Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Cubic Dungeon

So, here's an idea that came from me messing about with Dyson Logos' dungeon Geomorphs, and the nifty random dungeon generator made from them.

I give you, the cubic dungeon:

Of course, to any hapless adventurers transported inside it (whether by a goblin doorway, or an angered sorcerer, or something else entirely) it does not at first appear to be a cube. From inside, it's a normal dungeon, until you discover that walking in one direction long enough will bring you back to your starting point, as will taking three right (or left) turns in the right location.

The party mapper will be tearing his hair out.

Above is the 6 geomorphs I pasted together. I took the liberty of tweaking the left "arm" design slightly so as to avoid having dead ends. Also note that while there are several secret doors in the complex, there is only one truly secret room. Perhaps that holds the key to escaping?

Monday, 29 March 2010

Random Hallucination Table

As mentioned here, some goblins use hallucinogenic poison on their arrows. Any character struck by such an arrow must make a save (DC 15 Fortitude) or Suffer the effects. If the initial save is successful, the character must save again in 1 minute. Either way, the effects are rolled once on the table below, and last for 1d4 hours (or until somebody casts Neutralize Poison).

  1. Mine Lederhosen have Shrunkenvagen! Character is convinced his clothing and armour are shrinking, and must try to remove them as soon as possible. Once removed, the character is convinced the clothing is trying to chase him, and will try to flee.
  2. Whoa, like, My Hands... Character just stands there and stares at his hands.
  3. You Killed My Father, Prepare to Die! Character will attack the closest creature until it is dead, at which poin he will fixate on somebody new.
  4. What's a Humanoid like You doing in a Dungeon like This? Character makes romantic advances on the closest creature of a species and gender appropriate to his tastes. If no such beings are in sight, will wander off, looking for such.
  5. Eureka! The character is convinced he has just had a ground-breaking idea that he must write down. Will seek out writing implements, or attempt to fashion his own. Just writes gibberish (probably). This applies even if the character can't actually write.
  6. So Soft and Fuzzy... character will try to feel the other character's hair (or, if rebuffed, that of the closest monster...).
  7. Can't Stop The Beat! Character will dance on the spot. Also possibly sing. Thinks everybody else is joining in.
  8. The pretty butterflies! Character chases butterflies around at jogging speed in a random direction. Gets a Will save to avoid walking off cliffs.
  9. Spiders! Spiders Behind my EYES! Character has a really bad trip, and spends the whole time curled in a fetal ball.
  10. Invisible Dead Tortoise. The character trips over every time he stands up. Tries to crawl around and find his poor departed hard-shelled friend.
Characters under the effect of goblin poison cannot cast spells or use ranged attacks, but will attack back if attacked in melee.

Any character left alone for any length of time while tripping on goblin poison has a 1-in-6 chance of acquiring a pineapple. No mortal magic can reveal where this fruit has come from.

Friday, 26 March 2010

My D&D House Rules

Actually, I won't bore you with them, but suffice to say that in the process of typing up all the house rules I have stored in my head, I discovered the document is nearly as long as the rules they're modifying. Of course, I'm modifying MicroLite20, so that isn't terribly long. Thus, this brought me to the conclusion that it might be best for me to just make a Microlite20 rulebook of my own, with all the house rules included as standard.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

A Thought on Goblin Warfare

Goblins, generally, can be found to be wielding one of four types of weapon

Firstly, there is the wickedly curved (or wavy) sword. This is the mainstay of goblin warfare, largely because they're vicious little buggers who love causing hurt to anything around them.

Second, there is the spear, or, more often, the Pointy Stick. Typically wielded by goblins who are vicious, but either have some modicum of self-preservation instinct, or are just too slow to get the any of the "good" spots up the front.

Third there is the bow. Beware the goblin bowman, because he lacks the kind of craziness requires for front-line fighting, and thus might be capable of some actual tactics and proper target selection. Particularly nasty are those bowmen who have the skill to coat their arrows in hallucinogenic poisons.

And lastly, but by now means least, no matter how silly it may seem, there are those goblins who go into battle armed not with a sword, or a spear, nor even a bow, but with whatever they can pick up and throw. This is a problem, because as these are often the craziest goblin, they will often select rather dangerous missiles, such as flasks of burning oil, or rabid rats.

Or, occasionally, rabid rats covered in burning oil.

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Characters (We hope)

So, say you've got a bunch of PCs in a long tunnel, running away from a boulder which is rolling after them (ala Indiana Jones). How would you mechanically represent that in, say, Microliet20?

That's the question I posed myself 10 minutes ago. Here's what I came up with.

(I'm using the notation squares here for all movement. I assume that a square is 5 feet, but feel free to do whatever you like)

There is a tunnel, which is 60 squares long. At one end is the boulder. 10 squares further along are the PCs. The boulder moves 12 squares every turn. Any PCs it moves over are, most likely, dead, or if not, wishing they were.

However, the PCs get to move first. Each turn, each PC gets a number of movement points. The base is 6, to which they add their Dexterity modifier. Also, every turn, they can roll 1, 2, or 3d6 for extra points. It costs 1 point to move 1 square.

That's the basics. Now, here's where it gets interesting:
If you get a double or triple on your move points roll, your character trips and falls at the end of your movement. On your next turn, you'll lose 2 move points from lost momentum anyway, in addition to having to spend 4 points just standing up.

However, other people can help you up, so long as they're adjacent to you. Helping somebody up costs you 4 movement points, minus your Strength modifier, to a minimum of 1 point.


Wyfy Cygnet is a rogue with Strength 7 and Dexterity 16. She gets a base movement point allotment of 9 every turn, and it costs her 6 points to help somebody up.

Meanwhile, Power Murderface is a bard with Strength 18, and Dexterity 8. He gets 5 movement points every turn, but it only takes 1 point for him to help somebody up.

Obviously, anybody who gets to the 60-square finish line before the boulder does wins (i.e. doesn't die messily).

Edit: actually you could use much the same process for doing Chased by Wolves, or Outrunning a Tidal-wave of Water, the basic Rolling Boulder is what got me onto the idea.

Saturday, 6 March 2010


For lack of anything better to post, I present various awesome game-related things I've found around the internet recently.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Abstract-ish d20 Chase mechanic

While walking my dog and humming the Starship Troopers theme tune (my brain is like a broken and expectionally nerdy iPod) today, I started thinking about chase scene. I love them in movies, but I've yet to see very many RPGs handle them in a fun way. While many systems have quite reasonable mechanics for such things, mostly they just boil down to a series of opposed rolls, with little or no choices made on the part of the players. This sucks, because RPGs are really all about making choices. So, here goes a simple mechanic for d20 games (Microlite20 mostly, but it's adaptable) for chases and races.

Step 1: Setup
During the chase, distance between people (or horse, or starships, or whatever) will be determined by points of Lead. Pick some increment of distance that Lead will represent for this chase. For a thief running through the streets chased by guards, 10 feet is good, while an all-day overland chase on horseback might have a point of Lead represent several miles. Generally starting the two parties (pursed and pursers) about 5 points of Lead apart is good, but do whatever fits the situation.

Step 2: Determine Initiative.
Unlike in normal combat, chase initiative is rolled at the start of every round. Each individual or group in the chase rolls a d20 and add their Mind bonus. If the individual or group is being pursued they get +2. If a group is pursuing and outnumbers the pursued party, then they get +2. Highest roll goes first this round.

Step 3: Determine conditions.
Whoever won initiative for this round gets to describe the conditions that the chase will be going through this round. If they choose to play it safe, each participant in the chase must make a DC 10 check (usually Physical + Dex, but whatever suits the type of chase), with failure losing them a point of lead, and success winning a point of lead.

Alternatively, the initiative winner can choose different conditions, increase the DC, and add other effects to winning or losing (such as damage), as suits him.

Example: Claude the Clandestine has stolen a horse from a lord's stables and is fleeing through the woods on it. The lord's men are chasing him. Claude, having won initiative, decides he'll ride through the thickest part of the wood, braving the low-hanging tree branches. He tells the GM that for this round, the DC for the chase will be 17, and failure will deal 2d6 damage, in addition to losing anybody who fails 2 points of Lead from riding into a tree-branch and being knocked off their horse.

Step 3.5: Roll the Dice
Once the initiative winner has worked out the conditions, everybody rolls their check (the GM may choose to roll individually or as a group for grouped creatures), and applies the effects. Additionally, for any such check where the speed of the participants would aid them (i.e. pretty much every check), the faster party gets +2 on their check, or +5 if they're twice as fast, or +10 if they're three times as fast or more. Any party can voluntarily fail their check if they so wish.

Example of being tricky with these rules: Claude has stolen a magical trinket from a dragon's horde and is now being chased by a huge and rather unhappy giant lizard. Claude, having won initiative once again, decides to repeat his old trick and rides into some trees. However, this time, Claude says that the DC will be 10, with failure causing the loss of a point of Lead (like normal), and success causing the gain of a point of lead, and 6d6 damage unless you also make a save to avoid smacking into a tree.

Claude then voluntarily fails his check, and loses a point of lead. The dragon, hoping to catch up to the thief and roast him, decides to roll to succeed (getting a +5 bonus on the roll because dragons are twice as fast as horses). Easily rolling high enough, the dragon slams into the treeline, and now has to make a save to avoid braining itself with a conifer...

Step 4: Are We There Yet?
After Lead points have been lost and gained, work out what happens. If the pursuer has caught up to the pursued, they can they attack or catch their prey, as appropriate. If the pursued have got 10 points of lead ahead of their attacker, they've managed to get away. If neither such circumstance has occurred, go back to step 2 and repeat for the next round.

Optional Variants for Races:
For races, usually everybody starts at the same point, and thus nobody has a Lead point advantage. Additionally, give every participant two extra points of lead every turn, in addition to however many they won or lost form their skill checks, and whoever gets to the finish line (say, 20 points of Lead) first is the winner.

Also, as neither party can really direct the course of the racetrack, use a straight d20 roll for initiative. For added fun, have any players who are just spectating roll as well, and determine the conditions of that round is they win.