Thursday, February 23, 2017

Extra Abilities: In Darkest Warrens

By Scott Malthouse
I was originally going to dedicate this post to a review of Malthouse's 'In Darkest Warrens' but I'm not sure if I got the chops to do reviews. Suffice to say, I think 'In Darkest Warrens' is a neat minimalist role-playing game that you could pick up and play. I think it also hits a certain sweet spot for me because, unlike other types of minimal role-playing games, everyone gets to roll. I love it when players get to roll and the GM gets to roll as well. Do I have any issues? Well magic isn't the largest selection. Warrens gives us 3 sample spells and Rogues get a dodge, but no sneak attack. So! Let's add some extra material to a charming minimalistic game, which in turn, probably destroys the spirit of minimalistic playstyle.


Sneak Attack (Rogue) - After making a Stealth test (Nimble with a -1 or -2 depending on how observant the target is) a Rogue can make an attack that deals 2 points of damage instead of 1. Penalties to Sneaking can be altered by a combination of environment or action of other players. Such as a fighter distracting the target - all of which is at GM's discretion.

New Spells (All spells are Mind tests)

Bolt: Standard magical range attack of a mage that they can do every round.

Ball: Launches an orb of energy damaging several targets in the same area. This spell can only be used once every round.

Invisibility: Can turn a character Invisible for a number of rounds equal to class level. Offensive actions such as attacking or casting an attack spell dispels invisibility.

Invisibility Sphere (must learn Invisibility first): This spell creates a wave of invisibility that turns the caster and anyone near the caster invisible. Offensive actions made by a member will dispel their invisibility. This spell is equal to 1 round per the caster's class level.

Mage Armor: Mage gains a number of hits equal to half of their level rounded up (minimum 1 hit pit). This spell lasts 1 round per class level.

Force Shield: All physical attacks made against the caster are a -1 difficulty. All magical attacks made against the caster are made at a -2 difficulty.

Force Field (Must learn Force Shield and be max level as set by the game of GM): This spell creates a dome or sphere of protection magic that lasts a number of rounds equal to the caster level. Characters inside the dome can safely fire out, but characters firing into the dome suffer a -1 penalty. Magic users firing against the dome suffer a -2 penalty. The field can be penetrated by walking through the thin energy walls, inside the dome the protections cease.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

1974 Style: A Collection of Spells


To me, one of the most elegant and finest made RPG's out there is still the free 1974 Style. This game might be bare bones, but it has just enough that you could make a lot out of it. It's sort what I like about QAGS and to an extent FUDGE (though FUDGE being more of a set of ideas rather than complete game, I'd say FUDGE does it too well). The one thing that 1974 Style lacks is a solid magic rule system. The rules give a guide that spells should be one word that is self-explanatory (like how Fireball is a literal ball of fire). Things like saves, duration, and damage are hinted at and other factors are up to the GM. This can work for an improvising GM, but I like to offer up a couple of sample spells to help inspire both players and GMs who might want to try this out.

For my games Ranges are done in the style of "The Black Hack" where we have

Caster - Close - Near - Far - Distant

...Ball
Range: Far; Radius: Near; Duration: Instant; Save: Half

This spell conjures a ball of energy where the ... represents the type of elemental energy used (Acid, Ice, Fire, or Electrical). The ball begins as a bead and is magically propelled to a target of the caster's choosing. The explodes for 3d6 damage (energy). Creatures in the blast radius may make a Saving Throw for half-damage. Creatures who are particularly weak against said energy makes a Saving Throw with a Disadvantage (roll 2d20 and take the worst of the two rolls).

Shield
Range: Close; Duration: 1 Scene; Save: None

This spell creates a shield of energy that grants +1 AC to the person touched. Shields at GM discretion can also absorb certain spells or absorb spell damage if the user makes their Saving Roll for half damage- they would take no damage, but would cancel out the shield.

Healing
Range: Close; Duration: Instant; Save: 1/2 (special)

This spell empowers the user to channel the essence of the light in their touch. This spell heals a target 2d6 points of damage. Against Undead class creatures this spell harms them for 2d6 points of damage. (The creature must be touched and they gain a Save for Half). When trying to touch a target, the caster gains the Advantage to their roll.

Harm
Range: Close: Duration: Instant; Save 1/2

This spell is the reverse of healing where the caster, typically one who is fel in origin, touches a living target for 2d6 damage (caster rolls with Advantage, the victim gets a Saving Throw for 1/2 damage). Undead touched by this spell are repaired in hit points instead.

Scorch
Range: Near; Duration: Instant; Save: None

This fires several smaller beams at a target. The caster makes a standard attack with each beam in rapid succession dealing 1d6 per beam. The caster rolls separately per beam and can aim the beam at other targets. They must, however, call their target before rolling an attack. Creatures susceptible to fire (such as Ice Elementals) take 1d8 damage instead.

Corpse Mine
Range: Close; Radius: Near; Duration: 1d3 scenes; Save: 1/2

This spell infuses a dead body with a combination of necrotic and pyrokinetic energy. After the mine is set, the runes of alarm that are on the body are set to proximity and will go off regardless of it being an enemy or ally. The corpse mine explodes in a combination of bodily offal, necrotic energy, and a touch of fire dealing 2d6 damage. The mine going off will also send a magical signal to caster, alerting them to the detonation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Savage Worlds: Vanille Evermourn - A Seasoned Apprentice


Vanille Evermourn
Human; 20 XP (Seasoned)

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Arcana) d8, Knowledge (History) d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Spellcasting d8, Stealth d4, Swimming d4
Traits: Pace 6; Parry: 5 (1); Toughness: 5
Edges: Spellcasting, Luck, New Power
Hindrances: Clueless, Loyal, Quirk (Naive commentary)

Equipment: Staff (Str+d4; Parry +1), Chalk, Spellbook, Ink, Chalk, Backpack, Bedroll, Blanket, Waterskin

Magic Items: (x2) Potion of Healing, Potion of Teleport

Spells
Power Points: 10

Bolt (Arcane Trappings), Detect/Conceal Arcana, Light (Enchanted Staff trapping)

-Vanille is an advanced apprentice within a powerful Mage's household. She was first brought to the gates of the locked manor as an infant and left there. Perhaps because she registered what some might call a 'spooky aura' a sign that she is magically touched. The Magister of the house decided to train her in the art.

-Vanille lives a sheltered life behind the gates of the manor. She suffers from the Clueless hindrance when she goes out to see the greater world. Her comments can also be at times Naive, but she is loyal to whoever she makes a friend with. She also has a fondness for animals.

-While naive, Vanille does show excellent skill in both magic and knowledge. If she didn't become an adventurer, she might have made a good cloistered librarian or scholar. Instead, a sense of wanderlust has gripped her and taken her from her master's manor into the world.