Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Vacuous/Knights of the All Mind Character

Click here to see the full, 2-page Character Sheet
Here is an example of a The World's Most Popular Roll Playing Game character written up a-la the new Vacuous Grimoire rules (former Knights of the All Mind supplement).

Grady has been around our game for probably 26 years now. Often used as a rotating character for folks who join the game for a one-off night, mostly run by my Bro-in-law Chris. Being a Barbarian-Techno from the 20th Century means Grady doesn't use magic or spells. However, he does have a lot of barbarian and techno abilities.

Since Grady was used often by a variety of players (10?), some of whom are novices to the game, it is important that his (occasionally "her") attributes and abilities are pretty straightforward.

Grady originally was an all-Arduin Barbarian-Techno, created in 1989 using those particular OD&D-related rules (although, we may have used the Unearthed Arcana version of a Barbarian). During our 3rd edition Wilderlands of High Fantasy campaign began in 2005, Grady was straight v.3.5 Barbarian and "Technician" class from D20 Call of Cthulhu rules.

With our Vacuous Grimoire homebrew of 1e & 3.5, Grady is much more legible for a player. Rather than a list of 20 different and sometimes obtuse skills and skill points for a player to keep track of, there are a dozen self-described abilities. How those abilities might transfer over to related skills is a function of the role playing as adjudicated by the game judge.

Chris actually runs in a straight v.3.5 game every other week, and loves skills for resolving challenges. For me, I think a game judge can set a challenge with modifiers to percentage rolls (just like in the old days) just as she may set a difficulty check. But with these special abilities confined as class (or race) abilities, there aren't seemingly endless bouts of every player making rolls for every skill check. The game moves much quicker and doesn't put off new players quite so much...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Psionics ARE Different!

(Available on Drive-Thru RPG)
Back in the days of 1e for groups running of The World's Most Popular Role Playing Game, psionics were A BEAST! Rare and devistating. The only thing protecting non-psionics was that psions could only utilize a small number of attacks against them. (That, and psionic use attracted psionic baddies...) Otherwise, the average fantasy character was virtually helpless.

Here in this psionic tome, the 3e idea of psionic/magic transparency is maintained to provide some parity between psions and non-psions. But to recapture a sense of the older version of the game the tranparency is not 1:1. Magic protections and suppressions only work about half as good versus psionic powers and visa versa. The rules are adjusted this way so that there is at least some way to defend against the psions, but they still can beat the crap out of you after a few bad rolls.

I set out to publish works combining various home brew conceits with the Open Gaming License "System Reference Document" into a reference rulebooks for judges that walks back skills and skill points for old school attribute checks along with racial and class abilities. The psionic adjustments to the SRD in The Vacuous Grimoire Volume Four works to bring a little of the novelty and dread with psionics to this unbalanced version of rules and guidelines.

(Dang, this psionics book idea has literally been sitting in my head since May 2012...)