Friday, April 25, 2014

Death and Dismemberment

I have what would probably be regarded as a very lenient methodology in terms of handling death and gross disfigurement for an OSR game; however, it is one that lends a fair bit of flavor the game in terms of producing grizzled murderhobos. Originally, I planned to use Chris' Death and Dismemberment table from Hill Cantons and then, uh, I managed to not be able to find in the heat of a session and instead wound up winging it. Rather than backtrack, I decided to formalize what happened when I winged it, and this is what I got:

- Rolling on the Death and Dismemberment table happens if you drop to 0 HP or below.

- If you go to negative HP, you lose 1HP per round until you're healed/medically treated.

- If you reach negative HP equal to your CON score, you roll a Saving Throw vs. Death -- if you fail, you die, if you save, you live another round.

Death and Dismemberment! (With apologies to Chris Kutalik)

Firstly, where did you take that hit? Use the back cover on Vornheim, with the player rolling a die to determine where they were smote.

Secondly, how bad was it? For this, we use the Critical Hit Chart on p.340 of Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st Edition. Take the number of HP below 0, divide by 3, then add 1. That's the column that you're rolling on on said chart.

So for example, Hankella the barbarian takes a huge shot from a lizardman's spear and drops to -9HP. Luckily, the party's cleric is standing right there and gets off a good enough heal that she stabilizes that very same round. The player rolls on the Vornheim chart and gets right arm. The DM then rolls d100 on the 4th column of the WFRPG Critical Hit Chart (9HP below zero/3 = 3, plus 1 = 4). The roll is a 57, which is a 15 on the chart -- the shoulder joint is destroyed and a bone splinter severs an artery, killing the character almost immediately from shock and blood loss -- even if the heal repaired the artery, it's too late. Had the DM rolled a 10 or less, Hankella would only have suffered a dislocated shoulder, rendering that arm useless until popped back in.

One thing I really like about this system is that there's lots of results that cripple the player without killing them, creating a situation where you have a gimpy wizard who can't run that well after nearly getting his hip taken off with a giant scimitar, or the fighter who takes a die-step negative on all bow damage rolls because he has a nagging rotator cuff injury from that run-in with some gnolls. Still not entirely sure how to handle possibly healing these sorts of things -- that would require a refactor of how healing magic works, which is still very vague as of now.

Monday, April 7, 2014

From the Depths, it Rises

Well, I've just about managed to avoid having not updated for an entire year, a real accomplishment, that.

Reason for returning: After the Weaverham Campaign ground to a halt with my weekend group (for various reasons, best explored in an update devoted to such), I spent a long period of time without DMing, which left me without much to say, which was both good and bad. Then some folks at work started talking about playing a game and after a fair bit of time where it became clear that nobody else was going to do it, I offered to run a quick-and-dirty D&D campaign, a half-dozen folks declared interest (unfortunately none of the 80 billion people who wanted to do Shadowrun, of all things either wanted to run it or were interested in my offer to try and do a bastardized D&D-mechanics version of it) and away we went.

I say 'D&D', really, what it wound up being is a strange mash-up of: Lamentations of the Flame Princess + Labyrinth Lord + Dungeon Crawl Classics + WFRPG + Vornheim.

Here's the basics of character creation:

You're all humans!

Stats are 3D6, rearrange how you wish

There are four classes: Clerics, Fighters, Mages, Specialists

Specialists are basically lifted completely from LoftP. Similar to that system, nobody except Fighters make any gains in combat skills -- Fighters gain a stat I call Prowess that is equal to their level. Every round they can distribute their Prowess to To-Hit, To-Damage or Armor Class however they see fit. Mages and Clerics cast spells similar to how DCC handles it -- they roll a d20, add their level and INT bonus and match it against a Difficulty equal to 10 + Power Level of the Spell + Extenuating Circumstances.

If your roll is greater than the Difficulty, you cast it successfully. If it’s 5 greater than the Difficulty, the spell is more powerful, if it’s 10 greater than the Difficulty, really good stuff happens. If the spell is equal to the Difficulty, the spell is cast, only the results are...warped, that is, if you're a Mage. For Clerics, it just works. If it’s up to 4 less than the Difficulty, the spell just fails. If the spell is below the Difficulty by 5 or more, the spell fails and you may not cast it again until you regain the spell, either studying it for an hour equal to spell power (Mage) or by taking an hour to repent (Cleric). If you roll 10 less than the Difficulty or roll a 1, bad shit happens in the form of Demonic Corruption (Mage) or being Rebuked by your god (Cleric) -- although this does not happen for Power Level 0 Spells, which are Detect Magic, Light and Read Magic for Mages and Cure Wounds and Turn Undead for Clerics.

Clerics are automatically followers of the Sun Lord, unless you have a great argument otherwise.

There are no restrictions in terms of what Power Level spell you can cast, except that doing so at lower levels can be extremely dangerous because of the possibility of Corruption (since Clerics have their spells granted by their god, this naturally prevents them from accessing the higher-level Cleric spells).

Mages get to choose one Power Level One spell that they can start with for sure, then get two more random ones. Any other spells, you gotta find.

There are no armor/weapon restrictions for any of the classes, although there are Armor Class penalties for Light (-1), Medium (-2) and Heavy (-3) armor for casting Mage spells or for certain Specialist skills. 

Every character had something they did before they became an adventurer. You find out what it was by rolling for a Basic Profession from the 1ed WFRPG book, giving you all the skills from that Profession, translated as best I can for a D&D-esque clone. So far, this has worked out pretty well.

Everybody gets 3D6x10 gold. 

That's pretty much the entirety of the rules, really.