Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Great Fighter in Into the Odd

D&D Fighters grow in power as they level up. Their bonuses increase, they become mountains of HP, and in later editions they get incredible powers worthy of mythical heroes. They can go toe to toe with a dragon and battle hordes of orcs without breaking a sweat.

Into the Odd characters don't get that luxury. So what makes a great fighter?


Meet Polina Lawd, a renowned highwayman, duellist, and sometime mercenary. She's known to be one of the most formidable combatants in the world. And why?

Polina Lawd 
STR 18, DEX 9, WIL 13, 20hp.
Ivory Pistol (d8), General's Sword (d8), Modern Armour (Armour 1), Smokebomb, Poison, Steed.

The raw numbers are good, and she has nice equipment, but she isn't going to face down colossal monsters on her own. She doesn't even have an Arcanum.

She knows there's strength in numbers, and vulnerability when alone.
She knows the benefits of a horse when in open field, and cover when on foot.
She knows when to retreat or surrender to fight another day.
She isn't bound by honour and won't hesitate to fight dirty.
Most importantly, she knows who to fight and who to avoid.

You don't need feats, powers, and a character optimisation forum to be a good fighter. You just need to be more like Polina.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Oddpendium Contents Shortlist

Into the Odd's final pdf form is coming along, hoping for a September release.

Waiting on a few things to fall into place has given me time to work on the Oddpendium. This will be a hodgepodge of ideas that have no place within the core game. Nothing that necessarily aims to improve the original game, just a set of extra tools to play with if you want to. 

It isn't even in first-draft form yet, but here's the current table of contents. 

The Oddpendium

Using this Book

Alternate Character Groups - Underground Mutants, Deep Country Bumpkins, Oceanic Tribes, Cosmic Refugees.

The Gun Shop

Grievous Wounds

Lesser Arcana

Spirits, Mixies, Tonics, and Coldroons

Spawn of Brain

The Seven Lost Wonders of the Golden Lands

Bastion's Cast of Thousands 

Going Native

Enterprise and Industry


The Nine Black Tablets

Things Lurking in the Underground

The Impossible Challenge Sphere

The Knowledge: Getting Around Bastion

Inside the Cockpit

The Expanded Luck Roll

High Society

Disciples of the Ninth Star

The Art of Siege

Naval Warfare and Bastion's Greatest Vessels

Disaster!

Deep Country Legends

Into the Stars

So You Ended the World...

Monday, 14 July 2014

D&D 5e to Into the Odd Conversion Guide

Ever an opportunist, here's how to convert D&D 5e Monsters to your Into the Odd game.

HP: Half normal HP, rounding up. Hard maximum of 30.
Armour: AC14+ grants Armour 1. Being Large adds a further point of Armour, being Huge adds two.
STR and DEX: These scores are directly transferable.
WIL: Take the rough average of INT and WIS.
Attacks: Start at d6. Increase by 1 die for each size category above medium and a further step if they wield a heavy weapon. For example, a large creature with a heavy weapon gets 2 increases, from d6 to d8 to d10. No multi-attacks.

Replace Advantage/Disadvantage and Vulnerability/Resistance with Enhance/Impair respectively. Abilities that grant extra damage or protection also use these two qualities as appropriate.

Advantage/Disadvantages on certain saving throws (e.g. Dwarfs vs Poison) can grant more interesting, outright immunities, or generally just be handled in a better way (e.g. Dwarfs are immune to natural poison, or only feel minor versions of the effects on a failed Save).

Make their description scarier.

Example

D&D 5e Skeletal White Dragon
Huge Undead
Armor Class
14
Hit Points 51 (6d12 + 12)
Speed 50 ft.
Senses darkvision 100 ft.
Str 17 (+3) Dex 12 (+1) Con 14 (+2)
Int 2 (–4) Wis 7 (–2) Cha 2 (–4)
Alignment chaotic evil
Languages —
Traits
Ice Walk: The dragon takes no penalty to speed while traversing ice or snow.
Immunities: The dragon is immune to cold, disease, and poison. It cannot be charmed, frightened, or put to sleep. It does not need to sleep, eat, or breathe.
Actions
Multiattack: The dragon makes one claw attack and one bite attack or tail attack.
Melee Attack—Bite: +3 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) piercing damage.
Melee Attack—Claw: +3 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.
Melee Attack—Tail: +3 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Large or smaller, the dragon also either pushes the target up to 10 feet away or knocks it prone.


Into the Odd Skeletal White Dragon

STR 17, DEX 12, WIL 5. 26hp, Armour 3, Claws (1d12).
Driven by hunger for living tissue. Sees perfectly in the dark and effortlessly crosses ice and snow. Immune to things that would affect living beings.

Want to convert Into the Odd monsters over to your D&D 5e game? Clearly there's been a mistake. Give it some more thought while you run another Into the Odd game.

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Great Into the Odd Crowdsourcing Push

So, the actual game of Into the Odd is in a state that I'm happy to call final, barring one last edit for typos and grammar.

What's the plan?
- Transfer everything from the crappy pdf I made in openoffice into a proper pdf, with nice layout and some custom art in amongst the free stuff. Probably B&W for printing ease.
- Release the game as Pay What You Like.
- Use any money that comes in from generous folks to pay people to help me with future projects.

What do I need?
- A Cover. I love the piece that current sits at the front of the doc, and it's public domain, but I'd really like to see it given a new impression. Think you can make this awesome while keeping the eerie atmosphere?
- A Logo. While I like the one that I threw together, someone can do a better job around the same concept.
- A Proper Layout. Nothing fancy, but something that looks more professional than my own efforts.
- Art. Again, I like the public domain pieces I have, but bespoke Into the Odd artwork would be the dream. If you've seen the stuff I post on here for the game, you'll get a sense of what I'm looking for. Similarly, I like the maps I've made, but somebody could probably give them a little more character.
- Proofreading. Huge thanks to +Geordie Racer for doing this already, but the more eyes the better.

What do I have to offer?
- I can give out credit like it's going out of style!
- If you're in the UK you can come to my house for a free beer/wine/spirit.
- The vague promise below.

I have no budget for this. If you'd like to be involved, and I really love what you're offering, I'll see if I can get some funds to pay your rate. Anything that comes in from the Pay What You Like release goes straight into the pot for my next project, and you'll be the first people I come to for paid work.

Anyone who wants to help out can comment here. Sample artwork/layout work would be a fantastic place to start.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Karmic Quirk Table

Your one-hitpoint Fighter meets an unglamorous death thirty minutes into the game. You shrug and roll up a new character, who comes out with six hitpoints and STR 17. What kind of karma is that for throwing a life away?

Enter the Karmic Quirk table.

After rolling a replacement character, roll once on this table for every character you have previously lost in this campaign. So if you've had two characters die already, you roll twice on here. For duplicates take the next entry down the table, looping up at 20.

Karmic Quirks (d20)
1 - Ugly: Really, really ugly. Nobody wants to look at you any longer than necessary, but they always remember your weird face.
2 - Poverty: Start with only rags and a stick.
3 - Plague: Start with the Plague. Lose 1 CON each day until treated. Anyone close to you must pass a Save each day or become infected.
4 - Lice: You itch with lice. Anyone living closely with you must pass a Save each day or catch them too.
5 - Fish-Tongue: You speak in a slobbery drone that people find either annoying or amusing.
6 - Pig-Eye: You have tiny eyes and are likely to miss visual clues obvious to everyone else.
7 - Missing Limb: Roll 1d6 - 1-3: Arm, 4-6: Leg.
8 - Dumb: Reduce INT to 3.
9 - Unholy: Any sort of divine blessing has the opposite effect on you.
10 - Severe Allergy: If exposed to your allergen you must Save or Die. Roll 1d6 - 1: Alcohol, 2: Nuts, 3: Insect Stings, 4: Shellfish, 5: Antidote, 6: Dairy Products.
11 - Stalker: You have an obsessive follower that makes your life a pain. Roll 1d6 - 1: Mother, 2: Father, 3: Childhood Friend, 4-5: Ex Lover, 6: Ex-Lover who is also a Wizard.
12 - Fussy: There's a 50% chance that any meal served to you isn't to your liking. Unless you get a meal you enjoy you recover HP at half the normal rate.
13 - Deluded: The GM rolls another Quirk in secret. You're completely unaware of it.
14 - Super-Illiterate: You can't read, and attempting to read causes you 1d6 damage.
15 - Blind Confidence: The GM rerolls your HP in secret. You never know how many HP you have.
16 - Debt: You owe some a number of GP equal to 1 with 1d6 zeros on the end.
17 - Addict: Lose 1 maximum HP each day you don't indulge, to a minimum of 1hp. A binge restores all hp lost this way. Roll 1d6 - 1-2: Alcohol, 3-4: Tobacco, 5: Opiates, 6: Dream Fungus.
18 - Phobic: Subtract 1 from all rolls in the presence of your phobia. Subtract 5 when interacting directly with it. Roll 1d6: 1: Bugs, 2: Lizards/Snakes, 3: Magical Things, 4: Darkness, 5: Blood, 6: Heights.
19 - Uncool: You're such a dork. You'll never, ever be cool.
20 - Bad Name: The GM decides on your name, and it has to be really embarrassing. The other characters all know your real name, so you can't just go by a nickname.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

DIE BONEHEAD DIE!

A thousand years from Earth. Still no sign of the new worlds.

I trust the Shard. Its body protects us, its computers guide us, and its heart loves us. It loves each of the million weirdos on board whether robot, mutant, or something else. It loves us with every new mile of steel, stone, wire, and shell.

But not the Boneheads. Nobody loves them.

- Ra Silver, "The Hood Creed"


What's DIE BONEHEAD DIE! and why does my Sci Fi game have a stupid new name?

I thought about what I wanted out of this game. As much as I love exploration, horror, and problem solving, I've got Into the Odd for that. Into the Odd is a game of relatively normal characters going into strange places and getting freaked out. 

I want a game where you get to "be the weird". A playground for all of the creative ideas seen in WH40k/Rogue Trader, Red Dwarf, and Futurama. An unbound setting that isn't afraid to be silly.

I want a game that leave no doubt as to what the characters should be doing. D&D is great because you can throw the party in front of a dungeon and say that there's treasure deep inside. I've always struggled with driving play in Sci Fi games, so this game has a concrete method for preparing the game and getting straight to the action. 

I want a game that's about encountering weird characters, creating big schemes, and taking risks. This isn't a game with precise tactical combat, or baroque character creation.

I want a game that presents its setting through the game itself. No pages of exposition, but atmosphere and flavour laced into every rule and table. Just one key concept that you need to grasp (factions of mutants and robots on a huge ship far from Earth) before you can dive right in. 

I want a game that isn't just D&D's dungeon-crawling skeleton covered in a Science Fiction skin. 

Hopefully this game is on the first step to hitting this goals. 

Keep up to date with the ongoing development of the game document here

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Not-Quite-Infinite Possibilities

Tactical Infinity is the beauty of RPGs. You can go anywhere, attempt any action, imagine your character however you like.

You might think the GM has the same sort of luxury. Creating crazy monsters, describing terrifying dungeon environments, and acting out memorable characters.

In reality, I've moved towards a few limitations.

There are certain things that exist in reality that I just won't put into a game. Above any ideas of tactical infinity, I want to play a fun game, and some things innately suck this fun away.

These are the first few entries on the list.

- Well-hidden traps that would likely kill the victim instantly. Think of a 100ft spiked pit, covered to look exactly like every other floor tile. At the moment, I'm only interested in traps you can interact with.

- Attempts at one-shot kills. I use HP as a sort of countdown-to-death, so going for a kill shot against anything with a good chunk of HP is an impossibility. In return, your character won't get sniped by a grassy gnoll.

- Characters with highly specialised skills. I use Ability Scores and no skills. I assume that adventurers are generally jack-of-all-trades, and I'm generous with their knowledge and capabilities. If you want to build the perfect diplomat or pickpocket then put your high Ability Score in the right place and play your character well to achieve the goals you have in mind. You're not going to get a +20 modifier to pickpocketing rolls off me.

- Sudden death out of nowhere. Some people die by losing their grip climbing a rope. You'll only do this if you're climbing a rope while flame-throwing drones harass you. If you're just climbing a rope, you can do it safely, even without a helmet.