Thursday, October 23, 2014

Basic Psionics Handbook Discussion:
Helm of Telepathy vs. Medallion of ESP

NOTE: In the discussion below, the terms "ESP medallion" and "medallion of ESP" are used interchangeably. Most occurrences of this item in the early editions refer to it as a "medallion of ESP." However, in Eldritch Wizardry, it referred to as "ESP medallion" (albeit, it is only mentioned once).

This past week, a discussion came up with one of my Basic Psionics Handbook playtesters regarding the bonuses and penalties derived from a helm of telepathy vs. a medallion of ESP.

As far back as the introduction of psionics in Eldritch Wizardry, the psionic saving throw modifiers for the helm of telepathy and the ESP medallion were +4 and -5, respectively. The vast difference in the modifiers brings up a lot of questions, particularly when you consider they are both magic items which essentially do the same thing, though they offer some subtle differences. (BTW, I suggest you read Delta's post "Spells Through The Ages – ESP and Clairvoyance" before continuing.)

In Eldritch Wizardry, the helm of telepathy is afforded the following two advantages (which the ESP medallion is not):

"A helm of telepathy worn by the defender will stun the attacker for three turns if the defender makes his saving throw."

"A helm of telepathy raises psionic strength by 40."

Regarding both the telepathic projection and telempathic projection abilities:
"A helm of telepathy doubles the power and range of the ability and gives the possessor the effect of +4 on his intelligence in addition."

By comparison, the only mention of the ESP medallion in Eldritch Wizardry is the -5 penalty incurred on psionic saving throws.

Now let's take a look at the description of the helm of telepathy from the Monsters & Treasure book:

"Helm of Telepathy: This allows the wearer to read the thoughts of any creature within 9". If his Intelligence rating is greater than that of human or humanoid creatures within the range of the helm the wearer may attempt to control their mind with suggestions implanted telepathically. Such suggestions will have a +2 effect in their likelihood of being carried out (see Vol. Ill for random actions of monsters). For characters in the game roll percentile dice adding 10% to the helm's wearer, and if the character fails to beat this score he will follow the suggestion. (The referee must use judgement here, for a suggestion to kill oneself would not be likely to be carried out in any event.) Treat as non-protective helm if worn into melee."

And now the ESP spell and the medallion of ESP magic item (again, from the Monsters & Treasure book):

"ESP: A spell which allows the user to detect the thoughts (if any) of whatever lurks behind doors or in the darkness. It can penetrate solid rock up to about 2' in thickness, but a thin coating of lead will prevent its penetration. Duration: 12 turns. Range: 6"

"Medallions of ESP: These devices are usable by all classes of characters, even Dwarves, but the device malfunctions on a roll of 6, so whenever in use roll a six-sided die to check it.

Given there is no telepathy spell (a name which is actually much more appropriate than ESP, especially in the context of Delta's comment that ESP as a discipline is a blanket title which includes clairaudience, clairvoyance, and telepathy), the true differences between ESP and telepathy (as abilities) are little to none. The difference lies in the magic items themselves.

A helm of telepathy provides both the ability to read thoughts (an "inbound" ability) and the ability to control creatures (an "outbound" ability). By comparison, an ESP medallion provides only the ability to read thoughts (and, therefore, is an "inbound-only" item).

There's a couple of reasons I really needed to get a handle on the above concepts, rather than simply copying the bonuses and penalties into my system: 1) my system uses a "to hit" model for psionic attacks (which determines initial damage), and 2) this is paired with a saving throw system (used to determine the extent of additional effects).

So what does that mean for these psionic bonuses and penalties? It means that the nature of the helm of telepathy is such that much of what comes in from the outside has a chance of reflecting back upon the attacking creature, but an ESP medallion makes the target more susceptible to the attack in the first place. So here's where I've landed on the copy I'm including at the end of the "Psionic Combat" section of the Basic Psionics Handbook...

MAGIC ITEMS WHICH AFFECT PSIONIC COMBAT

The following magic items provide their users with psionic-like abilities, and each interacts in a specific way with psionic attacks.

Helm of Telepathy: Essentially, this item is “two-way” device (i.e., not only does it receive inbound mental energy, it also sends mental energy out, sometimes enabling the wearer to control the thoughts of a target creature). Therefore, a helm of telepathy gives the wearer a chance to “deflect” an incoming attack and “send it back” at the attacker. In addition to a +4 bonus on all psionic saving throws made while wearing a helm of telepathy, a successful saving throw by a defender wearing a helm of telepathy will create psionic “feedback” which stuns the attacker for 3 turns. Furthermore, any psionicist wearing a helm of telepathy receives a +2 “to hit” bonus on all psionic attacks.

Medallion of ESP: Unlike a helm of telepathy, a medallion of ESP is a “one-way” device (i.e., it only allows inbound mental energy, but provides no recriprocal ability to send mental energy out). This makes the wearer more susceptible to incoming psionic attacks, incurring a -4 penalty to all psionic saving throws while wearing this item.

The +2 "to hit" bonus is my interpretation of the 40 point psionic strength bonus from Eldritch Wizardry. (I don't like the idea that an item provides more mental energy, but do think it offers some kind of psionic potency.) You'll also see I pulled the -5 penalty back a bit to -4.

Considering that the mystic class I've developed has a delicate relationship with magic items (these types of items are rarely allowed, and require the mystic to engage in additional meditation to avoid become attached to them as possessions), and that the monk class I've developed does not possess attack/defense modes (and has a similar relationship with magic items), these may be much rarer occurrences for them they might be in other editions.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Basic Psionics Handbook Update

Thanks particularly to Matthew Skail and Eric Potter for their input so far on Basic Psionics Handbook. Eric is running a BX game where the average player age is 12, and Matthew is coming at this as someone who seems to know early edition psionics top-to-bottom. The dichotomy of those two POVs has proven to be incredibly insightful in making a complete and cohesive psionic ruleset that is also coherent (especially in BX terms). Following are just a couple of what I see to be key updates to the most current version...

Updates to Attack/Defense Mode Interaction
If you've looked at pages 76-77 of the DMG at any length, you know that the Attack/Defense Mode charts can be a little daunting. But I didn't want to do away with the concept. I really do like that each attack and defense mode has a methodology behind it, and how they interact is based on how those methodologies interact. If you recall, I'm using psionic “to hit” rolls (psionic level vs. Mental Class = target on 1d20). If successful, each attack mode does a number of dice of PSP (psionic strength point) "damage" equal to the psionic level of the attacker. However, the type of dice to be used is based on the combination of attack and defense modes (see chart below). The number to the left of the slash = the dice type. The number to the right of the slash = the adjustment to the saving throw which avoids additional effects (beyond the PSP loss).



Addition of a Monk Class
This is a class based on an "enhanced" shaolin-type monk, with psychometabolic psionics (plus some other relevant disciplines). This is no monk/mystic/Europe/Asia identity crisis thing. And there's none of this "speaks with animals" bullshit. This is a bare-handed fighting machine (and easily a fighter replacement).

Streamlining of the Disciplines
Some of the other updates include: 1) streamlining the PSP costs for the different disciplines (to the point where they're pretty easy to memorize the PSP cost for each based on whether it's a devotion or science, and which chakra they belong), and 2) streamlined the layout of the disciplines (using a top-of-page index strip to help quickly identify which of the 6 chakras you're viewing).=

Wild Psionics "Tweaks"
Wild psionics have been a struggle for me. I'm theoretically opposed to them, but almost everyone I've talked to want them included. Here's my reasoning... in BX, there's no such thing as "wild magic spells," nor are there "wild thieving abilities." In that context, what sense does "wild psionics" make? What I have to realize is that many folks are using BX/LL rules, but playing 1e classes (e.g., LL AEC). So I've made wild psionics one of the appendices, rather than having it appear between the discipline descriptions and the psionic combat sections. I've also make attack/defense modes available via wild psionics.

Okay. I think that's it for now, but I'm sure I'll have more updates soon.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

New BX/LL Character Classes: Small Mammals 2-of-2
Otters, Skunks, Squirrels, Weasels

Picking up from yesterday's post with beavers, hares, mice and rabbits.

Just an FYI, I will be compiling all of the animal
character classes I've been working on into a book.


OTTERS

Otters tend to be tough, self-sufficient extroverts born to a life of wandering and adventure. They are natural swimmers and excellent fighters. The prime requisite for an otter is Dexterity. Otters with Dexterity score of 13 or greater will gain a bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Otters determine their hit points using six-sided dice (d6). They may advance to a maximum of 6th level of experience. Otters may use any weapon of normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords. Otters may wear any type of armor, and may use shields, but may not swim if wearing metal armor. The maximum Strength score for an otter is 15.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Otters are capable swimmers and swim at a rate of 180'(60') if unencumbered and wearing no armor. They are able to swim at rate of 120'(40') if wearing leather armor or carrying only only their normal equipment. They may swim at a rate of 60'(20') if wearing leather armor and carrying their normal equipment. An otter may not swim if carrying more their normal equipment or if they are wearing metal armor. Otters fight and save as a fighters of the same level.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Otter Veteran 0 1d6
2 Otter Warrior 2,500 2d6
3 Otter Swordsman 5,000 3d6
4 Otter Hero 10,000 4d6
5 Otter Swashbuckler 20,000 5d6
6 Otter Myrmidon 40,000 6d6


SKUNKS

By default, skunks tend to be loners. However, they can also be loyal to a fault. Though the body of the skunk is slightly elongated, their relatively short legs and arms are, in fact, well-muscled. The prime requisite for a skunk is Constituion. Skunks with Constitution score of 13 or greater will gain a bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Skunks determine their hit points using six-sided dice (d6). They may advance to a maximum of 4th level of experience. Skunks may use any weapon of normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords. Skunks may wear any type of armor, and may use shields. The maximum Strength score for a skunk is 15, and a skunk’s Constitution score must be 9 or greater.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Skunks fight and save as a fighter of the same level. Furthermore, skunks possess the ability to spray a noxious cloud from their tail end a number of times per day equal to their level. This 10' diameter cloud causes all those caught inside of it to become naseous for 2d4 rounds (on a failed saving throw vs. breath weapon), suffering a -1 “to hit” penalty and a +1 AC penalty for the duration.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Skunk Veteran 0 1d6
2 Skunk Warrior 2,500 2d6
3 Skunk Swordsman 5,000 3d6
4 Skunk Hero 10,000 4d6


SQUIRRELS

Squirrels are more likely to search for treasure than adventure (which is simply a means to an end). They are not necessarily greedy—they simply want their fair share for their participation. They are fearless in battle and any victory (large or small) is usually cause for a squirrel to celebrate. The prime requisite for a squirrel is Dexterity. Squirrels with a Dexterity score of 13 or greater will gain a bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Squirrels determine their hit points using four-sided dice (d4). They may advance to a maximum of 4th level of experience. Squirrels may use any weapon of normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords. Squirrels may wear only leather armor and may not use a shield. The maximum Strength score for a squirrel is 12.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Squirrels possess the entire suite of thieving abilities, all of which they are able to perform as a thief of the same level, except climbing sheer surfaces, which they are able to perform as a thief at 2 levels above their own (e.g., a 2nd level squirrel climbs as a 4th level thief.) Squirrels make all saves against fear effects with a +1 bonus. However, they make all saves against confusion effects with a -1 penalty. Otherwise, squirrels fight and save as a halfling of the same level.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Squirrel Apprentice 0 1d4
2 Squirrel Footpad 3,000 2d4
3 Squirrel Robber 6,000 3d4
4 Squirrel Burglar 12,000 4d4


WEASELS

The conniving nature of weasels is too often amplified by their daring and audacious behavior. For weasels, adventuring is simply a means to an end—the acquisition of treasure. Their keen senses aid them greatly in this pursuit. The prime requisites for a weasel are Intelligence and Dexterity. Weasels with Intelligence and Dexterity scores both 13 or greater gain a +5% bonus to earned experience points. Weasels having an Intelligence score of 13 or greater and a Dexterity score of 16 or greater will gain a +10% bonus.

RESTRICTIONS: Weasels determine their hit points using four-sided dice (d4). They may advance to a maximum of 6th level of experience. Weasels may use any weapon of normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords. Weasels may only wear leather armor and may not use shields. The maximum Strength score for a weasel is 15.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Weasels are able to use all thieves abilities as a thief of the same ability. Weasels are moderate swimmers and swim at a rate of 150'(50') if unencumbered and wearing no armor. They are able to swim at rate of 90'(30') if wearing leather armor or carrying only only their normal equipment. They are restricted to a swimming rate rate of 30'(10') if wearing leather armor and carrying their normal equipment. Weasels fight and save as a thief of the same level, and are afforded the same backstabbing bonus (+4) if attacking an opponent from behind. Furthermore, weasels have an ability to find weaknesses in melee opponents. If a weasel fights the same opponent for a total of 3 rounds (consecutive or not) during the same encounter, the weasel gains a +1 “to hit” bonus against that opponent for the duration of the encounter. Should the weasel meet the same opponent after a period of 6 turns or more, any advantage during combat until the weasel fights that opponent for another 3 rounds (as outlined above).

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Weasel Apprentice 0 1d4
2 Weasel Footpad 3,000 2d4
3 Weasel Robber 6,000 3d4
4 Weasel Burglar 12,000 4d4
5 Weasel Cutpurse 24,000 3d4
6 Weasel Sharper 48,000 4d4

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New BX/LL Character Classes: Small Mammals 1-of-2
Beavers, Hares, Mice, Rabbits

Unlike most intelligent animals (which are generally a tad smaller than their non-intelligent counterparts), the small mammals are slightly larger than their non-intelligent counterparts.

BEAVERS

Beavers are honest and hard-working, but they also pride themselves on their cleverness and understanding. The prime requisites for a beaver are Strength and Wisdom. Beavers with Strength and Wisdom scores both 13 or greater gain a +5% bonus to earned experience points. Beavers having a Strength score of 13 or greater and a Wisdom score of 16 or greater will gain a +10% bonus.

RESTRICTIONS: Beavers determine their hit points using six-sided dice (d6). They may advance to a maximum of 6th level of experience. Beavers may use any weapon of normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords. Beavers may wear any type of armor, and may use shields. The maximum Strength score for a beaver is 17.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Beavers fight and save as a cleric of the same level, but are only permitted those magic items allowed to fighters. Their knowledge of construction and generally savvy nature regarding such things allows beavers to detect new construction one-third of the time (1-2 on 1d6). Beavers are also able to chew through wood at a rate of 1 cubic foot per round. For each 18 rounds of chewing, a beaver will need to rest for 2d4 rounds. In addition to common, beavers speak the language shared by beavers and gophers. It is not uncommon for beavers to “whistle” when they talk (due to the size of their teeth).

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Beaver Apprentice 0 1d6
2 Beaver Journeyman 2,500 2d6
3 Beaver Expert 5,000 3d6
4 Beaver Artisan 10,000 4d6
5 Beaver Master 20,000 5d6
6 Beaver Grand Master 40,000 6d6

HARES

While visually quite similar to rabbits, hares take offense when accidentally identified as rabbits, as they pride themselves on their physical “superiority” to rabbits. The ears and legs of a hare are longer than those of a rabbit, and the hare is slightly quicker as well. Finally, hares are nesters, preferring to live above ground. The prime requisite for a hare is Dexterity. Hares with Dexterity score of 13 or greater will gain a bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Hares determine their hit points using six-sided dice (d6). They may advance to a maximum of 6th level of experience. Hares may use any weapon of normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords. Hares may wear any type of armor, and may use shields. The maximum Strength score for a hare is 15.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Hares are even quicker than rabbits, and have a movement of 180'(60'). Hares have only a slight predisposition to magic. While they are not able to cast spells, they are permitted magic items exclusive to magic-users (including scrolls). Hares fight and save as a elves of the same level.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Thumper 0 1d6
2 Sprinter 3,000 2d6
3 Runner 6,000 3d6
4 Strider 12,000 4d6
5 Hurdler 24,000 5d6
6 Jumper 48,000 6d6


MICE

Despite their small size, many a mouse fighter has made a name for himself, often reaching truly legendary status. Some mice see themselves as defenders of the downtrodden, while others simply crave the life of an adventurer. Regardless of their motivations, mice make truly formidable fighters, even against opponents of a large size. The prime requisite for a mouse is Dexterity. Mice with Dexterity score of 13 or greater will gain a bonus to earned experience points.

RESTRICTIONS: Mice determine their hit points using four-sided dice (d4). They may advance to a maximum of 6th level of experience. Mice may use any weapon which has been smithed at the size for a mouse. However, due to their diminutive stature, daggers wielded by a mouse do only 1d2, and all other weapons do a mere 1d4. Mice may wear any type of armor, and may use shields. The maximum Strength score for a mouse is 12.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Due to their small size, the cost of any armor or weapons of mouse size are 50% the normal cost. Mice are able to move silently as a thief 2 levels higher (e.g., a 1st level mouse moves silently as a 3rd level thief), even while wearing chain or plate armor. Finally, mice possess a “hamstring attack.” If attaching a legged creature from behind, the mouse gets a +4 “to hit” bonus and, on a successful “to hit” roll, cuts the hamstring of the creature. For each cut hamstring, the movement of a creature is permanently halved (unless the creature possesses regeneration, or is healed by magical means); for example: 1 cut reduces movement to one-half normal, 2 cuts reduces movement to one-quarter normal, and so on. Armed creatures with cut hamstrings on all of their legs will be forced to crawl. Armless creatures with cut hamstrings on all of their legs will be unable to move. Mice fight and save as a fighters of the same level.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice
1 Mouse Fencer 0 1d4
2 Mouse Swordsman 2,500 2d4
3 Mouse Challenger 5,000 3d4
4 Mouse Gladiator 10,000 4d4
5 Mouse Bladesman 20,000 5d4
6 Mouse Master Bladesman 40,000 6d4


RABBITS

Rabbits are sociable, inherently-magical creatures who dwell in underground burrows or holes. For this reason, it is not uncommon for rabbits to be found dwelling amongst halflings. Compared to hares, rabbits have shorter hindlegs and ears. The prime requisites for a rabbit are Intelligence and Dexterity. Rabbits with Intelligence and Dexterity scores both 13 or greater gain a +5% bonus to earned experience points. Rabbits having a Dexterity score of 13 or greater and an Intelligence score of 16 or greater will gain a +10% bonus.

RESTRICTIONS: Rabbits determine their hit points using four-sided dice (d4). They may advance to a maximum of 8th level of experience. Rabbits may use any weapon of normal or small size, but may not use long bows or two-handed swords. Rabbits may wear any type of armor, and may use shields. The maximum Strength score for a rabbit is 15.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Rabbits are quicker than most other intelligent animals, and have a movement of 150'(50'). Additionally, beginning at 3rd level, rabbits are able to cast spells as a magic-user 2 levels below their current level (e.g., rabbits at 3rd level are able to use spells as a 1st level magic-user, at 4th level are able to use spells as a 2nd level magic-user, and so on). Furthermore, rabbits may use any magic item permitted to magic-users. Finally, rabbits fight and save as halflings of the same level.

Level Title Exp. Points Hit Dice Spells
1 2 3
1 Rabbit Assistant 0 1d4 - - -
2 Rabbit Shuffler 3,500 2d4 - - -
3 Rabbit Seer 7,000 3d4 1 - -
4 Rabbit Medium 14,000 4d4 2 - -
5 Rabbit Conjurer 28,000 5d4 2 1 -
6 Rabbit Magician 56,000 6d4 2 2 -
7 Rabbit Enchanter 110,000 7d4 2 2 1
8 Rabbit Warlock 220,000 8d4 2 2 2


Tomorrow... otters, skunks, squirrels, and weasels!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

BX Psionics Playtest Signup

Many will heed the call. Few will be chosen.

Send your answers to the following questions to:
psionics(at)newbigdragon(dot)com
(Feel free to copy and paste the text below)

There are no wrong answers to any questions (be truthful). I'm seeking all types.

Your name (that you go by):

Your name as you'd like it to appear in credits:

Your primary game edition (choose one of the following)
OD&D -or- Swords & Wizardry -or- BX D&D -or- Labyrinth Lord -or- AD&D -or- OSRIC?

How familiar are you with BX D&D (including BECMI but not Labyrinth Lord)?

How familiar are you with Labyrinth Lord (including AEC, but not including BX or BECMI D&D)?

Have you have used psionics in D&D before?
(If yes, which editions?)

Do you have a group already assembled that you plan to include on playtesting of these rules?
(If yes, how many in group?)

Which of the following playtesting scenarios
will you be able to perform over the next few weeks?
(Choose all that apply: launch a new campaign, incorporate into existing campaign,
one-off adventuring, just want to run some combat scenarios)?

How many hours a week can you REASONABLY and TRUTHFULLY
spend playtesting over the next 3-4 weeks
(not including any time required to read or become familiar with the rules)?

1 more illustration down, 8 to go!

This is one of those illustrations for the Creature Compendium that I've putting putting off for a while. It's a re-do of a re-do. I think that's why I've been pushing this one off for so long. Then yesterday, while hanging at Starbucks and sipping my grandé nonfat 2 Splenda latte, I decided to abandon my original intention for the illustration and just sketch from scratch. Seems to have worked out pretty well. This leaves only 8 illustrations to finish before I feel like the book is pretty-close-to-complete. 7 of those will be easy/no-brainers. The eighth, well, it's actually a full page illustration that will feature 7 different monsters on the same page (the animal mummies).

BTW, if you want the stats for the creature in the illustration below(the carriage worm), or if you just want to see the original illustration (before the first re-do), you can find them here.

That leaves only 8 illustrations to finish before I feel like the book is pretty-close-to-complete. 7 of those will be easy/no-brainers. The eighth, well, it's actually a full page illustration that will feature 7 different monsters on the same page (the animal mummies).


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It only took 35 years
(New BX Monster: The Intelligent Wooly Rhino)

34 years ago, I purchased my first every RPG product... what has since come to be known as "Cook Blue," though I prefer call it "Cook/Marsh Blue." This was the product that started it all for me (apart from the friend who introduced me to the concept while waiting for a Mardi Gras parade to pass earlier that year). This past year, there were a couple of key highlights during my time at the North Texas RPG Con. One of them was meeting Steve Marsh, the guy who wrote the majority of that very same book. The time he took to sit with me at the con and share his kind words about my Three Castles award-winning Valley of the Five Fires is among my fondest gaming-related memories.

Partly spurred on by that encounter, and partly spurred on my long-intended want of a BX psionics system, I started the quest to do the latter in earnest a few months back. My mystic class, and the inclusion of a "Planar Primer" and "Planar Travel Guide" in my Basic Psionics Handbook, are built on a vision for a plane-traveling mystic class originally penned by Mr. Marsh, but merged with Gary Gygax's devine class by Tim Kask.

"Psionics were added to D&D as the result of two character classes, the mystic and the devine, that were in process. Mystics were finished, Devines (who used the psionic attack and defense modes) were not. Tim Kask cut the material up and put it into Eldritch Wizardry."

Steve Marsh, November 28, 2005, indie-rpgs.com

During the process of writing the Basic Psionics Handbook, I've occasionally emailed Mr. Marsh to get some clarification or deeper information on statements he's made in previous interviews. So when it came time to write up the monsters for the Basic Psionics Handbook, I just had to do something in response to the following...

"Erol Otus mocked my idea of having the Wooly Rhinos be intelligent, so that got canned (I liked the idea of a potentially psionic group of Rhinos in the far north, coordinating the defense of the herd against predators)."

Steve Marsh speaking about writing the Expert Rulebook,
April 11, 2005, Dragonsfoot.org

So I started writing up an intelligent, psionic-using, wooly rhino... and I passed the drafts by Mr. Marsh, who provided great insight regarding his intentions, and specifically mentioned having them use enfilade and defilade tactics in battle. So I re-wrote the listing a couple of times, sent him the final draft a couple of days ago, and received an email yesterday morning which said simply, "Really well done." (At which point I clenched my fist with a "YES!")

Well, it only took 34 years for this vision to come to life (assuming the idea came about the year before the Expert book was published), but without further ado, I present the Steve Marsh-inspired (and Erol Otus-mocked) intelligent, psionic-using wooly rhino for the BX rules. (BTW, the "rho'tha" name was an invention of mine, but the Xhosa-inspired clicking sound in the middle was Steve's idea).