Friday, February 24, 2012

Chainmail as RPG

On the proverbial spur-of-the-moment, I've decided to run Chainmail as an RPG tonight on G+, from 10pm-midnight, CST. This will be "straight" Fantasy Supplement, with a few things added in from the main rules (arrow fire, morale, I think that's it...) Each Hero or Wizard gets 3HD of followers, human or otherwise (HD here meaning how many Men  they fight as)

We'll see how it goes! :)

(and no, that's not me in that picture...)
(and yes, it was very difficult not to use a picture of someone wearing a chainmail bikini...)

If you're interested, post here, email me or add me on G+.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


First of all, unrelated, this is awesome: The Friar

A lot of weird images come up when you type the word "gestalt" into Google... Anyhow, this one fits what I'm talking about. I think.

The discussion going on around DnD Next or 5E or whatever has been nagging at me. I really like the idea that it sounds like they're actually going to pay attention to the history of the game and try to unite all editions in play, so a 1Eish character could adventure right alongside a 4Eish character. Fabulous. I signed up to playtest, and will do so in good faith. However, I've been wondering if it really needs to be so involved. This came to me yesterday when rereading some forum and blog posts about how M.A.R. Barker of Tekumel fame used to run his games. Players would have some details for their characters, and then when conflict arose, they'd simply roll a d20, and Prof. Barker would let them know what happened. The whole mechanic was the higher you rolled, the closer you came getting your way. This was modified by the context. You can't really get simpler than this.

So, based on that thinking, here's a little unifying (as yet untried) system to bring all versions of DnD (and since I've been reading Hackmaster 4e lately, that too!) into the same game.

Unbelievably, this word is not an acronym. I'm using it with two assumptions in mind:

  1. The "whole" of DnD is a mindset or experience that can encompass all editions.
  2. In a complex field of contextual factors, a meaningful result can be focused upon with the insertion of a simple randomizing lens. :)
Character Creation/Importation
  • Describe your character in no more than three sentences or no more than 30 words.
  • List an Object, a Belief, and a Goal unique to your character.
  • Note your level
  • List anything else you consider to be important: Spells, abilities, skills, powers, whatever.
  • Resolved with a d20.
  • In general, any character adds their level to any dice roll they make. The DM may modify this based on the conflict and the particular character involved.
  • In opposed conflicts, the DM adds the HD (or some other appropriate number) to her roll.
  • Any character aiding another adds a +2 to their roll.
  • The DM can/should liberally address contextual modifiers, from +1 to a +5
  • These contextual modifiers should mostly come from everything listed out on the character card, as well as from how the player decides to use the environment. Awesomeness should always be rewarded.
  • Non-opposed: I.e., jumping over a chasm; checking for a secret door; etc. The player rolls a d20, +/- modifiers. High is better. 
  • DM "gestalts" results.
  • Opposed: I.e., you know, fighting, mostly. Player states what they want to do; both player and DM roll d20s, +/- any modifiers. DM gestalts the results based on the difference between the rolls.
  • The trick with combat, especially, as a player, is to specifically describe what you're doing in order to convince the DM to give you positive modifiers. Tactics and Awesomeness will win the day, especially against stronger foes.
  • Trying the exact same thing when it didn't work the first time should give you at least a -2 modifier.
  • An opposed roll for a spell/power is to see how close it comes to achieving its listed effects, which of course will need to be folded into the overall gestalt.
I think that's about it.

So yeah, Will, if you're reading this, this is what we're gonna play.

Oh, and here's the other image I almost used:

It might actually represent the core of the idea better:

"Is it a rabbit? Is it a duck? Who the hell cares---it's one weird looking creature and it wants our BRAINS!"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Exiting Fight On!

I have returned, to Fight On! Like, literally.

Go here for more info, but the skinny is this:

The massive, classic Fight On! hardback compilations are almost ready to go back into the archives. Get 'em while you can with these particular covers!

Use this lulu code through the end of this month for 20% off your order: SWEET305

Last but not least, you can get free pdfs! Not to be missed!

Fight On! #5

Roll the Bones Fantasy Fiction collection (I've got a story in here...)

I think all the other issues might be on sale, too...

Good to be back. :)