Thursday, September 5, 2019

Subway Crawl Classics - Preliminary Thoughts

So, Dungeon Crawl Classics is my game these days, and we have been toying with playing the game in non-standard settings, such as the Age of Enlightenment. My current game has players in 1984 Southern Mexico. Mix in Mutant Crawl Classics, and the possibilities grow. A recent trip to New York City and a love for games like Double Dragon and Final fight, plus movies like The Warriors got me thinking about "Subway Crawl Classics".

Ideally, set in late 1970s, early 1980s New York, it would be an odd mix of reality and fantasy, where magic is not unheard of, but maybe not quite as we think of it.

Some preliminary thoughts:

The Funnel:

Everyone starts out as unaffiliated. Either there is a gang you want to join, or you are a group of unaffiliates hoping to make a name for yourself as your own gang. Some rite of passage is needed. Crossing enemy turf, tagging a subway stop (across the tracks is most impressive). Taking the tunnel between stops... All are dangers one might face to get a rep, and thereby a class.

Potential Classes:

Bopper (Warrior and Sentinel): The main difference between the Warrior and Sentinel classes are the Mighty Deed of Arms. Either one must be eliminated, or Sentinels need something to balance with the MDoA. This one is a work in progress.

Face (Cleric and Healer): Relying on personality, these are the diplomats. They understand the law (even if not Lawful), and are more likely to know other gangs and recognize turf than other characters. They are able to "heal" through inspiration.

B-Boy (Wizard and Shaman): These have the ability to mystify foes. They are the break dancers, rappers, and DJs. Their patrons are the Great Old Ones, such as Afrika Bambaataa or Grand Master Flash. Spell list will be limited.

Sneak (Thief and Rover): Pretty much as written; pick a path.

Tagger (Halfling): Letting others know your gang's rep is important. Tagging new locations or enemy turf gives Fleeting Luck to the party, as does X-ing other tags. It is up to the Judge to make this not automatic luck at every stop. Luck roles, perhaps, per encounter to see if the tagger still has their spray can, did they lose it in a fight, is it empty?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Los Karatecas

My latest DCC campaign is influenced by the Santo film, La Furia de los Karatecas. I wanted to include some type of monk (which DCC does not have), so I turned to the OSR Monk class from Venger Satanis' The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence. There is a fairly basic monk there that would work for my purposes, but I also do not want two things to happen:
  1. los karatecas should not be significantly cooler than characters
  2. los karatecas are henchmen of the real bad guys, and should not outshine them
So, I am making them scalable.
  • AC is 11 + 1/2 hit dice (level), rounded down
  • Hit Dice: 1d6 per "level"
  • No armor
  • Simple weapons
  • Los karatecas get a deed die, as a warrior of the same "level", which can be used as follows:
    • Every round el karateca gets to concentrate on an opponent they roll a deed die; on four successes (3 or better) they have found a weakness they can exploit for
      • double damage on next damage roll
      • knock opponent prone
      • reduce a physical ability by 1
    • Alternately, they may (on a successful deed) distract opponents, allowing an ally advantage on their next attack, or an ally may flee combat freely
  • Karatecas may "dual wield" as normal, but do not gain the below benefits.
Los Karatecas get the following per "level" with open hand attacks
  1. d20 action die, 1d4 damage
  2. d20 action die, 1d6 damage
  3. d20 action die, 1d8, d14 action die, 1d4 damage
  4. d20 action die, 1d10 damage, d14 action die, 1d6 damage
  5. d20 action die, 1d12 damage, d16 action die, 1d6 damage
  6. d20 action die, 2d6+1 damage, d16 action die, 1d8 damage
  7. d20 action die, 2d4 damage, two attacks per round from here on
  8. d20 action die, 2d6 damage, attacks count as magical
  9. d20 action die, 2d8 damage, 1 in 6 chance of stunning for 1d4 rounds
  10. d20 action die, 2d10 damage, 1 in 3 chance of stunning for 1d4 rounds

Monday, March 18, 2019

#FuckYeahSuedeBikini Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity

I used to have "Fuck Yeah, Suede Bikini" on Tumblr, but then gave Tumblr up. I miss this one, and may just start reposting here as though it were Tumblr. These are from Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity. A favorite of mine, and inspiration for that Tumblr.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Casual Gaming: Boob Run #NSFW

I enjoy a casual game, and if you can make it a bit tacky/sexy, then I am on board, unless it really sucks. Fortunately, Boob Run from, oddly enough, Boob Labs, is fun and not too stupid. It is a run and jump, primarily, with distance as the main goal. You jump and slide; there are no other controls. Along the way you will find powerups which allow offensive power, but in general "jump or slide shall be the whole of the law". You also need to collect coins, I mean condoms, to buy improved powerups, or to continue your run after dying.

Death at the hands of a UFO or Infected Grandpa, with a chance to continue.

I should probably mention that you have to get Boob Run from the Amazon App Store, as it is apparently too risque for Google Play. There it is called Boom Run, and is not from Boob Labs, but rather from "Such Games", and has some differences.

The Google Play version, "Boom Run". Less sexy. Oddly, you have to earn this cover image in "Boob Run", and vice-versa.
You collect condoms ("coindoms" on Google Play) to continue your run, or to improve powerups, either increasing their duration or kill point value. The improvable powerups are:

  • "Fire All Over the Place!": you shoot straight ahead, so if you slide you shoot upward. This kills creatures and destroys obstacles.
  • "Megaboob": like the star in Super Mario games, you become bigger, faster, and invulnerable. Anything you touch is detroyed.
  • "Multiplier": collected points are multiplied x2.

Personally, I ignore points increases, as I do not see the point (points don't really earn you anything). The point to improving them on the powerups is that when you have fully maxed a powerup it becomes better.
  • "Fire All Over the Place!": scatter shot, which shoots diagonal up/down, as well as forward.
  • "Megaboob": 25% chance for Megaboob to start again when it ends.
  • "Multiplier": x3 multiplier always.
To me, the worst part of the game is the "secret" Space Invaders styled game. There is supposedly a trick to getting into it, but I seem to always get there at an inopportune time; going from a jump to a slide. The game really earns you nothing, but when you come back you have to be quick about getting into the slide, which was typically done to avoid death. In the video below, the player is able to stop the ship. I can only go back and forth.

Lastly, you complete achievements to get costumes. Some you have to pay for, or you can unlock all for a fee. I unlocked all, as I liked the game, and it was a way to give the developers a few bucks.

The standard outfit.


The princess is in another castle?!?

Do you feel a draft?

Fighting evil by moonlight, winning love by daylight.

I may have missed this comic...

Anime hair colors.

All in all, either version is dumb, monster-kid fun that smacks of Zombies Ate My Neighbors, but with boobs. or Temple Run... but with boobs. Actually, for all the supposed boobiness of the title, there are a lot more masculine nudiness, as in the "alien egg bag" from Boom Run, which is more naturally colored in Boob Run, and called, simply, "hairy alien testicles".

"Alien Egg Bag"? Right...

Honesty is the best policy.

Note on the video below: it is a good representation of play, and covers all the general bases, but I have no idea where the version is from, as the nude tentacle death is not in any version I have seen. You may want to pay particular attention to the NSFW mention here.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

#dnd Captain Fotgruhilda Mountainbelly

The other day I mentioned the description of my 5e character, Captain Fotgruhilda Mountainbelly. I commissioned my Twitter Friend A Happy Halfling to do a character drawing.

I gave a few ideas of what she looked like, but not a ton of detail. I really like the result. 'Hilda' styles herself like a dwarf, and while I never thought of the Mohawk-to-braid, that is totally a dwarf thing.

If you are looking for someone to draw your character, ping @ahappyhalfling on Twitter.

Monday, January 14, 2019

My First Foray into 5e D&D

First off, let me describe my character, as I want to get a commission done by my Twitter friend A Happy Halfling.

Captain Fotgruhilda Mountainbelly
Human Fighter

"I am Captain Fotgruhilda Mountainbelly; 'Hilda' to my friends, and 'Opal' to my clan. Oh, no, I am not a dwarf. Many years ago, my great grandmother's great grandmother was part of a protective detail with a merchant train to Northaxe. While there, a goblin attack occurred. The city was in danger of being overrun. My people were trading with the Mountainbelly clan, and as such aided their numbers in the fighting. My forebear saved the life of the Mountainbelly matriarch. The two formed a blood bond, and since that day it was decided that the first born of each, and their successive first born, would trade families. I am the sixth firstborn of that agreement. From my earliest days to my eighteenth birthday I lived in Northaxe with the Mountainbelly clan as one of their own. At home in Amsetrn, I am captain of the 14th phalanx of the West Tower. Today, I return from Northaxe after leaving my recently weened first born in the care of my dwarven kin, who will raise her as I was raised; growing strong wielding a pick in the mines, mastering the dwarven shield wall, and speaking dwarvish as though it were her born tongue. How I envy her."

Hilda is trained to fight in a shield wall with long spear and great shield. In close combat she relies on a military pick. Hilda dresses and wears her hair as a dwarf, and wears an amulet with her clan's rune at all times. As a soldier, she is fastidious and dutiful. As a noble and officer she is slightly haughty, but her dwarvish upbringing keeps arrogance in check. She prefers dwarvish food, and turns her nose up at 'that human muck'.

Part of what I enjoy about 5e is a bit of a return to roleplaying and character traits that cannot be qualified with numbers. 5e has generation rules for background and personality traits to help you create a character on the fly, or even the opportunity to get all traits randomly and then try to play as the character is defined. I created Hilda's backstory, as it fit the world the DM created, but created backup characters as well using the various tables.

Rules-wise, I am enjoying 5e. I think the advantage/disadvantage rules work nicely, and are a nice change from the old +2/-2 to roll. Character progression is nice, as it used to be that prestige classes and paragon paths were so far in the future. Now you get small progression steps as you build. Fighters and Wizards are particularly interesting at 3rd level.

To be honest, I like all editions of D&D (though 2nd edition is my least favorite). I appreciate this edition a lot, so far. It feels a lot like old editions. The rules are crunchier than some, but not cumbersome. This is the first edition in a long time I felt comfortable rolling a character without the aid of a generator, like the one distributed with 3e.

All in all, I'm sold. Bring on the goblins!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

House Rule: No Attribute Scores

Much like alignment, attribute scores are ready for the dustbin of history. Why? Because we have dumbed them down to uselessness. Some history, according to me (no references will be cited):
  • Basic: Roll 3d6 down the line. Take what you get and deal with it. Some adjustments can be made. No limits on what class you can be. 
  • Advanced: Best of 4d6, placed where you like. Adjustable. Some classes have minimum attribute requirements. Some racial and gender maximums. 
  • D20: Either roll as above, select from an array, or use point buy. Class and race limitations are gone, but abilities are dependent upon score (most notably, spellcasting).
Of those methods, Advanced (1st & 2nd editions) is likely the best (though the gender bias is disappointing). My reasoning is that there is still randomness to attribute scores, and if you want to be a specialized class (druid,paladin, illusionist, assassin, or monk) you must satisfy some pretty strict requirements; for example, a 1st edition paladin was required to have:
  • strength: 12
  • intelligence: 9
  • wisdom: 13
  • constitution: 9
  • charisma: 17
So, to be a paladin, you had to make sacrifices where you could. It was hard to roll a paladin, but the added abilities could be worth it.

The modern trend is a bit more democratic, in that if I want to play a paladin, I play a paladin. Also, no one has to play an atrociously bad character, nor play with a character who *happened* to roll three 18s. You can walk into a game with a character you made, and it only takes a glance to see that the character followed the rules.

However, putting everyone on a level playing field means that no one is extraordinary for anything. If you tell 10 players to make a human fighter in a d20 system, you will get 10 fairly equal fighters, and many will have the same attributes. There will be the oddball, like me, who takes a high wisdom over constitution because, "sometimes not being surprised is better than hit points."

So, here is my idea. It may not be new, and I have not played this way, so I present it for discussion: no more attribute scores. Attributes, but no scores. Instead, your class' primary attribute gets a bonus die, when applicable. You're a fighter using strength? Roll your bonus die along with your d20. Thief using dexterity? Roll your bonus die along with your d20. If your class has multiple primary attributes, say strength and constitution for a fighter, you pick one to get the bonus. Now you have striker types, and meat-shield types. One breaks down doors, and one isn't poisoned easily. The bonus die would increase periodically, say whenever you would normally get an attribute point increase.

Additionally, you could choose a second attribute to get a bonus on, but with this one you would also take a minus on another. You want to be a cleric who is strong? Take a bonus die on strength, and a penalty die on constitution. Want to also be charismatic? Take a bonus die on charisma and a penalty on dexterity. If this method is added, one could forgo the increase to their primary attribute and increase one of the secondaries, or perhaps even eliminate the penalty on one?

The idea is to add a bit of randomness back into a stale idea. If everyone is +3 to attack, then everyone might as well be +0. I recently played a game of Dungeon Crawl Classics where the judge provided characters. These characters were clearly fudged, as all characters had an 18 for their primary attribute, and some had more than one. He did this (I assume) in part because it was a Try-It-Out session, and to get new players interested it is hard to hand them a sheet full of single digit attributes. The other part, I think, is that he agrees with me. Attribute scores do not matter, so let everyone be a bad ass.


You know how much fun it is to hit that natural 20, or even a 19? Think of adding the excitement of maxing out your bonus die as well? I think it would add drama, and liven up combat, which frankly, can get a bit stale these days.

As for mechanics, I'd say start with a d3 bonus die. If your game (like 5e) has a proficiency bonus, use that. If not, maybe start with a d4.