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.


Aega Mythea Dev Backonline!

I’m back to working on my game…very rough draft of text is in the making. The concepts are all in my head. Just need to get them into type!


Between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of. And onto this, Conan, destined to wear the jeweled crown of Aquilonia upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure! – R. E. Howard


Welcome, dear travelers! You have wandered far from the days of ordinary life into the age of myths, the Aega Mythea (ā-ˈēg-ə mitḣ-ˈā-ə). A place in time when great heroes did great deeds…things to be remembered in ages to come. You, no doubt, have come to claim your piece of glory; to fullful your fate or to be master of your own destiny…Still unclear what I’m talking about? Let me explain…No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Aega Mythea is a pen and paper role-playing game set in the mythic past; a time of swords and sorcery when deeds were done boldly, magic was a potent force, and heroes were larger than life. There’s a long history of pen and paper or table-top role-playing games which I will ignore other than to refer those unfamiliar with such games here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_game_(pen_and_paper). Suffice it to say, that I have played many of these games and enjoyed nearly all of them. So why create another one? Why not create it? Aega Mythea is the distillation of my gaming history, taking the best of what I liked and embodying it in an integrated form with a singular goal of steering play stylistically toward what is most important to the players.

Aega Mythea – HAGIS Element – The TriDie (via High Adventure Games)

I’ve previously posted about the TriDie (aka mid20, roll 3d20 and take the mid result) and it will feature front and center in the Aega Mythea mashup! In fact, no other dice will be needed.


HAGIS Element - The TriDie In getting back to developing and describing HAGIS, let’s talk about the main mechanic randomizer…the TriDie. Torben Mogensen, esteemed RPG Mathematician of DoomTM,has been discussing this very mechanic in his recent article on RPG.net. Torben (and Woodelf….where, o where art thou, Woodelf?) were the first to propose this mechanic to me on the Yahoo RPG Create board.       Let me explain….no, there’s no time….Let me sum up. Rather than te … Read More

via High Adventure Games

RPG Design Patterns (via High Adventure Games)

As I’ve mentioned (see my post below from…jeeze over 3 years ago), I’m a big fan of John Kirk’s RPG Design Patterns. Its a work that describes aspects of mechanics, etc. that are implemented indifferent games, as well as the pros and cons of each. Well, some months ago (Sept 2009), he released a new version of the work available on his download page (here). You may be interested in his most excellent Legendary Quest (cool mythic gaming) and Gnostigmata (with which I’m unfamiliar, but looks cool at first glance) while you’re there. If you’re really into it, you might contribute to the Elements of Design wiki that went up in February 2010.

RPG Design Patterns I highly recommend this book by John Kirk for those table-top RPG designers, Gamemasters, and even players who want to understand how the nuts and bolts of the varying design elements can make a game work (or not work) in supporting design goals. Design Patterns of Successful Role-playing Games Even if one disagrees with any of the specifics contained within, it definitely can serve as fodder for thought. It has greatly influenced some of the dec … Read More

via High Adventure Games

Anyway, his use of terminology and such largely makes sense to me so I try to use it in my own design endeavors. I also deeply consider his thoughts on the merits/shortcomings of each element before using…whether I completely agree or not, it is instructive to follow his logic. I’ve added this note as a reference for my Aega Mythea game (a Atlantean Trilogy + Castles & Crusades + HAGIS mashup). I’ll be putting up some specifics about how I see that working in bits and pieces.


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.