Friday, June 23, 2017

GURPS Martial Arts in POD

Thanks to Matt Riggsby for pointing this out:

GURPS Martial Arts is available in softcover for $29.95! It's been out of print for a long time. I get a tiny fraction of each sale as royalties. More importantly, my players and I can finally get some extra copies of the book.

Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items author revealed

I'm not sure if this was mentioned publicly earlier, but my latest writing project was revealed yesterday on the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game Kickstarter page:

Taking Care of All the Things

So what is it?

"Dungeon Fantasy Magic Items (by Peter V. Dell’Orto)"

So that's what I was up to earlier this year when I mentioned a time crunch due to writing. Lucky for me, all of that writing was directly useful for my own game. Soon it will be potential useful to yours in the Companion when it is released.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Simple Bar Contests - Arm Wrestling

So, tavern level in my dungeon. I'll need some bar contests, and the ones in Basic Set feel like they don't have all the drama that I'd like for Dungeon Fantasy. Here is the first.

Arm Wrestling

Like it says.

Fast Version: Quick Contest of ST. Win, lose, or draw and re-roll.

Slow Version: Quick Contest of ST. Each point of victory is worth 10 degrees of arm bend - first person to lose a cumulative 10+ has lost the game. (Why not 9? Assume it takes an extra point to get the arm to initially bend. Plus 10+ is easier.)

I Hate ST Roll Version: If you don't like rolling against ST, simply roll thrust-based damage and compare. Assume both contestants are using All-Out Attack (Strong) and add +2 or +1 per die, whichever is higher. Extra Effort (Mighty Blows) can be used for its usual effect at 1 FP per second; make a HT roll whenever it is used or suffer the usual injury effects from Extra Effort. Whoever rolls more damage bends the arm of the opponent back by 10 degrees per point of damage more than the loser rolled - first person to lose by 10+ cumulatively loses the contest. Injury can occur thanks to HT rolls for extra effort!

(Editing Later: this would use your basic ST, modified by Wrestling, but not by Striking ST - this isn't a blow, it's a slow and steady push. Lifting ST does apply and you can use Trained ST if you use Technical Grappling.)

(Editing Even Later: Note that Mighty Blows is not normally compatible with All-Out Attack; however, this is for DF, and assumes you have the Mighty Blows perk which does allow this combination!)

For extra fun, stare down your opponent - add in The Contest of Wills (Martial Arts, p. 130) right on top of this!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jeff Rients's hirelings

You have to know by now I love hirelings. I proposed and co-wrote a book about them, I blog about them, I paint them, and I deploy them regularly in my games.

Jeff Rients just put up a great list of hirelings for his Vyzor game:

Meet the locals: Vyzor hirelings

It's a very fun list to read, akin to those of the Dungeon Dozen.

It also has a nice set of rules for varying levels of utility for hirelings.

Go check them out. I need to paint up some more figures in the tradition dark red shirts and jackets of the local militia . . . and yes, you can count this as a uniform for the rules in DF15 . . .

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Alternative Feint - Feint Cap / Feint Attack - Revised

This is a second look at something I posted the other day:

Alternative Feint - Feint Cap / Feint Attack

The more time I took to mull it over, the more I think it needed a tweak, especially Feint Attack.

As written, if the attack would have been a critical hit, it's both a Feint (capped at -10, if you use the Feint Cap rule) and an Attack. Not a critical hit, but a normal hit.

I think that needs some modification to avoid, essentially, Feint-only approaches vs. skilled foes. It should still be a viable option to just straight-up attack. It also left open the question - does this attack benefit from a prior Feint? It's possible abuse to say yes, but it's also logical and sensible to say it does. You're banking on a good roll if you just string feints together hoping the next one will bring an attack that benefits from this one.

Still, getting a hit in on a 6 or less when you're a good feinter is probably not a good idea.

One way to avoid this is to say, "If the roll for the Feint is a 3 or 4, the Feint proceeds normally and you strike your foe - roll randomly for location and resolve defenses normally, unaffected by this Feint. Defenses are affected by a successful Feint done before this strike!"

I think that's a superior approach to what I had before.

You could equally supe this up and say a 3 on this roll is a critical hit and a successful Feint, or that a 3-4 on a Feint roll is a critical hit instead of a Feint. But in that case once you're highly skilled and regularly hit the Feint Cap of -10, you are generally better off doing the following:

Rapid Strike (-6/-6, -3/-3 with Weapon Master or Trained By A Master)
Split this into one Feint at -6 or -3, and one Attack at -6 or -3, per the Feint/Attack tradeoff approach allowed in GURPS Martial Arts.

This way you get a Feint and a potential critical hit, followed by an attack that will benefit from the Feint.

I can't think of a better combination off-hand, but I bet my players can. That's why "converts a 3-4 to a critical hit" or "adds a critical hit on a 3" seems abusive. If you really can't do much more than critical hunt on a target, well, why not do it this way, preferably with a Beat so others can take advantage of the move even as you hunt 3s?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Player(s) harassed by an angry mob

A while back I talked about player being synonymous with character.

One of my favorite examples of this is the Villains & Vigilantes 2nd edition's rulebook - 4.4 Designing Adventures, p. 32. It has these great tables of "Supernatural Events" and "Ordinary Crime" and "Revoltin' Developments!"

The best part is that they all say Player, not Character.

Hence the title of this post - that's #16 on the table, along with:

Player(s) Framed for a Crime.


Player(s) mistaken for Villains.


Secret Identity of Player(s) discovered.

The meaning here is totally clear. But it's not any less funny in an age after making clear distinctions between "player" and "character" as terms of art has taken hold. I can't wait to see what the Protectors books have along these lines.

In the meantime, though, I'll keep chuckling along as Player(s) [are] harassed by admirers thanks to a die roll.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Felltower: Pub Level thoughts

So Felltower officially has a pub level . . . somewhere. Thanks to a rumor misheard due to wishful thinking, the players have once again added an unusual element to the dungeon.

A level of taverns and caves. Cheese caves, obviously, probably along with wine cellars.

So what does a tavern level need?

Warning: Potential spoilers for my players. But not really, they're all familiar with pubs.

- Bar fights, using the DF10 bar fight rules!

- drinking contests (three pints at lunchtime!)

- wandering pub crawl groups, themed (Santa, Halloween, etc.) and unthemed.

- patrons in threes (a dwarf, an elf, and a hobgoblin walk into a bar . . . )

- all of those fun games from Yaquinto's Pirates and Plunder rules - arm wrestling contests, darts, drunken shooting and ones from The Vikings with Kirk Douglas and even worse ones - pun battles and trivia contests. Hidden Lore (Spirit Lore) never seemed so critical until that's the category to beat the elite orc trivia team for a free round of beer and wings!

- weird drinks from games and sources past and present - rageahol, jungle juice, grug-splunk, skittlebrau, porter (made from actual porters), stouts (made from stout halflings), and bier (made in and on biers.)

- silly bar names.

Sure, you might think that I could do this all in town, and you'd be largely correct. But then it wouldn't be Felltower's rumored level of taverns and caves, would it? For some reason I picture this as an odd mix of the undertown from Wormy and the town-as-blue-skied-dungeon feeling of Pool of Radiance. Plus bits of Lankhmar, Odd Alley, Waterdeep, Sigil, etc. as I feel like throwing them in.

And yes, it's going to be silly and have potential reward and potential lethality. People who don't want silliness shouldn't agree with Hasdrubul's player when he says, "There HAS to be a tavern level!" Because now there is.

How and when I'll use this, I don't know - it might make a heck of an in-dungeon "base" to delve from. It wouldn't be a safe town, though, not really.
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