Samstag, August 30, 2014

A Thought on Not Buying 5e

From what I gather off of blogs most folks seem to be happy about the advent of 5e. The free Basic D&D probably helped, too. But I didn't buy it. And I have the intuition that I'm not going to, either.

Of all the rpg products that I bought over the last years I only use a few: namely dice, Basic Fantasy, and Risus. Whenever I pick anything else out of the box (I store rpg stuff in a box), and read it I get bored very quickly. Sure, I like Shadowrun 20th Anniversary edition, and the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition seemed a good thing, too. But I won't play them, or run them. Same with Rolemaster, MERP, and some other stuff.

So, I read Basic D&D, and read what others wrote about 5e gaming experience, their thoughts on character creation, strengths of the system, and so on.

I get overwhelmed by boredom. I'll have to read something else.

Time to move on.

Freitag, August 22, 2014

R4 - Tiny Hit Point Companion (Basic Fantasy)

I uploaded release 4 of the Tiny Hit Point Companion which utilizes hit points of creatures, and characters, as well as damage hit points scored in combat to purchase various in-game effects, and special maneuvers.

Changes from R3 to R4
  • corrected, and enhanced the rules for Damage&Pain (with the &Pain companion expansion)
  • added description of Disarm maneuver
  • added Modify Rolls of Opponents as a special effect
  • changed some of the hp costs for special effects
  • editing of the text (more examples, structure changed, typos fixed.)

Donnerstag, August 21, 2014

R4 - &Pain companion expansion (Basic Fantasy)

Basic Fantasy & Pain
I uploaded release 4 of the expansion rules &Pain (ODT, PDF) for Basic Fantasy and other old school games.

Changes from R3 to R4
  • There are two optional versions for GMs when running monsters, and non-player characters to decide how hit points, and pain status is affected when the creatures suffer damage in combat.
  • The three different pain thresholds are abbreviated: incapacitation threshold (IT), unconsciousness threshold (UT), death threshold (DT).
  • The penalties due to pain for initiative, movement rate, and morale checks are tied to pain thresholds, now.
  • The new penalties are listed in tables to make them easier to find, and read.
  • Some minor editing of the text (examples, typos fixed.)
So far, and during our game sessions, the results are quick combat rounds, enhanced options for the players, and a little pain for creatures and characters.

Samstag, August 02, 2014

#2 Rules! Explain yourselves!

Following up on the original post here, just a few notes on the design decisions I made when writing and playtesting The Tiny Skill Companion for the Basic Fantasy roleplaying game.

Basic Fantasy offers a simple optional rule for ability rolls that uses the ability modifier on a d20 roll with a target number set by the character's level of experience. It can be used for any skill, and ability checks that may come up during play.

Example: Klyth wants to climb a tree to collect apples. She's a level 3 cleric so her target number for any such rolls is 16. The GM decides she may apply her Dexterity modifier (+1) to the task. The player rolls 1d20+1, and needs a result of 16, or better to succeed. Now, since the tree seems easy to climb, the GM decides that the ability roll is necessary only to reach some of the apples high up. Klyth plays it safe, and collects some apples from the lower branches, then moves on to gather some kindling.

The GM may apply additional modifiers based on the situation, and character background. And this leads to the description of secondary skills.

Secondary Skills

Secondary skills are not related to the character class. They represent a character's profession, interests, and education. They may support class abilities, but they are not exclusive to character classes.

Writing the supplement I focused on two aspects:
  1. Secondary skills integrate seamlessly into the core rules.
  2. Secondary skills make use of the existing ability rolls.
I chose to use broad secondary skills, that are defined by players, and game masters. There is no standard list of secondary skills.

Skill Levels and Modifiers

There are only five levels for secondary skills: beginner (b), advanced (ad), expert (e), master (m), and grand master (g).

When I wrote the Tiny Skill Companion, I thought about the skill level modifiers, and decided to use a segment of the Fibonacci sequence 3, 5, 8, 13, 21: Beginners (b, +3), advanced (ad, +5), expert (e, +8), master (m, +13), and grand master (g, +21.)

Side note: Among other stuff, I practice improvising melodic phrases on the electric guitar based on Fibonacci sequences. First playing one note, then two, then three, then five, then eight, and so on. I feel that these sequences challenge focusing on melodic phrases better than playing phrases of two, then four, then six, then eight notes.

Anyway, I used them for the skill modifiers, and for other supplements I wrote, as well. For example: the pain thresholds of the &Pain companion expansion are 5/8/13.

Example: If Klyth had the secondary skill climbing (ad, +5), or any other that included climbing the player would add the modifier to the roll: 1d20+5 with a target of 16. The GM may allow to include the Dexterity modifier, too.

Secondary skills add a little more depth to characters, and help the players to make choices within the game based upon these skills. That's why we use them as house rules for Basic Fantasy.

Freitag, August 01, 2014

Basic Fantasy Adventure Anthology 1 in print now! (Lulu, Amazon/CreateSpace)

 Roll 3d6 in order, pick up your equipment,
and head towards adventure!
Adventure lurks within

The Adventure Anthology 1 contains 14 adventures for beginning through intermediate-level characters.

Adventure galore!
  1. Gold in the Hills (levels 1-3) by Ray Allen
  2. Merilla's Magic Tower (levels 4-7) by Rob Pinnell
  3. The Zombraire's Estate (levels 2-5) by Russ Westbrook
  4. Beneath Brymassen (1st level) by collaborition
  5. Ruin of Darkfir Castle (1st level) by Onno Tasler
  6. Shepherds of Pineford (2nd level) by Jason Reilly
  7. Deathcrypt of Khaldhun (6th level) by Scott A. Murray
  8. The Vault of Thaire (levels 1-3) by David Grant Sinclair
  9. The Slaver's Fortress (levels 4-8) by Chris Gonnerman
  10. Taming the Flames (levels 2-3) by Dave Gerard
  11. The Lost Tome (levels 3-4) by Dave Gerard
  12. Insect Valhalla (levels 3-6) by J.D. Neal
  13. Island in River (levels 2-4) by J.D. Neal
  14. Night of the Necromancer (levels 3-5) by Raymond L. Allen
The Adventure Anthology 1 can be downloaded for free (ODT and PDF files). The open document file can be modified to suit your gaming needs.

The print version of the Adventure Anthology 1 is available at Lulu, and Amazon/CreateSpace.

To be continued...

If you want to contribute to the Basic Fantasy game, and community, and you write, or have written a few adventures you might want them to be included in the Adventure Anthology 2: follow the thread...