Monday 16 September 2013

Rappan Athuk - Session Zero

Below you find invaluable information about Rappan Athuk: a list of known entrances, circulating rumours, quests to take, and followers ready for hiring. The campaign hopefully starts in no later than a week or two from now; if you are interested, send me an e-mail, a u2u on LFG.HU, or post a comment here (as of now, the game is run in Hungarian).

For those of you who do not participate in this campaign but currently are or sometime will be delving through Rappan Athuk, proceed reading at your own risk (the long way of saying spoiler alert).

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Horrors of the Screaming Forest PDF

Over the odd74 forum there was a Delving Deeper adventure writing contest in which I participated. Unfortunately, I only started working on my entry a week prior to the deadline, and because of that I had to cut the content (I thought it would detail twice or thrice as many locations). Someday, I will definitely do it.

Anyhow, without further ado, I present to you my first adventure shared with the community, the Horrors of the Screaming Forest. Having just started, I can already say there is going to be more: there is a community dungeon being published in a Hungarian old-school e-zine (Kazamata) level by level, and it is my honour to write the next level (Süvöltő Gépezetek Csarnokai; something like Halls of the Wuthering Machines) for the upcoming issue - and I definitely intend to share it with English-speakers as well.

Monday 2 September 2013

Alternate Rule for Paralysis

In standard D&D rules, ghouls' paralysing attacks work something like this: (1) ghouls need a successful attack against a target, (2) target makes a saving throw, (3) if it fails, they are paralysed, and effectively, out of the game, for a given time. It makes ghouls, and other paralysing creatures, fearsome, but also boring. It takes away the tension regular combat achieves as one's HP drops round by round, circulating closer and closer to their inevitable doom.

Some editions of the game (3rd and 4th) try to solve this problem by allowing characters to make a save against such an effect each round. It might not be a bad idea, but it also lessens the power of ghouls, plus there is a lot of extra rolls involved.

Justin over The Alexandrian offers a different solution: he proposes that these attacks deal ability damage instead, both extending the generally ablative nature of combat to such situations and maintaining their seriousness (1d6 or 2d6 temporary damage to an ability may not be lethal, but a couple others have a great chance of debilitating your character; thanks to dice rolling, it varies a lot). My problem with this variant is that one is required to keep several totals of damage: one for HP and possibly one for each ability.

In -C's On the Non-player Character, social combat is resolved through regular attacks dealing subdual damage and checking its total against the target's HP to determine whether it has a minor, major, or no effect on the target.

This system could be used for paralysis (or actually any other "save-or-die" effect). A successful attack and a failed saving throw would result in the accumulation of subdual damage (probably 1d8 for B/X and 1d6 for 0e types of games); the minor effect could be along the lines of the shaken condition (-2 to attack rolls), while the major effect would be ye olde paralysis. If neither effect would be triggered, the paralysis damage would convert to standard non-lethal damage, as usual.

Also, one could eliminate the need for a saving throw by penalising such attacks with -4 as other types of non-lethal attacks; the target's AC could be (10 - 1/2 HD - Con modifier). This way, ghouls would have the option of attacking regularly or trying to paralyse the characters, if different types of attacks are your thing.