Wednesday, June 6, 2018

X-Men Campaign Part 2: Welcome to Doom


The strange setting of our final battle
Continuing our adventure, Cyclops hauls the battered Magneto out of the office building only to be accosted by a curious police officer. Cyclops, believing that he has convinced the officer to depart, turns his back only to be shot from behind. It is no police officer after all, but the evil mutant Mystique? In a flash of brilliance, Talia conjures a shield of water from a nearby cafe in order to create a shield. While this is effective, it is revealed that Mystique is not alone. A building crumbles, revealing Avalanche. During the commotion, the Blob and Pyro approach from behind. Destiny steps out of the shadows to join Mystique. Our heroes are surrounded.

The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants make their demands clear. Our heroes can forfeit Magneto... or their lives! During the discussions, Destiny is mysteriously yanked away. Our heroes refuse to yield, and all chaos breaks loose. Avalanche is knocked into a nearby store, Pyro attempts to gain the advantage of high ground but is dispatched just as easily, and the Blob rolls incredible poorly.

Mystique finds herself wrapped in webbing. Of course the one who neutralized Destiny is non other than your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The Blob is happy to continue fighting, but when Titania puts her claws to Mystique's neck he agrees to a mutual retreat.

Upon returning to the mansion, the Professor admits that he has released War-Weeb and Edgelord as they were under minor mind-control, trapped in a mental construct that forced their obsessions into action. Jellyburn, however, is under considerably more mental stress that is proving much harder to undo. He opts to beam everyone aboard the Starjammer where their physicia Sikarsky will be able to provide better care.

Our heroes are shocked to have been so casually whisked into space. They tell their parents all about it when they get the chance. Eventually, the girls are returned to Earth where their attempts to relax are interrupted by Beast, who advises that they could take the oppertunity to act like real superheroes.

Reluctantly, they agree to patrol around the city solving problems. These problems include a baker who is suspious of a recent croissant cart that has popped up, a burger bandit, a senior citizen medicine heist, as well as an anti-mutant protest-slash-festival going on in the park. Exhausted and damaged (Talia having been smashed by a truck weilded by a super-powered senior) they return to the mansion only to be beamed up by Xavier once more.


You will recall in the last issue that the X-Men had left on a secret mission. It is revealed only now that they are being held captive by Doctor Doom. With nobody else to aid them, Lilandra recruits her estranged step-son Prince Delita (an original character) to assist. You may think Prince Delita looks familiar, in which case you are correct. He is loosely based on Kid Gladiator.

Delita, Proud Shi'Ar Prince
The party crashes Doom's temporary castle (for his own has been taken from him at this time), and faces off against the Doom Squad. These four soldiers are equipped with powerful suits of armor designed to take on the Fantastic Four. The fight is a challenge, but our heroes pull through due to their ferocity.

Traveling the floors of Doom's castle, they free the X-Men from their trapped prisons, as well as steal a large amount of Doctor Doom branded merchandise. The only hero they are unable to free is Storm, who appears to have been turned into metal somehow. The party decides to infiltrate Doom's secret lab in order to find a device that may reverse this affliction. Unfortunately, this route passes through Doom's bedroom where he lies in wait. While haphazardly following a robot built in Storm's likeness, Titania comes face to face with doom and a batle for the ages begins.

Only a few of the many floors of Doom's castle

Titania is instantly trapped in a Doom Bubble, and Wolverine is sent flying out of the building due to a massive roll on Doom's part. Nightcrawler struggles to save a Wolverine who has been flung into the ocean, all while Colossus grabs hold of Doom to create an opening. Delita uses this opening to use his final attack which is a massive energy beam. Doom is damaged but standing, while the attack knocks Colossus through the wall. Delita has used all of his energy and slumps to the ground. "All that work for a drop of Doom's blood," says the Tyrant, as he kicks Delita to the ground. During this time, Talia has been running all of the faucets in Doom's bathroom, while Titania has managed to free herself and is fending him off. With one final coordinated team-up attack, they smash Doom hard enough to do some real lasting damage.

In fact, he is so smashed he comes apart. It is, of course, a Doombot.

They hear the ding of the elevator and brace for another battle. Doom, however, does not wish to fight. He explains he merely wished to test the might of the X-Men. With uncharacteristic cooperation, he cures Storm and coordinates their exit.

Upon returning to the Starjammer, the Professor is happy to see the X-Men but is frantic. It appears that Jellyburn and Magneto are trapped in the same mental prison. How such a thing is possible is unknown, but with his powers he transports our heroes into this mindscape to free them. Almost immediately they are harassed by a gang of ruffians, who flee at the first sign of mutant ability. They scream of sentinels, and is if being summoned, one appears. The girls hide out until the sentinel is gone, and are discovered by a much older Logan who is surprised to see them alive. He offers to bring them to safety. Who is this old man Logan, and why is he surprised to see two girls he saw just moments ago? Find out next time on X-Men.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

X-Men Campaign Part 1: In This Issue Everyone Gets Burned


When I started the campaign I just ran the introductory adventure from the X-Men box set. It was fun enough, but kind of all over the place. This time, however, I decided to come up with something on my own.

Talia
The player characters are Titania (aka Lurk) with the power to become a shadow creature and manipulate shadows, and Talia (aka Flash-Flood) who can run super fast and manipulate water.

Titania
I had to do some retconning because I wanted the game to take place during Claremont X-Men some time  after Dark Phoenix Saga with the players taking the place of Kitty Pryde, but with some elements from before then for storytelling purposes. This meant that the Beast who was in X-Factor in the intro adventure is now an Avenger. In addition, Professor X is still suffering from the nightmares from before the whole Shiar situation, so his powers aren't what they used to be. The players, along with an NPC mutant named Jellybean, are invited to the X-Men Mansion where they get the full tour and meet the team. In order to show them what the X-Men are all about, Xavier sets up a demonstration in the Danger Room. Unfortunately, somebody has sabotaged the control panel and the room goes out of control and the situation gets heated inside. When Xavier attempts to shut it down, the panel explodes knocking him unconscious. The confused and scared players rush to the power room only to discover it has been booby trapped with trip wires and a pretty shoddily made bomb.

Titania uses her powers to cut the massive cable between the generator and the danger room, however spends too much time arguing about how to interpret the results of a d100 and the bomb goes off, seriously damaging her.

After some time of recovery, they deduce a repairman that had entered the mansion earlier must be the culprit. The team splits into two: one to investigate the repairman's storefront in town, and the other to check on Moira McTaggart who also had an appointment with the same guy. The players elected to join Wolverine and Nightcrawler in visiting Moira only to find out that the guy who visited her home did not match the physical description of the one who went to the manor.

Wolverine suddenly demands everyone get into the Jeep, as Storm has called in over comms saying there was a scrap sentinel waiting in the building that burst out once they got near. The players rush into the city to face it. Because Talia can run faster than a car, she takes Jellybean on her back and rushes into battle. Nightcrawler teleports Titania, however poor Wolverine must simply drive.

An epic battle takes place
The battle is long and hard fought, but by the end the sentinel is armless, headless, and stunned for an incredibly long amount of turns. Ironically, the killing blow is dealt by Jellybean, the seemingly useless mutant who only moments ago was blasted off of Talia's back by a variable beam. Her mutant ability is to generate an aura of heat and light, and she delivers a wicked bearhug that melts into the helpless sentinel's leg causing it to topple over. They get out of there right as the cops are showing up.

After a few days of rest and investigation, the X-Men are sent off on an unrelated mission that is too dangerous for the PC's. Xavier gives them the run of the mansion while they wait for the X-Men to return. Jellybean seems oddly obsessed with being alone with Professor X, and the players do not pick up on this. Talia messes around in the pool, and Titania makes smores.

Jellyburn 
A crash is heard from the library, and Talia makes it there first. Jellybean reveals herself to be an enemy actually known as Jellyburn. She also introduces her two allies Edgelord (supposedly a master assassin) and War-Weeb (a supposedly genetically perfect ninja). They have knocked the professor unconscious. Talia manages to evade the would-be kidnappers, and grabs the professor by his wheelchair and brings him upstairs. Despite being a teenage girl, Talia can lift 800lbs because a certain Judge did not look over the character sheets closely enough.

Titania, realizing that something is amiss, approaches the foyer only to see Talia zooming upstairs being followed by some strange fellows. She springs into action, going into her shadow form, but Jellyburn reveals that her powers are much stronger than she had ever let on. She glows brightly like a star, pushing the shadows away from her. With no course of action, Titania races upstairs. As it turns out, these invaders are not very physically fit and struggle to keep up.

Talia attempts to use water attacks to keep the enemies at bay, however they merely become steam in the presence of Jellyburn's aura. Talia performs the incredible stunt of throwing Professor X out of the window, and using her water abilities to catch him using the swimming pool. She gets a Red result, and the professor avoids being murdered by this incredibly reckless act.

War-Weeb
While this is happening, Titania maneuvers around the two lackeys. She hits War-Weeb so hard he flies through the wall, out of the mansion, into the courtyard. A one-hit KO. Edgelord's fate is similar, as she cuts him with her claws. As it turns out, these two are clearly being carried by Jellyburn, the only one with any real ability.

Edgelord
 Jellyburn, furious about the loss of her comrades, attacks Titania as they swing back and forth at each other. Each round, Titania takes damage due to the aura and even when her attacks connect. Eventually, the strain is too much and she must retreat. Fortunately, Talia has scrounged around Beast's former laboratory and locates a crossbow. She does not know that it is only a tranquilizer when she fires it at Jellyburn. The bolt explodes due to the tremendous heat however the tranquilizing vapors knock the villain out cold. Using more water from the pool, Talia cools off the now smoldering form.

A booming void is heard from downstairs. The heroes prepare for more combat, when suddenly Cyclops appears, carrying the limp body of War-Weeb over his shoulder. The players are concerned about this stranger (at this time he is not a member of the X-Men), but are set at ease by his strange aura of authority. They explain the circumstances, and Cyclops revealed that Professor X sent him a distress signal shortly before being attacked.

They interrogate the villains who reveal that their strange leader showed them each a vision of the future they wish to change. They gladly reveal the location of their master, and goad the crew into seeking them out.

Investigation
Cyclops takes the players to the address, kicking in the door. It is a cold office full of lockers and file cabinets. One of the lockers is shaking. Cyclops opens it to reveal a battered and bruised man. He falls to the floor, shivering and moaning. He looks up. It is Magneto.

Next time on X-Men.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Euclid, or How the Hell Does Character Creation Work in FASERIP?

After plowing through about a dozen superhero RPG books and testing a few of them, I was pretty disappointed until I decided to just play MSHRPG. I was originally put off by the massive amount of material to go through (Do I play Basic, Advanced, or Basic Revised?) but after running through an intro scenario I'm seeing why people feel it so hard.

We played with Canon characters first to test the system out and then started making our own. Almost immediately we were incredibly confused. The Basic, Advanced, and Ultimate Powers Rules have different rules for character creation (albeit with similar bases). If you use Ultimate Power you can end up with like 7 million powers, and I couldn't determine if that was the intended way to play the game or not. I ended up rolling the below character using a combination of the three books.

I think for our upcoming campaign we'll use the With Great Power point-buy system. Using it, Euclid comes out to a little less than 300 points. I think. I don't know man, I just roll dice.



Name Euclid

Public Identiy Tommy Zenith

Age 15

Origin Mutant





Fighting Good [10] Health 74
Agility Incredible [40] Karma 46
Strength Poor [4] Popularity Shift 0 [0]
Endurance Excellent [20] Resources Poor [4]
Reason Typical [6]

Intuition Excellent [20]

Psyche Excellent [20]





Powers


Extra Eyes Good [10]

Euclid has an extra eye on his forehead, as well as one in each palm. Each eye is
responsible for a specific type of Beam.
Enhanced Sight Typical [6]

Due to having extra eyes, Euclid is able to notice things Normal people wouldn't. This ability is
currently weak, as he as only discovered his mutant powers.
Force Beam Incredible [40]

Fired from the forehead.
Limitation: Power cannot inflict less than power rank damage
Ensnarement Beam Remarkable [30]

Fired from the left hand.
Limitation: Requires left hand be free and uncovered
Stun Beam Incredible [40]

Fired from right hand.
Limitation: Requires right hand be free and uncovered


Talents Thrown Weapons, Acrobatics, Escape Artist


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MS Paint Art Dump 1

No ongoing campaigns right now, and I'm not ready to talk about any of the stuff I'm working on so here's some random art so that my blog isn't completely dead.

Elf

Hobbi-- I mean Halfling

Unfinished knight dude

Strahd Token

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Final Fantasy XV Elemancy for Into the Odd

Introduction
I know I'm late to the party, but I've been playing Final Fantasy XV and thought I'd adapt the magic system to Into the Odd. It's not even really a great system because every spell is just a zap, but I like idea of modifying spells even if it's never really used in a clever way. I'm still thinking about a way to make it more interesting, but for now this is a pretty straightforward adaptation.

The system revolves around pulling magical elements (which I'll call mana) from sources (which I'll call springs), and combining them into exploding flasks. In the game, the flasks are permanent however I'd have them be single use, if only because I'm always looking for more ways to spend the players' money. This essentially makes them the same as bombs, but with added effects. I'd put the cost of elemancy flasks at between 5 and 10 shillings. This makes them more expensive than your typical tool, but much less than a bomb (which deals d12 damage on its own). Even then you still have to find springs and components. Canonically, this ability is restricted to royalty. You can decide yourself who has access to elemancy and who doesn't in your game.

Elemancy
There are three elements: fire, ice and thunder. Magic-users will need to keep track of how much mana they have stored of each of the elements. I'd recommend a hard cap of 10 per element, just so the numbers don't get out of control. When pulling mana from a spring, roll 1d10 to determine how much of that element you are provided with.

Fire and lightning spells ignore armor (as Heat Ray/charge monsters from Supercapacitor). Ice spells freeze the target in place until they pass a STR save (as Chilling Cloud). Certain enemies may be resistant or weak to certain elements.

Basic Spell Crafting
When crafting a spell, you spend mana equal to the level of the spell you want to cast. You may mix elements, however only the majority element counts as the spell type. For example, a spell composed of 4 Fire and 3 Ice would be a fire spell. If there is every a majority tie, flip a coin to determine the spell type. 

You cannot craft Level 4 spells, as they can only be created with special components outlined below.

Elemancy Table
LEVEL
MANA
DAMAGE
1
3
d6
2
7
d8
3
11
d10
4
NA
d12

Advanced Spell Crafting
Adding certain components when crafting a spell will change its properties. The components are left intentionally broad, so feel free to make them more specific to fit into your game.

Multi-Cast
Component: Animal bones, claws, antlers, gemstones
Allows you to roll multiple dice for a spell and keep the highest result. The more components added, the more dice can be rolled up to a maximum of 5. 

Venomcast
Component: Poison barbs/stingers/bristles, antidotes
Inflicts additional poison damage directly to STR. The damage is equal to 1 per component spent, up to a maximum of 5 damage. 

Cursecast
Components: Animals hoofs, insect parts, fish fins
Causes an opponent's next few attacks to be impaired. The duration of the curse is equal to the number of components spent; with 1 causing d4, 2 causing d6, and so on.

Failcast
Components: Metal shavings, rust
Each component increases the level of the spell by 1, however the caster must succeed in a WIL save when casting the spell or it backfires and damages them instead.

Blastcast
Components: Crab pincers, bird talons, scorpion pincers
Damages everyone within a 30ft radius, including the caster. The range can be increased by 10ft with every component added up to a maximum of 80ft. 

Healcast
Components: Curatives, healing herbs, fresh tomatos
The pain inflicted by this spell heals the caster's HP. The amount healed is equal to the number of components spent; with 1 healing d4, 2 healing d6, and so on.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Simple Weapon Table

The following was made for Into the Odd but you could apply it to any kind of dungeon game. Roll for the weapon type, and then for the description.

Weapon Type
1 Sling (d4)
2 Dagger (d4)
3 Spear (d6)
4 Staff (d6)
5 Mace (d6)
6 Bow (d6)
7 Short Sword (d6)
8 Hand Axe (d6)
9 Longsword (d8)
10 Battle Axe (d8)
11 Longbow (d8)
12 Polearm (d8)

Weapon Description
1 Inscribed
2 Practice
3 Crude
4 Sinister
5 Worn-Out
6 Foreign
7 Fancy
8 Ancient
9 Gigantic
10 Mediocre

Inscribed
The weapon has some kind of inscription on it. It could be meaningful, or total nonsense.

Practice
The weapon is for training purposes and is not meant to be lethal. The damage becomes d4 regardless of what kind of weapon it is.

Crude
The weapon appears to be crafted in a rush or by primitive methods. While it works just fine, it looks like a piece of junk.

Sinister
The weapon is scary looking, or has some kind of creepy decoration. You will spook commoners carrying something like this around.

Worn-Out
The weapon is a hand-me-down, was scavenged, or is otherwise very old and battered and it shows.

Foreign
The weapon came from another place, and looks kind of weird.

Fancy
The weapon is elaborately decorated. Worth double the asking price, but makes you a target of pick-pockets.

Ancient
The weapon is from another age, dug out of the ground of pilfered from ruins. Is of great interested to historians and collectors.

Gigantic
The weapon was crafted for a humongous person. Damage is considered to be die step higher, but only if you have 12 or more STR. Otherwise, all attacks are impaired.

Mediocre
Nothing special about this weapon at all.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Gun Hexes for Into the Old West

I was putting together a list of magical gun effects, when I decided it was much more interesting to have gun curses. Listed below are the kind of afflictions a witch might place on your gun. Guns can usually be cured by a gun doctor if treated within 1 to 2 weeks, but after that the curse may become permanent.

1 Humphrey's Snack Attack
Regardless of what kind of ammunition you load, the gun continues to shoot peanuts. These peanuts deal no damage, but they kind of sting at close range.

2 Skyward Sniper
Bullets fired seem normal, but after about a foot will start flying straight into the air, far off into space. Shots fired are impaired unless your target is directly above you.

3 Guntongue
The gun no longer fires bullets, but instead fires out a string or profane insults. Luckily, this hex is easy to remedy. You just need to clean the gun's mouth out with soap.

4 Isolda's Eternal Gunman
The gun is stuck in your hand by an unrelenting force. You can still use it, of course, but try using anything else with that hand of yours.

5 Thirsty Man's Madness
Your gun now squirts water. Also it's salt water so you can't even drink it.

6 The Friendly Assassin
Each time you intend to pull the trigger, you are compelled to shout a warning out to whoever may be around. It's usually something like, "GET DOWN," or "WATCH OUT."

7 Action Hero Hex
You are unable to pull the trigger without saying a witty one-liner. If the one-liner is terrible, the attack is considered impaired.

8 Lacracia's Turnabout Bullets
Bullets fired loop around and fly at whoever fired the gun. Particularly dangerous, unless you you're shooting people behind you.

9 Garden Gun
The gun fires seeds, which after a few months (with enough sunlight and water) will sprout a bullet flower.

10 Gunman's Impotent Rage
Bullets fired always peter out and fall to the ground after a few feet. The gun's still lethal within a yard or two, but outside of that even the peanut curse is better.

11 The Insatiable Monster Mouth
The gun fires normal bullets and operates fine, however you have no idea where these bullets come from because the chamber has been replaced with a mouth that constantly begs for water. No water, no bullets.

12 Pervert's Only Shot
The gun ejects a strange sticky substances that latches on the target and will attempt to reel them in like a fish. Certain particular weirdos don't even consider this one a curse.

13 Queen's Curse
The gun fires bees, which could be a useful method of attack if the bees weren't impartial and just as eager to sting you as anyone else.

14 Lacracia's Coward Bullets
Bullets fired only hit people who aren't looking at you. For anyone who can see you, the bullets pass cleanly through them.

15 Slippery Hand Hex
Every time this gun is fired, it falls out of your hands. It doesn't matter if you nail the damn thing to your wrist--it will find a way to wrestle itself loose and fall to the ground.

16 Underwear Snare
The gun will only work if you are stripped down to your underwear. You have no idea how the gun knows this, and for whatever reason it doesn't work if you're naked.

17 Poet's Curse
Everytime you fire the gun, you must recite the phrase, "I shoot the gun," and then follow it with a line that rhymes. It has to be a different line every time, or the gun misfires.

18 Beuracracy Bullets
Each time the trigger is pulled, a small contract ejects from the barrel that must be read, signed, and returned to the barrel. After this has been done, a bullet will fire within 3-6 minutes.

19 Nosey Neighbor's Nightmare
Each time the gun is fired, your nose gets longer.

20 Elzandra's Metronome
This gun sends out a never-ending clicking sound that repeates infinitely, and can only be fired to the beat.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Into the Old West (ItO Old West Tables)

Here is your starting equipment table for Into the Old West.



1HP 2HP 3HP 4HP 5HP 6HP
3-7 Pistol (d6)
Hidden Blade (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Sense nearby sorcerers
Pistol (d6)
Hidden Derringer (d4)
Bottle of Whiskey
Sense nearby Arcana
Shotgun (d8)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Immunity to acid, lye, etc.
Pistol (d6)
Saber (d6)
Immune to charms
And poison
Pistol (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Darkvision
Longbow (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
Arcana
8-9 Rifle (d8)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Hound (3HP, d6 bite)
Arcana
Rifle (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
Hawk
Arcana
Rifle (d8)
Protective Gloves
Arcana
Shotgun (d8)
Pistol (d6)
Cologne
Arcana
Shotgun (d8)
Rope
Grappling Hook
Arcana
Longbow (d8)
Hatchet
Eagle
Antidote
10-11 Saber (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Hound
Arcana
Rifle (d8)
Mule
Arcana
Hatchet (d6)
Manacles
Arcana
Pistol (d6)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Ferret with telepathic
Link
Cutlass (d6)
Shotgun (d8)
Talking Parrot
Minty Breath
Saber (d6)
Chain
Never Sleeps
12-13 Pistol (d6)
Perfume
Salt & Pepper
Arcana
Pistol (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Rat
Pickax
Pistol (d6)
Smoke Bomb
Hound
Shovel
Rifle (d8)
Locksmith Tools
Game Set
Cat
Shotgun (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
Lyre
Mirror
Rifle (d8)
Bottle of Whiskey
Tallow
3 Candles
14-15 Pistol (d6)
Cologne
Spyglass
Arcana
Pistol (d6)
Bell
Rope
Smoke Bomb
Shotgun (d8)
Darts
2 Dynamite
Pistol (d6)
Saw
Animal Trap
Spyglass
Pistol (d6)
Tallow
Hand Drill
Drum
Saber (d6)
Fire Bomb
Mirror
16 Rifle (d8)
Robin
Potpourri
Rifle (d8)
Weasel
2 Dynamite
Pistol (d6)
Candle
Crowbar
Flute
Pistol (d6)
Bowie Knife (d6)
2 Candles
Dual Pistols (d8)
Magnifying Glass
Lost Eye
Darts
Longbow (d8)
Hatchet (d6)
1 Dynamite
17 Shotgun (d8)
Hourglass
Bottle of Wine
Darts
Pistol (d6)
Tallow
Glue
Pistol (d6)
Net
Burnt Face
Pistol (d6)
Whip (d6)
Cigars
Lost Eye
Rifle (d8)
Guitar
No sense of smell
Shotel (d6)
Shovel
1 Dynamite
Glowing Eyes
18 Shotgun (d8)
Bowie Knife (d6)
Whisper of a Voice
Pistol (d6)
Net
False Leg
Pistol (d6)
Paint
Repels Animals
Pistol (d6)
Bottle of Whiskey
Illiterate
Saber (d6)
Rope
Debt (3g)



Roll 2d6 for your hat as well.

 Sombrero
3  Coonskin Cap
4-5   Straw Cowboy Hat
6-8   Bowler (Derby)
9-10 Felt Cowboy Hat
11   Slouch Hat
12   Tophat



Monday, February 12, 2018

Mexican Standoffs and Quick-Draw Duels in Into the Odd

It occurs to me that making Into the Odd work in the old west basically only requires messing around with the equipment and starter tables. You could argue this is true with almost any setting. However, I've decided to go a step further and create rules for Mexican Standoffs and Duels. I tried to keep them as simple as possible to keep in the spirit of ItO.

Please note, these aren't a replacement for normal combat and shouldn't be used all the time. Standoffs can be a good way to start off a fight, but only when it makes sense. Duels are more involved affairs, and either incredibly deadly or hilariously awkward depending on the skill of the duelists.

Mexican Standoff
Each person involved secretly designates a target. Do this by writing them on an index card or something.

Each combatant then makes a DEX save and records the difference between their roll and their DEX ability score. We'll call this the DRAW. Anyone who fails their DEX save either hesitates or misses their shot.

Starting from the highest DRAW, the player reveals their target and rolls damage as normal. Anyone shot this way forfeits their ability to fire during the standoff, regardless of whether they were rendered unconscious or not.

This continues until everyone has fired or been shot.

Here is an example.

Four gunfighters stand in a circle: Lil Bob, Big Bob, Bobbina, and Dog Horseman. Each of them secretly designates a target, and makes their DEX save. 

Lil Bob fails his DEX save right away, so he hesitates. Big Bob rolls a 4 vs a 10 DEX, so his DRAW is 6 (10 minus 4). Bobbina's DRAW is 8, and Dog Horseman's DRAW is 11.

Starting with Dog Horseman who scored the highest DRAW, he reveals his target which is Bobbina. He rolls damage, and Bobbina is shot. Normally, Bobbina would shoot next since she has the 2nd highest DRAW, but she can't because she was shot. Next, Big Bob reveals his target was Lil Bob and rolls damage. Lil Bob is shot, and never got to fire in the first place because he flinched. 

From here on, combat would continue as it normally would, favoring the party of the person with the highest DRAW. 

Duels
Duels use the concept of DRAW but in a different way. In a duel, two slingers face off until some external force compels them to shoot one another.

We do this in rounds. During the first round, both players simultaneously make a DEX save and record their DRAW. We continue doing this until either player fails their DEX save, recording their DRAW each time they roll.

After the first failed DEX save, both players build a dice pool. For each DRAW value that was recorded, find the closest die value that it exceeds, and add it to the pool. For example, if you have a 5, you would add a d4. If you have an 8, you would add a d8. Anything less than 4 is disregarded, and anything higher than 12 is considered a d12.

Both players roll their dice pool, and the highest scorer wins the duel and deals damage equal to the sum of the dice.

Here is an example. 

Loose McGoose is facing off against Lucky O'Ducky. In three rounds, they get DRAW values as outlined below. 

Loose McGoose: 4, 9, FAIL
Lucky O'Ducky: 2, 8, 7

McGoose's dice pool looks like this: d4, d8. 
O'Ducky's looks like this: d8, d6

One die is missing from O'Ducky, because any DRAW lower than 4 disregarded, since there is (for our purposes) no die smaller than d4. 

Both roll their dice pools. 

McGoose rolls a 7, and O'Ducky rolls a 12. O'Ducky scores fortune's favor and shoots McGoose, dealing 12 damage. 


Typically, a duel ends after the first shot, but a less honorable person may choose to continue firing. I leave that up to you.

FAQ
Q. What happens if both duelists roll the same amount?
A. They both take damage

Q. What happens if neither duelists scores a DRAW higher than 3?
A. They fumble around ineffectually or fire into the air.

Q. What if my character only has 3 DEX?
A. Try shooting people in the back instead.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Not Having Fun Anymore

The other night I ran a game of 5e for a group of almost entirely new players, and for the first time ever had a player get visibly upset and quit the game. I admit I wasn't at the top of my game since I don't play 5e and I find the official material to be virtually unusable at the table, but I was trying my best. I was annoyed mostly because he couldn't explain what I had done wrong. I'm a big boy and I remember sitting through countless critique days and having my paintings/drawings/prints torn apart by my peers. It takes a lot to get to me when it comes to my art, but what really gets under my skin is people not being able to articulate their criticism.

He eventually apologized, and while I think it would totally inappropriate to quote his apology word for word, it came down to expectations. When you watch Critical Role or listen to podcasts, the game appears one way. When you finally play it, it may end up wildly different.

It's something I understand on a personal level. I originally became interested in D&D when I was looking for difficult games to play. Of course there were the Souls games, the Dodonpachis of the world, and countless roguelikes--but what I was looking for was the feeling my father described when recounting D&D games he had played during his time in the Navy. The sense of danger lurking around every corner, poking every goddamn thing with a stick just in case, and going through entire packs of cigarettes out of stress.

When I finally joined a D&D game, of course it was nothing like that. The DM had cooked up pages and pages of plot and theatrics. I was compelled to build my character a certain way or be 'fucked' (his words). I'm not bashing that style in particular because I know some people live for that, but it wasn't what I was about.

Anyway, I'm not excusing said player's shitty behavior. He ruined my fucking night and killed a decently good buzz we had going. This whole thing has just been on my mind for a while. With a lot of people being introduced to roleplaying via streams and podcasts comes a whole new set of attitudes and expectations, and I look forward to more awkward confrontations in the future.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Forbidden Spell Library

I was reading about Ars Magica and other verb + noun magic systems and I thought wouldn't it be great if there were an impossibly large amount of weirdly specific words to pull from? No? Okay, well I made it anyway.

Forbidden Spell Library 

What the spells do is obviously up to interpretation, but I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Street Fighting Dogs - ItO Hack for Yakuza (Ryu ga Gotoku), Final Fight, or Yankii stuff

Hey.

I've been occupied with the holidays but after playing Yakuza Zero and Kiwami, I really wanted a game that would model street fighting in a simple way. Anyway, I completely failed.


The end product is Street Fighting Dogs, named after a song by my dad's high school rock band about fighting off the Man who would try to pry rock and roll out of his burning teenage fists. The game uses a double blind system like you see in a lot of pseudo-fighting-game style games, and in testing I found it to be completely clunky. However, I thought maybe somebody would find a use for it so I'm sharing it here.


It is a hack of Into the Odd that introduces a bunch of needless combat mechanics, and an alternative 'task resolution' system based on how good you are at karaoke. It's actually so far removed from Into the Odd that I'm kind of ashamed to call it a hack, thought I guess hack is the correct term for tearing something apart to the point where it's unrecognizable.

Happy new year, everyone.