Monday, October 31, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 17, pages 63 to 103

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the seventeenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th parts


   Oh the coincidence, entirely by accident I am posting about monsters on Halloween. Now sadly I won't be going over EVERY monster in the book as that would be going to far but I will cover a few of the monsters that happen to catch my eye.
   First up is the Basilisk, the might beast with a stoney gaze. A classic creature to avoid death from being stoned you need to not do drugs look away. Doing so of course gives a -4 penalty to hit or just -1 if you are viewing it through a mirror. If you do look at it or happen to touch it though you need to make a save versus petrify or be turned to stone.
   The blink dog, an interesting creature that hunts in packs. They actually have their own language! To attack they port next to you and then once they have attacked blink away which is quite mean. They are Lawful and intelligent so it should be possible to negotiate if you can speak the language.
   Dragons   <== thats about all I should really have to say. Ancient, highly intelligent, and long-lived they are one of my favorite creatures ever and I would not mind being eaten by one if it meant I could meet it and talk to it some.
   Another type of monster that I like is Elementals. In LL they only come in four flavors Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Thats fine though as any of the later additions kind of reduce their primal image. These are beings made of one of the four base elements and they deserve a little more then given.
   Gelatinous Cube is almost a trap instead of a creature but we love it all the same. This nearly transparent cube of jelly is the most iconic of the slimes. It manages to in general be exactly the right size to fit in a dungeon corridor though the book does add that larger ones are not unknown so you can really take the party by surprise in that 20' corridor.
   The lowly Goblin is next on my list. I actually like them though it might just be from Magic the Gathering. They are a little generic so I would have them be like the Kamigawa Goblins who where called Akki and had turtle shells on their back. Now that is just what I would do, there are enough takes on them in mythology that if you don't want the generic version a little research will be able to revive the species.
   A nice flying mount is next up. Of course by that I mean the Hippogriff which if caught young can be trained to be flown. Its how you fly in style if you don't like the idea of a winged horse.
   Now for the Kobold to shine. Of course they are "dog-like" in LL but I have always like the idea of them being reptilian. This might of course be connected to them also being portrayed as somehow descended from dragons so it was a way in 3.5 for me to play something close to a dragon in a way that worked for me. See also "Tuckers Kobolds".
   Men, truly the worst monsters out there! They come in a number of different flavors including Berserker, Brigand, Pirate, Merchant, and Nomad. Quite a fearsome array!
   Phase Tiger...   yeah, six legged, intilligent tiger-like beings who look like they are 3' away from where they actually are. Also of note is that they hate blink dogs and will kill any they happen to encounter. They also have reptilian whips growing out of their shoulders which reveals that they seem awfully like displacer beasts which happen to not be in the book. Maybe the two things are connected?
   Rats, whether ordinary or giant have been killed so many times in both pnp rpg and crpg games that its a surprise any exist at all. I swear that it must be some kind of requirement to being a roleplayer that you kill something like 2d6 rats.
   Next is the fighter-bane that is the Rust Monster. This metal eating monstrosity came about because Gary had a weird looking toy and made stats for it. Thats right, your fighter just lost his magic sword and his full-plate armor because of a toy!
   Trolls, Trolls, and more Trolls, better hope you have some fire or acid. Annoying buggers that don't really die until one or the other is applied to them as they will just regenerate till healed. Luckily any moderately prepared party should have some flint and steel along with a torch or two so as long as they think of it once the trolls are down they should be able to keep them down.
   And to wrap this up the Whale. More specifically the Narwhal and not the Killer nor the Sperm Whale. This is because for some reason the Narwhal is a Lawful creature unlike the other two which are just Neutral. Of course further reading reveals that they are like the unicorns of the sea and are highly intelligent. Their horn is magic and it is rumored that if severed it will vibrate in the presence of chaotic or evilly intentioned creatures and even if the rumor is not true the horn is still valuable for the ivory.

This is the seventeenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th parts
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Elephant like creatures

   A number of things had happened when I was gone. First and most important is that we leveled up so I now have elasticity which lets me stretch a limb up to five times its normal dimensions so I can not attack up to five squares away from me. Of course the DM decided that does not mean I can have attacks of opportunity out to that far and so it was decided by the group that it was like Luffy's stretching ability.
   One of the players forgot his character sheet and decided instead of just remaking it he would be an entirely new character. So anyway the group was out and about on a planet and heard screams so we went to where they where coming from. It was a zoo and the "new" character was fighting some escaped elephant like creatures. The zoo's defense system helped us because otherwise we would have been dead as each of the creatures had three attacks of which the first two did something like 2d8 plus Strength. We managed to hold out fairly well though in the end we only killed three of the creatures when there had been like nine of them. Once all of the alive ones where paralyzed by the zoo defenses the handlers came out and took care of the rest. The new character what unconscious so we basically kidnapped him. This did not jive for the honorable samurai so we had a little inter-character drama. In the end though it all worked out.
    Also apparently we had found a ship on the planet and this had been the reason to go there in the first place. Yeah that was about the order I found out about it as well. Anyway long story short, we got some coords to a place outside of known space and used our ships superdrive to get there in about a day when it normally would have taken something like three months. On the only planet with intelligent creatures we found huminoids that looked nothing like any others we knew of and spoke a highly accented version of the Esper language. When we landed and met some locals they called the Espers in our group "Sky Gods". We ended with most of the group in a car we had for some reason driving towards the nearest city.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I just realized

   Even though I love video games I have hardly ever completed/finished any. In fact depending whether you count some of the pokemon games I don't even need my second hand to count them. A quick list of games I have won would be Pokemon Red/Blue, Pokemon Gold/Silver, Super Smash Brothers, Zelda: Links Awakening, and Metroid Fusion. I may have won Metriod 2: Return of Samus though I can't remember exactly and I am mostly sure that I completed all the scenarios in the original Roller Coast tycoon though I might have cheated to do that. I have also won a number of games by cheating so I could learn all of the story and of course there are games that I don't really count for this like Minesweeper. I have also near completed a good number of other pokemon games though I tended to stall out on the final few battles.
   Its not that I don't want to complete the games as I really would like to but more of I get distracted. I tend to get interested in something for between a week up to a month and play it almost obsessively in that time period but then something shiny will catch my attention and by the time I get back to wanting to play the game again it has been so long that I start over because I lost the feel for the story.  I have only ever managed to complete the Pokemon games because the story is similar enough that I have gotten to the point I can just pick up and play and the Metriod games got finished because I got stuck with them as my only game over a few vacations. Zelda on the other hand makes it into the list of games I completed because a friend had it and I wanted it so played the game whenever I could and when I finally got it for myself basically just stayed awake for an entire weekend just bashing my way through it.
   Also its not like I don't have a lot of games or anything. I own quite a few games over many different systems. I have almost every console from Nintendo and PlayStation except for PS3 and the SNES with games for all the ones I have except the NES. As for computer games I have a good selection of games from a number of different genres and across a good number of years and honestly with the internet I can play any game from almost any system if I really felt the need to. And Yet I Can Never Finish Any. I get halfway and suddenly I am not playing the game anymore, its quite annoying as I really would like to.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I found something else to sink my time into

   So I have once again been trapped in another blogs past. I found The CRPG Addict just yesterday the day before yesterday. I think it might have been from a link by another blog I follow but I don't really recall much as its where all my time has recently gone to.
   What the blog is about is a guy who is playing all CRPG's (as defined  by a few lists and the commentators on his blog) released for Dos or Windows in chronological order of year released. He posts about what game he is currently playing and when he finishes it he posts what he thinks of it including rating it by his own scoring system. This is basically the kind of stuff I could read for days (and have read for days) as it goes through all the stuff I wish I could put time aside for. Ironically for me despite my avid love of games I can't seem to ever really budget that many into my day so being able to read what they are like and seeing someones view of them is quite fun for me. Also the comments his posts get are half the fun so if you pop on over there I definitely advise you read them as well as the posts themselves. A thing to note as well is that he is playing roguelikes and because of how the tend to keep evolving he is playing them multiple times by major releases and has already played the first generation of Nethack along with an number of other more self contained roguelikes. Most impressive is that he (just before starting the blog sadly) beat Rogue.
   I am currently up to where he starts on Pool of Radiance which is a game I have fallen into quite a number of times. Speaking of falling into a game I will probably end up playing a few of them (like say Pool of Radiance) so I will either disappear for a bit or start posting about said games. He seems to have needed to take October off because of his job which seeing as the month is almost over I guess I found it at a good time.
   So yeah, good read if you like computer roleplaying games, especially the older ones, or if you happen to want to learn about the older games. Now I am back off to the archives to toil away till some ungodly hour when Sleep finally manages to sneak up behind me and apply some lumber love to the back of my head.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finally! Its mine, well and truly MINE!

   I got around to reformatting my "new" computer and putting a fresh install of XP Pro on it. Now it is truly mine. I have stuck my fingers around in its darkest corners and shone the light of reformatting across it all. Today is a good day. Now if only updating all the stuff and installing all the random programs I use was quicker...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Midterm and some thoughts on Reviews

   Well school will once again be interfering with my regular Monday post. As the title might clue you in on I have my one classes Midterm to do. I might have been able to squeeze out a sub-par post on LL but I don't want to post anything like that, especially since the next part to do is the Monsters.

   Anyway lets talk about reviews. Until my last review about the book "The New Death and others", all of them where just stuff that I had read or seen that I wanted to put up here. The closest I got to ever doing a negative review was for movies which if I saw it I reviewed it. This means that I have only ever done good reviews so this might make me seem like I give good reviews easily. I don't. I have always just reviewed stuff I felt moved to talk about. That is until now when I reviewed a book on the request of the author in exchange for a free copy of it. I never in a thousand years thought anything like this would happen so it took me by surprise but now that it has I am going to put out there what will happen if someone asks me to review something of theirs, whether a book, a new roguelike, or what have you. The rules are as follows:
  1. If they say they only want me to review it if I like it or something along the lines of requesting a "good" review I will flat-out refuse them and depending on the circumstance probably post about it.
Well that is pretty much it really. I you want me to review something I will review it truthfully so if I think it is lower then a pile of garbage I will say so, end of story. Now of course I don't expect people to beat a path to my door asking me to review their stuff, I don't really have that much of an audience but I may end up with similar requests of me as I had with The New Death and others. The computer is an amazing thing and I believe others in the same situation should take a similar approach for ebooks and stuff like that because it should not cost anything to give a pdf or what have you to a few bloggers in the right niche and even if only 10 people read my review thats 10 more people who have heard about the book for the cost of basically nothing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Frogs (though technicly toads)

   The party today acquired some more members but lost others. With the new people coming in bring the number of players up to five those of us that had two characters had to give up one of them and so I gave up the cleric and kept the warblade. As for what actually happened we fought more frogs. Lots and lots of frogs through the power of a messed up form of swarm rules. I have probably already explained this but basically the DM wanted us to fight hundreds of small frogs which is impractical so he just chucked them all together in groups of 25 and called it a day. Anyway we faced the final boss in the swamp area which was a giant frog. Technically as the title of this post suggests it was a toad. More properly a Dire Toad with advanced hit dices but the DM could not find any proper frog monsters for us to fight so used what was close enough. After some lucky rolls on the percentile for treasure we ended up with a ton of random magic stuff and a load of gold. Of course after such good events obviously the good times would continue so the people that captured us decided that they wanted us to stay in the swamp and try to find our way back to the town on our own with only a quick point in the correct direction to guide us. All is in the end forgiven though since we had enough XP to level up so next time we will be third level.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The New Death and Others

   This interesting collection of tales has just recently fallen into my grasp for free by way of the author, James Hutchings, who asked only that I review it here in exchange. As the fact that the only label for this post if "Review" some of you might have realized I actually mean to do so which probably shocks me more then any of you as I never expected anything like this to happen. Anyway on to the review itself!

   I absolutely enjoyed reading the book. There I said it, full stop, no more is needed...

   Oh, your still here? I guess I should really go into why enjoyed it, huh? First of all a good number of the stories contain twists that I did not expect. Now this may not seem such a surprise to you out there, "Oh no a surprise was surprising!" and all that but let me tell you something about myself. I read a lot. Not just a lot as in I read more then normal but as in one summer vacation I read three to four paperbacks a day, everyday till school started. It takes a bit of work to pull a surprise twist on me. While some of the stories are the generic twist in a can there are a decent number of stories that do surprise me and this was the quite the novelty.
   Another thing I liked about the collection was how it wove humor and horror together. Many of the stories contained within poke fun at a great number of things in a way that I enjoy and yet there are stories that raise the hair on my neck. Not that surprising in a book where part of the description is "Death gets a roommate" and one of the sample stories you can read for free is based off of one of Lovecraft's stories. The important thing though is that they mix well. There are a few bumps in the flow here and there but whether on purpose or not the stories have an overall flow and the funny moments leads to fear in such a delectable way. A quick note about the humor though, I am using the word "humor" as a broad description to cover not only the normal run of the mill types but puns and satire as well, you have been warned.
   A final thing I have to say about it is that you get a lot. The book contains 44 short stories and 19 poems. It contains more quality work then most story collections books could ever hope of glimpsing. I even enjoyed the poems which I tend not to though that may just be a symptom of most poems that I have had to read in the past where for school but whatever. Now I won't try claiming every story contained is a jewel as they are not and some of the short stories are more short then they are story but enough of the the book was worth it that I was able to enjoy myself all the way through. You can get the book for the Kindle at Amazon and in a number of other formats as well as read samples from it at Smashwords.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 16, pages 61 to 62

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the sixteenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th parts

Monster Stuff

   Before I actually get into all the monsters included in the book I will be going over some important bits about them. A good number of things of course are the same like AC but a few are changed a bit and some things about a monster are completely new.
    Of the things changed the ability that changes the most yet the least is Saves. Basically every monster just has a class abbreviation and a number representing the level of that class that it saves at. Alignment, AC, and Movement are the same as for a PC. A couple of new things are added such Number Encountered which just means how many are found in a group when encountered by the PCs, Hoard Class which is what treasure you will find with them, A Morale score which I have already gone over, and XP which is how much experience you get when you defeat it.
   One thing to note is that the Hit Dice for all monsters is D8 so the monster entries will only have a number. For instance a Giant Ant has 4 hit dice so you would roll 4d8 to determine HP.

Damage Types

   There are a number different types of damage that an attack can do. Here is a quick list of the types:
Acid - once it hits it keeps hitting though it can be rinsed off, also an exception is given for black dragons
Charge - the creature using this must move atleast 20' and a braced attack such as a spear will do double against the charger
Charm - makes the target do what the user wants barring damage themselves and the charmed person is confused so can't use spells or magic devices.
Continuing Damage - as read
Dive - a type of attack a flier can use
Energy Drain - reversible by restoration and has no saving throws
Paralysis - generally 2d4 rounds of paralysation
Poison - Save or Die
Swallow Attack - a big enough creature can swallow you whole, go figure
Trample - a way for creatures to do damage by throwing its weight around

This is the sixteenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th parts
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More thoughts about my ability score system

   While the three abilities each with two sub-abilities will work fine for a computer game I don't think that it would work that well for the main system of a table top game. The three main stats though have a good bit of potential and I know there are three stat systems already which probably match up decently with what I have. Now as an "optional" feature I believe it would work just fine. Not that I plan on making an actual table top roleplaying game out of my system at the moment anyway but it is still an interesting thought excersice while I get my "new" computer reformated and go through the process of getting everything like I want it.
   There is one important thing I have been thinking about with the abilities scores though. How much is each point worth in-game? I could take the D&D approuch with 10 being average and every two above that is an extra plus one to its modifier but that just makes uneven scores boring and unworth it. I also have this desire at the back of my head to keep numbers small. I don't want end game to desolve into a completely predictable game where you can't die but I also don't want the danger to be all about the monsters having a bigger bonus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So my computer died

   Really the title says it all. My computer has kicked the bucket and it won't be comming back. Good news is that I did not lose anything important because after my laptop broke I decided to keep anything important on thumb drives and such. I also figured out why everything was so slow on it, apperently it was 11 years old.
   Luckily my dad still his old computer so I get to use that. While the computer is just as old it was special ordered and top of the line while mine had been the generic so it runs better then my dead one. I won't actually be able to use it for anything important till after tommorow as it is full of viruses and such so I need to reformat. I will be upgrading it from regular XP to XP Pro because I can get a copy free from my college which is handy.
   Overall it was not much of a shock as it has been threatening to die for a while now. I am sad because it has been my computer for the last 11 years and all but an upgrade even if not that big of one is a nice step up. My dad also plans to get me a new desktop for Christmas/Birthday so only a few more months and I can get something from this decade.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 15, pages 50 to 60

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the fifteenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th parts

Encounters: The Basics

   Finally the part where it all comes together and you fight something. But first lets talk about the basics shall we?
   Time in a encounter is measured in rounds. There is 10 seconds in around and so six rounds in a minute and 60 rounds in a turn. The turn is the speed in which you are exploring the dungeon doing the normal adventure type things like searching for treasure and not finding the obvious pit trap. Of course during all this crashing around the DM may check if any wondering monsters happen by. If one does it starts a number of feet away from you decided by a random roll and then check if the monster is surprised. Then the DM rolls for the monsters reaction and the party gets to decide what they want to do about it such as running like chickens, attacking and dieing, or the negotiating the rest of the parties passageway in trade for the succulent halfing.
   There is also mention of how to get lost in the wild. The fact that monster HD will tend to mean its around that level of the dungeon and how to find out your party was surprised by that horde of goblins. Also of note is that initiative is rolled as a team and on a d6 so your Dexterity means nothing (unless you use the optional rules for individual initiative but honestly past a small fight it just gets insane to keep track of the numbers).

Monsters and Movement

   Now if you had stopped reading after the first part you will probably make the same mistake a good number of people do when they see the monster reaction table. Most monster by the rules should just attack, its only sometimes when the DM feels it warrants it do you roll on the reaction table. A gelatinous cube doesn't  get to be friendly and helpful, it should just be straight to the combat. Maybe a mention of this in the overview that the books gives would be a good thing because even the words "for some" would add a good degree of clarity.
   Anyway onto how you move. In turn based exploration mode you move you speed and then in combat you can only move a third. The turn based speed is comparably slower because it represents the group not just walking along but also checking out stuff and mapping as they go. You can run at your full speed during combat but only for 30 rounds and then afterwards you need to rest for 3 turns and if you don't you suffer -2 to damage and to hit until you can.
   An interesting option you can do is a chase such as when a monster decides to flee or the more likely situation where the party is running away. If the ones being chased are faster they win. When a monster is chasing the party if the party can get out of its line of sight they win. There are also a few neat options for if the monster likes treasure or is hungry where you can throw what you want behind you and there is a chance they don't follow you because they got distracted by the shinnies. A note for DMs, though you can't force the party to stop chasing the monster if it is intelligent it may be able to escape by throwing treasure as well, this is even more effective if you hint that the treasure may not be there when they get back from chasing the current monster because something will probably take it.
   In the wilderness chases work slightly different in that you have a lot of percentage modifiers and such to see if the group being chased gets away though if one group is surprised the other can automatically make a run for it and succeed.

The Fight

   There is a nice little number list for how a combat round is supposed to go. Of course its a simple thing and as long as you understand that you have to declare what you plan to do before anyone does anything and that you move then magic then combat you should be fine. The basic system but it works well for what it is supposed to do.
   Some things of interest about the combat. First of all you can choose to move again during the combat step instead of attack though there are some rules to this. If you only move at half your move your fine and it is called a fighting retreat but if you move more then that opponents attacking you get +2 to hit and your shield does not count for your AC. Also if you are attacked from behind you do not get your shield bonus either.
   The combat system itself is the good old D20 plus bonus to hit and see if you match the opponents AC. Nothing that new but thats what I wanted anyway. The book also has some rules for aerial combat most of which besides the special fliers only swooping attack is common sense stuff though I guess that just makes it that bit more important. All weapons deal 1d6 unless you use variable weapon damages and 0 HP or less equals dead. That HP thing is important though and should be told specifically to anyone coming from newer versions as I have had everything from -10 is actually being dead all the way to negative your max HP so being dead at what would only be unconscious will probably shock a few players.
   There is stats for oil and holy water which each do 1d8 if you fulfill the conditions for them and interestingly enough you can throw them both farther then a dagger. I guess it makes sense in that you need the dagger to hit correctly and you only need the two to hit and shatter. Also another thing about oil, even though I don't find it in the book a barrel of oil will not do umpteen D8's of damage. Yes I know it has a great number of flasks worth of oil in it and sure you 18 Strength Fighter can probably throw it a distance but an oil fire only burns so hot and that is where the damage comes from. Maybe it can burn longer or spread out more but that is all.

Saves and Checks

   Various kinds of saving throws but really all you need to remember is that you need to either match or beat a score that depends on your class and level. There are three optional rules in this part though so lets check them out.
   First up is Item Saving Throws which basically decides how much of your magical gears just got fried by that fireball. It assumes already of course that your regular non-magical gear was fried so I would stay away from it unless your group is mature enough to handle their PC's being naked except for a few magical odds and ends and that they won't mind that the evil wizard they just dropped fireball on won't have any loot on him.
   Next is ability checks which I will dismiss out of hand. If you actually care to use them though its just roll under or equal to the stat you are using plus any modifiers for difficulty.
   The last one which I do like is the Morale check, or the "no goblins aren't that stupid" rule. The check itself is 2d6 and meet or beat the monsters morale which can be from 2 to 12 though a score of 2 will never fight unless cornered and a score of 12 will never run. The check is done when the monsters lose a member the first time and when they are down to half their original group size. You may end up adding a few more times but be careful you don't add to many or your monsters will be running all the time.

Wrapping Up

   There is a big section on combat at sea including all kinds of ships and the menuavers they can do. It is all very nice and even includes and example encounter but to really give it justice I would have to end up copying and pasting it here. Quick rundown though shouldn't hurt. Twelve different ships listed, The conditions of the sea and how they affect you, Chases at sea, Catapult, Ramming, and Boarding other Vessels.
   Another thing is the last few pages have charts for the character attack for all classes and levels including a zero level human and a chart for monster attacks as well.

This is the fifteenth part of a series, here are the links to the 1st, 2nd,
3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th parts
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thoughts on a combat system for my roguelike

   First things first, this will not be the "complete" system. I need more time to think about it and until code hits the debug step I don't want to be to attached to something that may have to change. Anyway as I mentioned previously I want my system to be somewhat like how BESM d20 does it. In its system not only do you roll to attack but also roll to defend so instead of a static defense you have a bonus to defense that you add to a d20 roll trying to beat the opponents d20 roll and their bonus to hit. Another quirk is that armor instead of adding to defense adds to DR. I do have a slight problem with how DR normally works but the DM for my BESM d20 campaign has an interesting fix that I think I will use.
   The defense roll is a little to random for what I want though. Also one of the few ways to increase it is though Dexterity bonus. The Dex bonus though goes away if you catch them flatfooted and is reduced by heavy armor so it is easy to get around. My idea is that instead of a D20 what you normally roll will be a D10 plus 10 and when you are flatfooted you get to keep your defense bonus but have to use a D20 roll. This almost fits exactly what I want except that the lower limit is 11 and I would prefer 10 so for the roguelike, since I am not limited by physical dice I will probably either use 10 plus a random number from 0 to 10 or 9 plus a random number from 1 to 11. I don't think either way makes much difference in the end so whichever works better in code will probably be what is used.
   As for armor as DR as far as I am concerned it makes more sense in the combat system I want. For the original D&D system where each combat round was a minute representing pitched battle it works because then the armor is counted as having blocked the attack a number of times in the defense. The problems with it for me come about when you get into the current understanding of such systems where a round of combat is a single attack or possibly a short series of attacks if your really good. In such a system yes adding to the AC could mean its helping defend the player by taking hits but when you also add your Dexterity it starts to lose meaning and become more of a number. When used as DR though it is clear in how armor works. The armor is taking a hit for you and the amount of damage it saves you from taking is right there in black and white. There is a problem with DR though.
   DR as is means that beyond a certain point nothing but a few things can hurt you and anything that specializes in many weak attacks over one strong attack, no matter how many, could end up doing nothing to you. The fix that my DM uses is that if the attack would deal more then half your DR rounded up you still take a point of damage. This could represent many things in combat such as the tip of the tip of a dagger getting through a ring in your chain mail or any other similar thing. Low level enemies will still probably end up having most of their attacks completely ignored but someone at your level will still be able to hit you for damage. This feels right to me though I may tweak the final outcome like having it be two thirds instead of a half so that the game balances like I want it. After all I don't want to punish someone who boosts their DR to insane amounts but on the other hand I don't want to make it a cake walk for them.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

More on my ability score setup I want for my Roguelike

   I have decided that the names I had last post are what I want to call them so again here they are:

Physical Prowess
Natural Agility
Mental Ability

   Now for the hard part. I wanted to make each stat actually matter even if you a Fighter who never learns a spell or a Magic User who never picks up a weapon. Some of the stats of course where easier then others but all of them needed some work and will need work once I have the actual combat system worked out.
   First the physical abilities. The main ability of Physical Prowess will determine how good you are at Fortitude saves. Strength will be how much extra damage your melee attacks do and how much weight you can carry. Finally Toughness will be how many bonus hitpoints you get each level and also the amount of natural DR you have.
   Next is the dexterity type abilities. Natural Agility will be for Reflex saves. How Nimble you are will determine your speed and how well you dodge attacks. The last ability, Aim, will be how well you can hit stuff, whether it be a melee, ranged, or magical attack.
   Now for the last category of abilities, the ones that deal with the mind. Mental ability as I am sure will be no surprise, represents you willpower save. Intelligence will determine how many spells you can cast and how efficiently you cast them as well as your ability to use magical devices and scrolls. Wisdom gets to represent how much mana you have and how powerful your spells are as well as your ability to identify things like swords and scrolls through use.

   The main stats represents the three saves from D&D because they are the natural ability of the character. They don't go up that often and are the basic building blocks of a characters body and mind. The physical sub-abilities where overall easiest to figure out as they where mostly self explanatory anyway. Next hardest to figure was the dexterity sub-abilities though mostly because of indecision on Aim. I took a while flip flopping between how many of the attack types it would affect. After all in D&D Dexterity only normally affects your ranged attacks. In the end though I decided to make it cover the whole field of options. The last category was the hardest to figure out yet easiest to decide on. The parts for spellcasting where mostly already decided but I wanted to make the abilities useful even if your not a caster. In the end the fact I wanted all characters to be able to identify stuff in muchly the same way ended up making it easier for me and once I thought of attaching wisdom to identifying it fell into place. As for the spell side of things that had mostly already been thought out in the past by me so while it probably took the least amount of time it also took the most. Intelligence gets to be how well you can get more spells and how efficiently you can use them and to counter that Wisdom gets to show how much mana you have to cast spells and how powerful they are. They balance against each-other and yet appear that they could stand on their own. You could technically focus on Intelligence and learn a whole lot of spells that you can cast for deceptively small amounts of mana but because you don't have much Wisdom you won't have much mana to use for them and what spells you have will be less affective. On the other side if you focus on Wisdom then you will have a deceptively large amount of mana and what spells you know will be godlike but because you lack intelligence your spells will cost a lot so your mana won't go as far and while the spells may be affective you will not always have the right spell for the job and honestly what good is a godly fireball if your fighting a fire elemental?

   One more thing I would like to say before I finish this post is that I plan to use a combat system that is closer to how BESM d20 does it as I like the defense rolls and armor as DR that it has though in a live game the defense rolls are a little clunky, especially when you fight a hoard of little creatures. I think though that in a computer game (like say a Roguelike) where it is all automated that I can make a similar style of system shine.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thinking about what ability score setup I want for my roguelike

   I technically could just use the standard six of Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. It is the generic system for any thing based off of D&D which anything roleplaying generally is but it has some weaknesses, especially for a computer based game.
   Lately in the back of my mind I have been tossing around a three ability system with sub-stats. Each main ability would have two stats that come from it in a way similar to how AD&D 2nd edition player options (skills and powers) book let you split abilities. A good example of it is that Dexterity has the sub-abilities of Aim and Balance so after you have your Dexterity you can change those so that you could have a clumsy ranger that can hit anything. Before this if you wanted to hit anything you also had to be able to balance on anything. Of course with six abilities each having two sub-abilities you end up with the possibility of having 18 different abilities to track. I will admit though that breaking up Charisma into Leadership and Appearance is nice for IRL roleplaying games. Of course there is a limit on how big of a difference you can have between the two sub-abilities (4) and they do have a minimum of 3 and max of 18(barring strength) but that is mostly to reign in people from making their characters the ugliest hags on the planet just so they can rule the planet.
   For my system I don't know quite how much of a difference I will allow but for now I will just use 4. The three base abilities themselves will be something for overall strength and toughness, something for the overall ability to move and your manual dexterity, and finally something for your overall mental ability. I am quite tempted to name them mostly after abilities already around like having the physical one be Strength but that does not quite fit as it will also be representing toughness and the preconceived notions that people will bring to my game could cause confusion. My current names for the main abilities and their sub-abilities are as follows:

Physical Prowess
Natural Agility
Mental Ability

I do use a few abilities names that are already common but only where it does basically what it does in other systems so it does not matter in those cases. I did try to come up with other names for them but in the end the ones I used just described what I wanted to say the clearest.
   One of the things I plan to do with this setup is that I can make the base three abilities hard to raise permanently and have the only dependable way is through level up which fits my plan of starting with only three classes available.
   As for what they do I have a rough outline in my head and will post about it later once I have it nailed down some more.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


   Steve Jobs is dead. I honestly feel sad about this. My condolences go out to those close to him.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Labyrinth Lord Cover to Cover: Part 14, pages 46 to 49

For this series of posts I will be using the free PDF of the 
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games
This is the fourteenth part of a series, here are the links to the
1st, 2nd, 3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th parts

Losing Your Way

   Handy little chart showing the chances of the group getting lost. The start of this useful little piece is actually on the previous page but whatever. It gives little tips like how the group probably won't know they lost their way. Traveling from here to there in most games tend to be equated not distance but instead in encounters so getting your group of adventurers well and truly lost could be a nice spin on things
   A little farther down there are rules for foraging and hunting which will be useful for the lost group, especially if no one thought to buy rations. Foraging can be done while traveling and once a day if a roll of a 1d6 results in a 1 then they found enough food for 1d6 human sized beings. Hunting is almost like foraging except its all you can do in the day and succeeds with a result of 1 or 2.

Moving About

   In with the rules on how to get lost there are also rules on the various methods you can move around to facilitate getting lost. For instance you can climb though only a Thief can climb really steep inclines and such. Swimming is another thing and all characters are assumed to be able to swim though depending on how much junk your carrying you have a chance to just up and drown. Basically don't swim unless you have to but if you do have to its there for you.
   Next it gives the rules for if you are traveling by flight. Mostly just telling you double the move distance you travel which is probably to make up for the fact that you are flying directly in the direction you want to go and not following roads and what have you on the ground. There is also mention of water travel though its just a not pointing you to the page it is actually on.

Retainers and Others

   Finally is how to hire people your group can get lost with because misery loves company. Basically retainers are NPCs that do what you want as long as you pay them and its not something they don't want to do. There is a little reaction table to decide if the hireling agrees to what ever the players decide to pay them. Now you can't just have a few hundred of the little guys. There is a limit that depends on your Charisma score and the PCs must be of equal or higher level. They also want half a share of what you find so they have gone a little bit out of style in more modern style D&D games.
   You can also hire Specialists and Mercenaries. These are people who don't follow you into the dungeon, the Specialists are hired for something specific generally like a Sage to research something for you, and the Mercenaries will follow you around in the wilderness and guard your stuff while your in the dungeon but they won't actually do any real adventuring. Useful people all around except in dungeons as they won't go there.

   Also at the end of the last page in the section there is a bit about how to award experience. Simple stuff with how much to award for a monster by it's HD and the fact that the characters get XP from the gold they bring back to the surface. Nothing to shocking here though it does have that thing where you can't gain more then a single level in a single adventure. Not anything new though I have never run up against it.

This is the fourteenth part of a series, here are the links to the
1st, 2nd, 3rd,  4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th parts
Labyrinth Lord rules that can be found Here at Goblinoid Games

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Prosperous Shesheme

The Prosperous Shesheme
   That is the name of  the groups spaceship. It is a high tech wounder created to assist my group in finding out why every X number of years all of civilization gets thrown back to the stone age like clockwork. Basicly a play on MtG's Alara except with each shard being a planet plus earth. Now the name of the ship may make more sense to you if I tell you we disguised it as a traveling restaurant but that would be a false sense of reason as we just threw together that cover story a bit after we had already named the ship.
   It took our group a while to name the ship and speaking of my group we grew a bit. A girl the DM knew joined us and some random guy who happened to be in the card shop on Wednesday joined as well then today the one guy who was not able to make it suddenly showed up and had time to make a character. So yeah, the group for BESM has 6 people and we may have 5 or 4 for 3.5 now depending on the guy from the past and whether he can keep coming all the time.
   Anyway as for the BESM game not much happened except for killing some space pirates because we spent at least half the session in what can only be called a unending bout of laughter brought on by the most intensive anime nerdery. Basically it was tons of fun and I would have honestly been okay with it even if we had not gotten any gaming done.