Tuesday, November 29, 2022

What next in Felltower?

Sunday was a disappointing TPK. I'd thought the PCs would have gotten out of the predicament they were in, but here we are.

What now?

I agree with my player's assessment that there isn't a lot to do in Felltower that a group of 250s can do. I don't think it's nothing, but I agree that the pickings have gotten very thin. That's especially so given some limitations, such as:

- equipment lost in the depths (although it's likely keys, etc. were left behind in someone's posession.*)

- PCs design choices (places have been limited by people's character personalities)

- contraints of previous exploration (some options have been closed off by previous actions.)

Farming orcs for weapons with Galen in tow is boring to GM, as well, so hopefully it won't come to that.

I'm not enthused by the idea of a new area, either. I might need to do it, but every new area has ended up the same way:

- it's designed for X delves turning out Y loot.

- PCs go for 2-3X delves and over time earn about 2/3Y loot. Many delves are not particularly fruitful.

- It becomes a default area to drop in on when people can't think of what else to do, essentially draining game sessions and in-game resources from Felltower itself, to the detriment of play overall.

If getting to the Lost City wasn't unreliable, and if I didn't just say no to the Caves of Chaos, we'd be back at those again, too. The Cold Fens were explored over and over in fruitless exploration in the face of little else, hoping to blunder into an encounter with loot-carrying trolls or humanoid foes with valuable swords to sell in town. I'd like to avoid that.

But I may need to do something like that again.

I asked my players to opine in before I list some ideas that I have. People are welcome to suggest some here. I'm sure it would be a spur to my player's ideas as well. The only things really off the table are allowing people to start above 250 (a flat, hard no) or play multiple 250s so they can "level up" a few people at once for backups.

Tomorrow or Thursday I'll take a crack at listing what's been lost in the depths - there is a lot of amazing loot down there waiting to be reclaimed.




* I don't know who, which is an issue. I don't really allow for a "party loot pile" in town. Someone has to own any given item. Items that fall off of everyone's equipment lists just fall out of play. But keys and other unique items do tend to migrate in mysterious ways despite this. I'm not really complaining, but insert raised eyebrows here.

Monday, November 28, 2022

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Session 175, Felltower 124 - Mission for the Masters III - Beholder

Date: 11/27/2022
Game Date: 11/13/2022

Characters:
Crogar, human barbarian (375 points)
"Mild" Bruce McTavish, human barbarian (349 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (420 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (366 points)
Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice (180 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (382 points)

We started off in the dungeon, with the PCs in a dark cave, with Wyatt getting injured with some invisible attack from presumably off in the darkness.

Wyatt and Bruce headed that way, while Varmus, Ulf, and Gerry hung back and cast spells. Crogar hung back with the casters and waited.

Wyatt ran far enough to see a half-dozen Eyes of Death in the darkness. (To be accurate, he knew roughly where they were because of our lighting/invisible icons being visible issues with Foundry last time.) They were roughly 5-6 yards off the ground. He just kept running at them. Gerry and Varmus readied explosive spells.

Wyatt suffered a lot more damage, until after Ulf put Protection from Evil 5 on him. The Magic Resistance 10 did nothing but the DR 5 helped. He ran up and swung at one with AOA (Long) and forced it to retreat up. A second later, Varmus put an Explosive Fireball into the ceiling near it. It dodged down, taking only 3 HP of damage. They're weak, but not that weak. Wyatt later finished it off with a jumping attack. He forced others to the ceiling, but they kept moving up to avoid the sword swings and away from the wizards. Gerry took a shot at one but it dodged completely out of the blast area of his explosive spell.

Bruce moved up as well, as Wyatt fell back briefly, and the eyes turned their damage on him. He has a good HT and a lot of HP but they were wearing him down steadily.

Then, as they felt like they'd figured out how to deal with the eyes, Gerry put on Dark Vision. He saw, off in the distance but closing in, a beholder. (He must have told them over lunch, because before lunch no one noticed it was there, and after lunch break the first thing people did was start doing stuff to deal with a beholder. Talking is a free action so clearly that includes when it's between people's turns. I should have delayed lunch break until the reveal occured!)

They found their magical enhancements - basically Wyatt's Great Haste - just ended. Colored rays came out of the darkness and hit them all, one each. That kept upf for a few seconds, costing some Luck to resist and lots of consternation - and more Protection from Evil spells. The eyes of death floated off to the side, either fleeing Wyatt quickly, or, when far enough, slowly backing up and higher and using their invisible gaze attacks. Varmus took damage from a couple of those, and then from a black ray from the darkness. Then the PCs saw the multi-eyed orb float into view.

From here the PCs kept up attacks mostly on the eyes. Varmus was charmed, and threw a 4d Fireball (he'd rolled a 4 casting!) at Ulf but missed. He passed out a second later from accumulated injury. Crogar was put to sleep as he ran over to grab the fallen Varmus (I think the plan was to try and run somewhere.)

Shortly after, Gerry was first slowed, and then petrified, after resisting multiple ray attacks.

Bruce was hit with fear and charmed, at the same time. He finished drawing a potion and drank it down, healing himself all the way from the low single digits to his normal 41 HP. (He readied his sword after this, presumably, or just forgot it wasn't in two hands anymore.) He swiftly ran up and did an ineffective Move and Attack on Wyatt. A second later, Ulf was paralyzed.

So Ulf prayed silently in his mind, sacrificing 11 xp for a +11 on the roll, asking for the Good God to unparalyze him. He made the roll (exactly, I think). The Good God removed all of their afflictions at once. Gerry was un-pretrified. Varmus had the charm removed. Crogar woke up. Bruce was no longer subject to a -1 from fear and was no longer charmed. And Ulf wasn't paralyzed.

The PCs went back into action. Crogar gathered up his axe and headed towards the eyes of death and away from the beholder. Gerry went back to casting spells - Great Haste, first, and then I'm not sure what next. The eyes of death focused on Bruce after it was clear they couldn't really hurt Wyatt or Ulf reliably.

Bruce rushed the beholder with Wyatt, but Bruce eventually failed a HT roll to stay conscious from his bewildering array of wounds and fell unconscious. Ulf went shortly after from eye of death attacks and the beholder's rays. Gerry after that from a black ray from the beholder and a failed HT roll put him very negative and then dropped him, mortally wounded.

Wyatt rushed the beholder alone. Crogar tried a running jump attack on an eye of death but missed. After that, he turned away from a new exit visible to him - which the eyes were close to - and moved back towards the way the PCs came in.

We ended up with two fights going on. Crogar was hit with a fear effect, and was at -8 to all non-fleeing actions for 8 seconds. He spent all of those running towards the Master's area. He reached it, only to find the way blocked by four obsidian golems (guardians they'd passed on the way in last session.) He Evaded but failed. He tried again and succeeded, and ran past them. One spun and punched him twice but he parried their attacks. He ran past them and out of the room into a new area and stumbled into six humanoid figures consisting of dark, tattered robes with ghostly hands clutching scythes. They formed a semi-circle blocking the only way out. He decided not to try to run past them, too. He ran back to the obsidian golems, who now blocked his way into the octagonal room from this direction. So he did a shield rush on one for 15 damage. It stood its ground (they're strong and heavy), and they all swung at him, injuring him with a hit or two. A second later, he tried to get by and failed, and they all launched their paralytic eye rays at him. One, two, three, four. The second succeeded, and we didn't resolve the others. He was paralyzed. One grabbed him by the neck and proceeded to try and Neck Snap him. We drew the curtain on that fight.

Wyatt kept after the beholder, running in and throwing a knife at it - a meteoric one, hoping it would try to disintigrate the knife like it did Hjalmarr's axe back in the day. It dodged. He kept after it, throwing knives and then his swords, as it kept dodging and playing various eye rays over him to no avail. The eyes of death kept after him, all four that remained (they'd slain 4 of the original 6, and then 2 more joined them.) They could only hurt him on a failed HT roll (most of the time) and then by rolling max damage (1 in 6 times, statistically.) But they began to slowly wear him down. Eventually, he was Slowed by the beholder, but not before it blew a Dodge and took a thrown sword in the body. It hurt, but its hard hide/shell protected it. Even slowed, Wyatt just kept slogging over to his weapons, kicking them into his hands, and then throwing them, once ever four seconds. Eventually, he scored another hit, putting out the main eye with a thrown dagger. But before he could do any more, his luck ran out - he eventually failed to resist a sleep ray, and fell asleep.

That was second 69 of the fight. He had five more seconds of Protection from Evil, after which the eyes and beholder would have just finished him off easily once his +10 to resist and 5 DR went away.

And that was that. TPK.

Notes:

- Not much to say overall here. Second year-end beholder massacre in the campaign. I'll follow up tomorrow with a post about what's on tap.

- Gerry's player opined that - even before the beholder showed up - that this was going to get them killed, uselessly. No power items, no time to recover energy after castings, etc. He didn't see the point. Wyatt's player argued that getting them killed off in the process of killing some enemies probably was the point. I know who is closer to accurate, but I also hold the Masters' cards close to my chest.

- My beholder isn't exactly an AD&D beholder, but it's not one of the later ones, either. It's very much based on the AD&D version but scaled to GURPS better. So it isn't incredibly slow, and its rays don't have crazy ranges, and it does have some weak points. It's dangerous and it's a boss monster but they aren't invulnerable. They can be lethal.

- Magic Resistance - in fact any non-HT-boost - has no effect on the Eye of Death attacks. I think my players were disappointed but I wrote the darn things up, and I know I'd have mentioned MR if I'd meant to mention MR. Beholder writeups do. Cosmic ignores all DR didn't seem sufficient when faced with DR 5 vs. supernatural evil attacks, which this clearly is. So that's one way to fight them . . . PfE 6.

- I'm taking over charmed PCs in the future. Varmus was going to throw his fireball at Wyatt, who was facing him, instead of back-shotting a helpless caster (Ulf.) I overruled that. Bruce did a Move and Attack on Wyatt from behind while within easy Committed Attack range. We've had dedicated eye snipers go for limb cripples, vitals-hunters shoot extremities, and so on. People can't help but kid glove their moves when it is a PC. Nice to know, but it means Charm attacks are a waste of time for the GM and I'll need to replace them with save-or-suck attacks that just take you out. Otherwise it's a foolish move - "Makes the victim completely loyal to the caster, except if he has to do something he wouldn't do without having been charmed, in which case he'll do the least efficient thing that kinda-sorta helps the caster" = a waste of time.

- I'm not sure what Crogar was going for. He was under a fear effect, and so at -8 to do non-fleeing actions for 8 seconds. But he was trying to get away before that, and was just cut off by the eyes. He ran into some new monsters, ran from them (probably a good idea), and then shield-bashed the obsidian golem. They finished him off quickly after that. Servants of the masters, sure, but the golems aren't smart enough to deal with "Defend yourselves, but don't kill other servants." I think he was concerned that lacking Protection from Evil he couldn't risk the eye rays or eyes of death, but I'm not sure what the plan was. As always, I don't really ask, I just referee.

- Prayer worked - and it had better, with an 11 xp sacrifice to do it. The ask was very small - to free Ulf from paralysis. The Good God did him a bit better, and just wiped out all negative status effects (and one Great Haste, too) and left the PCs all ready to restart the fight.

The issue with asks from prayers and wishes is that I often find them disjointed - people don't ask for one thing, but 2-3 vaguely related things, or they ask for something so constrained that I'm not sure what they really want. I figued this was close to what they wanted. On a critical I'd have just restored the whole party to fighting shape and HP and FP, but it wasn't a critical. I think he made the roll exactly even with that +11.

In the end, it didn't matter. It gave them another chance but they weren't able to capitalize.

- I'm bummed. I wasn't expecting this to go easy but I didn't think it would be a TPK. I was hoping they'd have won the fight and/or found a way out, to come back and get revenge on the Masters in the end. After the last beholder battle that they'd realize the best defense is a good offense. That, and when they discovered its real weak points - it depends heavily on its anti-magic ray (and Gerry could ignore that, albiet at a -5) and non-magic resistant targets for its eye rays - seemed like a turning point. But ultimately, it was not to be. They couldn't coordinate the melee attacks with ranged attacks that would force their foes down from the ceiling, and mostly ended up fighting one-on-one battles or piecemeal attacking. No one with thrown weapon skills aside from Wyatt even had throwable weapons, and the lack showed here.

MVP was Wyatt's player, for basically almost making this work somehow.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Felltower pre-summary

Short pre-summary today:

- Suprise! Eyes of Death in the darkness, and the PCs without much ranged firepower.

- Suprise! There was also a Beholder.

- No more surprises after that . . . but there was beholder and PC blood spilled. Details tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Foundry Lighting - Fixed!

This morning, Vic and I finally fixed the lighting.

It turned out to be a bum token - Gerry's token was, for some reason, emitting 360 yards of dim light in a 360 degree radius.

How we found it was the old fashioned hard way:

- we reset all the settings we could on the original map

- we created a text dungeon and did the settings from scratch to see if they worked (they did)

- we created a duplicate of the original map to see if the problems persisted through changes (they did)

- we created a new map and pulled the walls over to see if that worked fine (it did)

- we brought over the tokens . . . and the problem reappeared.

So we then put down one token at a time until we found the problem.

That fixed on the original map and on Gerry's prototype token, the problem went away.



We/I also solved a few other issues:

- How to make Gerry invisible to everyone but him, even if they de-select their icon. That took making him Owner-only, and using an invisibility macro that Vic gave me a while back.

- How to put icons down invisibly - hold down Alt when you click to place them down.

- How to add icons invisibly to the turn tracker - have them toggled to invisible (the above Alt-click method works fine if you're placing them the first time) and they will be invisible in the tracker.

- How to make someone invisible in the tracker (it's the eye icon).

- How to shade the lighting so it's dimmer outside the bright circle (at max, "dim" and "bright" look identical.)

I also experimented with Perfect Vision - I'll likely use it next time, but not muck with the game at the moment. And I deleted a bunch of modules we don't use anymore or which didn't keep pace with Foundry updates.

So that's a lot of fixes done. Thanks Vic!






For you guys playing along at home, here is the Invisible Macro:

const effect = token.actor.effects.find(e => e.getFlag("core", "statusId") === "invisible");if (effect) return effect.delete();await token.actor.createEmbeddedDocuments("ActiveEffect", [{ icon: "icons/svg/invisible.svg", label: "Invisible", "flags.core.statusId": "invisible"}]);

Friday, November 25, 2022

Links & Thoughts for 11/25/2022

Friday links and thoughts gripes!

- I didn't know there was a CRPG based on the Odyssey, kinda, in German. Where you can play a butterfly.

- I aspire to this level of fatality in my games. And diversity of deaths. We're getting there.

- This is a very cool city make called Queensport.

- I still can't seem to figure out lighting in Foundry. I have a dungeon room where the PCs get full, unrestricted line-of-sight dispersal of Fog of War, despite having light sources that only extend out a few yards. Instead of darkness, they just have areas that are less-than-fully-lit that they can see out until a wall blocks them. Resetting Fog of War does nothing. Changing their vision to nothing and lighting to nothing and resetting it all gives the same results. I just don't understand how to make it so that they can see normally within range of a light source but not otherwise. I did not have this problem on an earlier map. Just now.

- So many sales, but I haven't painted more than a few minis in a year or so, and haven't finished reading everything I've already bought. So I'm largely sitting this out. Even this 3 for 2 on top of 50% off 5e D&D sale isn't quite doing it for me.

- I'd linked to the kickstarter for Tonisborg. Here is a post talking about why they didn't do a PDF. I understand, but I also remember fully OCR'd PDFs of out-of-print books popping up in the early 2000s. And I understand what others have said - including at least one independent author - that those who would steal your book weren't going to buy it anyway. I'd love to see Tonisborg, but not enough to pay a lot to get a physical copy shipped to me. I eye my game collection and wonder who will end up with what when I move to a smaller, more distant place . . . and I'm reluctant to add anything to the collection that isn't going to follow me forever at this point. Or which has some trait that makes it worth owning on paper in order to benefit from its use now. So no PDF . . . I'm not likely to want it at all.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Felltower Thanksgiving Turkey

I'm thankful for turkey, so let's talk about how to make it Felltower stye.

1) Prepare the turkey by thoroughly rinsing it, then stuff it with Strength and Dexterity potions. Coat with Missile Shield, Shield, Invisibility, Levitation. Optionally, Great Haste it. Encase it in the best armor money can buy and festoon it with 4-5 different weapons in case any are dropped in the dungeon.

2) Pre-heat Felltower to about 50 degrees F.

3) Insert Turkey into Felltower. Optionally, teleport it nude into an even deeper part of the dungeon and take away the player's maps. Douse repeatedly with Paut and healing potions and toxic, corrosive, cutting, crushing, impaling, and piercing damage. Optionally: include some tight-beam burning for crispiness.

4) Bake for 9 hours every other Sunday until the turkey or most or all of the adventurers are slain.

5) Repeat annually for 11+ years.

6) Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Felltower-Americans!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Great Haste fixes . . . again

I've been giving a revised Great Haste more thought.

I put down a few options here:

Lessened Great Haste

I'm thinking about these again.

I don't think Great Haste as written is broken, but I do find it really does take a lot of time to resolve. It's not really a question of nerfing it, it's a question of how to make the game roll along more smoothly. People cast Great Haste and then one of two things happen:

- if a wizard, the target gets off some spells more rapidly

or

- if a fighter, the game grinds down into careful tactical movement during an All-Out Attack (usually Double, for +1 attack), with a maximum of allowed Dual-Weapon or Rapid Strike attacks, with careful placement for the second turn. Second turn is the same, except a normal Attack.

The second one takes a long time. So I'm trying to think of how to speed this up.

I'm leaning towards Double Your Abilities. There are issues:

Learning curve: It'll slow things down as people get used to it

Extra Attack: We'll need to decide how Extra Attack counts. Likely, it would be doubled.

What are my stats? You'll need to recalc your move to know what your Step is. This will likely result in the biggest time killer in my games - HELPING PEOPLE. "Hey, don't forget you get 2 steps." "No, I have Move 3, so I don't get a second step." "Oh yeah. But wait, isn't it doubled speed? Let me check the blog." Etc.

I do think if people got behind it immediately it would work and speed up play and resolution. I don't expect that to happen, though.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

No more ads

So, I'm kicking AdSense and Amazon ads to the curb from this blog. I'm not sure what will replace them, but I decided I don't really love them around anymore. So they're gone.

I'll probably still post affiliate links from Amazon.com, but I just don't want ad banners up.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Star Schlock Sale

I like the concept and minis for this game. I don't forsee getting to play it, but I do like it.

And Star Schlock is having a sale.

"Get 15% off your purchase through Dec 31st by entering promo code HOLIDAY22 during checkout."

Also, free shipping on some orders.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Felltower of the Day

Sunday is a day when I run Felltower, or do Felltower related things.

Today was a day to stat up a monster that I've had in miniature for a while, but hadn't put down final stats for.

It was also a day to fill in some sketched-out areas in the dungeon with more details - treasure by item rather than just by total, a few traps by description rather than just stats, and a few other little things here or there.

Next Sunday should be Felltower proper, when we'll find out if anything I did to the VTT fixed the Fog of War - I doubt it - and if the PCs can defeat the Eyes of Death, which seems possible. They sure need a ranged combatant who doesn't depend on fireballs.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Random Links addendum!

Geez, I totally forgot these two links for yesterday!

- If someone had this in their backstory, I'd reject it out of hand.

A venomous cobra bit a child, who then bit the snake to death.
So, "Man bites dog."

On the other hand, Raggi and Bruce probably have something like this in their backstories.

- Manhunter: New York wasn't a great game. But it was atmospheric, and I did like the idea behind it. Nothing like being a servant of murderous alien overlords in a post-apolyptic world. It's like being one of the capped in the Tripods series, albiet with free will. This review is a bit negative but it's fun. I didn't realize the eyes took over in 2022. I'd have made reference to that last session when my players encounters flying killer eyenballs!

Manhunter: New York

The game was a bit maddening with all of the mini-games. But conceptually, it felt cool. You can see how annoying it could be here, though.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday links for 11/18/2022

- A fire-breathing bulette . . so . . . a non-flying Gamera, then?

- Thanks to Tenkar for posting this.



$100 is a lot for 8 minis. The beholder is beautiful, but it's also around $13 even if you think the others are worth the same.

- The post yesterday about offense vs. defense was specifically occasioned by me listening to a bunch of Hawkwind recently, including Warrior on the Edge of Time (listen here) (Lemmy's last album with them.) It got me thinking about Elric, and the Chaos Shield, and why I'd rather give someone Stormbringer than the Chaos Shield. So, now you know.

- These guys are interesting.

Grognard's Grimoire: Gorodaka (Haughty Dead)

- Wargames Foundry has launched their Christmas sale for their main site and Casting Room Minis, too. Too bad I already have dozens of pirates!

- (Editing Later) Forgot one - collected information on the Egg of Coot. it has that weird technological/magical mix that characterizes a lot of Blackmoor and makes it feel more like Hawkmoon than generic fantasy.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

GURPS DF Magical Loot - Reinforce Defenses, or Offenses?

As a philosophical point, I'm curious - do GURPS GMs, especially GURPS Dungeon Fantasy GMs, prefer to place magical treasures that enhance PC defense, or enhance PC offense?

I personally lean towards offense.

PCs with a good offense can deal with more and bigger and deadlier monsters. Increased offense allows them to threaten foes they couldn't otherwise easily threaten. Or maybe threaten at all, given appropriate immunities or powers. Even if only one or two PCs can threaten a foe, they can - as a group - confront such a foe.

PCs with a good defense, however, can neutralize monster's attacks. They increase the whiff factor (if literally improve defense) or reduce the effect of hits (if DR). In order to get such PCs to feel some concern in combat, monsters have to get tougher. Every increase in defense on one PC means more, stronger monsters are needed to threaten that PC. And thus all of the other PCs need to keep up . . . or the GM has to keep up, or both.

So I tend to think it's better to give out artifact-level offensive items over letting out even moderately-powerful defense-enhancing items. You'll see some magical defenses in GURPS DF Felltower, but a lot more power offensive weapons. For every suit of awesome plate or mage-scale, or protective ring, or set of armor-providing bracers, you'll see 2-3 magical weapons or offense-enhancing items of equal or greater potency.

How about in your games?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Fire in the Lake Tutorial setup

I'm starting to work on playing Fire in the Lake.

The issue is logistics. Amateur wargamers talk about tactics, grognard wargamers talk about logistics. Like, as in . . . how do I do this?

The map is 34" x 22" and shows all of South Vietnam and the bordering provinces of Laos and Cambodia, too. It leaves me a bit of an issue - I need some room to play. I don't intend to leave this on the floor, but I don't have a table quite big enough that isn't already in use for something else. The others are a bit small. The card table is a no-go.

Learning how to play involves a move-by-move tutorial. The rules themselves are very slender, but learning how to apply them will take some time. It's easier to follow along on the tutorial. It's just a matter of space.

So tonight is all game prep - punching the counters, sorting them, arranging the cards per the tutorial. I'm hoping to figure out space this week to start playing solo. The game is gorgeous, the topic interesting, and the concept behind the COIN series is fascinating.

Hmmm . . . maybe those two little end tables with some tape to make sure they don't slide apart . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Monty Python Holy Grail RPG - I mean, Monty Python’s Cocurricular Mediaeval Reenactment Programme

This would just be a shelf-space filler for me, but still, this might be just the RPG you need!


It's funded, so you're just deciding if you're in or out at this point.

The coconut dice-roller is amusing. I have two actual coconut shell halves I repurposed for horses back in the day still on my shelf. They'll do nicely as a dice-roller, I think.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Further Notes on Session 174, Felltower 124

Some more notes on Sunday's game session.

- I'm really frustrated with my current battlemap. No matter what I do, all PC tokens can see everything within 360 degrees not blocked by line of sight, even if their light source can't reach it. And even if I turn off Fog of War Exploration, which keeps stuff they explored showing but dimly lit. It's literally showing everything they could see if they had unlimited sight, not what they can actually see with their light sources. I figured there was a mild chance they'd attack the golden swordsmen on the spot. Not a big chance, because with Crogar and Ulf down they didn't have great odds. Plus Mild Bruce takes Sense of Duty pretty seriously and expansively. But I thought it might happen. I've tried resetting Fog of War, turning on and off lighting settings, and more. Nothing works. It's maddening. They can't see into the hallway they entered from anymore, but can see all the way to the far walls. I've got to figure it out but it sucks that I have to spend the time on that.

I'm open to ideas.

- I'll share that trap that almost snagged Gerry, because the mechanism is pretty obvious to the players. Plus when I announced the second roll, Gerry's player laughed.

The walls had a bunch of Elder Tongue writing on them. Any comprehension level is sufficient to read them. The reader must make an Occultism roll; the margin of success is then applied as a penalty to a second roll - Will. Failure on the Will roll means you're stuck reading the runes for hours equal to the margin of failure. After that time, roll against Will at the same penalty. Success breaks the effect.

It's kind of an Evil GM move, penalizing a success. But the concept doesn't work on a failed roll. You end up trapping idiots with just enough literacy in the language. This is aimed at high-Will high-IQ educated types. And thus the more they know, the more likely they are to fall for the trap and get stuck in it. You could always say a critical success shows you there is NO meaning and never will be. A critical failure, conversly, convinces you that you there is deep meaning, and your Will roll is at -10. Play around with it as you will.

- As the PCs left the mindwarper area in the tow of the golden swordsmen, I thought a few things might happen.

I thought there was a high chance of them trying to nudge the golden swordsmen in a different direction to see what happens.

I thought there was a medium chance of them trying to provoke a fight with the golden swordsmen or push them into another fight with . . . something . . . and then taking advantage of the chaos to attack.

I thought there was a similar chance of them just trying to run for it.

I figured there was a small chance they'd attack the golden swordsmen on the spot. Not a big chance, because with Crogar and Ulf down they didn't have great odds. Plus Mild Bruce takes Sense of Duty pretty seriously and expansively. But I thought it might happen. It might have been the best option, but again, casualties and disadvantages tell.

I didn't really think they'd go back. They did.

I'm not sure if they felt like they had to or were compelled to. At no time did I say so. I was also a little curious that they didn't take advantage of their opportunity to get seperation from the golden swordsmen to think about what they wanted to do next. Admittedly they are lost in the dungeon, so that might have been a big factor . . . and maybe they gamed this all out by email and text or Discord and I missed it (I ask not to be included in such . . . it drags on my time and tends to end up being questions to me about what-ifs.) But we'll see. Now they're back with the Masters and on a new mission. We'll see how that goes and what happens from there. It might be that they prefer the fixed nature of working for an eventual promised reward. But with PCs, you can never tell. I'll have to get ready for anything and everything, which with a VTT is a hell of a lot of work.

- I admire the people who put weird monsters with weird effects into VTTs. I can't even. I put in their HP and then try to backhand in a damage mode that matches theirs and then see if I can attach a skill. I haven't a clue how to do maledictions and such . . . just no idea at all.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Session 174, Felltower 124 - Mission for the Masters II

Date: 11/13/2022
Game Date: 10/24/2022 and 11/13/2022

Characters:
Crogar, human barbarian (375 points)
"Mild" Bruce McTavish, human barbarian (349 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (420 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (366 points)
Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice (180 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (382 points)

We picked up in combat. The combat didn't go too long.

Wyatt scrambled over to his fallen swords and knives and frittered away a couple of seconds trying to retrieve them quickly and rolling poorly. Meanwhile, Gerry harassed the death brain, which kept attacking him and stunning him in return. Wyatt got his sword and chucked it and hit the brain, knocking it from the ceiling. It was hurt more by the fall, and then Wyatt kicked it twice, both times for max damage. Gerry floated down and swiped at it twice, and hit it the second time for 3 damage with the staff (minimum) and 18 damage with a 6d Deathtouch. That did for it.

Meanwhile, the mindwarper kept lashing away at the advancing PCs. It hit Varmus five times, and wounded him badly. Varmus faked unconsciousness, poorly, but then fell unconscious for real a second later.

The golden swordsmen - two, anyway, still at full HP - ran at the mindwarper. So did Bruce. It lashed away at Bruce over and over, inflicting quite a lot of damage and cutting him to half move and dodge. They still managed to run it down to a far wall. Bruce reached it and swung his sword and hit, but it deflected it with a lash of some color-that-wasn't-a-color force. A second later it turns and touched a few spots on the wall with its tentacle-like . . . fingers . . . and it disappeared with a psychic scream that rose and then fell off sharply (although only Bruce heard it, the others not being close by.)

They carefully moved around for a bit, ensuring the combat was over. They fed potions out and managed to revive all of the fallen except Ulf. The golden swordsmen huddled up and did something - no one noticed in the confusion - and got their wounded up again, too. Only one lay fallen forever. They stripped him of gear (before the PCs could - yes, someone asked) and layed him out with his arms across his chest and eyes closed.

They explored the area at the gestures of one of the swordsmen. They found one area seemed unstable (they didn't check it further, on caution from Bruce), another gave Bruce weird distractions (and -2 IQ rolls for a while), another was where the void brutes lived (there was almost nothing at all there), and a room with strange writing. Gerry read the runes as best he could (he has 1 point in Elder Tongue), and found them interesting . . . so interesting . . . he could puzzle them out . . . but he managed to snap out of the trap. It was nonsense, at least to him, but designed to seem compelling.

They eventually gathered everyone up, the golden swordsmen pulled them out of the barrier, and they headed back. The golden swordsmen had one lead and the other four follow - one carrying the fallen sixth. The PCs went along and returned to the Masters. They were brought back to the balcony, Levitated up, and questioned by the talkative tall one. It demanded a report. Varmus explained.

It wasn't satisfied that the mindwarper escaped. Varmus said, "to my credit, I was unconscious." They were ordered to disarm. They found themselves compelled to do so. Once stripped nude, things went fuzzy. They found themselves back in their cells. No one tortured them this time around, they were just fed and guarded.

Time passed.

And they came to their senses in a square room with three passages out. One was blocked with caltrops (with a very narrow, straight path through the middle) and a weird crab-shaped urn on the ceiling. There six Gith aka Masters and a few norkers stood, and told them to arm up and to go out that right passage, take another right, and kill everything they found. Wyatt asked again for Aldwyn's weapons, saying he could have completed the previous mission if he'd been given the extra weapons. The Masters seemed unimpressed.

They walked out the narrow, straight, caltrop path ("tactically unsound," sniffed Wyatt) and into the next chamber, an octogan-shaped one. It held four obsidian golems and an iron spectre, which watched them as they went past. They cast a few light spells and moved into the caves where they were told to go and kill everything.

They began to move through the cave, exploring the right-hand side. As they moved left . . . suddenly Wyatt cried out in pain. They began to move forward . . . unknown to them (but known to the PCs, because of the turn tracker and a f-ing map lighting issue I can't figure out), towards a half-dozen Eyes of Death!

We stopped there, and we'll pick up in two weeks.

Notes:

- In my next campaign, I won't allow Fit. Because every single session - every - single - session - someone has asked, "Does Fit count?" on a HT roll. I could write a whole blog hosted on fitcountsonallheathrollsingurps.com and write nothing but posts about how all HT rolls means all HT rolls and I'd still get this question. I'll get it again, even after this. Because, you know, maybe this HT roll doesn't count it. So mark my words - it's gone.

- I love the death brains. Lots of fun. They're really glass cannons . . . assuming you can get close to them. Had Galen been around, they wouldn't have been for long. Missile weapons are relative weak except when they're not.

- We updated the GURPS package and Foundry . . . and while the fight we had worked, we had status effects we couldn't remove, weird issues with lighting, and the like. It's a learning curve. I'd be angrier if I wasn't running a VTT on a third-party host with a different third-party unofficial rules module not planned for in the base VTT.

- I was a little unprepared for the PCs to actually just return to the Masters. But they did. And so, for their sins, they got another mission. Everyone gets everything he wants. So I had to quick-upload the map and icons I needed for the next fight. One of my players said he hadn't seen any real decision points up to now. Well, no, not after they returned to the Masters. I just wasn't really honestly expecting them to go back, but players will do that to you.

- I have no idea how to do lighting. I just don't. I did my best, with lights on PCs and Fog of War on, and they can still see large swaths of the map that are outside the reach of their light. I'm trying to fix it, but it's painful. And it - plus the turn tracker - reveal all that would stay hidden on an actual tabletop.

- MVP was Varmus's player, who was running Wyatt when he threw the sword into the death brain and then kicked it twice for max damage when it fell. It's MVP, not MVC, so the player gets the point, not Wyatt.

- We'll pick up in two weeks, on 11/27/22.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Skeleton Weapons comic

This also describes my game. Thanks to the player of Ahenobarbus and all of the Barcas for sending this exact description of how I arm my skeletons. And how I feel about it.


Credit to slaughterkeys.tumblr.com.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Links & Thoughts for 11/11/2022

- It's Veteran's Day here in the US, so consider Combat Veteran for your GURPS PCs.

- It's Veteran's Day here in the US, so I should eat this years-old MRE someone gave me. Or maybe not. On my current eating plan, it's like two days worth of food. And nothing really appetizing sounding.

- Also it's Veteran's Day here in the US, so let's give a hand to my players who are veterans. And a hand to the PCs who are veterans of Felltower who've survived since the early days! Oh wait, those guys are dead almost to a man. Only Galen and Borriz are the first characters of the players who run them, and Borriz's player hasn't been active in gaming for closing in on 10 years.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Selling blood to wizards

I saw a bleak headline about people selling blood to make ends meet.

This has so many possibilities in a fantasy game. My games have a strong element of bleakness in them, so it's a potential match.

In GURPS Magic, you can spent hit points to power magic instead of using FP.

Losing HP can also happen from blood loss.

Therefore, blood can be part of what you expend for magical energy when you do so.

Therefore, logically, pints of blood are sources of magical energy. If you can use your own blood, you should be able to use someone else's. Especially if you have a nice, fresh pint of it handy. Preserve Food will keep blood fresh.

Mages, therefore, will buy people's blood to use to cast spells. Now we just need to set a price. Paut is $120 to replenish 4 FP. It's $5 to replenish a power item. So we have a range of $5+ for blood, and probably bounded to $30 on the upside to keep pace with the replenishment of paut. Although this is a +1. Call it $40 per 1 HP worth, because it's better to have +4 FP than get 4 FP back.

If you need after-market work to get it ready to cast, you are likely to get paid a fraction of that. Probably for the best - if your blood is worth a lot, people will kill you for it. If it's a $5 for 1 HP of blood, you're getting beer money and that's it. Again, for the better, because creatures made of money tend to get killed off - talk to whales, elephants, and gold golems.

You might want to put a cap on how many pints of blood you could cast off of at once - probably equal to levels of Magery, minimum 1. Or, you know, limit it by how terrible a person you are - maybe 1 HP worth per -10 in really nasty disadvantages. Or create a perk, Blood Magic, which allows the use in the first place. I'd probably go with the last. "Blood Wizards" buying that perk for 1 pt, allowing them to use up to Magery worth of other people's collected and prepared blood to cast spells. You'd probably get a Reputation almost immediately . . . and not a good one. No one likes a literal blood-sucking wizard.

Oh sure, maybe the loss of FP from casting spells is from the tiring process of using external mana. Maybe lost HP are just the physical loss of vitality from doing the same. But this is more fun. We had a vampyre in a previous game that had a blood-charged "power item." I may have given out another one of those in Felltower. It's been 11 years worth of play so I can't be sure. But this isn't a bad idea at all. Just an evil one.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Quick Conan notes

I was hoping to play the rest of Conan and the Queen of the Black Coast tonight, but non-gaming things kept me a bit occupied.

The fully tactical aspect of the upcoming combat is a bit of an issue, too - I have to draw up a copy of the map or use minis and a real hex map, and I'm short on room for that. I should have everything prepped to do it early next week, though - Felltower this weekend is also taking a little time.

But never fear, I'll be back to trying to milk all I can out of the ancient city soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Spoilers - I think one of my monsters did this.

SPOILER ALERT!

Hey, I conceived of, and wrote up, the thing that did this!

I love when my ideas do horrible things to other people's PCs.

DF NOVICES, SESSIONS 5 & 6 - THE DEAD OF NIGHT

Monday, November 7, 2022

Mirror, Mirror Gaming

I've recently watched an old Jon Pertwee-era Doctor Who episode which features - dun dun duuuuum! - a parallel universe with alternate, military dicatorship versions of everyone except the Doctor. You know, the whole Mirror, Mirror thing. Eyepatches, uniforms, the whole bit other than beards.

Back in the early nineties, I ran a 1st (and later 3rd) edition GURPS game set in the Forgotten Realms. We used the boxed set plus Waterdeep and the North, plus the City System boxed set and one or two other books. The campaign eventually moved from the inner sea area to Waterdeep and stayed there.

There was a recurring enemy . . . I think his name was Jarrick T'Jellan*. He was a nefarious type scheming for power, opposed to the good orders of the campaign world. The PCs fought him a few times, but he could Teleport and wouldn't stick around to die when defeated.

I'm not sure how I was going to set it up anymore, but I had planned to launch a Mirror, Mirror adventure. Toss the PCs into a parallel Waterdeep, where their only ally would be heroic rebel Jarrick T'Jellan. They'd get to fight alongside him, against the Lords of Waterdeep. We'd get to use those maps and stats we had for the good guys as maps and stats for the bad guys. They could knock off some of the Lords and fight a nice big battle against the evil overlords of the city. It would have been a blast, potentially.

Have any of you guys ever done this?

This is part of the fun of having the PCs fight alongside their foes in Felltower. From the moment they surrendered I knew that was going to be a thing. There isn't any point to a parallel megadungeon in my game, but there might be in yours. The fun of role reversal is a enjoyable. It might even be a chance to play Team Evil** for a change. Maybe bring the evil parallels of your PCs into the game world to do something nasty, and then have the PCs try to clean it up. Or play a switcheroo if the players are the type to like that*** and have them run their normal guys against evil, only to pull the curtain back and reveal they were playing an interlude of their evil guys. That would prevent any deliberate smoothing of the path of their real guys later.

I can see all sorts of fun. It's fun to watch, given well-established characters, and I'm sure it would have been fun the play, given the well-established villain of my previous campaign.

* I can't find my old paper notes, and my electronic ones are written with the old Wang word processor aka Leading Edge Word Processor and I'm not sure what will open them anymore. But I'm 90% certain on that name.

** See also.

*** I'm categorically NOT.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Felltower Update

I did a little housework on Felltower today.

Online, that's shown in:

- minor cleanup to the DF Campaign page.

- adding monsters to the Monsters Encountered So Far list - thorkers, mindwarpers, and void brute! Death brains were already in there.

Offline:

- Lots of behind-the-scenes notes and edits in my Felltower document. I can't show that stuff . . . yet.

Sorry the update is so brief, but there is very little I can show at this point.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Nightmare Fuel - Last Chance!

Gaming Ballistic's Nightmare Fuel monster books for DFRPG is running into its last day.

I'd like to urge you to consider supporting it if you a) need more monsters for DFRPG or GURPS DF, and/or b) you want to keep Gaming Ballistic coming with more DFRPG support.



Just click here to connect to the page.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Random Thoughts & Links for 11/4/2022

- This post is a nice look at AD&D potion creation.

- I don't love D4 HP thieves and race-as-class, but I do think Basic D&D has a lot to recommend it. So does this post.

B/X and the Perfecation of OD&D

- I received an email for my DCC #100 Kickstarter. I'm looking forward to seeing that one in person.

- Not a lot else. I have some blog-admin issues to deal with, but I'll detail them once I've gotten further along down the road.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

GURPS Conan - Queen of the Black Coast playthrough - Session 4

Another possibly short session of QotBC. Session 3 is here.

Crew Morale 3

Plot Word: GUARDED

Current Time: Morning

Roll-and-4-tick boxes entry. I roll 2d and get a 9. Page flip.

We plunge deep into the jungle but don't find water. We can return or try again. Let's try again. Back to 170, down to 3 boxes remaining. I roll 2d again. 5. A large black log blocks us . . . IQ-2 vision roll. For Conan that's a 14. I roll a 5. That's no log, it's a battlestation creature! We choose to attack it with missile fire.

It's a giant lizard. We're 10 hexes away, and I have N'Gora, 10 spearmen, and Conan with a throwing spear. It's a jungle lizard, which has HT17/20-25. So, how many HP? It doesn't say. I'll give it 25, the maximum. It will attempt to flee if it loses equal to or more than half its HP.

Conan throws first, skill 16 + 2 Acc + 3 aim, -3 for vitals, and I roll a 13. It had PD 1 and Dodge 6 for a 7. I roll a 9 and it's hit for 1d+5 impaling. I roll a 6! That's 11 damage, -2 DR, so 9 x 3 = 27. It's already at -2 HP.

I'll skip the rest. 11 more spears mean it's likely to die, and if not, it'll run away. Either way we win.

We end up not finding water. Back to try again. 2 boxes left. I roll 2d. 6.

Hearing roll required - +1 for Danger Sense and +1 for Combat Reflexes (really?) For Conan this an 18. I roll a 13 and make it. A large hyena - astounding in size - rushes us. Each crewman has to make an IQ+Morale roll to avoid being mentally stunned.

N'Gora: 14. 13, made it.
Crewman #1: 12. 9, made it.
Crewman #2: 12. 10, made it.
Crewman #3: 12. 6, made it.
Crewman #4: 12. 16, missed it. Mentally stunned.
Crewman #5: 12. 9, made it.
Crewman #6: 12. 8, made it.
Crewman #7: 12. 13, missed it. Mentally stunned.
Crewman #8: 12. 11, made it.
Crewman #9: 12. 9, made it.
Crewman #10: 12. 13, missed it. Mentally stunned.

So 8 out of the 11 are okay. Page flip!

It's us vs. a hell hyena. It's not far from the lead, where Conan is.

I'll have to resolve the fight tomorrow, it's late. I'm at Entry 86.

Notes:

- There are some odd rolling choices in this adventure. That said, I like how most combats and traps and issues have a roll attached - if you have poor senses or make poor preperation choices, you are more likely to be at a disadvantage. Want to explore with your sword out? You might drop it when you fall and need to grab a ledge. Don't make an IQ roll? You don't think of protecting the water supply.

- I also like how player actions determine crew morale, which affects later rolls. It gives a real feeling of influence. I made need to do that for NPCs in the future - roll their Morale, and then have player actions directly affect Morale and force a roll with it when it matters.

- I pretty much had to try to make this hard. This isn't the first time I had to fight my way out in the adventure, but multiple times I've just looted a lot of loot and then left, happy with Belit and loaded. It seems like it should be a little more difficult to convince Belit, who has Greed and Overconfidence, and difficult for Conan, who has Impulsiveness and Fanaticism (Love for Belit) to even try to leave without ekeing out the most loot.

- I've used Hell Hyenas and the giant lizard and giant snake stats many, many times. In 3e, they were tough.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

GURPS Conan - Queen of the Black Coast playthrough - Session 3

Session 3 tonight . . . again, only a short play window. Here is Session 2 from Tuesday.

Current Time: Morning

Crew Morale: 0

Conan gets a +1 reaction from the crew.

We're in the city . . . it's gloomy, silent, and deserted. Belit laughs this off. Time for an IQ roll. Conan has a 13 . . . and I roll a 14. Oh well.

Belit sends me off with a picked team - up to 10 (with restrictions.) I take eight plus two subchiefs. It's unclear if I can take any of the named crewmen . . . so I don't in case one of them has some plot-related events.

We have four places to explore - the pyramid, one of the towers, the buildings, and the dockside area. I choose to start at the dockside area.

We find nothing . . . but Belit calls us over to examine what she thinks must have been the temple. More choices - examine the tower, pillars, slab, argue against disturbing it. I go with the slab.

It shows the marks of evil ancient rites. Conan needs to make an IQ+Alertness roll. I roll a 5 vs. 16. We find handholds that are "oddly ill-suited" to human hands. IQ roll for Belit; she has a 12. I roll a 6 for her. She calls Conan over to kill a snake in the grass. The others lift the slab and it shifts and the tower falls on them. (How many die here? No idea. All 10 guys I took? Two? Four? It simply doesn't say.)

Belit feared a trap. We clear the stones and bodies away, and find a cache of loot. How much? A pit "filled with jewels" - a "god's ransom." Belit jumps into the pit and swims around and comes out with a necklace of gold and rubies. It's estimated as being worth $5,000,000 or more. Crew Morale becomes 3.

After that, we can either search more or leave. I happen to know from a prior playthrough that you can literally just leave - no rolls, no nothing, sail off with $5,000,000. But Belit has Greed and it's fun to explore more, so let's explore more and risk horrible death!

We can explore more. This time I go for the pyramid. Conan climbs it with ease and looks for a way in. It's an odd roll - 2d, +1 if you have Alertness at all (regardless of level.) I roll 9, +1 for Alertness, equals 10. I flip to the "10 or more" entry and it reveals a door. I inspect it for traps . . . which defaults to IQ-5, so an 8 (Conan lacks the skill). I roll an 11. I try to force the door open and succeed.

It's narrow but I go in, at a crouch. It slants down. After a bit I get to roll agaonst IQ thanks to Danger Sense. 14. Oops.

I fall through a paper mache floor! Conan needs to make a DX roll, at -4 if he's carrying a weapon out (he probably is). So DX 15 - 4 = 11. I roll an 8 and catch on and haul myself out.

Inside I find a cache of $750,000 worth of gold bars. There is a plot word based page flip but I still have no plot words.

Back to searching. This time, the buildings. I go through one at random (it's roll-based) and find nothing. Last area - the towers.

Conan literally dices with N'Gora to pick a tower to search. 1d. I roll a 2.

We search and I made a roll vs. a 10. Made it by 1. We find a broadsword in a case and take it.

A plot word flip ensues. We see a winged shape fly off . . . and we hadn't left any guards on the Tigress (that was an easier blown IQ roll.) The thing smashed all of the water casks, so we don't have enough to sail off (Note: we're finally getting somewhere besides finding loot.) I can wait for the creature to come back, return to Belit, or leave my men behind to watch and return to Belit alone. I'll do that. I get the Plot Word GUARDED.

I can advise Belit to abandon the expedition, or not. Not. (Again, another easy chance to leave with loot.) N'Gora and 10 spearmen and Conan will go fill up waterskins.

It's time for a bunch of die-rolls and a tick-box entry to get through. I need to pause here, at entry 97.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

GURPS Conan - Queen of the Black Coast playthrough - Session 2

I have a very short time to play tonight. So I'll get in a little more QotBC. Session 1 is here.

Current Time: Night

Crew Morale: 0

Conan gets a +1 reaction from the crew.

The moon rises, "blood-red and oddly menacing." Queue players asking if they can roll anything to know what that means and wouldn't my guy etc. etc. etc. Young love-stricken Conan does not do such things!

Howls and cries erupt . . . Hearing Roll at -3, +3 if I have Absolute Direction. If I succeed, I have a page flip. If I fail, the crew morale drops by 1 and I have a different page flip. Conan has IQ 13, Alertness +3, and Absolute Direction. 13 +3 +3 -3 = 16. I roll a 5. Conan sneers at the crew's concerns and points out the cries are inland, not on the river. The crew listens.

Time advances to Morning. Again, a morale-and-time dependent page flip.

We reach the city. Belit calls for the crew to arm and make ready, and crew morale is +1 (Current Morale 1.)

As we pull towards the wharves, it's time for a Vision roll - again, IQ 13 and Alertness +3 is a 16, I roll a 7 and make it. I see a winged thing fly off one of the columns in the city. N'Yaga the shaman calls it a winged ape and accursed. Belit "scoffs" and we tie up on a wharf.

I'm at entry 20 and need to stop (see, I told you it was a very short time.)

Monday, October 31, 2022

GURPS Conan - Queen of the Black Coast playthrough - Session 1

I finally had a bit of time to play GURPS Conan - Queen of the Black Coast. Here is my session 0 post.

Crew Stats:

N'Gora
N'Yaga
Gwythar
5 Subchiefs
80 Crew

Crew Morale Rating 0

No Plot Words yet

Current Time: Afternoon

We start out on the Tigress, sailing around, with some backstory in case you haven't read the original story.

Just like in the books, the Tigress is badly depleted and laden with loot, yet Belit wants more and wants to sack a lost cursed city of the Ancients. My first choice is wether to protest the depleted nature of the crew, or endore Belit's idea. Young Conans in love don't question, they follow. I endorse her idea fully!

The jungle river is spooky and silent. The current time is now Afternoon . . . which is where it started.

I have to do a couple time-and-morale dependent page flips. The I need to roll 1d. 2. Flip to entry 7.

I'm on lookout duty. I have Danger Sense so I get an IQ roll. I roll an 8, and make it. Not critically, so I flip to 153.

I turn just as a giant river serpent looms over the bow! Time to break out a combat map of the ship. The serpent will try to grab a crewman and eat him. The adventure doesn't give any suggestions or rulings on where the other 89 people are - just Conan. I'm actually better off just making it fight Conan one on one but that's not the description, so I'll put a subchief (I need one for each group) and a half-dozen crewman near the serpent and fight it out from there.

Turn 1: Conan Moves up to the edge of the boat; this is two hexes away.
The serpent is tied with the warriors, so it moves to the edge of the boat and attacks one. It has DX 13 and I roll a 10 - a hit! The crewman has to try to Dodge. They have Dodge 5 and have Shields, but nothing says what kind of shield (seriously - they have a table entry but no equipment list). Conan has a large shield, so it seems reasonable that they do, too. So PD 4. I roll an 8, so the serpent hits the shield but its 1d damage won't penetrate.
The crewman can fight back with his Spear-12. I roll an 11. The serpent can Dodge with 6, +1 for PD . . . and I roll a 6!

Turn 2: Conan attacks the serpent with his sword (which is listed as doing 1+3 cutting, 3+1 impaling, and yet hasn't been errata'd. Tsk, tsk.) Conan has Broadsword-18 and so I aim at the Skull Brain (-7) for an 11. I roll a 5 and hit. The serpent rolls a 16 fails to Dodge. Damage is 11+1 = 12 cutting. The serpent has 0 DR, 2 for skull, so 12 - 2 = 10 x 4 = 40. It had HT 20 and goes to -20 HP and is knocked out automatically (3e rules.)

Having beaten the snake with no casualties, we get a +2 Morale (Crew Morale now 2) and Conan gets a +1 to reactions from the crew.

The time advances to Evening.

More time-and-morale based page flips, and a die roll - a 6.

We see some large glowing eyes of a sickly purplish hue. I can laugh it off, shoot at it, ignore the eyes, or bring the ship in closer. I attack!
I have a -12. Okay, that's a lot. I can aim, shoot without aiming, or decide not to shoot. I have a 17 skill, so that's a 5, 7 with aim, 10 if I take the max time. May as well aim. I do, and I shoot, rolling an 8. A hit and a page flip.

The weird thing turns out to be a wolf-like thing, which screams and falls dead into the river from a vitals hit. I have to roll 1d. On a 1-2, +1 to Crew Morale. 5. Oh well. Hard guys to impress. Anyway it falls into the river and tentacles seize it and rip it "asunder." -2 to morale! Easy come, easy go.
Crew Morale is 0 again.

Current time becomes Night.

More morale and time page flips, and a die roll. A 6. But I need to stop now, at entry 175. I'll pick it up from there tomorrow (if I have time.)

***

Fun so far. I'm not sure why there are no stats for the spearmen. I hope I'm not missing an insert.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Felltower & Fire in the Lake

So, I'm going to mix Felltower and GMT Games's Fire in the Lake!

Okay, no I'm not.

But in all seriousness, there are some conceptual overlaps.

If you're not familiar with the COIN games, they are generally for four players. You have four factions - and in the case of Fire in the Lake, at least, two factions on each side are allied. But their goals aren't identical.

In FITL, you have the NVA and the VC. One is the army of North Vietnam . . . the other the home-grown communist insurgency in South Vietnam. You'd think from far enough away that they're on the same side, but the NVA would like the war to end with a united Vietnam under their control. The VC would like a communist south where they have influence and control. The ARVN and US both want a non-communist Vietnam, but not the same one. They don't even always have the same means in mind.

You can project this over to any of the so-called factions in Felltower. The orcs would like to find something in Felltower. The PCs have offered to find it for them . . . but the orcs refused, because they want to be the ones that find it. The PCs finding it doesn't solve their problem (have the thing found) in the way that they'd prefer (they find it.) Same as the PCs with, say, anyone else they briefly ally to before killing them (see: Orcs, Hobgoblins, Crazies, most NPCs in town who come with . . .)

It's worth keeping in mind with any faction - their goals and your goals might be the same, but the path of accomplishment might be different. Or you might have similar mid-point goals but not the same final goal. You can sometimes bank on assistance but you can't always bank on complete assistance. You can't always trust that you have the same outcome in mind just because you share an identical path. Or that you share a path even if you share the means.

Back in Paranoia, we used to quote the motto - Trust no one, keep your laser handy. Felltower isn't quite so cut-throat, although the PCs generally act as if. Even so, you can't assume like goals or like means automatically means both goals and means are alike. Keep in mind your own goals, and see if you can't figure out those of your allies and enemies, before you trust or betray.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Fire in the Lake - first look

I finally had the time to pull the shrink wrap off of Fire in the Lake, 3rd edition, from GMT games.

It's beautiful.

The manuals are nice and crisp, with very clear writing and on high-quality matte paper.

The map board and cards are equally nice.

And the pieces are attractive but admittedly a little small. I need to take an inventory before I lose an ARVN unit or a VC base.

The counters are heavy cardstock and mounted. I need to find a good video showing how to best cut them free. I'd like cleanly punched counters.

I've started to read over the materials. I'll admit it's hard to not just look at the book in awe and leave everything as-is. I need to find some space to set the game up and then start to work through the tutorial elements included. There is just so much here. This isn't the ideal starting point into the COIN series. I've been told that Cube Libre is a good place to start, and I'm deeply fascinated by Andean Abyss. But nothing has quite grabbed me as much as the Vietnam War. It's such a refreshing idea to think of the VC, NVA, ARVN, and US as different groups with different goals, instead of the usual "NVA with VC henchmen" vs. "US with cruddy ARVN allies." It's not 1 vs. 1 but rather 1+1 (but actually 1v1) vs. 1+1 (also actually 1v1). It's going to be hard to play this solo but I think that's all I have for now.

Overall I'm very pleased with my purchase and I plan to play this ASAP. That won't be too soon, but can't be soon enough. I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far, and I came in with high expectations.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Assorted Links & Thoughts for 10/28/2022

- There is a Kickstarter up for a (the?) Blackmoor megadungeon. There doesn't seem to be a PDF-only version, so I'm out.

- In the end, on that Baldur's Gate bundle, I chucked in $1 for Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment: Enhanced edition. I'm still waiting on the latter, as they're out of Steam keys.

- I will unbox Fire in the Lake this weekend, I hope. I also took Fire in the Lake out of the library - the history the game's title (and spine illustration) was taken from. Because why not?

- There is still a Backerkit crowd-funding going on for Nightmare Fuel. I'm in for the PDFs and VTT tools. I'll skip a hardcopy, after all. I won't need it.

- Next Felltower is in another two weeks.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Revised GURPS Retreat?

Well . . . I'm up early and posting. I don't know if I'll do this for Felltower or not, but if I did, here is what I might do.

My issues with retreat are largely gamist and meta, not based on realism.

Retreat causes a few issues in a game, especially a tactical map-based game with a large number of combatants:

- it adds to the D in the OODA loop of each turm. That's Observe-Orient-Decide-Act. It's just one more part of "Decide." It comes up when people move - they want to ensure they can retreat. They ask about which hexes are clear to retreat to. People choose where to move to give their friends room to retreat. The additional layer of "Where do I move so I can Retreat?" comes up every turn on everyone's turn, and people consider the past and future moves of their allies when they do so.

- it adds a weird gamist element where people want to get hit, because they want to Retreat to get an additional hex of movement.

- it adds to the whiff factor, as an additional percentage of attacks just flat-out fail to connect due to better defenses.

- it adds to calculation, as people stop to decide if they need the +1 or +3 to defend before they defend.

And this is with a group of players who have played in the same 4e campaign, with the same rules, for over 10 years. The more people know, actually, the longer they spend thinking about Retreat.

Here are some options to deal with it.

Option 1: Remove it.

Just get rid of it. No one gets to take an extra hex of movement to avoid an attack, and no one gets a +1 or +3.

Pros: Easy! Speeds up play. Increases lethality so fights will end more quickly.

Cons: Lethal! Players will hate it, because no one likes losing something they "need" for fights to be "fair" because "we need it more than the NPCs do."

Option 2: Restrict it.

Limit when it can be used. For example, allow Retreat only to Dodge and Drop against explosions, and/or only when using All-Out Defense and then only on the selected defense(s).

Pros: Easy, and comes up way less often as you can only use it when you aren't attacking.

Cons: As above, except when using All-Out Defense.

Option 3: Limit it - Step.

Another option is to only allow it if you haven't take a Step. You need to reserve a Step in order to pull off a Retreat with a full bonus. If you've already taken a Step, you Retreat but at a -1 to the effective defense - a +0, in most cases, and a +2 for Dodge or Fencing parries. (This matches the cost of an extra step in Committed Attack, GURPS Martial Arts).

You can also impost a direct penalty if you use Retreat - your next turn's DX-based actions are at -2.

Pros: Limits Retreat in a useful way, but doesn't nerf it, regardless of the options you choose. Players will like this. Very much rules consistent.

Cons: Doesn't limit Retreat much. Probably adds more decision-making to the process and a cross-turn penalty to rememeber.

Option 3: Limit it - Effect.

I'd consider making all Retreats +1, no exceptions for Fencing or Dodge.

Pros: Very easy to implement. Limits Retreat without totally limiting it.

Cons: Doesn't limit it very much.

Those are the broad options as I see it. A fifth option would be "Costs 1 FP to Retreat" if you did Extra Effort in Combat, but for some reason my players always vetoed that so I don't use it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Ogre on Sale on Steam

The Ogre video game is on sale for $4.99.

It's also been updated, apparantly.


But since I just got some more games, I'm going to pass for now. Maybe when it's 90% off . . .

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Notes on DF Session 173

Some extra notes on DF Session 173.

- My players remarked on how much they enjoyed the twist of fighting on the same side as their enemies - especially skilled and tough ones like the golden swordsmen. They did express some disappointed when they suffered some damage right away from the mindwarper, because you know, foes they can beat one on one should be able to take on a boss-level monster without significant harm. It says something that they see a foe whupping on someone to mean the someone sucks, not that the foe is tough. It's a tough crowd.

They did realize that the golden swordsmen weren't fighting to save them, but to win the fight, which made sense. I was please to see them notice this . . . I was expecting some moaning about cowardly golden swordsmen who wouldn't sacrifice themselves for the PCs. It's not about them.

- I need to spend some time between now and next session noodling around with Foundry to get the injury tolerances and DR right. It sucks when I have to manually change the damage every time and uncheck the "use injury modifiers" box.

- Someone asked me if you could change facing as part of a defense, like a Retreat without changing hexes. NO. Categorically no. Retreat causes plenty of problems now. Opening up a "but I don't move" Retreat or "I just change my facing" Retreat would be extremely abusable. It would especially allow for people to start flanked and having a foe behind them, but then use a defense against one foe to prevent a back shot that would otherwise come from the foe behind.

- This was the first time my players encounted void brutes. The original idea for them was from a prior campaign - they were the physical hosts for symbiotic critters that rode them. I didn't get to use them in that game, so I converted them for DF when Sean and I wrote Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1.

The picture of them in DFM1 matches the description pretty well. But that's not really what they're based on. They're actually based on this guy - and specifically his action figure:



I should have mentioned they wear wrestling singlets. Heh.

Fire in the Lake - Arrived!

Well, hurrah! My copy of Fire in the Lake arrived!

I'll put up some pictures and such when I get a chance. But after all of those posts bemoaning the delay wait, it's here! And naturally I'm busy and can't even open the box until tomorrow. Heh. And due to some living space arrangement issues I don't have an open table to play on just yet.

Coincidentally, my local library finally got my reading copy of the book Fire in the Lake today, so I'll pick that up so I can read one as I prep to play the other.

Monday, October 24, 2022

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Session 173, Felltower 124 - Mission for the Masters

Back to the "A-team" of Felltower.

Date: 10/24/2022

Characters:
Crogar, human barbarian (375 points)
"Mild" Bruce McTavish, human barbarian (349 points)
Gerrald Tarrant, human wizard (420 points)
Ulf Sigurdson, human cleric (366 points)
Varmus the Hanged, human apprentice (180 points)
Wyatt Sorrel, human swashbuckler (382 points)

The PCs found themselves on a balcony facing a number of "Gith," norkers, thorkers, and golden swordsmen. Each of the PCs in turn was levitated down off the balcony, into a cave with salt-crusted columns floor to ceiling and a dusting of snow-like salt crystals covering the floor. Their equipment was also sent down after a half-dozen golden swordsmen were lowered with them. One of the "Gith" told them in accented and oddly phrased commen that they were to follow the golden swordsman "to your quest" and they would be given a reward after they returned from it. Gerry asked for his power item back, and was refused (it's a valuable necklace). Wyatt asked for some of Aldwyn's gear, since he could use it and that would make their success more likely. Possibly already put out by Gerry's request, the Master agreed that they'd consider such a request after they returned. (The PCs noted that the golden swordsman were in fact called golden swordsman, and marked that as an official name. I noted the Masters never seemed to use any terms the PCs didn't alreay know except for the unimaginative "thorkers.")

The golden swordsmen, sadly, are mute, and so they signalled the PCs along with gestures and pointed bone falchions. The PCs grumbled at being sent on a mission without full equipment, some of the best stuff missing, lots of useful consumables taken, no food (just water), and with mute guides. You know, how PCs would send people on a mission, including themselves.

They were led down a sinkhole and through a narrow tunnel into wider, cavern-like tunnels. From there, they were led by one golden swordsman and trailed by five more, who chivvied along the wizards who wanted to hang back. They reached a fork in the tunnels but were moved towards a wall - which naturally turned out to not really be there, but was persistantly hard to look at or engage with. The golden swordsmen dragged them through one at a time, and then drew their weapons.

The leader (seemingly) started to gesture, not the subtle sign language of his people but wide gestures, mostly indicating an area and a throat-cutting motion. Bruce said, "Kill something in the area?" and the swordsman nodded and repeated the gesture with a wider area and more throat-cutting, and Bruce said, "Kill everything in the area?" and got an emphatic nod (a gesture they don't otherwise seem to use.)

They got to it, fanning out and moving along. Three golden swordsman hung back, directly behind the wizards, prodding them along when they tried to hang back. Only Gerry, who turned Invisible and Levitated up, was spared that.

Once in the cave, they heard the sound of crab-like claws scuttling along stone, and the whole turn rounded to their right. Waiting for them was a pebble-skinned noseless humanoid with vertical slit eyes with white eyeballs and sucker-like arms and legs. It was a legendary mindwarper! They felt a wave of terror hit them as, with a weird soundless scream, five bolts of color-that-isn't-a-color lightning-like force lashed out at them. Crogar tried to block and was lashed, a golden swordsman parried one and was hit by another, and another golden swordsman dodged back around a corner to safety.

They moved to attack it, and closed in with it as it continued to plays its strange attacks across them. Gerry put Great Haste on Wyatt as he moved by. And as the mindwarper lashed away, a dozen void brutes charged out of the darkness from the PC's left and attacked!

One of the golden swordsman, facing the mindwarper and unaware of the charging void brutes, was brained and knocked out cold, possibly slain outright. Varmus threw a 4d Fireball which was dodged, and Ulf threw a Sunbolt with wounded one void brute and sent it into a berserk rage.

The void brutes crashed into the PCs, who were scattered out as they fanned out to try and advance on the mindwarper. Crogar, Bruce, and a golden swordsman were near the flank and took the brunt of their charge. The void brutes quickly started to go berserk, and thrash away with their clubs. Meanwhile, out of the darkness a pair of death brains - weird brain critters with hard-shelled legs - ran out and amongst the casters. Varmus found his magic went away - Gerry, with Mana Enhancer, was effectively in a LMZ instead of a NMZ, and was able to keep his spells up. Wyatt was able to slay one, but even dead it was able to surpress mana around it.

Wyatt repeated dashed about the fight, stabbing void brutes in the eyes over and over, often taking as many as six or more hits before they'd drop. Crogar hacked down a number of void brutes, at one point nearly getting surrounded and still managing to stay up and fighting as he cut around him. The golden swordsmen were a little cagey, and hung back, waiting for berserk void brutes to rush them and then pairing up to cut them down. The PCs, unused to dealing with foes lacking a head or neck, had to resort to just body shots and the occasional random location strikes to try and put them down.

Meanwile the mindwarper hung out in the darkness on the outside of the glow vials the PCs had for light. Ulf put Flaming Weapon on Wyatt's sword so he could illuminate the area, but still, the mindwarper only exposed itself enough to lure a charge from a golden swordsman. That one slashed and hurt the mindwarper, but in return was lashed down with its strange colored (colorless?) energy and killed. Varmus was nearly done for the same way, and then Ulf took five hits out of the darkness when he turned his flank to that side.

By this point, there was one death brain and the dozen void brutes were down to 2-3. But then Wyatt critically missed and cut himself in the arm with his flaming sword, and barely avoided crippling himself. Shortly after, Ulf rolled an 18 on his consciousness check and passed out - right after that attack out of the darkness. He fell into a coma. The Crogar rolled a 17 on his consciousness check and passed out cold.

Wyatt rushed the death brain that was still hassling Gerry, chasing him around on the ceiling and Dodging Gerry's attempts to Deathtouch it with his staff. He threw his swords at it, and a handful of knives, but managed to only knick it with a couple of knives.

We left it off there. The PCs finished off the last of the void brutes - a full dozen - and one of the two death brains. The mindwarper is injured but out in the darkness, lashing away with its strange attacks. Crogar and Ulf are out and Bruce wounded, Wyatt running low on weapons, and only three of the six golden swordsman are still up.

Notes:

- The entire session was one big fight, which isn't quite done. I'd be happier if the fight could be done more quickly, but we didn't dilly-dally and the fight was a lot of fun. The PCs got to fight on the side of some usual enemies, against some mostly new foes. That made for an interesting session.

- This encounter is 1/4 Sean Punch and 3/4 me. He did the Mindwarpers, I did the Golden Swordsmen, Void Brutes, and Death Brains. Sean came up with the name "Death Brains" as a throwaway, so I statted some up . . . and nicely Reaper minis did a critter than was close enough to my conception to use. They're sort-of intellect devourers, except more brain than brain-like, and more anti-magic than psionic. The mindwarper is pretty fun but Terror is overrated - most PCs have a 13 or less to resist and it's rare that they don't, and it's one shot.

- There is a lot to like about VTT play, but the fact that monsters get labelled in the turn order isn't one of them. I can't conceal names without giving monsters fake nicknames that will probably stick instead of the actual name, and if I put monsters into the turn order when they are out of sight the players can check what's coming and how many. I had to keep manually tracking their turns until they could go into the order.

- The fight was really going the PC's way in almost all respects right up until a cascade of critical failures - all 18s - messed things up. Wyatt cut himself, Ulf passed out, and Crogar passed out.

- Lots of slowness with Forge/Foundry this session. And weird issues, like Injury Tolerance not working, or suddenly going to Public Rolls from Private GM Rolls.

- Lots of user error with persistent buckets - people would use them for 2-3 attacks (or more) and then leave them on for 2-3 (or more) damage rolls. Instead of manually editing, I just made people re-roll. It's faster.

- I don't love it, but I may have to go to speed-based initiative to save my sanity when it comes to fights.

- And if they survive, Aldwyn's player will likely play Varmus. I'll give him 70 points to bring him up from his 180-point Apprentice status to full 250-point Wizard status. He's been upgraded with that in mind so it shouldn't result in an off-template wizard once that happens.

- MVP was Crogar. Wyatt did the most damage, but he had Great Haste on. Crogar knocked a few void brutes down with sheer damage, and held off half of them at once at one point while doing so. He'd still be up and cracking away if he hadn't rolled that 17 to stay conscious.

- Tune in three weeks from yesterday, when we find out if they can beat the mindwarper and company, and what their promised reward consists of!

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Felltower summary preview

Full summary tomorrow, but . . .

- the A-team was "released" by the Masters

- they were sent off with six golden swordsmen to take care of something

- the something was "kill everything . . ."

- everything included a mindwarper, a dozen void brutes, and a couple of death brains!

- In bloody fight, not quite ended when game ended, several PCs went down, along with death brains, void brutes, and golden swordsmen

Great stuff.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

3D Beowulf

This is pretty cool. Not for me, but pretty cool. A 3-D Class A Free Trader.


I have the SJG Beowulf deck plans in 28mm hexes somewhere.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Random Links for 10/21/2022

A few things for Friday.

- Only two players took me up on my offer to rejigger their characters thanks to captivity. Good thing, because we needed nearly a dozen or so emails back in forth in each case to settle on things.

- My copy of Fire in the Lake should be here Monday! That's good, because it won't distract me from Felltower. That's bad, because I'm busy all next week.

- I backed Nightmare Fuel, because Doug has never made less than an excellent product. I went for the PDF level, because I don't need three softcovers - but now a hardcover omnibus in in the mix, so I might up to a physical copy. I did add in the Forge tokens, because I do recognize my time is worth more than $7.50. With what I charge (and get) per hour, that's a bargain. I need that for the rest of the GURPS DF/DFRPG bestiary, too.

Plus it finally will mean we'll see Charles Saeger's plant monsters. I saw several drafts of them, shared my plant monsters with him, and used bits in the Forest Gate area. I highly approve, and give the Felltower Stamp of Approval to them. I wish I had any graphic design skills so I could create an actual Felltower Stamp of Approval.

- I'm very meh on 4e D&D, but I'm never Meh! on Slaad from my beloved Fiend Folio. The PCs fought a Slaad once, but didn't know it. I'm not so keen on the undead slaad, though. It just seems thematically a mish-mash.

- I still haven't pulled the trigger here - is Pathfinder worth it without being the expanded edition? Is Baldur's Gate II good, because I didn't love BG the original. Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Review: Shields Up!

Time for a review of material that I like.

Two notes:

- I received this as a complimentary copy
- I was a playtester/reviewer (the latter), mostly when the book was largely done

By Danny Macfie
24 pages
Gaming Ballistic, LLC

This supplement is for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game by SJG produced by Gaming Ballistic. It covers the use of shields in DFRPG through a series of expanded rules options and equipment choices.

Using these rules, you can:

- use shields as cover
- account for shields carried but not readied
- attack with a shield, including throwing, bashing, grappling, and shield rushes
- attack shields, via grappling, hooking, attacking it directly
- attack around shields
- use shields as improvised tools

It also has a dozen new traits and modifications for existing traits, such as Weapon Master, and new kinds of shields.

The book is a very solid expansion. Personally I'd suggest picking and choosing, since shields get a very dramatic expansion in their potential use. Some options make simple sense and can be put into a game without any groundwork - digging with a shield, for example, or evasion or slung shields rules. Others will add some bookkeeping and additional checks - shield damage, for one. And the many additional shield equipment options are cool - but a min-maxer is likely to fiddle around to make the "perfect" shield. It's all well done, however, and really covers the subject of shields in a complete manner. I can't see a thing missing.

Overall: This isn't a supplement you need for the DFRPG, but if you feel like shields don't get their proper due - either from realism or gamist angles - this book will be very useful. It'll work fine for plain GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, too, as much as any other DFRPG supplement will. Recommended.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Arrived: Pyramid #4/4: Fantasy/Magic II

I got my copy of Pyramid #4/4: Fantasy/Magic II today.

This was part of a Kickstarter.

Maddeningly, I had no idea the Kickstarter started. I missed it entirely. I gather there was a Daily Illuminator, but sadly, I don't check the SJG homepage every day. I thought if such a thing happened Kickstarter would alert me. But nope. I get them for TFT Kickstarters but not this one. I'd have promoted it here, and pledged for the other two issues.

Oh well, at least I get to see my completed work, "Tome Raiders." It even got reviewed and I missed it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

GURPS Horror Bundle of Holding

Humble Bundle Hodai! *

There is a GURPS Halloween-based Bundle:


I highly recommend GURPS Zombies. I'm biased because Sean Punch is my friend and not-infrequent co-author. But he's both because we think alike. The "horde" rules alone makes Zombies worth it - even if you hate horror and despise zombies!

I don't really like horror as a genre. But seriously, Ken Hite hasn't written a wasted word in a gaming book ever. GURPS Horror is a delight to read even if you don't normally like horror.

Madness Dossier is a very cool setting if you want reality-isn't-as-we-see-it as a setting and the supernatural mixed with firearms. It has the usual Hitean mix of plausible divergences from reality and the benefit of GURPS being grounded in verisimilitude.

And you can get monster books that Matt Riggsby helped write. He's very inspired and inspirational when he writes.

I can't recommend this stuff highly enough and I pretty much dislike horror as an RPG genre. They make it sooooooo tempting to play.

* Sorry, Japanese reference. 放題 - Hodai - means "to your heart's content" or "all you can . . . " in Japanese. It's stupid and inaccurate alliteration.

Monday, October 17, 2022

CRPG Humble Bundle - Baldurs Gate

There is a CRPG Humble Bundle which might be of interest:

Badlur's Gate & Beyond

For $1 you can get Icewind Dale (complete AFAIK) and the enhanced edition of Planescape: Torment.
For $10 you can get those plus all of the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights.
For $20 you can get all that plus Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous.

I'm still deciding, here. I've played out Icewind Dale, and I'm not sure I'll want to do it again. I would like to try the enchanced version of Planescape. Those for $1 is fine.

Another $9 nets me the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights games. I'd like to try BGII. Or maybe try BG again . . . which I disliked back in the day but maybe it's better or my tastes have changed.

I really want the Pathfinder game, but the enhanced version is $20 right now. I'm not sure "Enhanced" is worth +$10 but I'm leery of buying a plain version when there is a better version out there. And while $1 is throwaway, and $10 is a really good deal per game, $20 is actual money.

I'll break down and get one of these deals, and we'll see which one.

Is it worth waiting on the Enhanced Edition of Pathfinder: Path of the Righteous? Or should I just go for it?
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