This Blog 2019, Goals and Grommets

Inspired by the 2019 goals post over at Charles's Dragons Never Forget Blog, I figured I would do the same thing. 2018 right around ...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A bit of a place holder

This is a bit of place holder.

I plan on expanding this idea as soon as I can.

What I really like about my  Amazing Adventures and Incredible Exploits game:

There is absolutely no buffer between the players or the GM and their terrible luck with the dice.

Even if the  character's stats are good,, and the character gen  (which is random) played out pretty  well, the character is still most likely gonna die.

It's refreshing.

to role play with no net.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pocket full of Everything. ( A Magical artifact to ruin your game)

World wrecking  Magic ahead,
(Or at least the kind of magic that complicates the shit right out of everything.

It was first reported to be owned owned by the Sultan Orhaun, in the land of Min.

It was lost at sea, durring the battle of 1000 fallen stars.
It reappeared on the  breast of a queen.
It has been stolen time and time again.
When the opportunity  cam about the elder mage Gramastus  was afraid to study it.

It is called the Blood of the Desert, though it has been called many things in the past.

It's  by all accounts a large uncut Ruby. The stone will not take a facet, no jeweler has been able to shape or mar it's surface. In fact Ohzmet Qutar the  greatest jeweler of his time was put to death when he failed to facet the stone for his king.

Those who possess the stone gain a hidden power.

If the  stone is worn while sleeping , the wearer will consistently dream of a tiny  green speck.
Over time if the  wearer becomes aware of this dream, (what ever check your game would use for lucid dreaming I guess.) The  wearer my opt to concentrate on the speck.
Once this determination has been made the speck will rapidly enlarge until it is becomes a full blown  world in the eyes of the the wearer. In fact the wearer will find them-self standing in the middle of a field out side a small town  on a pleasant day, the smell of wood smoke and wet spoil in their nose.

They have arrived at a pocket dimension, fully realized and existing with in the stone.
The only way in is durring sleep.
They will leave when they awake.
Time seems to move quickly in the pocket dimension allowing the traveler to  experience several days in the  pocket dimension to each night of sleep.
The can bring things that they can carry  on their person in and out of this pocket dimension.
The  pocket dimension is a full world unto it's self, the  traveler has no  control over where or when they appear in the dimension each time they travel there.
The exact contents of the  dimension is up the the GM, however it should not be that far out side of the  normal rules and topology of the characters regular experience.
If the character dies in this pocket dimension they will also die of a heart attack in their asleep in their normal dimension.

The danger is a traveler may come to enjoy their life in the pocket dimension more than their day to
day life.
This happened with The cultists Salim Harad third known holder of the stone.
In these cases the traveler fights waking up and  eventually slips into a coma and starves to death in their original dimension. In the pocket dimension they experience hunger that can not be satiated and eventually fade away truing into red wraiths. Several of these wraiths of past travelers haunt the recesses of the pocket dimension, holding onto the memories of times past.These wraiths have been the subjects  quests which aim to gain lost secrets taken to the grave by  a holder of the  stone.

Thank you for reading
Have a great day.

Above pic by Arnaud De Vallois, Found here, Used with out permission, Damn does it fit what I wanted. Lots of other cool images on his blog.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My RPG purchases of the last 12 months or so. (give or take)

2014 into 2015 saw me buy more physical RPG  materials than I had in quite a few years.
PDFs not withstanding here is a run down of my  recent purchases and  how they are fairing.

  • Blood of Heroes by Pulsar games.
    • I wrote another post (soon to be posted) about my favorite Game system ever MEGS. It was originally used in the  DC heroes game by Mayfaire games and found it's final incarnation as "Blood Of heroes" published by Pulsar games. That post will cover what I like about the game.

      There is not much to like about Blood of heroes the  book.
      It's basically a cut and paste of the  old MEGS system from DC heroes, with a few tweaks and balances to the powers section.  It runs the same and is laid out the same as the original. From my reading g the biggest changes were made to the gadget building section which is more usable in Blood of heroes than it was in DC..

      The image to the right? It was issued in the  year 2000 the  same year as the Blood of heroes RPG. Nothing in the book is close to that quality, The art in Blood of heroes was not strong considering the game was based on comic book superheroes.

      Luckily the game it's self is still excellent and fun to play, and we are playing it. I have started runnign a superpower / Alien hunting / investigation campaign and everyone involved seems to like it.
      • Current location , Book shelf behind my desk.
  • D&D 5th ed Players Hand Book
    • So to say this is tier best players hand book since the  2nd edition players hand book would do two things. First it woudl make me look like I'm into arguing editions of D&D , I'm not.  Secondly  readers might assume I think this 5th ed book is a masterful bit of RPG kit, which again I don't.
      I could quibble, but at the end of the  day , and as I have said before the authors of 5th ed had a herculean task informant of them when they set out to attract new players and satisfy the  armies of edition grognards running around. For the most part they have done  a fine job of it and my quibbles would be just that, one mans quibbles.
      We are currently playing in two 5th ed games, one run by my friend Otto  and the  other r run by my friend Jay. The players hand book is getting referenced at least once a game in each of their games. So it is seeing some use.
      • Current location: On my desk. Open to "Monk"
  • D&D 5th ed Dm's Guide.
    • I  wrote a lengthy post about this book the weekend I bought it.
      I have not so much as opened it since.
      • Location: On my book shelf snug in a book shipping box.
        (in 30 years when 5th ed is "Old School" my DMG will make some one a great find, trust me... Or I will have burnt them for heat back in 2037, after the oil ran out )
  • Numenera RPG.
    • I bought this thinking we were going to be playing a protracted Numenera campaign, which never materialized.  I totally blame Monte Cook games for this, as they went ass backwards with their book production by going from strictly defined to broadly defined with the scope of their books.
      Starting with Numenera which is Cipher system with a setting, then moving to  The strange which is  Multi setting Cipher system , then doing an even broader "Cipher system rule book" latter this year.
      What a pain in the  ass.
      So we started by playing Numenera , then cycled quickly in to a Strange game and never went back.
      I have to say I love the setting of the 9th world. I like the  Fantasy sci-fi mix and the dusty mystery of it all.  The setting fluff in that big old Numenera book is  great to read and the  production values make it equally fun to look at.
      The system is not exactly my cup of tea. Sitting somewhere in between traditionally crunchy and  more free form, I don't think it does either particularly well.
      What it does do well with the  ciphers in the cipher system is  give the players access to nearly unlimited one shot  KEWL POWERZZ, These make playing the game a hoot, and really brings the  9th worlds lost tech and  crazy history to  light.
      If I was offered to play in a straight up Numenera game again I would jump on it even if it woudl just be to play with crazy  lost tech in a crazy  setting.
      • Current status: In a box in the closet.
  • Ragnarock: Fate of the Norns RPG.
    • There is a cold hard truth here. Ragnarock the game is beautiful,Thematic, evocative.
      However to actually play the thing there is just too much ephemera that needs to be purchased.
      Character Mats, runes, damage tracks.. ect.
      Yes I could piece it all together myself, and yes I could figure out a way to play without the official stuff, but I think the game woudl suffer for it.
      I honestly can never see this game getting to my table, when there are so many easier to just grab and play RPG options laying around. That's the cold hard truth.
      • Current status in A box in the attic.
  • A Red and Pleasant Land:
    • This is a lovely book. Te production values are top notch by any standard.
      As I said in my mini review a few months ago, the book is legit. After reading it over I think it's strength is in its singular vision realized though Zak Smith who has The ability to not only write but also illustrate with his own style and voice. There aren't may products which are the result of one persons process  realized with the care of production afforded "A red and Pleasant Land."
      For my part I have not found a way to sneak it into my game. While it could be a "pocket dimension" of some kind, it really doesn't fit very well into my low fantasy D&D game.
      For all the positives I have to say about it, its not something that fits my style as a GM. I'm glad I own it, I'm happy I read it, I'm impressed by it, but I don't see myself using it anytime soon.
      • Current location: In a box in my closet.
  • Tears of A Machine:
    • This swans not a purchase, it was given to me by one of our group who has an interest in playing it. I had not heard that much about it and  missed out on the kick starter. Neal had two copies (signed by the author even) and was willing to fire one my way.
      I have read through the book, which for the record is an anime style, teenage angst driven  mecha game. The  book is good, laid out well, the game seems easy to run and playable, even if tethered to the theme. (Then again what the hell should I expect it says "A tabletop RPG of giant robots and the teenagers who pilot them.," right on the tin.)
      I love giant Robots, Unabashedly.
      Neal likes the game.
      We were on track to play it, but then he got involved in a game of the strange with another group, I started running blood of heroes Friday nights.
      • Current location: On my bookshelf in RPG purgatory.
  • The Reissue of the  Classic Car Wars Boxed set.
    Get it at Amazon 
    • Bought at a convention.
      A comic book and costuming convention.
      Thank god this was there.

      How could I have not bought this? Seriously.
      Car Wars, is awesome. I want to take a whole day to play out  12 seconds of cars blowing each other up with recoil-less riffles, and anti tank guns. I gnat to sit with my friends and laugh when Some one tries to cut through a park at 60 miles per hour, and comes one roll away form making it.
      This reissue is  fantastic, because I am a stupid fanboy and  you could print "Car Wars" on a bag of dog shit and I would think, I mean seriously think, about buying it.

      All that aside it is a good reissue. A good full size map (figure 8 track ? Yes please!) on decent stock (not that  toilet-paper thin stuff they used to use), pre-cut counters (If you have the  original set you know this is a blessing) a staple-bound rule book that covers just the car stuff and none of the extra things from the Deluxe car wars set. It's a box with everything in it players need to get the game up and "rolling" as quickly as possible.
      It's just enough stuff to make the younger player s in your group ask, "You really used to game like this?"
      At which I always smile and say , "Yes, yes we did .... now about that control check for phase 3?"
      • Current location: On my book shelf & in my heart.
  • AAIE, stands up to mentioning.
    • A game I wrote for our group and talked a lot about on the blog.
      I had 5 copies printed via lulu for the guys who did the most helping me test the game.
       Getting them was a thank you for the help kind of thing.  It's full of typo's and It's not laid out all that well, but still it was nice to have it and hold it in my hands. Having the  book will make playing the game easier, and when we get back to playing it I expect it will see some use. Cost me all of 6 bucks a copy Whoop-ty-do.
      • Current Location: On my book shelf.
That's it for new thongs on my shelf for the  past few months.
I don't plan on buying this much stuff again for quite some time. Normally I don't buy books unless I plan on using them so this year has been a bit of an anomaly.

Hope you enjoyed the read.
have a great day.
Thank you for stopping in.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

How low, is low prep. Thoughts on the improvised game.

Give me a Players Hand Book and four players at the table with fresh new characters and I can run you a game.
Now. Right now.
4:54 in the afternoon on a Wednesday.
Will it be the best game the players the have ever experienced? Of course not.
Will it be the worst? Not likely either.

Somewhere as part of our  Hobby DNA we have been  ingrained with this  idea of "prep work."
That prep work is  absolutely essential for a good game. I don't always agree.

To run a game, a single enjoyable night of adventure, a gm can go with  little or no prep.

To run a campaign is a different animal all together. For a cohesiveness series of games, damn straight the gm needs prep. This post is not talking about that. *

I know my little list includes some points that are baked into and  eloquently codified in Dungeon World. I think the greatest strength of Dungeon world lies in its group world building. This is however different in that I'm writing about tips for a one off game under systems where the  Gm is normally expected to do allot of  front end work before the group hits the table.
The  answer to this post is not, "just play dungeon world it has rules for all this." The reason that is not the answer is because I would prefer not to have rules for all this. If I'm going to go by the seat of my pants I want the  wind in my face when I do it.. or something..


Here are my own tips **** for improvising games.
Some of this will be better suited to some groups more than others, your millage may vary. Also some of this can be applied to any session, not just the full on improvisational one shots.

  • Low Levels:
    • Improvising a game is easier if the character's are a lower level. Reason being  higher level characters need their challenges to be much vaster and more complicated than a low level party. A party of  15th level characters would by the time they get to this adventure, will be ingrained in the local landscape, well known, sought out. All of these things lead to great adventures on the campaign level, but on the one shot level it is much more difficult to give the game the kind of  gravitas a higher level party deserves. It's one thing to say, "Your old friend the Prince summons you."
      It is quite another when the group has been playing in the same world for a while and the prince is actuality an old friend with some known properties.
      Sticking with lower level characters  makes the one off feel like a jumping off point rather than one dimensional snap shot.
  • Read and ask:
    • Before the game starts read over all of the character sheets, take notes. Ask the players individually about their characters how do they picture them, who are they?
      Listen carefully and start to find connections. Do two of them mention a city? Perhaps this adventure takes place in that city? Is one of them on the  run ?
      Given enough time and few questions players who have these fresh new characters in their hands, will give a gm enough hooks to run several adventures. If one of those players has blacksmith as part of her background, let one of her former customers be the one to start the adventure by crashing into her home covered in blood pursued by assassins.
  • Connect: 
    • This goes hand and hand with the  above "read and Listen." Make sure to connect the characters back to whatever adventure the GM dreams up. Connecting  the player's vision of their character to the adventure at hand will create a bit of investment which goes along way towards making one off games enjoyable for everybody.
  • In Medias Res:
    • Start the characters in action. Nothing roots a party  to a game faster than a flight of flaming arrows. Or an ogre bashing in a door, or  a Kraken. Already someone is thinking  "Kraken attacks are cool!" And they are cool.
      Start the party in clear, immediate danger, their actions will tell  very quickly what kind of adventure they are looking for and what direction the GM should explore.
  • Paint the location Broadly:
    • In a one shot game specifics will kill a gm. Unless the GM is some kind of savant and can keep all of the  specific details in his or her head straight, eventual  the gm will mix up some detail. Guess what the players are crazy savants and they will call the gm out on any such mistake they make.
      "Oh really I thought Pollius was the mayor of the  other town, the one with the  7 horse fountain at the gate and all those pretty red flowers, but you just said he is the Sherrif? What gives?"
      As a gm when these mistakes happen the only responses are, "Sorry, I flubbed Pollius is the Mayor and  Demigorgon is the  sheriff." Or " Yes, He's Both."
      Neither one is a great answer, both break the flow of the game. Try to avoid the  whole thing by painting with broad strokes. This allows the Gm to only detail what has to be detailed as it comes up, and  will reduce the chances of unnecessary confusion. 
      • "You are in the fair city of Pan_Delver, the nearby river narrows here making this a fine area for water wheel milling. Speaking of milling, you can see smoke and flame rising from mill district, you can hear screaming.."
  • Think about TV.
    • Television, particularly American television often has programs that while episodic can each stand alone as an adventure in it's self. **Pace a one off like an episode of Magnum PI.
      I Call it the  Magnum rule(as of just now). 
      It goes like this Action, characters, problems, action, CHANGE, action, resolution.
    • The  show starts with some kind of action (In medias res remember), then the characters kibitz for a scene (HIGGINS!), a problem presents it's self, there's more action, the  problem changes unexpectedly, last action, the  problem resolves generaly with more kibitzing and  some good ole 1980's Magnum PI sexism, and chest hair.
      • You find a friends body on the beach, drowned and now being gnawed on by a shuaguin!
        You and the  party investigate.
        You find out others have drowned, Shaguin are afoot in the cove...
        Fight the Shaguin!
        Wait. It turns out the victims are being sacrificed too the sahguin by a cult? WTF Whose behind that.
        Attacked by the guards?
        The town Burger-mister is a shaguin worshiping  weirdo! Who knew! 
      • The point is the formula from just about any  action based, cereal TV show will work for a one shot D&D game with some tweaking. The  formula has been around for so long because it works. The opening action grabs people attention. The  Kibitzing develops characters and moves the  plot. The problem give the  payers something to work against, the change keeps people interest. It all works to make sure no one really has time to look away or change the channel, which in a one shot game is part of the challenge for the GM.
  • Use Monsters you know: 
    Familiar monster ..flesh golem
    • Simple enough. The GM should use monsters they don't have to look up. We all have a variety of monsters in our head that we have read so many times we can quote the relevant stats verbatim. Use them, or at least use monsters that you can aplly those stats to.
      • We know what an orc is. Will the players ever know or care if  the "fungoid mushroom warriors," have the same stats as orcs plus 1/2 damage form blunt, and a spore could save vs poison or take 1d8 damage?
  • Don't explain magic:
    • If there is a floating city in a one off don't spare any thought about why or how it floats. If teh GM says giant balloons ... fine what ever. Same goes for spells. use "spell like effects" often, just change the descriptions of a well known spell or make the whole thing up. Not every spell a monster tosses has to be in the PHB. Unless the characters have a legit chance of  gaining access to that spell it really does not matter exactly what it was.***
      • "The shaman waves his arms and speaks with a strange cadence, three ropes of green glowing energy snap viciously at your character,  you take 3d4+1 damage". 
      • That was magic missile with a strange description. It Auto hits, no save 1d4+1 damage, but the players woudl be like, "WTF was that?"
  • Roll with it.
    • The Gm has no Prep. That's not a problem that's a liberator.  Let the players determine what direction thing go. Run with them, not  at them. If every one is  having a good time and are engaged with the game, then things are working. Run with it. DON"T try to force the game in one direction or another. Without anything prepared to support a preconceived story line that tactic is just bound to crash and burn.
  • Take Notes /  leave things open ended.
    • A DM just never knows when her one shot game is going to grasp the  players so strongly that they want to come back to that place again. Use the one shot as a spring board to a more lengthy campaign one for which the GM will want to do a all that real prep work based off notes from a good improv game
As always thank you for reading.
Hope there is something to glean from all this.

*For setting up and running a long term campaign,  I would suggest checking out  Alexis Smolensk's blog "The Tao of D&D." He has put out more words about detailed world building than I ever could.

**This is because American media thinks we are all to dumb to follow a story form one episode to the next. So we get shows like Castle..and CSI.. and other absolute shit. (Post for another time.)

*** I make up spells constantly and sometimes the  players even end up having them, and it has never broken my game, some folks get to hung up on all that "But it's not in the book!! Balance will be destroyed!" drivel.

**** LOL, me giving out GM advice!  That's RICH.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Pro Wrestling game:

This is a long post but you get basically a whole game out of it so there ya go.

I guess you could copy the whole thing and print it if you wee inclined.
I don't know who would be inclined.

The  story:
I was taking a shower and thought to myself, "Self why are all the  wrestling video games competitive when the sport is co-operative."
Followed closely by.
"Umm, new shampoo smells like citrus...Good ch"
So then it naturally progressed to,
"What Would my wrestling video game be like?"

Then I sat down and typed this turd out.

There is not a lot of fluff to this writing.  I should really  flesh out the  How this should play our section and  write a section about  developing a starting group of wrestlers. I might at some point.
For this crowd (both of you) It might be enough to say this is a cooperative, narrative , pro wrestling Role playing game.

  • This has never been play tested so .. you know,  it might not hold up at all.
  • This is Blogger, the  formatting sucks.
  • Absolutely No claims to perfection or completeness here, but these kinds of idea dumps are why I started this blog in the first place.

Index Use CTRL F to navigate by searching for the *1, *2, *3 and so on:
*1 Characters
*2 Mechanics
*3 Playing the game
*5 How should this all play out.
*6 Sample Characters.

What you will need.
Paper / pencils.
3 players:
(two in a pinch)
BONUS: Giving a passing crap about pro-wrestling would make things easier.


These guys and gals are pro-wrestlers go beyond the numbers and make them larger than life,   flamboyant, stylish.

Give the character a sweet wrestler name.
Pick  A height and a weight
A brief description
A catch phrase if one pops into your head.

Characters are ranked 0 to 3 with three being the best in each of the  following attributes.

  • Power: used for power moves like body slams and throws.
  • Aerial: Used for high flying moves like moonsaults.
  • Brawling: Used for punches and kicks.
  • Technical: used for holds of all sorts.
  • Work Rate: How well the  character can sell moves.
Image: This is  how well liked (or hated if a heel / bad guy) the wrestler is to the  fans.

Status Points: this is the wrestlers position in the company measured in points.
Status points can be used to determine a wrestlers place in the  company.
0     - 100 Jobber. (status rank 1)
101 - 200 Journeyman (status rank 2) +1 to any stat
201 - 400 Mid carder. (status rank 3)  + All move difficulties go down by 1
401 - 600 Star (status rank 4)  +1 to any stat
600+      Icon. (status rank 5)  +1 to any stat

Free match momentum based on image:
A wrestler can opt to start a match with dice of momentum equal to their stat rank.

Each character are given the following.

  • 5 moves they do often  in matches, each one will have a difficulty of 3
  • 2 "signature moves" each one will have a difficulty of 4 and cost 5 momentum to use.
  • 1 "Finisher" which has a difficulty of 4 and costs 7 momentum to use.
    • Any other move the  wrestler attempts is an improvised move, and has a difficulty of 5.

Each move has a "Difficulty Rating" which is a meet or beat target on d6.

When an attacker does a move, he rolls 5d6 and can re-roll a number of dice equal to his skill in the  appropriate skill category.

Each die that is = to or greater that the difficulty, is a success.

Each move will also have a "Sell Difficulty Rating" Based on the characters moves.

The person taking the move rolls 5d6 vs the difficulty number to "sell" the move. That player may re roll a number of dice dice up to their work rate skill.

Each die that is = to or greater that the difficulty is a success.
  • If the  selling player has more  success than the attacker they have "over sold" the move this makes the attacker look tougher. 
    • For each  success above the  attackers roll  earned by the  character selling the move, the a attacker gains 1 image point.
  • If the attacker has more successes then the  selling player the move was "under sold" and the defender ends up looking tougher. 
    • For each  success below the  attackers roll  earned by the  character selling the move, the a wrestler selling the move gains 1 image point
  • If the  selling and attacking success are the same , the move is executed perfectly and there is some boost to match momentum...or something..
    • Both wrestlers receive 1 point of image and the match gains 1 die of momentum.
  • If both players decide  not to use any re rolls during a turn All rewards are doubled. This must be declared be for any dice are rolled.
  • A non contested roll Is when the characters are not  acting in unison and only one player has to roll. This might be to climb a cage or find a perfectly placed folding table. Non contested roll follow all the rules above with the referrer setting the  difficulty number, and a minimum number of successes needed to complete the  action. 
    •  For example climbing the  cage might be a difficulty of 3 and require 6 successes to  complete. meaning the character can not  completely climb a steel cage in one action. 
    • When in doubt use work rate for any roll that doesn't have a clear corresponding stat.

Rolling extra dice: 
During the match wrestlers earn momentum dice. The momentum dice are tracked as a match total. Momentum is a measure of how hot the match is. Neither wrestler has momentum, the match has a life of it's own.
During the match a wrestler can choose to roll more than five dice by risking the matches momentum. This is usually a "high spot" or some other exciting  action that the wrestlers really want to see go over well. 

The player must declare the number of momentum dice they want to use before the initial roll, once the  decision to use momentum is made it can't be taken back.

When A player opts to roll extra dice the player rolls their initial 5d6 . Then rolls the number of  momentum dice declared before the action.
the player may then  replace any of  the initial dice with the momentum dice he rolled, and count up the successes. 

Momentum dice rolled don't change the  matches total momentum unless:
Any Momentum die that comes up a 1 is lost.
Any momentum die that comes up a 6 spans another momentum die.

Other ways to earn image points.
Hitting a signature move  +1 image
Hitting a finisher + 2 image
Showboating: In this case the character is  playing to the crowd and  doing a move with a flourish rather than concentrating  on technical  execution.
Anytime a player opts to roll fewer than five dice on an action the  number of dice held back become image points

If a character ever fails with all five dice even after using re-rolls. The move has been botched.
The player who rolled the botch must roll 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6  and subtract the highest number rolled from the match momentum and the character's image.

  • On a character's first botch 1d6 is rolled.
  • On the  second Botch 2d6 with the higher roll used.
  • On the third Blotch and there after 3d6 are rolled with the highest single die used.
  • If the botch  die comes up a 6 the character has been injured and the match is over.
  • IF two 6's are rolled the character permanently looses a point from one stat chosen by the  player.
  • If three 6's are rolled that character has suffered a sever injury, looses 2 attribute points and can not wrestle again for 1d6 shows.
Calling for the finish:
A wrestler can call for the finish any time after they have fulfilled the matches prerequisite conditions.
Once the finish has been celled for the  other wrestler decides if he or she will"do the job" and be pinned.
If the wrestler does the  job and lets the opponent win clean:
The  winner gains 1d6 status points. and 1d6 image
The looser gains 2d6 status points.

If the wrestler decides not to be pinned that wrestler must roll 1d6 and meet or beat the opponents current Status rank.
If the  roll fails something happens to end the match, cheating, run in, fake injury. It's up to the referee.

This is whats called a dirty or Worked finish.
This winner gains 1d6 status.
The  looser looses 2d6 status.

If the  roll is  a success the match gains one momentum and the  match continues.

Banner from my old Youtube Joint.

Playing the game:
This is not about  beating the other player this is about  reaching certain match goals, and putting on a good show.

Setting up:

Determining the  match goals:
The two players and the ref should decide what kind of match is going to be put on.
Things like who should go over and and what would make for the best story  should be part off the discussion.
The referee then sets match  goals and finish prerequisites for the characters.
Finish prerequisites:
Finish prerequisites should always include a minimum amount of momentum the match should have before the  a player can call for the finish. Other factors such as minimum amount of image earned and or who is supposed to come out on top are up to the GM.
Match Goals:
The referee also designs match goals that he or she keeps secret until the end of the goals. A match goal  can be anything. Some examples might include, hit your finisher twice, both wrestlers must hit signature moves, earn twice as much image as your opponent, ect.
At the end of the game the  characters receive 1d6 additional status and image for each  goal they meet.
(if there are only tow players the  players can write secret goals for each other.) There are no limits to what the referee can  create a s match goals.
The referee can also offer bonus stats points by giving one or both of the  wrestlers goals that only they are aware of. Things such as "injure the other  wrestler" or Make sure this match finishes with  0 momentum. Or under sell all the other players moves to make them look bad. Generally shenanigans are the underhanded things that a wrestling feds management might do to push one wrestler over another.

How should this all play out?

Pre match: Before the match both players should be given the  opportunity to promo or talk to the fans about the  match. The  referee and the other player are free to jot down extra image points for the character doing the  promo. For each player who chooses to  promo for their character the  match receives one  die of momentum.

The Match:

The match starts with both players rolling 1d6, the higher rolling player gets to Start describing the match first. At any time the  player describes an action that might require a die roll the referee or the other player may ask for one.
The dice follow all the rules stated above in the "mechanics section."

No matter how the dice play out once the  roll are resolved the other player can continue the narration, and so fourth. Taking turns until a player calls for the finish.

It is acceptable for one player to narrate to the other player that their character  wants to be the recipient of a move. The match is not directly competitive it is about putting on the best show and meeting the  match goals.

For example  saying:
 "Our two characters lock up and your character whispers running clothesline in my ear so I whip him to the ropes and charge after him." 
Would be a perfectly acceptable play.
As would
"Your character scoops me up for a huge body slam!"
"I try to suplex my much larger opponent!"

As always is there are any questions about what attribute might modify a roll the referee has last say in the matter.

Post match:
A player may opt to do a post match interview to earn  1d6 extra image.

Tally up:
At the end of the  match the referee should tally up all of the status and image the  wrestlers have earned.
Adjust the characters rankings among the other federation wrestler.
Image: effects the wrestlers popularity ranking
For every  100 points of image a wrestler can opt to start a match with 1 die of momentum.
Status: determines their contender ranking.

Simulating a match:
You want to have a quick result between two roster Non player wrestlers?
here is a quick way to get it done.

  • For both wrestlers Roll d6's equal to the  characters attribute rank in each stat:  
    • Power, 
    • Aerial, 
    • Brawler, 
    • Work rate.
  • Compare each result 
  • Whichever wrestler rolled higher in each stat outperformed the opponent in that area.
    • Whichever wrestler performed the best in the most categorizes wins the  match and gets:
    • 2d6 image and 1d6 status.
      • The looser gets:
      • 1d6 image and 1d6 status

Sample Character 1.
Hard Time Hendricks
Hight 6’3”
Weight 260 lbs

hard times is a big thick necked Brawler from some unknown little town in the  south west. He wears his hair loose and curly, his clothing baggy , and his wrestling boots half laced up.
New to the business he wants to bring the fistfight back to a wrestling game that he thinks has become to  clean and gentile. He wants to bring back the  wrestling of his childhood heroes.

Status 0
image 0
Power  0
Aerial   1
Brawling  2
Technical  0
Work rate 2

Common moves:  Diff 3
Flurry of punches (Brawl)
Round house (Brawl)
Front kick (Brawl)
Stomp (Brawl)
Eye rake (Brawl)
Signatures: Diff 4
Side slam (Power)
Head Butt (Brawl)
sleeper Hold: (Tech)

Finisher: Diff  5
Running Front Kick: (Brawl)

Sample Charater 2:
Kendal Wins
Height 6'0
Weight 195
Catch Phrase: KENDAL WINS!

Kendal is  22 years old, blond, athletic, and loves the crowd. He is the kind of up and coming rookie everyone in the office loves and every one in the locker room hates.

Status 0
image 0
Power  0
Aerial   2
Brawling  0
Technical  1
Work rate 2

Common moves:  Diff 3
Flurry of punches (Brawl)
Round house (Brawl)
Front kick (Brawl)
Stomp (Brawl)
Eye rake (Brawl)
Signatures: Diff 4
Side slam (Power)
Head Butt (Brawl)
sleeper Hold: (Tech)

Finisher: Diff  5
Running Front Kick: (Brawl)

Well a few thousand words latter and I have barfed out that idea.
Thank you for reading.
Leave questions and comments in the squared circle.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Drunken Mistress.

How is that for Click bait?
Fantastic right?

Sorry no tipsy adulteresses here, at least not this post. Next time.

My Friend Jay has started up a fresh new D&D using the 5th ed rules.
My new character is a female monk named, Yuen Qiu.*
Who I plan on  playing her as a practitioner of Drunken Boxing.

Well that's great I hear you saying, "That's nice, there are some  pretty nifty drunken boxing traditions for D&D 5th  written up over at En World."
I agree there are.

Yuen Siu-tin as the Drunken Master
My only issue is trying to integrate a Kung fu movie style fighting aesthetic into a fantasy RPG is sort
of pounding a square peg into a round  jug of sake. I think the Monk , much like the  Druid, is the perfect character to play in it's own setting. Druids kind of require a certain flavor of adventure to shine. Monks are the same. Place a the  5ht ed monk in a setting that focuses on "kung-fu movie" style action, and they are great. Put one in Grey Hawk and they get eaten by a balisk. D&D is mostly weapon based and if my character is going to be a drunken master, I'm going to have to figure out how she is dealing with  all the  long swords swinging around.

As with most things in RPG's it comes down to narration and description.
My monk has an ac of 17, Without Armour.
But why?
Well I would love to say it's because she can block incoming blows, which I'm sure she can. Most of the blows in a D&D game however are going to need to be avoided, such a great-ax or whatnot. It's just silly to describe a character blocking one of those with her forearm.
This is where describing Drunken boxing comes in. Every video I have watched shows the form as being one of misdirection and  evasion, more than offensive capability. So when a knight swings his big sword at my character he will not simply miss, she will, "sway drunkenly out of range," or "stagger away from the blow, or Lurch in closely shouldering the  opponents sword arm causing the blow to  swing wide."

This kind of thing needs no mechanical back up beyond the un-armored AC benefit given to all monks. Its what separates an RPG from any other medium. Our characters can be made better and more interesting without any mechanics at all. The player has a large amount say over how good a character is, just through their own creativity.

Now that I have said what I love about RPG's let me tell you what I hate about  D&D.

Good or interesting does not always equate to effective. In an effort to keep pace we get "Monastic traditions."

A class like the monk needs things like Way of the open hand  to provide  (Kewl Powerz) all the way through level 17.  If the level 17 monk did not have a monastic tradition  the player would be left with a character that gets D8 hp per level and whose single attack damage maxes out at 1d10+ strength or dexterity depending on which is better. The other monk skills, like getting a bonus unarmed attack after a successful attack are excellent, but not enough to  make this fighter light useful at higher levels.

In fact I have a hard time seeing a 20th level monk standing toe to toe with a 20th level  fighter under any circumstance. Having played a 15th level fighter in 5th ed already, I know that shit is real, and those three attacks per round are no joke.

Here is my idea for monks in general:
An open  frame of "mechanical bonuses" on the character sheet that they  player can fill in as they  go along.
Every time the  player comes to an ability gaining level they pick one of the mechanical options presented for that level.
Somethig like this:

The monk (basic monk abilits found on PHB pg 78 -79
Level Prof bonus Unarmed strike ki Unarmored movement Features
PHB (pg 77-79)
Monastic Styles:
Pick one option at each bench mark level 3 ,6,11,17
1 +2 1d4

Unarmored def
martial arts


2 +10 Ki,
Unarmored Move



Deflect missiles Gain advantage on any attacks of opportunity you make.


May use any object as a monk weapon for damage = to your physical attack damage.

You may add ki directly to your damage or AC at the beginning of your turn.


You may choose to inflict one of the following conditions on any target by spending 2 ki points.
The target may save.
Knock down to prone. (save dex)
Knock back 15 feet (save str)
Target may not take attacks of opportunity for the rest of the round. (no save)



Atrib Improvement
Slow fall

5 +3 1d6 5

Extra atack
stunning strike


6 +15 Ki strikes May use your reaction to make an unarmed attack.


You may heal your self = to 3x your monk level between long rests.


You may use your reaction to give your attacker disadvantage to any physical attacks he or she makes against you in the next round.

You suffer no penalties for being prone.


you suffer no penalties for being out numbered.

Or another level 3 option.


Stillness OM



Atrib Improvement

9 +4




10 +20 Purity of body


1d8 11

Spend 5 ki to gain resistance to physical damage. For rounds = to your prof bonus.


You may heal another person for 1d6 per 2 ki points spent.


You may spend 2 ki points to gain advantage on your next attack

For 4 ki points You may inflict one of the following conditions on the target with a successful.

lasts rounds = to the prof bonus. (Con save for a 1 round duration)

Any single lower level option.



Atrib Improvement

13 +5


Tongue sun & moon


14 +25 Diamond soul



Timeless body



Atrib Improvement

17 +6 1d10 17

You may use more than one reaction per turn by spending 4 ki per reaction.


You may make an unarmed attack of opportunity on any target that misses you in melee.


May make a disarm maneuver as per the fighter rules for 2 ki (PHB 74) the monk may disarm with a armed or unarmed attack.


May spend ki to add 1d10 damage to any single attack. You gain 1d10 damage per 5 ki spent.

any lower level benefit

18 +30 Empty body



Atrib Improvement



Perfect self Pick any remaining single option of level 11 or lower

That might not be "perfect" mathematically or system wise (Not that I have EVER care about a system's magic formulas, break that shit please..) 

Here is what it does do. Its simply mechanical so the  Player needs to fill in the  What and hows of whats going on with their own description during play.

Say a player takes the option to have the disarm maneuver.
One player may say,
"My monk uses the Black Crane style so  I use my quickness and lock the  opponents wrist twist hard causing  her to drop her dagger at my feet!"

Another player may take the same style choices and say,
"My monk uses drunken master style, so when he draws his sword I stumble forward and  fall drunkenly onto the table in front of him, knocking the table up into his arm and sending his  sword flying."

Sort of a build your own mechanical style menu.
Where the player has to work a bit and decide what those number mean to their character.

Thank you fore reading
Let me know what you think.


(*Which is the name of the  actress who played the landlady in "Kung Fu Hustle", with the names parts reversed. Who for the record is an amazing physical comic, genius.)