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Blog posts October 2018

Who Died and Made You King?

When you return to a settlement after some time away, roll 1d6 per month of absence.

Each 6 indicates someone you know has died.

Consult https://twitter.com/DeathMedieval to see how it happened.

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Block by Block: Design Diary 1

I didn't get a real playtest this weekend [posted 24 Sep 2018] but I did manage to test the probabilities by doing a solo run-through of a lone detective over an in-game month. Not 'realistic', since in actual play I wouldn't know the threshold for the next break in the case, but by and large it che…

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Suanggi: don't talk about them

 
Quite apart from the various demonic powers, killing the enemies of wizards by hovering over their homes in the form of a fireball and so on, this aspect of the Papuan account of suanggi seems compelling: "The suanggi is a ghost feared by the people of Papua, so much so that not only d…

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Coastal Moves for Pulo Ijo

When you explore a location in the sunken ruins, roll a die of type equal to the current depth (surface is d2, visible sunken ruins lie at d4).


On an EVEN result, you find a way to another location: if it's the maximum result (e.g. 6 on a d6) that location is one level deeper; otherwise it's at th…

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My next 6 PCs in that D&D game you're running

1)
Male human ranger
Name: Paul Gascoigne
Animal companion is a wise salmon
Pretty standard ranger except that he was subject to the arcane magics of a wizard, which is both a blessing and a curse.
His sword hand is made entirely of bread. It functions like a normal hand, and is crusty enough t…

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Reinventing the King

a game for 1 or more players, inspired by Pale Fire


You are the fugitive King of Nova Zembla and perhaps one or more of his retinue.
You are fleeing the assassin Gradus. You want to settle down and assimilate somewhere.
Describe your first choice of hiding place. E.g. Paris, the Riviera, …

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The Malandros browser-based choose your own adventure

A little curio. In January 2014, I made an online choose-your-own-adventure demo for the then-current beta of Malandros.

(It might break in places - I can't really remember, and haven't played every option again to find out.)

 

Anyway, here it is: 

https://writer.inklestudios.com/stori…

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World of 1656: a PbtA miscellany

Some ideas for moves to use in an around the English Civil Wars, the Anglo-Spanish War of 1654–1660, and so forth. 

When you fire a muzzle-loading firearm at an advancing enemy, roll +WIS. The result is your maximum Distance. You may Volley at the Distance of your choice at or below this, but…

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The Heavy-Handed Metapho (a monster for Dungeon World)

The Heavy-Handed Metapho
Terrifying, solitary, huge, obvious
Mighty fists (d8+3 damage); 18HP; 3 armour
Close, reach, forceful

A towering rock giant with fists like boulders. The stony features of the Metapho resemble the face of an NPC you confronted or failed to rescue two or three sessi…

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West Mansions: anarcho-socialist XP

Some "anarcho-socialist XP" rules for World of Dungeons, based on those in Adam Dray's "City of Brass" for D&D. (from July 2016) 

Earning XP
Solving problems
At the start of each session, the GM will ask each player to roll on the random events table. This creates a number of challenges for th…

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On finding clues in elfgames

From Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st edition (1986):

"Observation
Characters might enter a room and see the rough stone walls, the upturned chair, and the heavy table. But would they be likely to see the scratches on the floor made by the secret door or the dark smear of blood on the chair?

"I…

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Strays of the World

A Prince-themed lookbook for Apocalypse World or whatever. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B40H5TNFiL-NY0lEdFpCSURwS1E/view

 

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Père Lachaise Cemetery Gunfight Random Celebrity Grave Table

When you need to find out quickly whose tomb a character is sneaking past or taking cover behind, roll a d20 and consult the following table. The first time you consult the table for a stealth task, use result 10, don't roll. 

1 Abelard and Heloise
2 Guillaume Apollinaire
3 Sarah Bernhardt
4 …

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Cangaceiro: Horse Chase

(Work in progress) 

Standard horse stats
Hit Threshold: 8
Movement Rate: 3d6
Stamina: 2d6+6
Stability: 3d6

A foal will, once it reaches maturity, have one stat the same as each parent (determined randomly) and the average of its’ parents stats otherwise.
Add all a horse’s stats togethe…

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Stay Frosty character keeper (Google Sheets)

Stay Frosty fans, here's a Google Sheets character keeper you can use for online games, with drop-down lists for rank and MOS. Frostiness also updates with Tension.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mfXN-wxB3rhVRQ08svsprer_MsV4Xo2Ox4lR50ORmK4/edit?usp=sharing
 

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Free & Paid: information skills for investigative RPGs

I try to eschew GM-initiated investigative spends when running GUMSHOE games. This is a division of information categories you can use in any game, though. 
In GUMSHOE, 'free' info is what you get with a 0-spend of an Investigative Ability that you have. 'Paid' info costs you 1 point.…

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1d12 table of anarchist newspapers

A table of 19th-century anarchist newspaper names in English and Portuguese; they're 'fictional' in the sense that they're real anarchist newspapers from history but translated out of their original languages. 

1 The Peaceful Revolution
2 The Word
3 Liberty
4 The Alarm
5 The Firebrand
6 Mot…

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First look: Valiant Universe RPG

(from Dec 2016) 

Upon closer inspection, the Valiant Universe RPG turns out to be storygamey to the point of being... a story game. (This is the superhero RPG currently on offer in the +Bundle of Holding: https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Valiant) 

The default session is like this: Everyo…

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CJ Carella, Buffy and Malandros

This is something I posted on G+ when CJ Carella's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel RPGs were in the Bundle of Holding. 

I put BtVS in the ludography for Malandros for a number of reasons, and here some of them are in no particular order. Mainly it's about how it is set up to create a spe…

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#letmetellyouaboutmycharacter #DCC

#letmetellyouaboutmycharacter #DCC
28 August 2015: "I've got 10 hit points, a new spell, a spear I purloined from a trap left by a crooked jeweller and a one-quarter share in a pouch of strange powder. I've never been more ready for adventure."

 

1 Jun 2015: Dungeon Crawl Classics updat…

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20 blog posts