Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Urband Dead

Not much time but I wanted to pass on this to anyone who might read this and hasn't seen this site...

Well worth looking into if you like zombies and urban survival.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My desk

Just a picture of the desk where all these witty posts are written... look on in AWE!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Encumbrance... my strength is a 15

PET PEEVE TIME! So, if you don't like reading about game rules or pet peeves move along...

Back when I was a Dungeon Master I fought with my players over the use of the encumbrance rules (which, at one point I pronounced "IN-QIUM-BRANCE"). They never wanted to use it and I always wanted to use it. I feel that the things that challenge a character/player in the game is just as defining to the game as that which empowers the character/player. So, no, I don't think your strength 8 magic-user can carry as many coins as he wants and I don't think I am being a butthole for feeling that way. Every good piece of fantasy literature references the encumbrance rule without actually calling it that. Samwise talked about what he had loaded into his pack and what he hated leaving behind because he couldn't carry it all. Conan regularly took the sweetest treasures from those he found because he couldn't carry it all. This goes on and on and on with the result being because they couldn't carry it all. So why should the rule be ignored, or is it being ignored? Is it being avoided because of the apparent slow down to the play of the game? Maybe as a young man with less social skill than I have now I misunderstood what the players were counter-bitching about and maybe they couldn't articulate it effectively.

So.. FIX TIME! I have constructed a simple system to implement the encumbrance rules of ANY GAME SYSTEM with speed and effeciency while maintaining the integrity of the rule. I rock, don't I?

What you need----
  • rpg dice as many as you want but at least one full set
  • a container such as a small bowl or such, if you're particularly crafty make some little back packs
  • a few tokens such as stones or beads
How it works: the dice are representative of the objects being carried by the character, what ever they be, by the units being measured. Each dice is a value of its maximum face or ten times it maximum face according to the system. 1st edition AD&D used coins so ten times would be best but current 4th edition uses pounds so the regular value is fine. The dice go into the container to show current weight carried and any weight under 4 or 40 (a d4 in other words) is represented by the tokens. The DM or player can simply glance in the bowl, do easy quick math, and know the current encumbrance of the character.

To show how this works lets reference it with 4th edition D&D; a character with a strength of 15 would be able to carry 150 pounds of equipment without penalty or up to 300 pounds as a heavy load. So, if we take a standard equipped level 1 fighter he would have;
  • scale armor (45 lbs); heavy shield (15 lbs); long sword (4 lbs); dagger (1 lb); short bow (2 lbs); standard adventurer's kit (33 lbs); 30 arrows (3 lbs)
...this weighs in at  103 pounds which could be represented by the d100 (just the tens dice) and 3 tokens. Easily tracked, easily measured, easily affected. If the player picks up a magic long sword and stuffs it into his belt just drop a d4 in in the box. If he picks up a bag with 500 gold drop in a d10. So forth and so on.

A regular set of seven rpg dice is measured as 160 pounds, well within the character's normal weight allowance and pretty close for any character. Two sets of dice and y our golden, most of use have lots more than two anyway. The only real caveat to this rule is to remember not to USE those dice to roll or you totally mess up your encumbrance. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm not dead...

... I was bit by a dog and I don't feel good. Nothing severe but I just haven't had a lot of time between my kids activities, graduation coming up and the never ending pound of an allergy season.

Soon, this week even, I promise to post some pictures of a painted fleet, some finished CSA and other stuff.

You'll see!

Friday, May 7, 2010

In The Labyrinth... Shadowhunter Bats and Poison

Second installment of In The Labyrinth 4E D&D encounters....

As with the previous installment this details a single encounter for four level 1 characters, this encounter is an EL2. The party could enter from any of the three blue arrow locations. The specific features in the area that matter are;
  • Statues: there are four of these in small alcoves. Each depicts a dragonborn fighter clad in decorative full plate armor including open faced helmet and holding a great sword, point down, with both hands on the pommel. The statue in the south west alcove has the sword broken about half way up the blade and the three pieces are laying in the dust of the floor. 
  • Doors: there are three sets of double doors, all made of some dark and sturdy wood and in fair condition for their age. The chamber doors are equipped with hooks and bars to lock them, from the outside, for what ever reason may be.
  • Secret Door: the south east statue has a secret door behind it and it can be found and unlocked with a DC 30 perception check. 
  • Pools: the chambers each have an eight foot square pool that is four feet deep. The pools are filled with stagnant water that has a thin layer of slime. It can be drank though and will not harm the characters, although it may be particularly nasty tasting.
The area should seem mysterious to the party with a lot of seeming purpose but nothing clearly defined or obviously dangerous. Lurking in the north east room are three shadowhunter bats, resting, and without evidence of how they reached the inside of the chamber with the doors closed. They will awaken if the chamber is disturbed but as they are resting in the shadows, and very likely to be unnoticed (DC 20 passive perception to see) they may surprise the party, their shadow camouflage nature giving them an advantage. All are mostly well fed and they will attack out of the simple carnivorous nature of their kind. If one of them is slain there is a 25% chance the other two will flee, otherwise they will fight to the death. Keep in mind that there is potential for them to be awakened by other events taking place in the area, loud noises or combat for some reason will cause them to alight and seek out the potential prey.

The secret south chamber was at one time a great treasure room, but it has been ransacked. Strewn about the chamber is a collection of opened and broken chests, torn sacks, and mostly broken pottery (although a pot can be whole if needed). There is one box, a small one, that is laying on its side and unopened. If picked up and examined it will be evident that the box is both locked and filled with something. The lock (Thievery DC 25 to unlock) is trapped with a poison needle (Thievery 30 to notice and disarm). A character to attempts to unlock the box or fiddle with the lock, or even turns it wrong, will spring the trap. It will make a +10 reflex attack which will strike with Dark Toxin which may cause considerably problems at the wrong time. The poison is magically refreshed so it will never be exhausted unless it is broken. Inside the box is only a fist full of copper coins (d100) and a Potion of Healing.

If the Dungeon Master feels the rewards of the area are not equal to the danger then they may place a parcel of treasure in the bottom of either pool, which being dirty will be a DC25 perception to locate.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Uncharted Seas... Shroud Mages

Just a quick update. I painted my friend David's Shroud Mages fleet in just one evening. They weren't "hard" to paint but I really enjoyed painting them so it went fast.

Hope you like them too.