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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Aggie's Dolls



Mandrake Doll
Prohibition Agent

Aggie’s Dolls - in the Kitchen at Igman’s, investigators may notice small (6”) dolls made of cloth sewn around a mandrake root, decorated and dressed to look like specific people. Letty’s is one of the more prominent.

When a doll is picked up, the holder will have a sense of where the individual it represents is located. The better the holder knows the area, the more accurate the knowledge. For example, Aggie picks up Letty’s doll, Letty is cleaning Professor Bernard’s room at the time. Aggie knows it’s the Professor’s room. An investigator will only sense that Letty is close by and inside.

Expending a Magic Point will allow the holder to use one of the doll’s senses. For example looking into the eyes of the doll to see what the person is currently looking at.

Similarly, putting the doll’s lips next to your ear allows you to hear what, if anything, they are saying. If the doll has ears, you can whisper a message to the individual via the doll. Each sense used requires one Magic Point to activate it and works for ten minutes.

Dolls: Letty, Mrs Igman, several members of Church of Nature’s Bounty, Donald French (no ears). After BLANK days, they will find Aggie has made one of Professor Bernard.

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I created these for my recent Call of Cthulhu adventure, note that I never quite completed the write up.  The investigators found them, right before they burned the boardinghouse down.  The description is generic enough you can adapt these to any system.  The sketch is my rendition of the earless doll used for Donald French, the Prohibition Agent masquerading as a tractor salesman, who was murdered by the cult.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Ghastly Going-ons in Galena

     I started writing this Call of Cthulhu adventure up back in October and already posted a few items from it, I finally ran it last night and went perfectly!  Good role-playing, plot immersion, rarely needed to roll the dice.  When the players went in unexpected directions they actually we're productive shortcuts to information the characters needed.

     The adventure is set in Galena Illinois between April 27th and May 1st 1920.  I wrote two hooks into the adventure, one is a spring turkey hunt with Ed Hopkins, a Chicago stock broker, who's parents own a farm in the area and the other was an invitation to a dig at a reported Sac and Fox (Meskwaki) Indian site with Professor Stanley Bernard of the Anthropology Department at Northwestern University.  I figured this way I had reasons for both toughs and brainiacs to be in the area and observe mysterious sights.

    The first hurdle was that my CoC book is 3rd Edition.  This proved to be trivial as the biggest difference is that the Characteristics are pre-multiplied by 5 in the subsequent editions, so where I had written test against Int * 2, it was you need a hard success.  Swapping skills around on the fly was easy and the additional skill points were diluted by the all the skills the players wanted to have.

    A bigger difficulty was the new professions or backgrounds available to the players included some that simply didn't fit.  Drifters wouldn't have been invited to tag along to the scenes of action; a cowboy I might have been able to make work in the hunting party, but why would they be there.  Also, all the player made tough guys at first, until I pointed out that they really needed someone with an academic background, so a quick trip to the computer generated a grad student mentored by Professor Bernard.  The players used The Dhole's House to generate their characters, we ended up with the grad student, who had interrupted his studies and joined the Lafayette Escadrille during the Great War and a Irish Chicago bartender with an amateur interest anthropology as a member of the Chicago American Anthropological Association, and a former US Marine who had seen action at Belleau Wood; and the hunters were another farmer and an English big game hunter who had been knighted during the war for services with the King's African Rifles in German East Africa.

     As their rooms at the Desoto House were unavailable due to an electrical fire, they had been set up with rooms at Igman's Boarding House.  There Letty, the serving girl, informed them that the Professor, the soldier (Captain Graham, USA Corps of Engineers), the Polack (a plumber named Melnik from Chicago) and the Sneak (a man named Donald French, representing himself as a tractor salesman for Minneapolis Moline) were also in residence.Walking through the conservatory, Herbert, the farmer, spotted the mandragora being grown; he didn't have great success so he only knew it was a variety he didn't recognize.  He (the player) did remember the toxicity of the plant and that caused the first consternation at the table.  Repairing to a nearby diner for coffee and a plate of soup, the Englishman began to feel the place might be civilized when the waitress said they had tea and asked him if he wanted sugar and lemon.  He rethought that a bit when she brought out the the big glass of sweet tea, instead of a nice cuppa.  But in the end decided he liked it.  After a long discussion on the possibility of being poisoned by eating at the boarding house, they returned, met the afore mentioned NPCs and the proprietress, Mrs Igman.   Afer the brainiacs discussed the digging with the professor, the bartender and the farmer played poker with Melnik and his flask of rather raw whisky; the grad student sat down and shared his flask with Captain Graham and offered to help him organize the papers he'd brought up from Jefferson Barracks.  The Captain being in the process of writing a monograph on the Army administration of Mining Leases in the the first half of the 19th Century.  While organizing the papers by date for the Captain, the grad student found a Clue!  The last sheet of an undated army report describing the sealing of a man named Swithin with his creature in a hole by rolling three barrels of gunpowder into it and blowing them up.  [A great first day from my point of view, they had discovered two clues, drawn one badly mistaken conclusion and were quite baffled by the other.]

      The second day was more scene setting, after breakfast they split into their respective groups, seeing French driving away in a car and Captain Graham riding off on a horse.  The hunters getting picked up by Ed Hopkins and taken to his parents farm.  They walked the field trying to flush some turkeys, got off one shot but no bird.  At the end the field, they had an encounter with Melnik and a guy named Joey, who had heard the shot and been sent to see what was happening by Mr Hayes.  They found out that there was an old lead mine across the road where Melnik was working.  Joey asked them to settle a bet about crocodiles in the Mississippi, based on his knowledge of bible stories and having seen "the guy at the Baptist church pick up the snake and use itas a cane, like Moses" [The players completely missed that clue.]   The diggers met Mr Allen and his family who owned the land the dig site was on.  They walked up the ravine to it, saw the exposed petroglyph and set out marking off the dig site.  After lunch, the hunters moved to a nearby wooded creek, where the Englishman scored an extreme luck roll and blasted a turkey at less than ten yards, plucking and dressing it and making it completely immune to radiation in one leaden blast.  The bartender at the dig site wasn't so lucky, while clearing underbrush he failed a Luck and a Listen roll, getting bit by a rattlesnake for his misfortune.  They got him back to the farm and shipped into the local doctor, so he ended up being treated in time.  The grad student continued at the dig site and uncovered the second petroglyhs before wrapping up for the day.  [he also made a geology roll when I told him the rock wasn't local stone.  That made me scramble to the internet and look up 'rare Illinois minerals'.  Turns out it's a porous quartz called tripoli, found only in extreme southern Illinois.  I didn't know that until he asked.] After supper, they took a walk and discussed the day's findings.  Snakes were definitely involved as the hunters had tracked a couple of snakes moving in parallel through the brush and into an adjoining field.  The first petroglyph translated as 'bad' the second was a rather demonic looking horned head with spiral eyes.  It's meaning was obscure, although it looked similar to buffalo head petroglyphs in other locations.  Much of the discussion revolved around why a plumber would be employed at a mine.  Earlier questioning of Ed Hopkins had revealed that Mr Hayes had bought the mine only a few months before and the locals all thought he was crazy, as the mines had been closed for at least a dozen years in the area.   [Another good day, they players knew they were obtaining clues and the speculation on how they fit together was free wheeling.  They were very concerned about the petroglyphs and coming up with ways to tie them into the mine and old Army report that I had never considered when writing the adventure.  They didn't take note when I remarked that the French, the tractor salesman, hadn't been at supper.  I should also mention that I was giving them daily headlines, baseball scores and snippets of stories that would have been in the papers, ranging from "Polish President Pilsudski signs alliance with Ukrainian rebels' (a real happening that I think would have been noted in Chicago papers.) and 'Twenty women's heads found in home of Cairo [IL] blackbeard'. (A real headline of the day from a local newspaper.)  I like dropping in background news to raise the immersion level.]

     The third day, the hunters got up early, to get back to their blinds in the creek bed before dawn.  Both of them bagged turkeys, but the Englishman heard a metallic rattle, which when they investigated turned out to be a car driven off the road and into the bushes by the creek.  Tracking determined that it had been driven in, not skidded off the road and one person had walked away back up to the road.  They couldn't remember the license plate, but it looked like French's car so they assumed it was.  Searching found a surplus pair of binoculars, a box of pistol ammunition and a traced map with the area from the hamlet of West Diggings to the mine circled in red.  The farmer decided to start (read steal) the car, but couldn't get it to start.  The Englishman thought French might still be in the area and that it was his tracks walking away.  They didn't bother to search for him, but having bagged their birds, decided to call of the hunt for the day and head back to town.  The morning dig started later, but uncovered another set of petroplyphs, thunderbirds flanking a triangle over a downward pointing arrow,  The afternoon dig was interrupted by a visit from a local boy looking for Miss Lucy, Mr Allen's (the owner of the dig site) daughter.  A brief, and frustrating conversation where they learned he wasn't in school because “Pa says, there’s only one book with the truth of the world.  School marm’s a wastin’ time talkin’.”  He disappeared through the brush with a parting admonishment not to dig too deep and disturb Old Tom.   They uncovered the final petroglyph, a headless human figure wrapped by a couple of lines that terminated in a wavy ball of lines[All the petroglyphs I used are based on or direct copies of real North American petroglyphs.  Some are from the Great Lakes region, some just show up in different charts of native American pictograms on the internet.  Meanings are ambiguous at best.]  The hunters inspected the fuse box at the Desoto House and determined that 'electrical fire' seemed to have outside help from the symmetrical burn marks below and to the sides of the box.  The Englishman also managed (surprisingly considering his low Library skill) to find an early land claim for a Edward Swithland that encompassed the area circled in red on the traced map.  When they all ended up back at the boarding house, they found a cold supper laid for them and a note that the staff would be out late at a church meeting.  [The pace really picked up at this point.]  Captain Graham showed up with French's body over his saddle.  French had a gunshot to the chest, the barkeeper volunteered to show Graham where the doctor's office was, although they ended up being directed to the local mortuary as there was no need for the doctor to interrupt his supper for an obviously dead man.  While carrying the body in, the bar keeper noticed puncture wounds on French's hands, his recent experience allowed him to identify them as snake bite wounds.   They searched French's room, found that he did have a well used sample case with a pristine model Minneapolis Moline tractor in it as well as a book of sample plates and tractor specification - oddly it's spine wasn't even cracked.  Searching the rest of the house, they found Mrs Igman's room was locked, but in the kitchen they found a number of dolls, one of Letty, one of Mrs Igman, one of French (with no ears), one of the Professor (also with no ears, although I don't think I mentioned that) and a number of others they didn't recognize.  Picking up Letty's doll, the grad student knew that she was located a distance to west and a bit north, and inferred that she was at the 'Baptist' Church.  All the other dolls where in the same location, except for French's (no feeling) and the Professor's (in the parlor).  Ripping open French's they found the it was built around a mandragora root.  Ms Igman's felt different, as the bottom was a single long root, rather than bifurcated into legs like the rest.  Showing the Professor his doll, he announced it certainly was similar to a Caribbean voodoo doll and that he was going upstairs to pack and catch the 11 pm Chicago & Northwestern - and they should too.  His grad student followed him upstairs and was given a brief expurgated discussion of the Professor's occult knowledge and again urged to leave dealing with it to the locals who losses would be unfortunate, but who wouldn't make the connections to the obscene knowledge of reality.  Bringing Captain Graham and Melnik into the discussion as the Professor departed, Graham declared them mad until they convinced him to hold Mrs Igman's doll which left him stunned to know where she was.  Melnik was more concerned about what they had found in French's car.  He stormed upstairs and trashed French's room, including the display case which contained notes on Prohibition violations in Jo Davies county.  He immediately announced that these had to be shown to Mr Hayes, the mine owner.  When questioned why he informed them that the mine contained a distillery and was also used as a transshipment point (in shorter words) to move bootleg and locally distilled spirits out of Chicago, upstream to St Paul and downstream to St Louis using the barge traffic on the Mississippi.  The whole operation was under the control of the North Side Gang - coincidentally the suppliers of the 'special drinks' to the barkeeper in the party.  Deciding to search Mrs Igman's room, they found a nasty odor of snakes, more a nest than a bed and an extra large shed snake skin.  At this point they realized they had never seen her other than when she was sitting at the dining table.  A concealed door into the adjoining dining room explained how she moved between the two.  Checking Mrs Igman's doll, they determined that she was moving in their direction, probably about twenty minutes away.  The only discussion at this point was whether to burn the whole town (the framer's position) or just the boarding house.  What passed for sanity prevailed, Captain Graham recommended they start the fire in the kitchen, but asked them to wait ten minutes while he collected his papers.  Graham rode off on his horse with his papers, They set fires in both the kitchen and Mrs Igman's room.  Melnik led them to a nearby warehouse to wait for the 2 am truck from the mine.  They heard the fire department come and go, when they departed on the truck there was no sign of Mrs Igman or the rest of the staff.  Right now they are hiding in the mine and just checked the doll, finding out that Mrs Igman is in the church on the next property.....

[They've essentially solved the mystery with 36 hours to spare, in a way I hadn't anticipated.  We broke at this point, as I had an hour long drive in ten below weather to get home.  I have to say this may be the best gaming session I've ever run.  Now I have to time to incorporate some of their speculations into the final scenes and determine what happens then.]




     

Sunday, January 31, 2021

2021 Character Creation Challenge: Day 31 - Tiny Dungeons / The Hatchling Edition

 


   And finally, I get to the end of the challenge and will be creating a character for an introductory RPG.  Tiny Dungeons is a very simple system, the Hatchling Edition is pitched at introducing kids to role playing games.  I can say that my oldest granddaughter enjoys it, the younger one is still at the stage of trying to eat the dice rather than roll them.

    Character creation is quite simple, no die rolling involved.

1. Select a heritage.  Usually know as race.  Choices are Human, Fey (Elf), Dwarf, Goblin, Hatchling (Dragon), Salimar (Salamander folk, pyro or cryo), Treefolk (Ents), Karhu (Bears) or Lizardfolk.  Each heritage determines your hit point and has a trait associated with it - except humans who get to pick an extra Trait.

2. Select three traits from the Trait list.  Traits replace said fixed classes, but are skills, feats and proficiencies like Alchemist.  Cleave, and Blind fight.

3. Select a weapon group proficiency.  Weapons are grouped by Light melee, Heavy melee and Ranged.  You select a group and then select one weapon type from within that group as a weapon you have Mastered.

4.  Select a Family Trade (background).  Any trade you want, this is to jump start backdtory creation.

5.  Select a Belief.  This is a guiding principle that helps the player define what's important to the character and then determine how the character will act.  The authors seem to have an appreciation that players often think 'Chaotic Me' is an acceptable alignment.


I'm going to jump back two days and stat up my Suarian Hch'ait Lord as a Lizardfolk.

Second Right Claw of the Nest                    Lizardfolk

HP 6+2 = 8.       Cold blooded - attempts to influence through emotions suffer from Disadvantage.

Traits:  Cleave - gain an extra attack when I drop an adversary to 0 HP

Strong - Gain Advantage when doing a Test involving brute force, like kicking a door in.

Tough - Gain two extra HP.

Weapon Group: Heavy Melee - Pole Arm (Glaive)

Family Trade:  Defending the nest from dinosaurs.

Belief.  When force isn't enough, use MORE force.

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The system is really stripped down.  Everything becomes a Test.

Standard Test - roll 2d6 if either comes up 5 or 6 you succeed

Advantage Test - roll 3d6 if any come up 5 or 6 you succeed

Disadvantage Test - roll 1d6 if you roll a 5 or 6 you succeed

Save Test - standard test that brings the character back to 1 HP

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All weapons do 1 point of Damage

Armor is what ever you want it wear - it doesn't count unless the DM makes it count.

Monsters are rated by threat level:  Fodder 1HP, Low 2 HP, Medium 3-5 HP, High 6-8 HP, Heroic 9-14 HP and Solo 15+ HP. Although Red Dragons are rated as Epic in the beastiary with 20HP.  

These mechanics make it trivial to run an adventure from another system while converting everything on the fly.






Saturday, January 30, 2021

2021 Character Creation Challenge: Day 30 - Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

     The penultimate entry in this series takes me back to a version I only played in a single campaign.  I was pretty much out of gaming while the Navy moved me around from Virginia Beach to Newport RI to San Diego to New York City to Jacksonville and finally to Chicago where my career changed.  In December 1999 we moved back to Minnesota and I got back in touch with one of my gaming friends from college and Virginia Beach.  He invited me to join his 2nd Edition group and I've been back in gaming fairly steadily for the last twenty years.  As soon as 3rd Edition came out we picked it up and went on from there, so all I ever bought was a used Player's Handbook and maybe a source book.  I made a single character - a bard, who the party accused of being a thief.  (I did name his horse 'Back Pay')  In honor of that character, I've rolled up another one.

I used Method 2, rolling twelve d6 and taking the top six. (7, 15, 12,13,12, 11,9, 14, 17, 18, 13, 4).  After due consideration of Prime Requisites and survivability of different stat arrangement I decided on this

ST  14

DX 18    Reaction + 2 Missile +2  Defense -4

CN  17   Hit Points +2

IQ  13   Languages 3 Max Spell Level 6

WS  13

CH  15   Henchmen 7  Loyalty +3  Reaction +3

The problem with Bards mechanically (at least in 2e) is the highest Prime Requisite value they need is Charisma - but NONE of their abilities are really tied to it.  Influencing others is a Save vs Paralyzation with negatives based on the Bard's level.  Inspiring allies, just happens, range increases by level but nothing else.  So while I couldn't make Charisma a dump stat, there was no reason to max it out.  

Intelligence is the second highest required Prime Requisite and the Bard is a Spellcaster.  But they have to find all of their spells after 2nd Level, getting the scraps the Wizard leaves for them.  While a Bard can cast Fireball (and would be cool to so) having a high intelligence doesn't really help them acquire it or cast it for more damage.  I will say that it helps them learn the spells, but I recently had a 1e Wizard with 18 intelligence roll a 98 to learn fireball - so he can't - and it shows nothing is guaranteed.

Dexterity in a lightly armored character is always a good thing, so max it out.

That left me with a 17 to place in Strength, Constitution or Wisdom.  Wisdom was ruled out immediately, no advantage there.  I almost went with a 17 Strength for the additional hit and damage.  But too many years on both sides of the screen have demonstrated how much of a game changer having more hit points is in the game.

Stats having been distributed, looking at Bard abilities had me looking back at the Thief tables for Pick Pocket, etc.  The racial bonuses pushed me to select half-elf as a race. I checked, in 2e humans don't get an extra proficiency, otherwise I would have gone with that.  That gives base percentages of Pickpocket 35%, Detect Noise 15%, Read Languages 0% Climb Walls 60%.  Distributed the twenty extra points 5 to Detect Noise and 15 to Read Languages.

Last thing to do was Non-Weapon Proficiencies.  A section, I had completely forgotten about.  As a Bard I felt obligated to burn one to learn a musical instrument, then reread the Bard entry and found I didn't need to.  So Appraise and Blind-fight (which takes two proficiency slots).

For a name, well, I was reading Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave series at the time and used something based on a minor character's name.  So I'll go with a Celtic name with a Latin ending again.

Celynus                               Chaotic Neutral  Half Elf   Bard 1

ST  14

DX 18    Reaction + 2 Missile +2  Defense -4

CN  17   Hit Points +2

IQ  13   Languages 3 Max Spell Level 6

WS  13

CH  15   Henchmen 7  Loyalty +3  Reaction +3

HP 8    AC 2 (Rear 6)  Hide Armor    GP 19

Bastard Sword (2H)               THAC0   20  Damage  2d4/2d8
Composite Short Bow            THAC0  18   Damage  1d8/1d8 (Sheaf arrows)  ROF 2/1  Range 40/80/170

Abilities:  Climb Walls 60%, Detect Noise 20%  Pick Pockets 35%, Read Languages 15%, Influence Reactions (Save vs Paralyzation) , Inspire (Chose +1 Attack, +1 Save, +2 Morale) 10' radius, Counter Spell (Save vs Spell), Identify Item 5%, 30% Resistance to Sleep & Charm, 60' infravision, Detect secret doors (Passive: 1 in 6, Active: 2 in 6, Concealed 3 in 6).


Proficiencies:  Appraise, Blind-fight (-2 to Attacks)


    A fixture in the cheaper taverns of the City State, Celynus claims to be Viridian and related (admittedly distantly) to the World Emperor.   His dark skin and red hair, indicate that the relationship must be VERY distant and he probably has closer relations with the pirates of the Sea of Seven Winds.





Friday, January 29, 2021

2021 Character Creation Challenge: Day 29 - Chivalry & Sorcery / Saurians

       

A Hss'Taathi lord considers peeling you
out of your metal shell for dinner

      Still in Chivalry & Sorcery, but moved to the Saurians expansion.  I've met to do a review of this book for a number of months, but haven't gotten to it yet.  It's a bit of an odd book, the first half is a beastiary of dinosaurs and Ice Age creatures, with a few giant insects thrown in, the second half details the culture of the Hss'Taathi a race and culture  mysteriously translated out of the dawn to the medieval world of Arden.  Complete with their dinosaurs, domesticated and wild.

      While the characteristics and calculations are the same, the tables and values are different, so I didn't even try to tweak the spreadsheet.   Let's roll some dice and do some math!




The first step is to determine the 'Ooscope'.  Rather like a horoscope, but with more cultural and religious weight behind it.  It's done by observation of the way the saurian hatches from it's egg and has two outcomes.  First is the Caste of the saurian, much like human social class but very adventuring oriented.  

03 gives me a Hch'ait Lord.  The saurian equivalent of a Knight.  

Second is the Omens which may provide an experience bonus.

08 Highly Propitious! +25% experience if he stays in his Caste. (Caste changing is possible, but penalized)

Caste effects almost all the subsequent rolls.  And at this point C&S has abandoned most of the straight 1-20 rolls of the red book.

Height - still a 1-20 roll, but two new categories 'Very Tall' and 'Giant'.  All Hch'ait lords are very tall, no reason to roll.

Frame - still 1-20, but two new categories 'Very Heavy' and 'Massive'.  

09 - Heavy increase weight by 1 Level.

Size d20 roll is 12 which on the Very Tall table gives me 6'9" 425

Dexterity - Hch'ait roll 1d10 + 8 - 7 gives 15 DEX

Strength - Hch'ait roll 2d6 + 8 and are the only ones who can have Superhuman strength.  I rolled a 8 so 16 ST

Constitution - two step procedure.  First roll 2d6 if the result is less than 4 the character is a runt.  I rolled a 4 and avoided that so Hhc'ait roll 2d6+9.  A 7 gives a 16 CON

Personal Appearance - is calculated for Saurians.  (CON + ST)+2 for Very Tall +3 for caste = 21 PA

Bardic Voice - Hch'ait roll 3d6+8 for voice, a 12 give me BV 20

Intelligence - Hch'ait roll 3d6+2.  I roll 17 for IQ 19

Wisdom - Hch'ait roll 3d6+2.  I roll 12 for WS 14

Charisma has a different calculation.  (PA+BV+IQ+WS)/4 = CH 18.5

Alignment stays d20.  A roll of 10.

Body is based on Body Bonus values from the Size, Strength and Constitution tables  25+5+2 = 34

Fatigue is 1d6, same as all the 1st levels. I rolled a 5

Carrying Capacity is (Strength Factor + Constitution Factor)*Weight = (3.0+0.6)*425 = CarCap 1530

Military Ability is (IQ+WS+PA+BV+CH)/10 = 9.25 rounded down to  MA 9. (No bonuses for Silurians with high characteristic scores)

Command Level is MA/2 so CL 4.5

Personal Combat Factor is CarCap/100 + MA/2 +DX/10 +Class Factor.  15.30+4.5+1.5+2 = PCF 23.4

PCF 23-24.9

Light Weapons

Blows     Damage     %Hit      %Parry

+3            4xWDF    +25%       -20%

Heavy Weapons

Blows     Damage     %Hit      %Parry     Shield Parry       %Dodge

+2            5xWDF   +18%        -12%             -22%                -35%


Hss'Taathi language is generally considered unpronounceable by humans, so he goes by a translation of his title as a newly matured Hch'ait lord (essentially a squire)

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Second Right Claw of the Nest                               Hch'ait Lord 1

6'9"  425lbs

DX 15  - Dexterous   ST  16 - Mighty   CN  16 - Hardy

PA  21 - Handsome/Beautiful    BV  20 - Orphic     IQ  19 - Genius 

WS  14 - Discerning     CH 18 - Dominant     AL 10 - Worldly

Car Cap 1530     Mil Ab 9    Command Level 10

Body 34   Fatigue 5   PCF   23.4

Armor Banded Mail AC 4 + Natural AC 4 (Need to roll TWO hits to penetrate)

Open Helm AC 4   Shield: Class 5 Polearm  Parry -27%

Glaive (as 2 Handed Battle Axe)

Type     Blows    Damage   Hit /Crit Unarmored

H             4             17                53%/45%

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Thursday, January 28, 2021

2021 Character Creation Challenge: Day 28 - Chivalry & Sorcery / Swords & Sorcerers | Steppe Nomad

     


Reading through this section of Swords and Sorcerers, I'm of the impression that the main reason for including Steppe Nomads was to discuss army troop composition for the miniature rules which are at the heart of C&S.  I've noted in the past that C&S places rules for miniatures and large scale combat resolution BEFORE the Individual Combat section, Thieves, Clergy and 'Magick' sections, i.e. all the role playing rules.  It took me until I started reading OSR blogs to realize that that is a direct tie to D&D's reliance on Chainmail.  Large scale combat was always intended to be part of the hobby, with Individual characters being a sort of 'drill down' to greater detail.  Little did they expect the characters to over take the large scale action.

    Again tweaking my generation spreadsheet makes character generation quick, the biggest time sink is adding the weapons to my combat value lookup tables that are needed to calculate number of blows and damage, as I only build those out as needed.


Kashi                                                           Steppe Nomad Warrior


______________________________________________

Kashi, son of Jahka Gambu - a Beki Jegun of the Oirat clan, is a young warrior riding as a scout for the horde.
______________________________________________

   The only changes from the basic character generation are: the height/frame distribution skews to building smaller characters and they put on a max height of 5'10"; but allow the Body value to be whatever you rolled up so there's no mechanical penalty in figuring hit points.  The Social Class changes to reflect the society as  we've seen in the Nordic and Celtic posts.   Oh and the big one female characters are absolutely PROHIBITED - as the society would not allow it.  This was not uncommon, nor did it raise an eyebrow among gamers at that time as we usually were trying to recreate something semi-historical.  C&S of course being firmly grounded in the medieval to the extant that the creators had tables to determine which real lord in France was your lord. See also AD&D's gender & race Strength caps.  

Beki Jegun is a low level leader of 5 households - about 100 warriors.

    This wraps up Swords & Sorcerers tomorrow it's on the the Saurians supplement for C&S

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Character Creation Challenge Posts:

2021 Character Creation Challenge

Day 1 - D&D 0e

Day 2 - Empire of the Petal Throne

Day 3 - Metamorphosis Alpha

Day 4 - Chivalry & Sorcery 1e

Day 5 - Traveller

Day 6 - Runequest

Day 7 - Gamma World

Day 8 - The Morrow Project

Day 9 - There was no Day 9.  Bumping the schedule back a day.

Day 10 - Warhammer FRP.

Day 17 - The Dark Eye

Day 18 - Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Day 19 - Labyrinth Lord 

Day 20 - Carcosa

Day 21 - Swords and Wizardry

Day 22 - Adventurer Conqueror King

Day 23 - Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

Day 24 - Castles and Crusades

Day 25 - Warriors of Mars










Wednesday, January 27, 2021

2021 Character Creation Challenge: Day 27 - Chivalry & Sorcery / Swords & Sorcerers |Celt


    Doncan, son of Orry, is an exile from his tribe, now serving a rival cheiftain in the Dearthwood Forest east of the City State of the Invincible Overlord.  While his father is a member of his King's Guard, his mother was captured in a raid against a caravan of travelling Amazons.  From her, Doncan inherited not only an unusually dark skin tone for the Duneal tribes, but somewhat scaly skin and partially webbed toes and feet.  He's part merman and can hold his breath twice as long as a normal human as well as swim at the same speed he walks.



I'm stayed with Swords & Sorcerers today to generate a Celtic tribesman.  The only changes from the original C&S character generation system is determining Social Status - and that appears not to have been well edited, with one table ending at 61 out a hundred and not covering generating Royal characters, although there are tables for Royal characters.  This time I remembered to add the weapon and armor to the stat spreadsheet.  As is my wont I rolled his description on the tables I developed for the Wilderlands, where I decided that the Duneal Forester would be Irish-ish.


Doncan Bredan                                                            Celtic Warrior


  Armor Weapons and truncated to hit by AC chart


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Another easy day in generation, remembered I'd built a look up table for weapons too, so a bit of cut and pasting made my life easy.




Character Creation Challenge Posts:

2021 Character Creation Challenge

Day 1 - D&D 0e

Day 2 - Empire of the Petal Throne

Day 3 - Metamorphosis Alpha

Day 4 - Chivalry & Sorcery 1e

Day 5 - Traveller

Day 6 - Runequest

Day 7 - Gamma World

Day 8 - The Morrow Project

Day 9 - There was no Day 9.  Bumping the schedule back a day.

Day 10 - Warhammer FRP.

Day 17 - The Dark Eye

Day 18 - Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Day 19 - Labyrinth Lord 

Day 20 - Carcosa

Day 21 - Swords and Wizardry

Day 22 - Adventurer Conqueror King

Day 23 - Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

Day 24 - Castles and Crusades

Day 25 - Warriors of Mars