Tuesday, November 30, 2021

DF Felltower, Bracers of Force, Ironskin Amulets, and Shirtless Savage Barbarians

I mentioned some of this in my post yesterday, but I wanted to expand further.

I said the following:

- the Bracers of Force aren't exactly the same as the ones in DF6. I'll post them sometime soon. They specifically do not layer with Shirtless Savage DR, and they replace it if you wear both. No if, ands, or buts about it. If not, you'll end up with a very munchkinny approach of claiming or arguing for force field DR for the eyes (excluded from Shirtless Savage DR), DR 9 on the arms on 1-3 and shirtless savage DR on a 4-6, and the force field DR whenever the force field is a better choice. No. either wear it and get DR 3 (9 on the arms on a 1-3 in 6) or don't wear it at all.

That does appear to contradict Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Barbarians, p. 14, doesn't it?

I will say that the rules on p. 14 apply in my game - but not to these variant Bracers of Force (from Dungeon Fantasy 6: 40 Artifacts). Here are their stats . . . as the players know them:

* Bracers of Force. DR 3, force field, doesn’t stack with armor, only while conscious, only on living, sapient beings. Protects arms on 1-3 on 6 with DR 9 (total), $10,000, 6.75 lbs.

The players also know that Armor spells stack with barbarian DR, so these aren't providing the Armor spell exactly. They don't know if these stack with the Armor spell or not - likely not, but "similar effect" often doesn't stack.

There hasn't been an appearance by the Ironskin Amulet in DF Felltower, either, and I've firmly rebuffed attempts by players to order one or ask about one. The Invulnerability elixir exists, but isn't commonly for sale. At $2,100, it's a bit expensive for a casual purchase.

When it comes down to it, though, this is about play balance and color and interest.

As a GM, I need to make some decisions when I equip foes. I felt like the golden swordsmen were way cooler if they didn't have a lot of native DR from "tough skin" or "magical innate forcefields" or something, but instead the big bracers on the minis were actually a variant of Bracers of Force. That's pretty cool. It also means the PCs can take and use them, if they choose, or sell them - so they act as a form of loot. That's fine. But that doesn't mean I have to accept that choosing this approach means barbarians with Shirtless Savage DR thus get +3 DR force fields stacked onto the already-maxed DR (they all always max their DR). I can - and did - come up with a ruling that makes that not so.

The alternative as a GM was to say, okay, if I give these guys a cool, stylish, and interesting spin - their only armor are magical bracers others can use - I'm giving +3 DR to every barbarian in the game, and that's too much, so nevermind. I'll just say the bracers allow them to generate a forcefield but they only act for golden swordsmen. Or they have an innate Armor spell ability. Or something else. It's foolish to take the negative consequences you can see instantly or get rid of the whole idea, good and bad, to stay "consistent." And if the players are going to arm-twist the rules into making this work for their PCs in some fashion, I'd be better off just saying "these guys have Shirtless Savage DR, too, and no one gets any loot for that." That's not as fun or as cool as the bracers, even if it is easier to do and means the rules stay utterly consistent. See what I mean?

I chose to have cool magic items that some players can use on their PCs - or not use, as they decide. Cool magic items they could cash in as loot, too, making the risk of fighting the six-fingered ones and the golden swordsman a worthwhile risk, as their gear is quite valuable. But I don't have to also feed into the escalation of DR and damage in the game by letting it all stack together. I'm happy to give out the Bracers of Force above, but not ones that will turn Bruce, Crogar, and any and all future shirtless barbarians into DR 10 (12 vs. crushing) guys with DR 11 (13 vs. crushing) on their arms on a 1-3 and DR 3 on the eyes. That's pushing them firmly into the "ignore all threats not inflicting at least 2d+4 / 3d" territory, and makes them invulnerable to far too many effects. I still wanted the bracers out there and useful. I solved that problem by making it clear they don't stack with armor and the barbarian Shirtless Savage DR doesn't stack with it, either.

And that's why the ruling, and different bracers, and the lack of Ironskin Amulets laying around.

Monday, November 29, 2021

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Session 163, Felltower 116 - Level 7? (Part II)

We picked up mid-fight from last time.

Game Date: 11/7/21

Aldwyn, human knight (345 points)
     Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice (170 points)
Bruce McTavish, human barbarian (340 points)
Crogar, human barbarian (350 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (498 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (420 points)
     2 skeletons (~25 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (378 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (366 points)

We restarted in combat.

The six-fingered foes continued to back off in the line they'd formed, as did the golden swordsmen, skirmishing with the PCs as they backed off. The goldcat backed away as well. The sword-armed six-fingered types threw more smoke nageteppo. Gerry countered with Purify Air to keep line of sight open.

The PCs kept to their line, with Wyatt spending a few seconds re-readying his sword off his lanyard. The next seconds basically consisted of the enemy backing off, repeatedly throwing nageteppo, and the PCs backing off. Galen shot the golden cat a few times but only managed to wound it a little further.

At this point, reinforcements showed up. Goblin-sized bipedal rats streamed out of the hallway next to where the axemen stood. Three kinds appeared - ratmen studded with chunks of crystal, ratmen crackling with bluish electricity carrying crude kukri-like blades, and shifty, crackling ratmen who didn't really seem all there or all the way in the same phase as the rest of them. They ran out at full tilt, reaching just short of the PCs.
Phase Ratman

Electric Ratman

Crystal Ratman

Aldwyn sprang into action, stepping up and stabbing a "blue one" three times. ZAAAAAAP. He killed it, but also shocked himself badly. He attacked a crystal one and wounded that one, and no shock. Galen shot three each with one arrow in the body, but that wasn't sufficient to kill any (I think he intended to shoot them in the vitals, but said body initially, and didn't take a -3 for vitals, so it was body.)

Gerry immediately cast an 8-area (15 yard diameter) Stench spell over the entire room, carving out the hexes his friends were in plus the corridor they defended. Ulf put Resist Lightning on Aldwyn.

The six-fingered foes kept to their side formation, throwing another smoke nageteppo to block the vision of the PCs. Gerry couldn't clear that without clearing the stench, too. Aldwyn was in the middle, surrounded by ratmen. He took some blind shots but immediately critically failed and dropped his sword. He'd drop the other, too, on another critical failure. Galen critically missed while in the smoke, too, while trying to sword a rat to death in close combat. The PCs decided the smoke was cursed.

The ratmen were in trouble - they didn't have time to hold their breath, and so were suffocating. So they charged the PCs at a full run, flowing through the open formation the PCs were in and filling the corridor. The PCs killed a few as they came, but otherwise they managed to overrun the PCs. The electric ones shocked a few people but most of the PCs were resistant (although one skeleton was nearly trashed fighting one ratman one-on-one in close combat for the whole fight.) The crystal ones scratched up a few PCs, and their crystals gave them enough DR to hold on. The phase ratmen were exactly that - they shifted in and out of phase, their hisses and sounds muffling to silence each time they moved out, giving them an irregular sound. They easily dodged most attacks but eventually got taken down by flank shots, critical hits, and massed attacks.

Wyatt and Bruce engaged the golden swordsmen as they backed off. Bruce broke one's sword when it tried to parry his giant greatsword, but it managed to back off. The goldcat roared and hurt Wyatt and one of the ratmen, but the swordsmen backed out of the stench.

The casters in the back got mobbed - Gerry managed to stay out of it, floating above and with his skeletons (and later Varmus) providing a screen. He threw a Flash spell behind Ulf to blind the mob of incoming ratmen. The smoke blocked most of them, but he got the lead ones, largely giving them a -3 to DX for a minute.

Varmus managed to fend off a ratman briefly, Ulf was mobbed up against the door and got a bit mauled, as Crogar and the skeletons were tied up with ratmen. Bruce, meanwhile, had long since rushed out to the fight and ended up brawling with ratmen in close. He punched one in the skull and knocked it cold, while another poked Bruce's right eye out with a crystal-clawed fingertip. He managed to eventually kill that ratman.

Wyatt faced off with the swordsmen - three of them now, down the hallway, blocking the cat - and threw a demon's brew, then a cloud of fire, and then missed a fast-draw for a second demon's brew. The swordsman came forward from the cloud, with sparks coming off of the one hit, but then ran through it while Wyatt finished readying his grenade (a muffed multi-fast-draw costs you not only the rest of that turn, but turns the next to a ready . . . be careful with those.)

Wyatt ran back to deal with rats.

The six-fingered foes backed out of the room, seemingly the way the rats came. They dragged away one fallen axeman, but not another one much closer to the PCs.

The PCs kept brawling with the rats. Varmus catch Itch as often as he could, Gerry Strike Blind, to disrupt the ratmen's attacks. They managed to keep a few of the ratmen from fighting effectively.

With the retreat of the swordsmen and axemen, the PCs converged on their casters and cleared out the ratmen, hacking them down.

They had little time to rest - they had maybe 4 1/2 minutes with the Stench up, and those with hearing heard whistles and a groaning, grinding noise. They didn't want to take their chances. Over Wyatt's strenuous objections, they gestured to each other to grab stuff and leave. They grabbed their dropped weapons and shields, Adlwyn grabbed the axeman, Crogar and Bruce each a golden swordsman, and they fled.

They made it up the stairs, fronted by Galen. This took a few minutes. They heard the clomp of obsidian on stone and scraping of ratman claws on stone, too - they'd managed to get past the upper level doors without an issue. They forced the Will Wall - it took a few tries for some of them - but eventually made it through. Luckily, they made it through the "gate level" without encounters (I rolled, nothing came), and eventually made it out of the dungeon.

They made it back to town with three corpses, the gear they wore - Magescale, some magical boots and a magic cloak, two pairs of Bracers of Force, and two ratman blades (which proved valueless - cheap steel, poorly done, with the Crude prefix.)

- to clarify, quick-readying off of a lanyard requires a flat DX roll; doing so quickly requires a Fast-Draw roll - which is penalized at -3 to -5 (default -4) for the size of the dangling weapon. A failure on a Fast-Draw in this fashion is a normal Ready. A failure on the DX roll means a failed attempt to draw at all. If the other hand is free to grasp the dangling weapon, this takes one Ready maneuver but doesn't require a roll - and can't be done with Fast-Draw. "Fast draw" techniques assume a sheath, not just the weapon.

- Alaric fumbled around the the dark for his swords, and found them over a couple of turns. Then he parried with them right away. I didn't notice this until right after - the player clearly assumed he found them and grasped them by the handle, at ready. I was assuming he'd just found the weapon, and didn't assume it was grabbed by the handle in a ready to fight position. So he was able to defend without any issue even though he should have had one.

- Blame Matt Riggsby for the ratmen. They were perfect, and made a good swap-in for something else I'd vaguely intended to use that didn't make as much sense. All I did was make them SM-1, because I like them smaller. But still, I basically look at monsters that Sean Punch and Matt write, say to myself, "That seems a bit excessive, who would write a monster that does that?" and then I use them as written or slightly upgunned. So I think I'm about 1% to blame, here. But it's mostly Matt's fault.

- For a long time, the PCs heard about the "six fingered vampires." Eventually, they fought one . . . and sold the body to the orcs. Since then, though, they mostly have referred to them incorrectly as the "cone-hatted cultists." This is despite a lot of clues - different descriptions, different heights, different numbers of fingers, different equipment (cone-helmed magescale, ornate axes, very slim swords and maces vs. cone hoods over normal headgear, red and black mail and cloth, normal human weapons done up to look more attractive) . . . I even used different minis entirely, and made it clear that what you saw was accurate. They had the same colors and same-shaped headgear, but clearly some of the earlier ones (and the ones in town) are humans apeing some others, and the others themselves.

Now that they have a body I took pains to tell them they are different. The PCs should know, even if the players keep getting them mixed up. They are clearly not human - six fingered hands with an extra joint on their long fingers, slender builds, extra-long incisors and fine teeth, very palid skin, no blood, jet black hair . . . and this one had its eyes poked out so they don't know how those differ. They're looking at getting it examined, and also want to preserve the hands to open doors. We'll see how that works. They preserved Alaric's hands to do that, and we'll see how this works.

- Now that the PCs realize on a deeper level that magescale doesn't includes hands and feet, I think we can safely assume they'll want to target the hands and feet of their cone-helmed foes. A -4 for a marginal target isn't a showstopped for 20+ skill guys, although most of them either have Slayer Training or Ultimate Slayer Training for much better locations. Still, I'd bet money on increased targeting of feet.

- the Bracers of Force aren't exactly the same as the ones in DF6. I'll post them sometime soon. They specifically do not layer with Shirtless Savage DR, and they replace it if you wear both. No if, ands, or buts about it. If not, you'll end up with a very munchkinny approach of claiming or arguing for force field DR for the eyes (excluded from Shirtless Savage DR), DR 9 on the arms on 1-3 and shirtless savage DR on a 4-6, and the force field DR whenever the force field is a better choice. No. either wear it and get DR 3 (9 on the arms on a 1-3 in 6) or don't wear it at all.

- the PCs probably had the ability to move on - but were very low on FP, the casters had largely drained their power items, and were running low on paut. Big combats - and they're all big when a "small" group has 10 PCs/NPCs - take a while. Huge combats - like this one, with about 50 combatants - take at least a full session. Fights won't get smaller.

The PCs had to leave basically because of FP. The FP issue is tough - the PCs need to win quickly, because they can't fight everything at once - and PCs need to conserve FP, which means they can't use as many FP-costing spells and abilities to speed up the fight. They can't safely rest for 15-30 minutes after each fight to heal up. If they can't move to the next fight without a break, they can't really do anything but try to win the dungen by attrition.

- My players did well on the deafness thing. Credit where credit is due. I'm still not sure about the whole "how many HP do you need me to heal?" question in combat, though. Do clerics have the ability to instantly diagnose damage levels at a glance at a friend? "He looks to be down 11 HP." I think this is all part of that "maximize every second in combat" approach - everyone wants every action to be the best, most efficient, and most correct use of resources for everyone, every turn . . . so assuming you can identify the exact level of wounds is just a way to make that happen.

- Roll20 isn't made for close combat. It slowed us down a lot as I clicked and dragged and clicked and dragged trying to get to see who is in what hex.

- Loot was around $3K each. They sold the Magescale (estimated value is $55,000) and one pair of Bracers of Force. Varmus took the other pair. They wanted to give the new magescale to Gerry and then pass the damaged set to Varmus, but Varmus wasn't keen on that . . . he preferred the bracers as they're lighter and unobtrusive. So he'll be blamed for any damage he takes that would have been stopped by the damaged armor.

- MVP was Gerry for the Stench spell followed up by an effective Flash and Strike Blind spends. He clearly broke the attack. XP was 5 each (3 for Galen). Gerry made his loot threshold and Galen 20% of his by Ulf giving up a portion of his loot. Poor Wyatt's player does the bookkeeping, and it took him many iterations to make this work. He'll be my firmest ally if we ever change to XP not being based on unequal distributions.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Felltower pre-summary

We played Felltower today and:

- Gerry layed down some large-area magic

- Ulf hid in the back

- reinforcements arrived - and not more of the "six fingered cultists" or golden swordsmen

- Bruce got into a bare-handed fight

- and the party got overrun but pulled out a win

- a few bodies were hauled off as the group scrambled to the surface after the bloody fray

- and a mysterious about the "cultists" was put to rest but another was revealed.

Details tomorrow.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Felltower tomorrow & a megadungeon best practice

So I'm sitting here on a Saturday night, listening to a hockey game, and getting ready for a game of Felltower tomorrow.

One helpful bit I've learned as I stock deeper levels of Felltower is to stock directly onto the maps. I've long done that for what's a room - a trap, a treasure, a puzzle, a monster, etc.

But it's helpful for a "new" level - one I haven't really detailed thoroughly - to then do a pass writing what's in a room. "Two golems." "Orc guards." "Beholder platoon." It's easier to see the relationship between rooms once those details are scribbled down in a visible fashion.

Why not play using the details on the map?

- It's hard to write all the details you need. I know, blah blah blah old school games only need you to list numbers and names and HP . . . but that's only true if you have the other details elsewhee. I prefer to have them all in a block assigned to the room.

- it's easier to add details to a document, and expand them as needed. This is especially true if the room contents keep changing.

- it's easier to search a document than to search a map. And I mean CRTL+F, grep, etc. - hey, is there another lich in this dungeon? Did they take that Potion of Human Control? Where the hell did I place Malice in this dungeon?

Perhaps in a small dungeon it's easy to play off the map, but I find it much easier to play off the document . . . but to take advantage of the map when doing the second-pass stocking.

So yeah, as I stock away, I find it easier to figure out what is in room 5-23 or 7-03 or 11-55 by looking at the map, writing it there, then writing it in the key, and then using the keyed map to play off of.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Away until Sunday

I'm offline until the end of the Thanksgiving holiday - see you all in Felltower on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Felltower Work

I only had a very short time tonight to work on game stuff, so the blog drew the short straw. I spent it:

- Making some tokens for future GURPS DF Felltower sessions. TokenStamp is very useful.

- Had to make some map modifications as I'd found I didn't properly line something up between my description and my actual map. I liked the description better so I needed to move something! It was a new area, and affects nothing, not for a while . . . but it was bugging me so I got out the eraser and stencils and ruler and fixed the mismatch. My players will read this and probably debate endlessly what I must have changed.

- I filled out the dungeon key with some more details.

- I stocked ahead. It is tough to figure out what monsters go where - I'm jealous of those old level-based random tables for AD&D . . . it would be handy to just roll some up. But it'll take more work to generate the tables than to just pick stuff!

I'm ready for Sunday, but we'll see what else I can cram in before game.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Barbarian WIP

I got a little painting in today:

Zoomed in with the camera, it's easy to see the details I can't see on the actual figure. I'm hoping better lighting will do it. I think I need to start trying to learn to paint with a magnifying glass, like this Alsatian gentleman:

I need to make him a little more colorful, too. Not sure where. Maybe I'll color his clothing, such as it is, with red and blue fringe or highlights.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Felltower & Swashbuckler Advantages

One of my players asked about a few Swashbuckler advantages by email. I answered by email but I though I'd post it here for ease of finding it later.

Audacity - useless, because we don't use the rules for Buying Successes.

Every One's A Critical - Used as written, except that since we don't roll on the Critical Hit Table, that portion of the advantage doesn't factor in. It's still worth 15 points.

Rapier Wit - Used as written, but will actually require the player to say something reasonably witty. That might be unfair, but so is Felltower.

Wizard Hunter - not appropriate for Felltower.

There were other questions, but nothing that really required a big, important ruling.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Saturday's Friday Random Links Post - 11/20/21

Short linky post for today, as I'm out an event related to my other profession.*


Holy Flurking Shnit! This is completely awesome.
Human Non-Universals, or: Make Your Own Vancian Culture (tm)

It really does give you Vancian weirdness. What a fantastic idea - especially inverting the universal traits of humanity.

- We’re Running An “After The End” Hexcrawl, Y’all!

We demand writeups, eh?**

- Doug talks to Tenkar about his Kickstarter.

- More good stuff from Lich Van Winkle - Coins in D&D and Found Advancement

* Getting more education, just because, and another certification, also just because.

** I'm still proud I was able to quote Mutants of 2051 A.D. in a GURPS article.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Tank Park - Full!

I completed all six of those cheap plastic snap-together tanks. Here they all are, with a proper-scaled 1/72 King Tiger and two 1/72 scale Wehrmacht soldiers for comparison.

Here they are:

Back row, left to right: Sturmtiger, Sturmpanzer, (proper-scaled) King Tiger.
Front row, left to right: Jagdpanzer IV/70, Tiger, Panther, Stug IV.

And here, for scale issue comparison, is a King Tiger heavy tank being dwarfed by a Tiger heavy tank and matched by a Panther medium tank.

Overall, they're fine. They lack details shown in the pictures (or on the actual tanks, such as the different barrel on the Sturmtiger). They weren't all that easy to assemble. They're nice enough, though, and I will probably mess around with them just for fun.

The model choices are interesting. The Jadgpanzer IV/70 isn't one of those famous and exciting AFVs, but it was an effective and workmanlike antitank weapon. I'm a big Stug fan, because I think they're a very effective vehicle and visually appealing. The Tiger and Panther are ones I own in multiple forms - hard plastic, soft plastic, and now these guys. The Sturmpanzer, as I've said, is a personal favorite even if its use was relatively limited. The Sturmtiger is a total waste. Fun to assemble and look at, but in reality, junk - and seriously, they made 18 of them. 18 other people could buy these kits and we'd have more Sturmtiger models than there were Sturmtigers. Also, they were inaccurate, slow, mechnically unreliable, and ineffective in actual use except - maybe! - one took out a bunch of Shermans with a very lucky hit from its 380mm rocket-mortar. Junk.

Glad I got these and made them.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

DFRPG Nordland Bestiary Kickstarter

Gaming Ballistic's new Kickstarter is live:

So far, I'm backing for the PDF - but I may up for the PDF and VTT tokens, too, and will likely upgrade to the hardcover at some point as I like to flip through monster books!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Sturmpanzer 43 - Complete

I finished the Sturmpanzer IV. In about 20 minutes.


- it's easy to assemble. No glue, just time and some trimming here and there, and the visual-only instructions are very clear. Much more than those of my Tiger II were, honestly.

- it's solid. You assemble the hull out of blocks, so it's a solid bit of plastic not a hollow shell. So it feels sturdy.

- it's inexpensive. Roughly $6.


- It's a bit big - I didn't take a side-by-side picture, but it's significantly taller than my 1/72 scale Tiger II. In reality, the Sturmpanzer IV is only 2.52 meters tall versus the Tiger II's 3.09 meters.

- There are gaps in the superstructure for a gun shield, gun, hatch, etc. - but they aren't included.

- Again, scale - it really looms too large with 1/76 scale - HO Scale or 20mm - figures. I don't have any 28mm WWII guys to stand next to it but they'd probably fit a lot better.

So into the box of tanks for . . . whatever it is I plan to do with them! I'm very happy to have it, though. Next . . . not sure - Tiger I? Sturmtiger? Panther?

Sturmpanzer 43 - just getting started

So I did get those tank models I mentioned the other day.

I'm going to start by trying to assemble the so-called "Brummbar" - aka Sturmpanzer 43 Sd.Kfz 166. I think it is thanks to playing Steel Panthers I back in the day, but I really like the heavy-gun carrying infantry support vehicles. The SiG33 with a 150mm gun and the Sturmpanzer 43 especially.

Oho, according to the description the package, "It was used at the Battles of Kursk, Anzio, Normandy, and was deployed in the Warsaw Uprising." Yeah, "deployed." Seems kind of euphemistic in that sentence. Deployed to shoot at Polish resistance fighters with 150mm shot at close range, clearly.

I think this vehicle looks especially like a cousin of a Mark III Ogre, especially with a central ball-mounted cannon.

It'll look something like this in the end, I hope:

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Painted Wererat

I finished the Black Tree Designs wererat last night - I didn't get to the barbarian today for lack of any free time at all.

This guy just needs pupils dotted on his eyes (done after taking the pictures) and dullcote (next dry, warm-ish day).

Overall good tabletop quality, which is my aim these days.

Monday, November 15, 2021

A touch of painting

Just out of nowhere, I felt like painting. So I grabbed a couple of minis that felt like they needed to get finished and started in on them. I'll knock these guys out ASAP and see if the need to paint stays.

This is a pair of Black Tree Design minis.

Wererat Assassin

and an Elite Barbarian Raider - sadly, no longer sold there.

I don't remember why I bought the wererat - maybe just because it's a cool mini. The barbarian I bought because I think he looks like Conan might with an axe.

Hopefully I keep up some momentum but I'm not really hopeful just yet. It's rare I have a lot to listen to but not watch, and thus the attention to spend on painting.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Felltower: Daredevil and Enhanced Time Sense

A few more advantages that need special Felltower discussion:


The trouble with Daredevil for me is, what counts as unecessary risk? Or risky behavior? With a skill-20+ high-DR magically-buffed swashbuckler with 30 to 60 points in Luck, what is actually a risk? Running out solo to fight a group of foes might seem risky, but what if you are better than a 1:1 match with your foes? A Move and Attack is pretty risky, but what if you have Run and Hit, and/or have two swords so losing the parry on one merely makes you very slightly more likely to get hit on a 4th or 5th consecutive attack?

What earns that +1, and the re-roll of Critical Failures in those same circumstances?

It seems to me that the only times it'll really be clear is when you take an All-Out Attack when you don't need to. Some Committed Attacks will be reasonably "unecessary" risks.

I also dislike conditional bonuses, since every very clear descriptions of the situations covered do not stop people from slowing down play to ask what is covered.* Add in one that a player will want to know before choosing to act, and you get two things I hate - conditional bonuses, and hypothetical questions, done in combat, which is already long enough.

Given my preference for conservative rulings, too, it's less likely I'll say yes than to say no.

So I am thinking Daredevil just doesn't fit, not for 15 points . . . and making it cheaper would make the price fairer but result in more people taking it ("May as well") and more questions ("Do I get my +1 here?")

Enhanced Time Sense

ETS works as written in Felltower . . . but the issue is the utility as a 30-point upgrade for Combat Reflexes.

We don't use Speed-based initiative in Felltower. We probably should, but per-side round-the-table initiative has a lot going for it. Not the least of which is simplicity. One key value of ETS is that you go first. We could allow ETS to jump the owner to the front of the line for PCs, but what about when the enemy goes first? ETS should allow the PC to go, then the rest of the PCs . . . and then stay in this order. But that's a bit of a complication.

The ability to bypass a Wait is useful, but is it 30 points of useful? Probably not.

I'm allowing ETS, and there may be cases when all of its little edge moments - like being able to see effectively invisible attacks (due to their speed), say, or reacting to a non-combat time-sensitive situation may be useful - but is it worth 30 points? Up to the players.

Generally, I end up restricting advantages in my games. No always - look at Improved Magic Resistance for an example of one that's expanded in use and value for the cost. Or the automatic inclusion of "treat as a weapon, not unarmed" in Trained By A Master, But in generally, I do tend to pull the reins in a bit on advantages. It's just that kind of game.

* Even Fit, with +1 to all HT rolls, prompts a "Does Fit count?" Now, add in "+1 to rolls only for . . ." and I find that it prompts a question even on clearly non-covered cases.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Links & Random Bits for 11/12/21

Lots of Felltower this week, so not so much reading of other people's posts.

- I'm really tempted by this kit:

Kvvdi 2 Sets 1/72 Scale Model Tanks Kits to Build, Upgrade 3D Puzzle Plastic Military Tank Models Sturmpanzer and Jagdpanzer IV(Gray Or Green) (Amazon affiliate link)

Basically ~$10 for a Sturmpanzer "Brumbar" and a Stug IV?



If they only had same-priced kits of T-34/85s or T-34/76a or c models I'd be very, very happy. They just seem to have two kits of German tanks.

- D&D postcards . . . attractive art, although I don't have any interest in "Vengar."

- Fire in the Lake Update - 477. Soooooo close.

- I read all of this book:

Short version? Neither Gary Gygax or Dave Arneson come off particularly well. No one does - TSR wasn't well run at any point, and was badly run at several points. It's sad but interesting. Recommended. I should have waited to buy it and saved $7 or so.

- I stalled out again on Darkest Dungeons. I have too many missions I need to do while I build up the guys I feel like I need to beat the next mission in the actual dungeon, and every week the coach comes without one of the classes I really need to build up - a Man-at-Arms. So it's feeling like a grind. I'll come back to it again at some point. I read a teaser review of DD2 but it didn't sound that exciting. Maybe I'll feel differently when it comes out.

- I don't know too much about crossbows but I did enjoy this video. This kind of thing - the sheer size of that 1400s crossbow - is why I have larger crossbow sizes by ST score in my DF game.

960lbs crossbow vs 150lbs crossbow - TESTED!

Heavier Crossbows in my DF Game

Point of fact, though - I don't actually use the "light crossbow" rules, just the regular size and the two larger sizes.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Dispel Magic vs. Magic Resistance

In Session 160, the PCs tripped a Dispel Magic trap that stripped off a lot of magic. Two of the PCs have Improved Magic Resistance - Gerry and Bruce. The players wanted to know if their magic resistance protected the spells cast directly on them (such as Gerry's Levitate and Invisibility) or on items they carried.

After a few minutes of discussion - worth the break in play - I ruled that it would not, largely because I saw way too many abuses if the answer was "yes." Also, the weird loophole of magic being "safer" from anti-magic countermeasures while in the hands of anti-magic characters.

But I said I'd ask Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch. He gave me his permission to post our discussion here. Here is his original answer, and an answer to a followup. We had further discussion but it isn't really germane, I was just talking about what I'd do in Felltower and he explained his take on it. That's another post entirely.


> The question was, would their MR add to the rolls of spells cast on
> them vs. the Dispel Magic?

I don't see why it would. It seems beyond weird to me that anti-magic
like Magic Resistance (any origin) would actually *help* magic not be
wiped out . . .

Subjective judgments aside, I'd say "no" because:

1. Magic Resistance (again, regardless of origin) protects a person,
while Dispel Magic isn't cast on a person but on an area.

2. Inasmuch as Magic Resistance helps against Area spells, it affects
those that give *people* a chance to resist. Dispel Magic doesn't let
people resist -- it lets *spells* resist.

3. Magic Resistance actually says: "Magic Resistance only interferes
with spells /cast directly on you./"

(The opposite question interests me more: "Would MR make it easier for
Dispel Magic to remove spells from people who have it?" As MR makes it
harder for magic to "stick," I could support a GM ruling that it makes
it easier for Dispel Magic to "scrape" spells off of people. It would
seem much more intuitive to me if it worked in favor of Dispel Magic,
anti-magic being complementary to other anti-magic.)

> My ruling was that Magic Resistance/Improved Magic Resistance
> doesn't affect the spell vs. spell contest, and wouldn't affect
> Dispel Magic vs. the Continual Light items they carried, either.


> Anyway, could you answer these questions, and can I have permission
> to quote you, unedited, on the answers and post them on my blog?

Of course! Quote everything below the "***" if you want.

> 1) Does Magic Resistance - either from the advantage or the spell -
> affect the contest of spells of Dispel Magic vs. a spell with the
> Magic Resistant character as a subject?


> 2) Does Magic Resistance extend to items carried by the resistant
> character?

Only inasmuch as noxious spells that affect carried gear are protected
by your Magic Resistance. So, to avoid "I'm casting Flaming Murder on
his shirt, not on him!" cheese, if you have MR, it should (for example)
subtract from Disintegrate or Stiffen cast on your armor, Apportation
cast on your weapons, and so on. However, *spells on your gear* are not
*your gear* . . . too bad for them.

> 3) Does any of this change if the Magic Resistance is Improved,
> Switchable, or put on by the spell Magic Resistance?



Next email:

> Logically, then, helpful spells cast on equipment - Flaming Armor,
> Lightning Weapon, etc. - should equally be resisted by the bearer's
> own magic resistance. Does that follow?

"Logically" and "spells" don't play nicely in the GURPS magic system,
but . . .

*In principle,* it would be fair to rule that way. People protest the
downsides to MR: "Wahhh, it's hard to be healed or buffed, and I can't
use potions!" However, there are so many cheesy workarounds (read on)
that MR's intended downsides -- which keep its cost at 2 points/level
-- almost don't matter.

*In practice,* gamers will do this:

"I set down my armor and weapons and walk away."
"I cast buffs on his armor and weapons."
"I go get my stuff back, with the buffs."

There's no rule in GURPS that would cause MR to break the spells under
those circumstances. That would be an annoying rule, to be honest, and
I'm not claiming that we need one. It would add too much dice rolling,
most of it adversarial to the players.

So, I'd just ignore the logical ramifications. Enemies won't set gear
down for you and let you cast Disintegrate, so it's simplest to say,
"Yes, MR affects that."

Allies totally will do things like that to get buffs, so while in the
corner case where you don't have time for the little dance and/or your
wizard can't buff you each morning and maintain it for free all day,
you might have to worry about MR . . . that isn't normally going to be
a concern. Ockham's Razor leads me to say, "Cut out the middleman and
just say MR doesn't affect buffs on gear."

It wouldn't be the first or even 10th place in GURPS where beneficial
and hostile magic use totally different rules.


As I said earlier, I'll do something differently, a bit, in Felltower - but then again we also run Magic Resistance a little differently, so it's not going to change much.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

2022 Pyramid Kickstarter teaser image

SJG briefly teased its new Kickstarter for Pyramid PDFs.

This image is up, but the Kickstarter preview came and went over the weekend. Still, I wrote something short-and-Felltower-ish for the Fantasy issue, and I expect it'll probably get used.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

More notes & rulings after Session 160

Lots of stuff came up Sunday in game.

- They divided up the magical javelins between a number of combantants, basically only one or two of whom have anything like Thrown Weapon (Spear.)

How do you carry javelins? Everyone wants a "javelin quiver" and claims that someone has one, but I have no record of a cost or weight or capacity. All the actual historical images I've found of javelin troops shows them clutching them in hand. Only delvers carry them as a backup throwing weapon while they primarily act as heavy infantry. Is there anything in the GURPS canon, or stats someone uses, for a "javelin quiver"?
I handwaved this for now, but it needs to be resolved. People already carry a genuinely ridiculous amount of weapons (most of the swordsman have 3-4 reach 2 swords plus knives plus missile weapons plus thrown weapons).

- The PCs are fighting, in large measure, what they didn't want to fight a couple levels up - "cone hatted cultists" and golden swordsmen. They seem to regard them as basically loot carries to be exterminated - maybe dangerous ones, a bit, but not very. They avoided obsidian golems and an iron spectre, which they seem to regard as death on the hoof, too difficult to be slain with only three heavy melee fighters and two high-rate-of-fire light fighters. So they see this fight as easier.

The way I see it is that my group seems basically bi-polar. They spend most of the time talking like they've already won a fight, foes are contemptible or beneath actual contempt, and serve only to carry loot to the PCs so they can be killed, made into zombies, and then carry their own gear into town to be sold. The rest of the time they're in a blind, running panic, fleeing from unbeatable foes who they have no chance against. There is almost nothing in between.

The occasional dose of believing they'd have won had someone rolled one or two rolls differently, thus changing the entire battle, doesn't provide much change of descriptive scenery.

I'd probably be more sympathetic if they treated foes with cautious respect rather than casual contempt, and treated defeat as something to be managed rather than a sign of being totally overmatched beyond all hope of salvage.

I'm not really sure if I'm not the same way. Or if this is that uncommon, especially in high-lethality games. But it feels odd to me to lack a "it might be a tough fight" feeling or a "these are worthy foes" feeling and only have "we can't win" or "these are mere victims" split, instead.

- the players had asked between sessions about selling the giants' magical gloves. I told them they were basically unsalable - they're SM+2 or +3 (I forget offhand) dragonscale gloves, well-used, well-made and magical but old and extremely specific in use, and unable to be modified for size or fit. So only giants could possibly use them, and no on in Stericksburg is buying for giants. They suggested "collectors" might want them, despite me saying that "collectors" weren't very much of a thing in this world.

Actual email quotes:

Me: The gloves will net you very little. I'm not saying whoever is holding them now should keep them, but expect little for them. The same issue you have - you can't modify them and you can't use them - applies to almost 100% of buyers. The tiny percentage that *can* use them would be tough to find, and expect to get a discount because there aren't competing buyers.

You guys can bring them all to Black Jans (it's never just Jans, his/her/its name is "Black Jans") the beginning of next session.

Player: Yeah, I assume the gloves are just going to be collector's items.

Me: "Collector's items" is code for "junk" in this game.

So they took them to an extremely powerful, mysterious wizard, Black Jans aka Jans the Black, who is well-known to only be interested in items of "especial curiosity" (noted in Total Party Teleport, again one of the two linchpin sessions of the entire game) and tried to sell them to him/her/it.

This did not necessarily provide a positive reaction bonus. So it goes.

- It's getting tougher to end sessions back in town, as fights are longer when the group is large and the foes are numerous. I don't have a solution for this as everyone generally is moving more quickly these days, but they also have a lot of things they can do on a turn. The wizard with 2 back-to-back actions thanks to Great Haste is much faster than any of the fighters, even when they just Wait.

I am learning that attempts to "speed up" combat by doing things ahead of time don't help, either. I really do need things done as follows:

1) Declare your Maneuver.
2) Execute your Maneuver piece by piece - show all steps, do all moves, declare all bonuses.
3) Declare and execute any details of the Maneuver.

So "I Wait" slows things down. "I take a Step and Wait. I step (moves figure in Roll20) and I'll attack anything that steps within my melee range" is faster . . . because I don't need to followup with questions. Doing a Move and saying "I end up here" means I need to count the hexes, too, and make sure you didn't step in a hex that triggers some NPC action.

Unstated and understated moves don't help. "I move here, and then I All-Out Defend." I need to know the second, as do you, or we don't even know what your Move or allowed Step is.

It just needs to be complete and concise, and speeding anything up by skipping things, assuming things, having an SOP that's different for 8 different PCs that I'm expected to remember, doesn't speed things up.

- NO HELPING! Every time someone helps, it is not helpful. It's incorrect help or already factored in most of the time, and always takes more time than than the value it returns.

- New tactic? Waiting and then attacking a foe's weapon as it comes in on the attack, to deal with a one-reach weapon versus a two-reach weapon. It's fine. Crogar did it to an axeman (who failed to parry), and a golden swordsman did it to Wyatt (who parried.)

- Amusingly, two players were arguing over something citing the game summaries in the argument. Like they aren't written by me, at least 24 hours later, as I try to just bang out a reasonably sensible accurate-ish summation of the game so we don't forget important major items. And yet they'll say, "It didn't say that in the summary for that session." The most accurate ones are inaccurate. They're not even contemporaneous notes, by my definition. They're all at least a little inaccurate.

We had an interesting rules question, but I'll defer that to later in the week as it'll take some writing up.

Monday, November 8, 2021

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Session 162, Felltower 116 - Level 7? (Part I)

Finally back in Felltower! It's been eight months . . .

Game Date: 11/7/21

Aldwyn, human knight (345 points)
     Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice (170 points)
Bruce McTavish, human barbarian (340 points)
Crogar, human barbarian (350 points)
Galen Longtread, human scout (498 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (420 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (378 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (366 points)

The PCs gathered up in town, spending a considerable time on repairs to corroded gear, gathering rumors, and doing all sorts of discussions about the delve ahead. They decided to sell the Bells of D'Abo, deciding they had no further use, along with the dragonscale gloves they took from the giants. They set aside the iron lamp, since no one was sure quite what to do with it - one third wanted to sell it, one third to open it ("Decide what to wish for!", said Gerry), and one third undecided. In the end they set it aside for later.

Wyatt and Gerry set out to see if Black Jans was in town. The Wizard of the Northern Marches, was in town. They found his tower down a street that normally dead-ends, but this time led to a square with no exits except the one they came in.

They knocked and entered, and met a very human-looking doorman, who called himself "the Kio." He was slightly transparant. He had them sit down and explain their business - selling the Bells of D'Abo and the giant gloves to Black Jans. The Kio went up a spiral staircase, fading away from the floor up until he was all gone. After a time, he returned, and said that his master, Jans the Black, Enchanter to the Emporeror of Nalstad, offered 40,000 in silver for the bells. He didn't mention the gloves.

Wyatt did, asking to make sure that Black Jans wasn't interested. The Kio made a face of considerable distaste, and said, "Do not bring such things again." He produced a small coffer, and hauled out sack after sack of silver - 40,000 in all, weighing in at 160 pounds of silver. They took the bags and the gloves and left, staggering under the weight of their coins. (Wyatt's player wanted to get turned Invisible for safety, forgetting momentarily that nothing happens in town.)

They divided up the money nine ways with the characters who were at the raid on the temple in the Lost City.

They headed out to the dungeon, planning, basically, to go down the second GFS, deal with anything that comes along the way . . . and if not, go to the next level down from the "death floor." They made sure Gerry had the burned-off "moon wand" to get past the Force Dome near the "moon gate."
The late start meant they reached the castle well after lunchtime, having to stop on the way. They found the trap door entrance shut, and went in the main entrance. They took the same path as always, using Silence spells to mask ropes hammered into the walls with iron spikes to cross the pit, on the noisy doors they forced, etc.
Eventually they reached the second level and then the GFS, and went down - using See Secrets on Galen to ensure they didn't miss anything.
On the "Gate level" or "level 4" (both according to Ulf), they traveled the usual route to the second Giant Fantastic Staircase. They found one of the black hemispheres was back, so they had Galen shoot it to pieces. Nothing bothered them while they did so.

They reached "Phase Snake Junction" and turned up past the niches where the obsidian golems had fought them. They carefully passed, ready to get jumped, but nothing did. Bruce touched the door and it opened. Inside the room, they had Galen search for a way to turn off the illusionary wall/"Will Wall." He found nothing. Wyatt announced, "By the Brotherhood let me pass." That didn't seem to affect anything, but he was able to pass. The others did, as well, all making their Will rolls.

They headed to the stairs and wound their way down, two turns clockwise to the next landing. They briefly stopped and had a discussion about continuing for a few minutes before heading deeper. The already oppressive feeling of darkness got worse - and still, no Dark Vision could penetrate the darkness.

Another two loops and they came to another door. Bruce touched it and it shifted, maybe a half inch? But it wouldn't open. They had Aldwyn and Bruce touch it together, although they couldn't both get a hand on the actual palmprint location. It did the same shift. They tried to get someone to peer through the "opening" that was made, but it didn't shift enough to come completely out of the wall and left no gap.

After another few minutes of debate, they continued on deeper. Bruce lead the "go deeper!" push, and Ulf the "go back!" side. In the end, Ulf agreed to go one, with conditions - they'd basically turn back if the darkness closed in.

They went down another two winds of the staircase, and found another a door, and the GFS continued beyond. They decided to check the door, which Ulf reported, with no small sense of alarm, that was "level 7". Bruce opened the door, and beyond was a hallway and room identical to that on the level far above. They moved into the hallway and the door closed behind them. Wyatt moved cautiously into the room, backed by Galen.

Suddenly a Dispel Magic spell hit them, and then a second later a greenish cloud of gas appeared, filling the hallway and part of the room. About half of their lightstones went out, along with a number of spells. They all held their breath, and moved to the exit, either quickly or slowly. But the gas still injured them, some fairly significantly. Gerry was injured, but despite that managed to get off Purify Air and wiped out the gas. They continued to hold their breath as they moved to the door, and Wyatt moved into the room to "scout."

They saw a rush of opponents - short-ish greataxe-wielding cone-hatted figures backed by three tall, lean cone-hatted figures. Wyatt yelled out, "They're coming from the north!" ("Up" being "north.") They also spotted a half-dozen or so golden swordsmen escorting a large, golden cat.

The tall guys backing the axemen threw a grenade - demon brew. Most of the targets were holding their breath and were unaffected. But as they did so, the goldcat roared . . . a massive, ear-splitting boom. It wounded almost everyone - except Varmus and Ulf hiding in the back corner and Wyatt out front - and stunned Galen, who then inhaled some demon brew.

The PCs formed a rough line, with Crogar, Aldwyn, and Bruce "north" to "south," fighting at two hex reach against the axemen. They fended off all of the blows, but the tall ones kept throwing demon brew grenades at them. Galen shot the goldcat several times in what should be the vitals, but it didn't fall, and kept roaring. Wyatt fought in front of the rough line, stabbing a number of axemen and then golden swordsmen in the eyes, wounding several. An ill-timed 18 and a foe's critical hit used up his Extraordinary Luck pretty quickly. Galen shot a few, but suffered from additional demon brew damage. One in the back tossed a smoke nageteppo to cut off the vision of the casters. The goldcat kept roaring, stunning Crogar and Galen again, and damaging them all, deafening several as well. But Gerry Great Hasted himself, and kept up Purify Air, clearing the smoke and persistent demon brew grenades the cone-hatted guys kept tossing. Ulf used Awaken to clear out stunning. Varmus created a Fireball but couldn't get a clear place to use it.

Galen shot down a couple of golden swordsmen, trying to get a path to the cat. Of course, with Bloodlust, that meant shooting the fallen multiple times to make sure they stayed down.

(However, at this point, it was getting late in the real world. The PCs had put down a couple each of the golden swordsmen and axemen.

We ended it there, in the middle of the fight.)


- Very slow start today. No one was really sure what they wanted to do, or what risk level is acceptable, and so on. The we needed to price and complete repairs, discuss what to sell, then sell it, then decide who gets some of the treasure, and how much . . . then rumors, plan changes, discussions of which spells to learn to go where, etc. Yeah, we started at 11, but actually 11:30 yesterday because Roll20 wouldn't cooperate with me, and then all of this stuff until almost 2, our lunch break. So actual delving started at 3 pm.

- Because of that, we really had no shot of finishing up in one session. Around 7:30 I suggested that we'd need two sessions, so should we push to finish the fight and then have the PCs run back home, or push it out to two sessions and go from there? We broke it off instead. It's not clear if the enemy has anyone or anything else coming. The PCs feel confident, because they only really worried about the "death floor" and the obsidian golems, so they say. They also say things like "the enemy is armed with our loot" and "kill them before they use up all of those nageteppo because we need some." Remember those wise words: always count your chickens before they hatch. That might be misquoted.

- Token Stamp 2 is very convenient for last-minute token making.

- First appearance of Black Jans in a long time. The bells were an item of "especial interest." The gloves . . . weren't seen in such high regard.

- Roll20 was annoying as usual. It's time to start experimenting with our chosen replacement . . . I'll need to find some time with Vic to work on that.

- Wyatt has Mental Strength. It had no effect on the "Will Wall." Also, no, Hard to Subdue doesn't help against stunning and knockdown, or to recover from stunning. I'm not sure why the latter is even a question this many years into the game.

- I think they said Varmus was mapping, but he doesn't have anything to map with, and started the fight with his staff ready. He also lacks Cartography and much of the interest the other PCs have in mapping. I can't stop players from just mapping on their own anyway, since everyone is remote and can just jot down a map. I won't confirm any details, upload any maps, etc. based on that.

- MVP was Gerry. It was a tossup - Ulf for his stun-ending Awaken spells, or Gerry for his smoke-and-poison-gas-ending Purify Air spells.

- More details on rules and rulings tomorrow. Some odd situations came up.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Felltower pre-summary

We got off to a late start thanks to a lot of in-town stuff to do - rumors, repairs, purchases, sales - and discussions about what to do.

In the end, the PCs gathered up and:

- sold the Bells of D'Abo to Black Jans

- failed to sell the giant's dragonscale gloves to Black Jans

- headed out to Felltower

- went down to the Gate Level (aka Level 4)

- made their way through the "Will wall"

- avoided the first landing on the second GFS

- failed to open the door on the second landing

- and got into a big fight past the door on the third landing . . . against cone-hatted types, golden swordsmen, and another goldcat.

We had to leave it in progress as the PCs are in a good position, but the enemy is still strong, so there was no way we'd resolve it in one go.

Details tomorrow!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Felltower Preview

Tomorrow, it's Felltower.

After a long gap in time, the PCs are getting back to Felltower.

First, we'll resolve some issues:

- Possible sale of the iron lamp, the Bells of D'Abo, and the giant's dragonscale gloves to Black Jans. Black Jans, after all, buys "items of especial curiousity" and cursed items, so naturally he'll want a mysterious bottle, rare artifacts, and old gloves.

- Possibly opening the iron lamp instead of selling it.

- Probably going down to the "second landing" on the second giant fantastic staircase, again.

- Almost certainly getting sidetracked by something rumored or encountered!

Should be fun.

And if they do open the bottle . . . they need to do it in the dungeon, outside of town. Adventure doesn't happen in Stericksburg . . .

Friday, November 5, 2021

Other people's posts for 11/5/21

Busy week, so just quick pointers to something I really like:

- I loved Bloodstone Pass, for reasons beyond those listed there. But for those as well.

- If a fight takes longer in game then in reality, is that wrong? I think it can be a good guideline for certain game types, but not all of them.

- Okay, serious question - when did the Lurker Above become so small? That's a Throw Rug Above.

- Oooooh, slug chariot!

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Meteoric Roundup Post

Meteoric is one of those prefixes in DF/DFRPG that causes me a lot of headaches. I've never yet had anyone get a piece of meteoric gear without also coming in with a question about how it works. Here are all of the posts I can find on the subject for my game:

What good is Meteoric Armor?

Rules & Rulings from 1/3/21: Meteoric, Knife & Swashbucklers, and Silvering Meteoric

Another ruling from 1/4/21

Meteoric in my DF game

DF Felltower Gear: Meteoric Iron Bullets

And if you want to ensure a complete "seal" against a floor-based magical attack, you'll need plate armor footwear to ensure nothing gets through. That's a "new" ruling but I don't think it's inconsistent with anything I've posted, or with a sense of what magic-dead armor could actually do vs. magic that reacts to physical contact with the floor.

Meteoric costs a lot, and does a very narrow of things very well . . . and that's that. It's not terribly convenient to use in a magic-using party but it has its moments.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Nordland Monsters Kickstarter coming

Doug posted up this link to his pre-campaign Kickstarter announcement.

What's in it? I'm not sure. Hopefully we'll find out more.

Monsters? I'm in!

Enemies? Eh, does this mean we get Bandit, Highwayman, Guard, Assassin, etc.? Eh. I hope not! I need more generic statted-out dudes for PCs to shoot in the eyes not at all.

But monsters, yeah, let's you and me and my gaming budget talk.

I'm sure Doug will provide more details, and I'm interested to see what's he's made.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Repairing Armor & Weapons in Felltower: Part II

My players are finally getting around to repairing their damaged equipment.

Here are the rules we use for armor and weapons:

Armor & Weapon Repairs in Felltower

How long does it take? Mundane repairs take 1d+1 weeks; payment (and replacement parts, if they need supplying) is on putting the gear in for repair.

Magical repairs - with the Repair spell - are immediate. For simplicity, in Stericksburg you do not need to roll to find a wizard with the Repair spell. Payment (and replacement parts) must be supplied immediately; Repair spells are skill 15 and are rolled at the table. Luck cannot be used.

Magic items require the Repair spell to fix.

What about equipment? Most gear uses the rules for weapons. Sufficiently damaged gear may not necessarily be repairable - anything damaged past 50% is generally a total loss, and replacement is almost always going to be cheaper.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Subtractions from Felltower: Orichalcum

Here is a change I've been giving some thought for a while:

- Orichalcum items are no longer available to be purchased or "special ordered" in town.

It's a simple flavor thing. I'd prefer items of a special, indestructable bronze to be available but from special sources. Obvious sources of orichalcum items? Olympus, for one, and the "Ape Gate" is a likely source, too. Neither is an easy place to show up, flash some coin, and special order some sword or knife or shield. But they're at least possible places to get items made of the material.

Existing items made of orichalcum still exist - and those purchased are still in play. You just can't order new ones.

This should affect almost no one - few items have been made of orichalcum and no one has any on order than I know of. Price (for sale purposes) is unchanged.
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