Apr 17, 2014

Skills in Necrocarcerus

From the Necrocarcerus Document:

"PCs in Necrocarcerus use
Skills: The Middle Road. Tasks succeed on a roll of 5+.

Level of Proficiency
Roll
Unskilled
D6
Skilled
D8
Expert
D10
Master
D12

Skills

AlchemyIdentify and brew potions.
Appraisal – Evaluate the worth of treasure items.
Arcane Lore – Identify magical effects and items
Athletics – Climbing, jumping, running and swimming
Decipher – Break codes, decipher unknown scripts, and understand strange languages
Devices – Disable traps; build devices smaller than you
Disguise – Disguise one’s self or imitate another
Engineering – Analyse features of structures such as slope, height or depth, traps
Foraging – Harvest supplies while traveling
GeographyAvoid getting lost; operate portals
Healing – Restore HP equal to roll on die
Law – Know the details of and exploit legal systems
Listening – Discern what is out of sight
Pilot – Operate and repair vehicles
Religion – Identify religious artifacts; perform ceremonies
Stealth – Surprise enemies; avoid wandering monsters
TrackingIdentify monsters and animals; follow trails"

Yes, you use the Law skill to change your alignment, or the alignments of others, and yes this affects spells. Pilot is for riding horse-likes as well as driving motorcycles, steam-wagons, airships, trains and such. You use Geography to operate portals.

There are intentionally no History or Language skills. If you want to learn history or other languages in Necrocarcerus, you do it the old fashion ways, by either drinking the brain juice of people you kill to absorb their memories, book piracy, or placating ancient and inscrutable beings of immense power. In the meantime, you speak "Regular Language", a universal standard implanted into your head during incarnation.

There are no skills that provide gainful, legitimate employment.
Current backlog of professional licenses to be issued at AUC stations: 3 years
Current planned date of the end of the world: 2 years

Social interaction is handled with the system laid out in Courtney Campbell's On the Non-Player Character. (Full disclosure: I am mentioned and my work is featured in the aforementioned book, but I receive no financial compensation for its purchase because I am a communist).

Mar 30, 2014

Turtles All the Way Down

The original

Folks reinventing it

Intensifying and Elaborating the Core Concept of a Multi-factorial Array for Wandering Monster Generation

The core of the idea is to extend the single-factor wandering monster table into a multi-factorial one (the original single factor is "monster type" to which I simply added an ontological extension covering the kind of presence the monster has in the encounter). One could extend this process in various ways so long as one continued to generate interesting properties to serve as the basis of additional axes, and was able to track it effectively. Because of the limitations of paper as a surface for representations, this is difficult to extend past two factors, but a simple computer program could be written to include things like factional allegiance or preparedness/surprise. So long as the program generated a value in a multi-dimensional array rather than simply treating each as an independent factor, you would be able to produce interesting, meaningful and surprising results rapidly. I have no time or especial interest in generating such an array, but others might find it interesting as an exercise and I would encourage you to share your results.

Feb 25, 2014

Describing What Is In The PCs' Hands At the Start of Encounters

My experience has been that one small point of tablecraft that is often forgotten is asking the PCs what each of them is holding in their hands at the start of encounters, and then at the beginning of each round of combat. Though it seems minor, even trivial, it actually serves to define the immediate tactical options available to the PCs. e.g. whether someone is holding a light source or not, or whether they have their weapon drawn, will tell you some important details about how the round could develop. Asking this question establishes a shared understanding of the conditions which avoids further disputes or confusion later on, as well as making the scene more vivid and easily imagined.

My suggestion to you if you do not already do this is to experiment with doing so (in an orderly manner) in a few sessions and examine the results.

Feb 12, 2014

Two Proposed Simple Rules for Wands

Jack Shear put up a post about wands recently, reminding me of the old controversy. I have no opinion on that controversy. Broadly speaking, the division I use between wands and staves is that wands let you do one thing over and over again, whereas staves let you do many (or at least, several) things. Partially this is because wielding a wand is like wielding most weapons, in that it takes up one hand and binds the uses of that hand to it, while wielding a staff takes two hands and thus requires at least two options to replace the lost capabilities of that extra hand it requires.

I think I will therefore get rid of all wand types and replace them with one of these two house rules. I haven't playtested either, so I will have to try them out to see how they go.

Variant 1:

A spellcaster who wields a wand may make a saving throw when casting a spell. If they pass, they retain the spell and may cast it again.

In systems that differentiate saves, the saving throw is vs. spells.

Variant 2:

A spellcaster who wields a wand may roll a d10. If the result is higher than the spell level, they retain the spell and may cast it again.

If anyone has experience with either house rule, or similar rules, let me know.

Dec 27, 2013

Skills in Necrocarcerus

From the Necrocarcerus document:

Skills

PCs in Necrocarcerus use Skills: The Middle Road. Tasks succeed on a roll of 5+.

Level of Proficiency
Roll
Unskilled
D6
Skilled
D8
Expert
D10
Master
D12

Starting Skills

PCs start off knowing one skill at Skilled proficiency, plus one additional skill (also at Skilled) for each maximum additional language their intelligence would grant them (per Swords and Wizardry Complete). e.g. a PC with an INT of 12 starts knowing four skills.

Skill Descriptions

Alchemy – Identify and brew potions.
Appraisal – Evaluate the worth of treasure items.
Arcane Lore – Identify magical effects and items
Athletics – Climbing, jumping, running and swimming
Decipher – Break codes, decipher unknown scripts, and understand strange languages
Devices – Disable traps
Disguise – Disguise one’s self or imitate another
Engineering – Analyse features of structures such as slope, height or depth, traps
Foraging – Harvest supplies while traveling
Geography – Avoid getting lost
Healing – Restore HP; Stabilise dying characters
Law – Know the details of and exploit legal systems
Listening – Discern what is out of sight
Pilot – Operate and repair vehicles
Religion – Identify religious artifacts, perform ceremonies
Stealth – Surprise enemies; avoid wandering monsters
Tracking – Identify monsters and animals; follow trails

Training Skills

Level
Roll
Cost for Training
Training Time
Unskilled
D6
0
None
Skilled
D8
1,000
1 month
Expert
D10
5,000
3 months
Master
D12
10,000
6 months.

Dec 25, 2013

Petards Stuffed in Cows: A Necrocarcerus Armoury

Here's an extraction of the weapon expertise, feat and training rules, and the weapon tables from the Necrocarcerus house rule document. Parts of this are inspired by Courtney Campbell's Numenhalla weapons tables, as well as the BECMI weapon mastery rules. It is meant to be compatible with Swords and Wizardry Complete. All costs are in obols, the Necrocarcerus equivalent of gold pieces.

Weapon Feats

Each level beyond Proficient provides a cumulative +2 to hit and on damage rolls. Characters using a weapon they are unskilled with deal 1d4 points of damage on a successful hit.

Weapon
Proficient
Skilled
Expert
Master
Broadsword
1d8
Deflect
Bleed
Keen
Claymore
2d6
Disarm
Deflect
Vicious
Club
1d6
Delay
Stun
Knockout
Composite Bow
1d8
Skewer
Vicious
Swift
Crossbow
2d6
Delay
Stagger
Skewer
Dirk
1d4
Swift
Bleed
Keen
Falchion
1d6
Bleed
Keen
Vicious
Francisca
1d6
Delay
Stagger
Swift
Halberd
2d6
Trip
Skewer
Vicious
Lance
1d8
Delay
Skewer
Vicious
Long Bow
1d8
Swift
Skewer
Keen
Maul
2d6
Stagger
Stun
Knockout
Musket
2d6
Stagger
Delay
Stun
Pistol
1d6
Delay
Stagger
Vicious
Quarterstaff
1d8
Trip
Deflect
Swift
Rapier
1d8
Deflect
Disarm
Riposte
Sling
1d6
Stagger
Stun
Knockout
Spear
1d8
Delay
Skewer
Keen
Sparr Axe
1d8
Bleed
Delay
Vicious
Thrown Knife
1d4
Swift
Bleed
Skewer
Warhammer
1d8
Deflect
Delay
Knockout
























Expertise Feats

Bleed – Target suffers 1 HP damage / round until they save.
Deflect – Wielder may save to negate one attack / round
Delay – Save or lose initiative next round
Disarm – Save or lose weapon
Keen – Critical hit on natural 19 or 20
Knockout – Save or fall unconscious
Riposte – Wielder may save to counterattack immediately
Skewer – Next round target takes the same damage again
Stagger – Save or can’t move for one round
Stun – Save or can’t attack / cast spells for one round
Swift – Wielder makes two attacks / round on one target
Trip – Save or fall over
Vicious – Wielder rerolls damage, takes higher result

Training Costs for Weapon Expertise

Level
Cost for Training
Training Time
Untrained
0
None
Proficient
1,000
1 week
Skilled
5,000
1 month
Expert
10,000
3 months
Master
20,000
6 months.








Melee Weapons

Weapon
Cost
Wt.
Special
Hands
Broadsword
50
1.5kg
-
1H
Claymore
100
3kg
-
2H
Club
5
0.5kg
Light
1H
Dirk
2
0.5kg
Light
1H
Falchion
50
1kg
Light
1H
Halberd
50
4kg
Reach
2H
Lance
50
2.5kg
-
1H
Maul
100
5kg
-
2H
Quarterstaff
2
1.5kg
Reach
2H
Rapier
50
1kg
-
1H
Spear
5
2kg
Reach
1H
Sparr Axe
50
2kg
-
1H
Warhammer
50
2.5kg
-
1H

Ranged Weapons

Weapon
Cost
Wt.
Rng.
RoF
Special
Composite Bow
100
2kg
100m
1/1

Crossbow
50
3kg
75m
1/2

Francisca
5
0.5kg
10m
2/1
Light
Long Bow
100
3kg
100m
1/1

Musket
100
4.5kg
40m
1/2

Pistol
50
1.5kg
10m
1/2
Light
Sling
2
0.25kg
100m
1/1

Spear
5
2kg
10m
1/1
Reach
Thrown Knife
2
0.25kg
10m
2/1
Light

RoF is number of shots / round. e.g. 1/2 is one shot every other round. 2/1 is two attacks per round.

Other Weapons

Other weapons than the ones listed above cannot be mastered. All characters are proficient in using them.

Weapon
Cost
Damage
Wt.
Rng.
Special
Bolas
2
1d4
0.5kg
 10m
Entangles
Blowgun
2
1d4
1kg
10m

Blunderbuss
100
2d6
4.5kg
20m
Cone
Flamethrower
250
2d6
30kg
20m
Burns, Cone
Grenades
10
2d6
0.5kg
10m
Explodes
Holy Water
10
2d6
0.1kg
10m
Burns
Net
5
-
3kg
5m
Entangles
Petard
50
4d10
3kg
-
Explodes
Petrol Bomb
5
1d8
0.5kg
10m
Explodes, Burns
Whip
10
1d4
1kg
-
Entangles, Reach

Ammunition

Type (# of shots)
Cost
Weight
For
Arrows (10)
3
1kg
Bows
Bolts (10)
5
1.5kg
Crossbows
Gasoline (5)
25
5kg
Flamethrowers
Shot & Powder (10)
10
2kg
Guns
Slingstones (10)
1
1.5kg
Sling

Weapon Qualities

Burns - Target suffers 1d6 automatic damage / round until they save
Cone - May attack up to three side-by-side targets simultaneously
Entangles - Target must save or become helpless
Explodes - Everyone within (# of damage dice x 2)m is hit. Save for half
Light – Can be wielded in off-hand
Reach – Can attack from behind someone else