HAG Black Forest Campaign

5eac92c008a0e647ed878010.LAnd like that….we have a group!
Pen and Paper, Table-top Dungeons and Dragons….compleat with tweaks and house-rules (not too many)! Fathers and Sons (and Daughters if I can suck her in…)! Here we go.

Here’s the breakdown:
1) The Player Characters (PCs) are HEROES. They don’t focus on piddly schtuff. More on this later.

2) The Setting – The Atlantean World: in the 80’s S. M. Sechi and the rest of the Bard Games crew put out the Atlantean Trilogy: The Arcanum, The Lexicon, and the Bestiary…later revised into The Arcanum and Atlantis – The Lost World (Lexicon/Bestiary combined). This is probably the most evocative, flexible, awesome setting ever for fantasy role-playing. It is essentially our Earth thousands of years ago, before the oceans drank Atlantis….More on this later (it deserves it’s own post). Anyway, this is the setting!

3) D&D 5E – The most current incarnation of Dungeons & Dragons is probably the best ever (and I’ve never said that about a current “new and improved” rule set before). They’ve taken all of the best of the old and mixed it with the best of the new. I like it a lot!

4) Players Roll All the Dice – this innovation puts all the rolls in the hands of the players and can greatly increase player engagement. They roll an attack vs. a static defense score, but they roll a defense vs. a static offense score….and so forth. More on this later too!

5) 0-Level is in effect – The 1st Class Level is on top of this ( 4-12 extra hitpoints for each PC)

6) Instead of rolling a single d20 or a hi/lo (advantage/disadvantage) 2d20 for everything, we’ll be rolling a mid20 (3 d20s, take the middle result or the advantage/disadvantage result). This increases the predictability of random die rolls.

7) Looking at removing secondary “damage” rolls and putting the damage determination into the primary “to hit” roll. More on this later.

8) Hitpoints are always maximum for PCs

9) Magic Missile may be a bit different…..more later.

~AoB

Player-Facing Rolls

There’s been some discussion on the web relating to using “player-facing rolls” (e.g., Gamer: The Blogging: Player-Facing Rolls.). In D&D, this is where you flip the mechanic over and have the players roll defense vs a static offense statistic (offensive rolls are made normally). Here’s a link that explains it more from the SRD. The DM essentially never needs to touch the dice (unless they’ve got some hidden roll they want to make).

I’ve considered them before and while I’ve never used them, the idea intrigues me. However, I’ve noted that there is a strong polarization around the idea. People either love the idea or hate the idea. Some of the “Love” may be the shininess or appreciation of its cleverness and some of the “Hate” may be related to “don’t mess with how I’ve always played my game!”. This thread on the Troll Lord Castles & Crusandes forum speaks to how old-school type games seem to perceive the idea (I know “Old-school” is a loaded term that may mean a lot of different things, but I think my point remains the same regardless of whether you view C&C as strictly Old-School or not).

I’ve been thinking of using it for my Atlantis/C&C/HAGIS mash-up, but am leaning against it. Not that I don’t like it, I do. I just want to remove any perceived bumps in the road. With the limits on all our time, all the logistics in setting up a game, and all the changes I’m making to rules that will require some explanation….I just don’t want another thing to explain. Perhaps another time I’ll use it….or swap it in later. We’ll have to see. I’d love to hear what others think about it….especially those who’ve used it.

~AoB

I live….again

I  live…..again.  OK folks. I’ve officially arrived at a decision. I’m returning to the “active GM” chair. No more just tinkering with mechanics. I’ll aim my tinkering to a specific game/group. And it won’t be for a planned out, extensive campaign. It will be for a one-shot…just to play. That one-shot may grow into something bigger, but for now I’m aiming for a one-shot game. Details to follow…..but as a teaser, I’m thinking some Atlantean Fantasy goodness is in order.

[As an aside, I really need to trim the number of categories I have…..jeesh.]

~AoB

ZeFRS

ZeFRSRemember the original Conan RPG from the 80’s? So do these guys and it is magnificent! They’ve scrubbed this S&S classic of all the Conan intellectual property and represented Zeb Cook’s most excellent game as “Zeb’s Fantasy Roleplaying System” or “ZeFRS”. You’re welcome!

~AoB

Conan Audio

cover 1Now I haven’t listened to it yet, but Peter Doree posted this bit about old Conan recordings (some of which are available online: The Tower Of The Elephant by going to: http://www.mediafire.com/?o5jdg5nnfie and The Frost Giant’s Daughter athttp://www.mediafire.com/?p0re2zcizbu. ) Amd as Peter suggests, Just tell’ em Crom sent ya.

 

~AoB