Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Few Brief Thoughts on the OneDice System

I titled this post A Few Brief Thoughts on the OneDice System and then went blahhhhh all over the page.  So here are my few brief thoughts.  If you are interested in the blahhhhh you can read that afterwards.

  1. I really like the OneDice system.  Simple and effective even if it's not innovative.
  2. In addition OneDice Universal there are many setting/genre books.  Including a very complete quickstart.  (Everything but the magic.)
  3. You don't need any of the setting books if you are creative and have time but if you are lazy like I am they are wonderful.
  4. Each setting/genre book has the complete OneDice rules modified to fit the setting.  I think this is a very astute choice.  Others may be interested in only one setting and thus only need to buy one book.  I like the various setting and will buy more when they come out.  (I'm looking at you Space!)

Quit reading now if you don't want the blahhhhhh.

My love of rules-lite games continues.  I really like the OneDice system put out by Cakebread & Walton.  (I also like the name Cakebread, but that's a different story.)

The system is really simple.  Character creation is point buy, three stats, a couple of derived stats and skills.  Roll over a target number using one six-sided die (hence, OneDice) + stat + skill.  It isn't new or groundbreaking but it is simple and functional.  Advancement is a level system with fixed bonuses at each level or an optional free-form system where you trade your garnered experience points for higher stats or skills.

They system was first presented in OneDice Universal.  One of the nice things is that at the end of  each book (at least of those I have) the author presents several "skins".  Skins are a brief overview of how to use the rules for a certain genre.  OneDice Universal, for example, includes three skins, Fantasy, Supers and Space.  All in 15 pages.  These aren't full settings but contain enough to get you going.

C&W have also come out with several OneDice books devoted to specific settings/genres.  I have the PDFs for OneDice Universal, Pulp, Steampunk and WWI.  I plan to acquire Supers, WWII, Fantasy, Space (when it comes out) and Robin Hood (just published today.)  In addition to these C&W currently offers Cyberpunk, Raptors, Cold War, B Movies, Martinis and Masterminds, Cold War, Hauntaway, Twisted Tomorrow, Urban Fantasy and Pirates and Dragons as well as two licensed settings, Abney Park's Airship Pirates and Michael Scott Rohan's Winter of the World RPG.  So the really cool thing about all of these is that they are all self-contained.  Each volume contains the complete OneDice rules suitably modified for the genre.  No need to juggle various books to look up a particular rule.

It is this last point that actually got me started on this paean of a post.  C&W has many genre books for the system and more planned.  Thinking about it though, a person doesn't need any of these genre books.  All they need is Universal and some imagination and inventiveness.  You can take the simple basics and twist them into whatever shape you want.  You just need the time and energy.  But I think C&W have come up with a winning strategy for those who lack time and imagination or for those who are lazy (like me).  And by including the full rules in each volume you only need to buy the one you are interested in.

If you are interested they also have the OneDice Quickstart our for free.  Although they call it a quickstart it contains pretty much the full rules.  You can find it here.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Kingdom of Richard

The Kingdom of Richard is a setting by +David Okum of Okumarts Games.  Here is my brief take on it.

  • Inexpensive.
  • Statted for Swords & Wizardry White Box.
  • Slim, only about 35 pages long.
  • Comprehensive.  Covers the highlights of the titular kingdom including history, significant places and people as well as religion and politics.  Heck, it even has a brief section on local colloquialisms.
  • Religion is significant.  There is even classes based on religious orders included.
  • Relations between humans and demi-humans can be and are poor and prejudice exists.  It always bugs me a bit when everyone is living cheek to jowl, happy happy.  Humans can't get along with each other very well a lot of the times.  Why would distinct species?  I mean they not only look different but have different cultures, beliefs, outlooks, tastes and they probably even smell different.
  • A distinct external threat exists.  Love to hate those gublins and orcs.
  • Mystery and adventure seeds are strewn liberally about.
  • Cool, slightly cartoony pen and ink artwork inside with an artificially aged looking cover piece.  The campaign world is apparently based on the authors D&D campaign from the early '80s.
  • Not much.
I really like The Kingdom of Richard.  It pushes many of the right buttons for me.

Okumarts already has an adventure out set in The Kingdom of Richard called The Ghosts Woods Adventure.  I hope Okumarts will produce further expansions of this line to further detail the world's lands and kingdoms.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Campaign Plan Changes

I've been slowly putting together a sandbox-ish campaign for The Hero's Journey.  Slow going chiefly because of my large capacity for self-doubt.  However, it all may be a moot.  I introduced one of my co-workers to Beyond the Wall.  We spent a lunch hour making two characters and a village.  She loved the playbooks.  I mean loved them.  And really liked creating the village too.  I lent her the rule book and she took it home and went through the character creation process with her husband.  He really enjoyed it.  He's big into world building so he particularly like building the village.  She likes the magic system too.  She really wants to play Beyond the Wall and experience character/village creation with a larger group.  Since she is kind of the key to the nascent group, I believe we will be using Beyond the Wall for the campaign.  I made sure that she was cool with ultimately having only three actual classes.  After all, she was the one excited to play an acrobat and looked forward to founding a carnival.  And, since I have Further Afield, after the first adventure we will be making a shared sandbox for the setting so at least some of the setting pressure will be lifted.

My only have two hangups with this.  The first is that I really like The Hero's Journey and Swords & Wizardry Whitebox as a rule-sets.  I like that you essentially just use d6s and d20s.  I like the unified savings-throw.  So I'm thinking I will somewhat hybridize Beyond the WallBeyond the Wall and The Hero's Journey/ S&W WB are not too different so it shouldn't be too hard even for me.  Beyond the Wall only lists 10 levels so I will stick with that.  It also has ascending AC and a To Hit Bonus system, which is my preference.  It will be easy enough to unify the savings-throw.  But classes have different hit-dice and weapons do different dice damage.

So, it's advice asking time.  With BtW having different hit dice for each class, should I stick with BtW rules-as-written?  Or should I use THJ/WB stats?  Weapons do variable dice damage so changing that depends on the hit-dice used.  Or vice-versa.  I've really been wanting to try The Hero's Journey rules for armor damage reduction value.  That's one of my favorite parts along with the increase in the utility of the shield when it comes to armor class.  So should I fold that in?

My second hangup is whether or not I have the improvisation shills to handle a setting not completely in my control but unless someone has advice about that I'll have to deal with it on my own.

Oh, I guess I should ask.  Has anyone mashed up THJ/WB and BtW?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Single Picture Inspiration

There is a discussion titled, "What makes Sword & Sorcery for you?" in the forums at RPG.net right now.  Someone stated that Big Ass Snakes are a part of the genre, which I agree with.  Then someone else posted this picture.  In a way this picture sums up what I think of as S&S in a single image.