Usage Die, the size of which varies depending on character class. Thus, a Dreamer has more Imagination than a Bully. As a character improves in level, his Imagination becomes stronger. Imagination powers a class’s special abilities. Also, Imagination lets a character manipulate the fantasy world in a variety of different ways, so long as the character doesn’t violate two simple rules:

1. Imagination cannot be used to directly damage or destroy anything.
2. Imagination cannot be used to copy the special abilities of another class.

Of course, all of this is just a brief overview; it’s not comprehensive. The Grimm’s Fairy Hack will eventually include all of this and more. Some of the more will almost certainly be advice for using The Grimm’s Fairy Hack characters and The Black Hack characters at the same time. The former is based on the latter, and there ought to be little in either set of rules that makes mixing them impossible.

February 23rd, 2017  in Product Development No Comments »