Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tabletop Simulation Stimulation

It is hard to keep up with this stuff, man. To summarize the past few months: I got hit by a hurricane, blew a tire, and played like 100 games of Eldritch Horror. I started NaNoWriMo earlier today, and I thought I would post in the small window I've allowed myself during the World Series. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a pitcher leave your team and then give up 5 runs in 2 innings during the most important game of the year.

I've been playing the Star Wars RPG. The wonky dice are not that bad (and I would imagine you've heard that a lot), and it does capture Star Wars pretty well. I'll be running the Force and Destiny starter box this weekend, but this is mainly to bide time while I plan my next Into the Odd campaign. I'm going through this phase where I feel like eschewing all modern conveniences and doing everything on paper like our forefathers. Despite this, I keep making shit for Tabletop Simulator.

I've made character cards, and blank cards for tracking Arcana/Oddities and other things. These can be stacked in a deck to essentially create random tables. I'm thinking of making a card for all the monsters in the main book, as well as stuff from the ItO blog assuming Chris is cool with it. I also made a much bigger character sheet, but its giant and ugly albeit probably easier to read. I like the cards better, and I think they fit the game's aesthetic a lot more.

 The next campaign will probably be a hex-crawl. This might seem ridiculous, but every time I've run a hex-crawl I never gave the players a map. I assumed it was like with dungeons, where you can map as they go. As a result, they never had any idea where they were in relationship to anything else. I think I'll provide a map with sparse details and giant obviously visible landmarks and let them fill in the rest as they go. I think this is how it works? I have a lot of reading to do, anyway.

 I have this image for a setting but I always hang up when it comes to guns. The Napoleon nerd and American in me want lots of guns, while the Tolkien nerd in me wants short swords and round shields. I recently posted up another thread and HP values were brought up. I prefer lower HP, and I'm thinking of having armor add hit points ala Black Hack (I think?) instead of reducing damage. I would probably have it so a chain shirt adds HP, a shield does as well (at the cost of a free hand), and heavy armor would probably have some kind of bizarre drawback like you have to drink 5 gallons of milk a day or shrink.

Saturday, May 13, 2017


I am alive. I've been out of commission due to illness and our campaign pseudo-ended after we had trouble getting together a few weeks in a row. I've mostly been messing around with Tabletop Simulator making dumb board games and stuff.

Into the Odd lazy character sheets
See screencap for some ITO NPCs. Torah from Heaven, and a Suicide Elf (elves that live recklessly as an affront to the immortality of their fathers).

I think we may be trying FATE pretty soon just to see what it's like, but I really just want Bastionland.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Death by Bureaucracy

Saturday’s session was a city adventure. I’m growing really fond of them. Here are some bullet points.

  • Miles and Poco opened up a sandwich shop in the Temple District of Veztm called Sandwich Shrine.
  • They battled one of Barnabold’s lieutenants in an abandoned building and nearly managed to beat him before he escaped. He got away with 1 HP.
  • Poco, immediately after the previously mentioned battle, was challenged by a bottom-feeding duelist and managed to strangle the guy with a garrote while still bleeding out from his earlier wounds.
  • Made enemies of some local monks.
  • Escaped from corrupt privatized police-men by causing a massive explosion.
  • Poco was brought down to 0 Willpower while setting up a bank account, ending up temporarily brain-dead due to bureaucracy.
  • The party established a network of messenger pigeons.
I’ve never had a campaign go on for more than 2 or 3 sessions so this is pretty wild for me. I got the idea of starting a business into their heads, and they became weirdly invested in the shop. At least Sophia did. At one point I thought I had lost her attention completely until she revealed she was making a sandwich menu. This also has the added benefit of servers being able to pick up rumors from customers, which will let me dangle a lot of hooks at once.

Despite so much happening, I don’t have a lot to say. I’m just having a lot of fun.  

Merchant Prince Desideratus

Friday, February 17, 2017

Raganhar the Padling

Art by Me
Name: Raganhar the Padling
STR 12 DEX 16 WIL HP 11
Items: Ancient Sword (d8), Archaic Armor (Armor 1), Tattered Cape, Lots of Scars

Raganhar is old. Really old. In fact, his full name contains so many titles and honorifics that he's forgotten most of them. He can tell you stories about a time before Bastion, but you probably wouldn't understand him because he uses weird words like 'dost' and 'thou'. If you really press him, he might tell you about how he was a knight in a sacred order in a kingdom far away who was turned into a frog by a witch along with his knight companions.

Due to his nature he is capable of superhuman agility, often leaping from buildings like more of a man-bat than a man-frog. He is also capable of snatching distant objects with his tongue.

You will find Raganhar on the fringes of civilization, hunting massive beasts and protecting lost travelers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Art by me via MS Paint

Name: Junot
STR 8 DEX 11 WIL 16 HP 4
Items: Pistol (d6), Knife (d6), Shovel, Crowbar

Some people do bad things for money, so maybe they can afford not to have to do bad things anymore. Junot, on the other hand, robs grave because he wants to finance bigger and better grave robberies. It's a sport for him, like boxing or chess.

He is a smooth talker who always has a lie queued up, and is especially adept at appearing innocent in scenarios where he's very obviously the villain.

You will find him in graveyards at night, or deep in tombs. Despite Junot's shady characteristics, he will not betray or otherwise try to screw over anyone who helps him out. Though, most of the time you won't even realize you're what you're helping him do. Sometimes grave-robbing is a team sport.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How to Survive on Giant Spine Island

I. Adventure Update
While on the Inert Emir, Miles and Poco choose not to side with either the Candle-Wizard First Mate Yijun or the Pirate Captain Zuzanna, and thus are forced to man a ship on their own without any knowledge of sailing. A violent storm closes in. Understanding their fate, they fire up a distress flare for the Perennial Dandy’s attention. It works, and the Dandy turns around, only to engulfed by the storm.

The party washes up on the shore of a deserted island, losing a large part of their inventory. Fortunately, the Merchant Prince Desideratus (Dez) is present, and leads them to a camp of useless sailors. The sailors won’t take any orders from somebody without a captain’s hat, but the players find one and put them to work.

II. O Captain! My Captain!
Every week the party was able to give orders to the sailors.

Find lots of food, but danger of being hurt.

Finding a small amount of food but virtually no danger.

Find items, locations, or even food on the island.

Work on building the rafts so they could get off the island.

Each sailor was secretly ranked 1-5 in each category, and at the end of each week an X-in-6 roll was made to see if they succeeded at their task. Each success in building moved up progress on the rafts by a single point, and 20 were needed to get off the island. If somebody succeeded at exploring, I rolled on the following table.

Exploration Success Chart:
1. Item
2. Food
3. Lee's Hut
4. Super Capacitor
5. Item and roll again
6. Food and roll again

Lee’s Hut was the home of a martial arts master that lived on the back of a large turtle. The party brought him some accordions that he wanted, and he taught them some special techniques. The Super Capacitor is one of the expedition sites from Oddvent Oddpendium. I had another table of items, and it was even possible to find real proper treasure.

In retrospect, I really bonered up the hunting/scavenging rules and nobody got hurt. If I were to do it again, I’d have a default 1 in 6 chance of something bad happening at the camp. Then, if somebody failed at hunting there would be a chance that they were seriously injured. I would also probably have included a way for people to get better at their tasks. At the time, the only way to improve somebody’s chances was to give them an item. For example, hunters were given rifles and explorers were given whips.

They spent 3 months on the island and at least one person was bludgeoned to death with a rock.

III. The Price is Right
Without any sort of appraisal ability, I never know how the party is meant to interpret the value of whatever treasure they find. I guess this isn’t a problem specifically with ItO, since a lot of other games don’t have rules for this either.

Do I just tell them how much it’s worth? Can they make some sort of roll? At the moment, the party happens to be friends with a merchant who can give them ballpark figures. I’m wondering how other handle this sort of thing though. Any input is welcome.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Small Update

Miles and Poco board a ship to the new world in pursuit of their rival Barnabold. A few days into the trip, a traveling merchant points out that the ship has altered course and they appear to be following a galleon known as the Perennial Dandy. The party investigate the captain’s history with this ship and don’t like what they find.

I’m not good at making dungeons yet. I have this unhealthy dependence on Silent Hill style alternate realities, and things that are weird for the sake of weird. The idea was a ship with descending decks, each getting more strange until they were basically walking around inside the throat of some sort of massive creature. In practice everything was super cramped without any real room for the players to be creative.

My original plan was for a purely social adventure where the players would try to convince the obsessed captain to stop following after an invincible galleon towards certain doom. It would have been part Moby Dick and part Master and Commander, resembling something better served for Burning Wheel. A day before the game, I realized I didn’t really have the confidence to pull it off and turned it into a dungeon.

It went okay by all (2) accounts, so whatever.

I’ve been sitting on a stupid sci-fi setting for a while now, inspired by retro anime, shmups, Phantasy Star and Mega Man. I’m thinking of writing it out as a hack of Into the Odd. I’m super into spaceship combat ala Last Starfighter, so I feel tempted to focus a lot on that but I feel like any really complex rules run counter to what makes ItO so enjoyable to me. It’s something for me to think about, anyway.

Pending title: Space Battleship Bastion.