Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Review: Vigilante City (Core Rules)

This review is part of a series on thematic OSR games (as defined here). Also note that some of the links below are affiliate links (meaning I get a small percentage of the sale without extra cost to you).

Vigilante City is a superhero game inspired by the many animated series of the 90s. It uses the same basic system as Dark Places & Demogorgons, the publisher's previous game. This is going to be a rare 3-part review. First, I'm taking a look at the Core Rules; in the second part I'll create a few sample characters to showcase the versatility of the system; finally, I'll review the Villain's Guide, the game's GM's book.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Excellence from the Blogosphere (March-April)

Ehh, the last two months saw so many amazing blog posts that this compilation grew way beyond what it was intended to cover. If productivity persists, I will have to do this monthly instead. Note that I tired to use whatever nickname was associated with the blogger account of the author (where applicable). Without further ado, my favourite blog posts of the last two months (or so):

Saturday, 4 May 2019

AS&SH Average Damage per 2 Rounds

I have made another spreadsheet that I thought might interest others as well. This time I was calculating the average damage output of various weapons in AS&SH.

Here's a breakdown of what's in the spreadsheet:

  • Average damage output was calculated for all FA/HD levels vs. all non-negative AC values.
  • The numbers show average damage in 2 combat rounds (!) because the number of attacks often alternates.
  • Each sheet contains details for a single type of weapon (such as bows, light/heavy crossbows, 1d8 melee weapons, etc.).
  • "Dmg" is for the weapon's average damage, "To-hit" and "DmgB" cover bonuses from high attributes and weapon mastery, while "#Atk" and "#Atk7" show how many attacks are made in two rounds level 1-6 and 7-12, respectively.
  • Melee weapon damages are calculated with fighter types in mind (other characters have the same attack rate throughout all levels).
  • Four primary circumstances are covered: (1) no mastery, average attributes, (2) no mastery, high attributes, (3) mastery, average attributes, and (4) mastery, high attributes. Details are added in notes.
  • The last four sheets cover the following special cases: (1) bow vs. damage reduction 1, (2) light crossbow vs. damage reduction 1, (3) bow vs. damage reduction 2, and (4) heavy crossbow vs. damage reduction 2.

Here are my findings:

  • Weapon mastery is even stronger than I suspected. Without weapon mastery, it takes 2 rounds on average for a 1st level fighter to kill a zombie (HD 2, AC 8). With weapon mastery, it takes only 1 round.
  • A fighter with a two-handed sword (3d4 dmg) has a lower average damage than a fighter with a longsword (1d8) having mastery (until level 6 at least). Note that these numbers don't take damage reduction into account (but also note that monsters don't usually have damage reduction).
  • Crossbows are supposed to be better against armoured opponents, but the fact is they are outperformed by bows (provided the archer is stationary). Light crossbows outperform bows against medium armour only if the archer moves before shooting (thus having a reduced rate of fire). Heavy crossbows are even worse against heavy armour: they only outperform (moving) archers from level 7 and on.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Static Damage Reduction vs. OSR Damage Rolls

Under a Reddit post concerning damage reduction in OSR systems a commenter proposed the idea that maximum damage rolls could bypass armour, ensuring that even low damage weapons (such as daggers) wouldn't be rendered completely inefficient against armoured foes. The nerd I am, I made a spreadsheet to calculate the modified average damage outputs (a perfect pastime for a lazy holiday): column A shows the die size, columns B-M the reduced damage output corresponding to the roll, and column N the average. The first sheet assumes armour may completely negata a hit (cf. zero damage), while on the second a single point of damage always goes through. These rules are summarised in column P on both sheets.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Review: Crypts & Things Remastered

This review is part of a series on thematic OSR games (as defined here). Also note that some of the links below are affiliate links (meaning I get a small percentage of the sale without extra cost to you).

Crypts & Things Remastered is a sword & sorcery role-playing game built on the Swords & Wizardry Core rules and Akrasia's house rules. I do have the original edition from 2011, but I haven't read it in quite some time, so I will not be comparing the two.

Monday, 1 April 2019

G+ is Dead, Long Live Patreon

Google+, my favoured social media platform, is about to be terminated. Naturally, there is no better day in the calendar to announce that I have signed the Book of the Devil and launched my own Patreon. I will gratuitously accept money thrown at me under the guise that it would help me make more blog posts, although I fully intend to spend all the cash on blackjack and hookers.

I HAVE SPOKEN!