Saturday, August 6, 2016

Geographic Wonders Compilation

Years ago I made a series of posts about geographic wonders players exploring a fantasy world might find.  I promised to make a compiled list of these when I got to 100.  And I did, it was ready to post, sitting on my desktop when my hard drive crashed.  It has taken me a while to try and recover, get my files back in order, but little by little I've been working on it.  So, here is the promised compilation in editable form or pdf.  There are more than 100 wonders so that if you don't like some, or they don't fit your campaign world, you can cross them off and substitute one of the extras.  Have fun.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Silhouettes LXIX

More silhouettes for your maps, handouts, and rulebooks.  These are all in the public domain, use them as you wish.  I've been trying to find some symbols for my friend that could represent material components for spells and alchemical recipes.  This is what I have so far.
A demijohn or carboy to represent alcohol:
A bone:
A conch to represent shells:
A single leaf:
A flower:
An acorn which could stand for nuts or seeds:
A cactus plant:
And a tooth or fang:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Treasure in the Dungeon

I've spent the last three days fighting LibreOffice and my printer trying to assemble all my treasure tables into something organized that I might share.  Haven't succeeded, but in the process I think I have a simple treasure system hammered out now.  Here is my attempt to organize the chaos of my many treasure item charts:

How Much Treasure?
The amount of magic treasure you give out will be too much or not enough based on how many players you have and how often you play.   But for me, with 4-6 people playing 1-4 times a month, I think this system will work okay.   My goal is to get magic into their hands so they can have interesting choices to make and cool plans to come up with using these items.  So, 1-4 consumable magic items scattered in every dungeon. I also want treasure to seem cool, more than just money, so at least 1 player valued treasure per dungeon. And a 1 in 6 chance for non-consumable magic items.

Class-Specific Treasures
I think a simple way to make sure all classes present in your campaign get stuff to use is to rotate which class a class-based treasure belongs to.  Yes, knowing this might break the sense of realism a bit for a player, but class-based treasures are only one of four things that can be rolled, so they might occur so infrequently players don't notice the rotating pattern.  And even if they do, I'm betting it is worth a little gameyness to not randomly end up with magical swords over and over again in treasures found by a party of clerics and magic users.

Birthday Treasures
One curve ball in my treasure allocation process, is that my group and I have a tradition of letting players pick a magic item on their birthday.  I think some of the most awesome items my players have, have come from this route.  It takes away from the excitement of finding things in the mysterious underworld a bit.  But, they only have birthdays once a year, and in our circumstances where our campaign play would sometimes be stopped for long stretches by life it was a way to get some magic items in play.  And they love it.   So, not sure I would recommend it as a general practice, but it is an option that seems to be working out okay for us.

Work to Do
So, I have most of the charts needed for my system.  I still need some class-based consumables for clerics and fighters.  I put my idea of what could work for those in my chart-- weapon/armor oils for fighters and candles/incense for clerics seem to fit well.  I also need to work on more permanent class-based magic items.  A place to start might be One-Page type charts that gather the most iconic magic swords into one place, same for shields.  Or just invent more.  And yes, still haven't finished the player valued treasure tables.  I will try to share these as I finish them.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Silhouettes LXVIII

More silhouettes for your maps, handouts, and rulebooks.  These are all in the public domain, use them as you wish.
Another undead-- could be ghast, ghoul, or zombie:

An aboriginal Archer:

a peasant with a pitchfork:

A humanoid head which should be good for some mashups:

A creepy looking star fish:

And a more symmetrical star fish:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Shopping Mini-Game

I've mentioned a few times in the past that I'd like to make some kind of mini-game for shopping.  My players engage in a lot of what we jokingly call Shopping & Dragons.  Because they're in a city and I've used a fad table that changes fashionable things to wear from week to week and because they like to buy things for their schemes, they are often shopping.  Oh, and the city they are in, Ulminster, is pretty mercantile and has a Mile-Long Market as a landmark.  So shopping is something that is going to happen.  But I wish it were more fun, more game-like.

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep I had an idea of how to do this simply: have a roll-all-the-dice type table but let players choose which die to apply to which column.  That would mean there is luck involved but also player choice.  To have a cost of rolling again and again, each roll on the table is 1d4 hours of searching markets and shops.
This is a first draft and I haven't tried it in play.  The worst possible outcome is probably having to wait a week for something, or needing something so badly you would settle for 4x the price.

I wanted there to be the element of clothes not being the right fit and I thought Strength and Constitution might be a suitable stand-in for this.  If players have minuses on those stats it's more likely they might be slight, if they have bonuses they could be considered burly or tall.  I don't know how this applies to buying non-clothing gear.  Can ropes and 10' poles be of different, awkward sizes?  Maybe just ignore this column when buying gear, that would give players an extra die to choose from, meaning non-apparel is easier to acquire or at least more standard when found.

Another thing I was thinking, a player might apply a roll that exceeds a column's maximum to get their choice of the results in that column.  That way a player can "throw away" a high score for certainty of fit or quality.

Here is the table in an editable form.

Of course you will still need a set of simple, well-organized price lists.  My buddy and I started on that, organizing them by material the items are made of so we might hook in trading or world event effects later, with embargoes making prices on all cloth goods go up, say, or metal goods becoming cheaper when a new mine is opened.