Monday, February 6, 2017

Social Standing Sub-System



Back for some more D&D shit. I feel like I need to diversify my blog posts a little with non-game reviews and non-D&D material but it seems like that takes a lot more effort to do that ._.

Social Standing (SOC) is an extra stat for older D&D games that modifies reaction checks. It is a representation of how a character is regarded in a specific social milieu. SOC can vary drastically depending on the nature of the society the character is interacting with (orcs will have a bad standing among elves but an okay standing among humans).  If you have a system that would normally apply a Charisma-based modifier to reaction checks, disregard that rule (because it would stack otherwise) and use the one below

SOC is derived from Charisma modifier + Race modifier + Class modifier.

I use an altered Reaction Roll table as seen in Terrors & Wonders (v0.3 coming soon-ish). These rules were written with these types of reaction rolls in mind.
2d8
Attitude
2-3
Hostile
4-8
Unfriendly
9-12
Neutral
13-15
Friendly
16
Helpful

Now here are some charts for race and class modifiers to SOC. The first set assumes pretty standard quasi-medieval quasi-European human-dominated societies. The second set assumes pretty standard humanoid (in the D&D sense) societies. Needless to say, different cultures will have different standards. For example, the Al-Qadim would have much more lenient SOC modifiers for race whereas Ravenloft would have much harsher ones; being an arcanist would carry a positive modifier during the heyday of the Netherese Empire but a negative modifier in the post-fall years. You could also apply a modifier for sexes too such as a -2 for men in an amazon-style society or a similar penalty for women in strongly patriarchal societies. Note that the class modifiers assumes that the characters have pretty stereotypical equipment (full-plate + weapons = Fighter, pointy hat + staff = Wizard, etc.). Otherwise use None/Not Apparent.
Social Standings for Human Societies

Race
SOC Modifier
Dwarf
+0
Elf
+0
Halfling
+1
Half-orc/Half-ogre
-1
Human
+2
Other Humanoid
-3

Class
SOC Modifier
Cleric
+1
None/Not Apparent
+0
Fighter
+0
Thief
-1
Wizard
+0


Social Standings for Humanoid Societies

Race
SOC Modifier
Dwarf
+0, -2 A, or -4 B
Elf
-2 or -4 C
Halfling
-1
Half-orc/Half-ogre
+0
Human
-2
Other Humanoid
Usually +0 D
A This is the standing of standard Dwarves among Derro and Duergar (and vice versa)
B Their standing among underground humanoids they conflict with (Grimlocks, Morlocks, etc.)
C Their standing among full-blooded Orcs (the feeling is mutual)
D Humanoids of the same race get +1. Hobgoblins get +2 among Goblins.

Class
SOC Modifier
Cleric
-1E, +0F, or +1G
None/Not Apparent
-1
Fighter
+1
Thief
+0
Wizard
+2
E Alignment/philosophy is opposite or opposing
F Alignment/philosophy isn’t relevant
G Alignment/philosophy is similar or compatible

Example 1: Brother Bert is a Human Cleric of Law with a Charisma of 13. Among the human baronies of Alemane he has a SOC of +1 (Cha) + 2 (Race) + 1 (Class), or SOC +4. Based on this, the worst reaction he might get some unkind words spoken to him (Unfriendly). If he decides to bash some heads then all bets are off, of course.

Example 2: Brother Bert is a Human Cleric of Law with a Charisma of 13. Among the Chaos-worshiping orcs of the Bloody Caves he has a SOC of +1 (Cha) - 2 (Race) -1 (Class), or SOC -2. It's very likely that someone may randomly decide to randomly attack him (Hostile) and impossible that anyone will help him unless he can repay them (Friendly).



Saturday, January 14, 2017

Black Streams + Dungeon Crawl Classics: Brainstorming

Note: This posts contains affiliate links. A portion of your purchases go to the author (of this blog [the disclaimer seems a little ambiguous so I'm just clarifying {maybe I just have brain problems}]). 

This post is a set of conversion(?) notes for using Black Streams and Dungeon Crawl Classics. Black Streams is a supplement for Labyrinth Lord but it was apparently expanded and polished into Scarlet Heroes (which I'm probably going to buy soon). I'm pretty sure you could use Black Streams with almost any class- and level- system including D&D 5e and Pathfinder, but why would you play Pathfinder? :^) 

Let's dive in.

Starting Character(s): I'd recommend letting the player roll up 5 level-0 characters for funnels. 

Fray Die: The first departure we going to have to make from Black Streams is the Fray Die. This one is kinda dicey. Usually, the PC gets to roll a Fray Die and deal damage to an enemy with equal or less HD than himself. For level-0 characters this would mean other PCs and NPC villagers. But if one player is controlling all the level-0 PCs he really isn't going to use his Fray Die against his own PCs barring possession/insanity/whatever and slaughtering droves of peasants is a weird situation that probably won't come up either. In any case, if the GM decides to allow the Fray Die it's 1d4 for level-0 characters.

Defy Death: Level-0 characters can Defy Death as outlined in Black Streams but they roll a 1d6 damage die for their first attempt, 1d8 for their second, and 1d10 for all subsequent attempts. Keep in mind that DCC funnels tend to have a shitload of instadeath encounters. Spellcasters can use Defy Death to avoid Corruption and/or Patron Taint but they have can only avoid one or the other with a single Defy Death use; in another words, if a caster gets both Corruption and Patron Taint at the same time he needs to Defy Death twice to reject them (once for Corruption and one for Taint).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Fire-cults of the Trolls



Imagine a small chunk of wood. At the end of it flickers a yellow-red shape, casting a cruel light on you. Imagine the primal fear that tugs at your soul knowing that baleful glow can harm you, can kill you if it touches your skin. This is what a troll thinks when he sees fire. Fire is death. It is not warmth or comfort, it is pain and destruction and agony. Little wonder then that most trolls will hesitate to attack even when confronted with a simple torch. Now consider that there are some trolls who worship this deadly fire.

They can be compared to the death-cults humans are so drawn to; ritual murders and necromantic studies undertaken to cheat, or at least postpone, death.  Their counterparts among trolls are fire-cults. It’s easier to recognize troll fire-cultists than human death-cultists: Fire-cultists are completed devoid of hair and covered with ritual scars. Yes, scars. Some natural philosophers will swear by their mentors’ souls that trolls cannot have scars because of their regenerative powers; this is usually true, but the fire-cultists have figured out how to get past that hurdle. Metal tools are heated until they are at least red hot, then the scar-patterns are traced upon the skin of converts by senior members. The first scarification ritual lasts about 36 straight hours. Those who try to recant their conversion become impromptu sacrifices destined to be slowly burnt to death.

Fire-cultists sacrifice a variety of offerings to their strange patron via immolation: Books, oil, cloth, animals, people. However, they especially seek to capture normal trolls alive and slowly roast them to death. Fire-cultists consider this to be the form of offering most pleasing to their master. They also don’t mind a bit of arson every now and then, especially when they’re leaving an area to find a new lair. Aside from the dangers of arson, their predation of common trolls also causes problems because it strengthens the power of local orcs, goblinoids, or ogres. 

Despite all this, the strangest fact of the fire-cultists is this: Something has answered them. Fire halves the potency of their regeneration instead of negating it. Many a foolhardy adventurer or troll has charged against fire-cultists expecting a quick flaming victory only to find himself on the sacrificial pyre.

As for the identity of their mysterious benefactor none can say; the fire-cultists don’t even seem clear on that themselves. They general refer to their deity as “The Devouring Flame” or “The Fire That Ends The World” but sages have been unable to connect these titles to any known extraplanar powers.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Light up the last night of 2016

I bet you thought I was done posting for 2016. I did too but then inspiration struck.

To celebrate The Protomen’s release of their new music video for Light Up The Night, I marathoned both Acts of the saga, which inspired me to stat these guys. I used AD&D but they should be easy enough to convert to B/X or LL. I kinda suck at AD&D so you might need to tweak these guys.


Wily’s Robots

Robot
The Sniper
Robot Master
Climate/Terrain
The City
The City
The City
Frequency
Common
Unique
Very Rare; see text
Organization
Solitary or patrol
Solitary
Solitary or squadron; see text
Activity Cycle
Any
Night
Any
Diet
Electricity
Electricity
Electricity
Intelligence
Average
Above Average
Average to Exceptional; see text
Treasure
Nil
Special; see text
Special; see text
Alignment
Neutral (Evil)
Neutral (Evil)
Lawful (Evil)
No. Appearing
1 or 2d4
1
1; see text
Armor Class
6
5
0
Movement
12
14
12
Hit Dice
2+2
3+3
8+8
THAC0
18
17
12
No. of Attacks
1
2
Varies; see text
Damage/Attack
1d6
Punch 1d6 & Knife 2d4
Varies; see text
Special Attacks
Nil
Gun 3d6 damage
Varies; see text
Special Defenses
Immune to mental effects
Immune to mental effects
Immune to mental effects; see text
Magic Resistance
Nil
10%
20%
Size
M (5½’)
M (6’)
M (5½’-7’)
Morale
Fearless
Fearless
Fearless

“WE HAVE CONTROL - WE KEEP YOU SAFE – WE ARE YOUR HOPE”
---Robots, Will of One

Mass-produced by Dr. Albert Wily based on the designs of Dr. Thomas Light, robots are ubiquitous throughout The City. The Robots perform all the labor necessary to keep The City running; the Human populace never has to work, for their metal helpers do it for them. The Robots also enforce the laws of Dr. Wily, violently and without mercy. The City is a mockery of utopia, where the fear of uncertainty overpowers the fear of the machines. The Human populace seems incapable of and unwilling to overthrow their oppressor and his metal servants.

Robots and Robot Masters are immune to poison, disease, hallucinatory (but not illusion), emotional, telepathic, charm, and domination effects, as well as both positive and negative energy. Typical Robots can function for 48 hours of continuous use or 1 week in power-saving of mode. Robot Masters have advanced power supplies that allow them to function for 1 week of continuous use or 1 year in power-saving mode.

Average Robots don’t use weapons, preferring to beat enemies to death with their bare fists. Solitary Robots may be found anywhere in The City; Wily often like to place one in a busy bar or concert where it will try to act inconspicuous, at least until it sees or hears something Wily doesn’t like.

The Sniper

The firstborn of the Robots, created by Light and modified by Wily, The Sniper was Wily’s lethal enforcer against those who still stirred dissent after beatings from the common Robots. The Sniper was equipped with a removable helmet that featured a HUD-based threat scanner and an alert system which pinpointed any disturbances reported by Robots. It was armed with a reinforced carbon military-grade knife (2d4 damage; wt 1 lb.) and a high-caliber revolver (6 shots; 3d6 damage; wt 3 lb.; -4 to hit if the character isn’t proficient with firearms), although it preferred to use its fist and knife rather than its gun.

Robot Master

The Robot Masters are Wily’s lieutenants, unique and independent robots equipped with experimental and very powerful weaponry. Robot Masters are almost never encountered: One conducting routine procedures will be encountered alone; one dispatched to investigate or suppress disturbances will be accompanied by 3d10 Robots. Robots will obey Robot Masters without question, if their orders are obviously suicidal. Some of the Robot Masters are noted below; there are many, many more that exist.

Cutman
Intelligence
Above Average
No. of Attacks
1
Damage/Attack
1d6
Special Attacks
Rolling cutter
Special Defenses
Nil
Size
M (5½’)

This Robot Master has a gray jumpsuit on. His forearms, shins, and head are covered in red armor. His eyes are bulbous crystals lit by white light. On his head or forearm (50/50 chance) there are a pair of mechanical shears attached. In melee these shears act as a sword of sharpness but Cutman can also throw them like a boomerang at no penalty; if thrown, they return to him at the start of the round unless somehow prevented by obstacles. If any other character tries to use the Rolling Cutter, a natural result of 1 or 2 means that the character has hit himself and has a 50% chance of dismembering himself.
  

Fireman
Intelligence
Average
No. of Attacks
1
Damage/Attack
1d6 + 1 point of fire damage
Special Attacks
Fire attacks
Special Defenses
Immunity to fire damage
Size
M (6’)

This Robot Master is clad in metallic silver clothes with silver and red armor. His head looks like a knight’s helm, with glowing red triangles for eye and a crest made of fire. Flame wafts from the palms of claw-like hands. Once every 1d3 rounds Fireman may shoot out a gout of flame from his hands that functions as a burning hands spell cast by an 8th-level wizard. Every 3d4 rounds he may launch flame from his head-crest, replicating the effect of a fireball spell as cast by an 8th-level wizard. His equipment can only be used by characters whose bodies generate intense heat, which excludes most PCs.


Gutsman
Intelligence
Average
No. of Attacks
2
Damage/Attack
2d6
Special Attacks
Earthquake; hurling rocks for 2d10 damage
Special Defenses
Nil
Size
M (7’)

This hulking Robot Master is the size of a small Ogre. His limbs are red, his body black, and his face silver with a yellow helmet. His eyes are two glowing blue rectangles. He is covered in caution stripes. Gutsman can lift and throw rocks or other materials as large as himself is with ease. He can also use his gauntlets to channel seismic energy, duplicating the effects of an earthquake spell as cast by a 10-level priest, although he won’t use this attack unless commanded by Wily or in obvious danger of death. Gutsman’s gauntlets are too unwieldy for anyone with less than 18 Str and 16 Con to use.