The collection of Into the Odd hacks, Odditional Materials, is up for sale (pay what you want) over at RPGNow! Get your hands on all that odd goodness. Beautiful cover art by Paolo Greco, taken from a map of the Paris catacombs, I think.
I just discovered that Maze Rats has been translated into Japanese by a player from that country, Toshiya Nakamura! I’m really flattered by all the attention the game has been getting.
I’ve spent the last few months polishing Maze Rats, a minimalistic OSR-style dungeon crawler derived from Chris McDowall’s Into the Odd, and which should appear soon in a supplement for that game, Odditional Material. I may expand it later into something more complete, but it’s perfectly playable as is now. It also fits onto two double sided sheets, making it ideal for players new to RPGs. You can make characters in minutes, and explain the rules just as quickly. Download the whole thing below and let me know what you think!
I’m on a random table kick, a d100 table kick to be precise. They’re all still works in progress, but I figure I’ll start throwing them up here for others to use. First up, 100 character traits for NPCs. Roll a d100, or just choose ones you find amusing.
- Always bored
- Angry drunk
- Annoyingly Cryptic
- Can-do attitude
- Collects small animals
- Compulsive Liar
- Conspiracy theorist
- Exquisite dresser
- Fanatically loyal
- Femme Fatale
- Fiercely ambitious
- Fits of melancholy
- Folksy Wisdom
- Hears voices
- Incredibly persistent
- Insightful observer
- Into crystals
- Jack of all Trades
- Knows everybody
- Life of the party
- Mad genius
- Magnetic Personality
- Master Orator
- Militantly Vegan
- Old Fart
- Perfect Manners
- Shameless Flirt
- Social butterfly
- Terrible memory
- Totally unreliable
- Village idiot
- Wild Child
I recently discovered the Theban Mapping Project, which is mapping all of the tombs in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. It’s amazing how similar many of the tombs look to DnD-type dungeons. Since the PDFs with the maps were scattered all over the site, I compiled them into a single document here.
Over the summer, I spent a lot of time reading up on OSR games, and gaining a new appreciation for that style of play. I’m working on a DnD mashup game called The Broken Throne that combines my favorite mechanics from earlier editions with house rules from DIY DND blogs round the web.
I’ll write a more in-depth post about that later, but today I want to look at one of my favorite mechanics, notches. I first heard of notches via Last Gasp Grimoire, but Logan’s system for tracking weapon and armor degradation is a bit too complicated for my taste, so I looked for a way to slim it down a bit.
My main complaint was that there were two values you had to track, quality and notches. In Logan’s system, rolling a weapon’s quality or less made you add notches equal to the quality, and from then on if you rolled quality or less you had to roll over notches on the weapon’s damage die or add another notch. Gaining notches equal to the damage die or failing to roll over the notches broke the weapon.
I tried a couple things, but the most straightforward solution was to eliminate the quality value and just use notches. Weapons start with 1-5 notches. If you roll notches or lower on an attack roll, try to roll over the notches on the damage die. If you successfully do this, add another notch. If not, the weapon breaks.
For armor, if you roll notches or lower on a defense roll (I use contested defense), add a notch and subtract 1 AC. Armor breaks at 0 AC.
This has a couple interesting effects. First, it makes it possible, though very unlikely, for high quality weapons to break on the first swing, which wasn’t possible in the original rules. Second, as weapons take damage the threshold at which you test for breakage rises. Thus, the breakdown escalates more quickly over time, rather than remaining static.
These rules are a bit harsher than Logan’s, but I’m willing to pay that price for simplicity.
I was just watching Adam Koebel’s intro to Burning Wheel on his Roll20 channel, it turns out he’s using the BW procedure guide that I wrote a while back! I’m working on an updated and expanded version, but if you want the most recent edition, check out the downloads tab.
I’ve launched a Patreon campaign to support Questing Beast! If you become a patron, I have lots of great rewards lined up, including joining me on live mapmaking sessions and winning free commissioned maps!
The subject of the classical four humors came up in my 5th grade class today. According to Galen, there were four fluids that controlled the personality: Black Bile, Yellow Bile, Phlegm, and Blood. The corresponding personality types were Melancholic, Choleric, Phlegmatic, and Sanguine, meaning “Sad and Thoughtful,” “Intense and Angry,” “Relaxed and Easy-Going” and “Outgoing and Sociable,” roughly speaking.
It might be interesting to use these as character stats, but translated into RPG terms. For example, Investigation, Aggression, Stealth, and Social. Presuming that the values for these stats would be distributed differently among the players, you’d have characters that would have to focus on very different play styles in order to succeed.