Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tome of Tomes

Continuing the series... Thanks again to my Patreons!

On Potions
Author: Wintorp Argenthammer
Race: Gnome
Dimensions: 6x5x0.5
Weight: 1 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Common
Fields of Study: Supernatural & unusual
Special Knowledge Categories: Divination
Value: 115 gp

This brief work provides a few dozen methods useful in potion identification using no more than 10 gp worth of materials per test. These tests produce remarkably accurate results, but 1d4+1 tests are required to weed through to a final determination. The final determination, reached in 1d3 hours, is 95% accurate.





Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Great Big Giant Map of European Tribes!

This map is just beautiful! (The link has the super-sized, legible version) I think we as gamers can learn that our "barbarian" regions really need to have just tons 'o tribes within general cultural areas. Great map!


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Damn you G+!

Because of G+ I find myself looking at my blog and realizing that I haven't posted since the beginning of the month. Obviously I need to make a concerted effort to correct the problem. Let's start with another tome in the Tome of Tomes series...

The Dowager Queen and Other Tales
Author: Unknown
Race: Human
Dimensions: 6x5x0.5
Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Common
Fields of Study: Humankind
Special Knowledge Categories: Legends & folklore
Value: 10 gp

This common work of fiction for children provides moral lessons regarding fidelity, honor, and justice. A contentious work, some claim the morality of the The Dowager Queen and Other Tales is questionable at best, and downright pernicious at worst. Nevertheless, the stories seem to never be far from the hands of impressionable wealthy youth.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Blank Page Surprises You and Hits for 6 Points of Damage!

I've just put the finishing touches on the 1st draft of the Player's Guide for Sorcery & Super Science! 2nd Edition and I've done a rough outline for the Gamemaster's Guide.

Now I'm looking at a blank page with that all-too-familiar feeling. For those of you who don't write, it's hard to describe... it's kinda the way you felt when you were very young and just reached the top of the big playground slide the first time. You're excited to be where you are and ready to go, but oh boy!, you'd also rather just edge your way back down the stairs. It's both comforting and nerve-wracking, and I'm not sure I'd want to write without it. I'd worry that something was going to be missing in the final product.

So instead of writing for it, I wrote this-the written version of the deep breath before slipping down that hot metal slide for the very first time.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Big XRP Sale!

Thought I should let everyone know that I've put all of our XRP products up for sale at our website, most things at least 66% off. Suzi and I will be relocating to the Pacific Northwest and I don't think I'm going to have space to sell direct to the public anymore (alas).

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sorcery & Super Science! 2nd Edition Sneak Peek....

 Here's my Sorcery & Super Science! re-organization of the the ICON's Actions section. I re-wrote this section to put all the close attack options, ranged attack options, and defensive options together as opposed to separating them into individual actions. I think this should prove helpful to newer players... "I'm right next to the guy, what kind of attack can I do?"

The astute will note other changes (Massive Failures lead to you getting hit by your target more often, ranges are a bit different, Attribute Benchmarks are a bit different).

Close Attack Options

A close attack normally affects one target, unless it has the Burst extra, in which case roll one attack test and compare the effort against the difficulty of each target in the affected area. If you have an advantage, you can add the Burst or Ranged extra to a close attack that doesn’t normally have it as a stunt. These two stunts allow you to attack all opponents within Close range, or launch a melee weapon at a target within Medium range and have your weapon bounce right back into your hands. Other combat stunts based upon adding extras may be possible as long as you can convince the GM that they are, in fact, possible!

Bashing: Any unarmed attack or close attack with a blunt weapon or object is a bashing attack. Test Prowess against the target’s Prowess or Coordination:

• Massive Failure: The target gets a free close attack against you, automatically hitting with moderate success!
• Major Failure: Your attack misses.
• Failure: Your attack misses.
• Marginal Success: You deal half the attack’s damage (rounded down).
• Moderate Success: You deal the attack’s damage.
• Major Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may slam the target.
• Massive Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may stun the target.

Slashing: Any close attack with a knife, sword, or other sharp or pointed object is a slashing attack. Test Prowess against the target’s Prowess or Coordination:

• Massive Failure: The target gets a free close attack against you, automatically hitting with moderate success! (Slashing only)
• Major Failure: Your attack misses.
• Failure: Your attack misses.
• Marginal Success: You deal half the attack’s damage (rounded down).
• Moderate Success: You deal the attack’s damage.
• Major Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may stun the target.
• Massive Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may kill the target.

Touching: If you just want to touch a target at close or personal distance rather than hit them (usually to deliver a mutation effect), test Prowess against the Target’s Prowess or Coordination. Unlike a bashing or slashing attack, the target does not get to hit you on a massive failure.

Charging: You can rush or charge at an opponent, using sheer momentum to bear down on them. To charge an opponent you must be at close or greater distance, and able to use your move to reach personal distance with the target in that turn. A charging attack does damage equal to the higher of your Strength +1 or your movement level +1. Roll a Prowess test against the target’s Coordination or Prowess:

• Massive Failure: You miss and charge right past the target. The target gets a free close attack against you, automatically hitting with moderate success!
• Major Failure: You miss and charge right past the target.
• Failure: You miss and charge right past the target.
• Marginal Success: You strike a glancing blow as you charge past the target, dealing half your damage (rounded down).
• Moderate Success: You hit, dealing your damage, and may push your target: test Strength versus Strength and, with a moderate or better success, move with your target up to your normal move again. If the push test fails, you suffer half the damage of your chargeing attack (rounded down).
• Major Success: You hit, dealing your damage, and may slam the target. If the slam fails, you suffer half the damage of your chargeing attack (rounded down).
• Massive Success: You hit, dealing your damage, and may stun the target.

Wrestling: When you want to grab and restrain an opponent, roll a test of Prowess against a difficulty of the greater of the target’s Prowess or Coordination:

• Massive Failure: The target gets a free close attack against you, automatically hitting with moderate success!
• Major Failure: Failure has no effect.
• Failure or Marginal Success has no effect.
• Moderate Success achieves a partial hold. The target can perform actions, but at +2 difficulty, and can’t move away from you. A moderate success can also upgrade an existing partial hold to a complete hold.
• Major or Massive Success puts the target into a complete hold. The target is fully restrained and can take no physical action except to
escape from the hold. In your turn, you can inflict Strength damage on a character in a complete hold as a reaction with no test required. A character in a hold can attempt to escape as a Prowess or Strength test in their turn.

Grabbing: When you want to grab or wrest something out of an opponent’s grasp, make a test of the lower of your Prowess or Strength, against the opponent’s Strength level:

• Massive Failure: The target gets a free close attack against you, automatically hitting with moderate success!
• Major Failure: Failure has no effect.
• Failure or Marginal Success: No effect.
• Moderate Success: You grab the object, but it suffers damage equal to the combined Strength of you and your opponent. If that exceeds the object’s Material, you may well each end up holding a half of it! You can choose to release or not grab the object so as not to damage it.
• Major or Massive Success: You steal the object away from your opponent’s grasp. You now hold it.


Ranged Attack Options
A ranged attack normally affects one target, unless it has the Burst extra, in which case roll one attack test and compare the effort against the difficulty of each target in the affected area. If you have an advantage, you can add the Burst or Ranged extra to a ranged attack that doesn’t normally have it as a stunt. These two stunts allow you to attack all opponents within Close range of your target, or extend your ranged attack out to long range or +1 your normal range level if your range is already long or greater. Other combat stunts based upon adding extras may be possible as long as you can convince the GM that they are, in fact, possible!

Blasting: A blasting attack uses sheer force at range: force beams, “mercy ammo” like rubber bullets, or simple blunt objects. Test Coordination against a difficulty of the target’s Coordination:

• Massive Failure: Your attack misses.
• Major Failure: Your attack misses.
• Failure: Your attack misses.
• Marginal Success: You deal half the attack’s damage (rounded down).
• Moderate Success: You deal the attack’s damage.
• Major Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may slam the target.
• Massive Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may stun the target.

Shooting: A ranged attack using potentially lethal ammunition, from bullets to energy beams, is a shooting attack. Test Coordination against a difficulty of the target’s Coordination:

• Massive Failure: Your attack misses.
• Major Failure: Your attack misses.
• Failure: Your attack misses.
• Marginal Success: You deal half the attack’s damage (rounded down).
• Moderate Success: You deal the attack’s damage.
• Major Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may stun the target.
• Massive Success: You deal the attack’s damage and may kill the target.


Close or Ranged Attack Options
Throwing: If you have two levels of Strength above the level required to lift an object, you can throw it out to close distance. Every two additional Strength levels let you throw it one more range. A Strength 8 character can throw a 50 lb. object (Strength 2) out to Long distance, and can even pick up a motorcycle (Strength 6) and fling it out to Close distance!

Hitting someone with a thrown object is a test of Coordination against the target’s Coordination with effects like a blasting attack (if the object is blunt) or a shooting attack (if the object is sharp or pointed), doing damage equal to the Strength used to throw it or the object’s material level (whichever is lower). A large enough thrown object may count as a Burst attack; roll one test and compare against the difficulty of each target the object could hit.

If you throw an object that is not designed to be thrown you suffer a -1 penalty on your Coordination test. Some objects not designed to be thrown do not suffer this penalty given their physical shape—generally objects that are rounded or streamlined, such as manholes, round rocks, or anything else that reasonably could be considered as easily thrown.

Called Shot: Hitting a specific spot or small target—a “called shot”—increases difficulty by +2. Using a called shot allows you to avoid a killing outcome with a shooting attack, if you want (inflicting a flesh wound or grazing the target, for example).

Immobile Target: Attacking an immobile target—whether an inanimate object or a foe unable to act—is difficulty 0.


Defensive Close or Ranged Actions
Blocking: Blocking involves bracing for an attack, resisting it with sheer Strength. Blocking is normally only effective against bashing, blasting, and charging attacks. When blocking, take your action to do so. Until the start of your next action, you defend against those three types of attacks using Strength as a reaction, rather than Prowess or Coordination. A failed attack outcome means you block or shrug off the attack.

If you have the Damage Resistance mutation, you can also block slashing and shooting attacks using your Damage Resistance mutation level. Your normal level of Damage Resistance applies to any unblocked damage.

If you have an advantage, you can choose to block as a Stunt, substituting Strength or Damage Resistance for your normal defensive abilities for a round as a reaction, without taking an action to do so.

Defending: If the only action you take on your turn is reacting to defend yourself, you get a +2 bonus on all tests until the start of your next turn.

Escaping: When you’re held by an opponent, you can attempt to escape the hold with a Prowess or Strength test against the attacker’s Strength:

• Massive Failure: Failure changes a partial hold to a complete hold. If already a complete hold, the target gets a free close attack against you, automatically hitting with moderate success!
• Major Failure: Failure has no effect. You are still held.
• Failure or Marginal Success: No effect. You are still held.
• Moderate Success: You escape a partial hold or change a complete hold to a partial hold.
• Major Success: You escape a complete hold.
• Massive Success: You not only escape, but you many also place your opponent in a partial hold! Alternately, you can choose to just escape the hold and still perform another action in your turn.


Maneuvering
A maneuver is one of any number of different actions intended to learn or create a quality and activate it to give you an advantage. The exact nature of a maneuver depends entirely on the ability you choose and how you describe it. The GM then chooses a suitable ability to oppose the attempt and you roll a test with the chosen ability against it as the difficulty:

• Failure: You don’t learn about or create the quality you’re looking for, although you can try again.
• Marginal Success: You reveal or create the quality you’re looking for, but do not activate it. You must do that separately.
• Moderate Success: You reveal or create the quality you’re looking for and you can activate it for free once.
• Major Success: You reveal or create the quality you’re looking for and you can activate it for free twice.
• Massive Success: You reveal or create the quality you’re looking for and you can activate it for free three times.

Examples of maneuvers include (but are by no means limited to):
• Prowess: Feints and tactical maneuvers using superior skill and fighting experience, knowledge of different fighting techniques and styles (and their relative strengths and weaknesses).
• Coordination: Acrobatic and movement maneuvers to distract or attain superior tactical positions, taking careful aim at a target.
• Strength: Maneuvers to create or smash through physical obstacles or overbear, taking advantage of greater strength.
• Intellect: Maneuvers involving clever tactics and cunning strategies, analyzing your opponent’s moves or combat style, tricking a foe into revealing a quality.
• Awareness: Using superior situational awareness to your advantage, noticing weaknesses or openings in a target’s defenses, picking up on clues pointing to a quality.
• Willpower: Tests of will, intimidation, and maneuvers requiring sheer resolve.
• Mutations: Various mutations may also provide advantages, ranging from maneuvering with movement mutations to feints or distractions using other mutations. Be creative!

You can also perform a counter-maneuver to eliminate advantages an opponent has gained over you. This takes an action and a test, as described previously; your successes remove free activations at the same rate: one for each degree, starting at moderate. If you remove them all, you also remove the temporary quality (but not a permanent quality or knowledge of it).


Bending & Breaking
To break through or damage an inanimate object, make a damage test against the Material level (see the Scale). Success bends, breaks, or puts a hole through the object. Failure has no effect. The GM may modify an object’s Material level, increasing it by 1 or 2 for thick or reinforced material, reducing it by 1 or 2 for thin or delicate objects.


Searching
Make an Intellect test to actively search an area for things like clues, hidden compartments, traps, missing items, and the like. This type of perception involves analysis and ability to understand what it is you pick up on. Searching is an action, whereas just perceiving your surroundings to notice things is a reaction.
 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

2 Days left in Worldbuilding Toolkit +3

Only two more days on the Worldbuilding Toolkit +3 bundle of holding! So far we've raised around $2,000 for Doctors Without Borders and I'd love to see that pushed towards 2.5k. So if you're at all interested in worldbuilding, now's the time to take a look.



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cover Preview for The Halls of Lidless Shabbath

Glad to say Advanced Adventure #33 is on the way! Probably hit the shelves in April, 2016. Below's the cover...
Rolled into a yard-tall, ivory scroll tube, the worn charcoal rubbing of a giant map etched into an ancient monolith hints that travel between worlds was once easy. More enticingly, the map pinpoints the entrance to the eldritch pathway. The crude rubbing shows nothing but the location of the ancient and legendary dungeon known as the Halls of Lidless Shabbath!

The Halls are the home of the evil sorceress Shabbath. She was famed for having researched many new spells and created many unique magic items, as well as possessing fantastic treasures of gold and jewels, and the caves are also suspected to be a nexus of the planes. Little about the contents of the Halls themselves is known, save that Shabbath is rumored still to be alive, the Halls are reputedly haunted by demons, and a large warband or small army of trolls has been seen thereabouts.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Some XRP titles are in the latest Bundle of Holding








A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture and A Magical Society: Silk Road are part of the most recent Bundle of Holding. 10% of all profits on this one goes to Doctors Without Borders.

If you're not familiar with the Bundle of Holding concept, you basically pay $6.95 to get all three of the gaming books PDFs in the bundle (this one's valued at $62). That's a good deal. However, if you increase your payment past the threshold price (currently just above $18) you get 4 extra world-building books (valued at $48) as well as a so-far-unannounced additional book PDFs.

It's a cool idea and a good way to get a lot of gaming material on the cheap while also supporting a good cause. You should drop by the page and pick it up, or read more about it if you're not familiar with Bundle of Holding.


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