Thursday, August 31, 2017

Setting Idea I Came Up With At 11:15 PM

You and your party members woke up in a town. The town is old, but it is new, there is a mixture of architecture spanning centuries, but it is almost all crumbling and abandoned. Monsters lurk in the ruins, strange and terrifying.

Your comrades seem to come from different worlds. One is a dwarf out of norse legend, yet another is a World War One submarine captain. The monsters in the town don't seem to make sense, they act more like puppets piloted by some unseen entity than real creatures, scary masks worn by a hidden force.

You can find gold coins, all minted with the same pattern, all seemingly brand new. There are settlements of scavengers throughout the town, and in each settlement is a merchant, covered in black cloth. If you give a merchant gold coins, they will give you something in return.

Do you find out the secrets of the town? Or do you merely want to escape? Do you wish to conquer the various tribes that live in this strange place? The choice is yours.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

2d6hack Playtest Session One

Our heroes and hirelings for this evening are:

Job, a wizard
Grog, a warrior
Richard Dicky, a crazed hireling with a scalpel
Bartholomew, an NPC wizard who assisted the party
Bert, the hireling and friend of Bartholomew the occultist

The heroes found themselves in the Shattered Lands, an ashy waste dotted with subterranean vaults. A new dungeon had recently been discovered, and the party decided to investigate and search for treasure, hiring a shady individual named Richard Dicky for assistance.

They descended into the tunnels and found themselves face to face with 3 albino wolves. During a fierce combat, one of the wolves is slain and the other two flee, and Richard Dicky meets his untimely demise. The survivors find a small stash of coins hidden behind some loose bricks in the wall, and retreat back to the surface to nurse their wounds.

After purchasing some armor and joining forces with Bartholomew and Bert, and occultist and his servant, they once more enter the dungeon, where they encounter a single walking corpse, which is promptly slain. Heading west, the group discovers a room with a red and black checkerboard pattern on the floor and spikes on the ceiling, from which the corpse of one of the wolves that fled is dangling. They quickly determine the nature of the trap, and manage to avoid the spikes by stepping only on the black squares.

Continuing onward, the party finds a small bookshelf along with a reading desk. Bartholomew finds a scroll of disguise and pockets it. The party continues to move west, and enter a room filled with art and two statues.

Job and Grog are cautious, but Bartholomew orders Bert to pick up a small sculpture. Immediately, the two statues spring to life, attacking Bert. Bert flees, breaking his shield to avoid being smashed, but one of the statues catches up to him and snaps his leg in half, exposing bone. Bert passes out from shock, and Grog fires his pistol at one of the statues, blowing a chunk out of its head. Bartholomew and Job both fire magical bursts of energy at the statues, Job knocks off one of the statue’s arms, and Bartholomew decimates one’s leg, which causes it to fall on top of Bert, smashing his skull. The party then flees.

The party heads south, finding a room with a magical circle containing a skeleton and a gem. Grog smashes the skeleton with his war hammer, being careful to stay outside of the circle, before knocking the gem out of the circle by throwing his now empty pistol at it.

Going through a western door, the adventurers find a room covered with debris and rubble that covers the floor. They carefully prod at the debris, which causes a spike to shoot out of the floor. Fortunately, nobody was harmed, but they decide to retreat anyway. 

The party heads back to the entrance room, and heads north, finding an armory. Grog replaces his shield that he broke in a previous combat, and Job picks up a shield and some rusted swords to sell. Continuing north, the floor collapses, causing Job to be injured. The cautiously continue on, encountering a group of 6 goblins. They manage to scare off the goblins, and kill 2 of them. Following this encounter, the party heads back to town and sells off their loot.

End of Session

Kill Counter

Richard Dicky - Bitten to death by a wolf
Bert - Leg snapped and skull shattered by living statue

Notes From Players Regarding System

  • Fun for the most part, ran smoothly
  • Combat could get somewhat dull at times due to the bell curve of 2d6 combat

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Ramble On Spells As Treasure

I feel that a lot of people, myself included, don't really like the standard rules for spell acquisition and research in old Dungeons and Dragons. I tend to hand wave the whole affair, simply letting players choose what spells they learn as they level up.

However, the concept of spells as treasure has recently interested me a great deal. The concept of wizards delving deep into the Earth, facing monsters and traps to acquire a dusty old book of spells is quite interesting to me.

Such spell books are likely to be written in a strange language or cypher, or maybe the book is damaged. In this way, a game master could both rule that only some spells may be readable easily, perhaps 1 or 2 per book.  If a wizard wanted to get more use out of a recovered tome of spells, they would have to enlist the aid of a translator.

I picture that while fighters and other warrior types are looking for ancient magical swords, or powerful suits of armor, the magic users are scrounging through piles of old tattered books, desperately trying to find something of use.

These magic books could also be cursed, perhaps containing the soul of the wizard who wrote it, or as a vessel for a demon (like that one Buffy episode with the robot). Reading ancient books could be a sort of random encounter, rolling on a table to determine the exact kind of book. Perhaps something like this:

  1. The book is indeed a tome of magic, but requires translation in order to be read.
  2. The book is mostly blurry or damaged, but 1d3 spells can be read.
  3. It seems this spell book was written by an apprentice, and only contains a single, low level spell.
  4. This is a spell book of some kind, but the formulas are all wrong, and completely alien to you. There is a 50% chance of failure when trying to cast spells found in this book.
  5. A demon is trapped in this book. Any who cast the spell that it is bound to will be possessed by it.
  6. The spells' titles and descriptions have been written out of order. When casting a spell, the effects are of a random different spell of the same level.
Books of spells may also contain primarily one kind of magic. For example, a war mage's notebook would be mostly full of destructive incantations, and a demon cultist's mad scrawls would primarily be instructions on summoning beings from beyond. This could help add to the flavor or a dungeon, finding spell books left behind by the previous occupants.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Church Of The Monocular Seer

The Monocular Seer is the title of a deity whose name is too long and bizarre to pronounce by human tongues. His followers, The Watched, believe that if one were to write down his name it would use up all of the paper on Earth. 

The Watched believe that The Monocular Seer observes everything in the universe, thus allowing it to exist. However, although he is a bringer of life and order, he is not a kind god. The Seer is a believer in strict morals and harsh punishment. According to the church, anyone who sins without repentance (which involves a donation to the church of course) is damned to Hell for all eternity. Any sin can cause this fall from grace, so long as it is not properly apologized for. 

As a result of this belief system, the Watched are extremely guilt ridden and paranoid. Constantly fearing for the safety of their very souls. Every week, the Watched gather in their churches and perform a ceremony to cleanse themselves of sin. 

The Seer's followers are very kind and polite, even to those they hate, for they believe that rudeness is a sin, and since any sin can damn them to Hell, they must be careful with their words.

The holy symbol of The Monocular Seer is an eye of providence, and the church's holy book is a long list of sins called The Lawbook.

Clerics of The Seer tend to wear simple armor, and are often flagellant.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dreamblade Miniatures

Guess who just got some new miniatures in the mail? Well, probably a lot of people, but also me! I got a Dreamblade starter set off of eBay, and have decided to show off what I got.

Here is the Doomball, next to a D&D paladin on the left. This is one of the few miniatures I’ll get almost no use out of, he’s just a bit too boring and modern. Might be good for a sci fi game though.

The Rune Tagged Brawler, I think is what this guy is called. He has really crappy feet, which I messed up even more after I cut him off of his base and put him on a 28mm one. Oh well. He’d probably be good as a golem (not the boring living statue D&D ones, the kind from Jewish folklore).

The faceless stalker is a very good miniature, and would work well as a faerie or doppelgänger. Her paint job leaves something to be desired, but she is quite a usable figure.

The Boneclaw Hunter is a nice sculpt, but I’m not sure what to use him for. He’s a bit too monstrous looking for a PC, due to his sharp teeth and weird boils on his arm, but not nasty looking enough to be a half-orc in my opinion. He could work alright as a cave man perhaps, or someone possessed by a demon. 

The All Seeing Mage has faces on his hands and no proper head. He would work okay as a cult leader.

I absolutely love this miniature. The Savannah Dreamhunter is a really good PC miniature, and would work especially well for a Spears of the Dawn campaign. I like him a lot and I hope I’ll get a chance to use him some time.

I’m torn about this miniature. It’s a nice enough sculpt, but its hard to discern exactly what it is, but that could be a good thing if it was used as a sort of Lovecraftian abomination.

A samurai! I don’t have a use for him at the moment, but he is really cool.

This big ol’ demon thing would work well as a troll or ogre, so he’s a pretty useful miniature.

I think this guy is either a badger or a raccoon in armor, and he would be an okay stand in for a dwarf character.

The Mirrorman figure is the same on both sides; he has two heads, 4 arms, and 4ish legs. He’s a bit modern for D&D, but would work well for other games.

This figure is called a Dreamstuff Entity and it looks almost like a gibbering mouther or a protoshoggoth. 

Shark fin. Honestly I don’t think I’ll ever use this miniature.

The Jack Of Blades is an amazing figure, he’d work well as a nazgul, ghost, cultist, serial killer, or a Nightvalian hooded figure! I am so happy I got this guy.

This fellow is called an Ardent Zungar, which I assume probably means something in the lore of the game, but to me he looks like a 50s movie monster. He’d be good for a gamma world game, a modern sci fi scenario, or even a D&D game, as anything from an alien to a lizard man.

This isn’t so much a monster as it is dungeon dressing. Its called the Gateway To Psychosis, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it but I love it a lot.

Heres a photo after I rebased a few of them. As you can see, they look extremely good next to the paladin.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Few Combat Systems

A lot of Dungeons and Dragons type games tend to be quite focussed on combat, and for good reason! It feels great to play a knight in shining armor, valiantly swinging your sword to lop off the head of a ferocious and deadly goblin. But there are a lot of different ways to determine how it all plays out.

Below are a few combat systems I like, that have cropped up across numerous games.

The Roll Over System

The Roll Over system is used in every edition of D&D after second, Lamentations Of The Flame Princess, and every other damn d20 system game ever made.

In essence, a roll over system involves rolling a die and hoping for a high roll. In D&D, this is typically the d20, which you then apply a bunch of modifiers to and try to roll over your target's Armor Class. Its much more straightforward than the weird combat charts of the older editions.


  • Easy to explain to new players
  • Easily scaleable, simply make the target number higher
  • A little difficult to determine probability of hitting

The Roll Under System

The Roll Under method of combat is used in The Black Hack, Basic Role Playing, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying (I think).

There may be different dice involved, different numbers to roll under, but the core mechanic is the same: Roll a die, you want to roll low. Its simple, quick, and efficient. Typically the number you must roll under in order to hit is listed on your character sheet, rather than in D&D where you roll a d20, add a bunch of modifiers, and hope for the best. In d100 systems, this typically means you know your percent chance of hitting when you're going to attack.


  • Easy to determine probability of hitting
  • Target number is typically listed on Players' character sheets
  • Discourages risk taking in my experience, as players with decent chances (50% or so) may not attack as they feel its not worth the risk

Opposed Roll System

Opposed Rolls are used in Tunnels & Trolls and Fighting Fantasy.

With an opposed roll combat system, both the attacker and the defender roll dice. In most systems, whoever rolls a higher value deals damage, though in some cases a defender rolling a higher value may simply mean they dodged the attack. This system adds a touch of variability to opponents, as its difficult to determine how easy they are to hit. This can be a good thing, as it adds chaos and randomness to combat, but it also makes it difficult to figure out the odds.


  • Can add chaos and excitement to combat
  • If fighting against more powerful opponents in systems where the winner deals damage, it can be very difficult to survive, as chances are that the defender will deal more damage than the attacker
  • Very difficult to determine chance of hitting an opponent

"Screw it you do damage" System

There are only a couple systems that use this mechanic, including Maze Rats, Into The Odd, and a homebrew role playing game I wrote when I was like 11.

With this system, all attacks hit, always. Either characters have large numbers of hit points or hit points represent dodging attacks, with permanent damage being dealt to another attribute. Armor is typically represented by damage reduction of some kind. This system makes combat very quick, but it can also be quite deadly.


  • Extremely simple
  • Can be quite lethal (though this isn't necessarily a bad thing depending on the game)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cheap Miniature Roundup!

I’m on a roll of making miniature posts! This post is gonna be about custom minis that I’ve made, ranging from repaints to me sticking a toy on a plastic coin and calling it a day.

I bought a pack of 36 “guardian knights” on amazon, made by toysmith. They have some good molds and as you can see are almost in scale with standard miniatures. They costed about 9 bucks.

Here is an ogre/hill giant and a troll, both made from figures from a Lord of the Rings chess set. I haven’t used them much, but they look pretty good in my opinion.

This is a spider-person, which I made using a cheap spider toy, the torso of an “alien warrior” party favor (more of those later), and the head of an Aliens toy. I painted the whole thing purple with black for the weapons.

This weird looking figure is based on a demon from the Appendix M blog, and mostly made from a xenomorph figure.

On the left is an old toy skeleton I had that I painted up. Its quite a bit bigger than the standard D&D skeleton on the right, but it could work as an undead giant of some kind.

Velociraptors (technically deinonychus if we’re being scientific) make very good lizard people, or just dinosaurs. One of them has a Warhammer 40k choppa.

Blob wizards from when I tried to use modeling clay. Maybe they’re some weird kind of ooze.

A painfully badly made dragon on the far left, and some half-decent Earth elementals on the right, all made from modeling clay.

These are the “alien warriors” party favors I mentioned earlier. I use them as goblins or orcs. Theres also a picture of one of them being compared to a pathfinder orc, reaper orc, and a WOTC goblin.

This blobby miniature was a failed attempt at making an elder thing. Oh well.

Ninjas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not much else to say here honestly.

I love these skeletons, though I had to replace the bulbous heads for some of them to look vaguely realistic. 

I haven’t modified this in any way, its just something I found in a toob set a while back, and it looks great.

2 crab men and a spider with a skull for its butt. 

These demons were made by chopping off the “alien warrior” heads and replacing them with the left over skulls from the skeletons. I then glued some horns/antennae to their heads and painted them red.

Finally some dragons, bought for extremely low prices and glued to bases, as well as today’s Drax miniature next to a pathfinder orc for scale.

Drax Miniature

This is a heroclix miniature of Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy. I have a couple other sci-fi minis in 28mm lying around so I thought this was a good purchase. He would also work well as a modern day wrestler or cultist, and with a little suspension of disbelief he would work okay as an orc thief.

He looks a lot like the goliath race from 4e, so he could also work as one of them.