Thursday, November 29, 2012


Role-play 5 hit points of damage.
Go on.
My home spun system moved away from abstract hit points a long while ago, replacing them first with five damage grades- then replacing that with a damage card system.
The damage cards I knocked up in photoshop from photos of various grisly wounds taken from the internet- nothing specific- just enough to make players wince when you look at them.
I arranged these cards two to a page on a regular photo and took them to the local camera shop for prints.
The cards come in a few flavors- light, severe, stun and horrific.

Players place these on the table in front of them. Each has a modifier associated.

All stuns go away after an encounter or a single card for a turn of rest mid battle.
Players get relief from their wound modifiers by roleplaying them- using terms like 'hobble', wincing, staggering and so forth.

Should I carry this on to D'Undred?


In the setting described in the last post, Priest adventurers make much more sense- as the strong arm of order and healing hunting precious metals and defeating dark magic by restoring normality.
I personally have no problem locking Priests to serving the concept of order for players for their faith effects. Heal, turn (restore natural order), block magic, bless armor, undo spells and magnify damage through metal weapons.
Basically healers and anti-mages, with decent fighting skills.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

World vs. generic

So hey, I wrote this huge description of how I was going to handle background setting and phoof! Lost it. My app is crap.
Made me stall a bit. Here goes a shorter version...
Basically I realized an RPG book needs atmosphere, and a fresh twist on the old school.
Rather than a just rolling out the same old, I trawled through old gaming material and fantasy art looking for directions that had not been taken.
I feel that an RPG book MUST inspire your players imaginations.
I think I have devised a really flexible setting that explains away the classic RPG cliches like why all these dungeons are filled with weird hybrid monsters with an urge to guard treasure and a total inability to hear that dragon next door.
I wanted to build a world around the 'psychedelic rock opera' fantasy art you see in the works of Rodney Matthews and Roger Dean.

My setting is called The Madrigal and revolves around a world shattered (literally) in a magical war by alien eldritch sorcerers driven insane competing for the love of a mischievous and sadistic trickster demi-goddess.
The world is entirely comprised of crumbling sky islands floating over a mystical abyss of raw imagination, each peppered with twisted remnants of the long vanquished Sorcerers both creatures forged to impress their love or to battle their foes, and mazes designed to protect their secrets.

The survivors in this post apocalyptic world rely on molybdomancy- the magic of metal channelling to protect the vertically crammed settlements from the strange and terrible creatures and energies remaining from the wizard wars. Gold magnifies and focuses faith- the will of order that keeps the islands from crumbling and turns dark magic.

Adventurers are sent to explore the skylands as they weave slowly around in complex paths- returning with metals, gems, ancient artifacts and scrolls of lost lore to defend the cities and channel the priests of orders prayers
Some never return from these twisted magical realms quite the same...

Each skyland is as bizarre and fantastical to the character as it is to the player. Some Skylands stay in orbit, some merge and others drift away. The GM can shuffle his campaign world easily, freshening up the adventure and doing away with used dungeons whenever convenient.
The GM also can use arcane 'eldritch sorcery' as an excuse to do stuff player character mages cannot- for their magic is a pathetic shadow, gleaned from snippets of lost lore. Npc mages may have uncovered secrets not accessed by the player mages (magic should always be special and mysterious, and most importantly, drive the plot).
Well thats a taste...