Saturday, November 28, 2009

Savage Worlds Tricks Fast Fix

While I talked about fixing Savage Worlds Tricks a lot in this blog, I realized that maybe it is not even necessary, if the GM gives out a bennie for every well described trick. My problem with tricks: while they are a great first step to promote unusual combat actions by players - much better than in all older RPGs I know - they still have the problem, that I normal attack can explode ad infinitum and tricks can't.
If the GM gave out a bennie for every well described trick, maybe even if it failed, that would beat the exploding damage of normal attacks.
As a player that would be a great incentive for me. Most of my Savage Worlds GMs weren't that generous though.

Kill'em and take their theory!

Last week (Saturday, the 21st of November) I held a lecture on RPGs and RPG theory in Vienna in the MQ in the Quartier für digitale Kultur.

I chose the name Kill'em and take their theory! - RPG-Theorie zwischen Schwert und Method Acting
I had a lot of fun doing it, and in the end the 90 to 120 minutes seemed to be nearly too short.

I also showed some videos. Here are the links:

The Gamers - Clip I showed

D&D 80ies Commercial

Dark Dungeons

Friday, November 6, 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) RPG & Other Strangeness! Do you remember?

I just stumbled upon the Terror Bears in the internet. If you ever player the old Palladium Books Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness RPG you will be amazed to find the great old art by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird all up on the internet. This is an amazing place for TMNT art!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hertie: Toadling Sidekick Sorcerer

Hertie before being before turned into a toadling

Agility d4

Smarts d8
Spirit d4
Strength d4
Vigor d10

Charisma -2
Pace 4"+d4
Parry 4
Toughness 7

Fighting (ag) d4
Guts (sp) d4

Healing (sm) d4
Investigation (sm) d4
Notice (sm) d4
Persuasion (sp) d4

Spellcasting (sm) d8
Stealth (ag) d4

Survival (sm) d4
Swimming (ag) d4
Taunt (sm) d4
Throwing (ag) d4
Tracking (sm) d4

Arcane Background: Magic (Alchemy)

(+ twice New Power)

Ugly (min)

Lame (maj)? too thin legs -Jumping??
Obese (min)

Bolt (Trapping: Transformation Curse: turns enemies into pigs)
Boost/Lower Trait (Trapping: Curse)
Armor OR Deflection? (Trapping: Air Warts) OR Burrow (Trapping: Jump)

Succor (From Fantasy Companion)
Wall Walker (From Fantasy Companion)

Cauldron and giant spoon

Note: Toadlings have the same racial features as humans.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Primordaea - The Beginning of Time

It has been quite quiet here lately. The reason for this is that I concentrated to work on my German language Savage Worlds setting "Primordäa - Anbeginn der Zeit". I hope to translate it to English as soon as the first German version is ready to be published.

Actually one version is already available as can see if you follow the link above. It is a 15 page document plus a map - obviously in German. I took part in a German language Savage Setting contest, but did not win anything. Still I got a lot of good reactions and want to go on workingon the setting.

What it is about?

The player characters are the first humanoid beings on a world that slowly cools down from pure magma and starts to carry life. They and their NPC siblings were created by accident by the elemental hearts, forces of nature. By the power of the WORD the PCs and the other children of the elementals can create life. Soon they will lead their tribes and fight with their sisters and brother for the virgin continent Primordaea. But there is also this mysterious force called life that spreads around the world in the form of algae and worms. Who will decide now on the fate of Primordaea for the eons to come?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Savage Worlds Tricks Deluxe

I talked about Spirit Tricks (and Strength Tricks) in an earlier post. The plan was to get rid of the Taunt and Intimidate skills and allow Spirit Tricks instead. (I would also get rid of Tracking by the way...)

The player could choose of the effect of a Trick should be that of a Trick according to the rulebook or that of a Test of Wills. I would also add the 3rd option to move the opponent 1" in a desired direction (and shake him at the same time on a raise).

One additional option is was considering to give the Trick an area effect on additional raises. At the moment if you go for a simple damage roll, you can always explode your dice and have extreme success. If you go for a trick that is not possible and this stops players from tricks sometimes.
So if you have 2 raises on your Trick roll from the opponents, you give a nonraise trick result to any opponent on a medium burst template centered on the original enemy. 3 raises make this a large burst template and 4 raises finally give a result with a raise in a large burst template.
Obviously this rules have to worked on a little. Otherwise it would make sense to always attack the weakest opponent to trick the strong guy standing next to him.
I assume it would make most sense for the character doing a secons Trick roll and have all opponents in that area roll against this result to see how well they fared. (Comparable to how Sweep is handled.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dragonborn in humancentric campaigns

While I love dragonlike humanoids like the Draconians, I never liked the Dragonborn that much. They are just not snakelike enough for me. I like me dragonmen to feel wriggling and Dragonborn are just too brawny for that (and missing the tail...).
That went so far that I reskinned a potential Warlord character I wanted to play from Dragonborn to apeman - basically the same stats, but he would be a big gorilla creature that probably would have used volley of attacks or a magical helmet instead of a breath weapon.

Another thing with dragonborn is that is hard to retrofit them in campaing settings, that try to feature everyday low fantasy life. But I finally found a way to integrate them in a setting like this and provide some campaign hooks at the same time.

Dragonborn are used by humans as warbeasts and in arena fighting. Who would even come up with the idea that such a creature could be intelligent? There are loved (and treated) like dogs and well respected.
"How come they never talk?", you ask? Every kid knows that you have to cut out a Dragonborns tongue right after birth, otherwise it would hurt itself with its breath weapon - or there could even a demon get inside its head and make it speak in tongues. Only heartless people would let that happen to those noble animals. So better cut out the tongue right away! You also have to keep Dragonborns seperated from each other when they are young, otherwise they will get stubborn and are no use.
For a Dragonborn to develop well take it away from its mother right after birth! (Or you could say that they crawl out of eggs, but that would make their mothers' breast kind of silly ;))
Obviously when someone is raised as an animal, that person also does not turn out very bright. So the intelligence of Dragonborn is a selfullfilling prophecy. And even the very bright are hard to be seen as humanlike, because they don't talk.

In such a setting a dragonborn player character could be someone who was raised by someone who would not cut off its tongue and adopt it as a real person - raising it with affection. That person would probably not be a dragonborn though. Maybe a highway man who hides in the wild or a nobel lady in a far off barony who does not like the presence of 'real' people.
For players who like a roleplaying challenge, a character who got his tongue cut out would be an option as well. You don't talk, but have to show in a different way that you understand. Maybe a tongueless dragonborn could be really played like a very bright dog. Definitely worth a try!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monster Manual Plot Hooks 2

I continue here ideas for low level monster encounters. You can also go to my original Monster Manual Plot Hooks.

Bullywug (MM2: p.28)
In a small village inn the player characters encounter a pretty, dressed up girl that is flirting with them. She tries really hard to pick them up and maybe even breaks down if not having success. She was sent by the elders of a starving fishing hamlet near a swamp to "buy" some heroes. The inhabitants have no money at all and not even food since bullywugs moved in the swamp and make the animals turn away.
The elders are willing to give the girl to the heroes "as present" and are quite open about it, if they are able to slay the bullywugs. (The local knight was sent off to fight in the civil war (see under Orcs in the post)).
The swamp screams from the strange aura of the bullywug and fish for example jumped on land and died there. The bullywugs established this small settlement, when they had to flee the pirate ship of Charyptoroth (Aventuria demon) they were serving on.
Maybe the tell of their former captain (not a bullywug, maybe a Warlock) who could become a reoccuring character.
The girl begs the heroes to marry her and take her along, as she would have no future in the hamlet even now that it is saved.

Goblins (MM: p.135; MM2: p.130)
Goblins are also inhabitants of the Feywild (see Manual of the Planes, p.40). They use fey crossings to enter the human world and sneak straight into buildings, stealing food and abducting animals and children. Imagine them more like the kobolds from the German folklore: sneaky bastards, that love to laugh about mischief and pranks they do. Some of them probably even are servants of bored Eladrin that don't feel compasion for humans.

Human (MM: p.162; MM2:144)
Especially Human Rabble, Bandits and Guards are the standard enemies in all campaigns. There are different human factions and they are fighting each other most of the time. Whereever the PCs go, they have to decide which side they are on and every of this decisions makes them enemies.
Human Mages (MM: p.163) are also a common thread, as they love to settle in dungeons and use Humunculi (MM2: P.143).
Human Nobles (MM2: P.148) are known for their arrogance and while they are just a tad too dangerous for Level 1 PCs, it is really hard not want to attack them sometimes...
Especially the civil war gives many reasons to fight humans.

Infernal Armor Animus (Minion Devil) (MM2: p.66)
Another fantasy classic, especially in European youth books. Their powers help other demons but for a low level party they are mostly impressive opponents without too much power.

Rat (MM: p.219)
Giant Rats, Rat Swarms and even Dire Rats are annoying critters that live in the sewers. Wererats and goblins sometimes send them in battle. And we did not even talk yet about rat kings and fairy tale rat catchers...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Free Dungeon Tiles RPG Tabletop Maps

Here you will soon find a list of free dungeon tiles and RPG and tabletop war game maps for games like D&D and Savage Worlds.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dungeons & Dragons Boardgame to 4th Edition

Over the weekend I have the chance playing D&D with my brothers. I use the stuff contained in Hasbro's 2003 D&D boardgame.
I did not bring any of my books, but with the quick start rules and internet access to the Compedium that is no problem.
I created the player characters with the character builder program.
There are plenty of miniatures of monsters as well. I list them here to create tactical interesting monster groups covering all roles. Some creatures are too high level for my purpose (Level 1 player characters), so I will change what they represent. Actually no problem at all because the ogre miniatures are for example much smaller as they are supposed to be.

5 goblins
6 skeletons
4 bugbears (=hobgoblins?)
3 jellys/ slimes
4 ogres (=orcs?)
5 gnolls
3 trolls
2 carrion crawlers (=fire beetles/guard drakes )
2 ghouls
3 wraiths
1 lich

EL1: 2 Goblin Warriors, 2 Fire Beetles, Goblin Blackblade
EL3: Hobgoblin Warcaster, 2 Hobgoblin Guards, 2 Skeletons
EL3: 2 Goblin Sharpshooters, 4 Goblin Warriors, 4 Goblin Cutters
EL4: 4 Phantom Warriors, Specter
EL4: 2 Cavern Chokers, 3 Hobgoblin Soldiers, Hobgoblin Warcaster

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monster Manual Plot Hooks

There is not a lot of description to the monster in the Monster Manual, but enough for a number of campaigns.

I will start noting down some ideas for low level characters.

Elves (MM1: p.106, Encounter Level 2)
The player characters have to cross a wood and are ambushed by elves that got enough of armed humans (etc.) crossing their territory. After all the civil war in the human lands creates ambiguity for them and they don't really see a difference between the factions. All are cruel, armed and therefore evil.

Fell Taint (MM2: p.104, Encounter Level 1)
The player characters are hired by an old astronomer (a starlock?) to accompany him to a mountain observatory. Once he starts his work there Fell Taint start to appear. What looks like an act of evil is actually an accident.
Variant: They are hired by 2 astronomers, a young brother and sister couple. Both of the two plans to see when the stars are right(TM). But they don't know about the fact that the other one turned starlock as well. When the PCs think they have figured out who the evil one is, the other one turns even more dangerous and lets his/her mask fall.
You get much more info and stats for Fell Taints in this article from Dragon Magazine 376.

Gnome (MM1: p.134, Encounter Level 3)
RRRoar! They are interesting because of their connection to the Feywild.

Halfling (MM1: p.152, 2x Encounter Level 2)
Every cliche of gypsies that travel around and have drakes (MM1: p.90) instead of chicken and horses. Offering to sell their kids to heroes for a few silver coins?

Homunculus (MM1: p. 156, MM2: p.143)
These creations make good encounters because they can be in the service of nearly every lowlevel mage or sage. Especially the stationary ones from MM2 seem to be interesting.

Orc (MM1: P.203)
An orc seems to be an amazing thread to a first level party. He is supposed to be just an orc but he can appear as something exotic and dangerous in a human countryside environment. I imagine him as leader of human mercenaries in a rural human civil warish area. (Could be that his stats are not fun to fight though, because of high AC for example. I have to check that out.) Maybe it is two orc brothers leading the bandits.
This mercenaries are probably the only hope for a human village, that otherwise gets run over by the enemy forces, but they are barbaric and cruel and earlier or later would get lynched if they were not so strong. And if they get killed some more orks will want to have revenge. Could be that the main army of the orcs arrives and they find their (littel) brothers dead.

Skeleton (MM1: p.234, MM2: P.183)
Undead cavalary (Skeletal Steed, MM2: P.183, Lvl. 3) is for sure some of the most impressive enemies low level characters can face. They seem to be especially to handy, to ride in a small village and scare the shit out of the denizens.
Maybe spice them up with a few Decrepit skeleton minions (MM1: P.234) and if you want to be really mean, a Blazing Skeleton (ibd.).

Wererat (MM1: p.180, Encounter Level 4)
This the perfect low level city gang encounter - spiced up by the transformation of some bandits at a crucial moment.

Here you find part 2 of the Monster Manual Plot Hooks.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Savage Worlds Toys: Plush, Power and Plunder

I created the adventure "Hospital" for Plüsch, Power und Plunder - the plush animal RPG, but did not run it yet. Due to popular demand this will change soon. But as I don't feel too comfortable with the system - the chances for success are really low for spoiled contemporary gamers and there is no way I would learn the baroque magic and martial art rules for a single session - I decided to transfer it to Savage Worlds.
Actually the over the top action in Savage World seems to be a good fit for the physics that the living toys follow.
Even the though the "Hospital" should feel quite gothic, this seems to make the one shot much easier for me to run.

In the following post you will find the necessary conversions:

Skills and Edges:

Rolling* Edge

Ventriloquism ?
Persuasion Skill
Berserk Edge
Chemistry ?
Electronics ?
Drive Toy Vehicles Skill
Trap Building Skill
Dexterity (Finger stuff) ?
Fly* Edge (2?)
Language, Additional ?
Bouncing Ball* Edge
Growing Hair (and loosing it)* Edge
Hacking Skill
Healing 1/PlushP; 5
Jump High Skill?
Hypnosis Edge
Detachable Eye* Edge
Mechanics ?
Knowledge of Human Nature Skill?
Night Vision Edge
Robbing Plushdurance* ?
Ride Animal Skill
Acting -?
Stealth Skill
Pick Locks Skill
Fine Arts Edge?
Reading (automatic with IQ 8+) Not Auto?
Skateboarding Skill (Drive)
Swim Skill
Ropes - (rope monkey?)
Jump: Landing and Wide J. Skill?
Tracking Skill
Pole Jumping Skill?
Camouflage Skill?
Climb Stairs Clim Skill?
Open Doors Skill (Str)


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Twitter Support

My twitter account is suspended since 10 days. Only today - at my third try - it seems I was able to navigate to the proper place to post my complain:

Is this Cyberpunk now?

D&D4 Aventuria: Sacrileges are fun

I decided just to kitchensink everything D&D4 has to offer (including the unaltered rule system) into the Dark Eye campaing setting of Aventuria. This will create lots of fun: normally Aventuria has no halflings for example. I will just decide that the travelling (human) merchants there - the Norbarden - were cursed into this smaller form centuries ago.

First thing to do, is to contextualise the low level encounters from the Monster Manual for Aventuria.

EL1: 2 Fire Beetles, Kobold Slinger, 2 Kobold Skirmisher
EL1: 2 Goblin Warriors, 2 Fire Beetles, Goblin Blackblade
EL1: 2 Kobold Skirmishers, 2 Fire Beetles, Stirge
EL1: 2 Stormclaw Scorpions, 2 Kobold Skirmishers, Kobold Slinger
EL1: 2 Kobold Slingers, 8 Kobold Minions, Stormclaw Scorpion

EL2: 2 Guard Drakes, 2 Elf Archers, Elf Scout
EL2: 2 Elf Archers, Elf Scout, 2 Gray Wolves
EL2: 2 Halfling Slingers, 2 Halfling Thieves, 2 Guard Drakes
EL2: 4 Halfling Scouts, Halfling Thief, 2 Guard Drakes, Needlefang Drake Swarm
EL2: 2 Kobold Slingers, 4 Kobold Minions, 2 Dire Rats, Rat Swarm

EL3: Young White Dragon
EL3: Ochre Jelly, 3 Orc Raiders
EL3: 2 Shadowhunter Bats, Goblin Hexer, 2 Goblin Skullcleavers
EL3: Doppelganger Sneak, 3 Human Guards, Human Mage
EL3: 2 Gnome Arcanists, 2 Iron Defenders, Pseudodragon
EL3: Human Berserker, 2 Human Guards, 2 Spitting Drakes
EL3: Hobgoblin Warcaster, 2 Hobgoblin Guards, 2 Skeletons
EL3: 3 Gray Wolves, 2 Hobgoblin Archers, Hobgoblin Warcaster
EL3: 3 Dire Rats, 2 Kobold Slingers, 2 Rat Swarms
EL3: Imp, Goblin Hexer, Goblin Skullcleaver, 2 Goblin Warriors, 4 Goblin Cutters
EL3: Kobold Wyrmpriest, 2 Kobold Dragonshield, 4 Kobold Minions, 2 Guard Drakes
EL3: 2 Goblin Sharpshooters, 4 Goblin Warriors, 4 Goblin Cutters
EL3: Deathlock Wight, 3 Zombies, 6 Zombie Rotters
EL3: Kruthik Adult, 3 Kruthik Young, 8 Kruthik Hatchlings
EL3: Kobold Wyrmpriest, 2 Kobold Skirmishers, Spitting Drake, 6 Kobold Minions, 4 Fire Beetles

Monday, June 29, 2009

Triggered Encounters Campaign Style

While I normally don't like the flowchart way of doing campaigns, I think it could work really well with the encounters from D&D4. Whatever choice the players take, you have a properly scaled encounter. And because it is so easy and fast to create encounters, you can plan a lot of choices for the players.

I realized I don't like big dungeons that much, because the order in which you grind through the locations is often very anti-climatic. So smaller dungeons make much more sense, as you do meaningful choices instead of heading in a random direction. You could for example go by accident to the boss monster first and miss some mystery.
Obviously you can steer players by locking certain parts of a dungeon and requiring them to find a 'key' (could be basically any object or person), but this is used so often in computer games and the free style of RPGs should offer many solutions to problems for players.
An other option would be to mix a location based design with flowchart elements. For example the boss is not waiting in a certain room, but appears whereever the PCs are, when a certain condition is met. That sounds like an interesting concept.
Bad, cliche example: the villain appears as soon as the PCs found the hidden artifact he could not recover himself.

It would also make sense to describe what happens if players make an extended rest at a certain point. (E.g. support for the enemies appears, some treasure is carried away, people starve, etc.)

At the moment I am split between setting up a Aventuria Albernia campaign and one were elves and orcs are brutal predators. Maybe I can combine both.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Raven c.s. McCracken After Synnibarr

Today I found the geocities webpage of Raven c.s. McCracken, the designer of Synnibarr. His tracks on the internet seemed to be lost for a couple of years. The last thing we had heard of him was on an infamous MySpace site about "exotic dancing" from 2006.

It's a pity Geocities will be shut down later this year, so you should have a look on his page right now!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

White Deer

Designer notes: From a freeform PBem in 2000.

White Deer does not remember his origin. He just woke up in a
Canadian forest as an intelligent, full grown animal emitting
white light from his ankler.
He knew, he could change form and transformed into his second body: a
muscular human covered with the same white fur his animal form
possesses - and with the same glowing ankler. Wondering who he was,
he transformed back and decided to travel to the south. He knows he
has to find the 'Glasswalker'. He does not know what this is, but
believes it to be a life form similiar to his own.
Animal Form: Superspeedrunning, leaps up to 150', 50' from
but cannot talk
Human Form: none but the ability to speak (english)
Both Forms: Ankler can reflect materia (bullets,..) and energy; they
are hard as diamond and emitting white light all of the time (kind of

Emo Kid / Emo Boy

Designer notes:
Back in 2000 when the term "Emo" did not have any of the connotations that is has nowadays (not that I have any problems with the connotations nowadays, I generally like teenagers that dress up), I created this character for a systemless PbEM. But I never played him, because I was not too happy with such an angsty character anyways.

Emo Kid (Has not given himself a name yet) [Designer note: Somewhere I also called him Emo Boy]

Real name: Ianus Enlind
Age: 19
Nationality: US
History: Ianus Enlind was kind of the ordinary suburban kid, maybe
somewhat weaker and spending more time thinking about himself.
For a reason unknown he was choosen by an alien 'race' of blueskinned
human-like androids, known as the 'Fleet', to take part in an
The Fleet were not able to feel emotions, so they decided to equip a
feeling being with a device called 'Emo-streamer'. He was abducted in a
small spaceship from his home and give a small hexagonal implant in his
forehead. This implant absorbs all of Ianus' emotions and sends them
to the Fleet. Side-effect of the process ist that he cannt feel emotions
for himself any more. They Emo-streamer gave him also the knowledge
to use Fleet-equipment like their weapons and spaceships. The device in
his head makes it possible for the Fleet to teleport him for lightyears
through the galaxy. Ianus is not able to control it. But at the moment
this is no danger for the teenager, because when the Fleet activated the

Emo-streamer they where overwhelmed by the feelings they got and the
spaceship crashed. The Fleet were killed, only Ianus survived, because
was teleported back to earth shortly before the crash. Equipped with a
Fleet plasmasword he does not yet know that he will learn to absorb and
redirect other peoples emotions soon. What he does not know either:
sooner or later the Fleet will send a new spaceship to Earth. They do
want to harm him, but he is a danger because he can give any of them
emotions anytime. At the moment his emotions are saved at an extraplanar
Powers: Has no feelings and therefore no fear or anything similar. His
power to control and redirect emotions is going to grow. The plasmasword
controls with high skills is a weapon able to cut through steel.
Hobbies: Music (electronic and alternative, both instrumental without
lyrics), reading
Costume: Red spandex-suit with black star on the front (given to him by
the Fleet). A hexagonal amber-like plate on his forehead.
Hair: brown, not to short
eyes: brown
skin: white
Known Family: Parents, one smaller brother. They don't know where his/
whether he's still alive.
Love interests: cannot love anymore, but still enjoys being with women
(not necesarilly sex)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

D&D4: Olafine, the Dwarven Mountaineer

I try to come up with a back up characer in case my Eladrin Druid Hadalis bites the dust. (He did not loose a single hit point the last session though and I don't remember him ever going down to 0 HP.)

Anyways: back in 2nd Edition AD&D I was puzzled that next to all the archetypes for fighters the German edition pointed out that you could play a "Bergsteiger" (literally "mountain climber") as a fighter variation without needing a special class for it. Actually the paragraph was more or less explaining why there were no more assassins and chevaliers in 2nd Edition any longer, but they also came up with some pretty obscure further examples. The English language version was actually talking about a mountaineer, but the German translation sounded very anachronistic to me, because "Bergsteiger" is a concept that I imagined (and still imagine) to be only invented in the 19th century. I always liked stuff that does not fit in and so I never stopped wondering what a "Bergsteiger" would do in a medieval fantasy party.

Last year when I talked with a friend about playing a 2nd Edition AD&D game (I actually think very low about this specific rule set), it was pretty obvious from second 1 that I would play a "Bergsteiger"/mountaineer. The game never happened, but the idea stuck in my head.

When thinking about a second character for my D&D4 game, it was pretty obvious for me that I wanted to try a defender. Initially I was toying with the idea of a swordsmage (I really despised that concept as a teen btw), but we already got a dwarven one in our game since last session. And because I currently play the paladin Rius Divorie in my D&D3.5 game and Hadalis is a primal, only the Fighter was left.
I actually like fighters. I don't normally like dwarves, because I don't like beards, but then I thought a female dwarf could be fun to play, because D&D4 did pretty interesting things with them graphically and they are half male anyways. ;)

Now I have the problem that a I imagine a mountaineer to be much more like a ranger than like a fighter. It probably should have been that way in 2nd Edition as well. Stupid book! Not only is the concentration on the environment part of the deal, even the dual weapon concept fits a person who is working with multiple hooks.

So in the end I will play a martial striker (next to our half orc barbarian and our eladrin avenger), but hopefully a dwarf has some defenderish qualities after all. And don't complain we will have no leaders or controllers. :P

Friday, May 22, 2009

Player's stupidity? Does it matter?

While I love stories of parties getting wiped out for stupid mistakes (even when I am part of it), if think the following is the problem:

How do you define what is stupid behavior?

Most of the examples I remember about players being punished for stupid behavior are from the 90ies when realism was en vogue with many gamers and most of them (at least in my circles) did not really reflect much about genre conventions.

So when you approached a situation the way a character in a book or movie would do, you often had a 50% chance that the GM would suddenly realize how ridiculous over the top action movie manoeuvres really are and punish you for it. 50% of the time you would be able to pull it off, because the GM was in the proper mood from a coffein high or a Monty Python joke.

I have to admit there was another factor that made me see players' stupidity as pretty relative and depending on the GM's mood:

In one of my groups back then the situation was made even more transparent, because we were a bunch of 16 years old hanging out with some 18 years old. Our young GM would think that most of the older guys' ideas were teh awesom!!1 even if they were as stupid as the other players' ideas.
This made it pretty obvious to me that judging stupidity is highly subjective.

Not to talk about the situation that with some GMs your well laid out plan fails most of the time, because it would destroy the pace of the adventure to have the big success so early on, while your shitty back up plan probably will work, because the session has to end soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dungeons Dragons 4 Encounter Groups Level

If you want to play a D&D4 sandbox campaign it is handy to have all the encouter groups sorted by level to build random encounters.

Here is a list from Monster Manual 1:

I will have to add the solos/ brutes later on.

Level Page Monster

1 169 2 kobolds, 2 fire beetles, 1 stirge
1 169 10 kobolds, 1 scorpion
1 30 2 fire beetles, 3 kobolds
2 153 5 halflings, 2 guard drakes, 1 needlefang drake swarm
2 153 4 halflings, 2 guard drakes
2 169 6 kobolds, 2 dire rats, 1 rat swarm
3 169 7 kobolds, 2 drakes
3 169 9 kobolds, 2 drake swarms
3 169 9 kobolds, 1 drake, 4 fire beetle
3 219 2 kobolds, 2 rat swarms, 3 dire rats
4 169 5 kobolds
4 159 3 war horses, 3 human guards
6 153 4 halflings, 2 berserkers
6 169 3 kobolds, 1 young black dragon

1 152
1 168
1 219
1 30
1 159

1 136
1 248
1 234
1 219
1 136
1 167
1 137
1 167
1 90
1 229

17 9 3 aboleths, 9 kuo-tao
18 9 1 aboleth, 1 gargoyle, 1 minotaur, 8 servitors
22 10 1 astral stalker, 2 war devil, 6 devil legionnaires
23 12 3 blood fiends, 2 efreets
26 12 1 phane, 2 soulrippers, 2 wraiths

After I started with the work I found the following on Gleemax:

EL1: 2 Fire Beetles, Kobold Slinger, 2 Kobold Skirmisher
EL1: 2 Goblin Warriors, 2 Fire Beetles, Goblin Blackblade
EL1: 2 Kobold Skirmishers, 2 Fire Beetles, Stirge
EL1: 2 Stormclaw Scorpions, 2 Kobold Skirmishers, Kobold Slinger
EL1: 2 Kobold Slingers, 8 Kobold Minions, Stormclaw Scorpion

EL2: 2 Guard Drakes, 2 Elf Archers, Elf Scout
EL2: 2 Elf Archers, Elf Scout, 2 Gray Wolves
EL2: 2 Halfling Slingers, 2 Halfling Thieves, 2 Guard Drakes
EL2: 4 Halfling Scouts, Halfling Thief, 2 Guard Drakes, Needlefang Drake Swarm
EL2: 2 Kobold Slingers, 4 Kobold Minions, 2 Dire Rats, Rat Swarm

EL3: Young White Dragon
EL3: Ochre Jelly, 3 Orc Raiders
EL3: 2 Shadowhunter Bats, Goblin Hexer, 2 Goblin Skullcleavers
EL3: Doppelganger Sneak, 3 Human Guards, Human Mage
EL3: 2 Gnome Arcanists, 2 Iron Defenders, Pseudodragon
EL3: Human Berserker, 2 Human Guards, 2 Spitting Drakes
EL3: Hobgoblin Warcaster, 2 Hobgoblin Guards, 2 Skeletons
EL3: 3 Gray Wolves, 2 Hobgoblin Archers, Hobgoblin Warcaster
EL3: 3 Dire Rats, 2 Kobold Slingers, 2 Rat Swarms
EL3: Imp, Goblin Hexer, Goblin Skullcleaver, 2 Goblin Warriors, 4 Goblin Cutters
EL3: Kobold Wyrmpriest, 2 Kobold Dragonshield, 4 Kobold Minions, 2 Guard Drakes
EL3: 2 Goblin Sharpshooters, 4 Goblin Warriors, 4 Goblin Cutters
EL3: Deathlock Wight, 3 Zombies, 6 Zombie Rotters
EL3: Kruthik Adult, 3 Kruthik Young, 8 Kruthik Hatchlings
EL3: Kobold Wyrmpriest, 2 Kobold Skirmishers, Spitting Drake, 6 Kobold Minions, 4 Fire Beetles

EL4: Young Black Dragon
EL4: Young White Dragon, Dragonborn Soldier
EL4: Visejaw Crocodile, 3 Greenscale Hunters, Greenscale Darter
EL4: 2 Dwarf Hammerers, 2 Dwarf Bolters, Cavern Choker
EL4: Ettercap Webspinner, 2 Ettercap Fang Guards, 2 Deathjump Spiders
EL4: 4 Phantom Warriors, Specter
EL4: Kobold Slyblade, 4 Kobold Dragonshields
EL4: 3 Kruthik Adults, 2 Corruption Corpse Zombies
EL4: 2 Greenscale Hunters, 2 Visejaw Crocodiles, Vine Horror
EL4: 2 Orc Raiders, 2 Orc Berserkers, Dire Boar
EL4: Warforged Captain, Warforged Soldier, 3 Human Guards
EL4: 2 Cavern Chokers, 3 Hobgoblin Soldiers, Hobgoblin Warcaster
EL4: Psuedodragon, Human Mage, 2 Human Guards, 2 Human Bandits
EL4: 3 Warhorses, 3 Human Guards
EL4: 4 Hyenas, 2 Gnoll Huntmasters
EL4: Gnoll Huntmaster, 6 Hyenas
EL4: Human Mage, 2 Human Bandits, 2 Gravehounds, 3 Zombie Rotters
EL4: 2 Wererats, 4 Dire Rats, 6 Human Rabble
EL4: 3 Zombies, 4 Zombie Rotters, 4 Kruthik Hatchlings, 2 Wererats

EL5: Young Green Dragon
EL5: Young Black Dragon, 2 Dark Creepers
EL5: 2 Ghouls, 2 Boneshard Skeletons, Wraith
EL5: Rage Drake, Greenscale Marsh Mystic, Greenscale Darter, 2 Greenscale Hunters
EL5: Hobgoblin Commander, 3 Bugbear Warriors, Dire Wolf
EL5: Hippogriff Dreadmount, Warforged Captain, 3 Warforged Soldier
EL5: 2 Blazing Skeletons, 2 Boneshard Skeletons, Tiefling Darkblade
EL5: 2 Deathrattle Vipers, Greenscale Marsh Mystic, 2 Greenscale Darters
EL5: 3 Dire Wolves, 2 Longtooth Hunters
EL5: Dire Boar, Orc Eye of Gruumsh, 4 Orc Berserkers
EL5: 3 Hippogriffs, Human Mage, 2 Human Guards
EL5: 2 Wraiths, 4 Dark Creepers
EL5: 2 Magma Claws, 2 Magma Hurlers, 2 Firebats
EL5: Specter, Deathlock Wight, 2 Rotwing Zombies, 2 Skeletons
EL5: Kruthik Hive Lord, 2 Kruthik Adults, 5 Kruthik Hatchlings
EL5: Goblin Underboss, 2 Goblin Skullcleavers, 5 Goblin Warriors
EL5: Bugbear Warrior, 2 Hobgoblin Archers, 3 Goblin Warriors, 2 Goblin Blackblades
EL5: 2 Human Mages, 6 Human Lackeys, Evistro Demon

EL6: Young Blue Dragon
EL6: 2 Cave Bears, Bugbear Strangler
EL6: 2 Spined Devils, Greenscale Marsh Mystic, Blackscale Bruisers
EL6: 2 Griffons, 2 Eladrin Fey Knights
EL6: 3 Kobold Dragonshields, Young Black Dragon
EL6: 3 Evistro Demons, 2 Gnoll Claw Fighters
EL6: 4 Evistro Demons, Harpy
EL6: 3 Gnoll Marauders, 2 Evistro Demons
EL6: Bugbear Strangler, 2 Goblin Skullcleavers, Hobgoblin Warcaster, Cave Bear
EL6: 3 Harpies, 2 Spined Devils
EL6: 2 Shadow Hounds, 2 Shadar-kai Gloomblades, Shadar-kai Witch
EL6: 2 Shadar-kai Chainfighters, 2 Shadar-kai Gloomblades, Mad Wraith
EL6: 2 Longtooth Hunters, Werewolf, 2 Dire Wolves
EL6: 2 Troglodyte Maulders, 2 Troglodyte Impalers, Rage Drake
EL6: Mad Wraith, 4 Evistro Demons
EL6: 4 Halfling Prowlers, 2 Human Berserkers
EL6: Greenscale Marsh Mystic, 2 Blackscale Bruisers, Greenscale Darter, 2 Greenscale Hunters
EL6: 4 Legion Devil Grunts, 2 Tiefling Heretics, 2 Tiefling Darkblades
EL6: 2 Dragonborn Soldiers, Tiefling Darkblade, Rage Drake, 5 Human Lackeys
EL6: Orc Eye of Gruumsh, 2 Orc Berserkers, 4 Orc Warriors, 2 Dire Wolves

EL7: Young Red Dragon
EL7: Young Green Dragon, 2 Kobold Slyblades, Kobold Wyrmpriest
EL7: Owlbear, 2 Satyr Rakes, Satyr Piper
EL7: Macetail Behemoth, Troglodyte Curse Chanter, 2 Troglodyte Maulers, Troglodyte Impaler
EL7: 2 Carrion Crawlers, 3 Otyughs
EL7: 4 Bugbear Warriors, Oni Night Haunter
EL7: Otyugh, 2 Troglodyte Maulers, Troglodyte Curse Chanter, Troglodyte Impaler
EL7: 2 Otyughs, 3 Carrion Crawlers
EL7: 2 Troglodyte Impalers, 3 Gricks
EL7: Gnoll Demonic Scourge, 2 Gnoll Claw Fighters, 2 Gnoll Huntmasters, Cacklefiend Hyena
EL7: 2 Dire Stirges, 2 Bonecrusher Skeletons, Bloodweb Spider Swarm
EL7: Hobgoblin Commander, Hobgoblin Warcaster, 5 Hobgoblin Soldiers, Worg
EL7: Sahuagin Priest, 4 Sahuagin Raiders, 5 Vampire Spawn

EL8: Flameskull, 2 Mummy Guardians, Oni Night Haunter
EL8: Oni Night Haunter, 3 Ogre Savages
EL8: 2 Angels of Valor, Shadar-kai Warrior, Doppelganger Assassin, Shadar-kai Witch
EL8: 4 Cambion Hellswords, Succubus
EL8: 2 Trap Haunts, 2 Flameskulls, Flame Jet Trap
EL8: 2 Mummy Guardians, 2 Rot Scarab Swarms, Flameskull
EL8: Satyr Piper, 3 Satyr Rakes, Displacer Beast
EL8: Shadar-kai Witch, Shadar-kai Warrior, 2 Rot Scarab Swarms, Spectral Panther
EL8: Tiefling Heretic, Tiefling Darkblade, 2 Cambion Hellswords, Succubus
EL8: 2 Vine Horror Spellfiends, Bog Hag, 2 Trolls
EL8: 2 Zombie Hulks, 2 Rot Scarab Swarms, Oni Night Haunter
EL8: Grick Alpha, 3 Gricks, 2 Dire Stirges
EL8: Bloodfire Harpy, 3 Gnoll Marauders, 2 Cacklefire Hyenas
EL8: 2 Harpies, Sahuagin Priest, 3 Sahuagin Raiders
EL8: 3 Troglodyte Maulers, 2 Troglodyte Impalers, Troglodyte Curse Chanter
EL8: Crushgrip Constrictor, Snaketongue Assassin, 2 Snaketongue Warriors, 4 Snaketongue Initiates
EL8: Ogre Savage, Orc Eye of Gruumsh, 8 Orc Warriors, 2 Dire Boars

EL9: Adult White Dragon
EL9: Bulette, 3 Trolls
EL9: 2 Quickling Runners, Eladrin Twilight Incanter, Feymire Crocodile
EL9: 2 Destrachans, 2 Foulspawn Berserkers, Foulspawn Grue
EL9: Succubus, 2 Snaketongue Assassins, 2 Crushgrip Constrictors
EL9: 2 Iron Cobras, 2 Snaketongue Warriors, Snaketongue Assassin
EL9: 2 Shadow Panthers, Dark Stalker, 2 Shadar-kai Warriors
EL9: 3 Trolls, 2 Destrachans
EL9: Dryad, Eladrin Twilight Incanter, 4 Eladrin Fey Knights
EL9: 3 Gargoyles, Gibbering Mouther, 2 Galeb Duhr Earthbreakers
EL9: 2 Grick Alphas, Gibbering Mouther, 2 Foulspawn Berserkers, Foulspawn Mangler
EL9: 2 Howling Hags, 2 Gnoll Demonic Scourges, 2 Barlgura Demons
EL9: Shambling Mound, Vine Horror Spellfiend, 2 Vine Horrors, 2 Dryads
EL9: 2 Flame Snakes, Troglodyte Curse Chanter, 2 Troglodyte Maulders, Magma Strider
EL9: Barlgura Demon, 2 Gnoll Claw Fighter, 3 Gnoll Marauders, 2 Gnoll Huntmasters
EL9: Deathpriest of Orcus, 4 Crimson Acolytes, 2 Battle Wights
EL9: 4 Werewolves, 4 Dire Wolves
EL9: Orc Chieftan, 5 Orc Warriors, Dire Boar, 2 Ogre Skirmishers
EL9: Oni Night Haunter, 4 Orc Berserkers, 6 Orc Warriors
EL9: Sahuagin Baron, 2 Sahuagin Priests, 8 Sahuagin Guards
EL9: Snaketongue Celebrant, Snaketongue Warrior, 9 Snaketongue Initiates, Flame Snake
EL9: Hobgoblin Hand of Bane, 12 Hobgoblin Warriors, Macetail Behemoth

EL10: Berbalang
EL10: 2 Chuuls, Feymire Crocodile, Bog Hag
EL10: 2 Wyverns, Venom-eye Basilisk, Ettin Marauder
EL10: Ettin Marauder, Venom-eye Basilisk, 3 Barlgura Demons
EL10: Wailing Ghost, 4 Bloodbat Swarms
EL10: Ogre Warhulk, 2 Ogre Savages, 2 Ogre Skirmishers
EL10: 2 Orc Bloodragers, Bloodspike Behemoth, Ogre Skirmisher, Oni Night Haunter
EL10: 2 Skull Lords, 3 Skeletal Tomb Guardians
EL10: 2 Gibbering Mouthers, Foulspawn Seer, 2 Foulspawn Berserkers, Chuul
EL10: Bog Hag, Venom-eye Basilisk, 2 Shambling Mounds, 2 Trolls
EL10: 3 Worgs, 2 Razorclaw Stalkers, Oni Night Haunter
EL10: Oni Mage, 4 Ogre Thugs, 2 Ogre Skirmishers, Troll
EL10: Battle Wight Commander, 4 Battle Wights, Shadar-kai Witch, 2 Shadar-kai Chainfighters

EL11: Adult Black Dragon
EL11: Adult White Dragon, Galeb Duhr Rockcaller, 2 Galeb Duhr Earthbreakers
EL11: Dire Bear, Ettin Spirit-Talker, 3 Ogre Thugs
EL11: Eidolon, 4 Githzerai Cenobites
EL11: 2 Mezzodemons, 2 Drow Warriors, Drow Arachnomancer
EL11: 2 Blade Spiders, 2 Bloodweb Spider Swarms, Drow Blademaster
EL11: 2 Venom-eye Basilisks, 4 Mezzodemons
EL11: Galeb Duhr Rockcaller, 4 Gargoyles, Bulette
EL11: Manticore, Galeb Duhr Rockcaller, 4 Ogre Savages
EL11: 4 Barlgura Demons, 2 Minotaur Warriors, Minotaur Cabalist
EL11: Spirit Devourer, Vampire Lord, 5 Vampire Spawn Bloodhunters
EL11: Foulspawn Seer, 2 Foulspawn Berserkers, 3 Foulspawn Grues, Grell
EL11: Grell Philosopher, 2 Grells, 4 Troglodyte Warriors
EL11: Yuan-ti Abomination, Yuan-ti Malison Sharp-eye, 4 Snaketongue Zealots, Snaketongue Assassin
EL11: Medusa Archer, Venom-eye Basilisk, 5 Snaketongue Zealots, 2 Snaketongue Warriors
EL11: Firelasher Elemental, Snaketongue Celebrant, 4 Snaketongue Zealot, 2 Snaketongue Assassins, 2 Flame Snakes
EL11: 2 Chain Devils, 4 Legion Devil Hellguards, Snaketongue Celebrant, 4 Snaketongue Zealots
EL11: 8 Troglodyte Warriors, 3 Drow Warriors
EL11: 4 Angels of Valor Cohorts, 2 Stone-eye Basilisks, Snaketongue Celebrant, 6 Snaketongue Zealots

EL12: Adult Green Dragon
EL12: Fen Hydra
EL12: Berbalang, Gibbering Mouther, Skeletal Tomb Guard
EL12: 2 Stone-eye Basilisks, Feygrove Choker, Briar Witch Dryad
EL12: Guardian Naga, 2 Fire Archon Emberguards, Stone-eye Basilisk
EL12: 2 Fire Archon Emberguards, Beholder Eye of Flame, Firelasher Elemental
EL12: 3 Kuo-toa Marauders, Foulspawn Hulk
EL12: Dusk Unicorn, 3 Banshrae Warriors
EL12: 2 Banshrae Dartswarmers, Banshrae Warrior, Ettin Spirit-talker, Earth Gorgon
EL12: Redpawn Firebelcher, 4 Githyanki Warriors
EL12: Drider Fanglord, Drow Arachnomancer, 3 Drow Warriors
EL12: 3 Githyanki Warriors, 2 Redspawn Firebelchers
EL12: 3 Githzerai Cenobites, Guardian Naga, Firelasher Elemental
EL12: 3 Stirge Swarms, 2 Flesh Golems
EL12: 4 Cyclops Guards, 2 Drow Warriors, Drow Blademaster
EL12: Lamia, 2 Mezzodemons, 4 Cyclops Guards
EL12: Vampire Lord, Battle Wight Commander, 3 Battle Wights, 6 Vampire Spawn Bloodhunters
EL12: Skull Lord, 2 Zombie Hulks, Vampire Lord, 9 Vampire Spawn Bloodhunters

EL13: Adult Blue Dragon
EL13: Adult Green Dragon, 2 Banshrae Warriors
EL13: 2 Flesh Golems, Lamia
EL13: Balhannoth, 3 Grimlock Berserkers
EL13: Beholder Eye of Flame, 3 Hill Giants
EL13: Displacer Beast Packlord, 2 Displacer Beasts, Dryad Briar Witch
EL13: Adult Black Dragon, 2 Trolls, Bog Hag
EL13: 2 Vrock Demons, Briar Witch Dryad, Hill Giant
EL13: 3 Hook Horrors, Balhannoth
EL13: Eidolon, 2 Grimlock Berserkers, Medusa Warrior
EL13: 3 Hill Giants, Displacer Beast Packlord
EL13: Hook Horror, 2 Grimlock Berserkers, Beholder Eye of Flame
EL13: 3 Magma Brutes, Beholder Eye of Flame
EL13: 2 Nightmares, Medusa Warrior, Medusa Archer
EL13: 2 Umber Hulks, 2 Drow Warriors
EL13: Balhannoth, 2 Kuo-tioa Marauders, 2 Kuo-toa Harpooners
EL13: 3 Dragonborn Raiders, Redspawn Firebelcher, Ogre Warhulk
EL13: 3 Bearded Devils, 2 Yuan-ti Malison Sharp-Eyes
EL13: 2 Grimlock Berserkers, 2 Hook Horrors, Mind Flayer Infiltrator
EL13: 2 Viscera Devourers, Drow Arachnomancer, 3 Drow Warriors
EL13: 4 Githyanki Warriors, 2 Githyanki Mindslicers
EL13: Minotaur Cabalist, 3 Minotaur Warriors, 2 Vrock Demons
EL13: 2 Manticores, 2 Hill Giants, 4 Ogre Thugs
EL13: Nightmare, Battle Wight Commander, 6 Battle Wights
EL13: 2 Hellstinger Scorpions, 2 Chain Devils, 8 Legion Devil Hellguards
EL13: Drow Arachnomancer, 2 Drow Warriors, Mezzodemon, 5 Grimlock Minions, 2 Blade Spiders

EL14: 2 Boneclaws, Lich, Shield Guardian
EL14: 2 Drider Fanglords, Drider Shadowspinner, Demonweb Terror
EL14: Fen Hydra, 3 Bog Hags
EL14: Winterclaw Owlbear, 3 Cyclops Ramblers
EL14: Roper, Mind Flayer, 2 War Trolls
EL14: 2 Azer Foot Soldiers, 2 Salamander Lancers, Salamander Firetail
EL14: Mind Flayer Infiltrator, Drider Fanglord, Drow Blademaster, 2 Drow Warriors
EL14: Roc, 2 Hill Giants, 2 Galeb Duhr Rockcallers
EL14: 2 Angels of Protection, Runecarved Eidolon, 3 Dragonborn Raiders
EL14: Warthorn Battlebriar, 2 Cyclops Rambler, 3 Hill Giants
EL14: Githzerai Mindmage, Githzerai Zerth, 4 Githzerai Cenobites
EL14: Shield Guardian, Githzerai Mindmage, 4 Gray Slaads
EL14: 2 Helmed Horrors, Mummy Lord, 3 Firelashers
EL14: Roper, Drow Arachnomancer, 4 Drow Warriors
EL14: 2 Salamander Firetails, 3 Fire Archon Emberguards, Redspawn Firebelcher
EL14: 5 Horde Ghouls, 3 Bloodbat Swarms, Lich
EL14: Medusa Warrior, 2 Grimlock Berserkers, 4 Grimlock Minions, 2 Gargoyles
EL14: Immolith Demon, 2 Vrock Demons, 4 Mezzodemons, 6 Horde Ghouls

EL15: Adult Red Dragon
EL15: 2 Chimeras, 2 Hill Giants
EL15: Adult Blue Dragon, 3 Dragonborn Raiders
EL15: Sphinx, Battle Guardian, 2 Helmed Horrors
EL15: 2 Salamander Archers, 2 Azer Foot Soldiers, Chimera
EL15: Salamander Noble, Salamander Firetail, 3 Azer Ragers
EL15: 2 Shadow Snakes, Yuan-ti Malison Incanter, 2 Yuan-ti Abominations
EL15: Drow Priestess, Drow Blademaster, Umber Hulk, 3 Drow Warriors
EL15: 3 Githyanki Warriors, Githyanki Mindslicer, Githyanki Gish, Nightmare
EL15: 2 Rakshasa Archers, 2 Rakshasa Warriors, 2 Hellstinger Scorpions
EL15: 2 Gray Slaads, 2 Red Slaads, 2 Destrachan Far Voices
EL15: Destrachan Far Voice, 2 Drider Fanglords, Drow Priestess, 3 Drow Warriors
EL15: Demonweb Terror, Drow Arachnomancer, 2 Drider Fanglords, 3 Drow Warriors
EL15: Chimera, Azer Taskmaster, 6 Azer Warriors
EL15: 6 Azer Warriors, 2 Azer Ragers, Immolith Demon
EL15: 2 Salamander Lancers, Beholder Eye of Flame, 6 Azer Warriors
EL15: Angel of Battle, 2 Angels of Protection, 8 Angels of Valor Veterans
EL15: Mummy Lord, 3 Yuan-ti Malison Sharp-eye, Yuan-ti Abomination, 6 Snaketongue Zealots

EL16: Purple Worm
EL16: 3 Abyssal Ghouls, Death Knight
EL16: Bone Naga, 3 Shadow Snakes
EL16: Human Death Knight, 2 Abyssal Ghouls, 2 Sword Wraiths
EL16: Yuan-ti Malison Disciple of Zehir, 2 Yuan-ti Malison Incanters, 2 Shadow Snakes
EL16: Bone Devil, 5 Bearded Devils, Cambion Hellfire Magus
EL16: Blackspawn Gloomweb, 4 Kuo-toa Guards, 2 Kuo-toa Monitors, Kuo-toa Whip
EL16: 2 War Trolls, Drow Priest, Drow Blademaster, Night Hag, 5 Grimlock Minions

EL17: Elder White Dragon
EL17: Shadow Hulk
EL17: 2 Salamander Nobles, Adult Red Dragon
EL17: Cyclops Storm Shaman, 2 Cyclops Battleweavers, Chimera
EL17: 2 Guulvorgs, 2 Cyclops Hewers
EL17: 2 Cyclops Battleweavers, 2 Thunderfury Boars, Fomorian Warrior
EL17: 2 Cyclops Hewers, 2 Cyclops Impalers, Fomorian Painbringer
EL17: 2 Firebred Hell Hounds, 2 Azer Beastlords, Azer Taskmaster
EL17: 2 Mummy Lords, 2 Rakshasa Warriors, Sphinx
EL17: Rakshasa Noble, Rakshasa Assassin, 3 Rakshasa Warriors
EL17: 4 Sword Wraiths, Immolith Demon
EL17: 2 Fire Giants, Fire Giant Forgecaller, Azer Beastlord, 2 Firebred Hell Hounds
EL17: 2 Medusa Shrouds of Zehir, Yuan-ti Malison Disciple of Zehir, 3 Yuan-ti Abominations
EL17: Rakshasa Assassin, Yuan-ti Malison Disciple of Zehir, 2 Yuan-ti Malison Incanters, 2 Yuan-ti Abominations
EL17: Earth Titan, 2 Hill Giants, 2 War Trolls, 4 Ogre Bludgeoneers
EL17: Azer Taskmaster, Azer Beastlord, 8 Azer Warriors, Firebred Hellhound
EL17: Aboleth Slime Mage, 2 Aboleth Lasher, 9 Kuo-Toa Guards

EL18: Dracolich
EL18: Elder Black Dragon
EL18: Mordant Hydra
EL18: 2 Ice Archon Hailscourges, Elder White Dragon
EL18: Purple Worm, 2 Savage Minotaurs
EL18: Adult Red Dragon, Githyanki Gish, 2 Githyanki Mindslicer
EL18: Rockfire Dreadnought, 2 Fire Giants, Mind Flayer Mastermind
EL18: 2 Bodak Reavers, Cambion Hellfire Magus, 2 Slaughter Wights
EL18: 2 Cambion Hellfire Magi, Rakshasa Noble, 2 Rockfire Dreadnoughts
EL18: Goristro Demon, 2 Savage Minotaurs, 3 Abyssal Ghouls
EL18: 2 Savage Minotaurs, Rakshasa Noble, 3 Rakshasa Assassins
EL18: 2 Slaughter Wights, 3 Abyssal Ghouls, Nabassu Gargoyle
EL18: Mind Flayer Mastemrind, Mind Flayer Infiltrator, 3 Grimlock Followers, 2 War Trolls
EL18: Rakshasa Noble, 2 Rakshasa Warriors, 2 Cambion Hellfire Magi, 2 Shadow Snakes
EL18: Aboleth Overseer, Nabassu Gargoyle, Savage Minotaur, 8 Aboleth Servitors
EL18: Gibbering Abomination, 2 Nabassu Gargoyles, Aboleth Lasher, 7 Kuo-toa Guards
EL18: 2 Kuo-toa Monitors, 4 Kuo-toa Guards, Aboleth Overseer, 8 Aboleth Servitors

EL19: Beholder Eye Tyrant
EL19: Elder Green Dragon
EL19: Mordant Hydra, Gibbering Abomination
EL19: Fell Troll, 2 Enormous Carrion Crawlers
EL19: Phoenix, 2 Fire Archon Blazesteels, Fire Archon Disciple
EL19: Ice Archon Frostshaper, 2 Ice Archon Rimehammer, 2 Rimefire Griffons
EL19: Blackroot Treant, 2 Slaughter Wights, 2 Sword Wraiths
EL19: 2 Ice Devils, 2 Cambion Hellfire Magi, 2 Nabassu Gargoyles
EL19: Fomorian Warrior, Fomorian Painbringer, Cyclops Battleweaver, 3 Cyclops Hewers
EL19: Black Slaad, 2 Rockfire Dreadnoughts, Fire Giant Forgecaller, 2 Firebred Hell Hounds
EL19: 2 Angels of Vengeance, 5 Angels of Valor Legionnaires

EL20: Elder Blue Dragon
EL20: Dracolich, 2 Yuan-ti Malison Incanters, 2 Yuan-ti Abominations
EL20: 4 Wild Hunt Hounds, Bralani of Autumn Winds
EL20: Nightwalker, 4 Bodak Reavers
EL20: Rimefire Griffon, Ghaele of Winter, 2 Fire Archon Blazesteels, 2 Ice Archon Rimehammers

EL21: 2 Ice Archon Frostshapers, Efreet Flamestrider, Fire Titan
EL21: 3 Giant Mummies, Dark Naga
EL21: Ghaele of Winter, 4 Wild Hunt Hounds
EL21: Larva Mage, 4 Slaughter Wights, Sword Wraith
EL21: 2 Rot Harbingers, Deathpriest Hierophant, 3 Slaughter Wights
EL21: 5 Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidons, Larva Mage, Death Giant
EL21: 8 Legion Devil Legionnaires, 2 Ice Devils, War Devil
EL21: War Devil, Ice Devil, 2 Bone Devils, 12 Legion Devil Legionnaires

EL22: Elder Red Dragon
EL22: 2 Bluespawn Godslayers, Storm Giant
EL22: Yuan-ti Anathema, 2 Dark Nagas
EL22: 2 Efreet Fireblades, Efreet Flamestrider, Glabrezu Demon
EL22: 2 Thunderhawks, 2 Bralanis of the Autumn Winds
EL22: Rot Harbingers, 2 Rot Slingers, Voidsoul Specter
EL22: 2 Tormenting Ghosts, Larva Mage, 3 Rot Harbingers
EL22: Nightwalker, Tormenting Ghost, 3 Death Giants
EL22: Fire Titan, 2 Fire Giants, 2 Fire Archon Ash Disciples, Phoenix
EL22: 2 Hezrou Demons, Deathpriest Hierophant, 5 Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidons
EL22: Astral Stalker, 2 War Devils, 6 Legion Devil Legionnaires
EL22: Larva Mage, 3 Rot Harbringers, 5 Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidons
EL22: Deathpriest Hierophant, 5 Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidons, 2 Rot Harbingers, Rot Slinger
EL22: 2 Larva Mages, 2 Rockfire Dreadnaughts, 8 Grimlock Followers

EL23: Blackfire Dracolich
EL23: Chuul Juggernaut, 3 Blood Fiends
EL23: Glabrezu Demon, Earthwind Ravager, 2 Blood Fiends
EL23: 3 Blood Fiends, Efreet Cinderlord, Efreet Flamestrider
EL23: Marilith Demon, 4 Hezrou Demons
EL23: Efreet Cinderlord, 3 Blood Fiends, Fire Titan
EL23: Marut Concordant, 2 Marut Blademasters, War Devil, 8 Legion Devil Legionnaires

EL24: Ancient White Dragon
EL24: Elder Purple Worm
EL24: Elder Blue Dragon, 2 Thunderhawks
EL24: Elder Red Dragon, 2 Fire Archon Ash Disciples, 2 Fire Giants
EL24: Death Titan, 2 Death Giants, Voidsoul Specter, Deathpriest Hierophant
EL24: Deathpriest Hierophant, 3 Blood Fiends, Aspect of Orcs
EL24: 2 Rakshasa Dread Knights, 2 Fell Wyverns, War Devil
EL24: Dragonborn Death Knight, Fell Wyvern, Flameskull Vizier, 6 Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidons

EL25: Primordial Hydra
EL25: Primordial Naga
EL25: 3 Dread Wraiths, Death Titan
EL25: Lich, 2 Great Flameskulls, 2 Soulspike Devourers
EL25: 4 Swordwings, Crownwing
EL25: Pit Fiend, 2 War Devils, 2 Astral Stalkers, Marut Concordant

EL26: Ancient Black Dragon
EL26: Primordial Hydra, 2 Earthwind Ravagers
EL26: Balor Demon, Thunderblast Cyclone, 2 Efreet Pyresingers
EL26: Phane, 2 Sorrowsworn Soulrippers, 2 Dread Wraiths
EL26: 2 Soulrippers, 2 Shadowraven Swarms, Death Knight
EL26: 6 Lich Vestiges, Doresain the Ghoul King, 2 Dread Wraiths

EL27: Ancient Green Dragon
EL27: Gibbering Orb
EL27: Storm Titan, Thunderblast Cyclone, 2 Storm Gorgons
EL27: 2 Storm Gorgons, Storm Titan, 2 Dragonborn Champions
EL27: 3 Sorrowsworn Reapers, 3 Fell Wyverns
EL27: Efreet Karadjin, Efreet Pyresinger, Glabrezu, 2 Dragonborn Champions, 2 Great Flameskulls

EL28: Ancient Blue Dragon
EL28: Atropal, 2 Sorrowsworn Reapers, 2 Shadowraven Swarms
EL28: Godforged Colossus, 4 Dragonborn Champions
EL28: Doresain the Ghoul King, Dread Wraith, 2 Liches, 10 Abyssal Ghoul Myrmidons

EL29: Runescribed Dracolich
EL29: 3 Swordwings, Gibbering Orb
EL29: Godforged Colossus, 3 Sorrowsworn Reapers, 2 Shadowraven Swarms

EL30: Tarrasque
EL30: Ancient Red Dragon

EL33: Orcus

EL34: Orcus, 2 Atropals, 8 Lich Vestiges

Thanks Taishar for the amazing work! I will add the page numbers of the monsters soon and will sort them by terrain.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Savage Worlds Free PDF Index

I am going to list all the free PDFs that are stored on the (Pennicle) website. Obviously most of it will be connected to Savage Worlds, but expect to also find material on Deadlands for example.

One of the best resources is this list of free Worlds adventures.

Savage Worlds:

Test Drive Rules Version 6 - This are all the rules you need to play a first game.

GM Screening Aid Version 2

Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition Index

Deadlands: Reloaded Random Card Character Creation

Pregenerated Player Characters - Pregens:

5 for Crime City - a contempary GTA 4 inspired game. Grand Theft Auto as tabletop RPG? I always wanted to play that. :)

5 for Deadlands

5 Pulp Heroes - expect something similar to Indiana Jones, Doc Savage and Tarzan!

5 Victorian heroes for Rippers - Mackie Messer, a battle nun, a masked avenger and a Polish hero! What else do you need?

Free Savage Worlds Adventures:

Deadlands: Reloaded Buffalo Soldiers

Deadlands: Reloaded Daddy's Boys

Deadlands: Reloaded Ghost Town

Deadlands: Reloaded House Call

Deadlands: Reloaded Lover's Quarrel

Necropolis 2350 Howling Blizzard

Pirates of the Spanish Main Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Spanish Main Double Crossbones!

Rippers Unnatural History

Slipstream The Hunt

Sticks & Stones Whose Cave Is It Anyway?

Deadlands Classic:

Deadlands - Veterans O' the Weird West

Deadlands D20:

Conversion: From Classic to D20

Options: Optional Rules

Hex Map Creator Hexographer

Here you find a neat Java tool to create hexmaps as known from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons back in the 90ies. They really fit if you want to set up a sandbox roleplaying game, but any RPG could profit from it.
I myself think about running a short D&D4 or Savage Worlds campaign this way. Maybe I will also convert some region of Aventurien with this tool, so I have a proper hex map for The Dark Eye continent.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 - Savage Worlds resources

Thanks to a great offer I was able to purchase the best possible savagepedia domain:
Now you can easily navigate to Savagepedia just by typing instead of the much harder to remember actually will redirect you to the wikispaces location, but I hope I did something good for my fellow Savages (that's how the fans of Savage Worlds call themselves).

I also have plenty of resources for Savage Worlds here in the blog: just click the following label link: Savage Worlds

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dungeons Dragons Skill Challenge - Revised Narrative System

This looks interesting: a revised narrative Skill Challenge system for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. I wonder if it rewards original narratives by the players. This was my initial unterstanding of what the skill challenge system for D&D4 was supposed to achieve. I have to admit that I never played with the original system though.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PtA Hell Pilot (Primetime Adventures)

These are the 4 player characters from our 2009 PtA (Primetime Adventures) pilot. We did not get a name for the show yet, but I gave it the working title Hell. It's about 2 demons and 2 tormented souls that are sent on missions by their boss Uloroth. The vision of Hell we portray is more or less a satire of everyday office life.

Concept: Evil god turned toy
Edges: Trickster + Cuteness
Connections: Cult of me
Personal set: Shrine
Nemesis: Marilyn de Rossi
Issue: Being a toy/ cute
[Fanmail after pilot: 1]

Helmut the Bear
Concept: cynical sadist - fallen angel
Edges: Aggressive + Pyromaniac
Connections: Nero's ghost
Personal set: kindergarten
Nemesis: The Society
Issue: kids love to pick on me
[Fanmail after pilot: 1]

Concept: dual personality serial killer: polite and calm or savage
Edges: Serial Killer + Dual Personality
Connections: child - psycho killer to be in training
Personal set: houses on earth
Nemesis: The Society - holy demon hunters
Issue: Not fully controlling wild site
(Fanmail after pilot: 2)

Concept: humanoid cat with cow head (from hell)
Edges: cat + receptionist/ secretary
Connections: big boss
Personal set: hair loss centre; nice treatment, personal assistent
Nemesis: Marilyn de Rossi
Issue: Rossi and her gang making fun of me + her getting her hands on me
(Fanmail after pilot: -)

What happend in the session?
The 4 working were called by there boss Uloroth to come up with a special mission, to boost their little piece of hell's reputation. Jack, a former business man, had the idea to get his former publicist involved.
So Uloroth sent them up to New York City. It was helloween and when they encountered some kids walking around, Ushi and Helmut could not hold back and started attacking. One kid was run over by a car and when people gathered to help the kid, Helmut pretended wanting to do First Aid. But nobody trusted the guy looking like a Furrie, especially when nearly breaking the kid's arm.
In the end the people mocked him and drove him away and they were convinced that there was still hope in NYC when a people worked together to save a kid. The demons could not stand the smell of goodness and had to leave the scene.
Uloroth returned them to hell, but said to give them a second chance.
This time they were teleported right in front of the skyscraper George McCullan, the publicist, had his office in.
Still downstairs they had a discussion with a receptionist, who answered to Jack, while the 2 furries and the toy were going on each others neck.

Proposed working title:
Our little piece of Hell

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Free Paper Miniatures Flat Figures and Minis

Here you find lots of free paper miniatures and figure flats!

I initially copied this part of Savagepedia here, because people can now directly link to a resource of cut out paper miniatures - or "figure flats" as they are called nowadays by Pennicle. (Obviously you can use this images not only for Savage Worlds, but also for Dungeons & Dragons (aka D&D) or any other RPG.) Before you had to scroll down the Gaming Aids page on Savagepedia.

In the meantime I added lots of extra resources that are not up on savagepedia yet.

Arion Games Paper Miniature Freebies - Free samples from all genres by commercial provider
Cardboard SuperHeroes - Generic, Marvel and DC Heroes
The Fantasy Trip Pieces - Adventurers, Goblins, Kobolds, Orcs, Toltecs and more to print, cut and add to your game.
Fiery Dragon's The Castle of Shadows - Link to pdf with free fantasy counter collection
Free Paper Toys - A huge link collection to paper miniatures and 3D paper models.
Greywolf's Fonts, paper models and map tiles.
Mike's Minis - Stick figure paper minis
Models & Miniatures in Paper - Huge collection of quality models for many genres. Very cool!
Modern Ops Figure Flats - For the Modern Ops showdown game
One Monk Miniatures - Fantasy, Sci-fi, and more. Plenty of free pdf's.
Paper Soldiers for Junior Generals - A //massive// archive of historical cutout figs free to use.
Patrick's Cardboard Warriors - Cute, cartoonish, and perfect for pulp.
Planet of the Paper People - From, new and free flats added every month.
Triple Ace Game's Daring Tales Pulp Figure Flats Preview - One page with Nazis etc.
32mm Androids & Robots" - Made with HeroMachine 2.5 (print & build instructions included).

Paper buildings and vehicles (German site)

I hope, you get some use out of these free paper minis!


Cars and Spaceships on Pup's Playground.
Aztecs, Indios and Slaves on Obsidian Serpent
Free fairies by Sanity Studios. Link at bottom of the page. They also have a lot more stuff for sale.
Paper Friends (especially super heroes and Doctor Who Paper Miniatures, some including Torchwood as photo miniatures) by Seven Wonders.

If you know any other good resource, please write a comment! I will add it to the list and you help all your fellow mini and RPG fans.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Synnibarr Characters - One Shot Approved

You can read about my Synnibarr one shot if you follow the link.
Here you can find the links to the 3 player character sheets as pdf files.
Not all of them are created completely by the book, but then
a samurai with laser sword,
a bomb dropping fairy - sorry: flygirl... - and
an undercover cyborg posing as a wereman
are unconventional even for Synnibarr. The would make a great comic book hero team though!

Lost treasures of Synnibarr

These Synnibarr resources are not online any longer, but you can find them archived in Wayback Machine:

Niilo Paasivirta's hilarious Synnibarr page

The Sexy Naked Gamer Chick's Guide To Creating A Character In World of Synnibar

You also should not miss the the (Let's Read) The World of Synnibarr thread on It proves that people finally start to appreciate Raven c.s. McCracken as the genius he is.

Raven McCracken himself nowadays posts on the Synnibarr facebook page I initiated. I am the second moderator next to the man himself there and call myself NonRaven.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Brulus wants to do in the dungeon

Give the rats some love potioned food.
Rest to mix some potions.

Actually with the 3 hours duration Brulus should be able to keep one creature permanently under control. :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Aventuria Hex Map (The Dark Eye)

I was finally able to find the "Aventurien-Hex-Karte" from the old first edition Abenteuer-Ausbauspiel online. :) Now it should be easy to organize a Schwarzes Auge Aventurien sandbox game. One hex is 75km. That is too much to walk in a day, but should be 2 walking days in okay terrain. Actually it makes sense, because this way cities are somewhat detached from the rest of the hex. And on horseback you should be able to make one hex a day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hadalis - Eladrin Druid (DnD4)

This is going to be my character in a D&D4 online campaign with my Viennese GM Flanf.
We will use these RPtools for an online map etc.
Last night I spent 1 hour creating a character with him online. I always wanted to play an Eladrin in D&D4 - something outworldish, fairy tale like and distant from normal beings. Turning into an animal seems to fit that theme quite well. So I went for a druid. I guess it does not matter so much that the character is not too optimized.

Hadalis is an overly slim, tall Eladrin. It's hard to figure out if Hadalis is male or female. One second this Eladarin looks male to you, but with a shift in light, Hadalis looks female.
Her wild shape is that of a big white snake.
Even in humanoid form her skin is completely white - like marble. Her eyes have a snakish yellow tone. The long hair is also white.
She was born in a tower on the dark sea cliffs of the Feywild, child to Eladrin of lower nobility. She is promised to marry her twin brother, but he seems to have disappeared recently. Is he only playing a game with her, doesn't he want her, or is there more to the story? Anyways: there is this tree they stuck a dagger in and in case anything will happen to him, the dagger will rust.
Her druid powers come natural to her, because she used to run through the deep forests, where Feywild and mortal world shift into each other. One moment you are in the one, the next one in the other without noticing - except that you feel someone is watching you.

If all of this is not cheesy enough, how about giving her the last name Fogtear? ;)

Maybe I still change Hadalis to male - not that it makes much difference. And maybe the twincest part e goes away too as it's quite cliché that I play girls like this...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brulus - Road To Legendary

Brulus is a deformed and hunchbacked human. He is always tinkering with all kind of magic potions and disgusting ingredients. He was shunned all his live in the big city and treated as an outcast. Now that he finally found a "family" he will try his best to keep them together.

The first thing Brulus remembers was begging with older kids in the big city - a common fate for orphans or those left behind. He must have been around 4 at that time.
He was a lousy beggar, but even worse in his rare attempts of thievery and therefore on the lowest level of the streets' hierarchy. At least he survived..
His fate changed somewhat, when he met the dirty old pharmacist Adalbert. Adalbert had lost his license for making regular mistakes. No wonder: he had tried once to often to cure his bad temper himself by going through his medicine collection. Brulus took care of him, being basicly a misfigured butler in the beginning, but also showing lots of promise as an assistant in the crazy old man's experiments.
After his career as pharmacist was stopped by the clergy, Adalbert turned to more "interesting" experiments, plotting revenge. Brulus gave him the support he needed. But when Brulus understood what Adalbert was up to, and was not able to convince him to stop, the hunchback turned his sole friend in.
Maybe there was hope that he would be seen as a hero, that let Brulus make this decision, maybe he really cares about the well being of the people. At the moment probably not even Brulus himself knows for sure, but with enough evidence Adalbert was convicted to death. The last time he saw Brulus, he called him a damn traitor.
Brulus was treated with disgust by the commissioner taking care of the case, but given an opportunity to run off, with the hint that he better would not be seen in Fairport any longer.
So Brulus ran off, strolling around in the harbour region, hoping to find a passage anywhere, but ended up saving a puppy...

Agility d6
Smarts d6
Spirit d6
Strength d6
Vigor d10


Charisma (-4); (-6 cursed by Mask of Ugliness); -7 +constantly twitching eye after being scared near death by the Ghost in the Dagger
Pace 6"+d6
Parry 4(+1 Staff) = 5
Toughness 7(+1 Armour) = 8

Boating (ag) d4
Climbing (st) d4
Fighting (ag) d4
Guts (sp) d4
Lockpicking (ag) d4
Notice (sm) d4
Persuasion (sp) d4
Stealth (ag) d4
Streetwise (sm) d6
Taunt (sm) d4
Throwing (ag) d4
Weird Science (Alchemy) (sm) d8
Knowledge (Alchemy) (sm) d6

[Language: Eldritch]


Arcane Background: Weird Science (Alchemy)
Nerves of Steel
Improved Nerves of Steel


Ugly (min)
Loyal (min)
Poverty (min)
Outside (min)


Heal (Trapping: Hertie - slimey toad that licks off wounds)
Burst (Trapping: Spitter - firebagpipe)
Fear (Trapping: Panoptimonium - hood with lenses and gaslight in front of face and gas nozzles; slower: 1 round preparation, but than instant action any time)
Boost/Lower Traits (Trapping: "Some uppers and downers" (boosting pills); (Fear) Gas (lowering))
Blast (Trapping: Fireboxes aka Adalbert Cocktails (after his former master) aka Free Fire Cocktails (after his bar behavior) aka Feuerzangenbowle (does not work in English)- cubic molotow cocktails)
Puppet (Trapping: "love" potions; have to be mixed in victim's food or drink, but work for 3 hours, but switch to normal 3 rounds mode when the character has to make a Spirit roll as result of the power (for example when told to attack friends or commit suicide)

Weapon: Staff (Str+d4)
Armor: Leather (+1)

Leveling history:
5XP New Power: Burst
10XP Agility d6
15XP New Power: Fear
20XP New Power: Boost/Lower Traits
25XP Strength d6
30XP New Power: Blast
35XP Weird Science (Alchemy) d8
VETERAN (not yet)
40XP New Power: Puppet
45XP Power Points
50XP Weird Science (Alchemy) d10
55XP Strenght d8
60XP Weird Science (Alchemy) d12
65XP Power Points
70XP Fighting d6; Throwing d6
75XP Strenght d10
80XP Sidekick (Hertie)
90XP New Power: Create Gold (d6$, exploding die; double on raise)
100XP Professional: Weird Science (Alchemy)
110XP Expert: Weird Science (Alchemy)
120XP Master: Weird Science (Alchemy)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

D&D and RPG Fantasy Art Index Part 1

I will start here a series of posts, that sort all the amazing images and pictures that you can find on the website of Wizards of the Coast. WotC has a huge library of art from Dungeons & Dragons books, be it 3.0, 3.5 or 4th Edition. The problem is that the images are only sorted by D&D publication, not by topic.

With my list, it should be easier to find what you need. I hope they the 3rd edition art up much longer as it can be useful for any fantasy campaign. Even if you play Savage Worlds, Earthdawn, GURPS, Castles&Crusades (C&C), Pathfinder, Rolemaster or HARP the art is perfect.

Inn Scene, Elves, Gnomes, Greyscale: The Complete Scoundrel Image 1
Dwarfes, Group, Wizard, Fighter, Mohawk, Greyscale: The Complete Scoundrel Image 2
Collage, Female, Rogue, Scream, Armor, Bard, Scream, Greyscale: The Complete Scoundrel Image 3
City, Group, Half-Orc, Monk, Bard, Color: The Complete Scoundrel Image 7

In the long run it would make more sense to create a website, where you can sort by tag etc. Also a wikilike option to have other people help tagging would be great. The Ultimate RPG Art Index so to speak.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Savage Worlds Skill Reduction: Tracking

Tracking should cease being a skill on it's own and instead be part of Survival for wilderness, Streetwise in cities and Investigation for research.
This seems at least to be a convincing setting rule.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Red Tube - Biological Experiment (Necessary Evil)

Red Tube was not created in an act of love. Instead she was conceived inside a lab.
Her human body was grown around a number of alien technology tubes that were found at a UFO crash site in the Antarctica.
The red tubes are about 1,5 meters long. They are hollow and seem to filter certain subatomic particles.

It seems those tubes float in solar winds nobody else can feel and Red Tube's body is lifted by those solar winds.

When she was only 4 years old, the Antarctic lab was raided by the villain organization NERDS THAT HURT - short NTH. One of those villains - named Postal - adopted Red Tube. She spent the rest of her childhood in a secret mountain lair, surrounded by the most nerdy super villain team imaginable. Actually it was a pretty nice environment, but because of the tubes she was never able to leave the hide out, as this would have given too much attention. The only contact she had with other kids was over the intetnet.
When she turned 18, she was finally allowed to join the NTH action team. Soon after she proved she is actually able to hide the tubes under normal clothes. But as long as she does that, her powers are not working.

Powers: Force Control, incl. Heavy Weapon, Flight, Deflection

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hunter Instincts (Savage Worlds Edge)

The characters Tracking and Survival skills are not connected to Smarts, but to Spirit and can therefore only cost one point per die type to raise until they exceed the character's Spirit stat.

Savage Worlds Spirit Tricks

Redesigning the Savage Worlds Skill System?

After Solomon Kane introduced Strength Tricks, it would make sense to add Spirit Tricks as well. That way you could get rid of Intimidation, a skill that seems not really to be something learned anyways (with the same argument Guts is often removed).
Consequently you could also get rid of Taunt.

Both skills for the test of will mechanic would become trappings for Tricks instead. This actually makes a lot of sense. If you look at the Pirates RPG you will see that many of the examples for Smart tricks (except for the "Look over there!" cliché) don't really fit Smarts anyways.
This means you can choose, if you want to get -2 for the next action of the opponent or +2 for the next action against him. Following the advice for tricks in Whispers from the Pit, I would also allow other characters to use the +2 bonus, if the Trick using player wants. This way non combat characters are even more useful in combat.
I would also make it official that a as a third option you can move the tricked opponent 1' with a success.
You have to choose before doing the trick if you want the +2, -2 or 1'. A raise always adds a shaken condition.

Carl Osdracen - Swordmage (Fantasy)

Race: Human (additional Edge)
Rank: Novice XP: 0
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d8, Intimidate d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d4, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Spellcasting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Survival d4, Swimming d4
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 7 (5 w/o armor)
Hindrances: Arrogant; Loyal (minor), Enemy (minor)
Edges: Arcane Knowledge (Magic)
Gear: short sword (Str+d6), chain hauberk (+2)
Powers: Bolt, Burst, Smite

Description: Carl is a promising hero as well versed with the sword as with the mind - despite suffering from amnesia and not remembering his childhood. His amazing talents have left the former best student of his academy behind in jealousy - as an enemy. One of his few weaknesses is the fact that he is a man of action, not reading things up at libraries. But Carl also knows he is the best and feels the need to prove it.

Designer Notes: This character was originally created to for 1 on 1 play. His name is inspired by an old gaming pal of mine, his powers and backstory by this guy's characters.
I assume a fantasy setting without Guts skill as the Wizards & Warriors pdf from Pinnacle does.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My second time Role Playing

When: 1988
My Age: 10
The game: The Dark Eye, first edition
I played: The GM. I owned this new fantasy game, I wanted for years, and a cheat book for video games with all the 8bit dungeon maps you can imagine in it. I had also created new character races before ever playing the game. There were those insect people from DinoRiders you could play and ghosts from Zelda (could walk through walls). I ran the players through the first dungeon from the first Zelda, as mapped out in the cheat book.
Highlights: One of the 2 player characters found a boomerang. That's all I remember. But he liked the game, told his older brother and so we started playing regularly. (I also remember we were playing on the floor of my room.) They were all killed by demons in the following adventure, an official one called "Ship of the Lost Souls" ("Schiff der Verlorenen Seelen").
I also remember my little brother played a dwarf with a red cap, but without beard. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Savage Worlds Fantasy Introduction Adventure

So my father-in-law wants to play an RPG with me. I don't think he nows about the narrative part of it and imagines it more as a tactical board game, but I can give him a nice dungeon crawl for sure.
At first I was wandering if I should give him a system that is more statistically solid and uses less extra features than Savage Worlds (for a beginner strangely formed dice plus Wild Die plus Initiative Cards plus Bennies are for sure a lot), but in the end, it is the system I know best and the rule book is a nice compromise between lots of feature (how do I build characters?) and a simple basic system (roll 4).

Anyways: I built a dungeon with my Wizards of the Coast Dungeon Tiles and while doing that I came up with a simple story. I also want to have something going on, before entering the dungeon. I call it:

Dungeon Temple the Death God (Horok)

(Combat) Encounter 1:
The lonely player character is ambushed by 2 orcs while traveling from one village to another. You could let the PC roll notice to see if he really notices them.

Orcs, Minor
Minor orcs are about the size of humans, but walk squatted. [Basically LotR movie orcs.]

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d8, Notice d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Throwing d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (5 w/o armour)
Leather armor (+1), short sword (Str+d6)

(Non Combat) Encounter 2:
The PC notices that the orcs had a hostage. When talking to this woman (Jonovia), we find out, that the population of the village has been taken as prisoners to an underground temple by Horok, the evil priest of the Death God. Jonovia gives the hero Warrior Seeds (3) and a healing potion, in case he is willing to free the villagers.

Warrior Seed
Put the seed in the earth. After 1 round a full grown warrior in plate armor digs his way out of the earth. After a few minutes, or if wounded warrior and armor crumble to dust. Dispel magic has the same effect. Seed Warriors don't speak, if not asked straight questions. They are soldiers from a long collapsed empire and lost their memory over the millenia.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d4
Pace: 5; Parry: 6; Toughness: 8 (5 w/o armour)
Plate Armor (+3), long sword (Str+d8)

Encounter 3:
The hero enters the nearby dungeon and could be able to sneak by the 2 sleeping orc guards. The problem: the door only opens when the gong is used, or you need the key one of the guards carries on his body. Optionally the treasures of 2 more guardians sleeping in their beds can be ramsacked. (Those to guards hurry nearby anyways if they hear any noise of battle.) Treasure: 1 healing potion (if necessary) or a magic weapon or armor.

Orcs, Minor
Minor orcs are about the size of humans, but walk squatted. [Basically LotR movie orcs.]

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d8, Notice d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Throwing d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (5 w/o armour)
Leather armor (+1), short sword (Str+d6)

(Non Combat) Encounter 4:
Fire trap. The hero has to sneak by with Agility rolls or find a way to activate the lever on the other end of the trap. (Puzzle) The flames also stop for 2 minutes if the gong is used, but this warns all creatures in the temple.

(Combat) Encounter 5:
The big temple hall where the villagers a held prisoners and there is a blood altar.
2 orc assassins and the Wild Card dark priest Horok await the hero. Should it be to easy, the priest summons 2 giant spiders. 2 cauldrons with magic liquids create extra possibilities. (Priest tries to push hero in?) Extra feature: bottomless pit.
At the end there are 2 treasure chests and the freed village people.

Orc Assassins
Bigger orcs, but without armor. Instead they wear black ninja outfits. :)

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Throwing d8
Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Short sword (Str+d6), 1 throwing axe (Str+d6;3/6/12)
Special:Size +1

Death Priest Horok (WildCard)
Your classical dark priest. Likes to talk that way too.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Faith d8, Fighting d6, Guts d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6,
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (5 w/o armour)
Leather Armor (+1), Ceremonial Dagger (Str+d4)
Powers: Burst, Dispel, Beast Friend
Power Points: 15

I hope this contains a lot of the clichés that drew me into RPGs when I was starting out 20 years ago. :)

My RPG Calendar 2009

13th Luftenwelter 13: Dinner & Breakfast - 2,5 hours
15th Nyrondria 8: The Blazing City - 2,5 hours
22nd Luftenwelter 14: The Rocs of Area X - 3 hours
27th Bloodbath 5: The Awakening - 2,5 hours
29th Luftenwelter 15: The Amplifier Artifact - 2,5 hours

3rd Nyrondria 9: Sophilis' impertinence
10th Nyrondria 10: The nightmare and the book
26th Luftenwelter 16: Air battle for the Artifact

3rd Nyrondria 11: Father Abbot's monastery
5th Luftenwelter 17: Captain Beligor and the city in the desert
10th Nyrondria 12: Sopilis' faith
12th Luftenwelter 18: Ghosts of the lost city
19th One Shot: Castles&Crusades: Dwarven Glory II aka. Brokeback Dungeon (Ser;Dan,Jor)
30th Nyrondria 13: Goblin massacre in the Blazing City

2nd Luftenwelter 19: The palace's fountains (of the Silver Princess)
6th RPtools D&D4 0 test session: Kobolds and the White Dragon (Flan;Astr,Joer,Jor,Guen)
7th Nyrondria 14: Where is the Green Gem?
16th Luftenwelter 20: Rats: Theladios' treachery (Ser;Dan,Jor)
20th RPtools D&D4 1: Kobold Hall (1) (Flan;Astr,Joer,Jor,Guen,Erwin)
21st Primetime Adventures: Hell Pilot (Jor;Tom,Ser,Jea,Dan)
23rd Luftenwelter 21: Dragons, scorpions and Desini (Ser;Dan,Jor)
27th RPtools D&D4 2: Death in Kobold Hall (2) (Flan;Astr,Joer,Jor,Erwin)
30th Luftenwelter 22: Thulio's funeral, recruitment and the burning inn (Ser;Dan,Jor)

4th RPtools D&D4 3: The hobgoblin raid (Scales of War 1) (Flan;Astr,Joer,Jor,x2)
13th RPtools D&D4 4: Ripped apart by a drake swarm (Scales of War 2) (Flan;Astr,Joer,Jor,x2)
14th Luftenwelter 23: Flying pirates falling (Ser;Dan,Jor)
19th Nyrondria 15: Return to Father Abbot's monastery (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)
20th Scales of War 5 (renumbered): The Drake Pit
21st Luftenwelter 24: Visit at the Bravebeards' (Ser;Dan,Jor)
25th Scales of War 6: Lava Hands & Spider Creatures
26th Nyrondria 16: The Unknown Road (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)
28th Luftenwelter 25: Demons on Captain Croc's (Ser;Dan,Jor)
30th Agon 1 (Double Shot): Sacrificing the Mare (Vla;Ser,Jea,Jor) - 3,5 hours

2nd Agon 2 (Double Shot): Capturing King Menester (Vla;Ser,Jea,Jor) - 2 hours
23rd Nyrondria 17: Fighting Giants in the Past (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)
29th Scales of War 7: The Hobgoblin Leader and the Floor of the Undead

7th Scales of War 8: The Last Two Hostages [End of Campaign]
21st Nyrondria 18: Ethic & the Scorpion Aberration (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)
24th Luftenwelter 26: Captain Croc's Fear and the Zombie Bears (Ser;Dan,Jor)
28th Nyrondria 19: To the Elven Island Mydor (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)
31st Luftenwelter 27: Grounders vs. Undead (Ser;Dan,Jor)

4th Nyrondria 20: The Elven ritual potion for the green gem (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)

3rd Luftenwelter 28: Battle in the temple (Ser;Dan,Jor)
15th Nyrondria 21: In the drow caverns (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)
18th Luftenwelter 29: Heart of Ice: Boots and Daggers (Ser;Dan,Jor)
22nd Nyrondria 22: The wrong Sophilis (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)

1st Luftenwelter 30: The Ice Dragon (Ser;Dan,Jor)
4th The Mountain Witch 1: Through the Woods (Vla;Jor,Mic,Ser,Jea)
5th Luftenwelter 31: The White Wolves (Ser;Dan,Jor)
15th Luftenwelter 32: Inn the City (Ser;Dan,Jor)
27th Nyrondria 23: Nailo's mother (Tom;Dan,Jor,Man,Ser)


14th Luftenwelter 33: Theladios' Death in the Tower (Ser;Dan,Jor)

My RPG Calendar 2008
My RPG Calendar 2010

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Dark Eye - Das Schwarze Auge 1 - Open Rules

The rules for the first edition of The Dark Eye (Realms of Arcadia) can be found online in an English language alternative write up (similar to OSRIC). The German title would be Das Schwarze Auge, 1. Auflage. It's called the All-Seeing Eye.

The rules were originally published in 1984 and it was the first RPG I ever played around 1988. It's still a pretty handy rule light system. The only thing I am missing are some tactical and/or cinematic combat manoeuvres.

Hopefully I will present some in this blog soon.