Friday, December 28, 2012

The 'Death Box'.

Okay been reading a bit about a game called Tenra Bansho Zero lately, it's one of those games I want to pick up but I have a hard time justifying it since I don't know if the usual group of players I have will want to play it. Been hearing a bit about one specific mechanic, the same mechanic that seems to drive a certain group of hobby factionists up the wall.

If you don't have the 'Death Box' ticked on your character sheet your character can not die. If they run out of damage boxes or whatever, they are unconcious or helpless. Thus making it where they can be captured or what not. It seems to be a decent piece of genre immulation in the rules.

Was thinking of an optional version of that rule that would also be capturing the genre. During any conflict scene at least one players at the table has to have their charactes 'Death Box' ticked. Thus giving the chance that at least one character may not make it. It still gets rid of the total party kills that you really don't see in most animes but you do see a lot of battles in which one person out of the main group dies.

At least with the death box you also don't have the 'fight to the death' thing that so many players do. Never letting themselves be captured and stuff like that. So much gaming can take place in the form of making an escape and running for freedom.

Anyways just my random thoughts at the moment.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Seven RPGs

The seven rpgs trend has been going around lately.  I've done a few over on G+ but I decided to do one covering the seven games that have been the most influencial to me.

  • Dungeons and Dragons red box edition.

    For me this was the perfect simple fantasy rpg. It was rules light before the idea or term had started to see any use at all. All the extra trappings and complicated charts that other games seemed to require just aren't in here. While not that realistic it makes up for it in sheer ease and fun of the system. Creating your own stuff to go along with it was a breeze and, back in the day, nearly everyone knew the basics of the system. Most fantasy games that I have ran use this rules set and the other color coded boxed sets.

  • Twilight 2000

    Because games just aren't fantasy. Having family and friends with a military background (I knew military time in grade school) really made this setting stand out to me. While the rules got a bit odd in places and character generation had it's own separate worksheet it still worked. The initial modules were pretty well done as well all connected with the common goal of finding your way back home to the United States. They were also set up with a familiar design to that of early D&D modules where you had some new stuff to use in each one.

  • Vampire: The Masquerade - 1st edition

    I bought the original first edition rulebook very near it's release date due to a review in Dragon magazine. They reviewed it and Dark Conspiracy, almost went for DC because it was from the same folks that made Twilight 2000. Thankfully I passed that one up. Vampire was different and where it wasn't different it at least tried to be different. Putting a lot of emphasis on roleplaying and exploring your character and the setting. The entire book had a “Let's get serious” vibe about it. Daring you to try to make your games something more. It was the first game I ran where I had players ready to go at any given time. My first successful game as a GM.

  • KULT (1st edition is the best IMHO)

    The best horror game I've ever ran hands down. It took a while for me to get players into it but once I got the ball rolling it just kept going. Loved the setting, the cosmology and the overall feel of the game. It was MY horror game. I've pulled the setting into other games more times than I can count and to this day I still put things into the framework that is presented within it's pages. However it's also a game I can no longer run, burnt out hardcore for a number of reasons. I supported the game for years online, through help with the Abyss, setting up and running a forum for it when Target Games shut theirs down (quite successful forum for a long time also), writing plenty of fan material and just trying to keep the fanbase interested and growing. Now all that job is up to somebody else... if anybody wants it at all.

  • Cyberpunk 2020

    Hell yeah mother fuckers. Chrome, attitude, guns, computers, style, substance and everything else that made me love the cyberpunk literary genre all in one game. Pondsmith had me hooked within a couple of pages I won't lie. Pretty straight forward rules, character generation with a nice bit of random tossed in with the lifepaths, some great artwork and all sorts of tech. When it comes to science fiction books I always leaned towards cyberpunk once I discovered it and I did the same when it came to science fiction games. Yes its a bit out dated now, but man it was fun playing and running the chrome and neon future.

  • SLA Industries

    A mix of various types of scifi elements all into one setting. Without the gonzo aspect of games like Rifts of course. Again a game where I loved the setting, especially some of the mystery, that the rulebook presented. It felt like by explaining a lot they managed to leave even more open to do your own thing with. The main book and Karma are two books that will never leave my gaming library. While some folks threw a fit when 'The Truth' came out it didn't phase me at all. It just didn't have any affect on my games, or most of the games I was playing in.

  • Little Fears 1st edition

    Hands down, without a doubt, the one game I ran with the most success ever. I had multiple campaigns going at once, had a waiting list for players at the ones I ran at the local game shop. When I first heard about Little Fears I was the opposite of this, I didn't think it would work and was pretty doubtful. But the year it was released at Origins was the first (and so far only) time I made it to that con. So I ended up picking up a copy and playing in one of the demos being ran... and the hooks were set in pretty deep. Jason Blair had made an amazing game, it really caught my players as it had me. Playing little kids in a fight for survival against a supernatural world on the other side of the closet doors, simply awesome. Jason even named an NPC in a pdf adventure after me, I took that as a big shiny badge of honor, hell I bragged about that one even.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Poison Drinker character class - Red Box D&D

This is a character class for my dark fantasy setting currently titled "City State of Kainis".  It uses the Dungeons & Dragons red box edition as it's base system.  Two other classes coming soon are the Ravager and the Blood Mage. 

Poison Drinker


Poison Drinkers are a section of the cult that runs the Kainis Empire. They are specialized fighters who are more trained in stealth and attacking from the shadows rather than facing the enemy head on. They are also the assassins of the organization due to their use and resistance to poisons. Whenever they are wounded in a fight, every drop of blood they shed is a danger to their opponents.

Chosen at a young age from the populace of the Empire they are picked due to their excellent health and specific physical attributes. They must be of the peak of physical perfection just to survive the rites they will undertake. Starting on their first day they will be given a very diluted and weak version of the most toxic poisons known. It will cause days of sickness and severe pains, many will not survive this initial dosage. Those that do are accepted into the group for training and begin a monthly regiment of ingesting the poison, each time in a very slightly higher toxic level than before.
As a result they develop a very high resistance to poisons, some completely useless against them. It also causes their blood to become poisonous itself and can be used as such. They also develop a slight sickly look, sunken eyes, thin features and sunken cheeks. Their physical prowess is completely unaffected.

However they must continue to take a monthly dose (or more commonly a smaller weekly dose) of the base poison. Otherwise they begin to fall ill and lose a point of Constitution every month as their body begins to die with the toxin it has become addicted to. This is the practice that has led to their names as they usually mix the rather nasty tasting poison with a drink when they ingest it.
Poison Drinker Saving Throw Table
Poison Drinkers get a different Saving Throw vs poison due to the amount of poison in their blood. So the Death Ray or Poison number is divided by a slash, the fist is vs Death Ray and the second is vs Poison.

13/8 – Death Ray or Poison
14 – Magic Wands
13 – Paralysis or Turn to Stone
16 – Dragon Breath
15 – Rods, Staves, or Spells
Poison Drinker Experience Table

XP Level Title

0 - 1 -  Initiate
1400 -  2 - Initiate
2600 -  3 - Acolyte

Other Details
Prime Requisite: A Poison Drinkers PR is Dexterity. If a Poison Drinker has a Dexterity score of 13 or more, the character gains a bonus to Experience Points earned in every adventure.

Hit Dice: 1D6
Armor: Poison Drinkers may only wear Leather or Chain armor, and may not use a shield.
Weapons: A Poison Drinker may use any missile weapon, and any other weapon usable with one hand.
Special Abilities
Backstabbing – Same as a Thief.
Climb Walls – Same as a Thief.

Hear Noise – Same as a Thief.

Hide in Shadows – Same as a Thief.
Move Silently – Same as Thief.
Poisoned Blood – A Poison Drinker may apply their blood to a weapon or lace food and water with it. If a weapon is used then whenever they successfully hit the target must make a save vs poison or take additional damage equal to the level of the Poison Drinker. If ingested the blood is extremely potent and the a save vs poison is required to avoid taking a D4 of damage for every level of the Poison Drinker. Even on a successful save the target is still sick for a number of days equal to the level of the Poison Drinker.