Friday, June 1, 2018

New Cha-Checklist for Game Judges

Character Checklist for All Mind & Compatible Games
Here is a character checklist that details several pertinent aspects of an adventuring party you're running. To tell the truth, I haven't used this during a game hardly at all. Where it comes in super-duper handy is when a player loses or forgets their character sheet.

Anyhow, click the link below for a copy of the checklist from my Dropbox:

5th Ed. All Mind for Judges

Whew so only a month to process the All Mind 5th ed. book for judges. Again, so's nobody is thinking this is in any way an original work (other than the "art" which is all me), I basically took stuff from the 3rd ed. SRD v.3.5 and the 5th ed. SRD v.5.1 plus added some other various stuff.

As always, I really am not trying to reinvent the wheel here, I am looking for a style. Plus something I can mess with from time to time as our group adventures using the new rules, which, by the way, you are welcome to download from this link (now $5 PDF on DriveThruRPG):

One thing that was sorta nice is the SRD has monster rules included that pretty much run the gamut. If you don't find exactly what monster you need there are plenty enough elements to run with 'em. ("Blink" -anything comes to mind as a useful option.)

Now that I've gone through all the 5th ed. rules (formatting these was a pain in the ass because copy and pasting from WotC PDF came out 1 WORD PER LINE), there are some kind of themes that are apparent to me at least that probably other folks may have mentioned.

One is that combat seems to cause more damage in general, but it is fairly simple to heal back up a characters hit points. I don't necessarily think that is a bad thing. It encourages greater risks in combat and less time looking for a place to hole up while healing. One thing, though, there may still be a problem with spell-casters needing to rest to regain their spells.

What else... I do like the monster stat format. The format sticks with main attributes of creatures and not a lot of information you really don't need to have a battle.

Anyhow, our first session with the new rules is June 16th so we shall see.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

All Mind for 5th Edition

My goodness! Spending two months copying and pasting from a System Reference Document isn't the thrill it used to be. Primarily because this 5th edition mod really is just because my gaming group won't (or in some cases are unable to) invest in new books, and only secondarily because we are only adding a couple older-style variants (6-sided party initiative, crit/fumble tables, some overland movement details, etc.).

What I need, as an end result, is a document that I can flesh out for our game style and some play testing on how things go. So this player's tome is not going on Drive-Thru until the playtests and I have content to go along with it. Thus, you can download it for free (now $5 on DriveThruRPG) if you want to check it out:

Maybe you can see from the character sheet below that I am still seeking a very simple, 70's motif. Ha, which gets sort of lost in the very asymmetrical and unaesthetic "Skills" section...
As I prepared the copy I did marvel how some of the ideas from 5th ed. coincided with what I was shooting for in The Vacuous Grimoire. I had to add a variant rule option for advantage/disadvantage only because there are members in our group who get a rush over everything coming down to a single... die... roll... Rolling two d20s to determine an outcome would just be anticlimactic, the option is to roll a d6 then subtract or add depending on whether disadvantage or advantage. See how it plays. Heh, maybe I should use a d8.

Again, the next deal is to work on some content. I received a lot of good feedback over my last herculean effort to transcribe Underport. Basically I can simplify the production by minimalizing creature stats and leaving the book somewhat system neutral. Gads I spent soooo much time drafting 3rd ed. stat blocks...

Ok, keep on choogling!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

DunDraCon et al...

(2am wrap of another Friday night DDC game.)
I ran at DunDraCon #42 a Vacuous conversion of "Night of the Walking Wet" by Jennell Jaquays, Randy Cox, & Tamara Wieland (originally published by Chuck Anshell and Judges Guild in two parts of "The Dungeoneer," issues 5 & 6, in 1977). These "official" games I run on Friday night each year, although typically because it's a con I permit just about any edition D&D player character, let me sort of playtest my rules and scenarios.

This year, however, I did find that most everyone brought a 5th edition character. While 3rd and 5th are mostly compatible, like hit die, damage, and AC, there are some key differences in saving throws, spells and healing.

Another thing I noticed when we ran our regular game Saturday night, that folks who dropped by looking for a game kind of high-tailed it upon learning we had a 3rd edition hybrid.

Given that 3rd edition is almost 20 years old now, and kind of has a bad rap for being too crunchy, and I don't want to be left behind from playing with new players, I wondered how I might integrate 5th ed. into my Vacuous tomes.

Well, lo and behold, it appears a couple years ago Wizards released a 5th ed. SRD!

Basically, it appears to be a reference of new 5th ed. rules using terms that fall under the old Open Gaming License (ha, which is pretty smart considering some aspiring thinker, given the retro-clones of older versions, would have considered cloning 5th ed. from the OGL anyway).

There are at least two main high points I see from 5th ed. that our game might go with: 1) 5th ed. totally limits skill points and how you keep track of them, which is what we eliminated from our 3rd ed. game anyway; and, 2) monsters are built as monsters - not constructed the same as characters.

Har, one year out and I am already looking at The Advanced Vacuous Grimoire!

(I wanted to add bathing in dragon's blood anyway...)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year / How We Rolled...

My 2017 X-Mas gift to y'all included on the inside cover the above picture related to a dungeon scenario, "The Planet," created by Postman Bob and myself. We ran this adventure over nights May 15th, July 10th, and August 21st in 1993. The monster entries have been updated to current rules, but otherwise the linked document is just about all we used to run three nights of balls to the wall gaming. (Well, that plus improvisations, of course...)

If memory serves, the party somehow ended up on the Starfleet vessel, the Farragut, which had been pretty much destroyed by a Klingon Bird of Prey. The heroes soon discovered this asteroid floating nearby was some sort of ship or creature.

The Klingon Bird of Prey was being used in some way by the ship/creature, the force door opening to the giant cilia was very, very bad, and several party members obtained Klingon armor in this adventure.

Ha, ok now it's your turn to run with it.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Rabbit Holes

(Rabbit Hole viewed from the outside...)
Every now and again, a game judge just needs a little tool to reset the scene...
(Warning: Railroad Crossing)