Monday, February 22, 2021

B/X House Rules: Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain

So this is the final table of contents for Fang, Faith, and Legerdemain... 

Everything is written (but not edited), except the Dice Mechanics page. (There's some math to be done!)

Friday, February 19, 2021

B/X House Rule: The Effects of Alcohol & Drugs

There's a player in my bi-weekly game who's character seems obsessed with finding something to drink every time they visit a town or stay in someone's roadside cottage. So I figured it was time I prepared some drinking rules in case his character gets slipped a Mickey and some shit goes down while the character is in their altered state.


Alcohol

Every time a character consumes an alcoholic beverage there is a chance it will affect them based on their Constitution and the strength of the beverage.

For each alcoholic beverage a character consumes, the Potency Rating of that drink is totaled with all the other drinks that character has consumed to produce their Intoxication Score. A PC can sustain an Intoxication Score equal to their Constitution without being affected. Should they consume in excess of that amount, the difference between the amount consumed and their Constitution determines their Potency Excess which, in turn, determines their State of Intoxication. 

A character’s State of Intoxication affects their performance as outlined by the Intoxication Table below:


Every turn a drunken character remains in a Stupor, they must save vs. poison or pass out for 1d4 hours. Additionally, the result of this roll is modified by their total Potency Excess minus 8 (e.g., a character with a Potency Excess of 10 would suffer a penalty of –2 on the roll).

A character’s Constitution score determines at what rate their Intoxication Score is reduced. The rate of recovery is doubled while the character is sleeping.

If a character awakens from a full-night’s rest after drinking, or has not had a full night's rest since they were drinking, and their Intoxication Score is still greater than 0 (zero), they will remain exhausted until their next full-night’s rest. While exhausted, they suffer a –2 penalty on all “to hit” rolls and saving throws, a +2 penalty to Armor Class, and their movement is halved.

Drugs

Generally, narcotics will have the same effects on a character’s State of Intoxication (as above). However, at the DM’s discretion, these substances may have additional effects on a character’s Morale, Ability Scores, Attack Level, etc. Furthermore, strong stimulants have a 5% chance per use of permanently reducing a character’s Constitution score by 1 point. Mild stimulants are rarely produce this sort of harmful effects.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Update to my "Petty Gods Update"

For those of you who read my Petty Gods Update a couple of weeks ago, an update!

After receiving the notice, and making the post above, I started digging for email addresses and phone numbers for actual people at Lulu (since there's really no such thing as Customer Service there—I mean that literally, I don't think the department exists, as there is never anyone to talk to). 

So I actually found some found information, and dug my way into the system, leaving voice messages for everyone I felt could help my plight (trying to find out the source of the complaint so I could respond appropriately). I called and left messages for operations folks, and the COO. 

Two weeks passed, and I was pretty much resigned to having to start over at Lulu.com (because I still needed the resource for POD, especially for those overseas wanting my books).

Lo and behold, on Tuesday, I received the following email from Lulu.com:

Dear user,

We are not sure if you received our previous email. Your content was flagged during the printing process. ​

Upon further review, we have reinstated the content in question and the Lulu account. Your projects are now in draft status and you may complete the publication process from your Lulu account. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and greatly appreciate your business. 

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

Regards,
Questionable Content Team
Lulu Press, inc.

Did you read that? Did you see what happened? And when it happened?

During the printing process.

DURING THE FUCKING PRINTING PROCESS!!!

So it turns out, it wasn't even a DMCA complaint that TOOK DOWN MY ENTIRE FUCKING LULU.COM ACCOUNT!!! IT WAS ONE OF THEIR FUCKING VENDORS, WHO COULDN'T TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK AT THE COPYRIGHT PAGE OF THE BOOK TO SEE THAT ALL THE CONTENT WAS USED WITH PERMISSION OF THE ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTORS!!!

Good news is, my Lulu.com account is up and running again. 

Bad news is, I'm setting up an alternate account for ORC (the "official" publisher of Petty Gods), so it may be a couple of weeks before Petty Gods is available in print again. 

I'm also still debating how to handle the PDF version (which was previously available through DriveThruRPG, but I pulled when the Lulu thing happened, just for safety sake, until I was able to figure out what happened.)

Thanks for your patience!


Saturday, February 13, 2021

B/X House Rule: PC Astrological Alterations

I, like many others my age, bought a copy of what is generally agreed-upon as one of the most convoluted products ever put out by our hobby—the Bruce Galloway monstrosity Fantasy Wargaming: The Highest Level of All. Also like many others who bought it, I read it (well, skimmed it from time to time), but never attempted to play it. 

For all of its pages, and it's intriguing visual look (including that whole hardback thing), the one thing that struck me most—and is ultimately the reason I coughed up the (what I seem to remember as) $25— was the idea that a character's astrological sign could change their attribute scores. 

I always wanted to include that in my D&D games, but since the attributes didn't quite jive between rulesets, I never took the time to work it out. Until today!!!!

I was looking for a reason to use my 12-sided zodiac die. After finishing the chart, I went digging for that dodecahedron and it turns out I misremembered it. It is a planet symbol die, not a zodiac one, so it doesn't quite match up (Mercury and Venus are each attached to 2 signs, and the die features north and south nodes for the moon, which are not directly tied to any of the signs). 

Oh well, guess I'll have to buy a zodiac die or two. 

Here you go! 



Saturday, February 6, 2021

B/X House Rule: Object Saving Throws

I've often felt like I needed Object Saving Throws in my games, and have long been enamored of how they appeared in the old AD&D DM Screen. Since I've been putting a lot of house rule things up lately, no reason not to share this too!



It is generally assumed that if a character or creature survives, anything they are are wearing or carrying also survives. If a special form of damage kills the character (e.g., dragon breath or magical disintegration), their normal equipment is also considered destroyed. 

At the DM’s discretion, magic items or items standing alone may be permitted a saving throw to avoid being destroyed. Magic items receive a bonus equal to their best bonus (e.g., a sword +1/+2 vs. lycanthropes would receive a +2 bonus on its saving throws). A roll of 1 always fails. 

How an object is affected should consider both the object and the type of damage inflicted (e.g., a crushing blow would shatter glass, but tear or rip cloth). The notations below are only guidelines, and the DM may adjust the numbers as they see fit.


Notes on Item Types

Wood/Rope. The number may be adjusted up or down based on the hardness or softness of the wood, or the strength/thickness of the rope. A fall does not normally harm rope, regardless of the height.

Liquids/Potions. This assumes that the container in which the liquid or potion is held remains intact. If the container is destroyed, it is assumed the liquid or potion held inside is also lost.

Soft Metal/Jewelry. This includes silver mirrors and pearls of all sorts.

Hard Metal. If a hard metal object that has been exposed to extreme cold is struck with sufficient force (10 hp or more in a single blow), there is a 50% chance it will be shattered/damaged/destroyed.

Notes on Damage Types

Fall. This is based on the object falling approximately 5' and coming into contact with a hard surface (e.g., stone). Softer surfaces provide a bonus of +1 to +5 (based on how soft they are). Falls from a greater height should penalize the roll by –2 for each additional 5' fallen. 

Crush. The item is struck by a weighty object falling on it or hitting it (e.g., a giant’s club or a thrown rock). 

Strike. The item is struck by fairly-heavy object or a normal-strength opponent. 

Magic Fire. This includes all varieties of magical fire (e.g., dragon breath, the spells fireball, wall of fire, etc.). For normal fires, adjust the target number by –3.

Magic Frost. This includes all varieties of magical cold (e.g., white dragon breath, the spells cone of cold, wall of ice, etc.).

Lightning. This includes both magical electricity (e.g., blue dragon breath, the spells lightning bolt, etc.), and large scale electrical effects (e.g., the “shock” of a giant eletric eel). For smaller discharges (e.g., a normal-sized electric eel, spells like shocking grasp, magical traps, etc.), all objects save on a 2 or better except liquids/potions, which require a roll of 10 or better to avoid being ruined.

Acid. This assumes the object is immersed or submerged in a considerable volume of a strong acid (e.g., black dragon breath) for an amount of time substantial enough to affect the item.

Disintegration. This is the magical effect. Non-magical items should not be permitted to make a save against disintegration (except as otherwise indicated by the spell or effect).


Saturday, January 30, 2021

Petty Gods Update

So late on Friday, January 29, 2021 I received an email from Lulu.com informing me my account had been deleted because Expanded Petty Gods contained material that was in violation of someone else's copyright. Of course, this came too late for me to contact anyone before the weekend (as if I have ever in the last 12 years been able to contact anyone directly from Lulu.com). And, of course, they did not include the complaint itself, so I have no idea what the claim is in regards to. After all, Expanded Petty Gods is a massive thing (even by old-school gaming standards), and it could seriously be anything (so much art, so many entities that could raise IP issues, etc.). I honestly and truthfully did my best to vet all the content, and tried to err on the side of caution in every instance where it was even questionable. 

Most of you have seen the book, so you understand what a daunting task this was. 

Restarting at Lulu.com for other titles will be a PitA, but not a major setback. Losing my DriveThruRPG status, on the other hand would be akin to taking a critical hit from 10d10 fireball and failing my saving throw. So, in order to preemptively protect my DriveThruRPG account from similar censure (please understand, I have had no complaints there), I've retracted Expanded Petty Gods from the site, and deleted the related files). It will no longer be available from DriveThruRPG. 

For now, consider Expanded Petty Gods in print a collector's item, and the PDF version something relegated to the "sharing community." 

BTW, I do have one copy of EPG left in my cache, if anybody wants to trade it for a copy of Deities & Demigods that includes the Cthulhu Mythos.


Saturday, January 9, 2021

BX House Rule: Manufacturing Holy Water

There has been some discussion in my bi-weekly game group about the possibility of making their own holy water, so I had to do a little research. I've created a B/X house rule for making holy water based on the information in the 1e DMG.

The good news for the cleric is there is a clairvoyant NPC that can send a message for the party to have a stoup made dedicated to the cleric's deity—Morbagallicus. The bad news is the cleric is a couple of levels shy of being able to cast 3rd level spells. 

But, then again, by the time the stoup is finished, the cleric might have gained a couple of levels!



A cleric (or paladin, or similar divine spellcaster) may create holy/unholy water under the following conditions:
  1. They possess or have access to a approriate blessed/cursed vessel (a “stoup”) in which the holy/unholy water will be created.
  2. The character is capable of casting 3rd level cleric spells.
Holy/Unholy Water Receptacles

The stoup/vessel for creating holy water consists of 2 parts:
  1. the font: a finely-crafted repository of wood (with a base, pedestal, chest-like holder, and lid) carved or engraved with the holy/unholy symbols of the deity to which the vessel has been dedicated.
  2. the basin: a metal bowl placed within the font which holds the water to be blessed.
A cleric may only create holy/unholy water in a vessel dedicated to their deity. The amount of water they may create depends on the metal used for the basin.


All fonts and basins are made to order, taking 4-10 (2d4+2) weeks to be designed and constructed. 

Basins in combinations of metal may be available (at DM’s discretion), with costs and capacity adjusted accordingly (e.g., a silver basin chased with gold and set with gold handles).

Generally, the stoup must be housed in a religious structure, and each structure is limited to having a single stoup. 

Procedure/Ritual

The ritual for creating holy/unholy water takes 1 hour to perform, and requires the cleric use the following: a purify food and water spell (or reverse), a bless spell (or reverse), and a 3rd level spell slot for the ritual that creates the holy/unholy water. The ritual must be performed uninterrupted, and if the cleric does not have the available spell slots for all three spells, the ritual cannot be completed. The ritual may only be performed once per week, and immediately after the cleric must rest for at least 8 hours.

Portable Stoups (Optional)

The DM may opt to allow the use of portable stoups. The suggested cost and capacity for such stoups is outlined below:


The encumbrance of a portable stoup is a number of coins equal to the font cost for the stoup (e.g., a portable silver stoup has an encumbrance of 200 coins). 

Performing the ritual to make holy water outside a structure dedicated to cleric’s deity (even a structure dedicated to a similar or companion deity) takes the cleric an entire day, during which time they may not undertake any other adventuring or perform any other activities. The standard period of 8 hours is required as normal.