Friday, January 22, 2016

Rules Update #1

I've completed the first Rules Update for D&D Wilderlands of Hack.   I'll send the usual crew a copy, and it's also posted on the wiki document page Find it Here  I'm hoping there won't be many of these, but I needed to get a few things down on paper, including:
  • The adjustments to movement and disengaging from combat
  • Rules for henchmen gaining experience
  • Rules for spell books, acquiring spells, transferring spells.
  • Rules for breaking into doors and chests (this was way more complicated than it sounds to work up, I ended up chucking 3-4 different versions before settling on the one included)
  • The Lackey NPC class

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Schedule Settled

I think we'll just stick to February 14.   There isn't enough advantage to switching to the 21st and it's always better to keep to the 2 week schedule.

So, weather permitting:  January 31,  February 14, February 28.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Upcoming Schedule Items

Our next game will be on January 31, right on schedule.   I know that Marlon and Andrew cannot make it then, but we'll keep on going.

It's the session after that I'd like to get some feedback regarding.  It is scheduled for February 14, once again Marlon and Andrew cannot come.   It is also Valentine's Day.    Should we just plow on through on the 14th, or should we postpone for a week and make it February 21st?  I think Marlon will be back by then, and I don't know for sure about Andrew.  

Which sounds better 14 or 21?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Wilderlands of Hack Session 1 discussion

Picture:  Little Jimmy and Kurt the Bard flee down Alchemist Alley ahead of the mob of Cultists

The first session of Wilderlands of Hack was complete last night, the log is available at the Wilderlands of Hack wiki Log Page  if you did not get a copy.  Also, I've added a Characters Page to the wiki, and the basic details of the characters generated last night are entered therein.  Feel free to edit or add to your character's page.

The Adventure:
It was a good city adventure mini-session.   The encounter did not go at all as I had envisioned it.  I sort of expected a magic-user with 2 sleep spells to be available.  A bard with 1 armor spell not being remotely the same thing.   Nevertheless, the street-map board and the detailed City State city map worked well together.  The players were cunning and managed to accomplish their mission using cunning, tactics and clear thinking, and did not end up getting swarmed by 30 cultists.   They only managed to kill about 4 of them (mostly Marlon's doing), but won the day.

They didn't follow up on the spy who alerted the cultists, so they didn't find the map to the dungeon and treasure, but with the time constraints we were under, it was probably alright to just do some city adventuring instead.

No Skills
I must admit I liked the fact that there were no skills, proficiencies or the like in the game.  Most times they tried things, like blocking the door, breaking down the wall, sneaking past the mob.  It was simple just to roll Ability Score or less on d20,   or do an opposed roll based on ability bonuses, or use a similar Combat Maneuver set up to a quick ruling.  Everything was fast an moved quickly.

I also liked just how simple the characters are to create and manage

Having the chips in place of monster XP worked well.   You had them as an option, but you had to be judicious in their use.   Poor Tim, his use of a chip cost him a level-up, since he ended up 100xp short.  But,  if we had used monster XP instead of the chip method, they would have gotten about 20 monster XP to split 4 ways, instead of 400-500 each.   The goal shifts from killing, to winning the encounter at low cost and getting treasure.

Special Trait Cards
These worked out well.   Marlon's +1 DEX was a huge help to him.   Tim's Spell cast protection should be too.   I need to decide about getting more draws.   I think it would be good to get another draw at various levels.   Either 4,8,12,16 etc,  or 5,10,15 etc.    I guess the more the merrier.   How about every 4th level.

Here's an in-game ruling I made that should be carried forward:
        Move at Combat Move Rate and you can make your normal attack or action (spell etc)
        Move at Double Combat Move:  no attack/action but may move around corners, make wild turns, curves, etc.
        Move at Triple Combat Move (run rate) no attack, no action (except charge) and must move in a straight line.   All charges must be straight line moves.


Fighting Withdraw:  move back 5 feet, may not attack unless enemy moves to contact later in the round, then you get a standard attack.  Enemy does not get free attack.

Reckless Disengage:  make your standard combat move or less away from the enemy, breaking contact, you may make your normal action/attacks but the enemy gets a free attack against you the moment you move out of contact.

Retreat:  move up to running speed away from enemy.  Enemy gets a free attack that counts as a rear attack (+2 to hit, ignores DEX bonus and shield )

Thanks for coming out everyone, it was fun and should be a good campaign.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Die is Cast

The Final Versions of the House Rules and Gear Book documents are complete and posted to the Wilderlands Document Page  ready for your use or reading pleasure.   Notable changes: error in cost of bulk rations fixed,  prices for weaponry significantly changed (in order to match City State of World Emperor stats), prices for beverages changed (also to match CSWE),  Weapon Table is now more clearly cross-referenced to the Combat Options.   Added a "War Bow" with shorter range, higher damage and a minimum strength requirement.  Explained the use of the Gnome Boot Dagger.  Added reach attacks for Lance, and allowed Pikes a 10 feet reach instead of 5.   I'm off to get the physical copies, so looks like we're ready to rumble.

UPDATE:  I've also added a 1-page (2-sided) combat summary sheet, which has all the modifiers, a summary of the Combat Options,  the THACO tables for characters and monsters, the Encumbrance summary and the saving throws for all classes and levels.  I'll give you a paper copy on game day too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

House Rules Hot off the Press

Both The House Rules Document which governs the Wilderlands of Hack campaign, and the Gear Book for in character shopping joy, are now ready and posted on the Wilderlands of Hack Document Page  look it over to prepare yourselves, to find contradictions, or missing features you'd like to see.  

P.S.  It would be best if I could get any comments by tonight (Thursday 1/14), since I plan to make physical copies of the books for use at the game table tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Just One More thing

The basic list of classes in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia are as follows:
  • Fighter
  • Cleric
  • Magic-User
  • Thief
  • Elf
  • Dwarf
  • Mystic
In addition they have several "Prestige Class" types that people can choose at higher level
  • Paladin
  • Knight
  • Avenger  (evil paladin)
  • Druid (neutral clerics can become these at high level)
In addition I've added the following classes:
  • Illusionist: a simple add, a magic-user can decide to become an illusionist at creation by just announcing it, he then uses the Illusionist spell list instead of the magic-user spell list.
  • Gnome: I had statted these guys up for RC D&D a few years ago, basically fighter-illusionists
  • Bard:  I had also statted these guys up for RC D&D a few years ago, adapted from AD&D second edition bards.
  • Berserkers:  I had also statted these guys up for an old campaign, just a minor fighter-variant.
Are there any classes that anyone just absolutely has to have?   It wouldn't be too hard to port over some class from ACKS if it is really necessary.   It's mainly a case of stripping out the ACKS combat and proficiency features and extending the EXP levels up to 36.   But, it seems that really the base 4 are enough for most things.

I could see doing a quick and dirty regular--starting from first level--druid (just a cleric with modified equipment, using the Druid spell list, and with 1-2 powers to make up for not turning undead and having crappy armor). 

I could also see doing a quick and dirty Assassin, based on the original D&D assassin.  But, unless someone thinks we really need them right off the bat,  I don't really want to get into them.

I don't have any real interest in a bunch more non-human classes.  I'm fine with saying that NPC non-humans can have cleric powers without offering a PC class for them.

 In any case., as per usual, post or email if there is a class you just have to have.

Progress Report and Call for Comments and Ideas

I think I've gotten all the House Rule systems patched together and into a rough document.  Likewise, I've edited up a Gear Book.    I want to put it all to bed by Thursday, so I can print them up for Sunday's game.  So, please go over to Doctor Skull's Workshop and read over the major pieces I've posted there and make some comments.

Also, if there are game subsystems that you've loved from other games and would like to see incorporated in this one, start a thread on this site and I'll try to get them edited in.

More also, if you have any ideas of minor Alchemical Items, lower price items that aren't quite magic items, but let people do interesting things in encounters.   I've added a couple to the list from the last campaign "Devil's Grease" causes one person to slip and fall. And, Assassin's Smoke, which is the typical Ninja Smoke bomb that let's him Batman-sneak away.   I have room for a couple more of those if someone has an idea or two.   Likewise, any interesting Strange Beverages could be added.

I'm planning to work up a deck of "Special Gifts", when a player creates a new PC, he will draw 3 cards from the deck and choose a special inheritance, skill, background or power from the 3 cards.
I deliberately not using a Skill System in this campaign, figuring that if a player can reasonably be expected to try something, he can roll vs Level or Ability Score when the question comes up.   But, the Special Gift cards gives us a little extra individualization without bogging down NPC creation.  If you have some special gift ideas, post them here.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Campaign Announcement

After Robert and Andrew had to cancel last minute on Sunday for various health-related reasons,  Jason and I dropped the painting idea and totally geeked out and sketched out ideas for a new D&D campaign.   I wanted to do something using the City State of the World Emperor campaign setting (by the Judges Guild in the immediately pre-AD&D days of the late 70's), which I've had for decades but have only rarely used.

It's kind of wild and wooly.   There are hundreds of shop descriptions for the city, a nice wilderness map with tons of encounters keyed.  And it is just packed with rumors, legends and adventure seeds.  It's also quite peculiar in that almost every single NPC from alchemists to shoe-makers has a class and a level.   The over all feel is a bit different too.  It has a weird mix of medieval Europe at the ground-level, but middle-eastern/Asia at the upper level.

In any case, Jason and I ran through a lot of different subsystems from the various dozens of D&D versions out there and decided which versions we liked best.  We wanted to get away from ACKS and its convoluted economic system for all the various magic item constructions etc.

Look to Doctor Skull's Workshop
over the next 2 weeks as I work through the rules details, comment and make suggestions as I do so, if you would.

A quick summary:
Classes:  using D&D Rules Cyclopedia for Class descriptions
Magic:  using Hackmaster Player's Handbook for spell lists, but using a Spell-point system for play purposes.   Using a spell-point sacrifice system for creation of a class of permanent magic items.
Combat:  going to harvest a large number of Combat Options from various sources rather than using a proficiency or feat system.
Surprise:  a roll off with many modifiers, if one side beats the other by large margin, gets surprise
Initiative: use Savage Worlds playing card method
Death and Dying: die at -1 hit points, unless throw a Fate Chip
Fate Chips:  use Fate Chip system recycled from my Castle and Crusades campaign from many years ago.
Money, XP, Maintenance:  use the maintenance spending to determine hit point rolls, re-rolled each month.   XP gained when treasure is spent on non-maintenance, non-combat related expenses.

With any luck, we will be ready to play in 2 weeks.