Armor as Damage Reduction?

An obvious refinement in handling armor in RPGs is making armor reduce damage instead of the original D&D reducing the chance of taking damage.  Intuitively that’s what armor does, right?  It doesn’t make you better at dodging, it just reduces how much you get hurt when you get smacked.   A lot of pretty good […]

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Shields Shall Be Splendid!

The following presents a house rule for handling shields that makes sense to me for a more Sword and Sorcery than high medieval setting. In most D&D-likes, shields are an afterthought.  The bonus for carrying a shield is +1 or maybe +2 on a d20, which seems a little strange considering the prominent place shields have in […]

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Overland Encounters

I just realized I never posted this here, but here are my generic rules for overland travel and encounters for D&D-like games. The overloaded encounter die is pretty similar to the one Gus L uses in HMS Appolyon. Checking for Events Each day there are at least two checks for events: one during the day and […]

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Overland Travel

Another post that I never posted here, with a general way of handling overland travel based on the underlying Outdoor Survival/AD&D terrain and movement rates, simplified for easy use with pretty much any D&D-like. These templates show the cost to enter1 a hex on the overland travel map, with a key to how many hexes a […]

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SF Campaign Quiz

I stumbled across this when going through my old emails, and I thought it might interest some of you.  This was a survey I sent out for a group I was going to run a SF campaign for once a month online; they had agreed they wanted to play some kind of SF campaign, but they […]

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Tracking Individual Initiative

Despite what I said a while back about group initiative (was it really almost a year ago?), in our DCC game we’ve been using individual initiative, both ’cause that’s how DCC is written and ’cause it has some little flavorful fillips to it that make it more interesting.  In DCC only Warriors increase Init bonus as […]

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Searching it Old School

Here’s how I do it:  only roll when you’re testing the character’s skill, not the player’s; roll when the player says they’re searching; only roll once per character; give the players the benefits of their own skill at coming up with ideas without rolling;  and no pixel-bitching. The Judge describes the scene to the player, including anything the character would […]

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The Tomb of Horrors and Player Mindset Stuart Robertson talks about his group’s experience with the infamous Tomb of Horrors back in 1987 over on G+.  Spoilers abound, so don’t read that or this if you care.  The gist of it is that after the players lost a bunch of PCs in the initial false entrances, and the party got down […]

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