Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Easy Cave, Swamp and Labyrinth Travel

I should be packing right now. But I have a notebook full of ideas that I jotted down in Arizona and they are all screaming at me from my backpack. So In the interest of being responsible and getting some work done I'll post one of them and sort the rest out later.

Mapping a cave that the players will probably never return to again is not something I'm interested in. I do however want the cave itself to be an obstacle, because you know, caves aren't exactly a walk in the park. Depending on the size you could easily get lost for days, weeks, or months and die because you only have rations and water for a few days. 

So it's important to have a party member who knows what the fuck they're doing. 

We'll call that party member the scout. Whatever party member has the "survival" type knowledge. If no one in the party knows how to track something, or read a map, or tell which direction they're marching– dont look now, you might be fucked.

When the party gets to the cave, or swamp, or whatever thing you dont want to map. The scout rolls a d20 and adds either their wisdom mod or whatever number they have that is relevant to leading the party through the wilderness. Depending on the size of the place, roll 3(sm), 5(m), or 8(lrg) times.

1-8. The scout leads the party into danger. Roll up an encounter and expend some resources, shit just     got real.

9-11. You are walking in circles. Expend some resources.

12-17. Hurray! You seem to be on track, and nothing of note happens.

18-20+. Wow this scout kicks ass, they not only found a good route, but also some tasty mushrooms, fresh water, or maybe even an old stash or gear from previous adventurers.

Having a map (in game) of the area will get you a +2 to the check, and knowing how to read maps will get you a +3.

If the scout has been through the cave before, they may make a roll under wisdom check to see if they remember it correctly. If they do, they need only roll once, no matter how large the place.

Use in conjunction with this excellent wandering monster procedure from the Retired Adventurer.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Further ramblings on tactical combat game.

Cards are used to tip the scales in a battle. Cards come in two types, attack cards and defense cards. They are rewarded for killing an enemy, exploring a treasure hex and for successfully completing a dungeon hex. You may hold up to 6 cards in your hand at any given time. Keep your cards a secret, they could be the difference between life and death.

ATTACK -attack cards must be used BEFORE an attack is rolled.

Feather Boots. Hop over a single hex 

Footmans Mace. a successful attack using the mace results in the enemy unit missing the next round of combat.

Spear. Attack at +1 Range

Javelin. Attack at +3 Range

Longbow. Attack at +5 Range

Mount. +3 to move

Epic Mount. +6 to move

Net. Prohibits movement until a successful attack is made against the net.

Gauntlets of Minor Hurling. move an enemy 1 hex in any direction

Gauntlets of Further Hurling. move an enemy 3 hexes in any direction

Book of the Dead. Raise an ally from the enemies graveyard. 

Twin Blades. Make two attack die rolls, take the better one.

DEFENSE -defense cards must be played AFTER a player attacks, but not after a player defends.

Armor of the four winds. enemy must reroll attack die.

Armor of Ooze. If the attacker used an attack card, that card is given to the defender, instead of being discarded.

Spacial Shifting Stone. Switch places with a friendly unit.

Unstable Shifting Stone. roll a d6, if it's even switch places with a friendly unit. if its odd, switch places with an enemy unit.

Kite Shield. Roll two defense dice and take the better roll.

Arrow Catching Gauntlet. Negate a range attack made against you.

Holy Shield. Targets defense roll is an automatic success.

Counter Attack. If your defense roll succeeds, the defending unit makes an attack.

Teleport. Place yourself within 12 hexes of your current location.

Boots of Fleeing. Move 2 hexes in any direction.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Free and Tactical

Wargames have always been on my nerd "to do" list, but I've never really had the disposable income to justify it. I have a great love for games like Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics, et al, but the downside to a game like that is of course, the various machines that you need to play it on. So in the interest of gaming on the cheap, at a table and with a friend I'm putting together a tabletop game that blends my favorite elements of tactics games and will cost me under 10 dollars to play.

What I have so far is a 6 on 6 hex based tactical combat game fueled by a minimum of 1d6 a chess set and a library printer.

Let's begin at the beginning. (Keep in mind this is a rough sketch)

You start the game by rolling stats for your 6 unit army. Each unit has 3 stats, attack, defense and movement. you determine these skills by rolling a d6. I'll break them down for you one at a time.

Attack score.
Roll your d6, let's say in this case its a 3. Any time that unit makes an attack, you roll a d6 and hope that it lands on 3 or less (Sound familiar? of course it does its just like old school thief skills in D&D). Now before you start moaning about what if I get a 1 for my attack score? There is a system of leveling that leads to putting more points in your scores you crybaby.

If you roll a 6, re-roll because nobody is that good.

Roll your d6, and consult this chart.

1. mov 1/ def 5
2. mov 2/ def 4
3. mov 3/ def 3
4. mov 4/ def 2
5. mov 5/ def 1
6. mov 6/ def 3

Pretty easy stuff right? Turtles and hares.
You roll each unit in order, grognard style, and assign them a chess piece, or whatever you have lying around. Write down your stats next to a pretty picture of your unit and make sure you know whose stats are whose. Your stats are not a secret, in the interest of fair play, your opponent knows your stats as well. Don't worry, theres plenty of room for sneaky underhanded play later.

So that brings us to...

Setting up the board.

I'm still hammering out the details of board structure, but I'm more or less trying for something that includes printing out a few sheets of paper with hexes on them and using that as a map. Hexes will be different colors to denote things like water, pits, and various elevations. Maps will also have a starting zone for each team, and a number of hexes that are "dungeons" where a player can take a chance fighting a monster to get a draw from the item card pile (more on that later).

After the map is set up, you and a friend (who has also made an army for themselves) will put your units on the board in the starting zones.

Turn structure.
Roll a d6 to see who goes first.

A turn consists of moving units, attacking enemy units and exploring special squares. 

each unit may move and attack OR move and explore a special square once per turn.

each unit can move...you guessed it, their movement score.

Combat is the meat and potatoes of this game. When a players unit is adjacent to an enemy unit, and it is their turn the player can make an attack. When a player attacks, they roll a d6 and consult their units attack score. The player being attacked also rolls a d6 and consults their units defense score. Here's a list with all of the combat outcomes.

Both units succeed. Roll again, both units at a -1. A score cannot go below 1.

Attacker wins, defender fails. Defender's unit dies.

Defense wins, attacker fails. The attackers turn is over.

Both units fail. move to next combat.

Killing an enemy unit.
When you kill and enemy, you draw a treasure card and the unit that made the kill levels up. Heres what happens when you level.

LVL 1. This is where you start.
LVL 2. Gain a class
LVL 3. +1 skill point
LVL 4. +1 skill point
LVL 5. +1 skill point
LVL 6. +1 skill point

A skill point can be placed in your attack, movement or defense scores. attack and defense cannot be raised past 5.


You earn a class by advancing to level 2. Roll a d6 to determine what class you are. If you defeat an enemy with a class, you MAY take their class (taking the class is optional, if you like what you have, keep it). Classes do not stack, if you take a units class, it replaces the one you have. Here is the list of classes and what they get you.

1. Paladin. When an ally unit is being attacked, the Paladin may roll defense in their place, the Paladin accepts whatever fate befalls it.
2. Archer. An Archer may attack enemy units at a range equal to their movement score.
3. Necromancer. A Necromancer may summon a single dead unit from their graveyard to fight. The raised unit does not level, as it is no longer truly of this world. The raised unit retains the stats it had when it died. If the Necromancer dies, the raised unit returns to the grave.
4. Thief. A Thief may forgo their move and attack to attempt to steal an item card from the enemy players hand.
5. Fighter. A Fighter rolls two dice for attacks and defense and takes the more favorable roll.
6. Scout. a Scout may forgo an attack to move an enemy unit an amount equal to the scouts movement score.

When a unit dies, it is removed from the board and put in the opponents graveyard. The game is over when one player holds all their enemies units.

Item Cards.
You can hold a total of 6 of these in your hand. Some cards will be for attacking, some for defending. you must declare that you are using a card before making an attack or defense roll.

Special Tiles.

Water. Each hex of water moved through requires the unit to roll a d6. If the die is less than or equal to the units movement score, they may pass through the water hex.

Pit. A player may expend a units entire move to jump over a pit. A unit being forced into a pit (by a scout or special item) may make a defense roll to avoid instant death by falling into the abyss, and instead be placed adjacent to the pit.

Dungeon. Stepping on a dungeon gives the unit a chance to level up and gain treasure. The unit makes 5 defense rolls, if at least 3 are successful the unit levels up and the player draws a treasure card. If the unit fails, it dies. Dungeons are optional, and may be passed over if the player does not want to risk death.

Stay tuned for more!