Saturday, April 8, 2017

Scarlet Heroes Session 1

Session #1

I rolled up my character using the Quick Character Generation page in the rulebook.
Here's what I ended up with...

Katla Bjornstad, badass pseudo-Nordic sea reaver
I'll do a character background post at some point if this goes anywhere but for now, she is from a fishing village outside of Nordheim which is the pseudo-Nordic capitol in the cold north. For one reason or another she sailed south to the southern continent of Ektau where she resides in the village Englafeld, southwest of Hohnberg (pseudo-Scandinavian capitol) near the borderlands separating the civilized world and the savage domain of the Shou (tribal goblinoid races).

To kick this off I figured I'd start with a Wilderness adventure. This should lead to some decent adventure seeds to move on to.

Journal entries will be written in first person and any game stuff will be in italics.

Mid-Fall 17, 307 AL
A close friend of mine, Kirsa Frey, has asked me to aid her in locating an ancient ruins just across the border into the Westmark. It will be a dangerous journey but if we find this place maybe we can both make a life for ourselves. We leave in the morning.

Day 1
At dawn we left Englafeld(0801). The weather is not favorable but should not cause to much of a problem. We made about 20 or so miles today (in hex 0503) and the day was rather uneventful. Tomorrow we should be nearing the ruins.
Katla eats a ration, six left.

Day 2
The rain from the previous night must have gotten to me as I have woken feeling feverish. We have decided to set up camp(0505) until the fever passes. I wouldn't want to make it worse.
Katla eats a ration, five left.

Day 3
Shortly after packing up camp this morning we were attacked by what looked like the corpse of an Eirengarder soldier. It got the jump on us.
Possessed corpse of a fallen soldier
She swung her greatsword down on me and knocked me off balance and left me winded(2 damage).
I unsheathed my battle-axe and screamed at Kirsa to hide. 
Having not yet regained my footing, I missed the corpse with my axe. 
Given a moment to collect myself I deflected the next swing from my foe. 
Gathering all my strength I swung my axe into the neck of the undead creature and it fell for good(1 damage).
We decide to burn the corpse for good measure.
Time to clean my wounds(recover 2 hp).

We have begun exploring the mountains(0506) and Kirsa believes we are getting close.
Katla eats a ration, four left.

Day 4
After a couple hours of searching a narrow mountain pass we found a cave(0506). This must lead to the ancient site Kirsa has spoke of. We decide to set up camp, do some hunting to gather rations. Tomorrow we will enter the cave.
Katla hunts for the rest of the day and gathers 2 days worth of rations.
She eats a ration, six left.

*End of session 1*

Map at end of session 1

So it's about 2am now and I'm falling asleep at the keyboard...
In my experience the first session of a wilderness adventure in Scarlet Heroes goes pretty slow until you start to run into NPC's and different locations and features get discovered.
I was planning on this being a shorter post since I was basically just going from point A to point B but in the next one I will hopefully explore the entirety of that cave. Should be a good length post.
If anyone reading this wants me to detail more of the actual die rolls that go into the game let me know and I'll include that stuff in future posts.

Friday, April 7, 2017

This will probably bore most people. (Scarlet Heroes actual play posts inbound...)

In the ten or so years I've been involved in rpgs I have maybe been a player about 5 or so times.
It's not that I don't like being on the other end of things it's just that I am normally the one introducing players to the game.
Before I got into rpgs I was heavily involved in all sorts of historical wargaming. First with a bucket of plastic soldiers I got at a 1st grade field trip to Fort Snelling using only the dice I stole from the family yahtzee set to Advanced Squad Leader in highschool, I have always been a wargamer at heart. Back then I also had a hard time finding people to play with as none of the other dirty punks I hung out with gave a damn about history or nerdy tabletop games. So, I did what nearly every other wargamer has done at one point or another. I developed a serious case of wargamer schizophrenia.
Jumping ahead to my mid-late teens I started searching for ways to harness this affliction to allow me to play my new love, labyrinth lord, all by my lonesome.
I think the first thing I found was from a now-defunct blog called Solo Nexus. I discover the Mythic Gamemaster Emulator. The author of the blog, whos name is escaping me, also wrote this thing called the 9Qs (nine questions) that took a more narrative approach at solo gaming but I never cared for it much.
At this point I think I've pretty much read and used nearly every published "gamemaster emulator" and countless others that I've found on many many blogs.

One thing that has always troubled me in solo gaming is that I've always found it tough to keep a campaign going. I always envision this awesome solo campaign that is the tabletop equivalent of all the PCrpgs I grew up playing but I end up stopping after the first session or two. There are many reasons this happens but it's never from not having fun. Every solo game I play increases my skill as a low-prep dm and I don't think I would even like dming if I hadn't first discovered gm-less play.

So I am going to attempt to start something again, this time using Kevin Crawford's Scarlet Heroes.

Click HERE to find the quick-start rules.

I want to use this book and ONLY* this book for one main reason.
It has literally everything I could need to run a solo campaign.
One of the reasons I end up losing most of my other attempts is because I get tired of jumping back and forth between all of the different printouts from different blogs and different games in order to run the game.
Scarlet Heroes has everything I need in one book.

*I will also be using the Red Tide Campaign sourcebook and An Echo, Resounding as they are both written in the same setting as Scarlet Heroes and there is lots of good stuff that will make the campaign better.

My plan is this...
In wilderness adventures I will keep track of each day as a brief journal entry to keep myself from turning this into a creative writing exercise.
Urban adventures will be logged in a similar fashion except with a short entry for every scene in the adventure.
Dungeon adventures will be logged turn by turn.

The first actual play post will be after this one.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Alt 5e/BX Barbarian

So in a similar style to my simplified 5e fighter, here is my barbarian. Basically just a standard 5e barbarian with features from the primal path of the berserker condensed down to 14 levels like in B/X with some of the class features I don't like removed.

Alt 5e barbarian

Level 1 - 0xp
-Rage 1/+2
-Unarmored Defense
-Prof Bonus +1

Level 2 - 2,000xp
-Reckless Attack
-Prof Bonus +2

Level 3 - 4,000xp
-Prof Bonus +2

Level 4 - 8,000xp
-Ability Score Increase*
-Prof Bonus +3

Level 5 - 16,000xp
-Extra Attack 1
-Fast Move
-Prof Bonus +3

Level 6 - 32,000xp
-Mindless Rage
-Prof Bonus +3

Level 7 - 64,000xp
-Feral Instinct
-Prof Bonus +4

Level 8 - 128,000xp
-Ability Score Increase**
-Prof Bonus +4

Level 9 - 256,000xp
-Brutal Critical 1
-Prof Bonus +4

Level 10 - 384,000xp
-Intimidating Presence
-Prof Bonus +5

Level 11 - 512,000xp
-Relentless Rage
-Prof Bonus +5

Level 12 - 640,000xp
-Ability Score Increase**
-Prof Bonus +5

Level 13 - 768,000xp
-Brutal Critical 2
-Prof Bonus +6

Level 14 - 896,000xp
-Prof Bonus +6

*Two ability scores are raised by 1. That's it.

I think it's pretty straight forward. All of the above class features function just as they do normally in 5e.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

This blog sucks.

A man sucks at many things in life.
I suck at this blog.
I suppose it really doesn't help that the campaign I started lasted only two sessions before I got sick of one of the players (IRL, in the game he was okay).
There were a couple people I REALLY wanted to introduce to the game who also had some serious personal issues with the dude in my previous campaign so I was a bad person and made up some reason to end it early so we could start again with these cooler people.
I'm an ass.
But I'm an ass who is now playing in a campaign with people who name their characters things like, Phallus Bloodlust (female half-orc barbarian whose name was originally Thalice, until about the 8th time I "accidentally" called her phallus...), Chud (Chubs) Studdly (Tiefling fighter), Amos (...just Amos) and a Tiefling witch who upon finding a random pirate ship name generator proceeded to name herself... The Bloody Whore. I swear the youngest player in the group is 25. And it's me. I guess this behavior is just what new people do.
Anyway, my point is, I started a new campaign in a homebrew 5e instead of my usual LotFP frankenstein.
With only the first session under out belts its hard to say where it's going to go or how long these creeps are gonna last but it was fun as hell and everybody couldn't wait to play again.

Now for my problem.

The only superheroes I want in my game are 8th level fighters.
Seriously though, nerdage aside, 5e PCs get CRAZY. Maybe not as crazy as 3.x or Pathfinder but still. If a player spends their whole turn looking at their character sheet trying to figure out which class feature or feat or whatnot that will deal the most damage, that is a problem for me.
Didn't realize this until after the first session though. My bad.
All the pcs were made with all the normal class features of 5e and now I don't feel like taking away their toys so instead I condensed each of the classes into a 14 level experience table with ONE "thing" gained each level.

I think it works.
Who knows.

Alt 5e fighter

Level 1 - 0xp
-Fighting Style*
-Prof Bonus +1

Level 2 - 2,000xp
-Second Wind
-Prof Bonus +2

Level 3 - 4,000xp
-Crit 19-20
-Prof Bonus +2

Level 4 - 8,000xp
-Ability Score Increase**
-Prof Bonus +3

Level 5 - 16,000xp
-Extra Attack 1
-Prof Bonus +3

Level 6 - 32,000xp
-Indomitable 1
-Prof Bonus +3

Level 7 - 640,000xp
-Remarkable Athlete
-Prof Bonus +4

Level 8 - 128,000xp
-Ability Score Increase**
-Prof Bonus +4

Level 9 - 256,000xp
-Crit 18-20
-Prof Bonus +4

Level 10 - 384,000xp
-Fighting Style*
-Prof Bonus +5

Level 11 - 512,000xp
-Extra Attack 2
-Prof Bonus +5

Level 12 - 640,000xp
-Ability Score Increase**
-Prof Bonus +5

Level 13 - 768,000xp
-Indomitable 2
-Prof Bonus +6

Level 14 - 896,000
-Crit 17-20
-Prof Bonus +6

It's more or less just a normal fighter with the champion martial archetype squished down to 14 levels with action surge and survivor removed. I like the xp track from previous editions and 5e breezes through levels 1-4 waaay to fast so yeah. My goal was to get rid of all of the class features that required the player to say stupid stuff like "Im gonna use x special ability" or "I'm going to activate x class feature." Thankfully the standard fighter with the champion archetype mostly took care of that. As far as I can tell all the features that they gain this way permanently change the way a fighter does a specific thing rather than having activated abilities. I'm okay with this.

*Two weapon fighting is different
Anyone with a strength and dex of 13+ - wield two light weapons and use bonus action to attack with offhand weapon with disadvantage, if strength or dex is not 13 then both attacks are at disadvantage.
Fighter - main weapons doesn't have to be light but offhand attack is with disadvantage or two light weapons without disadvantage.
Fighter with two weapon fighting style - both weapons don't have to be light but offhand attack is with disadvantage or two light weapons without disadvantage.
Only fighters get to add their ability mod to damage rolls with their offhand weapons.

A fighting style can get chosen twice.
When chosen a second time...
Archery - +3 to attack rolls and +2 damage.
Defense - AC +2
Dueling - +3 damage and +1 attack
Great Weapon Fighting - Reroll 3s as well. Take highest roll.
Protection - Adjacent ally also gets +2 AC.
Two Weapon Fighting - A non light weapon in the offhand does not impose disadvantage.

**Two ability scores are raised by 1. That's it.

So that's all for now. Barbarian next (...then rogue, then witch since that's what my party is made of)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Redone Mutations For Mutant Future (Part 1)

So this is coming a bit later than I had originally planned but it was a long weekend so oh well.
As I believe I have stated before, Dungeon Crawl Classics has probably my favorite magic system of any rpg. Period. I just love it. Its unpredictable and can be quite awesome or quite terrible for the caster depending on how much effort they put into it.
It's just metal as shit.
After discovering Mutant Crawl Classics (sadly well after the kickstarter had concluded) I fell in love with the idea of using mutations in Mutant Future in a similar way. It just made sense.

So I am going to attempt to rewrite each of the mutations in the Mutant Future rulebook in the style of MCC mutations. It should be awesome.

First thing first...

Using Mutations
When a character is attempting to use a mutation they must make a Mutation Check.
Roll a d20 and add your level plus your Willpower modifier.
The result of the roll determines the results of the attempt with 12 normally being the lowest roll needed to avoid negative effects.

A natural roll of 1 means that instead of succesfully using the mutation, the character gains a new Drawback from the Mutant Future rulebook. I plan to rewrite those in the form of Defects from MCC but for now I use them as is.

A natural roll of 20 is a critical success and means you get to again add your level to the result.

Glowburn and burning luck points may be used just as in MCC.
Basically, burn physical ability points (strength, dexterity and constitution) or luck in order to add an equal amount to your mutation check.

Active mutations are rolled each time used, passive mutations are rolled when they are acquired and may be re-rolled each time a level is gained.

Now... for the actual mutations...

Aberant Form (passive mutation)
I was gonna rewrite this one but then I figured that the New Body Parts mutation from the MCC Preview was a perfect replacement for Aberant Form.
I'm not gonna recreate it here as it is already available for free via that link.

Chameleon Epidermis (active mutation)
1 Failure, mutation replaced with Drawback.
2-11 Failure, mutation may not be used again that day.
12-13 The mutants skin changes color and texture to match that of their surrounding environment. For 1 round they gain a 95%(rolled by referee) chance to remain completely hidden so long as they don't move. If attempting to hide in the open in direct sunlight the mutant must go prone and gains only a 50% chance to stay hidden.
14-17 As 12-13 but the mutation lasts for 3 rounds.
18-19 As 12-13 but the mutation lasts for 1d6 minutes, even while moving, and any attempt at a sneak attack gains an additional +2 to the attack roll.
20-23 As 18-19 but the mutation lasts for an hour.
24-27 As 20-23 but the 95% chance applies even when hiding in direct sunlight.
28-29 The mutants skin becomes entirely translucent to nearly the point of invisibility. They gain a 95% chance to remain unseen for the rest of the day or until the choose to stop the mutation.
30-31 The mutants skin becomes entirely translucent to nearly the point of invisibility. They gain a 95% chance to remain unseen for the rest of the day or until the choose to stop the mutation. Any attempt to sneak attack in this form gains an additional +4 to the attack roll.
32+ The mutants skin becomes entirely translucent to nearly the point of invisibility. They gain a 95% chance to remain unseen for the rest of the day or until the choose to stop the mutation. If moving, this 95% chance is used in place of their Move Silently skill. Due to their near invisibility, in combat, enemies targeting the mutant have 75% chance to miss outright on top of the penalty for attacking and invisible target. Any attempt to sneak attack in this form gains an additional +4 to the attack roll.

So... that took a little bit longer than I had thought it would but I think I'm happy with the way it turned out. I'm only posting this first one right now because I want to know if anyone thinks the power level is a bit low compared to the mutations available in the MCC preview. The next post I will do Complete Wing Development, Density Alteration and Dermal Poison Slime.


Friday, March 10, 2017

So tired. New Mutant Future project starting tomorrow.

So I want to post something every day. For as long as I can.

Well, I didn't account for days at work that would leave me feeling like I just got hit by...


With that being said, I am not long for this world but starting tomorrow I am going to be rewriting all of the mutations from Mutant Future to work like the mutations from the Mutant Crawl classics preview.

I'm super excited and a little terrified.

It will be a grand time.

Stay ugly, and watch out for spidergoats.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Adding DCC magic to LotFP (classes in my campaign)

So the weekly campaign I'm running now has sort of become a frankenstein version of LotFP.
All the rules regarding adventuring, skills, combat and such are straight from the book.
But I fucking LOVE the magic from Dungeon Crawl Classics and from what I can tell the mutations from Mutant Crawl Classics are going to almost certainly need to replace the current system I use.

Adding the magic from DCC wholesale causes a multitude of problems since the power level for Magic-Users, Clerics and Elves goes through the roof as far as LotFP is concerned.

But I NEEDED that magic...

The decision was made to move it over entirely but I would attempt to increase the power level of each of the other classes in their respective niche as well, but without adding a bunch of modern fiddly "combat options".

Basically over the next few days I'm gonna post a right up of each of the seven classes in my campaign.

Also here's my character sheet.

Here's the fighter.

Hit die d8
Attack Bonus +2
Ctit die/table 1d12/III (straight from DCC)
Saves Ref +1 Fort +1 Will +0 (again, straight from DCC)
Improved parry, press and defensive combat options are still there too.

Now for the bit I really changed.

To bring the power level of the fighters closer to the magic classes who are now wielding DCC magic, at level 1 a fighter receives 2 "combat skill" points. These are skills separate from the "specialist skills" that fighters can put points into for a bonus to attack OR damage rolls with a specific class of weapons (axe, blade, blunt, firearm, missile and spear). The choice is made before each attack roll.

Each skill has six "dots" just as the specialist skills and each dot is a flat +1 bonus to attack or damage.
At level 1 a fighter may put one point into two different weapon skills. Every time they level up they get another point. Also add this bonus to critical hits and fumbles made with this weapon.

Giving the fighters from LotFP this extra boost along with the super awesome crits (and fumbles) that I plucked straight from DCC, I think they fit right in with the more powerful magic-users, clerics and elves.

Next I suppose I'll cover the specialist since they are more or less the same as straight LotFP.