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 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.


It’s here! It’s Here!

It’s here! It’s Here! Well, it was actually here *Saturday*, but seeing as I was too busy to get the mail until late in the day on *Sunday*…and then again too busy to do anything meaningful about it until today (man, how time flies), it is still “freshly here” for me.

I generally read mine in my “other office”. I consider it the best seat in the house. And when I’m seated there, well, that’s one of the prime times that I’m not staring at a computer screen AND have some time, energy, etc. to read stuff. At least until my two-year-old comes knocking at the door wondering if he can see, but I digress.

crus_vol15_bigFor those of you who are out of the know, I am speaking of the fabulous table-top gaming magazine known as “The Crusader”. Now monthly and up to 36-pages per issue, The Crusader is published by Troll Lord Games and focuses on their flagship product(s): Castles & Crusades with its illustrious SIEGE Engine. It supplements and reinforces one of the greatest strengths of C&C and the SE, their ability to accepting tweaking. They stand up to all sorts of rules hacks without breaking.

The early issues added several different options on how to make multi-classing work. They’ve gone on to include all sorts of flavorful weapons and armor. The musings of the late Gary Gygax on the origins of the game were included serially. And the magazine has gotten even better under veteran James Ward’s watch.

All and all I’m very pleased. I encourage you to have a seat and give it a read.


Crusader Number 9, Number 9, Number 9…


The Crusader’s May 2008 (Volume 4 Number 9) arrived at my house over the weekend and I’ve been slowly digging in.

First of all, I want to say that I really love this gaming magazine. It is devoted to the concept of old-school Dungeons & Dragons in its latest incarnation, Castles & Crusades.It has fantastic, old-school, color cover art (this is where the color should be) and a well-put-together, black-and-white interior (this is where color is NOT needed….let’s keep the costs down people). Its just long enough (32 pages), contains some new info, some throw-back stuff, and an adventure (this month) to boot! Very nice all around.

While I’m at it, here’s the run down:

Revenge of the Skobbits – goofy color comic on the inside cover that’s sure to appeal to any who revered Wormy or its ilk.

How it All Happened – more from the late Gary Gygax on his youth and the beginnings of D&D. I really miss Gary being around and well, I have no words poetic enough to describe just how much he meant to me. I’m not sure how many more of these columns Gary got to write before passing on, but I know his death will really hit home when I see the first Crusader without his input.

Alea Iacta Est – Stephen Chenault’s thoughts on how 4E is a good thing for all concerns…He comes across as a bit of a blow-hard in this, but that’s never bothered me…..I mean, Gary came across as a bit of a blow-hard in much of his writing. If that really bothered me, I’d have never finished the original AD&D DungeonMaster’s Guide. And I’m a bit of a blowhard too….Anyway, and to be fair to Stephen, I think he expresses a lot of really great ideas in this editorial.

Hammer & Anvil – Casey Canfield’s campaign setting continues to take shape. I’ll be interested to see where he goes with this.

A Starsiege ad ov note….Can’t wait to see this in print….

An Intro to Card Modeling – Some practical advice from Tom Tullis

The Aihrdian Chronicles – I haven’t finished this yet, but from what I’ve seen, Stephen Chenault seems to be doing some fine fiction as well as fine game design.

Castellan’ sGuide to Arms and Armor Ad – WTF, is this 3.5?

The Angry Gamer – Stupid Names piss him off….and me.

Moat Gate – Don MacVittie updates us on the Moat Gate product of Yggsburgh….

The Dweomercraefter’s Den – Gary and Jeffery Calanian on Zagyg Castle…interesting history.

Musings from the Den – Stephen Chenault tells us about what to expect…

And finally, Slippery Slope – A Joe Damiani adventure. To be honest, I have only skimmed this. I have high hopes and really would like to see this sort of thing be a regular in The Crusader…..I’m assuming it rocks….if it doesn’t you’ll hear about it soon.

Auld Wyrmish – Mike Stewart’s…um errata from…like the last issue….wasn’t this handled online? I think this was a wash for me.

And finally, Tom Wham’s goofy, morbid cartoon and a back cover that advertises advertising…..eek

Anyway, I did really enjoy the magazine. I give it a solid 8.


C&C Tweak for Spellcasting

C&CAs mentioned, I’ve recently become a Castle & Crusades enthusiast…not so much for the system as is, but for how tweakable it is and for its ease/speed of use for pickup/online games (esp. with people who have played any version of D&D in the past).

Well, in line with the “tweakability” of the game, I recently contributed the following post to the Troll Lord online forum for the game and would like some feedback. In actuality, it uses the HAGUS/Aega Mythea paradigm of magic being just another skill.

I was intrigued by the variety of interesting ideas in the Spell Recovery Idea thread and thought I’d throw something else out there. What if spell casting used the Siege Engine too?

Here’s how I would envision it working:

1) Casters can cast any spell in their book/pantheon/etc. (no memorization, preparation, etc.).

2) Casters would Roll d20 + Caster Level + Attribute Bonus (if any) each time they cast a spell (Make a Siege Engine Check vs. their ability).

3) The DC for spells would be 18 + spell Level + any extra modifiers (high or low magic region, etc.).
If they make the Siege Roll, they cast the spell. End of story.

4) If the caster fails the Siege Roll, he/she still casts the spell, but loses a Caster Level until resting a solid 8 hours. If the effective caster level ever dips below zero…..something bad happens (e.g., Burnout, Magical Coma, HP reduced to half of current, etc.). Note that once a caster fails the first one, they’re more likely to miss the next one as effective caster level is now lower.

5) This can be tweaked to increase or decrease the magic in your game by adjusting the base DC, the consequences of failing the Siege Roll, and the impact of a Burnout.

Any thoughts?